Ruoyu Zhang


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AtTGen: Attribute Tree Generation for Real-World Attribute Joint Extraction
Yanzeng Li | Bingcong Xue | Ruoyu Zhang | Lei Zou
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Attribute extraction aims to identify attribute names and the corresponding values from descriptive texts, which is the foundation for extensive downstream applications such as knowledge graph construction, search engines, and e-Commerce. In previous studies, attribute extraction is generally treated as a classification problem for predicting attribute types or a sequence tagging problem for labeling attribute values, where two paradigms, i.e., closed-world and open-world assumption, are involved. However, both of these paradigms have limitations in terms of real-world applications. And prior studies attempting to integrate these paradigms through ensemble, pipeline, and co-training models, still face challenges like cascading errors, high computational overhead, and difficulty in training. To address these existing problems, this paper presents Attribute Tree, a unified formulation for real-world attribute extraction application, where closed-world, open-world, and semi-open attribute extraction tasks are modeled uniformly. Then a text-to-tree generation model, AtTGen, is proposed to learn annotations from different scenarios efficiently and consistently. Experiments demonstrate that our proposed paradigm well covers various scenarios for real-world applications, and the model achieves state-of-the-art, outperforming existing methods by a large margin on three datasets. Our code, pretrained model, and datasets are available at

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A Novel Table-to-Graph Generation Approach for Document-Level Joint Entity and Relation Extraction
Ruoyu Zhang | Yanzeng Li | Lei Zou
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Document-level relation extraction (DocRE) aims to extract relations among entities within a document, which is crucial for applications like knowledge graph construction. Existing methods usually assume that entities and their mentions are identified beforehand, which falls short of real-world applications. To overcome this limitation, we propose TaG, a novel table-to-graph generation model for joint extractionof entities and relations at document-level. To enhance the learning of task dependencies, TaG induces a latent graph among mentions, with different types of edges indicating different task information, which is further broadcast with a relational graph convolutional network. To alleviate the error propagation problem, we adapt the hierarchical agglomerative clustering algorithm to back-propagate task information at decoding stage. Experiments on the benchmark dataset, DocRED, demonstrate that TaG surpasses previous methods by a large margin and achieves state-of-the-art results.

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LLMaAA: Making Large Language Models as Active Annotators
Ruoyu Zhang | Yanzeng Li | Yongliang Ma | Ming Zhou | Lei Zou
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

Prevalent supervised learning methods in natural language processing (NLP) are notoriously data-hungry, which demand large amounts of high-quality annotated data. In practice, acquiring such data is a costly endeavor. Recently, the superior few-shot performance of large language models (LLMs) has propelled the development of dataset generation, where the training data are solely synthesized from LLMs. However, such an approach usually suffers from low-quality issues, and requires orders of magnitude more labeled data to achieve satisfactory performance. To fully exploit the potential of LLMs and make use of massive unlabeled data, we propose LLMaAA, which takes LLMs as annotators and puts them into an active learning loop to determine what to annotate efficiently. To learn robustly with pseudo labels, we optimize both the annotation and training processes: (1) we draw k-NN examples from a small demonstration pool as in-context examples, and (2) we adopt the example reweighting technique to assign training samples with learnable weights. Compared with previous approaches, LLMaAA features both efficiency and reliability. We conduct experiments and analysis on two classic NLP tasks, named entity recognition and relation extraction. With LLMaAA, task-specific models trained from LLM-generated labels can outperform the teacher within only hundreds of annotated examples, which is much more cost-effective than other baselines.


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Crake: Causal-Enhanced Table-Filler for Question Answering over Large Scale Knowledge Base
Minhao Zhang | Ruoyu Zhang | Yanzeng Li | Lei Zou
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: NAACL 2022

Semantic parsing solves knowledge base (KB) question answering (KBQA) by composing a KB query, which generally involves node extraction (NE) and graph composition (GC) to detect and connect related nodes in a query. Despite the strong causal effects between NE and GC, previous works fail to directly model such causalities in their pipeline, hindering the learning of subtask correlations. Also, the sequence-generation process for GC in previous works induces ambiguity and exposure bias, which further harms accuracy. In this work, we formalize semantic parsing into two stages. In the first stage (graph structure generation), we propose a causal-enhanced table-filler to overcome the issues in sequence-modelling and to learn the internal causalities. In the second stage (relation extraction), an efficient beam-search algorithm is presented to scale complex queries on large-scale KBs. Experiments on LC-QuAD 1.0 indicate that our method surpasses previous state-of-the-arts by a large margin (17%) while remaining time and space efficiency.


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NAMER: A Node-Based Multitasking Framework for Multi-Hop Knowledge Base Question Answering
Minhao Zhang | Ruoyu Zhang | Lei Zou | Yinnian Lin | Sen Hu
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies: Demonstrations

We present NAMER, an open-domain Chinese knowledge base question answering system based on a novel node-based framework that better grasps the structural mapping between questions and KB queries by aligning the nodes in a query with their corresponding mentions in question. Equipped with techniques including data augmentation and multitasking, we show that the proposed framework outperforms the previous SoTA on CCKS CKBQA dataset. Moreover, we develop a novel data annotation strategy that facilitates the node-to-mention alignment, a dataset ( with such strategy is also published to promote further research. An online demo of NAMER ( is provided to visualize our framework and supply extra information for users, a video illustration ( of NAMER is also available.


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MedDialog: Large-scale Medical Dialogue Datasets
Guangtao Zeng | Wenmian Yang | Zeqian Ju | Yue Yang | Sicheng Wang | Ruisi Zhang | Meng Zhou | Jiaqi Zeng | Xiangyu Dong | Ruoyu Zhang | Hongchao Fang | Penghui Zhu | Shu Chen | Pengtao Xie
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

Medical dialogue systems are promising in assisting in telemedicine to increase access to healthcare services, improve the quality of patient care, and reduce medical costs. To facilitate the research and development of medical dialogue systems, we build large-scale medical dialogue datasets – MedDialog, which contain 1) a Chinese dataset with 3.4 million conversations between patients and doctors, 11.3 million utterances, 660.2 million tokens, covering 172 specialties of diseases, and 2) an English dataset with 0.26 million conversations, 0.51 million utterances, 44.53 million tokens, covering 96 specialties of diseases. To our best knowledge, MedDialog is the largest medical dialogue dataset to date. We pretrain several dialogue generation models on the Chinese MedDialog dataset, including Transformer, GPT, BERT-GPT, and compare their performance. It is shown that models trained on MedDialog are able to generate clinically correct and doctor-like medical dialogues. We also study the transferability of models trained on MedDialog to low-resource medical dialogue generation tasks. It is shown that via transfer learning which finetunes the models pretrained on MedDialog, the performance on medical dialogue generation tasks with small datasets can be greatly improved, as shown in human evaluation and automatic evaluation. The datasets and code are available at