Miaoran Zhang


2022

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Knowledge Base Index Compression via Dimensionality and Precision Reduction
Vilém Zouhar | Marius Mosbach | Miaoran Zhang | Dietrich Klakow
Proceedings of the 1st Workshop on Semiparametric Methods in NLP: Decoupling Logic from Knowledge

Recently neural network based approaches to knowledge-intensive NLP tasks, such as question answering, started to rely heavily on the combination of neural retrievers and readers. Retrieval is typically performed over a large textual knowledge base (KB) which requires significant memory and compute resources, especially when scaled up. On HotpotQA we systematically investigate reducing the size of the KB index by means of dimensionality (sparse random projections, PCA, autoencoders) and numerical precision reduction. Our results show that PCA is an easy solution that requires very little data and is only slightly worse than autoencoders, which are less stable. All methods are sensitive to pre- and post-processing and data should always be centered and normalized both before and after dimension reduction. Finally, we show that it is possible to combine PCA with using 1bit per dimension. Overall we achieve (1) 100× compression with 75%, and (2) 24× compression with 92% original retrieval performance.

2021

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Preventing Author Profiling through Zero-Shot Multilingual Back-Translation
David Adelani | Miaoran Zhang | Xiaoyu Shen | Ali Davody | Thomas Kleinbauer | Dietrich Klakow
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Documents as short as a single sentence may inadvertently reveal sensitive information about their authors, including e.g. their gender or ethnicity. Style transfer is an effective way of transforming texts in order to remove any information that enables author profiling. However, for a number of current state-of-the-art approaches the improved privacy is accompanied by an undesirable drop in the down-stream utility of the transformed data. In this paper, we propose a simple, zero-shot way to effectively lower the risk of author profiling through multilingual back-translation using off-the-shelf translation models. We compare our models with five representative text style transfer models on three datasets across different domains. Results from both an automatic and a human evaluation show that our approach achieves the best overall performance while requiring no training data. We are able to lower the adversarial prediction of gender and race by up to 22% while retaining 95% of the original utility on downstream tasks.