Kewei Tu


2023

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Do PLMs Know and Understand Ontological Knowledge?
Weiqi Wu | Chengyue Jiang | Yong Jiang | Pengjun Xie | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Ontological knowledge, which comprises classes and properties and their relationships, is integral to world knowledge. It is significant to explore whether Pretrained Language Models (PLMs) know and understand such knowledge. However, existing PLM-probing studies focus mainly on factual knowledge, lacking a system- atic probing of ontological knowledge. In this paper, we focus on probing whether PLMs store ontological knowledge and have a semantic un- derstanding of the knowledge rather than rote memorization of the surface form. To probe whether PLMs know ontological knowledge, we investigate how well PLMs memorize: (1) types of entities; (2) hierarchical relationships among classes and properties, e.g., Person is a subclass of Animal and Member of Sports Team is a subproperty of Member of ; (3) domain and range constraints of properties, e.g., the subject of Member of Sports Team should be a Person and the object should be a Sports Team. To further probe whether PLMs truly understand ontological knowledge beyond memorization, we comprehensively study whether they can reliably perform logical reasoning with given knowledge according to ontological entailment rules. Our probing results show that PLMs can memorize certain ontological knowledge and utilize implicit knowledge in reasoning. How- ever, both the memorizing and reasoning per- formances are less than perfect, indicating in- complete knowledge and understanding.

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Don’t Parse, Choose Spans! Continuous and Discontinuous Constituency Parsing via Autoregressive Span Selection
Songlin Yang | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

We present a simple and unified approach for both continuous and discontinuous constituency parsing via autoregressive span selection. Constituency parsing aims to produce a set of non-crossing spans so that they can form a constituency parse tree. We sort gold spans using a predefined order and leverage a pointer network to autoregressively select spans by that order. To deal with discontinuous spans, we consecutively select their subspans from left to right, label all but last subspans with special discontinuous labels and the last subspan as the whole discontinuous spans’ labels. We use simple heuristic to output valid trees so that our approach is able to predict all possible continuous and discontinuous constituency trees without sacrificing data coverage and without the need to use expensive chart-based parsing algorithms. Experiments on multiple continuous and discontinuous benchmarks show that our model achieves state-of-the-art or competitive performance.

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Recall, Expand, and Multi-Candidate Cross-Encode: Fast and Accurate Ultra-Fine Entity Typing
Chengyue Jiang | Wenyang Hui | Yong Jiang | Xiaobin Wang | Pengjun Xie | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Ultra-fine entity typing (UFET) predicts extremely free-formed types (e.g., president, politician) of a given entity mention (e.g., Joe Biden) in context. State-of-the-art (SOTA) methods use the cross-encoder (CE) based architecture. CE concatenates a mention (and its context) with each type and feeds the pair into a pretrained language model (PLM) to score their relevance. It brings deeper interaction between the mention and the type to reach better performance but has to perform N (the type set size) forward passes to infer all the types of a single mention. CE is therefore very slow in inference when the type set is large (e.g., N=10k for UFET). % Cross-encoder also ignores the correlation between different types.To this end, we propose to perform entity typing in a recall-expand-filter manner. The recall and expansion stages prune the large type set and generate K (typically much smaller than N) most relevant type candidates for each mention. At the filter stage, we use a novel model called {pasted macro ‘NAME’} to concurrently encode and score all these K candidates in only one forward pass to obtain the final type prediction. We investigate different model options for each stage and conduct extensive experiments to compare each option, experiments show that our method reaches SOTA performance on UFET and is thousands of times faster than the CE-based architecture. We also found our method is very effective in fine-grained (130 types) and coarse-grained (9 types) entity typing. Our code is available at {pasted macro ‘CODE’}.

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Modeling Instance Interactions for Joint Information Extraction with Neural High-Order Conditional Random Field
Zixia Jia | Zhaohui Yan | Wenjuan Han | Zilong Zheng | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Prior works on joint Information Extraction (IE) typically model instance (e.g., event triggers, entities, roles, relations) interactions by representation enhancement, type dependencies scoring, or global decoding. We find that the previous models generally consider binary type dependency scoring of a pair of instances, and leverage local search such as beam search to approximate global solutions. To better integrate cross-instance interactions, in this work, we introduce a joint IE framework (CRFIE) that formulates joint IE as a high-order Conditional Random Field. Specifically, we design binary factors and ternary factors to directly model interactions between not only a pair of instances but also triplets. Then, these factors are utilized to jointly predict labels of all instances. To address the intractability problem of exact high-order inference, we incorporate a high-order neural decoder that is unfolded from a mean-field variational inference method, which achieves consistent learning and inference. The experimental results show that our approach achieves consistent improvements on three IE tasks compared with our baseline and prior work.

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Improving Low-resource Named Entity Recognition with Graph Propagated Data Augmentation
Jiong Cai | Shen Huang | Yong Jiang | Zeqi Tan | Pengjun Xie | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 2: Short Papers)

Data augmentation is an effective solution to improve model performance and robustness for low-resource named entity recognition (NER). However, synthetic data often suffer from poor diversity, which leads to performance limitations. In this paper, we propose a novel Graph Propagated Data Augmentation (GPDA) framework for Named Entity Recognition (NER), leveraging graph propagation to build relationships between labeled data and unlabeled natural texts. By projecting the annotations from the labeled text to the unlabeled text, the unlabeled texts are partially labeled, which has more diversity rather than synthetic annotated data. To strengthen the propagation precision, a simple search engine built on Wikipedia is utilized to fetch related texts of labeled data and to propagate the entity labels to them in the light of the anchor links. Besides, we construct and perform experiments on a real-world low-resource dataset of the E-commerce domain, which will be publicly available to facilitate the low-resource NER research. Experimental results show that GPDA presents substantial improvements over previous data augmentation methods on multiple low-resource NER datasets.

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Improving Grammar-based Sequence-to-Sequence Modeling with Decomposition and Constraints
Chao Lou | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 2: Short Papers)

Neural QCFG is a grammar-based sequence-to-sequence model with strong inductive biases on hierarchical structures. It excels in interpretability and generalization but suffers from expensive inference. In this paper, we study two low-rank variants of Neural QCFG for faster inference with different trade-offs between efficiency and expressiveness. Furthermore, utilizing the symbolic interface provided by the grammar, we introduce two soft constraints over tree hierarchy and source coverage. We experiment with various datasets and find that our models outperform vanilla Neural QCFG in most settings.

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Structured Mean-Field Variational Inference for Higher-Order Span-Based Semantic Role Labeling
Wei Liu | Songlin Yang | Kewei Tu
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2023

In this work, we enhance higher-order graph-based approaches for span-based semantic role labeling (SRL) by means of structured modeling. To decrease the complexity of higher-order modeling, we decompose the edge from predicate word to argument span into three different edges, predicate-to-head (P2H), predicate-to-tail (P2T), and head-to-tail (H2T), where head/tail means the first/last word of the semantic argument span. As such, we use a CRF-based higher-order dependency parser and leverage Mean-Field Variational Inference (MFVI) for higher-order inference. Moreover, since semantic arguments of predicates are often constituents within a constituency parse tree, we can leverage such nice structural property by defining a TreeCRF distribution over all H2T edges, using the idea of partial marginalization to define structural training loss. We further leverage structured MFVI to enhance inference. We experiment on span-based SRL benchmarks, showing the effectiveness of both higher-order and structured modeling and the combination thereof. In addition, we show superior performance of structured MFVI against vanilla MFVI.

