Kun Kuang


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Precedent-Enhanced Legal Judgment Prediction with LLM and Domain-Model Collaboration
Yiquan Wu | Siying Zhou | Yifei Liu | Weiming Lu | Xiaozhong Liu | Yating Zhang | Changlong Sun | Fei Wu | Kun Kuang
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Legal Judgment Prediction (LJP) has become an increasingly crucial task in Legal AI, i.e., predicting the judgment of the case in terms of case fact description. Precedents are the previous legal cases with similar facts, which are the basis for the judgment of the subsequent case in national legal systems. Thus, it is worthwhile to explore the utilization of precedents in the LJP. Recent advances in deep learning have enabled a variety of techniques to be used to solve the LJP task. These can be broken down into two categories: large language models (LLMs) and domain-specific models. LLMs are capable of interpreting and generating complex natural language, while domain models are efficient in learning task-specific information. In this paper, we propose the precedent-enhanced LJP framework (PLJP) – a system that leverages the strength of both LLM and domain models in the context of precedents. Specifically, the domain models are designed to provide candidate labels and find the proper precedents efficiently, and the large models will make the final prediction with an in-context precedents comprehension. Experiments on the real-world dataset demonstrate the effectiveness of our PLJP. Moreover, our work shows a promising direction for LLM and domain-model collaboration that can be generalized to other vertical domains.

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Focus-aware Response Generation in Inquiry Conversation
Yiquan Wu | Weiming Lu | Yating Zhang | Adam Jatowt | Jun Feng | Changlong Sun | Fei Wu | Kun Kuang
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2023

Inquiry conversation is a common form of conversation that aims to complete the investigation (e.g., court hearing, medical consultation and police interrogation) during which a series of focus shifts occurs. While many models have been proposed to generate a smooth response to a given conversation history, neglecting the focus can limit performance in inquiry conversation where the order of the focuses plays there a key role. In this paper, we investigate the problem of response generation in inquiry conversation by taking the focus into consideration. We propose a novel Focus-aware Response Generation (FRG) method by jointly optimizing a multi-level encoder and a set of focal decoders to generate several candidate responses that correspond to different focuses. Additionally, a focus ranking module is proposed to predict the next focus and rank the candidate responses. Experiments on two orthogonal inquiry conversation datasets (judicial, medical domain) demonstrate that our method generates results significantly better in automatic metrics and human evaluation compared to the state-of-the-art approaches.

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Exploiting Contrastive Learning and Numerical Evidence for Confusing Legal Judgment Prediction
Leilei Gan | Baokui Li | Kun Kuang | Yating Zhang | Lei Wang | Anh Luu | Yi Yang | Fei Wu
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

Given the fact description text of a legal case, legal judgment prediction (LJP) aims to predict the case’s charge, applicable law article, and term of penalty. A core problem of LJP is distinguishing confusing legal cases where only subtle text differences exist. Previous studies fail to distinguish different classification errors with a standard cross-entropy classification loss and ignore the numbers in the fact description for predicting the term of penalty. To tackle these issues, in this work, first, in order to exploit the numbers in legal cases for predicting the term of penalty of certain charges, we enhance the representation of the fact description with extracted crime amounts which are encoded by a pre-trained numeracy model. Second, we propose a moco-based supervised contrastive learning to learn distinguishable representations and explore the best strategy to construct positive example pairs to benefit all three subtasks of LJP simultaneously. Extensive experiments on real-world datasets show that the proposed method achieves new state-of-the-art results, particularly for confusing legal cases. Ablation studies also demonstrate the effectiveness of each component.

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RexUIE: A Recursive Method with Explicit Schema Instructor for Universal Information Extraction
Chengyuan Liu | Fubang Zhao | Yangyang Kang | Jingyuan Zhang | Xiang Zhou | Changlong Sun | Kun Kuang | Fei Wu
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

Universal Information Extraction (UIE) is an area of interest due to the challenges posed by varying targets, heterogeneous structures, and demand-specific schemas. Previous works have achieved success by unifying a few tasks, such as Named Entity Recognition (NER) and Relation Extraction (RE), while they fall short of being true UIE models particularly when extracting other general schemas such as quadruples and quintuples. Additionally, these models used an implicit structural schema instructor, which could lead to incorrect links between types, hindering the model’s generalization and performance in low-resource scenarios. In this paper, we redefine the true UIE with a formal formulation that covers almost all extraction schemas. To the best of our knowledge, we are the first to introduce UIE for any kind of schemas. In addition, we propose RexUIE, which is a Recursive Method with Explicit Schema Instructor for UIE. To avoid interference between different types, we reset the position ids and attention mask matrices. RexUIE shows strong performance under both full-shot and few-shot settings and achieves state-of-the-art results on the tasks of extracting complex schemas.


