Peter J. Liu

Also published as: Peter Liu


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Improving the Robustness of Summarization Models by Detecting and Removing Input Noise
Kundan Krishna | Yao Zhao | Jie Ren | Balaji Lakshminarayanan | Jiaming Luo | Mohammad Saleh | Peter Liu
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

The evaluation of abstractive summarization models typically uses test data that is identically distributed as training data. In real-world practice, documents to be summarized may contain input noise caused by text extraction artifacts or data pipeline bugs. The robustness of model performance under distribution shift caused by such noise is relatively under studied. We present a large empirical study quantifying the sometimes severe loss in performance – up to 12 ROUGE-1 points – from different types of input noise for a range of datasets and model sizes. We then propose a light-weight method for detecting and removing such noise in the input during model inference without requiring any extra training, auxiliary models, or even prior knowledge of the type of noise. Our proposed approach effectively mitigates the loss in performance, recovering a large fraction of the performance drop, sometimes as large as 11 ROUGE-1 points.

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Investigating Efficiently Extending Transformers for Long Input Summarization
Jason Phang | Yao Zhao | Peter Liu
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

While large pretrained Transformer models have proven highly capable at tackling natural language tasks, handling long sequence inputs still poses a significant challenge. One such task is long input summarization, where inputs are longer than the maximum input context of most models. Through an extensive set of experiments, we investigate what model architectural changes and pretraining paradigms most efficiently adapt a pretrained Transformer for long input summarization. We find that a staggered, block-local Transformer with global encoder tokens strikes a good balance of performance and efficiency, and that an additional pretraining phase on long sequences meaningfully improves downstream summarization performance. Based on our findings, we introduce PEGASUS-X, an extension of the PEGASUS model with additional long input pretraining to handle inputs of up to 16K tokens, which achieves strong performance on long input summarization tasks comparable with much larger models.


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Unsupervised Pretraining for Sequence to Sequence Learning
Prajit Ramachandran | Peter Liu | Quoc Le
Proceedings of the 2017 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

This work presents a general unsupervised learning method to improve the accuracy of sequence to sequence (seq2seq) models. In our method, the weights of the encoder and decoder of a seq2seq model are initialized with the pretrained weights of two language models and then fine-tuned with labeled data. We apply this method to challenging benchmarks in machine translation and abstractive summarization and find that it significantly improves the subsequent supervised models. Our main result is that pretraining improves the generalization of seq2seq models. We achieve state-of-the-art results on the WMT English→German task, surpassing a range of methods using both phrase-based machine translation and neural machine translation. Our method achieves a significant improvement of 1.3 BLEU from th previous best models on both WMT’14 and WMT’15 English→German. We also conduct human evaluations on abstractive summarization and find that our method outperforms a purely supervised learning baseline in a statistically significant manner.

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Get To The Point: Summarization with Pointer-Generator Networks
Abigail See | Peter J. Liu | Christopher D. Manning
Proceedings of the 55th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Neural sequence-to-sequence models have provided a viable new approach for abstractive text summarization (meaning they are not restricted to simply selecting and rearranging passages from the original text). However, these models have two shortcomings: they are liable to reproduce factual details inaccurately, and they tend to repeat themselves. In this work we propose a novel architecture that augments the standard sequence-to-sequence attentional model in two orthogonal ways. First, we use a hybrid pointer-generator network that can copy words from the source text via pointing, which aids accurate reproduction of information, while retaining the ability to produce novel words through the generator. Second, we use coverage to keep track of what has been summarized, which discourages repetition. We apply our model to the CNN / Daily Mail summarization task, outperforming the current abstractive state-of-the-art by at least 2 ROUGE points.