Shengding Hu


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Won’t Get Fooled Again: Answering Questions with False Premises
Shengding Hu | Yifan Luo | Huadong Wang | Xingyi Cheng | Zhiyuan Liu | Maosong Sun
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Pre-trained language models (PLMs) have shown unprecedented potential in various fields, especially as the backbones for question-answering (QA) systems. However, they tend to be easily deceived by tricky questions such as “How many eyes does the sun have?”. Such frailties of PLMs often allude to the lack of knowledge within them. In this paper, we find that the PLMs already possess the knowledge required to rebut such questions, and the key is how to activate the knowledge. To systematize this observation, we investigate the PLMs’ responses to one kind of tricky questions, i.e., the false premises questions (FPQs). We annotate a FalseQA dataset containing 2365 human-written FPQs, with the corresponding explanations for the false premises and the revised true premise questions. Using FalseQA, we discover that PLMs are capable of discriminating FPQs by fine-tuning on moderate numbers (e.g., 256) of examples. PLMs also generate reasonable explanations for the false premise, which serve as rebuttals. Further replaying a few general questions during training allows PLMs to excel on FPQs and general questions simultaneously. Our work suggests that once the rebuttal ability is stimulated, knowledge inside the PLMs can be effectively utilized to handle FPQs, which incentivizes the research on PLM-based QA systems. The FalseQA dataset and code are available at .

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Exploring Lottery Prompts for Pre-trained Language Models
Yulin Chen | Ning Ding | Xiaobin Wang | Shengding Hu | Haitao Zheng | Zhiyuan Liu | Pengjun Xie
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Consistently scaling pre-trained language models (PLMs) imposes substantial burdens on model adaptation, necessitating more efficient alternatives to conventional fine-tuning. Given the advantage of prompting in the zero-shot setting and the observed performance fluctuation among different prompts, we explore the instance-level prompt and their generalizability.By searching through the prompt space, we first validate the assumption that for every instance, there is almost always a lottery prompt that induces the correct prediction from the PLM, and such prompt can be obtained at a low cost thanks to the inherent ability of PLMs.Meanwhile, it is shown that some strong lottery prompts have high performance over the whole training set, and they are equipped with distinguishable linguistic features. Lastly, we attempt to generalize the searched strong lottery prompts to unseen data with prompt ensembling method. Experiments are conducted on various types of NLP classification tasks and demonstrate that the proposed method can achieve comparable results with other gradient-free and optimization-free baselines.

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OpenDelta: A Plug-and-play Library for Parameter-efficient Adaptation of Pre-trained Models
Shengding Hu | Ning Ding | Weilin Zhao | Xingtai Lv | Zhen Zhang | Zhiyuan Liu | Maosong Sun
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 3: System Demonstrations)

The scale of large pre-trained models (PTMs) poses significant challenges in adapting to downstream tasks due to the high optimization overhead and storage costs associated with full-parameter fine-tuning. To address this, many studies explore parameter-efficient tuning methods, also framed as “delta tuning” in Ding et al. (2022), which updates only a small subset of parameters, known as “delta modules”, while keeping the backbone model’s parameters fixed. However, the practicality and flexibility of delta tuning have been limited due to existing implementations that directly modify the code of the backbone PTMs and hard-code specific delta tuning methods for each PTM. In this paper, we present OpenDelta, an open-source library that overcomes these limitations by providing a plug-and-play implementation of various delta tuning methods. Our novel techniques eliminate the need to modify the backbone PTMs’ code, making OpenDelta compatible with different, even novel PTMs. OpenDelta is designed to be simple, modular, and extensible, providing a comprehensive platform for researchers and practitioners to adapt large PTMs efficiently.


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COPEN: Probing Conceptual Knowledge in Pre-trained Language Models
Hao Peng | Xiaozhi Wang | Shengding Hu | Hailong Jin | Lei Hou | Juanzi Li | Zhiyuan Liu | Qun Liu
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Conceptual knowledge is fundamental to human cognition and knowledge bases. However, existing knowledge probing works only focus on evaluating factual knowledge of pre-trained language models (PLMs) and ignore conceptual knowledge. Since conceptual knowledge often appears as implicit commonsense behind texts, designing probes for conceptual knowledge is hard. Inspired by knowledge representation schemata, we comprehensively evaluate conceptual knowledge of PLMs by designing three tasks to probe whether PLMs organize entities by conceptual similarities, learn conceptual properties, and conceptualize entities in contexts, respectively. For the tasks, we collect and annotate 24k data instances covering 393 concepts, which is COPEN, a COnceptual knowledge Probing bENchmark. Extensive experiments on different sizes and types of PLMs show that existing PLMs systematically lack conceptual knowledge and suffer from various spurious correlations. We believe this is a critical bottleneck for realizing human-like cognition in PLMs. COPEN and our codes are publicly released at

