Ran Jia


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HiTab: A Hierarchical Table Dataset for Question Answering and Natural Language Generation
Zhoujun Cheng | Haoyu Dong | Zhiruo Wang | Ran Jia | Jiaqi Guo | Yan Gao | Shi Han | Jian-Guang Lou | Dongmei Zhang
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Tables are often created with hierarchies, but existing works on table reasoning mainly focus on flat tables and neglect hierarchical tables. Hierarchical tables challenge numerical reasoning by complex hierarchical indexing, as well as implicit relationships of calculation and semantics. We present a new dataset, HiTab, to study question answering (QA) and natural language generation (NLG) over hierarchical tables. HiTab is a cross-domain dataset constructed from a wealth of statistical reports and Wikipedia pages, and has unique characteristics: (1) nearly all tables are hierarchical, and (2) QA pairs are not proposed by annotators from scratch, but are revised from real and meaningful sentences authored by analysts. (3) to reveal complex numerical reasoning in statistical reports, we provide fine-grained annotations of quantity and entity alignment. Experiments suggest that this HiTab presents a strong challenge for existing baselines and a valuable benchmark for future research. Targeting hierarchical structure, we devise a hierarchy-aware logical form for symbolic reasoning over tables, which shows high effectiveness. Targeting table reasoning, we leverage entity and quantity alignment to explore partially supervised training in QA and conditional generation in NLG, and largely reduce spurious predictions in QA and produce better descriptions in NLG.

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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.


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Improved relation classification by deep recurrent neural networks with data augmentation
Yan Xu | Ran Jia | Lili Mou | Ge Li | Yunchuan Chen | Yangyang Lu | Zhi Jin
Proceedings of COLING 2016, the 26th International Conference on Computational Linguistics: Technical Papers

Nowadays, neural networks play an important role in the task of relation classification. By designing different neural architectures, researchers have improved the performance to a large extent in comparison with traditional methods. However, existing neural networks for relation classification are usually of shallow architectures (e.g., one-layer convolutional neural networks or recurrent networks). They may fail to explore the potential representation space in different abstraction levels. In this paper, we propose deep recurrent neural networks (DRNNs) for relation classification to tackle this challenge. Further, we propose a data augmentation method by leveraging the directionality of relations. We evaluated our DRNNs on the SemEval-2010 Task 8, and achieve an F1-score of 86.1%, outperforming previous state-of-the-art recorded results.