Ningyu Zhang


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CBLUE: A Chinese Biomedical Language Understanding Evaluation Benchmark
Ningyu Zhang | Mosha Chen | Zhen Bi | Xiaozhuan Liang | Lei Li | Xin Shang | Kangping Yin | Chuanqi Tan | Jian Xu | Fei Huang | Luo Si | Yuan Ni | Guotong Xie | Zhifang Sui | Baobao Chang | Hui Zong | Zheng Yuan | Linfeng Li | Jun Yan | Hongying Zan | Kunli Zhang | Buzhou Tang | Qingcai Chen
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Artificial Intelligence (AI), along with the recent progress in biomedical language understanding, is gradually offering great promise for medical practice. With the development of biomedical language understanding benchmarks, AI applications are widely used in the medical field. However, most benchmarks are limited to English, which makes it challenging to replicate many of the successes in English for other languages. To facilitate research in this direction, we collect real-world biomedical data and present the first Chinese Biomedical Language Understanding Evaluation (CBLUE) benchmark: a collection of natural language understanding tasks including named entity recognition, information extraction, clinical diagnosis normalization, single-sentence/sentence-pair classification, and an associated online platform for model evaluation, comparison, and analysis. To establish evaluation on these tasks, we report empirical results with the current 11 pre-trained Chinese models, and experimental results show that state-of-the-art neural models perform by far worse than the human ceiling.

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Good Visual Guidance Make A Better Extractor: Hierarchical Visual Prefix for Multimodal Entity and Relation Extraction
Xiang Chen | Ningyu Zhang | Lei Li | Yunzhi Yao | Shumin Deng | Chuanqi Tan | Fei Huang | Luo Si | Huajun Chen
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: NAACL 2022

Multimodal named entity recognition and relation extraction (MNER and MRE) is a fundamental and crucial branch in information extraction. However, existing approaches for MNER and MRE usually suffer from error sensitivity when irrelevant object images incorporated in texts.To deal with these issues, we propose a novel Hierarchical Visual Prefix fusion NeTwork (HVPNeT) for visual-enhanced entity and relation extraction, aiming to achieve more effective and robust performance. Specifically, we regard visual representation as pluggable visual prefix to guide the textual representation for error insensitive forecasting decision. We further propose a dynamic gated aggregation strategy to achieve hierarchical multi-scaled visual features as visual prefix for fusion. Extensive experiments on three benchmark datasets demonstrate the effectiveness of our method, and achieve state-of-the-art performance.


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OntoED: Low-resource Event Detection with Ontology Embedding
Shumin Deng | Ningyu Zhang | Luoqiu Li | Chen Hui | Tou Huaixiao | Mosha Chen | Fei Huang | Huajun Chen
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)

Event Detection (ED) aims to identify event trigger words from a given text and classify it into an event type. Most current methods to ED rely heavily on training instances, and almost ignore the correlation of event types. Hence, they tend to suffer from data scarcity and fail to handle new unseen event types. To address these problems, we formulate ED as a process of event ontology population: linking event instances to pre-defined event types in event ontology, and propose a novel ED framework entitled OntoED with ontology embedding. We enrich event ontology with linkages among event types, and further induce more event-event correlations. Based on the event ontology, OntoED can leverage and propagate correlation knowledge, particularly from data-rich to data-poor event types. Furthermore, OntoED can be applied to new unseen event types, by establishing linkages to existing ones. Experiments indicate that OntoED is more predominant and robust than previous approaches to ED, especially in data-scarce scenarios.

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MLBiNet: A Cross-Sentence Collective Event Detection Network
Dongfang Lou | Zhilin Liao | Shumin Deng | Ningyu Zhang | Huajun Chen
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)

We consider the problem of collectively detecting multiple events, particularly in cross-sentence settings. The key to dealing with the problem is to encode semantic information and model event inter-dependency at a document-level. In this paper, we reformulate it as a Seq2Seq task and propose a Multi-Layer Bidirectional Network (MLBiNet) to capture the document-level association of events and semantic information simultaneously. Specifically, a bidirectional decoder is firstly devised to model event inter-dependency within a sentence when decoding the event tag vector sequence. Secondly, an information aggregation module is employed to aggregate sentence-level semantic and event tag information. Finally, we stack multiple bidirectional decoders and feed cross-sentence information, forming a multi-layer bidirectional tagging architecture to iteratively propagate information across sentences. We show that our approach provides significant improvement in performance compared to the current state-of-the-art results.

