Ruochen Xu


2023

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Z-Code++: A Pre-trained Language Model Optimized for Abstractive Summarization
Pengcheng He | Baolin Peng | Song Wang | Yang Liu | Ruochen Xu | Hany Hassan | Yu Shi | Chenguang Zhu | Wayne Xiong | Michael Zeng | Jianfeng Gao | Xuedong Huang
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

This paper presents Z-Code++, a new pre-trained language model optimized for abstractive text summarization. The model extends the state-of-the-art encoder-decoder model using three techniques. First, we use a two-phase pre-training to improve the model’s performance on low-resource summarization tasks. The model is first pre-trained using text corpora for language understanding, then is continually pre-trained on summarization corpora for grounded text generation. Second, we replace self-attention layers in the encoder with disentangled attention layers, where each word is represented using two vectors that encode its content and position, respectively. Third, we use fusion-in-encoder, a simple yet effective method of encoding long sequences in a hierarchical manner. Z-Code++ createsa new state-of-the-art on 9 of 13 text summarization tasks across 5 languages. Our model is parameter-efficient in that it outperforms the 600x larger PaLM540B on XSum, and the finetuned 200x larger GPT3175B on SAMSum. In zero-shot and few-shot settings, our model substantially outperforms the competing models.

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UniSumm and SummZoo: Unified Model and Diverse Benchmark for Few-Shot Summarization
Yulong Chen | Yang Liu | Ruochen Xu | Ziyi Yang | Chenguang Zhu | Michael Zeng | Yue Zhang
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

The high annotation costs and diverse demands of various summarization tasks motivate the development of few-shot summarization. However, despite the emergence of many summarization tasks and datasets, the current training paradigm for few-shot summarization systems ignores potentially shareable knowledge in heterogeneous datasets. To this end, we propose UniSumm, a unified few-shot summarization model pre-trained with multiple summarization tasks and can be prefix-tuned to excel at any few-shot summarization task. Meanwhile, to better evaluate few-shot summarizers, under the principles of diversity and robustness, we assemble and release a new benchmark SummZoo. It consists of 8 summarization tasks with multiple sets of few-shot samples for each task, covering diverse domains. Experimental results and analysis show that UniSumm outperforms strong baselines by a large margin across all sub-tasks in SummZoo under both automatic and human evaluations and achieves comparable results in human evaluation compared with a GPT-3.5 model.

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In-Context Demonstration Selection with Cross Entropy Difference
Dan Iter | Reid Pryzant | Ruochen Xu | Shuohang Wang | Yang Liu | Yichong Xu | Chenguang Zhu
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

Large language models (LLMs) can use in-context demonstrations to improve performance on zero-shot tasks. However, selecting the best in-context examples is challenging because model performance can vary widely depending on the selected examples. We present a cross-entropy difference (CED) method for selecting in-context demonstrations. Our method is based on the observation that the effectiveness of in-context demonstrations negatively correlates with the perplexity of the test example by a language model that was finetuned on that demonstration. We utilize parameter efficient finetuning to train small models on training data that are used for computing the cross-entropy difference between a test example and every candidate in-context demonstration. This metric is used to rank and select in-context demonstrations independently for each test input. We evaluate our method on a mix-domain dataset that combines 8 benchmarks, representing 4 text generation tasks, showing that CED for in-context demonstration selection can improve performance for a variety of LLMs over baseline selection methods.

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InheritSumm: A General, Versatile and Compact Summarizer by Distilling from GPT
Yichong Xu | Ruochen Xu | Dan Iter | Yang Liu | Shuohang Wang | Chenguang Zhu | Michael Zeng
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

While large models such as GPT-3 demonstrate exceptional performance in zeroshot and fewshot summarization tasks, their extensive serving and fine-tuning costs hinder their utilization in various applications. Conversely, previous studies have found that although automatic metrics tend to favor smaller fine-tuned models, the quality of the summaries they generate is inferior to that of larger models like GPT-3 when assessed by human evaluators. To address this issue, we propose InheritSumm, a versatile and compact summarization model derived from GPT-3.5 through distillation. InheritSumm not only exhibits comparable zeroshot and fewshot summarization capabilities to GPT-3.5 but is also sufficiently compact for fine-tuning purposes. Experimental results demonstrate that InheritSumm achieves similar or superior performance to GPT-3.5 in zeroshot and fewshot settings. Furthermore, it outperforms the previously established best small models in both prefix-tuning and full-data fine-tuning scenarios.

