Sendong Zhao


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Make Your Decision Convincing! A Unified Two-Stage Framework: Self-Attribution and Decision-Making
Yanrui Du | Sendong Zhao | Haochun Wang | Yuhan Chen | Rui Bai | Zewen Qiang | Muzhen Cai | Bing Qin
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

Explaining black-box model behavior with natural language has achieved impressive results in various NLP tasks. Recent research has explored the utilization of subsequences from the input text as a rationale, providing users with evidence to support the model decision. Although existing frameworks excel in generating high-quality rationales while achieving high task performance, they neglect to account for the unreliable link between the generated rationale and model decision. In simpler terms, a model may make correct decisions while attributing wrong rationales, or make poor decisions while attributing correct rationales. To mitigate this issue, we propose a unified two-stage framework known as Self-Attribution and Decision-Making (SADM). Through extensive experiments on five reasoning datasets from the ERASER benchmark, we demonstrate that our framework not only establishes a more reliable link between the generated rationale and model decision but also achieves competitive results in task performance and the quality of rationale. Furthermore, we explore the potential of our framework in semi-supervised scenarios.

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UniCoRN: Unified Cognitive Signal ReconstructioN bridging cognitive signals and human language
Nuwa Xi | Sendong Zhao | Haochun Wang | Chi Liu | Bing Qin | Ting Liu
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Decoding text stimuli from cognitive signals (e.g. fMRI) enhances our understanding of the human language system, paving the way for building versatile Brain-Computer Interface. However, existing studies largely focus on decoding individual word-level fMRI volumes from a restricted vocabulary, which is far too idealized for real-world application. In this paper, we propose fMRI2text, the first open-vocabulary task aiming to bridge fMRI time series and human language. Furthermore, to explore the potential of this new task, we present a baseline solution, UniCoRN: the Unified Cognitive Signal ReconstructioN for Brain Decoding. By reconstructing both individual time points and time series, UniCoRN establishes a robust encoder for cognitive signals (fMRI & EEG). Leveraging a pre-trained language model as decoder, UniCoRN proves its efficacy in decoding coherent text from fMRI series across various split settings. Our model achieves a 34.77% BLEU score on fMRI2text, and a 37.04% BLEU when generalized to EEG-to-text decoding, thereby surpassing the former baseline. Experimental results indicate the feasibility of decoding consecutive fMRI volumes, and the effectiveness of decoding different cognitive signals using a unified structure.


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Prompt Combines Paraphrase: Teaching Pre-trained Models to Understand Rare Biomedical Words
Haochun Wang | Chi Liu | Nuwa Xi | Sendong Zhao | Meizhi Ju | Shiwei Zhang | Ziheng Zhang | Yefeng Zheng | Bing Qin | Ting Liu
Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Prompt-based fine-tuning for pre-trained models has proven effective for many natural language processing tasks under few-shot settings in general domain. However, tuning with prompt in biomedical domain has not been investigated thoroughly. Biomedical words are often rare in general domain, but quite ubiquitous in biomedical contexts, which dramatically deteriorates the performance of pre-trained models on downstream biomedical applications even after fine-tuning, especially in low-resource scenarios. We propose a simple yet effective approach to helping models learn rare biomedical words during tuning with prompt. Experimental results show that our method can achieve up to 6% improvement in biomedical natural language inference task without any extra parameters or training steps using few-shot vanilla prompt settings.


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Less Is More: Domain Adaptation with Lottery Ticket for Reading Comprehension
Haichao Zhu | Zekun Wang | Heng Zhang | Ming Liu | Sendong Zhao | Bing Qin
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2021

In this paper, we propose a simple few-shot domain adaptation paradigm for reading comprehension. We first identify the lottery subnetwork structure within the Transformer-based source domain model via gradual magnitude pruning. Then, we only fine-tune the lottery subnetwork, a small fraction of the whole parameters, on the annotated target domain data for adaptation. To obtain more adaptable subnetworks, we introduce self-attention attribution to weigh parameters, beyond simply pruning the smallest magnitude parameters, which can be seen as combining structured pruning and unstructured magnitude pruning softly. Experimental results show that our method outperforms the full model fine-tuning adaptation on four out of five domains when only a small amount of annotated data available for adaptation. Moreover, introducing self-attention attribution reserves more parameters for important attention heads in the lottery subnetwork and improves the target domain model performance. Our further analyses reveal that, besides exploiting fewer parameters, the choice of subnetworks is critical to the effectiveness.