Shikun Zhang


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Improving Embedding-based Large-scale Retrieval via Label Enhancement
Peiyang Liu | Xi Wang | Sen Wang | Wei Ye | Xiangyu Xi | Shikun Zhang
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2021

Current embedding-based large-scale retrieval models are trained with 0-1 hard label that indicates whether a query is relevant to a document, ignoring rich information of the relevance degree. This paper proposes to improve embedding-based retrieval from the perspective of better characterizing the query-document relevance degree by introducing label enhancement (LE) for the first time. To generate label distribution in the retrieval scenario, we design a novel and effective supervised LE method that incorporates prior knowledge from dynamic term weighting methods into contextual embeddings. Our method significantly outperforms four competitive existing retrieval models and its counterparts equipped with two alternative LE techniques by training models with the generated label distribution as auxiliary supervision information. The superiority can be easily observed on English and Chinese large-scale retrieval tasks under both standard and cold-start settings.

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QuadrupletBERT: An Efficient Model For Embedding-Based Large-Scale Retrieval
Peiyang Liu | Sen Wang | Xi Wang | Wei Ye | Shikun Zhang
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

The embedding-based large-scale query-document retrieval problem is a hot topic in the information retrieval (IR) field. Considering that pre-trained language models like BERT have achieved great success in a wide variety of NLP tasks, we present a QuadrupletBERT model for effective and efficient retrieval in this paper. Unlike most existing BERT-style retrieval models, which only focus on the ranking phase in retrieval systems, our model makes considerable improvements to the retrieval phase and leverages the distances between simple negative and hard negative instances to obtaining better embeddings. Experimental results demonstrate that our QuadrupletBERT achieves state-of-the-art results in embedding-based large-scale retrieval tasks.

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Multi-Hop Transformer for Document-Level Machine Translation
Long Zhang | Tong Zhang | Haibo Zhang | Baosong Yang | Wei Ye | Shikun Zhang
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Document-level neural machine translation (NMT) has proven to be of profound value for its effectiveness on capturing contextual information. Nevertheless, existing approaches 1) simply introduce the representations of context sentences without explicitly characterizing the inter-sentence reasoning process; and 2) feed ground-truth target contexts as extra inputs at the training time, thus facing the problem of exposure bias. We approach these problems with an inspiration from human behavior – human translators ordinarily emerge a translation draft in their mind and progressively revise it according to the reasoning in discourse. To this end, we propose a novel Multi-Hop Transformer (MHT) which offers NMT abilities to explicitly model the human-like draft-editing and reasoning process. Specifically, our model serves the sentence-level translation as a draft and properly refines its representations by attending to multiple antecedent sentences iteratively. Experiments on four widely used document translation tasks demonstrate that our method can significantly improve document-level translation performance and can tackle discourse phenomena, such as coreference error and the problem of polysemy.

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Cross-document Event Identity via Dense Annotation
Adithya Pratapa | Zhengzhong Liu | Kimihiro Hasegawa | Linwei Li | Yukari Yamakawa | Shikun Zhang | Teruko Mitamura
Proceedings of the 25th Conference on Computational Natural Language Learning

In this paper, we study the identity of textual events from different documents. While the complex nature of event identity is previously studied (Hovy et al., 2013), the case of events across documents is unclear. Prior work on cross-document event coreference has two main drawbacks. First, they restrict the annotations to a limited set of event types. Second, they insufficiently tackle the concept of event identity. Such annotation setup reduces the pool of event mentions and prevents one from considering the possibility of quasi-identity relations. We propose a dense annotation approach for cross-document event coreference, comprising a rich source of event mentions and a dense annotation effort between related document pairs. To this end, we design a new annotation workflow with careful quality control and an easy-to-use annotation interface. In addition to the links, we further collect overlapping event contexts, including time, location, and participants, to shed some light on the relation between identity decisions and context. We present an open-access dataset for cross-document event coreference, CDEC-WN, collected from English Wikinews and open-source our annotation toolkit to encourage further research on cross-document tasks.

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Capturing Event Argument Interaction via A Bi-Directional Entity-Level Recurrent Decoder
Xi Xiangyu | Wei Ye | Shikun Zhang | Quanxiu Wang | Huixing Jiang | Wei Wu
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)

Capturing interactions among event arguments is an essential step towards robust event argument extraction (EAE). However, existing efforts in this direction suffer from two limitations: 1) The argument role type information of contextual entities is mainly utilized as training signals, ignoring the potential merits of directly adopting it as semantically rich input features; 2) The argument-level sequential semantics, which implies the overall distribution pattern of argument roles over an event mention, is not well characterized. To tackle the above two bottlenecks, we formalize EAE as a Seq2Seq-like learning problem for the first time, where a sentence with a specific event trigger is mapped to a sequence of event argument roles. A neural architecture with a novel Bi-directional Entity-level Recurrent Decoder (BERD) is proposed to generate argument roles by incorporating contextual entities’ argument role predictions, like a word-by-word text generation process, thereby distinguishing implicit argument distribution patterns within an event more accurately.

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Unsupervised Out-of-Domain Detection via Pre-trained Transformers
Keyang Xu | Tongzheng Ren | Shikun Zhang | Yihao Feng | Caiming Xiong
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)

Deployed real-world machine learning applications are often subject to uncontrolled and even potentially malicious inputs. Those out-of-domain inputs can lead to unpredictable outputs and sometimes catastrophic safety issues. Prior studies on out-of-domain detection require in-domain task labels and are limited to supervised classification scenarios. Our work tackles the problem of detecting out-of-domain samples with only unsupervised in-domain data. We utilize the latent representations of pre-trained transformers and propose a simple yet effective method to transform features across all layers to construct out-of-domain detectors efficiently. Two domain-specific fine-tuning approaches are further proposed to boost detection accuracy. Our empirical evaluations of related methods on two datasets validate that our method greatly improves out-of-domain detection ability in a more general scenario.