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PRGC: Potential Relation and Global Correspondence Based Joint Relational Triple Extraction
Hengyi Zheng | Rui Wen | Xi Chen | Yifan Yang | Yunyan Zhang | Ziheng Zhang | Ningyu Zhang | Bin Qin | Xu Ming | Yefeng 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)

Joint extraction of entities and relations from unstructured texts is a crucial task in information extraction. Recent methods achieve considerable performance but still suffer from some inherent limitations, such as redundancy of relation prediction, poor generalization of span-based extraction and inefficiency. In this paper, we decompose this task into three subtasks, Relation Judgement, Entity Extraction and Subject-object Alignment from a novel perspective and then propose a joint relational triple extraction framework based on Potential Relation and Global Correspondence (PRGC). Specifically, we design a component to predict potential relations, which constrains the following entity extraction to the predicted relation subset rather than all relations; then a relation-specific sequence tagging component is applied to handle the overlapping problem between subjects and objects; finally, a global correspondence component is designed to align the subject and object into a triple with low-complexity. Extensive experiments show that PRGC achieves state-of-the-art performance on public benchmarks with higher efficiency and delivers consistent performance gain on complex scenarios of overlapping triples. The source code has been submitted as the supplementary material and will be made publicly available after the blind review.

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ZJUKLAB at SemEval-2021 Task 4: Negative Augmentation with Language Model for Reading Comprehension of Abstract Meaning
Xin Xie | Xiangnan Chen | Xiang Chen | Yong Wang | Ningyu Zhang | Shumin Deng | Huajun Chen
Proceedings of the 15th International Workshop on Semantic Evaluation (SemEval-2021)

This paper presents our systems for the three Subtasks of SemEval Task4: Reading Comprehension of Abstract Meaning (ReCAM). We explain the algorithms used to learn our models and the process of tuning the algorithms and selecting the best model. Inspired by the similarity of the ReCAM task and the language pre-training, we propose a simple yet effective technology, namely, negative augmentation with language model. Evaluation results demonstrate the effectiveness of our proposed approach. Our models achieve the 4th rank on both official test sets of Subtask 1 and Subtask 2 with an accuracy of 87.9% and an accuracy of 92.8%, respectively. We further conduct comprehensive model analysis and observe interesting error cases, which may promote future researches. The code and dataset used in our paper can be found at The leaderboard can be found at

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Field Embedding: A Unified Grain-Based Framework for Word Representation
Junjie Luo | Xi Chen | Jichao Sun | Yuejia Xiang | Ningyu Zhang | Xiang Wan
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Word representations empowered with additional linguistic information have been widely studied and proved to outperform traditional embeddings. Current methods mainly focus on learning embeddings for words while embeddings of linguistic information (referred to as grain embeddings) are discarded after the learning. This work proposes a framework field embedding to jointly learn both word and grain embeddings by incorporating morphological, phonetic, and syntactical linguistic fields. The framework leverages an innovative fine-grained pipeline that integrates multiple linguistic fields and produces high-quality grain sequences for learning supreme word representations. A novel algorithm is also designed to learn embeddings for words and grains by capturing information that is contained within each field and that is shared across them. Experimental results of lexical tasks and downstream natural language processing tasks illustrate that our framework can learn better word embeddings and grain embeddings. Qualitative evaluations show grain embeddings effectively capture the semantic information.

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Noisy-Labeled NER with Confidence Estimation
Kun Liu | Yao Fu | Chuanqi Tan | Mosha Chen | Ningyu Zhang | Songfang Huang | Sheng Gao
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Recent studies in deep learning have shown significant progress in named entity recognition (NER). However, most existing works assume clean data annotation, while real-world scenarios typically involve a large amount of noises from a variety of sources (e.g., pseudo, weak, or distant annotations). This work studies NER under a noisy labeled setting with calibrated confidence estimation. Based on empirical observations of different training dynamics of noisy and clean labels, we propose strategies for estimating confidence scores based on local and global independence assumptions. We partially marginalize out labels of low confidence with a CRF model. We further propose a calibration method for confidence scores based on the structure of entity labels. We integrate our approach into a self-training framework for boosting performance. Experiments in general noisy settings with four languages and distantly labeled settings demonstrate the effectiveness of our method.


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OpenUE: An Open Toolkit of Universal Extraction from Text
Ningyu Zhang | Shumin Deng | Zhen Bi | Haiyang Yu | Jiacheng Yang | Mosha Chen | Fei Huang | Wei Zhang | Huajun Chen
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing: System Demonstrations

Natural language processing covers a wide variety of tasks with token-level or sentence-level understandings. In this paper, we provide a simple insight that most tasks can be represented in a single universal extraction format. We introduce a prototype model and provide an open-source and extensible toolkit called OpenUE for various extraction tasks. OpenUE allows developers to train custom models to extract information from the text and supports quick model validation for researchers. Besides, OpenUE provides various functional modules to maintain sufficient modularity and extensibility. Except for the toolkit, we also deploy an online demo with restful APIs to support real-time extraction without training and deploying. Additionally, the online system can extract information in various tasks, including relational triple extraction, slot & intent detection, event extraction, and so on. We release the source code, datasets, and pre-trained models to promote future researches in

