Ning Ding


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DD-TIG at SemEval-2022 Task 5: Investigating the Relationships Between Multimodal and Unimodal Information in Misogynous Memes Detection and Classification
Ziming Zhou | Han Zhao | Jingjing Dong | Ning Ding | Xiaolong Liu | Kangli Zhang
Proceedings of the 16th International Workshop on Semantic Evaluation (SemEval-2022)

This paper describes our submission for task 5 Multimedia Automatic Misogyny Identification (MAMI) at SemEval-2022. The task is designed to detect and classify misogynous memes. To utilize both textual and visual information presented in a meme, we investigate several of the most recent visual language transformer-based multimodal models and choose ERNIE-ViL-Large as our base model. For subtask A, with observations of models’ overfitting on unimodal patterns, strategies are proposed to mitigate problems of biased words and template memes. For subtask B, we transform this multi-label problem into a multi-class one and experiment with oversampling and complementary techniques. Our approach places 2nd for subtask A and 5th for subtask B in this competition.

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ProQA: Structural Prompt-based Pre-training for Unified Question Answering
Wanjun Zhong | Yifan Gao | Ning Ding | Yujia Qin | Zhiyuan Liu | Ming Zhou | Jiahai Wang | Jian Yin | Nan Duan
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Question Answering (QA) is a longstanding challenge in natural language processing. Existing QA works mostly focus on specific question types, knowledge domains, or reasoning skills. The specialty in QA research hinders systems from modeling commonalities between tasks and generalization for wider applications. To address this issue, we present ProQA, a unified QA paradigm that solves various tasks through a single model. ProQA takes a unified structural prompt as the bridge and improves the QA-centric ability by structural prompt-based pre-training. Through a structurally designed prompt-based input schema, ProQA concurrently models the knowledge generalization for all QA tasks while keeping the knowledge customization for every specific QA task. Furthermore, ProQA is pre-trained with structural prompt-formatted large-scale synthesized corpus, which empowers the model with the commonly-required QA ability. Experimental results on 11 QA benchmarks demonstrate that ProQA consistently boosts performance on both full data fine-tuning, few-shot learning, and zero-shot testing scenarios. Furthermore, ProQA exhibits strong ability in both continual learning and transfer learning by taking the advantages of the structural prompt.

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Knowledgeable Prompt-tuning: Incorporating Knowledge into Prompt Verbalizer for Text Classification
Shengding Hu | Ning Ding | Huadong Wang | Zhiyuan Liu | Jingang Wang | Juanzi Li | Wei Wu | Maosong Sun
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Tuning pre-trained language models (PLMs) with task-specific prompts has been a promising approach for text classification. Particularly, previous studies suggest that prompt-tuning has remarkable superiority in the low-data scenario over the generic fine-tuning methods with extra classifiers. The core idea of prompt-tuning is to insert text pieces, i.e., template, to the input and transform a classification problem into a masked language modeling problem, where a crucial step is to construct a projection, i.e., verbalizer, between a label space and a label word space. A verbalizer is usually handcrafted or searched by gradient descent, which may lack coverage and bring considerable bias and high variances to the results. In this work, we focus on incorporating external knowledge into the verbalizer, forming a knowledgeable prompttuning (KPT), to improve and stabilize prompttuning. Specifically, we expand the label word space of the verbalizer using external knowledge bases (KBs) and refine the expanded label word space with the PLM itself before predicting with the expanded label word space. Extensive experiments on zero and few-shot text classification tasks demonstrate the effectiveness of knowledgeable prompt-tuning.

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Prototypical Verbalizer for Prompt-based Few-shot Tuning
Ganqu Cui | Shengding Hu | Ning Ding | Longtao Huang | Zhiyuan Liu
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Prompt-based tuning for pre-trained language models (PLMs) has shown its effectiveness in few-shot learning. Typically, prompt-based tuning wraps the input text into a cloze question. To make predictions, the model maps the output words to labels via a verbalizer, which is either manually designed or automatically built. However, manual verbalizers heavily depend on domain-specific prior knowledge and human efforts, while finding appropriate label words automatically still remains challenging.In this work, we propose the prototypical verbalizer (ProtoVerb) which is built directly from training data. Specifically, ProtoVerb learns prototype vectors as verbalizers by contrastive learning. In this way, the prototypes summarize training instances and are able to enclose rich class-level semantics. We conduct experiments on both topic classification and entity typing tasks, and the results demonstrate that ProtoVerb significantly outperforms current automatic verbalizers, especially when training data is extremely scarce. More surprisingly, ProtoVerb consistently boosts prompt-based tuning even on untuned PLMs, indicating an elegant non-tuning way to utilize PLMs. Our codes are avaliable at

