Ming Liu


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DeakinNLP at ProbSum 2023: Clinical Progress Note Summarization with Rules and Language ModelsClinical Progress Note Summarization with Rules and Languague Models
Ming Liu | Dan Zhang | Weicong Tan | He Zhang
The 22nd Workshop on Biomedical Natural Language Processing and BioNLP Shared Tasks

This paper summarizes two approaches developed for BioNLP2023 workshop task 1A: clinical problem list summarization. We develop two types of methods with either rules or pre-trained language models. In the rule-based summarization model, we leverage UMLS (Unified Medical Language System) and a negation detector to extract text spans to represent the summary. We also fine tune three pre-trained language models (BART, T5 and GPT2) to generate the summaries. Experiment results show the rule based system returns extractive summaries but lower ROUGE-L score (0.043), while the fine tuned T5 returns a higher ROUGE-L score (0.208).

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Can Pretrained Language Models Derive Correct Semantics from Corrupt Subwords under Noise?
Xinzhe Li | Ming Liu | Shang Gao
Proceedings of the 12th Joint Conference on Lexical and Computational Semantics (*SEM 2023)

For Pretrained Language Models (PLMs), their susceptibility to noise has recently been linked to subword segmentation. However, it is unclear which aspects of segmentation affect their understanding. This study assesses the robustness of PLMs against various disrupted segmentation caused by noise. An evaluation framework for subword segmentation, named Contrastive Lexical Semantic (CoLeS) probe, is proposed. It provides a systematic categorization of segmentation corruption under noise and evaluation protocols by generating contrastive datasets with canonical-noisy word pairs. Experimental results indicate that PLMs are unable to accurately compute word meanings if the noise introduces completely different subwords, small subword fragments, or a large number of additional subwords, particularly when they are inserted within other subwords.

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Black-Box Tuning of Vision-Language Models with Effective Gradient Approximation
Zixian Guo | Yuxiang Wei | Ming Liu | Zhilong Ji | Jinfeng Bai | Yiwen Guo | Wangmeng Zuo
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

Parameter-efficient fine-tuning (PEFT) methods have provided an effective way for adapting large vision-language models to specific tasks or scenarios. Typically, they learn a very small scale of parameters for pre-trained models in a white-box formulation, which assumes model architectures to be known and parameters to be accessible. However, large models are often not open-source due to considerations of preventing abuse or commercial factors, hence posing a barrier to the deployment of white-box PEFT methods. To alleviate the dependence on model accessibility, we introduce collaborative black-box tuning (CBBT) for both textual prompt optimization and output feature adaptation for black-box models. Specifically, considering that the backpropagation gradients are blocked, we approximate the gradients of textual prompts by analyzing the predictions with perturbed prompts. Secondly, a lightweight adapter is deployed over the output feature of the inaccessible model, further facilitating the model adaptation process. Empowered with these designs, our CBBT is extensively evaluated on eleven downstream benchmarks and achieves remarkable improvements compared to existing black-box VL adaptation methods. Our code will be made publicly available.

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MTGER: Multi-view Temporal Graph Enhanced Temporal Reasoning over Time-Involved Document
Zheng Chu | Zekun Wang | Jiafeng Liang | Ming Liu | Bing Qin
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

The facts and time in the document are intricately intertwined, making temporal reasoning over documents challenging. Previous work models time implicitly, making it difficult to handle such complex relationships. To address this issue, we propose MTGER, a novel Multi-view Temporal Graph Enhanced Reasoning framework for temporal reasoning over time-involved documents. Concretely, MTGER explicitly models the temporal relationships among facts by multi-view temporal graphs. On the one hand, the heterogeneous temporal graphs explicitly model the temporal and discourse relationships among facts; on the other hand, the multi-view mechanism captures both time-focused and fact-focused information, allowing the two views to complement each other through adaptive fusion. To further improve the implicit reasoning capability of the model, we design a self-supervised time-comparing objective. Extensive experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness of our method on the TimeQA and SituatedQA datasets. Furthermore, MTGER gives more consistent answers under question perturbations.

