Mei Li


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Unifying Discrete and Continuous Representations for Unsupervised Paraphrase Generation
Mingfeng Xue | Dayiheng Liu | Wenqiang Lei | Jie Fu | Jian Lan | Mei Li | Baosong Yang | Jun Xie | Yidan Zhang | Dezhong Peng | Jiancheng Lv
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Unsupervised paraphrase generation is a challenging task that benefits a variety of downstream NLP applications. Current unsupervised methods for paraphrase generation typically employ round-trip translation or denoising, which require translation corpus and result in paraphrases overly similar to the original sentences in surface structure. Most of these methods lack explicit control over the similarity between the original and generated sentences, and the entities are also less correctly kept. To obviate the reliance on translation data and prompt greater variations in surface structure, we propose a self-supervised pseudo-data construction method that generates diverse pseudo-paraphrases in distinct surface structures for a given sentence. To control the similarity and generate accurate entities, we propose an unsupervised paraphrasing model that encodes the sentence meaning and the entities with discrete and continuous variables, respectively. The similarity can be controlled by sampling discrete variables and the entities are kept substantially accurate due to the specific modeling of entities using continuous variables. Experimental results on two benchmark datasets demonstrate the advantages of our pseudo-data construction method compared to round-trip translation, and the superiority of our paraphrasing model over the state-of-the-art unsupervised methods.


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PG-GSQL: Pointer-Generator Network with Guide Decoding for Cross-Domain Context-Dependent Text-to-SQL Generation
Huajie Wang | Mei Li | Lei Chen
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Text-to-SQL is a task of translating utterances to SQL queries, and most existing neural approaches of text-to-SQL focus on the cross-domain context-independent generation task. We pay close attention to the cross-domain context-dependent text-to-SQL generation task, which requires a model to depend on the interaction history and current utterance to generate SQL query. In this paper, we present an encoder-decoder model called PG-GSQL based on the interaction-level encoder and with two effective innovations in decoder to solve cross-domain context-dependent text-to-SQL task. 1) To effectively capture historical information of SQL query and reuse the previous SQL query tokens, we use a hybrid pointer-generator network as decoder to copy tokens from the previous SQL query via pointer, the generator part is utilized to generate new tokens. 2) We propose a guide component to limit the prediction space of vocabulary for avoiding table-column dependency and foreign key dependency errors during decoding phase. In addition, we design a column-table linking mechanism to improve the prediction accuracy of tables. On the challenging cross-domain context-dependent text-to-SQL benchmark SParC, PG-GSQL achieves 34.0% question matching accuracy and 19.0% interaction matching accuracy on the dev set. With BERT augmentation, PG-GSQL obtains 53.1% question matching accuracy and 34.7% interaction matching accuracy on the dev set, outperforms the previous state-of-the-art model by 5.9% question matching accuracy and 5.2% interaction matching accuracy. Our code is publicly available.