Lingfei Wu


2022

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Feeding What You Need by Understanding What You Learned
Xiaoqiang Wang | Bang Liu | Fangli Xu | Bo Long | Siliang Tang | Lingfei Wu
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Machine Reading Comprehension (MRC) reveals the ability to understand a given text passage and answer questions based on it. Existing research works in MRC rely heavily on large-size models and corpus to improve the performance evaluated by metrics such as Exact Match (EM) and F1. However, such a paradigm lacks sufficient interpretation to model capability and can not efficiently train a model with a large corpus. In this paper, we argue that a deep understanding of model capabilities and data properties can help us feed a model with appropriate training data based on its learning status. Specifically, we design an MRC capability assessment framework that assesses model capabilities in an explainable and multi-dimensional manner. Based on it, we further uncover and disentangle the connections between various data properties and model performance. Finally, to verify the effectiveness of the proposed MRC capability assessment framework, we incorporate it into a curriculum learning pipeline and devise a Capability Boundary Breakthrough Curriculum (CBBC) strategy, which performs a model capability-based training to maximize the data value and improve training efficiency. Extensive experiments demonstrate that our approach significantly improves performance, achieving up to an 11.22% / 8.71% improvement of EM / F1 on MRC tasks.

2021

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Adversarial Attack against Cross-lingual Knowledge Graph Alignment
Zeru Zhang | Zijie Zhang | Yang Zhou | Lingfei Wu | Sixing Wu | Xiaoying Han | Dejing Dou | Tianshi Che | Da Yan
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Recent literatures have shown that knowledge graph (KG) learning models are highly vulnerable to adversarial attacks. However, there is still a paucity of vulnerability analyses of cross-lingual entity alignment under adversarial attacks. This paper proposes an adversarial attack model with two novel attack techniques to perturb the KG structure and degrade the quality of deep cross-lingual entity alignment. First, an entity density maximization method is employed to hide the attacked entities in dense regions in two KGs, such that the derived perturbations are unnoticeable. Second, an attack signal amplification method is developed to reduce the gradient vanishing issues in the process of adversarial attacks for further improving the attack effectiveness.

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Timeline Summarization based on Event Graph Compression via Time-Aware Optimal Transport
Manling Li | Tengfei Ma | Mo Yu | Lingfei Wu | Tian Gao | Heng Ji | Kathleen McKeown
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Timeline Summarization identifies major events from a news collection and describes them following temporal order, with key dates tagged. Previous methods generally generate summaries separately for each date after they determine the key dates of events. These methods overlook the events’ intra-structures (arguments) and inter-structures (event-event connections). Following a different route, we propose to represent the news articles as an event-graph, thus the summarization becomes compressing the whole graph to its salient sub-graph. The key hypothesis is that the events connected through shared arguments and temporal order depict the skeleton of a timeline, containing events that are semantically related, temporally coherent and structurally salient in the global event graph. A time-aware optimal transport distance is then introduced for learning the compression model in an unsupervised manner. We show that our approach significantly improves on the state of the art on three real-world datasets, including two public standard benchmarks and our newly collected Timeline100 dataset.

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Constructing contrastive samples via summarization for text classification with limited annotations
Yangkai Du | Tengfei Ma | Lingfei Wu | Fangli Xu | Xuhong Zhang | Bo Long | Shouling Ji
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2021

Contrastive Learning has emerged as a powerful representation learning method and facilitates various downstream tasks especially when supervised data is limited. How to construct efficient contrastive samples through data augmentation is key to its success. Unlike vision tasks, the data augmentation method for contrastive learning has not been investigated sufficiently in language tasks. In this paper, we propose a novel approach to construct contrastive samples for language tasks using text summarization. We use these samples for supervised contrastive learning to gain better text representations which greatly benefit text classification tasks with limited annotations. To further improve the method, we mix up samples from different classes and add an extra regularization, named Mixsum, in addition to the cross-entropy-loss. Experiments on real-world text classification datasets (Amazon-5, Yelp-5, AG News, and IMDb) demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed contrastive learning framework with summarization-based data augmentation and Mixsum regularization.

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HAConvGNN: Hierarchical Attention Based Convolutional Graph Neural Network for Code Documentation Generation in Jupyter Notebooks
Xuye Liu | Dakuo Wang | April Wang | Yufang Hou | Lingfei Wu
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2021

Jupyter notebook allows data scientists to write machine learning code together with its documentation in cells. In this paper, we propose a new task of code documentation generation (CDG) for computational notebooks. In contrast to the previous CDG tasks which focus on generating documentation for single code snippets, in a computational notebook, one documentation in a markdown cell often corresponds to multiple code cells, and these code cells have an inherent structure. We proposed a new model (HAConvGNN) that uses a hierarchical attention mechanism to consider the relevant code cells and the relevant code tokens information when generating the documentation. Tested on a new corpus constructed from well-documented Kaggle notebooks, we show that our model outperforms other baseline models.