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Make Text Unlearnable: Exploiting Effective Patterns to Protect Personal Data
Xinzhe Li | Ming Liu
Proceedings of the 3rd Workshop on Trustworthy Natural Language Processing (TrustNLP 2023)

This paper addresses the ethical concerns arising from the use of unauthorized public data in deep learning models and proposes a novel solution. Specifically, building on the work of Huang et al. (2021), we extend their bi-level optimization approach to generate unlearnable text using a gradient-based search technique. However, although effective, this approach faces practical limitations, including the requirement of batches of instances and model architecture knowledge that is not readily accessible to ordinary users with limited access to their own data. Furthermore, even with semantic-preserving constraints, unlearnable noise can alter the text’s semantics. To address these challenges, we extract simple patterns from unlearnable text produced by bi-level optimization and demonstrate that the data remains unlearnable for unknown models. Additionally, these patterns are not instance- or dataset-specific, allowing users to readily apply them to text classification and question-answering tasks, even if only a small proportion of users implement them on their public content. We also open-source codes to generate unlearnable text and assess unlearnable noise to benefit the public and future studies.

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Leveraging Natural Language Processing and Clinical Notes for Dementia Detection
Ming Liu | Richard Beare | Taya Collyer | Nadine Andrew | Velandai Srikanth
Proceedings of the 5th Clinical Natural Language Processing Workshop

Early detection and automated classification of dementia has recently gained considerable attention using neuroimaging data and spontaneous speech. In this paper, we validate the possibility of dementia detection with in-hospital clinical notes. We collected 954 patients’ clinical notes from a local hospital and assign dementia/non-dementia labels to those patients based on clinical assessment and telephone interview. Given the labeled dementia data sets, we fine tune a ClinicalBioBERT based on some filtered clinical notes and conducted experiments on both binary and three class dementia classification. Our experiment results show that the fine tuned ClinicalBioBERT achieved satisfied performance on binary classification but failed on three class dementia classification. Further analysis suggests that more human prior knowledge should be considered.

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Data Augmentation for Fake Reviews Detection
Ming Liu | Massimo Poesio
Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Recent Advances in Natural Language Processing

In this research, we studied the relationship between data augmentation and model accuracy for the task of fake review detection. We used data generation methods to augment two different fake review datasets and compared the performance of models trained with the original data and with the augmented data. Our results show that the accuracy of our fake review detection model can be improved by 0.31 percentage points on DeRev Test and by 7.65 percentage points on Amazon Test by using the augmented datasets.

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An Empirical Study on Active Learning for Multi-label Text Classification
Mengqi Wang | Ming Liu
The Fourth Workshop on Insights from Negative Results in NLP

Active learning has been widely used in the task of text classification for its ability to select the most valuable samples to annotate while improving the model performance. However, the efficiency of active learning in multi-label text classification tasks has been under-explored due to the label imbalanceness problem. In this paper, we conduct an empirical study of active learning on multi-label text classification and evaluate the efficiency of five active learning strategies on six multi-label text classification tasks. The experiments show that some strategies in the single-label setting especially in imbalanced datasets.


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HIT at SemEval-2022 Task 2: Pre-trained Language Model for Idioms Detection
Zheng Chu | Ziqing Yang | Yiming Cui | Zhigang Chen | Ming Liu
Proceedings of the 16th International Workshop on Semantic Evaluation (SemEval-2022)

The same multi-word expressions may have different meanings in different sentences. They can be mainly divided into two categories, which are literal meaning and idiomatic meaning. Non-contextual-based methods perform poorly on this problem, and we need contextual embedding to understand the idiomatic meaning of multi-word expressions correctly. We use a pre-trained language model, which can provide a context-aware sentence embedding, to detect whether multi-word expression in the sentence is idiomatic usage.

