Peng Fu


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Question-Interlocutor Scope Realized Graph Modeling over Key Utterances for Dialogue Reading Comprehension
Jiangnan Li | Mo Yu | Fandong Meng | Zheng Lin | Peng Fu | Weiping Wang | Jie Zhou
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2023

We focus on dialogue reading comprehension (DRC) that extracts answers from dialogues. Compared to standard RC tasks, DRC has raised challenges because of the complex speaker information and noisy dialogue context. Essentially, the challenges come from the speaker-centric nature of dialogue utterances — an utterance is usually insufficient in its surface form, but requires to incorporate the role of its speaker and the dialogue context to fill the latent pragmatic and intention information. We propose to deal with these problems in two folds. First, we propose a new key-utterances-extracting method, which can realize more answer-contained utterances. Second, based on the extracted utterances, we then propose a Question-Interlocutor Scope Realized Graph (QuISG). QuISG involves the question and question-mentioning speaker as nodes. To realize interlocutor scopes, utterances are connected with corresponding speakers in the dialogue. Experiments on the benchmarks show that our method achieves state-of-the-art performance against previous works.

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A Gradient Control Method for Backdoor Attacks on Parameter-Efficient Tuning
Naibin Gu | Peng Fu | Xiyu Liu | Zhengxiao Liu | Zheng Lin | Weiping Wang
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Parameter-Efficient Tuning (PET) has shown remarkable performance by fine-tuning only a small number of parameters of the pre-trained language models (PLMs) for the downstream tasks, while it is also possible to construct backdoor attacks due to the vulnerability of pre-trained weights. However, a large reduction in the number of attackable parameters in PET will cause the user’s fine-tuning to greatly affect the effectiveness of backdoor attacks, resulting in backdoor forgetting. We find that the backdoor injection process can be regarded as multi-task learning, which has a convergence imbalance problem between the training of clean and poisoned data. And this problem might result in forgetting the backdoor. Based on this finding, we propose a gradient control method to consolidate the attack effect, comprising two strategies. One controls the gradient magnitude distribution cross layers within one task and the other prevents the conflict of gradient directions between tasks. Compared with previous backdoor attack methods in the scenario of PET, our method improve the effect of the attack on sentiment classification and spam detection respectively, which shows that our method is widely applicable to different tasks.


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Learning to Win Lottery Tickets in BERT Transfer via Task-agnostic Mask Training
Yuanxin Liu | Fandong Meng | Zheng Lin | Peng Fu | Yanan Cao | Weiping Wang | Jie Zhou
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Recent studies on the lottery ticket hypothesis (LTH) show that pre-trained language models (PLMs) like BERT contain matching subnetworks that have similar transfer learning performance as the original PLM. These subnetworks are found using magnitude-based pruning. In this paper, we find that the BERT subnetworks have even more potential than these studies have shown. Firstly, we discover that the success of magnitude pruning can be attributed to the preserved pre-training performance, which correlates with the downstream transferability. Inspired by this, we propose to directly optimize the subnetwork structure towards the pre-training objectives, which can better preserve the pre-training performance. Specifically, we train binary masks over model weights on the pre-training tasks, with the aim of preserving the universal transferability of the subnetwork, which is agnostic to any specific downstream tasks. We then fine-tune the subnetworks on the GLUE benchmark and the SQuAD dataset. The results show that, compared with magnitude pruning, mask training can effectively find BERT subnetworks with improved overall performance on downstream tasks. Moreover, our method is also more efficient in searching subnetworks and more advantageous when fine-tuning within a certain range of data scarcity. Our code is available at

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Target Really Matters: Target-aware Contrastive Learning and Consistency Regularization for Few-shot Stance Detection
Rui Liu | Zheng Lin | Huishan Ji | Jiangnan Li | Peng Fu | Weiping Wang
Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Stance detection aims to identify the attitude from an opinion towards a certain target. Despite the significant progress on this task, it is extremely time-consuming and budget-unfriendly to collect sufficient high-quality labeled data for every new target under fully-supervised learning, whereas unlabeled data can be collected easier. Therefore, this paper is devoted to few-shot stance detection and investigating how to achieve satisfactory results in semi-supervised settings. As a target-oriented task, the core idea of semi-supervised few-shot stance detection is to make better use of target-relevant information from labeled and unlabeled data. Therefore, we develop a novel target-aware semi-supervised framework. Specifically, we propose a target-aware contrastive learning objective to learn more distinguishable representations for different targets. Such an objective can be easily applied with or without unlabeled data. Furthermore, to thoroughly exploit the unlabeled data and facilitate the model to learn target-relevant stance features in the opinion content, we explore a simple but effective target-aware consistency regularization combined with a self-training strategy. The experimental results demonstrate that our approach can achieve state-of-the-art performance on multiple benchmark datasets in the few-shot setting.