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Probabilistic Transformer: A Probabilistic Dependency Model for Contextual Word Representation
Haoyi Wu | Kewei Tu
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2023

Syntactic structures used to play a vital role in natural language processing (NLP), but since the deep learning revolution, NLP has been gradually dominated by neural models that do not consider syntactic structures in their design. One vastly successful class of neural models is transformers. When used as an encoder, a transformer produces contextual representation of words in the input sentence. In this work, we propose a new model of contextual word representation, not from a neural perspective, but from a purely syntactic and probabilistic perspective. Specifically, we design a conditional random field that models discrete latent representations of all words in a sentence as well as dependency arcs between them; and we use mean field variational inference for approximate inference. Strikingly, we find that the computation graph of our model resembles transformers, with correspondences between dependencies and self-attention and between distributions over latent representations and contextual embeddings of words. Experiments show that our model performs competitively to transformers on small to medium sized datasets. We hope that our work could help bridge the gap between traditional syntactic and probabilistic approaches and cutting-edge neural approaches to NLP, and inspire more linguistically-principled neural approaches in the future.

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Simple Hardware-Efficient PCFGs with Independent Left and Right Productions
Wei Liu | Songlin Yang | Yoon Kim | Kewei Tu
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

Scaling dense PCFGs to thousands of nonterminals via low-rank parameterizations of the rule probability tensor has been shown to be beneficial for unsupervised parsing. However, PCFGs scaled this way still perform poorly as a language model, and even underperform similarly-sized HMMs. This work introduces SimplePCFG, a simple PCFG formalism with independent left and right productions. Despite imposing a stronger independence assumption than the low-rank approach, we find that this formalism scales more effectively both as a language model and as an unsupervised parser. We further introduce FlashInside, a hardware IO-aware implementation of the inside algorithm for efficiently scaling simple PCFGs. Through extensive experiments on multiple grammar induction benchmarks, we validate the effectiveness of simple PCFGs over low-rank baselines.

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Conic10K: A Challenging Math Problem Understanding and Reasoning Dataset
Haoyi Wu | Wenyang Hui | Yezeng Chen | Weiqi Wu | Kewei Tu | Yi Zhou
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

Mathematical understanding and reasoning are crucial tasks for assessing the capabilities of artificial intelligence (AI). However, existing benchmarks either require just a few steps of reasoning, or only contain a small amount of data in one specific topic, making it hard to analyse AI’s behaviour with reference to different problems within a specific topic in detail. In this work, we propose Conic10K, a challenging math problem dataset on conic sections in Chinese senior high school education. Our dataset contains various problems with different reasoning depths, while only the knowledge from conic sections is required. Since the dataset only involves a narrow range of knowledge, it is easy to separately analyse the knowledge a model possesses and the reasoning ability it has. For each problem, we provide a high-quality formal representation, the reasoning steps, and the final solution. Experiments show that existing large language models, including GPT-4, exhibit weak performance on complex reasoning. We hope that our findings could inspire more advanced techniques for precise natural language understanding and reasoning. Our dataset and codes are available at https://github.com/whyNLP/Conic10K.

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Improving Span Representation by Efficient Span-Level Attention
Pengyu Ji | Songlin Yang | Kewei Tu
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

High-quality span representations are crucial to natural language processing tasks involving span prediction and classification. Most existing methods derive a span representation by aggregation of token representations within the span. In contrast, we aim to improve span representations by considering span-span interactions as well as more comprehensive span-token interactions. Specifically, we introduce layers of span-level attention on top of a normal token-level transformer encoder. Given that attention between all span pairs results in O(n4) complexity (n being the sentence length) and not all span interactions are intuitively meaningful, we restrict the range of spans that a given span could attend to, thereby reducing overall complexity to O(n3). We conduct experiments on various span-related tasks and show superior performance of our model surpassing baseline models. Our code is publicly available at https://github.com/jipy0222/Span-Level-Attention.

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Using Interpretation Methods for Model Enhancement
Zhuo Chen | Chengyue Jiang | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

In the age of neural natural language processing, there are plenty of works trying to derive interpretations of neural models. Intuitively, when gold rationales exist during training, one can additionally train the model to match its interpretation with the rationales. However, this intuitive idea has not been fully explored. In this paper, we propose a framework of utilizing interpretation methods and gold rationales to enhance models. Our framework is very general in the sense that it can incorporate various interpretation methods. Previously proposed gradient-based methods can be shown as an instance of our framework. We also propose two novel instances utilizing two other types of interpretation methods, erasure/replace-based and extractor-based methods, for model enhancement. We conduct comprehensive experiments on a variety of tasks. Experimental results show that our framework is effective especially in low-resource settings in enhancing models with various interpretation methods, and our two newly-proposed methods outperform gradient-based methods in most settings. Code is available at https://github.com/Chord-Chen-30/UIMER.

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Joint Entity and Relation Extraction with Span Pruning and Hypergraph Neural Networks
Zhaohui Yan | Songlin Yang | Wei Liu | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Entity and Relation Extraction (ERE) is an important task in information extraction. Recent marker-based pipeline models achieve state-of-the-art performance, but still suffer from the error propagation issue. Also, most of current ERE models do not take into account higher-order interactions between multiple entities and relations, while higher-order modeling could be beneficial.In this work, we propose HyperGraph neural network for ERE (HGERE), which is built upon the PL-marker (a state-of-the-art marker-based pipleline model). To alleviate error propagation, we use a high-recall pruner mechanism to transfer the burden of entity identification and labeling from the NER module to the joint module of our model. For higher-order modeling, we build a hypergraph, where nodes are entities (provided by the span pruner) and relations thereof, and hyperedges encode interactions between two different relations or between a relation and its associated subject and object entities. We then run a hypergraph neural network for higher-order inference by applying message passing over the built hypergraph. Experiments on three widely used benchmarks (ACE2004, ACE2005 and SciERC) for ERE task show significant improvements over the previous state-of-the-art PL-marker.

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AMR Parsing with Causal Hierarchical Attention and Pointers
Chao Lou | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Translation-based AMR parsers have recently gained popularity due to their simplicity and effectiveness. They predict linearized graphs as free texts, avoiding explicit structure modeling. However, this simplicity neglects structural locality in AMR graphs and introduces unnecessary tokens to represent coreferences. In this paper, we introduce new target forms of AMR parsing and a novel model, CHAP, which is equipped with causal hierarchical attention and the pointer mechanism, enabling the integration of structures into the Transformer decoder. We empirically explore various alternative modeling options. Experiments show that our model outperforms baseline models on four out of five benchmarks in the setting of no additional data.

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DAMO-NLP at SemEval-2023 Task 2: A Unified Retrieval-augmented System for Multilingual Named Entity Recognition
Zeqi Tan | Shen Huang | Zixia Jia | Jiong Cai | Yinghui Li | Weiming Lu | Yueting Zhuang | Kewei Tu | Pengjun Xie | Fei Huang | Yong Jiang
Proceedings of the 17th International Workshop on Semantic Evaluation (SemEval-2023)

The MultiCoNER II shared task aims to tackle multilingual named entity recognition (NER) in fine-grained and noisy scenarios, and it inherits the semantic ambiguity and low-context setting of the MultiCoNER I task. To cope with these problems, the previous top systems in the MultiCoNER I either incorporate the knowledge bases or gazetteers. However, they still suffer from insufficient knowledge, limited context length, single retrieval strategy. In this paper, our team DAMO-NLP proposes a unified retrieval-augmented system (U-RaNER) for fine-grained multilingual NER. We perform error analysis on the previous top systems and reveal that their performance bottleneck lies in insufficient knowledge. Also, we discover that the limited context length causes the retrieval knowledge to be invisible to the model. To enhance the retrieval context, we incorporate the entity-centric Wikidata knowledge base, while utilizing the infusion approach to broaden the contextual scope of the model. Also, we explore various search strategies and refine the quality of retrieval knowledge. Our system wins 9 out of 13 tracks in the MultiCoNER II shared task. Additionally, we compared our system with ChatGPT, one of the large language models which have unlocked strong capabilities on many tasks. The results show that there is still much room for improvement for ChatGPT on the extraction task.