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LMGQS: A Large-scale Dataset for Query-focused Summarization
Ruochen Xu | Song Wang | Yang Liu | Shuohang Wang | Yichong Xu | Dan Iter | Pengcheng He | Chenguang Zhu | Michael Zeng
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

Query-focused summarization (QFS) aims to extract or generate a summary of an input document that directly answers or is relevant to a given query. The lack of large-scale datasets in the form of documents, queries, and summaries has hindered model development in this area. In contrast, multiple large-scale high-quality datasets for generic summarization exist. We hypothesize that there is a hidden query for each summary sentence in a generic summarization annotation, and we utilize a large-scale pretrained language model to recover it. In this way, we convert four generic summarization benchmarks into a new QFS benchmark dataset, LMGQS, which consists of over 1 million document-query-summary samples. We thoroughly investigate the properties of our proposed dataset and establish baselines with state-of-the-art summarization models. By fine-tuning a language model on LMGQS, we achieve state-of-the-art zero-shot and supervised performance on multiple existing QFS benchmarks, demonstrating the high quality and diversity of LMGQS.

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G-Eval: NLG Evaluation using Gpt-4 with Better Human Alignment
Yang Liu | Dan Iter | Yichong Xu | Shuohang Wang | Ruochen Xu | Chenguang Zhu
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

The quality of texts generated by natural language generation (NLG) systems is hard to measure automatically. Conventional reference-based metrics, such as BLEU and ROUGE, have been shown to have relatively low correlation with human judgments, especially for tasks that require creativity and diversity. Recent studies suggest using large language models (LLMs) as reference-free metrics for NLG evaluation, which have the benefit of being applicable to new tasks that lack human references. However, these LLM-based evaluators still have lower human correspondence than medium-size neural evaluators. In this work, we present G-Eval, a framework of using large language models with chain-of-thoughts (CoT) and a form-filling paradigm, to assess the quality of NLG outputs. We experiment with two generation tasks, text summarization and dialogue generation. We show that G-Eval with GPT-4 as the backbone model achieves a Spearman correlation of 0.514 with human on summarization task, outperforming all previous methods by a large margin. We also propose analysis on the behavior of LLM-based evaluators, and highlight the potential concern of LLM-based evaluators having a bias towards the LLM-generated texts.

2022

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Leveraging Knowledge in Multilingual Commonsense Reasoning
Yuwei Fang | Shuohang Wang | Yichong Xu | Ruochen Xu | Siqi Sun | Chenguang Zhu | Michael Zeng
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2022

Commonsense reasoning (CSR) requires models to be equipped with general world knowledge. While CSR is a language-agnostic process, most comprehensive knowledge sources are restricted to a small number of languages, especially English. Thus, it remains unclear how to effectively conduct multilingual commonsense reasoning (XCSR) for various languages. In this work, we propose to use English as a pivot language, utilizing English knowledge sources for our our commonsense reasoning framework via a translate-retrieve-translate (TRT) strategy. For multilingual commonsense questions and answer candidates, we collect related knowledge via translation and retrieval from the knowledge in the source language. The retrieved knowledge is then translated into the target language and integrated into a pre-trained multilingual language model via visible knowledge attention. Then we utilize a diverse of four English knowledge sources to provide more comprehensive coverage of knowledge in different formats. Extensive results on the XCSR benchmark demonstrate that TRT with external knowledge can significantly improve multilingual commonsense reasoning in both zero-shot and translate-train settings, consistently outperforming the state-of-the-art by more than 3% on the multilingual commonsense reasoning benchmark X-CSQA and X-CODAH.

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Narrate Dialogues for Better Summarization
Ruochen Xu | Chenguang Zhu | Michael Zeng
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2022

Dialogue summarization models aim to generate a concise and accurate summary for multi-party dialogue. The complexity of dialogue, including coreference, dialogue acts, and inter-speaker interactions bring unique challenges to dialogue summarization. Most recent neural models achieve state-of-art performance following the pretrain-then-finetune recipe, where the large-scale language model (LLM) is pretrained on large-scale single-speaker written text, but later finetuned on multi-speaker dialogue text. To mitigate the gap between pretraining and finetuning, we propose several approaches to convert the dialogue into a third-person narrative style and show that the narration serves as a valuable annotation for LLMs. Empirical results on three benchmark datasets show our simple approach achieves higher scores on the ROUGE and a factual correctness metric.

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Training Data is More Valuable than You Think: A Simple and Effective Method by Retrieving from Training Data
Shuohang Wang | Yichong Xu | Yuwei Fang | Yang Liu | Siqi Sun | Ruochen Xu | Chenguang Zhu | Michael Zeng
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Retrieval-based methods have been shown to be effective in NLP tasks via introducing external knowledge. However, the indexing and retrieving of large-scale corpora bring considerable computational cost. Surprisingly, we found that REtrieving from the traINing datA (REINA) only can lead to significant gains on multiple NLG and NLU tasks. We retrieve the labeled training instances most similar to the input text and then concatenate them with the input to feed into the model to generate the output. Experimental results show that this simple method can achieve significantly better performance on a variety of NLU and NLG tasks, including summarization, machine translation, language modeling, and question answering tasks. For instance, our proposed method achieved state-of-the-art results on XSum, BigPatent, and CommonsenseQA. Our code is released, https://github.com/microsoft/REINA .