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Knowledgeable Prompt-tuning: Incorporating Knowledge into Prompt Verbalizer for Text Classification
Shengding Hu | Ning Ding | Huadong Wang | Zhiyuan Liu | Jingang Wang | Juanzi Li | Wei Wu | Maosong Sun
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Tuning pre-trained language models (PLMs) with task-specific prompts has been a promising approach for text classification. Particularly, previous studies suggest that prompt-tuning has remarkable superiority in the low-data scenario over the generic fine-tuning methods with extra classifiers. The core idea of prompt-tuning is to insert text pieces, i.e., template, to the input and transform a classification problem into a masked language modeling problem, where a crucial step is to construct a projection, i.e., verbalizer, between a label space and a label word space. A verbalizer is usually handcrafted or searched by gradient descent, which may lack coverage and bring considerable bias and high variances to the results. In this work, we focus on incorporating external knowledge into the verbalizer, forming a knowledgeable prompttuning (KPT), to improve and stabilize prompttuning. Specifically, we expand the label word space of the verbalizer using external knowledge bases (KBs) and refine the expanded label word space with the PLM itself before predicting with the expanded label word space. Extensive experiments on zero and few-shot text classification tasks demonstrate the effectiveness of knowledgeable prompt-tuning.

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Prototypical Verbalizer for Prompt-based Few-shot Tuning
Ganqu Cui | Shengding Hu | Ning Ding | Longtao Huang | Zhiyuan Liu
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Prompt-based tuning for pre-trained language models (PLMs) has shown its effectiveness in few-shot learning. Typically, prompt-based tuning wraps the input text into a cloze question. To make predictions, the model maps the output words to labels via a verbalizer, which is either manually designed or automatically built. However, manual verbalizers heavily depend on domain-specific prior knowledge and human efforts, while finding appropriate label words automatically still remains challenging. In this work, we propose the prototypical verbalizer (ProtoVerb) which is built directly from training data. Specifically, ProtoVerb learns prototype vectors as verbalizers by contrastive learning. In this way, the prototypes summarize training instances and are able to enclose rich class-level semantics. We conduct experiments on both topic classification and entity typing tasks, and the results demonstrate that ProtoVerb significantly outperforms current automatic verbalizers, especially when training data is extremely scarce. More surprisingly, ProtoVerb consistently boosts prompt-based tuning even on untuned PLMs, indicating an elegant non-tuning way to utilize PLMs. Our codes are avaliable at

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OpenPrompt: An Open-source Framework for Prompt-learning
Ning Ding | Shengding Hu | Weilin Zhao | Yulin Chen | Zhiyuan Liu | Haitao Zheng | Maosong Sun
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics: System Demonstrations

Prompt-learning has become a new paradigm in modern natural language processing, which directly adapts pre-trained language models (PLMs) to cloze-style prediction, autoregressive modeling, or sequence to sequence generation, resulting in promising performances on various tasks. However, no standard implementation framework of prompt-learning is proposed yet, and most existing prompt- learning codebases, often unregulated, only provide limited implementations for specific scenarios. Since there are many details such as templating strategy, initializing strategy, verbalizing strategy, etc., that need to be considered in prompt-learning, practitioners face impediments to quickly adapting the de-sired prompt learning methods to their applications. In this paper, we present Open- Prompt, a unified easy-to-use toolkit to conduct prompt-learning over PLMs. OpenPrompt is a research-friendly framework that is equipped with efficiency, modularity, and extendibility, and its combinability allows the freedom to combine different PLMs, task for- mats, and prompting modules in a unified paradigm. Users could expediently deploy prompt-learning frameworks and evaluate the generalization of them on different NLP tasks without constraints.


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KACC: A Multi-task Benchmark for Knowledge Abstraction, Concretization and Completion
Jie Zhou | Shengding Hu | Xin Lv | Cheng Yang | Zhiyuan Liu | Wei Xu | Jie Jiang | Juanzi Li | Maosong Sun
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL-IJCNLP 2021