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How Far are We from Robust Long Abstractive Summarization?
Huan Yee Koh | Jiaxin Ju | He Zhang | Ming Liu | Shirui Pan
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Abstractive summarization has made tremendous progress in recent years. In this work, we perform fine-grained human annotations to evaluate long document abstractive summarization systems (i.e., models and metrics) with the aim of implementing them to generate reliable summaries. For long document abstractive models, we show that the constant strive for state-of-the-art ROUGE results can lead us to generate more relevant summaries but not factual ones. For long document evaluation metrics, human evaluation results show that ROUGE remains the best at evaluating the relevancy of a summary. It also reveals important limitations of factuality metrics in detecting different types of factual errors and the reasons behind the effectiveness of BARTScore. We then suggest promising directions in the endeavor of developing factual consistency metrics. Finally, we release our annotated long document dataset with the hope that it can contribute to the development of metrics across a broader range of summarization settings.

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Distilled Dual-Encoder Model for Vision-Language Understanding
Zekun Wang | Wenhui Wang | Haichao Zhu | Ming Liu | Bing Qin | Furu Wei
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

On vision-language understanding (VLU) tasks, fusion-encoder vision-language models achieve superior results but sacrifice efficiency because of the simultaneous encoding of images and text. On the contrary, the dual encoder model that separately encodes images and text has the advantage in efficiency, while failing on VLU tasks due to the lack of deep cross-modal interactions. To get the best of both worlds, we propose DiDE, a framework that distills the knowledge of the fusion-encoder teacher model into the dual-encoder student model. Since the cross-modal interaction is the key to the superior performance of teacher model but is absent in the student model, we encourage the student not only to mimic the predictions of teacher, but also to calculate the cross-modal attention distributions and align with the teacher. Experimental results demonstrate that DiDE is competitive with the fusion-encoder teacher model in performance (only a 1% drop) while enjoying 4 times faster inference. Further analyses reveal that the proposed cross-modal attention distillation is crucial to the success of our framework.


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Neural Attention-Aware Hierarchical Topic Model
Yuan Jin | He Zhao | Ming Liu | Lan Du | Wray Buntine
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Neural topic models (NTMs) apply deep neural networks to topic modelling. Despite their success, NTMs generally ignore two important aspects: (1) only document-level word count information is utilized for the training, while more fine-grained sentence-level information is ignored, and (2) external semantic knowledge regarding documents, sentences and words are not exploited for the training. To address these issues, we propose a variational autoencoder (VAE) NTM model that jointly reconstructs the sentence and document word counts using combinations of bag-of-words (BoW) topical embeddings and pre-trained semantic embeddings. The pre-trained embeddings are first transformed into a common latent topical space to align their semantics with the BoW embeddings. Our model also features hierarchical KL divergence to leverage embeddings of each document to regularize those of their sentences, paying more attention to semantically relevant sentences. Both quantitative and qualitative experiments have shown the efficacy of our model in 1) lowering the reconstruction errors at both the sentence and document levels, and 2) discovering more coherent topics from real-world datasets.

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Less Is More: Domain Adaptation with Lottery Ticket for Reading Comprehension
Haichao Zhu | Zekun Wang | Heng Zhang | Ming Liu | Sendong Zhao | Bing Qin
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2021

In this paper, we propose a simple few-shot domain adaptation paradigm for reading comprehension. We first identify the lottery subnetwork structure within the Transformer-based source domain model via gradual magnitude pruning. Then, we only fine-tune the lottery subnetwork, a small fraction of the whole parameters, on the annotated target domain data for adaptation. To obtain more adaptable subnetworks, we introduce self-attention attribution to weigh parameters, beyond simply pruning the smallest magnitude parameters, which can be seen as combining structured pruning and unstructured magnitude pruning softly. Experimental results show that our method outperforms the full model fine-tuning adaptation on four out of five domains when only a small amount of annotated data available for adaptation. Moreover, introducing self-attention attribution reserves more parameters for important attention heads in the lottery subnetwork and improves the target domain model performance. Our further analyses reveal that, besides exploiting fewer parameters, the choice of subnetworks is critical to the effectiveness.