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Towards Interactivity and Interpretability: A Rationale-based Legal Judgment Prediction Framework
Yiquan Wu | Yifei Liu | Weiming Lu | Yating Zhang | Jun Feng | Changlong Sun | Fei Wu | Kun Kuang
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Legal judgment prediction (LJP) is a fundamental task in legal AI, which aims to assist the judge to hear the case and determine the judgment. The legal judgment usually consists of the law article, charge, and term of penalty. In the real trial scenario, the judge usually makes the decision step-by-step: first concludes the rationale according to the case’s facts and then determines the judgment. Recently, many models have been proposed and made tremendous progress in LJP, but most of them adopt an end-to-end manner that cannot be manually intervened by the judge for practical use. Moreover, existing models lack interpretability due to the neglect of rationale in the prediction process. Following the judge’s real trial logic, in this paper, we propose a novel Rationale-based Legal Judgment Prediction (RLJP) framework. In the RLJP framework, the LJP process is split into two steps. In the first phase, the model generates the rationales according to the fact description. Then it predicts the judgment based on the fact and the generated rationales. Extensive experiments on a real-world dataset show RLJP achieves the best results compared to the state-of-the-art models. Meanwhile, the proposed framework provides good interactivity and interpretability which enables practical use.

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Investigating the Robustness of Natural Language Generation from Logical Forms via Counterfactual Samples
Chengyuan Liu | Leilei Gan | Kun Kuang | Fei Wu
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

The aim of Logic2Text is to generate controllable and faithful texts conditioned on tables and logical forms, which not only requires a deep understanding of the tables and logical forms, but also warrants symbolic reasoning over the tables according to the logical forms. State-of-the-art methods based on pre-trained models have achieved remarkable performance on the standard test dataset. However, we question whether these methods really learn how to perform logical reasoning, rather than just relying on the spurious correlations between the headers of the tables and operators of the logical form. To verify this hypothesis, we manually construct a set of counterfactual samples, which modify the original logical forms to generate counterfactual logical forms with rare co-occurred headers and operators and corresponding counterfactual references. SOTA methods give much worse results on these counterfactual samples compared with the results on the original test dataset, which verifies our hypothesis. To deal with this problem, we firstly analyze this bias from a causal perspective, based on which we propose two approaches to reduce the model’s reliance on the shortcut. The first one incorporates the hierarchical structure of the logical forms into the model. The second one exploits automatically generated counterfactual data for training. Automatic and manual experimental results on the original test dataset and counterfactual dataset show that our method is effective to alleviate the spurious correlation. Our work points out the weakness of current methods and takes a further step toward developing Logic2Text models with real logical reasoning ability.

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Dependency Parsing as MRC-based Span-Span Prediction
Leilei Gan | Yuxian Meng | Kun Kuang | Xiaofei Sun | Chun Fan | Fei Wu | Jiwei Li
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Higher-order methods for dependency parsing can partially but not fully address the issue that edges in dependency trees should be constructed at the text span/subtree level rather than word level. In this paper, we propose a new method for dependency parsing to address this issue. The proposed method constructs dependency trees by directly modeling span-span (in other words, subtree-subtree) relations. It consists of two modules: the text span proposal module which proposes candidate text spans, each of which represents a subtree in the dependency tree denoted by (root, start, end); and the span linking module, which constructs links between proposed spans. We use the machine reading comprehension (MRC) framework as the backbone to formalize the span linking module, where one span is used as query to extract the text span/subtree it should be linked to. The proposed method has the following merits: (1) it addresses the fundamental problem that edges in a dependency tree should be constructed between subtrees; (2) the MRC framework allows the method to retrieve missing spans in the span proposal stage, which leads to higher recall for eligible spans. Extensive experiments on the PTB, CTB and Universal Dependencies (UD) benchmarks demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method. The code is available at https://github.com/ShannonAI/mrc-for-dependency-parsing


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BertGCN: Transductive Text Classification by Combining GNN and BERT
Yuxiao Lin | Yuxian Meng | Xiaofei Sun | Qinghong Han | Kun Kuang | Jiwei Li | Fei Wu
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL-IJCNLP 2021


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De-Biased Court’s View Generation with Causality
Yiquan Wu | Kun Kuang | Yating Zhang | Xiaozhong Liu | Changlong Sun | Jun Xiao | Yueting Zhuang | Luo Si | Fei Wu
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

Court’s view generation is a novel but essential task for legal AI, aiming at improving the interpretability of judgment prediction results and enabling automatic legal document generation. While prior text-to-text natural language generation (NLG) approaches can be used to address this problem, neglecting the confounding bias from the data generation mechanism can limit the model performance, and the bias may pollute the learning outcomes. In this paper, we propose a novel Attentional and Counterfactual based Natural Language Generation (AC-NLG) method, consisting of an attentional encoder and a pair of innovative counterfactual decoders. The attentional encoder leverages the plaintiff’s claim and fact description as input to learn a claim-aware encoder from which the claim-related information in fact description can be emphasized. The counterfactual decoders are employed to eliminate the confounding bias in data and generate judgment-discriminative court’s views (both supportive and non-supportive views) by incorporating with a synergistic judgment predictive model. Comprehensive experiments show the effectiveness of our method under both quantitative and qualitative evaluation metrics.