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OpenPrompt: An Open-source Framework for Prompt-learning
Ning Ding | Shengding Hu | Weilin Zhao | Yulin Chen | Zhiyuan Liu | Haitao Zheng | Maosong Sun
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics: System Demonstrations

Prompt-learning has become a new paradigm in modern natural language processing, which directly adapts pre-trained language models (PLMs) to cloze-style prediction, autoregressive modeling, or sequence to sequence generation, resulting in promising performances on various tasks. However, no standard implementation framework of prompt-learning is proposed yet, and most existing prompt- learning codebases, often unregulated, only provide limited implementations for specific scenarios. Since there are many details such as templating strategy, initializing strategy, verbalizing strategy, etc., that need to be considered in prompt-learning, practitioners face impediments to quickly adapting the de-sired prompt learning methods to their applications. In this paper, we present Open- Prompt, a unified easy-to-use toolkit to conduct prompt-learning over PLMs. OpenPrompt is a research-friendly framework that is equipped with efficiency, modularity, and extendibility, and its combinability allows the freedom to combine different PLMs, task for- mats, and prompting modules in a unified paradigm. Users could expediently deploy prompt-learning frameworks and evaluate the generalization of them on different NLP tasks without constraints.


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CLINE: Contrastive Learning with Semantic Negative Examples for Natural Language Understanding
Dong Wang | Ning Ding | Piji Li | Haitao Zheng
Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Despite pre-trained language models have proven useful for learning high-quality semantic representations, these models are still vulnerable to simple perturbations. Recent works aimed to improve the robustness of pre-trained models mainly focus on adversarial training from perturbed examples with similar semantics, neglecting the utilization of different or even opposite semantics. Different from the image processing field, the text is discrete and few word substitutions can cause significant semantic changes. To study the impact of semantics caused by small perturbations, we conduct a series of pilot experiments and surprisingly find that adversarial training is useless or even harmful for the model to detect these semantic changes. To address this problem, we propose Contrastive Learning with semantIc Negative Examples (CLINE), which constructs semantic negative examples unsupervised to improve the robustness under semantically adversarial attacking. By comparing with similar and opposite semantic examples, the model can effectively perceive the semantic changes caused by small perturbations. Empirical results show that our approach yields substantial improvements on a range of sentiment analysis, reasoning, and reading comprehension tasks. And CLINE also ensures the compactness within the same semantics and separability across different semantics in sentence-level.

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Few-NERD: A Few-shot Named Entity Recognition Dataset
Ning Ding | Guangwei Xu | Yulin Chen | Xiaobin Wang | Xu Han | Pengjun Xie | Haitao Zheng | Zhiyuan Liu
Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Recently, considerable literature has grown up around the theme of few-shot named entity recognition (NER), but little published benchmark data specifically focused on the practical and challenging task. Current approaches collect existing supervised NER datasets and re-organize them to the few-shot setting for empirical study. These strategies conventionally aim to recognize coarse-grained entity types with few examples, while in practice, most unseen entity types are fine-grained. In this paper, we present Few-NERD, a large-scale human-annotated few-shot NER dataset with a hierarchy of 8 coarse-grained and 66 fine-grained entity types. Few-NERD consists of 188,238 sentences from Wikipedia, 4,601,160 words are included and each is annotated as context or a part of the two-level entity type. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first few-shot NER dataset and the largest human-crafted NER dataset. We construct benchmark tasks with different emphases to comprehensively assess the generalization capability of models. Extensive empirical results and analysis show that Few-NERD is challenging and the problem requires further research. The Few-NERD dataset and the baselines will be publicly available to facilitate the research on this problem.


