Shiyue Zhang


2022

pdf bib
How can NLP Help Revitalize Endangered Languages? A Case Study and Roadmap for the Cherokee Language
Shiyue Zhang | Ben Frey | Mohit Bansal
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

More than 43% of the languages spoken in the world are endangered, and language loss currently occurs at an accelerated rate because of globalization and neocolonialism. Saving and revitalizing endangered languages has become very important for maintaining the cultural diversity on our planet. In this work, we focus on discussing how NLP can help revitalize endangered languages. We first suggest three principles that may help NLP practitioners to foster mutual understanding and collaboration with language communities, and we discuss three ways in which NLP can potentially assist in language education. We then take Cherokee, a severely-endangered Native American language, as a case study. After reviewing the language’s history, linguistic features, and existing resources, we (in collaboration with Cherokee community members) arrive at a few meaningful ways NLP practitioners can collaborate with community partners. We suggest two approaches to enrich the Cherokee language’s resources with machine-in-the-loop processing, and discuss several NLP tools that people from the Cherokee community have shown interest in. We hope that our work serves not only to inform the NLP community about Cherokee, but also to provide inspiration for future work on endangered languages in general.

2021

pdf bib
Finding a Balanced Degree of Automation for Summary Evaluation
Shiyue Zhang | Mohit Bansal
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Human evaluation for summarization tasks is reliable but brings in issues of reproducibility and high costs. Automatic metrics are cheap and reproducible but sometimes poorly correlated with human judgment. In this work, we propose flexible semiautomatic to automatic summary evaluation metrics, following the Pyramid human evaluation method. Semi-automatic Lite2Pyramid retains the reusable human-labeled Summary Content Units (SCUs) for reference(s) but replaces the manual work of judging SCUs’ presence in system summaries with a natural language inference (NLI) model. Fully automatic Lite3Pyramid further substitutes SCUs with automatically extracted Semantic Triplet Units (STUs) via a semantic role labeling (SRL) model. Finally, we propose in-between metrics, Lite2.xPyramid, where we use a simple regressor to predict how well the STUs can simulate SCUs and retain SCUs that are more difficult to simulate, which provides a smooth transition and balance between automation and manual evaluation. Comparing to 15 existing metrics, we evaluate human-metric correlations on 3 existing meta-evaluation datasets and our newly collected PyrXSum (with 100/10 XSum examples/systems). It shows that Lite2Pyramid consistently has the best summary-level correlations; Lite3Pyramid works better than or comparable to other automatic metrics; Lite2.xPyramid trades off small correlation drops for larger manual effort reduction, which can reduce costs for future data collection.

pdf bib
Continuous Language Generative Flow
Zineng Tang | Shiyue Zhang | Hyounghun Kim | Mohit Bansal
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)

Recent years have witnessed various types of generative models for natural language generation (NLG), especially RNNs or transformer based sequence-to-sequence models, as well as variational autoencoder (VAE) and generative adversarial network (GAN) based models. However, flow-based generative models, which achieve strong performance in image generation due to their invertibility and exact density estimation properties, have been less explored for NLG. In this paper, we propose a flow-based language generation model by adapting previous flow generative models to language generation via continuous input embeddings, adapted affine coupling structures, and a novel architecture for autoregressive text generation. We also apply our framework to Sequence-to-Sequence generation, including text- and video-based Question Generation (QG) and Neural Machine Translation (NMT), and data augmentation for Question Answering (QA). We use our language flow model to provide extra input features for QG and NMT, which achieves improvements over the strong QG baselines on SQuAD and TVQA and NMT baseline on WMT16. We also augment QA data with new context by injecting noise to the latent features of the language flow and show this augmentation leads to a large performance improvement from strong baselines on SQuAD and TVQA.

pdf bib
EmailSum: Abstractive Email Thread Summarization
Shiyue Zhang | Asli Celikyilmaz | Jianfeng Gao | Mohit Bansal
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)

