Michael Zeng


2022

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Training Data is More Valuable than You Think: A Simple and Effective Method by Retrieving from Training Data
Shuohang Wang | Yichong Xu | Yuwei Fang | Yang Liu | Siqi Sun | Ruochen Xu | Chenguang Zhu | Michael Zeng
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Retrieval-based methods have been shown to be effective in NLP tasks via introducing external knowledge. However, the indexing and retrieving of large-scale corpora bring considerable computational cost. Surprisingly, we found that REtrieving from the traINing datA (REINA) only can lead to significant gains on multiple NLG and NLU tasks. We retrieve the labeled training instances most similar to the input text and then concatenate them with the input to feed into the model to generate the output. Experimental results show that this simple method can achieve significantly better performance on a variety of NLU and NLG tasks, including summarization, machine translation, language modeling, and question answering tasks. For instance, our proposed method achieved state-of-the-art results on XSum, BigPatent, and CommonsenseQA. Our code is released, https://github.com/microsoft/REINA .

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KG-FiD: Infusing Knowledge Graph in Fusion-in-Decoder for Open-Domain Question Answering
Donghan Yu | Chenguang Zhu | Yuwei Fang | Wenhao Yu | Shuohang Wang | Yichong Xu | Xiang Ren | Yiming Yang | Michael Zeng
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Current Open-Domain Question Answering (ODQA) models typically include a retrieving module and a reading module, where the retriever selects potentially relevant passages from open-source documents for a given question, and the reader produces an answer based on the retrieved passages. The recently proposed Fusion-in-Decoder (FiD) framework is a representative example, which is built on top of a dense passage retriever and a generative reader, achieving the state-of-the-art performance. In this paper we further improve the FiD approach by introducing a knowledge-enhanced version, namely KG-FiD. Our new model uses a knowledge graph to establish the structural relationship among the retrieved passages, and a graph neural network (GNN) to re-rank the passages and select only a top few for further processing. Our experiments on common ODQA benchmark datasets (Natural Questions and TriviaQA) demonstrate that KG-FiD can achieve comparable or better performance in answer prediction than FiD, with less than 40% of the computation cost.

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End-to-End Segmentation-based News Summarization
Yang Liu | Chenguang Zhu | Michael Zeng
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2022

In this paper, we bring a new way of digesting news content by introducing the task of segmenting a news article into multiple sections and generating the corresponding summary to each section. We make two contributions towards this new task. First, we create and make available a dataset, SegNews, consisting of 27k news articles with sections and aligned heading-style section summaries. Second, we propose a novel segmentation-based language generation model adapted from pre-trained language models that can jointly segment a document and produce the summary for each section. Experimental results on SegNews demonstrate that our model can outperform several state-of-the-art sequence-to-sequence generation models for this new task.

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Dict-BERT: Enhancing Language Model Pre-training with Dictionary
Wenhao Yu | Chenguang Zhu | Yuwei Fang | Donghan Yu | Shuohang Wang | Yichong Xu | Michael Zeng | Meng Jiang
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2022

Pre-trained language models (PLMs) aim to learn universal language representations by conducting self-supervised training tasks on large-scale corpora. Since PLMs capture word semantics in different contexts, the quality of word representations highly depends on word frequency, which usually follows a heavy-tailed distributions in the pre-training corpus. Therefore, the embeddings of rare words on the tail are usually poorly optimized. In this work, we focus on enhancing language model pre-training by leveraging definitions of the rare words in dictionaries (e.g., Wiktionary). To incorporate a rare word definition as a part of input, we fetch its definition from the dictionary and append it to the end of the input text sequence. In addition to training with the masked language modeling objective, we propose two novel self-supervised pre-training tasks on word and sentence-level alignment between input text sequence and rare word definitions to enhance language modeling representation with dictionary. We evaluate the proposed Dict-BERT model on the language understanding benchmark GLUE and eight specialized domain benchmark datasets. Extensive experiments demonstrate that Dict-BERT can significantly improve the understanding of rare words and boost model performance on various NLP downstream tasks.

