Moxin Li


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Hypothetical Training for Robust Machine Reading Comprehension of Tabular Context
Moxin Li | Wenjie Wang | Fuli Feng | Hanwang Zhang | Qifan Wang | Tat-Seng Chua
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2023

Machine Reading Comprehension (MRC) models easily learn spurious correlations from complex contexts such as tabular data. Counterfactual training—using the factual and counterfactual data by augmentation—has become a promising solution. However, it is costly to construct faithful counterfactual examples because it is tricky to maintain the consistency and dependency of the tabular data. In this paper, we take a more efficient fashion to ask hypothetical questions like “in which year would the net profit be larger if the revenue in 2019 were $38,298?”, whose effects on the answers are equivalent to those expensive counterfactual tables. We propose a hypothetical training framework that uses paired examples with different hypothetical questions to supervise the direction of model gradient towards the counterfactual answer change. The superior generalization results on tabular MRC datasets, including a newly constructed stress test and MultiHiertt, validate our effectiveness.


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Learning to Imagine: Integrating Counterfactual Thinking in Neural Discrete Reasoning
Moxin Li | Fuli Feng | Hanwang Zhang | Xiangnan He | Fengbin Zhu | Tat-Seng Chua
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Neural discrete reasoning (NDR) has shown remarkable progress in combining deep models with discrete reasoning. However, we find that existing NDR solution suffers from large performance drop on hypothetical questions, e.g. “what the annualized rate of return would be if the revenue in 2020 was doubled”. The key to hypothetical question answering (HQA) is counterfactual thinking, which is a natural ability of human reasoning but difficult for deep models. In this work, we devise a Learning to Imagine (L2I) module, which can be seamlessly incorporated into NDR models to perform the imagination of unseen counterfactual. In particular, we formulate counterfactual thinking into two steps: 1) identifying the fact to intervene, and 2) deriving the counterfactual from the fact and assumption, which are designed as neural networks. Based on TAT-QA, we construct a very challenging HQA dataset with 8,283 hypothetical questions. We apply the proposed L2I to TAGOP, the state-of-the-art solution on TAT-QA, validating the rationality and effectiveness of our approach.