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COMBO: A Complete Benchmark for Open KG Canonicalization
Chengyue Jiang | Yong Jiang | Weiqi Wu | Yuting Zheng | Pengjun Xie | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 17th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Open knowledge graph (KG) consists of (subject, relation, object) triples extracted from millions of raw text. The subject and object noun phrases and the relation in open KG have severe redundancy and ambiguity and need to be canonicalized. Existing datasets for open KG canonicalization only provide gold entity-level canonicalization for noun phrases. In this paper, we present COMBO, a Complete Benchmark for Open KG canonicalization. Compared with existing datasets, we additionally provide gold canonicalization for relation phrases, gold ontology-level canonicalization for noun phrases, as well as source sentences from which triples are extracted. We also propose metrics for evaluating each type of canonicalization. On the COMBO dataset, we empirically compare previously proposed canonicalization methods as well as a few simple baseline methods based on pretrained language models. We find that properly encoding the phrases in a triple using pretrained language models results in better relation canonicalization and ontology-level canonicalization of the noun phrase. We release our dataset, baselines, and evaluation scripts at path/to/url.

2022

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An Empirical Study of Pipeline vs. Joint approaches to Entity and Relation Extraction
Zhaohui Yan | Zixia Jia | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 2nd Conference of the Asia-Pacific Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 12th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 2: Short Papers)

The Entity and Relation Extraction (ERE) task includes two basic sub-tasks: Named Entity Recognition and Relation Extraction. In the last several years, much work focused on joint approaches for the common perception that the pipeline approach suffers from the error propagation problem. Recent work reconsiders the pipeline scheme and shows that it can produce comparable results. To systematically study the pros and cons of these two schemes. We design and test eight pipeline and joint approaches to the ERE task. We find that with the same span representation methods, the best joint approach still outperforms the best pipeline model, but improperly designed joint approaches may have poor performance. We hope our work could shed some light on the pipeline-vs-joint debate of the ERE task and inspire further research.

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DAMO-NLP at SemEval-2022 Task 11: A Knowledge-based System for Multilingual Named Entity Recognition
Xinyu Wang | Yongliang Shen | Jiong Cai | Tao Wang | Xiaobin Wang | Pengjun Xie | Fei Huang | Weiming Lu | Yueting Zhuang | Kewei Tu | Wei Lu | Yong Jiang
Proceedings of the 16th International Workshop on Semantic Evaluation (SemEval-2022)

The MultiCoNER shared task aims at detecting semantically ambiguous and complex named entities in short and low-context settings for multiple languages. The lack of contexts makes the recognition of ambiguous named entities challenging. To alleviate this issue, our team DAMO-NLP proposes a knowledge-based system, where we build a multilingual knowledge base based on Wikipedia to provide related context information to the named entity recognition (NER) model. Given an input sentence, our system effectively retrieves related contexts from the knowledge base. The original input sentences are then augmented with such context information, allowing significantly better contextualized token representations to be captured. Our system wins 10 out of 13 tracks in the MultiCoNER shared task.

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Headed-Span-Based Projective Dependency Parsing
Songlin Yang | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

We propose a new method for projective dependency parsing based on headed spans. In a projective dependency tree, the largest subtree rooted at each word covers a contiguous sequence (i.e., a span) in the surface order. We call such a span marked by a root word headed span. A projective dependency tree can be represented as a collection of headed spans. We decompose the score of a dependency tree into the scores of the headed spans and design a novel O(n3) dynamic programming algorithm to enable global training and exact inference. Our model achieves state-of-the-art or competitive results on PTB, CTB, and UD

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Bottom-Up Constituency Parsing and Nested Named Entity Recognition with Pointer Networks
Songlin Yang | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Constituency parsing and nested named entity recognition (NER) are similar tasks since they both aim to predict a collection of nested and non-crossing spans. In this work, we cast nested NER to constituency parsing and propose a novel pointing mechanism for bottom-up parsing to tackle both tasks. The key idea is based on the observation that if we traverse a constituency tree in post-order, i.e., visiting a parent after its children, then two consecutively visited spans would share a boundary. Our model tracks the shared boundaries and predicts the next boundary at each step by leveraging a pointer network. As a result, it needs only linear steps to parse and thus is efficient. It also maintains a parsing configuration for structural consistency, i.e., always outputting valid trees. Experimentally, our model achieves the state-of-the-art performance on PTB among all BERT-based models (96.01 F1 score) and competitive performance on CTB7 in constituency parsing; and it also achieves strong performance on three benchmark datasets of nested NER: ACE2004, ACE2005, and GENIA. Our code will be available at https://github.com/xxxxx.

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Nested Named Entity Recognition as Latent Lexicalized Constituency Parsing
Chao Lou | Songlin Yang | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Nested named entity recognition (NER) has been receiving increasing attention. Recently, Fu et al. (2020) adapt a span-based constituency parser to tackle nested NER. They treat nested entities as partially-observed constituency trees and propose the masked inside algorithm for partial marginalization. However, their method cannot leverage entity heads, which have been shown useful in entity mention detection and entity typing. In this work, we resort to more expressive structures, lexicalized constituency trees in which constituents are annotated by headwords, to model nested entities. We leverage the Eisner-Satta algorithm to perform partial marginalization and inference efficiently. In addition, we propose to use (1) a two-stage strategy (2) a head regularization loss and (3) a head-aware labeling loss in order to enhance the performance. We make a thorough ablation study to investigate the functionality of each component. Experimentally, our method achieves the state-of-the-art performance on ACE2004, ACE2005 and NNE, and competitive performance on GENIA, and meanwhile has a fast inference speed.

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Proceedings of the Workshop on Unimodal and Multimodal Induction of Linguistic Structures (UM-IoS)
Wenjuan Han | Zilong Zheng | Zhouhan Lin | Lifeng Jin | Yikang Shen | Yoon Kim | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the Workshop on Unimodal and Multimodal Induction of Linguistic Structures (UM-IoS)

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Modeling Label Correlations for Ultra-Fine Entity Typing with Neural Pairwise Conditional Random Field
Chengyue Jiang | Yong Jiang | Weiqi Wu | Pengjun Xie | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Ultra-fine entity typing (UFET) aims to predict a wide range of type phrases that correctly describe the categories of a given entity mention in a sentence. Most recent works infer each entity type independently, ignoring the correlations between types, e.g., when an entity is inferred as a president, it should also be a politician and a leader. To this end, we use an undirected graphical model called pairwise conditional random field (PCRF) to formulate the UFET problem, in which the type variables are not only unarily influenced by the input but also pairwisely relate to all the other type variables. We use various modern backbones for entity typing to compute unary potentials, and derive pairwise potentials from type phrase representations that both capture prior semantic information and facilitate accelerated inference. We use mean-field variational inference for efficient type inference on very large type sets and unfold it as a neural network module to enable end-to-end training. Experiments on UFET show that the Neural-PCRF consistently outperforms its backbones with little cost and results in a competitive performance against cross-encoder based SOTA while being thousands of times faster. We also find Neural-PCRF effective on a widely used fine-grained entity typing dataset with a smaller type set. We pack Neural-PCRF as a network module that can be plugged onto multi-label type classifiers with ease and release it in .

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Combining (Second-Order) Graph-Based and Headed-Span-Based Projective Dependency Parsing
Songlin Yang | Kewei Tu
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2022

Graph-based methods, which decompose the score of a dependency tree into scores of dependency arcs, are popular in dependency parsing for decades. Recently, (CITATION) propose a headed-span-based method that decomposes the score of a dependency tree into scores of headed spans. They show improvement over first-order graph-based methods. However, their method does not score dependency arcs at all, and dependency arcs are implicitly induced by their cubic-time algorithm, which is possibly sub-optimal since modeling dependency arcs is intuitively useful. In this work, we aim to combine graph-based and headed-span-based methods, incorporating both arc scores and headed span scores into our model. First, we show a direct way to combine with O(n4) parsing complexity. To decrease complexity, inspired by the classical head-splitting trick, we show two O(n3) dynamic programming algorithms to combine first- and second-order graph-based and headed-span-based methods. Our experiments on PTB, CTB, and UD show that combining first-order graph-based and headed-span-based methods is effective. We also confirm the effectiveness of second-order graph-based parsing in the deep learning age, however, we observe marginal or no improvement when combining second-order graph-based and headed-span-based methods .

