Runxin Xu


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ATP: AMRize Then Parse! Enhancing AMR Parsing with PseudoAMRs
Liang Chen | Peiyi Wang | Runxin Xu | Tianyu Liu | Zhifang Sui | Baobao Chang
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: NAACL 2022

As Abstract Meaning Representation (AMR) implicitly involves compound semantic annotations, we hypothesize auxiliary tasks which are semantically or formally related can better enhance AMR parsing. We find that 1) Semantic role labeling (SRL) and dependency parsing (DP), would bring more performance gain than other tasks e.g. MT and summarization in the text-to-AMR transition even with much less data. 2) To make a better fit for AMR, data from auxiliary tasks should be properly “AMRized” to PseudoAMR before training. Knowledge from shallow level parsing tasks can be better transferred to AMR Parsing with structure transform. 3) Intermediate-task learning is a better paradigm to introduce auxiliary tasks to AMR parsing, compared to multitask learning. From an empirical perspective, we propose a principled method to involve auxiliary tasks to boost AMR parsing. Extensive experiments show that our method achieves new state-of-the-art performance on different benchmarks especially in topology-related scores. Code and models are released at

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A Double-Graph Based Framework for Frame Semantic Parsing
Ce Zheng | Xudong Chen | Runxin Xu | Baobao Chang
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Frame semantic parsing is a fundamental NLP task, which consists of three subtasks: frame identification, argument identification and role classification. Most previous studies tend to neglect relations between different subtasks and arguments and pay little attention to ontological frame knowledge defined in FrameNet. In this paper, we propose a Knowledge-guided Incremental semantic parser with Double-graph (KID). We first introduce Frame Knowledge Graph (FKG), a heterogeneous graph containing both frames and FEs (Frame Elements) built on the frame knowledge so that we can derive knowledge-enhanced representations for frames and FEs. Besides, we propose Frame Semantic Graph (FSG) to represent frame semantic structures extracted from the text with graph structures. In this way, we can transform frame semantic parsing into an incremental graph construction problem to strengthen interactions between subtasks and relations between arguments. Our experiments show that KID outperforms the previous state-of-the-art method by up to 1.7 F1-score on two FrameNet datasets. Our code is availavle at

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An Enhanced Span-based Decomposition Method for Few-Shot Sequence Labeling
Peiyi Wang | Runxin Xu | Tianyu Liu | Qingyu Zhou | Yunbo Cao | Baobao Chang | Zhifang Sui
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Few-Shot Sequence Labeling (FSSL) is a canonical paradigm for the tagging models, e.g., named entity recognition and slot filling, to generalize on an emerging, resource-scarce domain. Recently, the metric-based meta-learning framework has been recognized as a promising approach for FSSL. However, most prior works assign a label to each token based on the token-level similarities, which ignores the integrality of named entities or slots. To this end, in this paper, we propose ESD, an Enhanced Span-based Decomposition method for FSSL. ESD formulates FSSL as a span-level matching problem between test query and supporting instances. Specifically, ESD decomposes the span matching problem into a series of span-level procedures, mainly including enhanced span representation, class prototype aggregation and span conflicts resolution. Extensive experiments show that ESD achieves the new state-of-the-art results on two popular FSSL benchmarks, FewNERD and SNIPS, and is proven to be more robust in the noisy and nested tagging scenarios.

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A Two-Stream AMR-enhanced Model for Document-level Event Argument Extraction
Runxin Xu | Peiyi Wang | Tianyu Liu | Shuang Zeng | Baobao Chang | Zhifang Sui
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Most previous studies aim at extracting events from a single sentence, while document-level event extraction still remains under-explored. In this paper, we focus on extracting event arguments from an entire document, which mainly faces two critical problems: a) the long-distance dependency between trigger and arguments over sentences; b) the distracting context towards an event in the document. To address these issues, we propose a Two-Stream Abstract meaning Representation enhanced extraction model (TSAR). TSAR encodes the document from different perspectives by a two-stream encoding module, to utilize local and global information and lower the impact of distracting context. Besides, TSAR introduces an AMR-guided interaction module to capture both intra-sentential and inter-sentential features, based on the locally and globally constructed AMR semantic graphs. An auxiliary boundary loss is introduced to enhance the boundary information for text spans explicitly. Extensive experiments illustrate that TSAR outperforms previous state-of-the-art by a large margin, with 2.54 F1 and 5.13 F1 performance gain on the public RAMS and WikiEvents datasets respectively, showing the superiority in the cross-sentence arguments extraction. We release our code in PKUnlp-icler/TSAR.