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Hierarchy-Aware Global Model for Hierarchical Text Classification
Jie Zhou | Chunping Ma | Dingkun Long | Guangwei Xu | Ning Ding | Haoyu Zhang | Pengjun Xie | Gongshen Liu
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Hierarchical text classification is an essential yet challenging subtask of multi-label text classification with a taxonomic hierarchy. Existing methods have difficulties in modeling the hierarchical label structure in a global view. Furthermore, they cannot make full use of the mutual interactions between the text feature space and the label space. In this paper, we formulate the hierarchy as a directed graph and introduce hierarchy-aware structure encoders for modeling label dependencies. Based on the hierarchy encoder, we propose a novel end-to-end hierarchy-aware global model (HiAGM) with two variants. A multi-label attention variant (HiAGM-LA) learns hierarchy-aware label embeddings through the hierarchy encoder and conducts inductive fusion of label-aware text features. A text feature propagation model (HiAGM-TP) is proposed as the deductive variant that directly feeds text features into hierarchy encoders. Compared with previous works, both HiAGM-LA and HiAGM-TP achieve significant and consistent improvements on three benchmark datasets.

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Coupling Distant Annotation and Adversarial Training for Cross-Domain Chinese Word Segmentation
Ning Ding | Dingkun Long | Guangwei Xu | Muhua Zhu | Pengjun Xie | Xiaobin Wang | Haitao Zheng
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Fully supervised neural approaches have achieved significant progress in the task of Chinese word segmentation (CWS). Nevertheless, the performance of supervised models always drops gravely if the domain shifts due to the distribution gap across domains and the out of vocabulary (OOV) problem. In order to simultaneously alleviate the issues, this paper intuitively couples distant annotation and adversarial training for cross-domain CWS. 1) We rethink the essence of “Chinese words” and design an automatic distant annotation mechanism, which does not need any supervision or pre-defined dictionaries on the target domain. The method could effectively explore domain-specific words and distantly annotate the raw texts for the target domain. 2) We further develop a sentence-level adversarial training procedure to perform noise reduction and maximum utilization of the source domain information. Experiments on multiple real-world datasets across various domains show the superiority and robustness of our model, significantly outperforming previous state-of-the-arts cross-domain CWS methods.


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Chinese Relation Extraction with Multi-Grained Information and External Linguistic Knowledge
Ziran Li | Ning Ding | Zhiyuan Liu | Haitao Zheng | Ying Shen
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Chinese relation extraction is conducted using neural networks with either character-based or word-based inputs, and most existing methods typically suffer from segmentation errors and ambiguity of polysemy. To address the issues, we propose a multi-grained lattice framework (MG lattice) for Chinese relation extraction to take advantage of multi-grained language information and external linguistic knowledge. In this framework, (1) we incorporate word-level information into character sequence inputs so that segmentation errors can be avoided. (2) We also model multiple senses of polysemous words with the help of external linguistic knowledge, so as to alleviate polysemy ambiguity. Experiments on three real-world datasets in distinct domains show consistent and significant superiority and robustness of our model, as compared with other baselines. We will release the source code of this paper in the future.

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Event Detection with Trigger-Aware Lattice Neural Network
Ning Ding | Ziran Li | Zhiyuan Liu | Haitao Zheng | Zibo Lin
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

Event detection (ED) aims to locate trigger words in raw text and then classify them into correct event types. In this task, neural net- work based models became mainstream in re- cent years. However, two problems arise when it comes to languages without natural delim- iters, such as Chinese. First, word-based mod- els severely suffer from the problem of word- trigger mismatch, limiting the performance of the methods. In addition, even if trigger words could be accurately located, the ambi- guity of polysemy of triggers could still af- fect the trigger classification stage. To ad- dress the two issues simultaneously, we pro- pose the Trigger-aware Lattice Neural Net- work (TLNN). (1) The framework dynami- cally incorporates word and character informa- tion so that the trigger-word mismatch issue can be avoided. (2) Moreover, for polysemous characters and words, we model all senses of them with the help of an external linguistic knowledge base, so as to alleviate the prob- lem of ambiguous triggers. Experiments on two benchmark datasets show that our model could effectively tackle the two issues and outperforms previous state-of-the-art methods significantly, giving the best results. The source code of this paper can be obtained from