Rongsheng Zhang


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PromptNER: Prompt Locating and Typing for Named Entity Recognition
Yongliang Shen | Zeqi Tan | Shuhui Wu | Wenqi Zhang | Rongsheng Zhang | Yadong Xi | Weiming Lu | Yueting Zhuang
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Prompt learning is a new paradigm for utilizing pre-trained language models and has achieved great success in many tasks. To adopt prompt learning in the NER task, two kinds of methods have been explored from a pair of symmetric perspectives, populating the template by enumerating spans to predict their entity types or constructing type-specific prompts to locate entities. However, these methods not only require a multi-round prompting manner with a high time overhead and computational cost, but also require elaborate prompt templates, that are difficult to apply in practical scenarios. In this paper, we unify entity locating and entity typing into prompt learning, and design a dual-slot multi-prompt template with the position slot and type slot to prompt locating and typing respectively. Multiple prompts can be input to the model simultaneously, and then the model extracts all entities by parallel predictions on the slots. To assign labels for the slots during training, we design a dynamic template filling mechanism that uses the extended bipartite graph matching between prompts and the ground-truth entities. We conduct experiments in various settings, including resource-rich flat and nested NER datasets and low-resource in-domain and cross-domain datasets. Experimental results show that the proposed model achieves a significant performance improvement, especially in the cross-domain few-shot setting, which outperforms the state-of-the-art model by +7.7% on average.

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Just Adjust One Prompt: Enhancing In-Context Dialogue Scoring via Constructing the Optimal Subgraph of Demonstrations and Prompts
Jiashu Pu | Ling Cheng | Lu Fan | Tangjie Lv | Rongsheng Zhang
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

The use of modern Large Language Models (LLMs) as chatbots still has some problems such as hallucinations and lack of empathy. Identifying these issues can help improve chatbot performance. The community has been continually iterating on reference-free dialogue evaluation methods based on large language models (LLMs) that can be readily applied. However, many of these LLM-based metrics require selecting specific datasets and developing specialized training tasks for different evaluation dimensions (e.g., coherence, informative). The developing step can be time-consuming and may need to be repeated for new evaluation dimensions. To enable efficient and flexible adaptation to diverse needs of dialogue evaluation, we propose a dimension-agnostic scoring method that leverages the in-context learning (ICL) capability of LLMs to learn from human scoring to the fullest extent. Our method has three key features. To begin with, rather than manual prompt crafting, we propose automatically generating prompts, allowing the LLM to observe human labels and summarize the most suitable prompt. Additionally, since the LLM has a token limit and ICL is sensitive to demonstration variations, we train a selector to finely customize demonstrations and prompts for each dialogue input. Finally, during inference, we propose to request the LLM multiple times with a subgraph of demonstrations and prompts that are diverse and suitable to maximize ICL from various human scoring. We validate the efficacy of our method on five datasets, even with a small amount of annotated data, our method outperforms all strong baselines. Code is available at

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Sudowoodo: A Chinese Lyric Imitation System with Source Lyrics
Yongzhu Chang | Rongsheng Zhang | Lin Jiang | Qihang Chen | Le Zhang | Jiashu Pu
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing: System Demonstrations

Lyrics generation is a well-known application in natural language generation research, with several previous studies focusing on generating accurate lyrics using precise control such as keywords, rhymes, etc. However, lyrics imitation, which involves writing new lyrics by imitating the style and content of the source lyrics, remains a challenging task due to the lack of a parallel corpus. In this paper, we introduce Sudowoodo, a Chinese lyrics imitation system that can generate new lyrics based on the text of source lyrics. To address the issue of lacking a parallel training corpus for lyrics imitation, we propose a novel framework to construct a parallel corpus based on a keyword-based lyrics model from source lyrics. Then the pairs (new lyrics, source lyrics) are used to train the lyrics imitation model. During the inference process, we utilize a post-processing module to filter and rank the generated lyrics, selecting the highest-quality ones. We incorporated audio information and aligned the lyrics with the audio to form the songs as a bonus. The human evaluation results show that our framework can perform better lyric imitation. Meanwhile, the Sudowoodo system and demo video of the system is available at Sudowoodo and\_j1L5M