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Leveraging Knowledge in Multilingual Commonsense Reasoning
Yuwei Fang | Shuohang Wang | Yichong Xu | Ruochen Xu | Siqi Sun | Chenguang Zhu | Michael Zeng
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2022

Commonsense reasoning (CSR) requires models to be equipped with general world knowledge. While CSR is a language-agnostic process, most comprehensive knowledge sources are restricted to a small number of languages, especially English. Thus, it remains unclear how to effectively conduct multilingual commonsense reasoning (XCSR) for various languages. In this work, we propose to use English as a pivot language, utilizing English knowledge sources for our our commonsense reasoning framework via a translate-retrieve-translate (TRT) strategy. For multilingual commonsense questions and answer candidates, we collect related knowledge via translation and retrieval from the knowledge in the source language. The retrieved knowledge is then translated into the target language and integrated into a pre-trained multilingual language model via visible knowledge attention. Then we utilize a diverse of four English knowledge sources to provide more comprehensive coverage of knowledge in different formats. Extensive results on the XCSR benchmark demonstrate that TRT with external knowledge can significantly improve multilingual commonsense reasoning in both zero-shot and translate-train settings, consistently outperforming the state-of-the-art by more than 3% on the multilingual commonsense reasoning benchmark X-CSQA and X-CODAH.

2021

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Fusing Context Into Knowledge Graph for Commonsense Question Answering
Yichong Xu | Chenguang Zhu | Ruochen Xu | Yang Liu | Michael Zeng | Xuedong Huang
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL-IJCNLP 2021

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Retrieval Enhanced Model for Commonsense Generation
Han Wang | Yang Liu | Chenguang Zhu | Linjun Shou | Ming Gong | Yichong Xu | Michael Zeng
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL-IJCNLP 2021

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Want To Reduce Labeling Cost? GPT-3 Can Help
Shuohang Wang | Yang Liu | Yichong Xu | Chenguang Zhu | Michael Zeng
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2021

Data annotation is a time-consuming and labor-intensive process for many NLP tasks. Although there exist various methods to produce pseudo data labels, they are often task-specific and require a decent amount of labeled data to start with. Recently, the immense language model GPT-3 with 170 billion parameters has achieved tremendous improvement across many few-shot learning tasks. In this paper, we explore ways to leverage GPT-3 as a low-cost data labeler to train other models. We find that to make the downstream model achieve the same performance on a variety of NLU and NLG tasks, it costs 50% to 96% less to use labels from GPT-3 than using labels from humans. Furthermore, we propose a novel framework of combining pseudo labels from GPT-3 with human labels, which leads to even better performance. These results present a cost-effective data labeling methodology that is generalizable to many practical applications.

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Enhancing Factual Consistency of Abstractive Summarization
Chenguang Zhu | William Hinthorn | Ruochen Xu | Qingkai Zeng | Michael Zeng | Xuedong Huang | Meng Jiang
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Automatic abstractive summaries are found to often distort or fabricate facts in the article. This inconsistency between summary and original text has seriously impacted its applicability. We propose a fact-aware summarization model FASum to extract and integrate factual relations into the summary generation process via graph attention. We then design a factual corrector model FC to automatically correct factual errors from summaries generated by existing systems. Empirical results show that the fact-aware summarization can produce abstractive summaries with higher factual consistency compared with existing systems, and the correction model improves the factual consistency of given summaries via modifying only a few keywords.

