Luheng He


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TableFormer: Robust Transformer Modeling for Table-Text Encoding
Jingfeng Yang | Aditya Gupta | Shyam Upadhyay | Luheng He | Rahul Goel | Shachi Paul
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Understanding tables is an important aspect of natural language understanding. Existing models for table understanding require linearization of the table structure, where row or column order is encoded as an unwanted bias. Such spurious biases make the model vulnerable to row and column order perturbations. Additionally, prior work has not thoroughly modeled the table structures or table-text alignments, hindering the table-text understanding ability. In this work, we propose a robust and structurally aware table-text encoding architecture TableFormer, where tabular structural biases are incorporated completely through learnable attention biases. TableFormer is (1) strictly invariant to row and column orders, and, (2) could understand tables better due to its tabular inductive biases. Our evaluations showed that TableFormer outperforms strong baselines in all settings on SQA, WTQ and TabFact table reasoning datasets, and achieves state-of-the-art performance on SQA, especially when facing answer-invariant row and column order perturbations (6% improvement over the best baseline), because previous SOTA models’ performance drops by 4% - 6% when facing such perturbations while TableFormer is not affected.


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Graph-Based Decoding for Task Oriented Semantic Parsing
Jeremy Cole | Nanjiang Jiang | Panupong Pasupat | Luheng He | Peter Shaw
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2021

The dominant paradigm for semantic parsing in recent years is to formulate parsing as a sequence-to-sequence task, generating predictions with auto-regressive sequence decoders. In this work, we explore an alternative paradigm. We formulate semantic parsing as a dependency parsing task, applying graph-based decoding techniques developed for syntactic parsing. We compare various decoding techniques given the same pre-trained Transformer encoder on the TOP dataset, including settings where training data is limited or contains only partially-annotated examples. We find that our graph-based approach is competitive with sequence decoders on the standard setting, and offers significant improvements in data efficiency and settings where partially-annotated data is available.

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Few-shot Intent Classification and Slot Filling with Retrieved Examples
Dian Yu | Luheng He | Yuan Zhang | Xinya Du | Panupong Pasupat | Qi Li
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Few-shot learning arises in important practical scenarios, such as when a natural language understanding system needs to learn new semantic labels for an emerging, resource-scarce domain. In this paper, we explore retrieval-based methods for intent classification and slot filling tasks in few-shot settings. Retrieval-based methods make predictions based on labeled examples in the retrieval index that are similar to the input, and thus can adapt to new domains simply by changing the index without having to retrain the model. However, it is non-trivial to apply such methods on tasks with a complex label space like slot filling. To this end, we propose a span-level retrieval method that learns similar contextualized representations for spans with the same label via a novel batch-softmax objective. At inference time, we use the labels of the retrieved spans to construct the final structure with the highest aggregated score. Our method outperforms previous systems in various few-shot settings on the CLINC and SNIPS benchmarks.

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TIMEDIAL: Temporal Commonsense Reasoning in Dialog
Lianhui Qin | Aditya Gupta | Shyam Upadhyay | Luheng He | Yejin Choi | Manaal Faruqui
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)

Everyday conversations require understanding everyday events, which in turn, requires understanding temporal commonsense concepts interwoven with those events. Despite recent progress with massive pre-trained language models (LMs) such as T5 and GPT-3, their capability of temporal reasoning in dialogs remains largely under-explored. In this paper, we present the first study to investigate pre-trained LMs for their temporal reasoning capabilities in dialogs by introducing a new task and a crowd-sourced English challenge set, TimeDial. We formulate TimeDial as a multiple choice cloze task with over 1.1K carefully curated dialogs. Empirical results demonstrate that even the best performing models struggle on this task compared to humans, with 23 absolute points of gap in accuracy. Furthermore, our analysis reveals that the models fail to reason about dialog context correctly; instead, they rely on shallow cues based on existing temporal patterns in context, motivating future research for modeling temporal concepts in text and robust contextual reasoning about them. The dataset is publicly available at

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QA-Driven Zero-shot Slot Filling with Weak Supervision Pretraining
Xinya Du | Luheng He | Qi Li | Dian Yu | Panupong Pasupat | Yuan Zhang
Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 2: Short Papers)

Slot-filling is an essential component for building task-oriented dialog systems. In this work, we focus on the zero-shot slot-filling problem, where the model needs to predict slots and their values, given utterances from new domains without training on the target domain. Prior methods directly encode slot descriptions to generalize to unseen slot types. However, raw slot descriptions are often ambiguous and do not encode enough semantic information, limiting the models’ zero-shot capability. To address this problem, we introduce QA-driven slot filling (QASF), which extracts slot-filler spans from utterances with a span-based QA model. We use a linguistically motivated questioning strategy to turn descriptions into questions, allowing the model to generalize to unseen slot types. Moreover, our QASF model can benefit from weak supervision signals from QA pairs synthetically generated from unlabeled conversations. Our full system substantially outperforms baselines by over 5% on the SNIPS benchmark.


