Pengfei Wu


pdf bib
FORTAP: Using Formulas for Numerical-Reasoning-Aware Table Pretraining
Zhoujun Cheng | Haoyu Dong | Ran Jia | Pengfei Wu | Shi Han | Fan Cheng | Dongmei Zhang
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Tables store rich numerical data, but numerical reasoning over tables is still a challenge. In this paper, we find that the spreadsheet formula, a commonly used language to perform computations on numerical values in spreadsheets, is a valuable supervision for numerical reasoning in tables. Considering large amounts of spreadsheets available on the web, we propose FORTAP, the first exploration to leverage spreadsheet formulas for table pretraining. Two novel self-supervised pretraining objectives are derived from formulas, numerical reference prediction (NRP) and numerical calculation prediction (NCP). While our proposed objectives are generic for encoders, to better capture spreadsheet table layouts and structures, FORTAP is built upon TUTA, the first transformer-based method for spreadsheet table pretraining with tree attention. FORTAP outperforms state-of-the-art methods by large margins on three representative datasets of formula prediction, question answering, and cell type classification, showing the great potential of leveraging formulas for table pretraining.


pdf bib
Combining Curriculum Learning and Knowledge Distillation for Dialogue Generation
Qingqing Zhu | Xiuying Chen | Pengfei Wu | JunFei Liu | Dongyan Zhao
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2021

Curriculum learning, a machine training strategy that feeds training instances to the model from easy to hard, has been proven to facilitate the dialogue generation task. Meanwhile, knowledge distillation, a knowledge transformation methodology among teachers and students networks can yield significant performance boost for student models. Hence, in this paper, we introduce a combination of curriculum learning and knowledge distillation for efficient dialogue generation models, where curriculum learning can help knowledge distillation from data and model aspects. To start with, from the data aspect, we cluster the training cases according to their complexity, which is calculated by various types of features such as sentence length and coherence between dialog pairs. Furthermore, we employ an adversarial training strategy to identify the complexity of cases from model level. The intuition is that, if a discriminator can tell the generated response is from the teacher or the student, then the case is difficult that the student model has not adapted to yet. Finally, we use self-paced learning, which is an extension to curriculum learning to assign weights for distillation. In conclusion, we arrange a hierarchical curriculum based on the above two aspects for the student model under the guidance from the teacher model. Experimental results demonstrate that our methods achieve improvements compared with competitive baselines.