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Transformer over Pre-trained Transformer for Neural Text Segmentation with Enhanced Topic Coherence
Kelvin Lo | Yuan Jin | Weicong Tan | Ming Liu | Lan Du | Wray Buntine
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2021

This paper proposes a transformer over transformer framework, called Transformerˆ2, to perform neural text segmentation. It consists of two components: bottom-level sentence encoders using pre-trained transformers, and an upper-level transformer-based segmentation model based on the sentence embeddings. The bottom-level component transfers the pre-trained knowledge learnt from large external corpora under both single and pair-wise supervised NLP tasks to model the sentence embeddings for the documents. Given the sentence embeddings, the upper-level transformer is trained to recover the segmentation boundaries as well as the topic labels of each sentence. Equipped with a multi-task loss and the pre-trained knowledge, Transformerˆ2 can better capture the semantic coherence within the same segments. Our experiments show that (1) Transformerˆ2$manages to surpass state-of-the-art text segmentation models in terms of a commonly-used semantic coherence measure; (2) in most cases, both single and pair-wise pre-trained knowledge contribute to the model performance; (3) bottom-level sentence encoders pre-trained on specific languages yield better performance than those pre-trained on specific domains.

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Leveraging Information Bottleneck for Scientific Document Summarization
Jiaxin Ju | Ming Liu | Huan Yee Koh | Yuan Jin | Lan Du | Shirui Pan
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2021

This paper presents an unsupervised extractive approach to summarize scientific long documents based on the Information Bottleneck principle. Inspired by previous work which uses the Information Bottleneck principle for sentence compression, we extend it to document level summarization with two separate steps. In the first step, we use signal(s) as queries to retrieve the key content from the source document. Then, a pre-trained language model conducts further sentence search and edit to return the final extracted summaries. Importantly, our work can be flexibly extended to a multi-view framework by different signals. Automatic evaluation on three scientific document datasets verifies the effectiveness of the proposed framework. The further human evaluation suggests that the extracted summaries cover more content aspects than previous systems.

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Exploring the Vulnerability of Natural Language Processing Models via Universal Adversarial Texts
Xinzhe Li | Ming Liu | Xingjun Ma | Longxiang Gao
Proceedings of the The 19th Annual Workshop of the Australasian Language Technology Association

Universal adversarial texts (UATs) refer to short pieces of text units that can largely affect the predictions of NLP models. Recent studies on universal adversarial attacks assume the accessibility of datasets for the task, which is not realistic. We propose two types of Data-Free Adjusted Gradient (DFAG) attacks to show that it is possible to generate effective UATs with only one arbitrary example which could be manually crafted. Based on the proposed DFAG attacks, this paper explores the vulnerability of commonly used NLP models in terms of two factors: network architectures and pre-trained embeddings. Our empirical studies on three text classification datasets reveal that: 1) CNN based models are more extremely vulnerable to UATs while self-attention models show the most robustness, 2) the vulnerability of CNN and LSTM models and robustness of self-attention models could be attributed to whether they rely on training data artifacts for their predictions, and 3) the pre-trained embeddings could expose vulnerability to both universal adversarial attack and the UAT transfer attack.


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Molweni: A Challenge Multiparty Dialogues-based Machine Reading Comprehension Dataset with Discourse Structure
Jiaqi Li | Ming Liu | Min-Yen Kan | Zihao Zheng | Zekun Wang | Wenqiang Lei | Ting Liu | Bing Qin
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Research into the area of multiparty dialog has grown considerably over recent years. We present the Molweni dataset, a machine reading comprehension (MRC) dataset with discourse structure built over multiparty dialog. Molweni’s source samples from the Ubuntu Chat Corpus, including 10,000 dialogs comprising 88,303 utterances. We annotate 30,066 questions on this corpus, including both answerable and unanswerable questions. Molweni also uniquely contributes discourse dependency annotations in a modified Segmented Discourse Representation Theory (SDRT; Asher et al., 2016) style for all of its multiparty dialogs, contributing large-scale (78,245 annotated discourse relations) data to bear on the task of multiparty dialog discourse parsing. Our experiments show that Molweni is a challenging dataset for current MRC models: BERT-wwm, a current, strong SQuAD 2.0 performer, achieves only 67.7% F1 on Molweni’s questions, a 20+% significant drop as compared against its SQuAD 2.0 performance.