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Probing Structured Pruning on Multilingual Pre-trained Models: Settings, Algorithms, and Efficiency
Yanyang Li | Fuli Luo | Runxin Xu | Songfang Huang | Fei Huang | Liwei Wang
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Structured pruning has been extensively studied on monolingual pre-trained language models and is yet to be fully evaluated on their multilingual counterparts. This work investigates three aspects of structured pruning on multilingual pre-trained language models: settings, algorithms, and efficiency. Experiments on nine downstream tasks show several counter-intuitive phenomena: for settings, individually pruning for each language does not induce a better result; for algorithms, the simplest method performs the best; for efficiency, a fast model does not imply that it is also small. To facilitate the comparison on all sparsity levels, we present Dynamic Sparsification, a simple approach that allows training the model once and adapting to different model sizes at inference. We hope this work fills the gap in the study of structured pruning on multilingual pre-trained models and sheds light on future research.

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S4-Tuning: A Simple Cross-lingual Sub-network Tuning Method
Runxin Xu | Fuli Luo | Baobao Chang | Songfang Huang | Fei Huang
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 2: Short Papers)

The emergence of multilingual pre-trained language models makes it possible to adapt to target languages with only few labeled examples.However, vanilla fine-tuning tends to achieve degenerated and unstable results, owing to the Language Interference among different languages, and Parameter Overload under the few-sample transfer learning scenarios.To address two problems elegantly, we propose S4-Tuning, a Simple Cross-lingual Sub-network Tuning method. S4-Tuning first detects the most essential sub-network for each target language, and only updates it during fine-tuning.In this way, the language sub-networks lower the scale of trainable parameters, and hence better suit the low-resource scenarios.Meanwhile, the commonality and characteristics across languages are modeled by the overlapping and non-overlapping parts to ease the interference among languages.Simple but effective, S4-Tuning gains consistent improvements over vanilla fine-tuning on three multi-lingual tasks involving 37 different languages in total (XNLI, PAWS-X, and Tatoeba).

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Focus on the Target’s Vocabulary: Masked Label Smoothing for Machine Translation
Liang Chen | Runxin Xu | Baobao Chang
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 2: Short Papers)

Label smoothing and vocabulary sharing are two widely used techniques in neural machine translation models. However, we argue that simply applying both techniques can be conflicting and even leads to sub-optimal performance. When allocating smoothed probability, original label smoothing treats the source-side words that would never appear in the target language equally to the real target-side words, which could bias the translation model. To address this issue, we propose Masked Label Smoothing (MLS), a new mechanism that masks the soft label probability of source-side words to zero. Simple yet effective, MLS manages to better integrate label smoothing with vocabulary sharing. Our extensive experiments show that MLS consistently yields improvement over original label smoothing on different datasets, including bilingual and multilingual translation from both translation quality and model’s calibration. Our code is released at


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Raise a Child in Large Language Model: Towards Effective and Generalizable Fine-tuning
Runxin Xu | Fuli Luo | Zhiyuan Zhang | Chuanqi Tan | Baobao Chang | Songfang Huang | Fei Huang
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Recent pretrained language models extend from millions to billions of parameters. Thus the need to fine-tune an extremely large pretrained model with a limited training corpus arises in various downstream tasks. In this paper, we propose a straightforward yet effective fine-tuning technique, Child-Tuning, which updates a subset of parameters (called child network) of large pretrained models via strategically masking out the gradients of the non-child network during the backward process. Experiments on various downstream tasks in GLUE benchmark show that Child-Tuning consistently outperforms the vanilla fine-tuning by 1.5 8.6 average score among four different pretrained models, and surpasses the prior fine-tuning techniques by 0.6 1.3 points. Furthermore, empirical results on domain transfer and task transfer show that Child-Tuning can obtain better generalization performance by large margins.

