Mengwen Liu


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Evaluating the Tradeoff Between Abstractiveness and Factuality in Abstractive Summarization
Markus Dreyer | Mengwen Liu | Feng Nan | Sandeep Atluri | Sujith Ravi
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EACL 2023

Neural models for abstractive summarization tend to generate output that is fluent and well-formed but lacks semantic faithfulness, or factuality, with respect to the input documents. In this paper, we analyze the tradeoff between abstractiveness and factuality of generated summaries across multiple datasets and models, using extensive human evaluations of factuality. In our analysis, we visualize the rates of change in factuality as we gradually increase abstractiveness using a decoding constraint, and we observe that, while increased abstractiveness generally leads to a drop in factuality, the rate of factuality decay depends on factors such as the data that the system was trained on. We introduce two datasets with human factuality judgements; one containing 10.2k generated summaries with systematically varied degrees of abstractiveness; the other containing 4.2k summaries from five different summarization models. We propose new factuality metrics that adjust for the degree of abstractiveness, and we use them to compare the abstractiveness-adjusted factuality of previous summarization works, providing baselines for future work.

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Faithfulness-Aware Decoding Strategies for Abstractive Summarization
David Wan | Mengwen Liu | Kathleen McKeown | Markus Dreyer | Mohit Bansal
Proceedings of the 17th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Despite significant progress in understanding and improving faithfulness in abstractive summarization, the question of how decoding strategies affect faithfulness is less studied. We present a systematic study of the effect of generation techniques such as beam search and nucleus sampling on faithfulness in abstractive summarization. We find a consistent trend where beam search with large beam sizes produces the most faithful summaries while nucleus sampling generates the least faithful ones. We propose two faithfulness-aware generation methods to further improve faithfulness over current generation techniques: (1) ranking candidates generated by beam search using automatic faithfulness metrics and (2) incorporating lookahead heuristics that produce a faithfulness score on the future summary. We show that both generation methods significantly improve faithfulness across two datasets as evaluated by four automatic faithfulness metrics and human evaluation. To reduce computational cost, we demonstrate a simple distillation approach that allows the model to generate faithful summaries with just greedy decoding.


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FactGraph: Evaluating Factuality in Summarization with Semantic Graph Representations
Leonardo F. R. Ribeiro | Mengwen Liu | Iryna Gurevych | Markus Dreyer | Mohit Bansal
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Despite recent improvements in abstractive summarization, most current approaches generate summaries that are not factually consistent with the source document, severely restricting their trust and usage in real-world applications. Recent works have shown promising improvements in factuality error identification using text or dependency arc entailments; however, they do not consider the entire semantic graph simultaneously. To this end, we propose FactGraph, a method that decomposes the document and the summary into structured meaning representations (MR), which are more suitable for factuality evaluation. MRs describe core semantic concepts and their relations, aggregating the main content in both document and summary in a canonical form, and reducing data sparsity. FactGraph encodes such graphs using a graph encoder augmented with structure-aware adapters to capture interactions among the concepts based on the graph connectivity, along with text representations using an adapter-based text encoder. Experiments on different benchmarks for evaluating factuality show that FactGraph outperforms previous approaches by up to 15%. Furthermore, FactGraph improves performance on identifying content verifiability errors and better captures subsentence-level factual inconsistencies.


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Efficiently Summarizing Text and Graph Encodings of Multi-Document Clusters
Ramakanth Pasunuru | Mengwen Liu | Mohit Bansal | Sujith Ravi | Markus Dreyer
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

This paper presents an efficient graph-enhanced approach to multi-document summarization (MDS) with an encoder-decoder Transformer model. This model is based on recent advances in pre-training both encoder and decoder on very large text data (Lewis et al., 2019), and it incorporates an efficient encoding mechanism (Beltagy et al., 2020) that avoids the quadratic memory growth typical for traditional Transformers. We show that this powerful combination not only scales to large input documents commonly found when summarizing news clusters; it also enables us to process additional input in the form of auxiliary graph representations, which we derive from the multi-document clusters. We present a mechanism to incorporate such graph information into the encoder-decoder model that was pre-trained on text only. Our approach leads to significant improvements on the Multi-News dataset, overall leading to an average 1.8 ROUGE score improvement over previous work (Li et al., 2020). We also show improvements in a transfer-only setup on the DUC-2004 dataset. The graph encodings lead to summaries that are more abstractive. Human evaluation shows that they are also more informative and factually more consistent with their input documents.


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Multi-Task Networks with Universe, Group, and Task Feature Learning
Shiva Pentyala | Mengwen Liu | Markus Dreyer
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

We present methods for multi-task learning that take advantage of natural groupings of related tasks. Task groups may be defined along known properties of the tasks, such as task domain or language. Such task groups represent supervised information at the inter-task level and can be encoded into the model. We investigate two variants of neural network architectures that accomplish this, learning different feature spaces at the levels of individual tasks, task groups, as well as the universe of all tasks: (1) parallel architectures encode each input simultaneously into feature spaces at different levels; (2) serial architectures encode each input successively into feature spaces at different levels in the task hierarchy. We demonstrate the methods on natural language understanding (NLU) tasks, where a grouping of tasks into different task domains leads to improved performance on ATIS, Snips, and a large in-house dataset.


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Tackling Sparsity, the Achilles Heel of Social Networks: Language Model Smoothing via Social Regularization
Rui Yan | Xiang Li | Mengwen Liu | Xiaohua Hu
Proceedings of the 53rd Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 7th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 2: Short Papers)