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Logic-guided Semantic Representation Learning for Zero-Shot Relation Classification
Juan Li | Ruoxu Wang | Ningyu Zhang | Wen Zhang | Fan Yang | Huajun Chen
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Relation classification aims to extract semantic relations between entity pairs from the sentences. However, most existing methods can only identify seen relation classes that occurred during training. To recognize unseen relations at test time, we explore the problem of zero-shot relation classification. Previous work regards the problem as reading comprehension or textual entailment, which have to rely on artificial descriptive information to improve the understandability of relation types. Thus, rich semantic knowledge of the relation labels is ignored. In this paper, we propose a novel logic-guided semantic representation learning model for zero-shot relation classification. Our approach builds connections between seen and unseen relations via implicit and explicit semantic representations with knowledge graph embeddings and logic rules. Extensive experimental results demonstrate that our method can generalize to unseen relation types and achieve promising improvements.

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Bridging Text and Knowledge with Multi-Prototype Embedding for Few-Shot Relational Triple Extraction
Haiyang Yu | Ningyu Zhang | Shumin Deng | Hongbin Ye | Wei Zhang | Huajun Chen
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Current supervised relational triple extraction approaches require huge amounts of labeled data and thus suffer from poor performance in few-shot settings. However, people can grasp new knowledge by learning a few instances. To this end, we take the first step to study the few-shot relational triple extraction, which has not been well understood. Unlike previous single-task few-shot problems, relational triple extraction is more challenging as the entities and relations have implicit correlations. In this paper, We propose a novel multi-prototype embedding network model to jointly extract the composition of relational triples, namely, entity pairs and corresponding relations. To be specific, we design a hybrid prototypical learning mechanism that bridges text and knowledge concerning both entities and relations. Thus, implicit correlations between entities and relations are injected. Additionally, we propose a prototype-aware regularization to learn more representative prototypes. Experimental results demonstrate that the proposed method can improve the performance of the few-shot triple extraction.

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Summarizing Chinese Medical Answer with Graph Convolution Networks and Question-focused Dual Attention
Ningyu Zhang | Shumin Deng | Juan Li | Xi Chen | Wei Zhang | Huajun Chen
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2020

Online search engines are a popular source of medical information for users, where users can enter questions and obtain relevant answers. It is desirable to generate answer summaries for online search engines, particularly summaries that can reveal direct answers to questions. Moreover, answer summaries are expected to reveal the most relevant information in response to questions; hence, the summaries should be generated with a focus on the question, which is a challenging topic-focused summarization task. In this paper, we propose an approach that utilizes graph convolution networks and question-focused dual attention for Chinese medical answer summarization. We first organize the original long answer text into a medical concept graph with graph convolution networks to better understand the internal structure of the text and the correlation between medical concepts. Then, we introduce a question-focused dual attention mechanism to generate summaries relevant to questions. Experimental results demonstrate that the proposed model can generate more coherent and informative summaries compared with baseline models.


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Long-tail Relation Extraction via Knowledge Graph Embeddings and Graph Convolution Networks
Ningyu Zhang | Shumin Deng | Zhanlin Sun | Guanying Wang | Xi Chen | Wei Zhang | Huajun Chen
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 1 (Long and Short Papers)

We propose a distance supervised relation extraction approach for long-tailed, imbalanced data which is prevalent in real-world settings. Here, the challenge is to learn accurate “few-shot” models for classes existing at the tail of the class distribution, for which little data is available. Inspired by the rich semantic correlations between classes at the long tail and those at the head, we take advantage of the knowledge from data-rich classes at the head of the distribution to boost the performance of the data-poor classes at the tail. First, we propose to leverage implicit relational knowledge among class labels from knowledge graph embeddings and learn explicit relational knowledge using graph convolution networks. Second, we integrate that relational knowledge into relation extraction model by coarse-to-fine knowledge-aware attention mechanism. We demonstrate our results for a large-scale benchmark dataset which show that our approach significantly outperforms other baselines, especially for long-tail relations.


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Attention-Based Capsule Networks with Dynamic Routing for Relation Extraction
Ningyu Zhang | Shumin Deng | Zhanling Sun | Xi Chen | Wei Zhang | Huajun Chen
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

A capsule is a group of neurons, whose activity vector represents the instantiation parameters of a specific type of entity. In this paper, we explore the capsule networks used for relation extraction in a multi-instance multi-label learning framework and propose a novel neural approach based on capsule networks with attention mechanisms. We evaluate our method with different benchmarks, and it is demonstrated that our method improves the precision of the predicted relations. Particularly, we show that capsule networks improve multiple entity pairs relation extraction.