Peifeng Wang


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SCOTT: Self-Consistent Chain-of-Thought Distillation
Peifeng Wang | Zhengyang Wang | Zheng Li | Yifan Gao | Bing Yin | Xiang Ren
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Large language models (LMs) beyond a certain scale, demonstrate the emergent capability of generating free-text rationales for their predictions via chain-of-thought (CoT) prompting. While CoT can yield dramatically improved performance, such gains are only observed for sufficiently large LMs. Even more concerning, there is little guarantee that the generated rationales are consistent with LM’s predictions or faithfully justify the decisions. In this work, we propose SCOTT, a faithful knowledge distillation method to learn a small, self-consistent CoT model from a teacher model that is orders of magnitude larger. To form better supervision, we elicit rationales supporting the gold answers from a large LM (teacher) by contrastive decoding, which encourages the teacher to generate tokens that become more plausible only when the answer is considered. To ensure faithful distillation, we use the teacher-generated rationales to learn a student LM with a counterfactual reasoning objective, which prevents the student from ignoring the rationales to make inconsistent predictions. Experiments show that while yielding comparable performance, our method leads to a more faithful model than baselines. Further analysis shows that such a model respects the rationales more when making decisions; thus, we can improve its performance more by refining its rationales.


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Do Language Models Perform Generalizable Commonsense Inference?
Peifeng Wang | Filip Ilievski | Muhao Chen | Xiang Ren
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL-IJCNLP 2021


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Scalable Multi-Hop Relational Reasoning for Knowledge-Aware Question Answering
Yanlin Feng | Xinyue Chen | Bill Yuchen Lin | Peifeng Wang | Jun Yan | Xiang Ren
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

Existing work on augmenting question answering (QA) models with external knowledge (e.g., knowledge graphs) either struggle to model multi-hop relations efficiently, or lack transparency into the model’s prediction rationale. In this paper, we propose a novel knowledge-aware approach that equips pre-trained language models (PTLMs) has with a multi-hop relational reasoning module, named multi-hop graph relation network (MHGRN). It performs multi-hop, multi-relational reasoning over subgraphs extracted from external knowledge graphs. The proposed reasoning module unifies path-based reasoning methods and graph neural networks to achieve better interpretability and scalability. We also empirically show its effectiveness and scalability on CommonsenseQA and OpenbookQA datasets, and interpret its behaviors with case studies, with the code for experiments released.

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When Hearst Is not Enough: Improving Hypernymy Detection from Corpus with Distributional Models
Changlong Yu | Jialong Han | Peifeng Wang | Yangqiu Song | Hongming Zhang | Wilfred Ng | Shuming Shi
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

We address hypernymy detection, i.e., whether an is-a relationship exists between words (x ,y), with the help of large textual corpora. Most conventional approaches to this task have been categorized to be either pattern-based or distributional. Recent studies suggest that pattern-based ones are superior, if large-scale Hearst pairs are extracted and fed, with the sparsity of unseen (x ,y) pairs relieved. However, they become invalid in some specific sparsity cases, where x or y is not involved in any pattern. For the first time, this paper quantifies the non-negligible existence of those specific cases. We also demonstrate that distributional methods are ideal to make up for pattern-based ones in such cases. We devise a complementary framework, under which a pattern-based and a distributional model collaborate seamlessly in cases which they each prefer. On several benchmark datasets, our framework demonstrates improvements that are both competitive and explainable.

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Connecting the Dots: A Knowledgeable Path Generator for Commonsense Question Answering
Peifeng Wang | Nanyun Peng | Filip Ilievski | Pedro Szekely | Xiang Ren
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2020

Commonsense question answering (QA) requires background knowledge which is not explicitly stated in a given context. Prior works use commonsense knowledge graphs (KGs) to obtain this knowledge for reasoning. However, relying entirely on these KGs may not suffice, considering their limited coverage and the contextual dependence of their knowledge. In this paper, we augment a general commonsense QA framework with a knowledgeable path generator. By extrapolating over existing paths in a KG with a state-of-the-art language model, our generator learns to connect a pair of entities in text with a dynamic, and potentially novel, multi-hop relational path. Such paths can provide structured evidence for solving commonsense questions without fine-tuning the path generator. Experiments on two datasets show the superiority of our method over previous works which fully rely on knowledge from KGs (with up to 6% improvement in accuracy), across various amounts of training data. Further evaluation suggests that the generated paths are typically interpretable, novel, and relevant to the task.