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Deep Learning on Graphs for Natural Language Processing
Lingfei Wu | Yu Chen | Heng Ji | Yunyao Li
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies: Tutorials

Due to its great power in modeling non-Euclidean data like graphs or manifolds, deep learning on graph techniques (i.e., Graph Neural Networks (GNNs)) have opened a new door to solving challenging graph-related NLP problems. There has seen a surge of interests in applying deep learning on graph techniques to NLP, and has achieved considerable success in many NLP tasks, ranging from classification tasks like sentence classification, semantic role labeling and relation extraction, to generation tasks like machine translation, question generation and summarization. Despite these successes, deep learning on graphs for NLP still face many challenges, including automatically transforming original text sequence data into highly graph-structured data, and effectively modeling complex data that involves mapping between graph-based inputs and other highly structured output data such as sequences, trees, and graph data with multi-types in both nodes and edges. This tutorial will cover relevant and interesting topics on applying deep learning on graph techniques to NLP, including automatic graph construction for NLP, graph representation learning for NLP, advanced GNN based models (e.g., graph2seq, graph2tree, and graph2graph) for NLP, and the applications of GNNs in various NLP tasks (e.g., machine translation, natural language generation, information extraction and semantic parsing). In addition, hands-on demonstration sessions will be included to help the audience gain practical experience on applying GNNs to solve challenging NLP problems using our recently developed open source library – Graph4NLP, the first library for researchers and practitioners for easy use of GNNs for various NLP tasks.

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Technical Question Answering across Tasks and Domains
Wenhao Yu | Lingfei Wu | Yu Deng | Qingkai Zeng | Ruchi Mahindru | Sinem Guven | Meng Jiang
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies: Industry Papers

Building automatic technical support system is an important yet challenge task. Conceptually, to answer a user question on a technical forum, a human expert has to first retrieve relevant documents, and then read them carefully to identify the answer snippet. Despite huge success the researchers have achieved in coping with general domain question answering (QA), much less attentions have been paid for investigating technical QA. Specifically, existing methods suffer from several unique challenges (i) the question and answer rarely overlaps substantially and (ii) very limited data size. In this paper, we propose a novel framework of deep transfer learning to effectively address technical QA across tasks and domains. To this end, we present an adjustable joint learning approach for document retrieval and reading comprehension tasks. Our experiments on the TechQA demonstrates superior performance compared with state-of-the-art methods.

2020

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Knowledge Graph-Augmented Abstractive Summarization with Semantic-Driven Cloze Reward
Luyang Huang | Lingfei Wu | Lu Wang
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Sequence-to-sequence models for abstractive summarization have been studied extensively, yet the generated summaries commonly suffer from fabricated content, and are often found to be near-extractive. We argue that, to address these issues, the summarizer should acquire semantic interpretation over input, e.g., via structured representation, to allow the generation of more informative summaries. In this paper, we present ASGARD, a novel framework for Abstractive Summarization with Graph-Augmentation and semantic-driven RewarD. We propose the use of dual encoders—a sequential document encoder and a graph-structured encoder—to maintain the global context and local characteristics of entities, complementing each other. We further design a reward based on a multiple choice cloze test to drive the model to better capture entity interactions. Results show that our models produce significantly higher ROUGE scores than a variant without knowledge graph as input on both New York Times and CNN/Daily Mail datasets. We also obtain better or comparable performance compared to systems that are fine-tuned from large pretrained language models. Human judges further rate our model outputs as more informative and containing fewer unfaithful errors.

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Crossing Variational Autoencoders for Answer Retrieval
Wenhao Yu | Lingfei Wu | Qingkai Zeng | Shu Tao | Yu Deng | Meng Jiang
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Answer retrieval is to find the most aligned answer from a large set of candidates given a question. Learning vector representations of questions/answers is the key factor. Question-answer alignment and question/answer semantics are two important signals for learning the representations. Existing methods learned semantic representations with dual encoders or dual variational auto-encoders. The semantic information was learned from language models or question-to-question (answer-to-answer) generative processes. However, the alignment and semantics were too separate to capture the aligned semantics between question and answer. In this work, we propose to cross variational auto-encoders by generating questions with aligned answers and generating answers with aligned questions. Experiments show that our method outperforms the state-of-the-art answer retrieval method on SQuAD.