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SHARP: Search-Based Adversarial Attack for Structured Prediction
Liwen Zhang | Zixia Jia | Wenjuan Han | Zilong Zheng | Kewei Tu
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: NAACL 2022

Adversarial attack of structured prediction models faces various challenges such as the difficulty of perturbing discrete words, the sentence quality issue, and the sensitivity of outputs to small perturbations. In this work, we introduce SHARP, a new attack method that formulates the black-box adversarial attack as a search-based optimization problem with a specially designed objective function considering sentence fluency, meaning preservation and attacking effectiveness. Additionally, three different searching strategies are analyzed and compared, i.e., Beam Search, Metropolis-Hastings Sampling, and Hybrid Search. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our attacking strategies on two challenging structured prediction tasks: Pos-tagging and dependency parsing. Through automatic and human evaluations, we show that our method performs a more potent attack compared with pioneer arts. Moreover, the generated adversarial examples can be used to successfully boost the robustness and performance of the victim model via adversarial training.

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Spa: On the Sparsity of Virtual Adversarial Training for Dependency Parsing
Chao Lou | Wenjuan Han | Kewei Tu
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: AACL-IJCNLP 2022

Virtual adversarial training (VAT) is a powerful approach to improving robustness and performance, leveraging both labeled and unlabeled data to compensate for the scarcity of labeled data. It is adopted on lots of vision and language classification tasks. However, for tasks with structured output (e.g., dependency parsing), the application of VAT is nontrivial due to the intrinsic proprieties of structures: (1) the non-sparse problem and (2) exponential complexity. Against this background, we propose the Sparse Parse Adjustment (spa) algorithm and successfully applied VAT to the dependency parsing task. spa refers to the learning algorithm which combines the graph-based dependency parsing model with VAT in an exact computational manner and enhances the dependency parser with controllable and adjustable sparsity. Empirical studies show that the TreeCRF parser optimized using outperforms other methods without sparsity regularization.

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Named Entity and Relation Extraction with Multi-Modal Retrieval
Xinyu Wang | Jiong Cai | Yong Jiang | Pengjun Xie | Kewei Tu | Wei Lu
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2022

Multi-modal named entity recognition (NER) and relation extraction (RE) aim to leverage relevant image information to improve the performance of NER and RE. Most existing efforts largely focused on directly extracting potentially useful information from images (such as pixel-level features, identified objects, and associated captions).However, such extraction processes may not be knowledge aware, resulting in information that may not be highly relevant. In this paper, we propose a novel Multi-modal Retrieval based framework (MoRe).MoRe contains a text retrieval module and an image-based retrieval module, which retrieve related knowledge of the input text and image in the knowledge corpus respectively. Next, the retrieval results are sent to the textual and visual models respectively for predictions. Finally, a Mixture of Experts (MoE) module combines the predictions from the two models to make the final decision. Our experiments show that both our textual model and visual model can achieve state-of-the-art performance on four multi-modal NER datasets and one multi-modal RE dataset. With MoE, the model performance can be further improved and our analysis demonstrates the benefits of integrating both textual and visual cues for such tasks.

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Semantic Dependency Parsing with Edge GNNs
Songlin Yang | Kewei Tu
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2022

Second-order neural parsers have obtained high accuracy in semantic dependency parsing. Inspired by the factor graph representation of second-order parsing, we propose edge graph neural networks (E-GNNs). In an E-GNN, each node corresponds to a dependency edge, and the neighbors are defined in terms of sibling, co-parent, and grandparent relationships. We conduct experiments on SemEval 2015 Task 18 English datasets, showing the superior performance of E-GNNs.

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Improving Constituent Representation with Hypertree Neural Networks
Hao Zhou | Gongshen Liu | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Many natural language processing tasks involve text spans and thus high-quality span representations are needed to enhance neural approaches to these tasks. Most existing methods of span representation are based on simple derivations (such as max-pooling) from word representations and do not utilize compositional structures of natural language. In this paper, we aim to improve representations of constituent spans using a novel hypertree neural networks (HTNN) that is structured with constituency parse trees. Each node in the HTNN represents a constituent of the input sentence and each hyperedge represents a composition of smaller child constituents into a larger parent constituent. In each update iteration of the HTNN, the representation of each constituent is computed based on all the hyperedges connected to it, thus incorporating both bottom-up and top-down compositional information. We conduct comprehensive experiments to evaluate HTNNs against other span representation models and the results show the effectiveness of HTNN.

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ITA: Image-Text Alignments for Multi-Modal Named Entity Recognition
Xinyu Wang | Min Gui | Yong Jiang | Zixia Jia | Nguyen Bach | Tao Wang | Zhongqiang Huang | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Recently, Multi-modal Named Entity Recognition (MNER) has attracted a lot of attention. Most of the work utilizes image information through region-level visual representations obtained from a pretrained object detector and relies on an attention mechanism to model the interactions between image and text representations. However, it is difficult to model such interactions as image and text representations are trained separately on the data of their respective modality and are not aligned in the same space. As text representations take the most important role in MNER, in this paper, we propose Image-text Alignments (ITA) to align image features into the textual space, so that the attention mechanism in transformer-based pretrained textual embeddings can be better utilized. ITA first aligns the image into regional object tags, image-level captions and optical characters as visual contexts, concatenates them with the input texts as a new cross-modal input, and then feeds it into a pretrained textual embedding model. This makes it easier for the attention module of a pretrained textual embedding model to model the interaction between the two modalities since they are both represented in the textual space. ITA further aligns the output distributions predicted from the cross-modal input and textual input views so that the MNER model can be more practical in dealing with text-only inputs and robust to noises from images. In our experiments, we show that ITA models can achieve state-of-the-art accuracy on multi-modal Named Entity Recognition datasets, even without image information.

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Dynamic Programming in Rank Space: Scaling Structured Inference with Low-Rank HMMs and PCFGs
Songlin Yang | Wei Liu | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Hidden Markov Models (HMMs) and Probabilistic Context-Free Grammars (PCFGs) are widely used structured models, both of which can be represented as factor graph grammars (FGGs), a powerful formalism capable of describing a wide range of models. Recent research found it beneficial to use large state spaces for HMMs and PCFGs. However, inference with large state spaces is computationally demanding, especially for PCFGs. To tackle this challenge, we leverage tensor rank decomposition (aka. CPD) to decrease inference computational complexities for a subset of FGGs subsuming HMMs and PCFGs. We apply CPD on the factors of an FGG and then construct a new FGG defined in the rank space. Inference with the new FGG produces the same result but has a lower time complexity when the rank size is smaller than the state size. We conduct experiments on HMM language modeling and unsupervised PCFG parsing, showing better performance than previous work. Our code is publicly available at https://github.com/VPeterV/RankSpace-Models.

2021

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Unsupervised Natural Language Parsing (Introductory Tutorial)
Kewei Tu | Yong Jiang | Wenjuan Han | Yanpeng Zhao
Proceedings of the 16th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Tutorial Abstracts

Unsupervised parsing learns a syntactic parser from training sentences without parse tree annotations. Recently, there has been a resurgence of interest in unsupervised parsing, which can be attributed to the combination of two trends in the NLP community: a general trend towards unsupervised training or pre-training, and an emerging trend towards finding or modeling linguistic structures in neural models. In this tutorial, we will introduce to the general audience what unsupervised parsing does and how it can be useful for and beyond syntactic parsing. We will then provide a systematic overview of major classes of approaches to unsupervised parsing, namely generative and discriminative approaches, and analyze their relative strengths and weaknesses. We will cover both decade-old statistical approaches and more recent neural approaches to give the audience a sense of the historical and recent development of the field. We will also discuss emerging research topics such as BERT-based approaches and visually grounded learning.