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SPLAT: Speech-Language Joint Pre-Training for Spoken Language Understanding
Yu-An Chung | Chenguang Zhu | Michael Zeng
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Spoken language understanding (SLU) requires a model to analyze input acoustic signal to understand its linguistic content and make predictions. To boost the models’ performance, various pre-training methods have been proposed to learn rich representations from large-scale unannotated speech and text. However, the inherent disparities between the two modalities necessitate a mutual analysis. In this paper, we propose a novel semi-supervised learning framework, SPLAT, to jointly pre-train the speech and language modules. Besides conducting a self-supervised masked language modeling task on the two individual modules using unpaired speech and text, SPLAT aligns representations from the two modules in a shared latent space using a small amount of paired speech and text. Thus, during fine-tuning, the speech module alone can produce representations carrying both acoustic information and contextual semantic knowledge of an input acoustic signal. Experimental results verify the effectiveness of our approach on various SLU tasks. For example, SPLAT improves the previous state-of-the-art performance on the Spoken SQuAD dataset by more than 10%.

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MediaSum: A Large-scale Media Interview Dataset for Dialogue Summarization
Chenguang Zhu | Yang Liu | Jie Mei | Michael Zeng
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

This paper introduces MediaSum, a large-scale media interview dataset consisting of 463.6K transcripts with abstractive summaries. To create this dataset, we collect interview transcripts from NPR and CNN and employ the overview and topic descriptions as summaries. Compared with existing public corpora for dialogue summarization, our dataset is an order of magnitude larger and contains complex multi-party conversations from multiple domains. We conduct statistical analysis to demonstrate the unique positional bias exhibited in the transcripts of televised and radioed interviews. We also show that MediaSum can be used in transfer learning to improve a model’s performance on other dialogue summarization tasks.

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Modeling Entity Knowledge for Fact Verification
Yang Liu | Chenguang Zhu | Michael Zeng
Proceedings of the Fourth Workshop on Fact Extraction and VERification (FEVER)

Fact verification is a challenging task of identifying the truthfulness of given claims based on the retrieval of relevant evidence texts. Many claims require understanding and reasoning over external entity information for precise verification. In this paper, we propose a novel fact verification model using entity knowledge to enhance its performance. We retrieve descriptive text from Wikipedia for each entity, and then encode these descriptions by a smaller lightweight network to be fed into the main verification model. Furthermore, we boost model performance by adopting and predicting the relatedness between the claim and each evidence as additional signals. We demonstrate experimentally on a large-scale benchmark dataset FEVER that our framework achieves competitive results with a FEVER score of 72.89% on the test set.

2020

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Mixed-Lingual Pre-training for Cross-lingual Summarization
Ruochen Xu | Chenguang Zhu | Yu Shi | Michael Zeng | Xuedong Huang
Proceedings of the 1st Conference of the Asia-Pacific Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 10th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing

Cross-lingual Summarization (CLS) aims at producing a summary in the target language for an article in the source language. Traditional solutions employ a two-step approach, i.e. translate -> summarize or summarize -> translate. Recently, end-to-end models have achieved better results, but these approaches are mostly limited by their dependence on large-scale labeled data. We propose a solution based on mixed-lingual pre-training that leverages both cross-lingual tasks such as translation and monolingual tasks like masked language models. Thus, our model can leverage the massive monolingual data to enhance its modeling of language. Moreover, the architecture has no task-specific components, which saves memory and increases optimization efficiency. We show in experiments that this pre-training scheme can effectively boost the performance of cross-lingual summarization. In NCLS dataset, our model achieves an improvement of 2.82 (English to Chinese) and 1.15 (Chinese to English) ROUGE-1 scores over state-of-the-art results.

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Few-shot Natural Language Generation for Task-Oriented Dialog
Baolin Peng | Chenguang Zhu | Chunyuan Li | Xiujun Li | Jinchao Li | Michael Zeng | Jianfeng Gao
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2020

As a crucial component in task-oriented dialog systems, the Natural Language Generation (NLG) module converts a dialog act represented in a semantic form into a response in natural language. The success of traditional template-based or statistical models typically relies on heavily annotated data, which is infeasible for new domains. Therefore, it is pivotal for an NLG system to generalize well with limited labelled data in real applications. To this end, we present FewshotWOZ, the first NLG benchmark to simulate the few-shot learning setting in task-oriented dialog systems. Further, we develop the SC-GPT model. It is pre-trained on a large set of annotated NLG corpus to acquire the controllable generation ability, and fine-tuned with only a few domain-specific labels to adapt to new domains. Experiments on FewshotWOZ and the large Multi-Domain-WOZ datasets show that the proposed SC-GPT significantly outperforms existing methods, measured by various automatic metrics and human evaluations.