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A Joint Neural Model for Information Extraction with Global Features
Ying Lin | Heng Ji | Fei Huang | Lingfei Wu
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Most existing joint neural models for Information Extraction (IE) use local task-specific classifiers to predict labels for individual instances (e.g., trigger, relation) regardless of their interactions. For example, a victim of a die event is likely to be a victim of an attack event in the same sentence. In order to capture such cross-subtask and cross-instance inter-dependencies, we propose a joint neural framework, OneIE, that aims to extract the globally optimal IE result as a graph from an input sentence. OneIE performs end-to-end IE in four stages: (1) Encoding a given sentence as contextualized word representations; (2) Identifying entity mentions and event triggers as nodes; (3) Computing label scores for all nodes and their pairwise links using local classifiers; (4) Searching for the globally optimal graph with a beam decoder. At the decoding stage, we incorporate global features to capture the cross-subtask and cross-instance interactions. Experiments show that adding global features improves the performance of our model and achieves new state of-the-art on all subtasks. In addition, as OneIE does not use any language-specific feature, we prove it can be easily applied to new languages or trained in a multilingual manner.

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A Multi-Perspective Architecture for Semantic Code Search
Rajarshi Haldar | Lingfei Wu | JinJun Xiong | Julia Hockenmaier
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

The ability to match pieces of code to their corresponding natural language descriptions and vice versa is fundamental for natural language search interfaces to software repositories. In this paper, we propose a novel multi-perspective cross-lingual neural framework for code–text matching, inspired in part by a previous model for monolingual text-to-text matching, to capture both global and local similarities. Our experiments on the CoNaLa dataset show that our proposed model yields better performance on this cross-lingual text-to-code matching task than previous approaches that map code and text to a single joint embedding space.

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Unsupervised Reference-Free Summary Quality Evaluation via Contrastive Learning
Hanlu Wu | Tengfei Ma | Lingfei Wu | Tariro Manyumwa | Shouling Ji
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

Evaluation of a document summarization system has been a critical factor to impact the success of the summarization task. Previous approaches, such as ROUGE, mainly consider the informativeness of the assessed summary and require human-generated references for each test summary. In this work, we propose to evaluate the summary qualities without reference summaries by unsupervised contrastive learning. Specifically, we design a new metric which covers both linguistic qualities and semantic informativeness based on BERT. To learn the metric, for each summary, we construct different types of negative samples with respect to different aspects of the summary qualities, and train our model with a ranking loss. Experiments on Newsroom and CNN/Daily Mail demonstrate that our new evaluation method outperforms other metrics even without reference summaries. Furthermore, we show that our method is general and transferable across datasets.

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A Technical Question Answering System with Transfer Learning
Wenhao Yu | Lingfei Wu | Yu Deng | Ruchi Mahindru | Qingkai Zeng | Sinem Guven | Meng Jiang
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing: System Demonstrations

In recent years, the need for community technical question-answering sites has increased significantly. However, it is often expensive for human experts to provide timely and helpful responses on those forums. We develop TransTQA, which is a novel system that offers automatic responses by retrieving proper answers based on correctly answered similar questions in the past. TransTQA is built upon a siamese ALBERT network, which enables it to respond quickly and accurately. Furthermore, TransTQA adopts a standard deep transfer learning strategy to improve its capability of supporting multiple technical domains.

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Graph-to-Tree Neural Networks for Learning Structured Input-Output Translation with Applications to Semantic Parsing and Math Word Problem
Shucheng Li | Lingfei Wu | Shiwei Feng | Fangli Xu | Fengyuan Xu | Sheng Zhong
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2020

The celebrated Seq2Seq technique and its numerous variants achieve excellent performance on many tasks such as neural machine translation, semantic parsing, and math word problem solving. However, these models either only consider input objects as sequences while ignoring the important structural information for encoding, or they simply treat output objects as sequence outputs instead of structural objects for decoding. In this paper, we present a novel Graph-to-Tree Neural Networks, namely Graph2Tree consisting of a graph encoder and a hierarchical tree decoder, that encodes an augmented graph-structured input and decodes a tree-structured output. In particular, we investigated our model for solving two problems, neural semantic parsing and math word problem. Our extensive experiments demonstrate that our Graph2Tree model outperforms or matches the performance of other state-of-the-art models on these tasks.

2019

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Graph Enhanced Cross-Domain Text-to-SQL Generation
Siyu Huo | Tengfei Ma | Jie Chen | Maria Chang | Lingfei Wu | Michael Witbrock
Proceedings of the Thirteenth Workshop on Graph-Based Methods for Natural Language Processing (TextGraphs-13)

Semantic parsing is a fundamental problem in natural language understanding, as it involves the mapping of natural language to structured forms such as executable queries or logic-like knowledge representations. Existing deep learning approaches for semantic parsing have shown promise on a variety of benchmark data sets, particularly on text-to-SQL parsing. However, most text-to-SQL parsers do not generalize to unseen data sets in different domains. In this paper, we propose a new cross-domain learning scheme to perform text-to-SQL translation and demonstrate its use on Spider, a large-scale cross-domain text-to-SQL data set. We improve upon a state-of-the-art Spider model, SyntaxSQLNet, by constructing a graph of column names for all databases and using graph neural networks to compute their embeddings. The resulting embeddings offer better cross-domain representations and SQL queries, as evidenced by substantial improvement on the Spider data set compared to SyntaxSQLNet.