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Structural Knowledge Distillation: Tractably Distilling Information for Structured Predictor
Xinyu Wang | Yong Jiang | Zhaohui Yan | Zixia Jia | Nguyen Bach | Tao Wang | Zhongqiang Huang | Fei Huang | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Knowledge distillation is a critical technique to transfer knowledge between models, typically from a large model (the teacher) to a more fine-grained one (the student). The objective function of knowledge distillation is typically the cross-entropy between the teacher and the student’s output distributions. However, for structured prediction problems, the output space is exponential in size; therefore, the cross-entropy objective becomes intractable to compute and optimize directly. In this paper, we derive a factorized form of the knowledge distillation objective for structured prediction, which is tractable for many typical choices of the teacher and student models. In particular, we show the tractability and empirical effectiveness of structural knowledge distillation between sequence labeling and dependency parsing models under four different scenarios: 1) the teacher and student share the same factorization form of the output structure scoring function; 2) the student factorization produces more fine-grained substructures than the teacher factorization; 3) the teacher factorization produces more fine-grained substructures than the student factorization; 4) the factorization forms from the teacher and the student are incompatible.

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Improving Named Entity Recognition by External Context Retrieving and Cooperative Learning
Xinyu Wang | Yong Jiang | Nguyen Bach | Tao Wang | Zhongqiang Huang | Fei Huang | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Recent advances in Named Entity Recognition (NER) show that document-level contexts can significantly improve model performance. In many application scenarios, however, such contexts are not available. In this paper, we propose to find external contexts of a sentence by retrieving and selecting a set of semantically relevant texts through a search engine, with the original sentence as the query. We find empirically that the contextual representations computed on the retrieval-based input view, constructed through the concatenation of a sentence and its external contexts, can achieve significantly improved performance compared to the original input view based only on the sentence. Furthermore, we can improve the model performance of both input views by Cooperative Learning, a training method that encourages the two input views to produce similar contextual representations or output label distributions. Experiments show that our approach can achieve new state-of-the-art performance on 8 NER data sets across 5 domains.

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Automated Concatenation of Embeddings for Structured Prediction
Xinyu Wang | Yong Jiang | Nguyen Bach | Tao Wang | Zhongqiang Huang | Fei Huang | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Pretrained contextualized embeddings are powerful word representations for structured prediction tasks. Recent work found that better word representations can be obtained by concatenating different types of embeddings. However, the selection of embeddings to form the best concatenated representation usually varies depending on the task and the collection of candidate embeddings, and the ever-increasing number of embedding types makes it a more difficult problem. In this paper, we propose Automated Concatenation of Embeddings (ACE) to automate the process of finding better concatenations of embeddings for structured prediction tasks, based on a formulation inspired by recent progress on neural architecture search. Specifically, a controller alternately samples a concatenation of embeddings, according to its current belief of the effectiveness of individual embedding types in consideration for a task, and updates the belief based on a reward. We follow strategies in reinforcement learning to optimize the parameters of the controller and compute the reward based on the accuracy of a task model, which is fed with the sampled concatenation as input and trained on a task dataset. Empirical results on 6 tasks and 21 datasets show that our approach outperforms strong baselines and achieves state-of-the-art performance with fine-tuned embeddings in all the evaluations.

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Multi-View Cross-Lingual Structured Prediction with Minimum Supervision
Zechuan Hu | Yong Jiang | Nguyen Bach | Tao Wang | Zhongqiang Huang | Fei Huang | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 1: Long Papers)

In structured prediction problems, cross-lingual transfer learning is an efficient way to train quality models for low-resource languages, and further improvement can be obtained by learning from multiple source languages. However, not all source models are created equal and some may hurt performance on the target language. Previous work has explored the similarity between source and target sentences as an approximate measure of strength for different source models. In this paper, we propose a multi-view framework, by leveraging a small number of labeled target sentences, to effectively combine multiple source models into an aggregated source view at different granularity levels (language, sentence, or sub-structure), and transfer it to a target view based on a task-specific model. By encouraging the two views to interact with each other, our framework can dynamically adjust the confidence level of each source model and improve the performance of both views during training. Experiments for three structured prediction tasks on sixteen data sets show that our framework achieves significant improvement over all existing approaches, including these with access to additional source language data.

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Neural Bi-Lexicalized PCFG Induction
Songlin Yang | Yanpeng Zhao | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Neural lexicalized PCFGs (L-PCFGs) have been shown effective in grammar induction. However, to reduce computational complexity, they make a strong independence assumption on the generation of the child word and thus bilexical dependencies are ignored. In this paper, we propose an approach to parameterize L-PCFGs without making implausible independence assumptions. Our approach directly models bilexical dependencies and meanwhile reduces both learning and representation complexities of L-PCFGs. Experimental results on the English WSJ dataset confirm the effectiveness of our approach in improving both running speed and unsupervised parsing performance.

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Risk Minimization for Zero-shot Sequence Labeling
Zechuan Hu | Yong Jiang | Nguyen Bach | Tao Wang | Zhongqiang Huang | Fei Huang | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Zero-shot sequence labeling aims to build a sequence labeler without human-annotated datasets. One straightforward approach is utilizing existing systems (source models) to generate pseudo-labeled datasets and train a target sequence labeler accordingly. However, due to the gap between the source and the target languages/domains, this approach may fail to recover the true labels. In this paper, we propose a novel unified framework for zero-shot sequence labeling with minimum risk training and design a new decomposable risk function that models the relations between the predicted labels from the source models and the true labels. By making the risk function trainable, we draw a connection between minimum risk training and latent variable model learning. We propose a unified learning algorithm based on the expectation maximization (EM) algorithm. We extensively evaluate our proposed approaches on cross-lingual/domain sequence labeling tasks over twenty-one datasets. The results show that our approaches outperform state-of-the-art baseline systems.

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Adapting Unsupervised Syntactic Parsing Methodology for Discourse Dependency Parsing
Liwen Zhang | Ge Wang | Wenjuan Han | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 1: Long Papers)

One of the main bottlenecks in developing discourse dependency parsers is the lack of annotated training data. A potential solution is to utilize abundant unlabeled data by using unsupervised techniques, but there is so far little research in unsupervised discourse dependency parsing. Fortunately, unsupervised syntactic dependency parsing has been studied by decades, which could potentially be adapted for discourse parsing. In this paper, we propose a simple yet effective method to adapt unsupervised syntactic dependency parsing methodology for unsupervised discourse dependency parsing. We apply the method to adapt two state-of-the-art unsupervised syntactic dependency parsing methods. Experimental results demonstrate that our adaptation is effective. Moreover, we extend the adapted methods to the semi-supervised and supervised setting and surprisingly, we find that they outperform previous methods specially designed for supervised discourse parsing. Further analysis shows our adaptations result in superiority not only in parsing accuracy but also in time and space efficiency.

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PCFGs Can Do Better: Inducing Probabilistic Context-Free Grammars with Many Symbols
Songlin Yang | Yanpeng Zhao | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Probabilistic context-free grammars (PCFGs) with neural parameterization have been shown to be effective in unsupervised phrase-structure grammar induction. However, due to the cubic computational complexity of PCFG representation and parsing, previous approaches cannot scale up to a relatively large number of (nonterminal and preterminal) symbols. In this work, we present a new parameterization form of PCFGs based on tensor decomposition, which has at most quadratic computational complexity in the symbol number and therefore allows us to use a much larger number of symbols. We further use neural parameterization for the new form to improve unsupervised parsing performance. We evaluate our model across ten languages and empirically demonstrate the effectiveness of using more symbols.

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Neuralizing Regular Expressions for Slot Filling
Chengyue Jiang | Zijian Jin | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Neural models and symbolic rules such as regular expressions have their respective merits and weaknesses. In this paper, we study the integration of the two approaches for the slot filling task by converting regular expressions into neural networks. Specifically, we first convert regular expressions into a special form of finite-state transducers, then unfold its approximate inference algorithm as a bidirectional recurrent neural model that performs slot filling via sequence labeling. Experimental results show that our model has superior zero-shot and few-shot performance and stays competitive when there are sufficient training data.

