Jie Zhao


pdf bib
Wizard of Tasks: A Novel Conversational Dataset for Solving Real-World Tasks in Conversational Settings
Jason Ingyu Choi | Saar Kuzi | Nikhita Vedula | Jie Zhao | Giuseppe Castellucci | Marcus Collins | Shervin Malmasi | Oleg Rokhlenko | Eugene Agichtein
Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Conversational Task Assistants (CTAs) are conversational agents whose goal is to help humans perform real-world tasks. CTAs can help in exploring available tasks, answering task-specific questions and guiding users through step-by-step instructions. In this work, we present Wizard of Tasks, the first corpus of such conversations in two domains: Cooking and Home Improvement. We crowd-sourced a total of 549 conversations (18,077 utterances) with an asynchronous Wizard-of-Oz setup, relying on recipes from WholeFoods Market for the cooking domain, and WikiHow articles for the home improvement domain. We present a detailed data analysis and show that the collected data can be a valuable and challenging resource for CTAs in two tasks: Intent Classification (IC) and Abstractive Question Answering (AQA). While on IC we acquired a high performing model (>85% F1), on AQA the performance is far from being satisfactory (~27% BertScore-F1), suggesting that more work is needed to solve the task of low-resource AQA.

pdf bib
CycleKQR: Unsupervised Bidirectional Keyword-Question Rewriting
Andrea Iovine | Anjie Fang | Besnik Fetahu | Jie Zhao | Oleg Rokhlenko | Shervin Malmasi
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Users expect their queries to be answered by search systems, regardless of the query’s surface form, which include keyword queries and natural questions. Natural Language Understanding (NLU) components of Search and QA systems may fail to correctly interpret semantically equivalent inputs if this deviates from how the system was trained, leading to suboptimal understanding capabilities. We propose the keyword-question rewriting task to improve query understanding capabilities of NLU systems for all surface forms. To achieve this, we present CycleKQR, an unsupervised approach, enabling effective rewriting between keyword and question queries using non-parallel data. Empirically we show the impact on QA performance of unfamiliar query forms for open domain and Knowledge Base QA systems (trained on either keywords or natural language questions). We demonstrate how CycleKQR significantly improves QA performance by rewriting queries into the appropriate form, while at the same time retaining the original semantic meaning of input queries, allowing CycleKQR to improve performance by up to 3% over supervised baselines. Finally, we release a datasetof 66k keyword-question pairs.

pdf bib
Reinforced Question Rewriting for Conversational Question Answering
Zhiyu Chen | Jie Zhao | Anjie Fang | Besnik Fetahu | Oleg Rokhlenko | Shervin Malmasi
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing: Industry Track

Conversational Question Answering (CQA) aims to answer questions contained within dialogues, which are not easily interpretable without context. Developing a model to rewrite conversational questions into self-contained ones is an emerging solution in industry settings as it allows using existing single-turn QA systems to avoid training a CQA model from scratch. Previous work trains rewriting models using human rewrites as supervision. However, such objectives are disconnected with QA models and therefore more human-like rewrites do not guarantee better QA performance. In this paper we propose using QA feedback to supervise the rewriting model with reinforcement learning. Experiments show that our approach can effectively improve QA performance over baselines for both extractive and retrieval QA. Furthermore, human evaluation shows that our method can generate more accurate and detailed rewrites when compared to human annotations.

pdf bib
Knowledge Transfer between Structured and Unstructured Sources for Complex Question Answering
Lingbo Mo | Zhen Wang | Jie Zhao | Huan Sun
Proceedings of the Workshop on Structured and Unstructured Knowledge Integration (SUKI)

Multi-hop question answering (QA) combines multiple pieces of evidence to search for the correct answer. Reasoning over a text corpus (TextQA) and/or a knowledge base (KBQA) has been extensively studied and led to distinct system architectures. However, knowledge transfer between such two QA systems has been under-explored. Research questions like what knowledge is transferred or whether the transferred knowledge can help answer over one source using another one, are yet to be answered. In this paper, therefore, we study the knowledge transfer of multi-hop reasoning between structured and unstructured sources. We first propose a unified QA framework named SimultQA to enable knowledge transfer and bridge the distinct supervisions from KB and text sources. Then, we conduct extensive analyses to explore how knowledge is transferred by leveraging the pre-training and fine-tuning paradigm. We focus on the low-resource fine-tuning to show that pre-training SimultQA on one source can substantially improve its performance on the other source. More fine-grained analyses on transfer behaviors reveal the types of transferred knowledge and transfer patterns. We conclude with insights into how to construct better QA datasets and systems to exploit knowledge transfer for future work.


pdf bib
Adversarial Training for Code Retrieval with Question-Description Relevance Regularization
Jie Zhao | Huan Sun
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2020

Code retrieval is a key task aiming to match natural and programming languages. In this work, we propose adversarial learning for code retrieval, that is regularized by question-description relevance. First, we adapt a simple adversarial learning technique to generate difficult code snippets given the input question, which can help the learning of code retrieval that faces bi-modal and data-scarce challenges. Second, we propose to leverage question-description relevance to regularize adversarial learning, such that a generated code snippet should contribute more to the code retrieval training loss, only if its paired natural language description is predicted to be less relevant to the user given question. Experiments on large-scale code retrieval datasets of two programming languages show that our adversarial learning method is able to improve the performance of state-of-the-art models. Moreover, using an additional duplicated question detection model to regularize adversarial learning further improves the performance, and this is more effective than using the duplicated questions in strong multi-task learning baselines.


pdf bib
An End-to-End Deep Framework for Answer Triggering with a Novel Group-Level Objective
Jie Zhao | Yu Su | Ziyu Guan | Huan Sun
Proceedings of the 2017 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Given a question and a set of answer candidates, answer triggering determines whether the candidate set contains any correct answers. If yes, it then outputs a correct one. In contrast to existing pipeline methods which first consider individual candidate answers separately and then make a prediction based on a threshold, we propose an end-to-end deep neural network framework, which is trained by a novel group-level objective function that directly optimizes the answer triggering performance. Our objective function penalizes three potential types of error and allows training the framework in an end-to-end manner. Experimental results on the WikiQA benchmark show that our framework outperforms the state of the arts by a 6.6% absolute gain under F1 measure.