Joseph Gonzalez


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Decomposing Complex Queries for Tip-of-the-tongue Retrieval
Kevin Lin | Kyle Lo | Joseph Gonzalez | Dan Klein
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

When re-finding items, users who forget or are uncertain about identifying details often rely on creative strategies for expressing their information needs—complex queries that describe content elements (e.g., book characters or events), information beyond the document text (e.g., descriptions of book covers), or personal context (e.g., when they read a book). Standard retrieval models that rely on lexical or semantic overlap between query and document text are challenged in such retrieval settings, known as tip-of-the-tongue (TOT) retrieval. We introduce a simple but effective framework for handling such complex queries by decomposing the query with an LLM into individual clues routing those as subqueries to specialized retrievers, and ensembling the results. Our approach takes advantage of off-the-shelf retrievers (e.g., CLIP for retrieving images of book covers) or incorporate retriever-specific logic (e.g., date constraints). We show that our framework incorporating query decomposition into retrievers can improve gold book recall up to 6% absolute gain for Recall@5 on a new collection of 14,441 real-world query-book pairs from an online community for resolving TOT inquiries.

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CLAIR: Evaluating Image Captions with Large Language Models
David Chan | Suzanne Petryk | Joseph Gonzalez | Trevor Darrell | John Canny
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

The evaluation of machine-generated image captions poses an interesting yet persistent challenge. Effective evaluation measures must consider numerous dimensions of similarity, including semantic relevance, visual structure, object interactions, caption diversity, and specificity. Existing highly-engineered measures attempt to capture specific aspects, but fall short in providing a holistic score that aligns closely with human judgments. Here, we propose CLAIR, a novel method that leverages the zero-shot language modeling capabilities of large language models (LLMs) to evaluate candidate captions. In our evaluations, CLAIR demonstrates a stronger correlation with human judgments of caption quality compared to existing measures. Notably, on Flickr8K-Expert, CLAIR achieves relative correlation improvements over SPICE of 39.6% and over image-augmented methods such as RefCLIP-S of 18.3%. Moreover, CLAIR provides noisily interpretable results by allowing the language model to identify the underlying reasoning behind its assigned score.


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Contrastive Code Representation Learning
Paras Jain | Ajay Jain | Tianjun Zhang | Pieter Abbeel | Joseph Gonzalez | Ion Stoica
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Recent work learns contextual representations of source code by reconstructing tokens from their context. For downstream semantic understanding tasks like code clone detection, these representations should ideally capture program functionality. However, we show that the popular reconstruction-based RoBERTa model is sensitive to source code edits, even when the edits preserve semantics. We propose ContraCode: a contrastive pre-training task that learns code functionality, not form. ContraCode pre-trains a neural network to identify functionally similar variants of a program among many non-equivalent distractors. We scalably generate these variants using an automated source-to-source compiler as a form of data augmentation. Contrastive pre-training outperforms RoBERTa on an adversarial code clone detection benchmark by 39% AUROC. Surprisingly, improved adversarial robustness translates to better accuracy over natural code; ContraCode improves summarization and TypeScript type inference accuracy by 2 to 13 percentage points over competitive baselines. All source is available at

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Grounded Graph Decoding improves Compositional Generalization in Question Answering
Yu Gai | Paras Jain | Wendi Zhang | Joseph Gonzalez | Dawn Song | Ion Stoica
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2021

Question answering models struggle to generalize to novel compositions of training patterns. Current end-to-end models learn a flat input embedding which can lose input syntax context. Prior approaches improve generalization by learning permutation invariant models, but these methods do not scale to more complex train-test splits. We propose Grounded Graph Decoding, a method to improve compositional generalization of language representations by grounding structured predictions with an attention mechanism. Grounding enables the model to retain syntax information from the input that significantly improves generalization to complex inputs. By predicting a structured graph containing conjunctions of query clauses, we learn a group invariant representation without making assumptions on the target domain. Our model performs competitively on the Compositional Freebase Questions (CFQ) dataset, a challenging benchmark for compositional generalization in question answering. Especially, our model effectively solves the MCD1 split with 98% accuracy. All source is available at