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Generalized Supervised Attention for Text Generation
Yixian Liu | Liwen Zhang | Xinyu Zhang | Yong Jiang | Yue Zhang | Kewei Tu
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL-IJCNLP 2021

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Enhanced Universal Dependency Parsing with Automated Concatenation of Embeddings
Xinyu Wang | Zixia Jia | Yong Jiang | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Parsing Technologies and the IWPT 2021 Shared Task on Parsing into Enhanced Universal Dependencies (IWPT 2021)

This paper describe the system used in our submission to the IWPT 2021 Shared Task. Our system is a graph-based parser with the technique of Automated Concatenation of Embeddings (ACE). Because recent work found that better word representations can be obtained by concatenating different types of embeddings, we use ACE to automatically find the better concatenation of embeddings for the task of enhanced universal dependencies. According to official results averaged on 17 languages, our system rank 2nd over 9 teams.

2020

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Enhanced Universal Dependency Parsing with Second-Order Inference and Mixture of Training Data
Xinyu Wang | Yong Jiang | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 16th International Conference on Parsing Technologies and the IWPT 2020 Shared Task on Parsing into Enhanced Universal Dependencies

This paper presents the system used in our submission to the IWPT 2020 Shared Task. Our system is a graph-based parser with second-order inference. For the low-resource Tamil corpora, we specially mixed the training data of Tamil with other languages and significantly improved the performance of Tamil. Due to our misunderstanding of the submission requirements, we submitted graphs that are not connected, which makes our system only rank 6th over 10 teams. However, after we fixed this problem, our system is 0.6 ELAS higher than the team that ranked 1st in the official results.

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Adversarial Attack and Defense of Structured Prediction Models
Wenjuan Han | Liwen Zhang | Yong Jiang | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

Building an effective adversarial attacker and elaborating on countermeasures for adversarial attacks for natural language processing (NLP) have attracted a lot of research in recent years. However, most of the existing approaches focus on classification problems. In this paper, we investigate attacks and defenses for structured prediction tasks in NLP. Besides the difficulty of perturbing discrete words and the sentence fluency problem faced by attackers in any NLP tasks, there is a specific challenge to attackers of structured prediction models: the structured output of structured prediction models is sensitive to small perturbations in the input. To address these problems, we propose a novel and unified framework that learns to attack a structured prediction model using a sequence-to-sequence model with feedbacks from multiple reference models of the same structured prediction task. Based on the proposed attack, we further reinforce the victim model with adversarial training, making its prediction more robust and accurate. We evaluate the proposed framework in dependency parsing and part-of-speech tagging. Automatic and human evaluations show that our proposed framework succeeds in both attacking state-of-the-art structured prediction models and boosting them with adversarial training.

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Cold-Start and Interpretability: Turning Regular Expressions into Trainable Recurrent Neural Networks
Chengyue Jiang | Yinggong Zhao | Shanbo Chu | Libin Shen | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

Neural networks can achieve impressive performance on many natural language processing applications, but they typically need large labeled data for training and are not easily interpretable. On the other hand, symbolic rules such as regular expressions are interpretable, require no training, and often achieve decent accuracy; but rules cannot benefit from labeled data when available and hence underperform neural networks in rich-resource scenarios. In this paper, we propose a type of recurrent neural networks called FA-RNNs that combine the advantages of neural networks and regular expression rules. An FA-RNN can be converted from regular expressions and deployed in zero-shot and cold-start scenarios. It can also utilize labeled data for training to achieve improved prediction accuracy. After training, an FA-RNN often remains interpretable and can be converted back into regular expressions. We apply FA-RNNs to text classification and observe that FA-RNNs significantly outperform previous neural approaches in both zero-shot and low-resource settings and remain very competitive in rich-resource settings.

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AIN: Fast and Accurate Sequence Labeling with Approximate Inference Network
Xinyu Wang | Yong Jiang | Nguyen Bach | Tao Wang | Zhongqiang Huang | Fei Huang | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

The linear-chain Conditional Random Field (CRF) model is one of the most widely-used neural sequence labeling approaches. Exact probabilistic inference algorithms such as the forward-backward and Viterbi algorithms are typically applied in training and prediction stages of the CRF model. However, these algorithms require sequential computation that makes parallelization impossible. In this paper, we propose to employ a parallelizable approximate variational inference algorithm for the CRF model. Based on this algorithm, we design an approximate inference network that can be connected with the encoder of the neural CRF model to form an end-to-end network, which is amenable to parallelization for faster training and prediction. The empirical results show that our proposed approaches achieve a 12.7-fold improvement in decoding speed with long sentences and a competitive accuracy compared with the traditional CRF approach.

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An Empirical Comparison of Unsupervised Constituency Parsing Methods
Jun Li | Yifan Cao | Jiong Cai | Yong Jiang | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Unsupervised constituency parsing aims to learn a constituency parser from a training corpus without parse tree annotations. While many methods have been proposed to tackle the problem, including statistical and neural methods, their experimental results are often not directly comparable due to discrepancies in datasets, data preprocessing, lexicalization, and evaluation metrics. In this paper, we first examine experimental settings used in previous work and propose to standardize the settings for better comparability between methods. We then empirically compare several existing methods, including decade-old and newly proposed ones, under the standardized settings on English and Japanese, two languages with different branching tendencies. We find that recent models do not show a clear advantage over decade-old models in our experiments. We hope our work can provide new insights into existing methods and facilitate future empirical evaluation of unsupervised constituency parsing.

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Structure-Level Knowledge Distillation For Multilingual Sequence Labeling
Xinyu Wang | Yong Jiang | Nguyen Bach | Tao Wang | Fei Huang | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Multilingual sequence labeling is a task of predicting label sequences using a single unified model for multiple languages. Compared with relying on multiple monolingual models, using a multilingual model has the benefit of a smaller model size, easier in online serving, and generalizability to low-resource languages. However, current multilingual models still underperform individual monolingual models significantly due to model capacity limitations. In this paper, we propose to reduce the gap between monolingual models and the unified multilingual model by distilling the structural knowledge of several monolingual models (teachers) to the unified multilingual model (student). We propose two novel KD methods based on structure-level information: (1) approximately minimizes the distance between the student’s and the teachers’ structure-level probability distributions, (2) aggregates the structure-level knowledge to local distributions and minimizes the distance between two local probability distributions. Our experiments on 4 multilingual tasks with 25 datasets show that our approaches outperform several strong baselines and have stronger zero-shot generalizability than both the baseline model and teacher models.

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Towards Holistic and Automatic Evaluation of Open-Domain Dialogue Generation
Bo Pang | Erik Nijkamp | Wenjuan Han | Linqi Zhou | Yixian Liu | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Open-domain dialogue generation has gained increasing attention in Natural Language Processing. Its evaluation requires a holistic means. Human ratings are deemed as the gold standard. As human evaluation is inefficient and costly, an automated substitute is highly desirable. In this paper, we propose holistic evaluation metrics that capture different aspects of open-domain dialogues. Our metrics consist of (1) GPT-2 based context coherence between sentences in a dialogue, (2) GPT-2 based fluency in phrasing, (3) n-gram based diversity in responses to augmented queries, and (4) textual-entailment-inference based logical self-consistency. The empirical validity of our metrics is demonstrated by strong correlations with human judgments. We open source the code and relevant materials.

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Semi-Supervised Semantic Dependency Parsing Using CRF Autoencoders
Zixia Jia | Youmi Ma | Jiong Cai | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Semantic dependency parsing, which aims to find rich bi-lexical relationships, allows words to have multiple dependency heads, resulting in graph-structured representations. We propose an approach to semi-supervised learning of semantic dependency parsers based on the CRF autoencoder framework. Our encoder is a discriminative neural semantic dependency parser that predicts the latent parse graph of the input sentence. Our decoder is a generative neural model that reconstructs the input sentence conditioned on the latent parse graph. Our model is arc-factored and therefore parsing and learning are both tractable. Experiments show our model achieves significant and consistent improvement over the supervised baseline.