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Bidirectional Attentive Memory Networks for Question Answering over Knowledge Bases
Yu Chen | Lingfei Wu | Mohammed J. Zaki
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 1 (Long and Short Papers)

When answering natural language questions over knowledge bases (KBs), different question components and KB aspects play different roles. However, most existing embedding-based methods for knowledge base question answering (KBQA) ignore the subtle inter-relationships between the question and the KB (e.g., entity types, relation paths and context). In this work, we propose to directly model the two-way flow of interactions between the questions and the KB via a novel Bidirectional Attentive Memory Network, called BAMnet. Requiring no external resources and only very few hand-crafted features, on the WebQuestions benchmark, our method significantly outperforms existing information-retrieval based methods, and remains competitive with (hand-crafted) semantic parsing based methods. Also, since we use attention mechanisms, our method offers better interpretability compared to other baselines.

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Reinforcement Learning Based Text Style Transfer without Parallel Training Corpus
Hongyu Gong | Suma Bhat | Lingfei Wu | JinJun Xiong | Wen-mei Hwu
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 1 (Long and Short Papers)

Text style transfer rephrases a text from a source style (e.g., informal) to a target style (e.g., formal) while keeping its original meaning. Despite the success existing works have achieved using a parallel corpus for the two styles, transferring text style has proven significantly more challenging when there is no parallel training corpus. In this paper, we address this challenge by using a reinforcement-learning-based generator-evaluator architecture. Our generator employs an attention-based encoder-decoder to transfer a sentence from the source style to the target style. Our evaluator is an adversarially trained style discriminator with semantic and syntactic constraints that score the generated sentence for style, meaning preservation, and fluency. Experimental results on two different style transfer tasks–sentiment transfer, and formality transfer–show that our model outperforms state-of-the-art approaches.Furthermore, we perform a manual evaluation that demonstrates the effectiveness of the proposed method using subjective metrics of generated text quality.

2018

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Exploiting Rich Syntactic Information for Semantic Parsing with Graph-to-Sequence Model
Kun Xu | Lingfei Wu | Zhiguo Wang | Mo Yu | Liwei Chen | Vadim Sheinin
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Existing neural semantic parsers mainly utilize a sequence encoder, i.e., a sequential LSTM, to extract word order features while neglecting other valuable syntactic information such as dependency or constituent trees. In this paper, we first propose to use the syntactic graph to represent three types of syntactic information, i.e., word order, dependency and constituency features; then employ a graph-to-sequence model to encode the syntactic graph and decode a logical form. Experimental results on benchmark datasets show that our model is comparable to the state-of-the-art on Jobs640, ATIS, and Geo880. Experimental results on adversarial examples demonstrate the robustness of the model is also improved by encoding more syntactic information.

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SQL-to-Text Generation with Graph-to-Sequence Model
Kun Xu | Lingfei Wu | Zhiguo Wang | Yansong Feng | Vadim Sheinin
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Previous work approaches the SQL-to-text generation task using vanilla Seq2Seq models, which may not fully capture the inherent graph-structured information in SQL query. In this paper, we propose a graph-to-sequence model to encode the global structure information into node embeddings. This model can effectively learn the correlation between the SQL query pattern and its interpretation. Experimental results on the WikiSQL dataset and Stackoverflow dataset show that our model outperforms the Seq2Seq and Tree2Seq baselines, achieving the state-of-the-art performance.

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Word Mover’s Embedding: From Word2Vec to Document Embedding
Lingfei Wu | Ian En-Hsu Yen | Kun Xu | Fangli Xu | Avinash Balakrishnan | Pin-Yu Chen | Pradeep Ravikumar | Michael J. Witbrock
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

While the celebrated Word2Vec technique yields semantically rich representations for individual words, there has been relatively less success in extending to generate unsupervised sentences or documents embeddings. Recent work has demonstrated that a distance measure between documents called Word Mover’s Distance (WMD) that aligns semantically similar words, yields unprecedented KNN classification accuracy. However, WMD is expensive to compute, and it is hard to extend its use beyond a KNN classifier. In this paper, we propose the Word Mover’s Embedding (WME), a novel approach to building an unsupervised document (sentence) embedding from pre-trained word embeddings. In our experiments on 9 benchmark text classification datasets and 22 textual similarity tasks, the proposed technique consistently matches or outperforms state-of-the-art techniques, with significantly higher accuracy on problems of short length.