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ParaTag: A Dataset of Paraphrase Tagging for Fine-Grained Labels, NLG Evaluation, and Data Augmentation
Shuohang Wang | Ruochen Xu | Yang Liu | Chenguang Zhu | Michael Zeng
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Paraphrase identification has been formulated as a binary classification task to decide whether two sentences hold a paraphrase relationship. Existing paraphrase datasets only annotate a binary label for each sentence pair. However, after a systematical analysis of existing paraphrase datasets, we found that the degree of paraphrase cannot be well characterized by a single binary label. And the criteria of paraphrase are not even consistent within the same dataset. We hypothesize that such issues would limit the effectiveness of paraphrase models trained on these data. To this end, we propose a novel fine-grained paraphrase annotation schema that labels the minimum spans of tokens in a sentence that don’t have the corresponding paraphrases in the other sentence. Under this setting, we frame paraphrasing as a sequence tagging task. We collect 30k sentence pairs in English with the new annotation schema, resulting in the ParaTag dataset. In addition to reporting baseline results on ParaTag using state-of-art language models, we show that ParaTag is especially useful for training an automatic scorer for language generation evaluation. Finally, we train a paraphrase generation model from ParaTag and achieve better data augmentation performance on the GLUE benchmark than other public paraphrasing datasets.

2021

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Enhancing Factual Consistency of Abstractive Summarization
Chenguang Zhu | William Hinthorn | Ruochen Xu | Qingkai Zeng | Michael Zeng | Xuedong Huang | Meng Jiang
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Automatic abstractive summaries are found to often distort or fabricate facts in the article. This inconsistency between summary and original text has seriously impacted its applicability. We propose a fact-aware summarization model FASum to extract and integrate factual relations into the summary generation process via graph attention. We then design a factual corrector model FC to automatically correct factual errors from summaries generated by existing systems. Empirical results show that the fact-aware summarization can produce abstractive summaries with higher factual consistency compared with existing systems, and the correction model improves the factual consistency of given summaries via modifying only a few keywords.

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Fusing Context Into Knowledge Graph for Commonsense Question Answering
Yichong Xu | Chenguang Zhu | Ruochen Xu | Yang Liu | Michael Zeng | Xuedong Huang
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL-IJCNLP 2021

2020

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Predicting Performance for Natural Language Processing Tasks
Mengzhou Xia | Antonios Anastasopoulos | Ruochen Xu | Yiming Yang | Graham Neubig
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Given the complexity of combinations of tasks, languages, and domains in natural language processing (NLP) research, it is computationally prohibitive to exhaustively test newly proposed models on each possible experimental setting. In this work, we attempt to explore the possibility of gaining plausible judgments of how well an NLP model can perform under an experimental setting, without actually training or testing the model. To do so, we build regression models to predict the evaluation score of an NLP experiment given the experimental settings as input. Experimenting on~9 different NLP tasks, we find that our predictors can produce meaningful predictions over unseen languages and different modeling architectures, outperforming reasonable baselines as well as human experts. %we represent experimental settings using an array of features. Going further, we outline how our predictor can be used to find a small subset of representative experiments that should be run in order to obtain plausible predictions for all other experimental settings.

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A Hierarchical Network for Abstractive Meeting Summarization with Cross-Domain Pretraining
Chenguang Zhu | Ruochen Xu | Michael Zeng | Xuedong Huang
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2020

With the abundance of automatic meeting transcripts, meeting summarization is of great interest to both participants and other parties. Traditional methods of summarizing meetings depend on complex multi-step pipelines that make joint optimization intractable. Meanwhile, there are a handful of deep neural models for text summarization and dialogue systems. However, the semantic structure and styles of meeting transcripts are quite different from articles and conversations. In this paper, we propose a novel abstractive summary network that adapts to the meeting scenario. We design a hierarchical structure to accommodate long meeting transcripts and a role vector to depict the difference among speakers. Furthermore, due to the inadequacy of meeting summary data, we pretrain the model on large-scale news summary data. Empirical results show that our model outperforms previous approaches in both automatic metrics and human evaluation. For example, on ICSI dataset, the ROUGE-1 score increases from 34.66% to 46.28%.