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Semi-Supervised Dependency Parsing with Arc-Factored Variational Autoencoding
Ge Wang | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Mannual annotation for dependency parsing is both labourious and time costly, resulting in the difficulty to learn practical dependency parsers for many languages due to the lack of labelled training corpora. To compensate for the scarcity of labelled data, semi-supervised dependency parsing methods are developed to utilize unlabelled data in the training procedure of dependency parsers. In previous work, the autoencoder framework is a prevalent approach for the utilization of unlabelled data. In this framework, training sentences are reconstructed from a decoder conditioned on dependency trees predicted by an encoder. The tree structure requirement brings challenges for both the encoder and the decoder. Sophisticated techniques are employed to tackle these challenges at the expense of model complexity and approximations in encoding and decoding. In this paper, we propose a model based on the variational autoencoder framework. By relaxing the tree constraint in both the encoder and the decoder during training, we make the learning of our model fully arc-factored and thus circumvent the challenges brought by the tree constraint. We evaluate our model on datasets across several languages and the results demonstrate the advantage of our model over previous approaches in both parsing accuracy and speed.

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A Survey of Unsupervised Dependency Parsing
Wenjuan Han | Yong Jiang | Hwee Tou Ng | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Syntactic dependency parsing is an important task in natural language processing. Unsupervised dependency parsing aims to learn a dependency parser from sentences that have no annotation of their correct parse trees. Despite its difficulty, unsupervised parsing is an interesting research direction because of its capability of utilizing almost unlimited unannotated text data. It also serves as the basis for other research in low-resource parsing. In this paper, we survey existing approaches to unsupervised dependency parsing, identify two major classes of approaches, and discuss recent trends. We hope that our survey can provide insights for researchers and facilitate future research on this topic.

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Deep Inside-outside Recursive Autoencoder with All-span Objective
Ruyue Hong | Jiong Cai | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Deep inside-outside recursive autoencoder (DIORA) is a neural-based model designed for unsupervised constituency parsing. During its forward computation, it provides phrase and contextual representations for all spans in the input sentence. By utilizing the contextual representation of each leaf-level span, the span of length 1, to reconstruct the word inside the span, the model is trained without labeled data. In this work, we extend the training objective of DIORA by making use of all spans instead of only leaf-level spans. We test our new training objective on datasets of two languages: English and Japanese, and empirically show that our method achieves improvement in parsing accuracy over the original DIORA.

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Second-Order Unsupervised Neural Dependency Parsing
Songlin Yang | Yong Jiang | Wenjuan Han | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Most of the unsupervised dependency parsers are based on first-order probabilistic generative models that only consider local parent-child information. Inspired by second-order supervised dependency parsing, we proposed a second-order extension of unsupervised neural dependency models that incorporate grandparent-child or sibling information. We also propose a novel design of the neural parameterization and optimization methods of the dependency models. In second-order models, the number of grammar rules grows cubically with the increase of vocabulary size, making it difficult to train lexicalized models that may contain thousands of words. To circumvent this problem while still benefiting from both second-order parsing and lexicalization, we use the agreement-based learning framework to jointly train a second-order unlexicalized model and a first-order lexicalized model. Experiments on multiple datasets show the effectiveness of our second-order models compared with recent state-of-the-art methods. Our joint model achieves a 10% improvement over the previous state-of-the-art parser on the full WSJ test set.

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Second-Order Neural Dependency Parsing with Message Passing and End-to-End Training
Xinyu Wang | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 1st Conference of the Asia-Pacific Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 10th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing

In this paper, we propose second-order graph-based neural dependency parsing using message passing and end-to-end neural networks. We empirically show that our approaches match the accuracy of very recent state-of-the-art second-order graph-based neural dependency parsers and have significantly faster speed in both training and testing. We also empirically show the advantage of second-order parsing over first-order parsing and observe that the usefulness of the head-selection structured constraint vanishes when using BERT embedding.

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Unsupervised Cross-Lingual Adaptation of Dependency Parsers Using CRF Autoencoders
Zhao Li | Kewei Tu
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2020

We consider the task of cross-lingual adaptation of dependency parsers without annotated target corpora and parallel corpora. Previous work either directly applies a discriminative source parser to the target language, ignoring unannotated target corpora, or employs an unsupervised generative parser that can leverage unannotated target data but has weaker representational power than discriminative parsers. In this paper, we propose to utilize unsupervised discriminative parsers based on the CRF autoencoder framework for this task. We train a source parser and use it to initialize and regularize a target parser that is trained on unannotated target data. We conduct experiments that transfer an English parser to 20 target languages. The results show that our method significantly outperforms previous methods.

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Learning Numeral Embedding
Chengyue Jiang | Zhonglin Nian | Kaihao Guo | Shanbo Chu | Yinggong Zhao | Libin Shen | Kewei Tu
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2020

Word embedding is an essential building block for deep learning methods for natural language processing. Although word embedding has been extensively studied over the years, the problem of how to effectively embed numerals, a special subset of words, is still underexplored. Existing word embedding methods do not learn numeral embeddings well because there are an infinite number of numerals and their individual appearances in training corpora are highly scarce. In this paper, we propose two novel numeral embedding methods that can handle the out-of-vocabulary (OOV) problem for numerals. We first induce a finite set of prototype numerals using either a self-organizing map or a Gaussian mixture model. We then represent the embedding of a numeral as a weighted average of the prototype number embeddings. Numeral embeddings represented in this manner can be plugged into existing word embedding learning approaches such as skip-gram for training. We evaluated our methods and showed its effectiveness on four intrinsic and extrinsic tasks: word similarity, embedding numeracy, numeral prediction, and sequence labeling.

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An Investigation of Potential Function Designs for Neural CRF
Zechuan Hu | Yong Jiang | Nguyen Bach | Tao Wang | Zhongqiang Huang | Fei Huang | Kewei Tu
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2020

The neural linear-chain CRF model is one of the most widely-used approach to sequence labeling. In this paper, we investigate a series of increasingly expressive potential functions for neural CRF models, which not only integrate the emission and transition functions, but also explicitly take the representations of the contextual words as input. Our extensive experiments show that the decomposed quadrilinear potential function based on the vector representations of two neighboring labels and two neighboring words consistently achieves the best performance.

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More Embeddings, Better Sequence Labelers?
Xinyu Wang | Yong Jiang | Nguyen Bach | Tao Wang | Zhongqiang Huang | Fei Huang | Kewei Tu
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2020

Recent work proposes a family of contextual embeddings that significantly improves the accuracy of sequence labelers over non-contextual embeddings. However, there is no definite conclusion on whether we can build better sequence labelers by combining different kinds of embeddings in various settings. In this paper, we conduct extensive experiments on 3 tasks over 18 datasets and 8 languages to study the accuracy of sequence labeling with various embedding concatenations and make three observations: (1) concatenating more embedding variants leads to better accuracy in rich-resource and cross-domain settings and some conditions of low-resource settings; (2) concatenating contextual sub-word embeddings with contextual character embeddings hurts the accuracy in extremely low-resource settings; (3) based on the conclusion of (1), concatenating additional similar contextual embeddings cannot lead to further improvements. We hope these conclusions can help people build stronger sequence labelers in various settings.

2019

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Second-Order Semantic Dependency Parsing with End-to-End Neural Networks
Xinyu Wang | Jingxian Huang | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Semantic dependency parsing aims to identify semantic relationships between words in a sentence that form a graph. In this paper, we propose a second-order semantic dependency parser, which takes into consideration not only individual dependency edges but also interactions between pairs of edges. We show that second-order parsing can be approximated using mean field (MF) variational inference or loopy belief propagation (LBP). We can unfold both algorithms as recurrent layers of a neural network and therefore can train the parser in an end-to-end manner. Our experiments show that our approach achieves state-of-the-art performance.

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Latent Variable Sentiment Grammar
Liwen Zhang | Kewei Tu | Yue Zhang
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Neural models have been investigated for sentiment classification over constituent trees. They learn phrase composition automatically by encoding tree structures but do not explicitly model sentiment composition, which requires to encode sentiment class labels. To this end, we investigate two formalisms with deep sentiment representations that capture sentiment subtype expressions by latent variables and Gaussian mixture vectors, respectively. Experiments on Stanford Sentiment Treebank (SST) show the effectiveness of sentiment grammar over vanilla neural encoders. Using ELMo embeddings, our method gives the best results on this benchmark.