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A Hierarchical Network for Abstractive Meeting Summarization with Cross-Domain Pretraining
Chenguang Zhu | Ruochen Xu | Michael Zeng | Xuedong Huang
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2020

With the abundance of automatic meeting transcripts, meeting summarization is of great interest to both participants and other parties. Traditional methods of summarizing meetings depend on complex multi-step pipelines that make joint optimization intractable. Meanwhile, there are a handful of deep neural models for text summarization and dialogue systems. However, the semantic structure and styles of meeting transcripts are quite different from articles and conversations. In this paper, we propose a novel abstractive summary network that adapts to the meeting scenario. We design a hierarchical structure to accommodate long meeting transcripts and a role vector to depict the difference among speakers. Furthermore, due to the inadequacy of meeting summary data, we pretrain the model on large-scale news summary data. Empirical results show that our model outperforms previous approaches in both automatic metrics and human evaluation. For example, on ICSI dataset, the ROUGE-1 score increases from 34.66% to 46.28%.

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TED: A Pretrained Unsupervised Summarization Model with Theme Modeling and Denoising
Ziyi Yang | Chenguang Zhu | Robert Gmyr | Michael Zeng | Xuedong Huang | Eric Darve
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2020

Text summarization aims to extract essential information from a piece of text and transform the text into a concise version. Existing unsupervised abstractive summarization models leverage recurrent neural networks framework while the recently proposed transformer exhibits much more capability. Moreover, most of previous summarization models ignore abundant unlabeled corpora resources available for pretraining. In order to address these issues, we propose TED, a transformer-based unsupervised abstractive summarization system with pretraining on large-scale data. We first leverage the lead bias in news articles to pretrain the model on millions of unlabeled corpora. Next, we finetune TED on target domains through theme modeling and a denoising autoencoder to enhance the quality of generated summaries. Notably, TED outperforms all unsupervised abstractive baselines on NYT, CNN/DM and English Gigaword datasets with various document styles. Further analysis shows that the summaries generated by TED are highly abstractive, and each component in the objective function of TED is highly effective.

2019

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Multi-task Learning for Natural Language Generation in Task-Oriented Dialogue
Chenguang Zhu | Michael Zeng | Xuedong Huang
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

In task-oriented dialogues, Natural Language Generation (NLG) is the final yet crucial step to produce user-facing system utterances. The result of NLG is directly related to the perceived quality and usability of a dialogue system. While most existing systems provide semantically correct responses given goals to present, they struggle to match the variation and fluency in the human language. In this paper, we propose a novel multi-task learning framework, NLG-LM, for natural language generation. In addition to generating high-quality responses conveying the required information, it also explicitly targets for naturalness in generated responses via an unconditioned language model. This can significantly improve the learning of style and variation in human language. Empirical results show that this multi-task learning framework outperforms previous models across multiple datasets. For example, it improves the previous best BLEU score on the E2E-NLG dataset by 2.2%, and on the Laptop dataset by 6.1%.

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SIM: A Slot-Independent Neural Model for Dialogue State Tracking
Chenguang Zhu | Michael Zeng | Xuedong Huang
Proceedings of the 20th Annual SIGdial Meeting on Discourse and Dialogue

Dialogue state tracking is an important component in task-oriented dialogue systems to identify users’ goals and requests as a dialogue proceeds. However, as most previous models are dependent on dialogue slots, the model complexity soars when the number of slots increases. In this paper, we put forward a slot-independent neural model (SIM) to track dialogue states while keeping the model complexity invariant to the number of dialogue slots. The model utilizes attention mechanisms between user utterance and system actions. SIM achieves state-of-the-art results on WoZ and DSTC2 tasks, with only 20% of the model size of previous models.