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Mixed-Lingual Pre-training for Cross-lingual Summarization
Ruochen Xu | Chenguang Zhu | Yu Shi | Michael Zeng | Xuedong Huang
Proceedings of the 1st Conference of the Asia-Pacific Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 10th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing

Cross-lingual Summarization (CLS) aims at producing a summary in the target language for an article in the source language. Traditional solutions employ a two-step approach, i.e. translate -> summarize or summarize -> translate. Recently, end-to-end models have achieved better results, but these approaches are mostly limited by their dependence on large-scale labeled data. We propose a solution based on mixed-lingual pre-training that leverages both cross-lingual tasks such as translation and monolingual tasks like masked language models. Thus, our model can leverage the massive monolingual data to enhance its modeling of language. Moreover, the architecture has no task-specific components, which saves memory and increases optimization efficiency. We show in experiments that this pre-training scheme can effectively boost the performance of cross-lingual summarization. In NCLS dataset, our model achieves an improvement of 2.82 (English to Chinese) and 1.15 (Chinese to English) ROUGE-1 scores over state-of-the-art results.

2018

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Low-resource Cross-lingual Event Type Detection via Distant Supervision with Minimal Effort
Aldrian Obaja Muis | Naoki Otani | Nidhi Vyas | Ruochen Xu | Yiming Yang | Teruko Mitamura | Eduard Hovy
Proceedings of the 27th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

The use of machine learning for NLP generally requires resources for training. Tasks performed in a low-resource language usually rely on labeled data in another, typically resource-rich, language. However, there might not be enough labeled data even in a resource-rich language such as English. In such cases, one approach is to use a hand-crafted approach that utilizes only a small bilingual dictionary with minimal manual verification to create distantly supervised data. Another is to explore typical machine learning techniques, for example adversarial training of bilingual word representations. We find that in event-type detection task—the task to classify [parts of] documents into a fixed set of labels—they give about the same performance. We explore ways in which the two methods can be complementary and also see how to best utilize a limited budget for manual annotation to maximize performance gain.

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Unsupervised Cross-lingual Transfer of Word Embedding Spaces
Ruochen Xu | Yiming Yang | Naoki Otani | Yuexin Wu
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Cross-lingual transfer of word embeddings aims to establish the semantic mappings among words in different languages by learning the transformation functions over the corresponding word embedding spaces. Successfully solving this problem would benefit many downstream tasks such as to translate text classification models from resource-rich languages (e.g. English) to low-resource languages. Supervised methods for this problem rely on the availability of cross-lingual supervision, either using parallel corpora or bilingual lexicons as the labeled data for training, which may not be available for many low resource languages. This paper proposes an unsupervised learning approach that does not require any cross-lingual labeled data. Given two monolingual word embedding spaces for any language pair, our algorithm optimizes the transformation functions in both directions simultaneously based on distributional matching as well as minimizing the back-translation losses. We use a neural network implementation to calculate the Sinkhorn distance, a well-defined distributional similarity measure, and optimize our objective through back-propagation. Our evaluation on benchmark datasets for bilingual lexicon induction and cross-lingual word similarity prediction shows stronger or competitive performance of the proposed method compared to other state-of-the-art supervised and unsupervised baseline methods over many language pairs.

2017

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Cross-lingual Distillation for Text Classification
Ruochen Xu | Yiming Yang
Proceedings of the 55th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Cross-lingual text classification(CLTC) is the task of classifying documents written in different languages into the same taxonomy of categories. This paper presents a novel approach to CLTC that builds on model distillation, which adapts and extends a framework originally proposed for model compression. Using soft probabilistic predictions for the documents in a label-rich language as the (induced) supervisory labels in a parallel corpus of documents, we train classifiers successfully for new languages in which labeled training data are not available. An adversarial feature adaptation technique is also applied during the model training to reduce distribution mismatch. We conducted experiments on two benchmark CLTC datasets, treating English as the source language and German, French, Japan and Chinese as the unlabeled target languages. The proposed approach had the advantageous or comparable performance of the other state-of-art methods.

2016

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Leveraging Multilingual Training for Limited Resource Event Extraction
Andrew Hsi | Yiming Yang | Jaime Carbonell | Ruochen Xu
Proceedings of COLING 2016, the 26th International Conference on Computational Linguistics: Technical Papers

Event extraction has become one of the most important topics in information extraction, but to date, there is very limited work on leveraging cross-lingual training to boost performance. We propose a new event extraction approach that trains on multiple languages using a combination of both language-dependent and language-independent features, with particular focus on the case where target domain training data is of very limited size. We show empirically that multilingual training can boost performance for the tasks of event trigger extraction and event argument extraction on the Chinese ACE 2005 dataset.