Recent years have brought about an interest in the challenging task of summarizing conversation threads (meetings, online discussions, etc.). Such summaries help analysis of the long text to quickly catch up with the decisions made and thus improve our work or communication efficiency. To spur research in thread summarization, we have developed an abstractive Email Thread Summarization (EmailSum) dataset, which contains human-annotated short (<30 words) and long (<100 words) summaries of 2,549 email threads (each containing 3 to 10 emails) over a wide variety of topics. We perform a comprehensive empirical study to explore different summarization techniques (including extractive and abstractive methods, single-document and hierarchical models, as well as transfer and semisupervised learning) and conduct human evaluations on both short and long summary generation tasks. Our results reveal the key challenges of current abstractive summarization models in this task, such as understanding the sender’s intent and identifying the roles of sender and receiver. Furthermore, we find that widely used automatic evaluation metrics (ROUGE, BERTScore) are weakly correlated with human judgments on this email thread summarization task. Hence, we emphasize the importance of human evaluation and the development of better metrics by the community.

pdf bib
ChrEnTranslate: Cherokee-English Machine Translation Demo with Quality Estimation and Corrective Feedback
Shiyue Zhang | Benjamin Frey | Mohit Bansal
Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing: System Demonstrations

We introduce ChrEnTranslate, an online machine translation demonstration system for translation between English and an endangered language Cherokee. It supports both statistical and neural translation models as well as provides quality estimation to inform users of reliability, two user feedback interfaces for experts and common users respectively, example inputs to collect human translations for monolingual data, word alignment visualization, and relevant terms from the Cherokee English dictionary. The quantitative evaluation demonstrates that our backbone translation models achieve state-of-the-art translation performance and our quality estimation well correlates with both BLEU and human judgment. By analyzing 216 pieces of expert feedback, we find that NMT is preferable because it copies less than SMT, and, in general, current models can translate fragments of the source sentence but make major mistakes. When we add these 216 expert-corrected parallel texts into the training set and retrain models, equal or slightly better performance is observed, which demonstrates indicates the potential of human-in-the-loop learning.

2020

pdf bib
ChrEn: Cherokee-English Machine Translation for Endangered Language Revitalization
Shiyue Zhang | Benjamin Frey | Mohit Bansal
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

Cherokee is a highly endangered Native American language spoken by the Cherokee people. The Cherokee culture is deeply embedded in its language. However, there are approximately only 2,000 fluent first language Cherokee speakers remaining in the world and the number is declining every year. To help save this endangered language, we introduce ChrEn, a Cherokee-English parallel dataset, to facilitate machine translation research between Cherokee and English. Compared to some popular machine translation language pairs, ChrEn is extremely low-resource, only containing 14k sentence pairs in total. We split our parallel data in ways that facilitate both in-domain and out-of-domain evaluation. We also collect 5k Cherokee monolingual data to enable semi-supervised learning. Besides these datasets, we propose several Cherokee-English and English-Cherokee machine translation systems. We compare SMT (phrase-based) versus NMT (RNN-based and Transformer-based) systems; supervised versus semi-supervised (via language model, back-translation, and BERT/Multilingual-BERT) methods; as well as transfer learning versus multilingual joint training with 4 other languages. Our best results are 15.8/12.7 BLEU for in-domain and 6.5/5.0 BLEU for out-of-domain Chr-En/EnChr translations, respectively; and we hope that our dataset and systems will encourage future work by the community for Cherokee language revitalization.

pdf bib
Leakage-Adjusted Simulatability: Can Models Generate Non-Trivial Explanations of Their Behavior in Natural Language?
Peter Hase | Shiyue Zhang | Harry Xie | Mohit Bansal
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2020