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Monash-Summ@LongSumm 20 SciSummPip: An Unsupervised Scientific Paper Summarization Pipeline
Jiaxin Ju | Ming Liu | Longxiang Gao | Shirui Pan
Proceedings of the First Workshop on Scholarly Document Processing

The Scholarly Document Processing (SDP) workshop is to encourage more efforts on natural language understanding of scientific task. It contains three shared tasks and we participate in the LongSumm shared task. In this paper, we describe our text summarization system, SciSummPip, inspired by SummPip (Zhao et al., 2020) that is an unsupervised text summarization system for multi-document in News domain. Our SciSummPip includes a transformer-based language model SciBERT (Beltagy et al., 2019) for contextual sentence representation, content selection with PageRank (Page et al., 1999), sentence graph construction with both deep and linguistic information, sentence graph clustering and within-graph summary generation. Our work differs from previous method in that content selection and a summary length constraint is applied to adapt to the scientific domain. The experiment results on both training dataset and blind test dataset show the effectiveness of our method, and we empirically verify the robustness of modules used in SciSummPip with BERTScore (Zhang et al., 2019a).

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Multi-label Few/Zero-shot Learning with Knowledge Aggregated from Multiple Label Graphs
Jueqing Lu | Lan Du | Ming Liu | Joanna Dipnall
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

Few/Zero-shot learning is a big challenge of many classifications tasks, where a classifier is required to recognise instances of classes that have very few or even no training samples. It becomes more difficult in multi-label classification, where each instance is labelled with more than one class. In this paper, we present a simple multi-graph aggregation model that fuses knowledge from multiple label graphs encoding different semantic label relationships in order to study how the aggregated knowledge can benefit multi-label zero/few-shot document classification. The model utilises three kinds of semantic information, i.e., the pre-trained word embeddings, label description, and pre-defined label relations. Experimental results derived on two large clinical datasets (i.e., MIMIC-II and MIMIC-III ) and the EU legislation dataset show that methods equipped with the multi-graph knowledge aggregation achieve significant performance improvement across almost all the measures on few/zero-shot labels.


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Capsule Network with Interactive Attention for Aspect-Level Sentiment Classification
Chunning Du | Haifeng Sun | Jingyu Wang | Qi Qi | Jianxin Liao | Tong Xu | Ming Liu
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

Aspect-level sentiment classification is a crucial task for sentiment analysis, which aims to identify the sentiment polarities of specific targets in their context. The main challenge comes from multi-aspect sentences, which express multiple sentiment polarities towards different targets, resulting in overlapped feature representation. However, most existing neural models tend to utilize static pooling operation or attention mechanism to identify sentimental words, which therefore insufficient for dealing with overlapped features. To solve this problem, we propose to utilize capsule network to construct vector-based feature representation and cluster features by an EM routing algorithm. Furthermore, interactive attention mechanism is introduced in the capsule routing procedure to model the semantic relationship between aspect terms and context. The iterative routing also enables encoding sentence from a global perspective. Experimental results on three datasets show that our proposed model achieves state-of-the-art performance.