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Language Prior Is Not the Only Shortcut: A Benchmark for Shortcut Learning in VQA
Qingyi Si | Fandong Meng | Mingyu Zheng | Zheng Lin | Yuanxin Liu | Peng Fu | Yanan Cao | Weiping Wang | Jie Zhou
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2022

Visual Question Answering (VQA) models are prone to learn the shortcut solution formed by dataset biases rather than the intended solution. To evaluate the VQA models’ reasoning ability beyond shortcut learning, the VQA-CP v2 dataset introduces a distribution shift between the training and test set given a question type. In this way, the model cannot use the training set shortcut (from question type to answer) to perform well on the test set. However, VQA-CP v2 only considers one type of shortcut and thus still cannot guarantee that the model relies on the intended solution rather than a solution specific to this shortcut. To overcome this limitation, we propose a new dataset that considers varying types of shortcuts by constructing different distribution shifts in multiple OOD test sets. In addition, we overcome the three troubling practices in the use of VQA-CP v2, e.g., selecting models using OOD test sets, and further standardize OOD evaluation procedure. Our benchmark provides a more rigorous and comprehensive testbed for shortcut learning in VQA. We benchmark recent methods and find that methods specifically designed for particular shortcuts fail to simultaneously generalize to our varying OOD test sets. We also systematically study the varying shortcuts and provide several valuable findings, which may promote the exploration of shortcut learning in VQA.

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Towards Robust Visual Question Answering: Making the Most of Biased Samples via Contrastive Learning
Qingyi Si | Yuanxin Liu | Fandong Meng | Zheng Lin | Peng Fu | Yanan Cao | Weiping Wang | Jie Zhou
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2022

Models for Visual Question Answering (VQA) often rely on the spurious correlations, i.e., the language priors, that appear in the biased samples of training set, which make them brittle against the out-of-distribution (OOD) test data. Recent methods have achieved promising progress in overcoming this problem by reducing the impact of biased samples on model training. However, these models reveal a trade-off that the improvements on OOD data severely sacrifice the performance on the in-distribution (ID) data (which is dominated by the biased samples). Therefore, we propose a novel contrastive learning approach, MMBS, for building robust VQA models by Making the Most of Biased Samples. Specifically, we construct positive samples for contrastive learning by eliminating the information related to spurious correlation from the original training samples and explore several strategies to use the constructed positive samples for training. Instead of undermining the importance of biased samples in model training, our approach precisely exploits the biased samples for unbiased information that contributes to reasoning. The proposed method is compatible with various VQA backbones. We validate our contributions by achieving competitive performance on the OOD dataset VQA-CP v2 while preserving robust performance on the ID dataset VQA v2.


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Past, Present, and Future: Conversational Emotion Recognition through Structural Modeling of Psychological Knowledge
Jiangnan Li | Zheng Lin | Peng Fu | Weiping Wang
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2021

Conversational Emotion Recognition (CER) is a task to predict the emotion of an utterance in the context of a conversation. Although modeling the conversational context and interactions between speakers has been studied broadly, it is important to consider the speaker’s psychological state, which controls the action and intention of the speaker. The state-of-the-art method introduces CommonSense Knowledge (CSK) to model psychological states in a sequential way (forwards and backwards). However, it ignores the structural psychological interactions between utterances. In this paper, we propose a pSychological-Knowledge-Aware Interaction Graph (SKAIG). In the locally connected graph, the targeted utterance will be enhanced with the information of action inferred from the past context and intention implied by the future context. The utterance is self-connected to consider the present effect from itself. Furthermore, we utilize CSK to enrich edges with knowledge representations and process the SKAIG with a graph transformer. Our method achieves state-of-the-art and competitive performance on four popular CER datasets.

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Check It Again:Progressive Visual Question Answering via Visual Entailment
Qingyi Si | Zheng Lin | Ming yu Zheng | Peng Fu | Weiping Wang
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)

While sophisticated neural-based models have achieved remarkable success in Visual Question Answering (VQA), these models tend to answer questions only according to superficial correlations between question and answer. Several recent approaches have been developed to address this language priors problem. However, most of them predict the correct answer according to one best output without checking the authenticity of answers. Besides, they only explore the interaction between image and question, ignoring the semantics of candidate answers. In this paper, we propose a select-and-rerank (SAR) progressive framework based on Visual Entailment. Specifically, we first select the candidate answers relevant to the question or the image, then we rerank the candidate answers by a visual entailment task, which verifies whether the image semantically entails the synthetic statement of the question and each candidate answer. Experimental results show the effectiveness of our proposed framework, which establishes a new state-of-the-art accuracy on VQA-CP v2 with a 7.55% improvement.


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Modeling Intra and Inter-modality Incongruity for Multi-Modal Sarcasm Detection
Hongliang Pan | Zheng Lin | Peng Fu | Yatao Qi | Weiping Wang
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2020

Sarcasm is a pervasive phenomenon in today’s social media platforms such as Twitter and Reddit. These platforms allow users to create multi-modal messages, including texts, images, and videos. Existing multi-modal sarcasm detection methods either simply concatenate the features from multi modalities or fuse the multi modalities information in a designed manner. However, they ignore the incongruity character in sarcastic utterance, which is often manifested between modalities or within modalities. Inspired by this, we propose a BERT architecture-based model, which concentrates on both intra and inter-modality incongruity for multi-modal sarcasm detection. To be specific, we are inspired by the idea of self-attention mechanism and design inter-modality attention to capturing inter-modality incongruity. In addition, the co-attention mechanism is applied to model the contradiction within the text. The incongruity information is then used for prediction. The experimental results demonstrate that our model achieves state-of-the-art performance on a public multi-modal sarcasm detection dataset.