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Document-level Event Extraction via Heterogeneous Graph-based Interaction Model with a Tracker
Runxin Xu | Tianyu Liu | Lei Li | Baobao Chang
Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Document-level event extraction aims to recognize event information from a whole piece of article. Existing methods are not effective due to two challenges of this task: a) the target event arguments are scattered across sentences; b) the correlation among events in a document is non-trivial to model. In this paper, we propose Heterogeneous Graph-based Interaction Model with a Tracker (GIT) to solve the aforementioned two challenges. For the first challenge, GIT constructs a heterogeneous graph interaction network to capture global interactions among different sentences and entity mentions. For the second, GIT introduces a Tracker module to track the extracted events and hence capture the interdependency among the events. Experiments on a large-scale dataset (Zheng et al, 2019) show GIT outperforms the previous methods by 2.8 F1. Further analysis reveals is effective in extracting multiple correlated events and event arguments that scatter across the document.


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Xiaomingbot: A Multilingual Robot News Reporter
Runxin Xu | Jun Cao | Mingxuan Wang | Jiaze Chen | Hao Zhou | Ying Zeng | Yuping Wang | Li Chen | Xiang Yin | Xijin Zhang | Songcheng Jiang | Yuxuan Wang | Lei Li
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics: System Demonstrations

This paper proposes the building of Xiaomingbot, an intelligent, multilingual and multimodal software robot equipped with four inte- gral capabilities: news generation, news translation, news reading and avatar animation. Its system summarizes Chinese news that it automatically generates from data tables. Next, it translates the summary or the full article into multiple languages, and reads the multi- lingual rendition through synthesized speech. Notably, Xiaomingbot utilizes a voice cloning technology to synthesize the speech trained from a real person’s voice data in one input language. The proposed system enjoys several merits: it has an animated avatar, and is able to generate and read multilingual news. Since it was put into practice, Xiaomingbot has written over 600,000 articles, and gained over 150,000 followers on social media platforms.

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Double Graph Based Reasoning for Document-level Relation Extraction
Shuang Zeng | Runxin Xu | Baobao Chang | Lei Li
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

Document-level relation extraction aims to extract relations among entities within a document. Different from sentence-level relation extraction, it requires reasoning over multiple sentences across paragraphs. In this paper, we propose Graph Aggregation-and-Inference Network (GAIN), a method to recognize such relations for long paragraphs. GAIN constructs two graphs, a heterogeneous mention-level graph (MG) and an entity-level graph (EG). The former captures complex interaction among different mentions and the latter aggregates mentions underlying for the same entities. Based on the graphs we propose a novel path reasoning mechanism to infer relations between entities. Experiments on the public dataset, DocRED, show GAIN achieves a significant performance improvement (2.85 on F1) over the previous state-of-the-art. Our code is available at

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Volctrans Parallel Corpus Filtering System for WMT 2020
Runxin Xu | Zhuo Zhi | Jun Cao | Mingxuan Wang | Lei Li
Proceedings of the Fifth Conference on Machine Translation

In this paper, we describe our submissions to the WMT20 shared task on parallel corpus filtering and alignment for low-resource conditions. The task requires the participants to align potential parallel sentence pairs out of the given document pairs, and score them so that low-quality pairs can be filtered. Our system, Volctrans, is made of two modules, i.e., a mining module and a scoring module. Based on the word alignment model, the mining mod- ule adopts an iterative mining strategy to extract latent parallel sentences. In the scoring module, an XLM-based scorer provides scores, followed by reranking mechanisms and ensemble. Our submissions outperform the baseline by 3.x/2.x and 2.x/2.x for km-en and ps-en on From Scratch/Fine-Tune conditions.