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Widget Captioning: Generating Natural Language Description for Mobile User Interface Elements
Yang Li | Gang Li | Luheng He | Jingjie Zheng | Hong Li | Zhiwei Guan
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

Natural language descriptions of user interface (UI) elements such as alternative text are crucial for accessibility and language-based interaction in general. Yet, these descriptions are constantly missing in mobile UIs. We propose widget captioning, a novel task for automatically generating language descriptions for UI elements from multimodal input including both the image and the structural representations of user interfaces. We collected a large-scale dataset for widget captioning with crowdsourcing. Our dataset contains 162,860 language phrases created by human workers for annotating 61,285 UI elements across 21,750 unique UI screens. We thoroughly analyze the dataset, and train and evaluate a set of deep model configurations to investigate how each feature modality as well as the choice of learning strategies impact the quality of predicted captions. The task formulation and the dataset as well as our benchmark models contribute a solid basis for this novel multimodal captioning task that connects language and user interfaces.


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Giving BERT a Calculator: Finding Operations and Arguments with Reading Comprehension
Daniel Andor | Luheng He | Kenton Lee | Emily Pitler
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

Reading comprehension models have been successfully applied to extractive text answers, but it is unclear how best to generalize these models to abstractive numerical answers. We enable a BERT-based reading comprehension model to perform lightweight numerical reasoning. We augment the model with a predefined set of executable ‘programs’ which encompass simple arithmetic as well as extraction. Rather than having to learn to manipulate numbers directly, the model can pick a program and execute it. On the recent Discrete Reasoning Over Passages (DROP) dataset, designed to challenge reading comprehension models, we show a 33% absolute improvement by adding shallow programs. The model can learn to predict new operations when appropriate in a math word problem setting (Roy and Roth, 2015) with very few training examples.

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PAWS: Paraphrase Adversaries from Word Scrambling
Yuan Zhang | Jason Baldridge | Luheng He
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)

Existing paraphrase identification datasets lack sentence pairs that have high lexical overlap without being paraphrases. Models trained on such data fail to distinguish pairs like flights from New York to Florida and flights from Florida to New York. This paper introduces PAWS (Paraphrase Adversaries from Word Scrambling), a new dataset with 108,463 well-formed paraphrase and non-paraphrase pairs with high lexical overlap. Challenging pairs are generated by controlled word swapping and back translation, followed by fluency and paraphrase judgments by human raters. State-of-the-art models trained on existing datasets have dismal performance on PAWS (<40% accuracy); however, including PAWS training data for these models improves their accuracy to 85% while maintaining performance on existing tasks. In contrast, models that do not capture non-local contextual information fail even with PAWS training examples. As such, PAWS provides an effective instrument for driving further progress on models that better exploit structure, context, and pairwise comparisons.

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A general framework for information extraction using dynamic span graphs
Yi Luan | Dave Wadden | Luheng He | Amy Shah | Mari Ostendorf | Hannaneh Hajishirzi
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)

We introduce a general framework for several information extraction tasks that share span representations using dynamically constructed span graphs. The graphs are dynamically constructed by selecting the most confident entity spans and linking these nodes with confidence-weighted relation types and coreferences. The dynamic span graph allow coreference and relation type confidences to propagate through the graph to iteratively refine the span representations. This is unlike previous multi-task frameworks for information extraction in which the only interaction between tasks is in the shared first-layer LSTM. Our framework significantly outperforms state-of-the-art on multiple information extraction tasks across multiple datasets reflecting different domains. We further observe that the span enumeration approach is good at detecting nested span entities, with significant F1 score improvement on the ACE dataset.


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Large-Scale QA-SRL Parsing
Nicholas FitzGerald | Julian Michael | Luheng He | Luke Zettlemoyer
Proceedings of the 56th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

We present a new large-scale corpus of Question-Answer driven Semantic Role Labeling (QA-SRL) annotations, and the first high-quality QA-SRL parser. Our corpus, QA-SRL Bank 2.0, consists of over 250,000 question-answer pairs for over 64,000 sentences across 3 domains and was gathered with a new crowd-sourcing scheme that we show has high precision and good recall at modest cost. We also present neural models for two QA-SRL subtasks: detecting argument spans for a predicate and generating questions to label the semantic relationship. The best models achieve question accuracy of 82.6% and span-level accuracy of 77.6% (under human evaluation) on the full pipelined QA-SRL prediction task. They can also, as we show, be used to gather additional annotations at low cost.

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Jointly Predicting Predicates and Arguments in Neural Semantic Role Labeling
Luheng He | Kenton Lee | Omer Levy | Luke Zettlemoyer
Proceedings of the 56th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 2: Short Papers)

Recent BIO-tagging-based neural semantic role labeling models are very high performing, but assume gold predicates as part of the input and cannot incorporate span-level features. We propose an end-to-end approach for jointly predicting all predicates, arguments spans, and the relations between them. The model makes independent decisions about what relationship, if any, holds between every possible word-span pair, and learns contextualized span representations that provide rich, shared input features for each decision. Experiments demonstrate that this approach sets a new state of the art on PropBank SRL without gold predicates.