Data collection for natural language (NL) understanding tasks has increasingly included human explanations alongside data points, allowing past works to introduce models that both perform a task and generate NL explanations for their outputs. Yet to date, model-generated explanations have been evaluated on the basis of surface-level similarities to human explanations, both through automatic metrics like BLEU and human evaluations. We argue that these evaluations are insufficient, since they fail to indicate whether explanations support actual model behavior (faithfulness), rather than simply match what a human would say (plausibility). In this work, we address the problem of evaluating explanations from the the model simulatability perspective. Our contributions are as follows: (1) We introduce a leakage-adjusted simulatability (LAS) metric for evaluating NL explanations, which measures how well explanations help an observer predict a model’s output, while controlling for how explanations can directly leak the output. We use a model as a proxy for a human observer, and validate this choice with two human subject experiments. (2) Using the CoS-E and e-SNLI datasets, we evaluate two existing generative graphical models and two new approaches; one rationalizing method we introduce achieves roughly human-level LAS scores. (3) Lastly, we frame explanation generation as a multi-agent game and optimize explanations for simulatability while penalizing label leakage, which can improve LAS scores.

2019

pdf bib
Addressing Semantic Drift in Question Generation for Semi-Supervised Question Answering
Shiyue Zhang | Mohit Bansal
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

Text-based Question Generation (QG) aims at generating natural and relevant questions that can be answered by a given answer in some context. Existing QG models suffer from a “semantic drift” problem, i.e., the semantics of the model-generated question drifts away from the given context and answer. In this paper, we first propose two semantics-enhanced rewards obtained from downstream question paraphrasing and question answering tasks to regularize the QG model to generate semantically valid questions. Second, since the traditional evaluation metrics (e.g., BLEU) often fall short in evaluating the quality of generated questions, we propose a QA-based evaluation method which measures the QG model’s ability to mimic human annotators in generating QA training data. Experiments show that our method achieves the new state-of-the-art performance w.r.t. traditional metrics, and also performs best on our QA-based evaluation metrics. Further, we investigate how to use our QG model to augment QA datasets and enable semi-supervised QA. We propose two ways to generate synthetic QA pairs: generate new questions from existing articles or collect QA pairs from new articles. We also propose two empirically effective strategies, a data filter and mixing mini-batch training, to properly use the QG-generated data for QA. Experiments show that our method improves over both BiDAF and BERT QA baselines, even without introducing new articles.

2017

pdf bib
Memory-augmented Neural Machine Translation
Yang Feng | Shiyue Zhang | Andi Zhang | Dong Wang | Andrew Abel
Proceedings of the 2017 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Neural machine translation (NMT) has achieved notable success in recent times, however it is also widely recognized that this approach has limitations with handling infrequent words and word pairs. This paper presents a novel memory-augmented NMT (M-NMT) architecture, which stores knowledge about how words (usually infrequently encountered ones) should be translated in a memory and then utilizes them to assist the neural model. We use this memory mechanism to combine the knowledge learned from a conventional statistical machine translation system and the rules learned by an NMT system, and also propose a solution for out-of-vocabulary (OOV) words based on this framework. Our experiments on two Chinese-English translation tasks demonstrated that the M-NMT architecture outperformed the NMT baseline by 9.0 and 2.7 BLEU points on the two tasks, respectively. Additionally, we found this architecture resulted in a much more effective OOV treatment compared to competitive methods.

pdf bib
Flexible and Creative Chinese Poetry Generation Using Neural Memory
Jiyuan Zhang | Yang Feng | Dong Wang | Yang Wang | Andrew Abel | Shiyue Zhang | Andi Zhang
Proceedings of the 55th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

It has been shown that Chinese poems can be successfully generated by sequence-to-sequence neural models, particularly with the attention mechanism. A potential problem of this approach, however, is that neural models can only learn abstract rules, while poem generation is a highly creative process that involves not only rules but also innovations for which pure statistical models are not appropriate in principle. This work proposes a memory augmented neural model for Chinese poem generation, where the neural model and the augmented memory work together to balance the requirements of linguistic accordance and aesthetic innovation, leading to innovative generations that are still rule-compliant. In addition, it is found that the memory mechanism provides interesting flexibility that can be used to generate poems with different styles.