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LayerConnect: Hypernetwork-Assisted Inter-Layer Connector to Enhance Parameter Efficiency
Haoxiang Shi | Rongsheng Zhang | Jiaan Wang | Cen Wang | Yinhe Zheng | Tetsuya Sakai
Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Pre-trained Language Models (PLMs) are the cornerstone of the modern Natural Language Processing (NLP). However, as PLMs become heavier, fine tuning all their parameters loses their efficiency. Existing parameter-efficient methods generally focus on reducing the trainable parameters in PLMs but neglect the inference speed, which limits the ability to deploy PLMs. In this paper, we propose LayerConnect (hypernetwork-assisted inter-layer connectors) to enhance inference efficiency. Specifically, a light-weight connector with a linear structure is inserted between two Transformer layers, and the parameters inside each connector are tuned by a hypernetwork comprising an interpolator and a down-sampler. We perform extensive experiments on the widely used the GLUE benchmark. The experimental results verify the inference efficiency of our model. Compared to Adapter, our model parameters are reduced to approximately 11.75%, while the performance degradation is kept to less than 5% (2.5 points on average).

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Probing Simile Knowledge from Pre-trained Language Models
Weijie Chen | Yongzhu Chang | Rongsheng Zhang | Jiashu Pu | Guandan Chen | Le Zhang | Yadong Xi | Yijiang Chen | Chang Su
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Simile interpretation (SI) and simile generation (SG) are challenging tasks for NLP because models require adequate world knowledge to produce predictions. Previous works have employed many hand-crafted resources to bring knowledge-related into models, which is time-consuming and labor-intensive. In recent years, pre-trained language models (PLMs) based approaches have become the de-facto standard in NLP since they learn generic knowledge from a large corpus. The knowledge embedded in PLMs may be useful for SI and SG tasks. Nevertheless, there are few works to explore it. In this paper, we probe simile knowledge from PLMs to solve the SI and SG tasks in the unified framework of simile triple completion for the first time. The backbone of our framework is to construct masked sentences with manual patterns and then predict the candidate words in the masked position. In this framework, we adopt a secondary training process (Adjective-Noun mask Training) with the masked language model (MLM) loss to enhance the prediction diversity of candidate words in the masked position. Moreover, pattern ensemble (PE) and pattern search (PS) are applied to improve the quality of predicted words. Finally, automatic and human evaluations demonstrate the effectiveness of our framework in both SI and SG tasks.

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QiuNiu: A Chinese Lyrics Generation System with Passage-Level Input
Le Zhang | Rongsheng Zhang | Xiaoxi Mao | Yongzhu Chang
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics: System Demonstrations

Lyrics generation has been a very popular application of natural language generation. Previous works mainly focused on generating lyrics based on a couple of attributes or keywords, rendering very limited control over the content of the lyrics. In this paper, we demonstrate the QiuNiu, a Chinese lyrics generation system which is conditioned on passage-level text rather than a few attributes or keywords. By using the passage-level text as input, the content of generated lyrics is expected to reflect the nuances of users’ needs. The QiuNiu system supports various forms of passage-level input, such as short stories, essays, poetry. The training of it is conducted under the framework of unsupervised machine translation, due to the lack of aligned passage-level text-to-lyrics corpus. We initialize the parameters of QiuNiu with a custom pretrained Chinese GPT-2 model and adopt a two-step process to finetune the model for better alignment between passage-level text and lyrics. Additionally, a postprocess module is used to filter and rerank the generated lyrics to select the ones of highest quality. The demo video of the system is available at

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Coherent Long Text Generation by Contrastive Soft Prompt
Guandan Chen | Jiashu Pu | Yadong Xi | Rongsheng Zhang
Proceedings of the 2nd Workshop on Natural Language Generation, Evaluation, and Metrics (GEM)