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Crowdsourcing Question-Answer Meaning Representations
Julian Michael | Gabriel Stanovsky | Luheng He | Ido Dagan | Luke Zettlemoyer
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 2 (Short Papers)

We introduce Question-Answer Meaning Representations (QAMRs), which represent the predicate-argument structure of a sentence as a set of question-answer pairs. We develop a crowdsourcing scheme to show that QAMRs can be labeled with very little training, and gather a dataset with over 5,000 sentences and 100,000 questions. A qualitative analysis demonstrates that the crowd-generated question-answer pairs cover the vast majority of predicate-argument relationships in existing datasets (including PropBank, NomBank, and QA-SRL) along with many previously under-resourced ones, including implicit arguments and relations. We also report baseline models for question generation and answering, and summarize a recent approach for using QAMR labels to improve an Open IE system. These results suggest the freely available QAMR data and annotation scheme should support significant future work.

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Higher-Order Coreference Resolution with Coarse-to-Fine Inference
Kenton Lee | Luheng He | Luke Zettlemoyer
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 2 (Short Papers)

We introduce a fully-differentiable approximation to higher-order inference for coreference resolution. Our approach uses the antecedent distribution from a span-ranking architecture as an attention mechanism to iteratively refine span representations. This enables the model to softly consider multiple hops in the predicted clusters. To alleviate the computational cost of this iterative process, we introduce a coarse-to-fine approach that incorporates a less accurate but more efficient bilinear factor, enabling more aggressive pruning without hurting accuracy. Compared to the existing state-of-the-art span-ranking approach, our model significantly improves accuracy on the English OntoNotes benchmark, while being far more computationally efficient.

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Multi-Task Identification of Entities, Relations, and Coreference for Scientific Knowledge Graph Construction
Yi Luan | Luheng He | Mari Ostendorf | Hannaneh Hajishirzi
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

We introduce a multi-task setup of identifying entities, relations, and coreference clusters in scientific articles. We create SciERC, a dataset that includes annotations for all three tasks and develop a unified framework called SciIE with shared span representations. The multi-task setup reduces cascading errors between tasks and leverages cross-sentence relations through coreference links. Experiments show that our multi-task model outperforms previous models in scientific information extraction without using any domain-specific features. We further show that the framework supports construction of a scientific knowledge graph, which we use to analyze information in scientific literature.


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End-to-end Neural Coreference Resolution
Kenton Lee | Luheng He | Mike Lewis | Luke Zettlemoyer
Proceedings of the 2017 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

We introduce the first end-to-end coreference resolution model and show that it significantly outperforms all previous work without using a syntactic parser or hand-engineered mention detector. The key idea is to directly consider all spans in a document as potential mentions and learn distributions over possible antecedents for each. The model computes span embeddings that combine context-dependent boundary representations with a head-finding attention mechanism. It is trained to maximize the marginal likelihood of gold antecedent spans from coreference clusters and is factored to enable aggressive pruning of potential mentions. Experiments demonstrate state-of-the-art performance, with a gain of 1.5 F1 on the OntoNotes benchmark and by 3.1 F1 using a 5-model ensemble, despite the fact that this is the first approach to be successfully trained with no external resources.

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Deep Semantic Role Labeling: What Works and What’s Next
Luheng He | Kenton Lee | Mike Lewis | Luke Zettlemoyer
Proceedings of the 55th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

We introduce a new deep learning model for semantic role labeling (SRL) that significantly improves the state of the art, along with detailed analyses to reveal its strengths and limitations. We use a deep highway BiLSTM architecture with constrained decoding, while observing a number of recent best practices for initialization and regularization. Our 8-layer ensemble model achieves 83.2 F1 on theCoNLL 2005 test set and 83.4 F1 on CoNLL 2012, roughly a 10% relative error reduction over the previous state of the art. Extensive empirical analysis of these gains show that (1) deep models excel at recovering long-distance dependencies but can still make surprisingly obvious errors, and (2) that there is still room for syntactic parsers to improve these results.


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Human-in-the-Loop Parsing
Luheng He | Julian Michael | Mike Lewis | Luke Zettlemoyer
Proceedings of the 2016 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing


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Question-Answer Driven Semantic Role Labeling: Using Natural Language to Annotate Natural Language
Luheng He | Mike Lewis | Luke Zettlemoyer
Proceedings of the 2015 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

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Joint A* CCG Parsing and Semantic Role Labelling
Mike Lewis | Luheng He | Luke Zettlemoyer
Proceedings of the 2015 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing


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Graph-Based Posterior Regularization for Semi-Supervised Structured Prediction
Luheng He | Jennifer Gillenwater | Ben Taskar
Proceedings of the Seventeenth Conference on Computational Natural Language Learning