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Point, Disambiguate and Copy: Incorporating Bilingual Dictionaries for Neural Machine Translation
Tong Zhang | Long Zhang | Wei Ye | Bo Li | Jinan Sun | Xiaoyu Zhu | Wen Zhao | Shikun Zhang
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)

This paper proposes a sophisticated neural architecture to incorporate bilingual dictionaries into Neural Machine Translation (NMT) models. By introducing three novel components: Pointer, Disambiguator, and Copier, our method PDC achieves the following merits inherently compared with previous efforts: (1) Pointer leverages the semantic information from bilingual dictionaries, for the first time, to better locate source words whose translation in dictionaries can potentially be used; (2) Disambiguator synthesizes contextual information from the source view and the target view, both of which contribute to distinguishing the proper translation of a specific source word from multiple candidates in dictionaries; (3) Copier systematically connects Pointer and Disambiguator based on a hierarchical copy mechanism seamlessly integrated with Transformer, thereby building an end-to-end architecture that could avoid error propagation problems in alternative pipe-line methods. The experimental results on Chinese-English and English-Japanese benchmarks demonstrate the PDC’s overall superiority and effectiveness of each component.


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Graph Enhanced Dual Attention Network for Document-Level Relation Extraction
Bo Li | Wei Ye | Zhonghao Sheng | Rui Xie | Xiangyu Xi | Shikun Zhang
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Document-level relation extraction requires inter-sentence reasoning capabilities to capture local and global contextual information for multiple relational facts. To improve inter-sentence reasoning, we propose to characterize the complex interaction between sentences and potential relation instances via a Graph Enhanced Dual Attention network (GEDA). In GEDA, sentence representation generated by the sentence-to-relation (S2R) attention is refined and synthesized by a Heterogeneous Graph Convolutional Network before being fed into the relation-to-sentence (R2S) attention . We further design a simple yet effective regularizer based on the natural duality of the S2R and R2S attention, whose weights are also supervised by the supporting evidence of relation instances during training. An extensive set of experiments on an existing large-scale dataset show that our model achieve competitive performance, especially for the inter-sentence relation extraction, while the neural predictions can also be interpretable and easily observed.

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A Data-Centric Framework for Composable NLP Workflows
Zhengzhong Liu | Guanxiong Ding | Avinash Bukkittu | Mansi Gupta | Pengzhi Gao | Atif Ahmed | Shikun Zhang | Xin Gao | Swapnil Singhavi | Linwei Li | Wei Wei | Zecong Hu | Haoran Shi | Xiaodan Liang | Teruko Mitamura | Eric Xing | Zhiting Hu
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing: System Demonstrations

Empirical natural language processing (NLP) systems in application domains (e.g., healthcare, finance, education) involve interoperation among multiple components, ranging from data ingestion, human annotation, to text retrieval, analysis, generation, and visualization. We establish a unified open-source framework to support fast development of such sophisticated NLP workflows in a composable manner. The framework introduces a uniform data representation to encode heterogeneous results by a wide range of NLP tasks. It offers a large repository of processors for NLP tasks, visualization, and annotation, which can be easily assembled with full interoperability under the unified representation. The highly extensible framework allows plugging in custom processors from external off-the-shelf NLP and deep learning libraries. The whole framework is delivered through two modularized yet integratable open-source projects, namely Forte (for workflow infrastructure and NLP function processors) and Stave (for user interaction, visualization, and annotation).


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Exploiting Entity BIO Tag Embeddings and Multi-task Learning for Relation Extraction with Imbalanced Data
Wei Ye | Bo Li | Rui Xie | Zhonghao Sheng | Long Chen | Shikun Zhang
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

In practical scenario, relation extraction needs to first identify entity pairs that have relation and then assign a correct relation class. However, the number of non-relation entity pairs in context (negative instances) usually far exceeds the others (positive instances), which negatively affects a model’s performance. To mitigate this problem, we propose a multi-task architecture which jointly trains a model to perform relation identification with cross-entropy loss and relation classification with ranking loss. Meanwhile, we observe that a sentence may have multiple entities and relation mentions, and the patterns in which the entities appear in a sentence may contain useful semantic information that can be utilized to distinguish between positive and negative instances. Thus we further incorporate the embeddings of character-wise/word-wise BIO tag from the named entity recognition task into character/word embeddings to enrich the input representation. Experiment results show that our proposed approach can significantly improve the performance of a baseline model with more than 10% absolute increase in F1-score, and outperform the state-of-the-art models on ACE 2005 Chinese and English corpus. Moreover, BIO tag embeddings are particularly effective and can be used to improve other models as well.


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Unsupervised Text Recap Extraction for TV Series
Hongliang Yu | Shikun Zhang | Louis-Philippe Morency
Proceedings of the 2016 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing


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Dual Subtitles as Parallel Corpora
Shikun Zhang | Wang Ling | Chris Dyer
Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC'14)

In this paper, we leverage the existence of dual subtitles as a source of parallel data. Dual subtitles present viewers with two languages simultaneously, and are generally aligned in the segment level, which removes the need to automatically perform this alignment. This is desirable as extracted parallel data does not contain alignment errors present in previous work that aligns different subtitle files for the same movie. We present a simple heuristic to detect and extract dual subtitles and show that more than 20 million sentence pairs can be extracted for the Mandarin-English language pair. We also show that extracting data from this source can be a viable solution for improving Machine Translation systems in the domain of subtitles.