Improving the coherence of long text generation is an important but challenging task. Existing models still struggle to generate a logical and coherent sentence sequence. It is difficult for a model to plan long text generation and avoid generating incoherent texts from a high-level semantic perspective. We speculate that this is due to two factors: (1) current training methods mainly rely on maximum likelihood estimation computed from token-level probability prediction; (2) the role of incoherent texts has been largely under-explored, thus the noised generated texts with errors are out-of-distribution for the model. To address these issues, in this paper, we propose a Contrastive Soft Prompt (CSP) model for improving the coherence of long text generation. It learns text representations in the hidden space for better planning long text generation. To this end, it jointly learns to generate a text representation close to representations of coherent texts and away from incoherent ones, and then generate long text taking this representation as the soft prompt. We conduct experiments on two public story generation datasets, and experiment results show that our method can generate more coherent stories than the state-of-the-art model.

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DecBERT: Enhancing the Language Understanding of BERT with Causal Attention Masks
Ziyang Luo | Yadong Xi | Jing Ma | Zhiwei Yang | Xiaoxi Mao | Changjie Fan | Rongsheng Zhang
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: NAACL 2022

Since 2017, the Transformer-based models play critical roles in various downstream Natural Language Processing tasks. However, a common limitation of the attention mechanism utilized in Transformer Encoder is that it cannot automatically capture the information of word order, so explicit position embeddings are generally required to be fed into the target model. In contrast, Transformer Decoder with the causal attention masks is naturally sensitive to the word order. In this work, we focus on improving the position encoding ability of BERT with the causal attention masks. Furthermore, we propose a new pre-trained language model DecBERT and evaluate it on the GLUE benchmark. Experimental results show that (1) the causal attention mask is effective for BERT on the language understanding tasks; (2) our DecBERT model without position embeddings achieve comparable performance on the GLUE benchmark; and (3) our modification accelerates the pre-training process and DecBERT w/ PE achieves better overall performance than the baseline systems when pre-training with the same amount of computational resources.

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Conditioned Masked Language and Image Modeling for Image-Text Dense Retrieval
Ziyang Luo | Yadong Xi | Rongsheng Zhang | GongZheng Li | Zeng Zhao | Jing Ma
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2022

Image-text retrieval is a fundamental cross-modal task that takes image/text as a query to retrieve relevant data of another type. The large-scale two-stream pre-trained models like CLIP have achieved tremendous success in this area. They embed the images and texts into instance representations with two separate encoders, aligning them on the instance-level with contrastive learning. Beyond this, the following works adopt the fine-grained token-level interaction (Masked Language and Image Modeling) to boost performance further. However, the vanilla token-level objectives are not designed to aggregate the image-text alignment information into the instance representations, but the token representations, causing a gap between pre-training and application. To address this issue, we carefully design two novel conditioned token-level pre-training objectives, Conditioned Masked Language and Image Modeling (ConMLM and ConMIM), forcing models to aggregate the token-level alignment information into the instance representations. Combing with the instance-level contrastive learning, we propose our cross-modal dense retrieval framework, Conditioned Language-Image Pre-training (ConLIP). Experimental results on two popular cross-modal retrieval benchmarks (MSCOCO and Flickr30k) reveal the effectiveness of our methods.

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Unraveling the Mystery of Artifacts in Machine Generated Text
Jiashu Pu | Ziyi Huang | Yadong Xi | Guandan Chen | Weijie Chen | Rongsheng Zhang
Proceedings of the Thirteenth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

As neural Text Generation Models (TGM) have become more and more capable of generating text indistinguishable from human-written ones, the misuse of text generation technologies can have serious ramifications. Although a neural classifier often achieves high detection accuracy, the reason for it is not well studied. Most previous work revolves around studying the impact of model structure and the decoding strategy on ease of detection, but little work has been done to analyze the forms of artifacts left by the TGM. We propose to systematically study the forms and scopes of artifacts by corrupting texts, replacing them with linguistic or statistical features, and applying the interpretable method of Integrated Gradients. Comprehensive experiments show artifacts a) primarily relate to token co-occurrence, b) feature more heavily at the head of vocabulary, c) appear more in content word than stopwords, d) are sometimes detrimental in the form of number of token occurrences, e) are less likely to exist in high-level semantics or syntaxes, f) manifest in low concreteness values for higher-order n-grams.