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Learning How to Active Learn by Dreaming
Thuy-Trang Vu | Ming Liu | Dinh Phung | Gholamreza Haffari
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Heuristic-based active learning (AL) methods are limited when the data distribution of the underlying learning problems vary. Recent data-driven AL policy learning methods are also restricted to learn from closely related domains. We introduce a new sample-efficient method that learns the AL policy directly on the target domain of interest by using wake and dream cycles. Our approach interleaves between querying the annotation of the selected datapoints to update the underlying student learner and improving AL policy using simulation where the current student learner acts as an imperfect annotator. We evaluate our method on cross-domain and cross-lingual text classification and named entity recognition tasks. Experimental results show that our dream-based AL policy training strategy is more effective than applying the pretrained policy without further fine-tuning and better than the existing strong baseline methods that use heuristics or reinforcement learning.


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Learning to Actively Learn Neural Machine Translation
Ming Liu | Wray Buntine | Gholamreza Haffari
Proceedings of the 22nd Conference on Computational Natural Language Learning

Traditional active learning (AL) methods for machine translation (MT) rely on heuristics. However, these heuristics are limited when the characteristics of the MT problem change due to e.g. the language pair or the amount of the initial bitext. In this paper, we present a framework to learn sentence selection strategies for neural MT. We train the AL query strategy using a high-resource language-pair based on AL simulations, and then transfer it to the low-resource language-pair of interest. The learned query strategy capitalizes on the shared characteristics between the language pairs to make an effective use of the AL budget. Our experiments on three language-pairs confirms that our method is more effective than strong heuristic-based methods in various conditions, including cold-start and warm-start as well as small and extremely small data conditions.

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Learning How to Actively Learn: A Deep Imitation Learning Approach
Ming Liu | Wray Buntine | Gholamreza Haffari
Proceedings of the 56th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Heuristic-based active learning (AL) methods are limited when the data distribution of the underlying learning problems vary. We introduce a method that learns an AL “policy” using “imitation learning” (IL). Our IL-based approach makes use of an efficient and effective “algorithmic expert”, which provides the policy learner with good actions in the encountered AL situations. The AL strategy is then learned with a feedforward network, mapping situations to most informative query datapoints. We evaluate our method on two different tasks: text classification and named entity recognition. Experimental results show that our IL-based AL strategy is more effective than strong previous methods using heuristics and reinforcement learning.


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Leveraging Linguistic Resources for Improving Neural Text Classification
Ming Liu | Gholamreza Haffari | Wray Buntine | Michelle Ananda-Rajah
Proceedings of the Australasian Language Technology Association Workshop 2017


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Learning cascaded latent variable models for biomedical text classification
Ming Liu | Gholamreza Haffari | Wray Buntine
Proceedings of the Australasian Language Technology Association Workshop 2016


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Multimodal DBN for Predicting High-Quality Answers in cQA portals
Haifeng Hu | Bingquan Liu | Baoxun Wang | Ming Liu | Xiaolong Wang
Proceedings of the 51st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 2: Short Papers)

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PAL: A Chatterbot System for Answering Domain-specific Questions
Yuanchao Liu | Ming Liu | Xiaolong Wang | Limin Wang | Jingjing Li
Proceedings of the 51st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics: System Demonstrations


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Whitepaper of NEWS 2012 Shared Task on Machine Transliteration
Min Zhang | Haizhou Li | A Kumaran | Ming Liu
Proceedings of the 4th Named Entity Workshop (NEWS) 2012

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Report of NEWS 2012 Machine Transliteration Shared Task
Min Zhang | Haizhou Li | A Kumaran | Ming Liu
Proceedings of the 4th Named Entity Workshop (NEWS) 2012


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Joint Alignment and Artificial Data Generation: An Empirical Study of Pivot-based Machine Transliteration
Min Zhang | Xiangyu Duan | Ming Liu | Yunqing Xia | Haizhou Li
Proceedings of 5th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing

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Report of NEWS 2011 Machine Transliteration Shared Task
Min Zhang | Haizhou Li | A Kumaran | Ming Liu
Proceedings of the 3rd Named Entities Workshop (NEWS 2011)


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Improving Name Origin Recognition with Context Features and Unlabelled Data
Vladimir Pervouchine | Min Zhang | Ming Liu | Haizhou Li
Coling 2010: Posters