Rui Zheng


2022

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Decorrelate Irrelevant, Purify Relevant: Overcome Textual Spurious Correlations from a Feature Perspective
Shihan Dou | Rui Zheng | Ting Wu | SongYang Gao | Junjie Shan | Qi Zhang | Yueming Wu | Xuanjing Huang
Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Natural language understanding (NLU) models tend to rely on spurious correlations (i.e., dataset bias) to achieve high performance on in-distribution datasets but poor performance on out-of-distribution ones. Most of the existing debiasing methods often identify and weaken these samples with biased features (i.e., superficial surface features that cause such spurious correlations). However, down-weighting these samples obstructs the model in learning from the non-biased parts of these samples. To tackle this challenge, in this paper, we propose to eliminate spurious correlations in a fine-grained manner from a feature space perspective. Specifically, we introduce Random Fourier Features and weighted re-sampling to decorrelate the dependencies between features to mitigate spurious correlations. After obtaining decorrelated features, we further design a mutual-information-based method to purify them, which forces the model to learn features that are more relevant to tasks. Extensive experiments on two well-studied NLU tasks demonstrate that our method is superior to other comparative approaches.

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PlugAT: A Plug and Play Module to Defend against Textual Adversarial Attack
Rui Zheng | Rong Bao | Qin Liu | Tao Gui | Qi Zhang | Xuanjing Huang | Rui Xie | Wei Wu
Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Adversarial training, which minimizes the loss of adversarially perturbed examples, has received considerable attention. However, these methods require modifying all model parameters and optimizing the model from scratch, which is parameter inefficient and unfriendly to the already deployed models. As an alternative, we propose a pluggable defense module PlugAT, to provide robust predictions by adding a few trainable parameters to the model inputs while keeping the original model frozen. To reduce the potential side effects of using defense modules, we further propose a novel forgetting restricted adversarial training, which filters out bad adversarial examples that impair the performance of original ones. The PlugAT-equipped BERT model substantially improves robustness over several strong baselines on various text classification tasks, whilst training only 9.1% parameters. We observe that defense modules trained under the same model architecture have domain adaptation ability between similar text classification datasets.

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Robust Lottery Tickets for Pre-trained Language Models
Rui Zheng | Bao Rong | Yuhao Zhou | Di Liang | Sirui Wang | Wei Wu | Tao Gui | Qi Zhang | Xuanjing Huang
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Recent works on Lottery Ticket Hypothesis have shown that pre-trained language models (PLMs) contain smaller matching subnetworks(winning tickets) which are capable of reaching accuracy comparable to the original models. However, these tickets are proved to be notrobust to adversarial examples, and even worse than their PLM counterparts. To address this problem, we propose a novel method based on learning binary weight masks to identify robust tickets hidden in the original PLMs. Since the loss is not differentiable for the binary mask, we assign the hard concrete distribution to the masks and encourage their sparsity using a smoothing approximation of L0 regularization.Furthermore, we design an adversarial loss objective to guide the search for robust tickets and ensure that the tickets perform well bothin accuracy and robustness. Experimental results show the significant improvement of the proposed method over previous work on adversarial robustness evaluation.

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Flooding-X: Improving BERT’s Resistance to Adversarial Attacks via Loss-Restricted Fine-Tuning
Qin Liu | Rui Zheng | Bao Rong | Jingyi Liu | ZhiHua Liu | Zhanzhan Cheng | Liang Qiao | Tao Gui | Qi Zhang | Xuanjing Huang
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Adversarial robustness has attracted much attention recently, and the mainstream solution is adversarial training. However, the tradition of generating adversarial perturbations for each input embedding (in the settings of NLP) scales up the training computational complexity by the number of gradient steps it takes to obtain the adversarial samples. To address this problem, we leverage Flooding method which primarily aims at better generalization and we find promising in defending adversarial attacks. We further propose an effective criterion to bring hyper-parameter-dependent flooding into effect with a narrowed-down search space by measuring how the gradient steps taken within one epoch affect the loss of each batch. Our approach requires zero adversarial sample for training, and its time consumption is equivalent to fine-tuning, which can be 2-15 times faster than standard adversarial training. We experimentally show that our method improves BERT’s resistance to textual adversarial attacks by a large margin, and achieves state-of-the-art robust accuracy on various text classification and GLUE tasks.

2021

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TextFlint: Unified Multilingual Robustness Evaluation Toolkit for Natural Language Processing
Xiao Wang | Qin Liu | Tao Gui | Qi Zhang | Yicheng Zou | Xin Zhou | Jiacheng Ye | Yongxin Zhang | Rui Zheng | Zexiong Pang | Qinzhuo Wu | Zhengyan Li | Chong Zhang | Ruotian Ma | Zichu Fei | Ruijian Cai | Jun Zhao | Xingwu Hu | Zhiheng Yan | Yiding Tan | Yuan Hu | Qiyuan Bian | Zhihua Liu | Shan Qin | Bolin Zhu | Xiaoyu Xing | Jinlan Fu | Yue Zhang | Minlong Peng | Xiaoqing Zheng | Yaqian Zhou | Zhongyu Wei | Xipeng Qiu | Xuanjing Huang
Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing: System Demonstrations

TextFlint is a multilingual robustness evaluation toolkit for NLP tasks that incorporates universal text transformation, task-specific transformation, adversarial attack, subpopulation, and their combinations to provide comprehensive robustness analyses. This enables practitioners to automatically evaluate their models from various aspects or to customize their evaluations as desired with just a few lines of code. TextFlint also generates complete analytical reports as well as targeted augmented data to address the shortcomings of the model in terms of its robustness. To guarantee acceptability, all the text transformations are linguistically based and all the transformed data selected (up to 100,000 texts) scored highly under human evaluation. To validate the utility, we performed large-scale empirical evaluations (over 67,000) on state-of-the-art deep learning models, classic supervised methods, and real-world systems. The toolkit is already available at https://github.com/textflint with all the evaluation results demonstrated at textflint.io.