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Enhancing Unsupervised Generative Dependency Parser with Contextual Information
Wenjuan Han | Yong Jiang | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Most of the unsupervised dependency parsers are based on probabilistic generative models that learn the joint distribution of the given sentence and its parse. Probabilistic generative models usually explicit decompose the desired dependency tree into factorized grammar rules, which lack the global features of the entire sentence. In this paper, we propose a novel probabilistic model called discriminative neural dependency model with valence (D-NDMV) that generates a sentence and its parse from a continuous latent representation, which encodes global contextual information of the generated sentence. We propose two approaches to model the latent representation: the first deterministically summarizes the representation from the sentence and the second probabilistically models the representation conditioned on the sentence. Our approach can be regarded as a new type of autoencoder model to unsupervised dependency parsing that combines the benefits of both generative and discriminative techniques. In particular, our approach breaks the context-free independence assumption in previous generative approaches and therefore becomes more expressive. Our extensive experimental results on seventeen datasets from various sources show that our approach achieves competitive accuracy compared with both generative and discriminative state-of-the-art unsupervised dependency parsers.

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A Regularization-based Framework for Bilingual Grammar Induction
Yong Jiang | Wenjuan Han | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

Grammar induction aims to discover syntactic structures from unannotated sentences. In this paper, we propose a framework in which the learning process of the grammar model of one language is influenced by knowledge from the model of another language. Unlike previous work on multilingual grammar induction, our approach does not rely on any external resource, such as parallel corpora, word alignments or linguistic phylogenetic trees. We propose three regularization methods that encourage similarity between model parameters, dependency edge scores, and parse trees respectively. We deploy our methods on a state-of-the-art unsupervised discriminative parser and evaluate it on both transfer grammar induction and bilingual grammar induction. Empirical results on multiple languages show that our methods outperform strong baselines.

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Multilingual Grammar Induction with Continuous Language Identification
Wenjuan Han | Ge Wang | Yong Jiang | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

The key to multilingual grammar induction is to couple grammar parameters of different languages together by exploiting the similarity between languages. Previous work relies on linguistic phylogenetic knowledge to specify similarity between languages. In this work, we propose a novel universal grammar induction approach that represents language identities with continuous vectors and employs a neural network to predict grammar parameters based on the representation. Without any prior linguistic phylogenetic knowledge, we automatically capture similarity between languages with the vector representations and softly tie the grammar parameters of different languages. In our experiments, we apply our approach to 15 languages across 8 language families and subfamilies in the Universal Dependency Treebank dataset, and we observe substantial performance gain on average over monolingual and multilingual baselines.

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ShanghaiTech at MRP 2019: Sequence-to-Graph Transduction with Second-Order Edge Inference for Cross-Framework Meaning Representation Parsing
Xinyu Wang | Yixian Liu | Zixia Jia | Chengyue Jiang | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the Shared Task on Cross-Framework Meaning Representation Parsing at the 2019 Conference on Natural Language Learning

This paper presents the system used in our submission to the CoNLL 2019 shared task: Cross-Framework Meaning Representation Parsing. Our system is a graph-based parser which combines an extended pointer-generator network that generates nodes and a second-order mean field variational inference module that predicts edges. Our system achieved 1st and 2nd place for the DM and PSD frameworks respectively on the in-framework ranks and achieved 3rd place for the DM framework on the cross-framework ranks.

2018

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Gaussian Mixture Latent Vector Grammars
Yanpeng Zhao | Liwen Zhang | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 56th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

We introduce Latent Vector Grammars (LVeGs), a new framework that extends latent variable grammars such that each nonterminal symbol is associated with a continuous vector space representing the set of (infinitely many) subtypes of the nonterminal. We show that previous models such as latent variable grammars and compositional vector grammars can be interpreted as special cases of LVeGs. We then present Gaussian Mixture LVeGs (GM-LVeGs), a new special case of LVeGs that uses Gaussian mixtures to formulate the weights of production rules over subtypes of nonterminals. A major advantage of using Gaussian mixtures is that the partition function and the expectations of subtype rules can be computed using an extension of the inside-outside algorithm, which enables efficient inference and learning. We apply GM-LVeGs to part-of-speech tagging and constituency parsing and show that GM-LVeGs can achieve competitive accuracies.

2017

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CRF Autoencoder for Unsupervised Dependency Parsing
Jiong Cai | Yong Jiang | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 2017 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Unsupervised dependency parsing, which tries to discover linguistic dependency structures from unannotated data, is a very challenging task. Almost all previous work on this task focuses on learning generative models. In this paper, we develop an unsupervised dependency parsing model based on the CRF autoencoder. The encoder part of our model is discriminative and globally normalized which allows us to use rich features as well as universal linguistic priors. We propose an exact algorithm for parsing as well as a tractable learning algorithm. We evaluated the performance of our model on eight multilingual treebanks and found that our model achieved comparable performance with state-of-the-art approaches.

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Dependency Grammar Induction with Neural Lexicalization and Big Training Data
Wenjuan Han | Yong Jiang | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 2017 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

We study the impact of big models (in terms of the degree of lexicalization) and big data (in terms of the training corpus size) on dependency grammar induction. We experimented with L-DMV, a lexicalized version of Dependency Model with Valence (Klein and Manning, 2004) and L-NDMV, our lexicalized extension of the Neural Dependency Model with Valence (Jiang et al., 2016). We find that L-DMV only benefits from very small degrees of lexicalization and moderate sizes of training corpora. L-NDMV can benefit from big training data and lexicalization of greater degrees, especially when enhanced with good model initialization, and it achieves a result that is competitive with the current state-of-the-art.

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Combining Generative and Discriminative Approaches to Unsupervised Dependency Parsing via Dual Decomposition
Yong Jiang | Wenjuan Han | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 2017 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Unsupervised dependency parsing aims to learn a dependency parser from unannotated sentences. Existing work focuses on either learning generative models using the expectation-maximization algorithm and its variants, or learning discriminative models using the discriminative clustering algorithm. In this paper, we propose a new learning strategy that learns a generative model and a discriminative model jointly based on the dual decomposition method. Our method is simple and general, yet effective to capture the advantages of both models and improve their learning results. We tested our method on the UD treebank and achieved a state-of-the-art performance on thirty languages.

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Semi-supervised Structured Prediction with Neural CRF Autoencoder
Xiao Zhang | Yong Jiang | Hao Peng | Kewei Tu | Dan Goldwasser
Proceedings of the 2017 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

In this paper we propose an end-to-end neural CRF autoencoder (NCRF-AE) model for semi-supervised learning of sequential structured prediction problems. Our NCRF-AE consists of two parts: an encoder which is a CRF model enhanced by deep neural networks, and a decoder which is a generative model trying to reconstruct the input. Our model has a unified structure with different loss functions for labeled and unlabeled data with shared parameters. We developed a variation of the EM algorithm for optimizing both the encoder and the decoder simultaneously by decoupling their parameters. Our Experimental results over the Part-of-Speech (POS) tagging task on eight different languages, show that our model can outperform competitive systems in both supervised and semi-supervised scenarios.

2016

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Context-Dependent Sense Embedding
Lin Qiu | Kewei Tu | Yong Yu
Proceedings of the 2016 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

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Unsupervised Neural Dependency Parsing
Yong Jiang | Wenjuan Han | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 2016 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

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Modified Dirichlet Distribution: Allowing Negative Parameters to Induce Stronger Sparsity
Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 2016 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

2012

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Unambiguity Regularization for Unsupervised Learning of Probabilistic Grammars
Kewei Tu | Vasant Honavar
Proceedings of the 2012 Joint Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and Computational Natural Language Learning

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Combining the Sparsity and Unambiguity Biases for Grammar Induction
Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the NAACL-HLT Workshop on the Induction of Linguistic Structure