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LaMemo: Language Modeling with Look-Ahead Memory
Haozhe Ji | Rongsheng Zhang | Zhenyu Yang | Zhipeng Hu | Minlie Huang
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Although Transformers with fully connected self-attentions are powerful to model long-term dependencies, they are struggling to scale to long texts with thousands of words in language modeling. One of the solutions is to equip the model with a recurrence memory. However, existing approaches directly reuse hidden states from the previous segment that encodes contexts in a uni-directional way. As a result, this prohibits the memory to dynamically interact with the current context that provides up-to-date information for token prediction. To remedy this issue, we propose Look-Ahead Memory (LaMemo) that enhances the recurrence memory by incrementally attending to the right-side tokens and interpolating with the old memory states to maintain long-term information in the history. LaMemo embraces bi-directional attention and segment recurrence with an additional computation overhead only linearly proportional to the memory length. Experiments on widely used language modeling benchmarks demonstrate its superiority over the baselines equipped with different types of memory mechanisms.

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Easy and Efficient Transformer: Scalable Inference Solution For Large NLP Model
Gongzheng Li | Yadong Xi | Jingzhen Ding | Duan Wang | Ziyang Luo | Rongsheng Zhang | Bai Liu | Changjie Fan | Xiaoxi Mao | Zeng Zhao
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies: Industry Track

Recently, large-scale transformer-based models have been proven to be effective over various tasks across many domains. Nevertheless, applying them in industrial production requires tedious and heavy works to reduce inference costs. To fill such a gap, we introduce a scalable inference solution: Easy and Efficient Transformer (EET), including a series of transformer inference optimization at the algorithm and implementation levels. First, we design highly optimized kernels for long inputs and large hidden sizes. Second, we propose a flexible CUDA memory manager to reduce the memory footprint when deploying a large model. Compared with the state-of-the-art transformer inference library (Faster Transformer v4.0), EET can achieve an average of 1.40-4.20x speedup on the transformer decoder layer with an A100 GPU.


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Dialogue Distillation: Open-Domain Dialogue Augmentation Using Unpaired Data
Rongsheng Zhang | Yinhe Zheng | Jianzhi Shao | Xiaoxi Mao | Yadong Xi | Minlie Huang
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

Recent advances in open-domain dialogue systems rely on the success of neural models that are trained on large-scale data. However, collecting large-scale dialogue data is usually time-consuming and labor-intensive. To address this data dilemma, we propose a novel data augmentation method for training open-domain dialogue models by utilizing unpaired data. Specifically, a data-level distillation process is first proposed to construct augmented dialogues where both post and response are retrieved from the unpaired data. A ranking module is employed to filter out low-quality dialogues. Further, a model-level distillation process is employed to distill a teacher model trained on high-quality paired data to augmented dialogue pairs, thereby preventing dialogue models from being affected by the noise in the augmented data. Automatic and manual evaluation indicates that our method can produce high-quality dialogue pairs with diverse contents, and the proposed data-level and model-level dialogue distillation can improve the performance of competitive baselines.

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Youling: an AI-assisted Lyrics Creation System
Rongsheng Zhang | Xiaoxi Mao | Le Li | Lin Jiang | Lin Chen | Zhiwei Hu | Yadong Xi | Changjie Fan | Minlie Huang
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing: System Demonstrations

Recently, a variety of neural models have been proposed for lyrics generation. However, most previous work completes the generation process in a single pass with little human intervention. We believe that lyrics creation is a creative process with human intelligence centered. AI should play a role as an assistant in the lyrics creation process, where human interactions are crucial for high-quality creation. This paper demonstrates Youling, an AI-assisted lyrics creation system, designed to collaborate with music creators. In the lyrics generation process, Youling supports traditional one pass full-text generation mode as well as an interactive generation mode, which allows users to select the satisfactory sentences from generated candidates conditioned on preceding context. The system also provides a revision module which enables users to revise undesired sentences or words of lyrics repeatedly. Besides, Youling allows users to use multifaceted attributes to control the content and format of generated lyrics. The demo video of the system is available at