Sihao Chen


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Design Challenges for a Multi-Perspective Search Engine
Sihao Chen | Siyi Liu | Xander Uyttendaele | Yi Zhang | William Bruno | Dan Roth
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: NAACL 2022

Many users turn to document retrieval systems (e.g. search engines) to seek answers to controversial or open-ended questions. However, classical document retrieval systems fall short at delivering users a set of direct and diverse responses in such cases, which requires identifying responses within web documents in the context of the query, and aggregating the responses based on their different perspectives. The goal of this work is to survey and study the user information needs for building a multi-perspective search engine of such. We examine the challenges of synthesizing such language understanding objectives with document retrieval, and study a new perspective-oriented document retrieval paradigm. We discuss and assess the inherent natural language understanding challenges one needs to address in order to achieve the goal. Following the design challenges and principles, we propose and evaluate a practical prototype pipeline system. We use the prototype system to conduct a user survey in order to assess the utility of our paradigm, as well as understanding the user information needs when issuing controversial and open-ended queries to a search engine.


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MultiOpEd: A Corpus of Multi-Perspective News Editorials
Siyi Liu | Sihao Chen | Xander Uyttendaele | Dan Roth
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

We propose MultiOpEd, an open-domain news editorial corpus that supports various tasks pertaining to the argumentation structure in news editorials, focusing on automatic perspective discovery. News editorial is a genre of persuasive text, where the argumentation structure is usually implicit. However, the arguments presented in an editorial typically center around a concise, focused thesis, which we refer to as their perspective. MultiOpEd aims at supporting the study of multiple tasks relevant to automatic perspective discovery, where a system is expected to produce a single-sentence thesis statement summarizing the arguments presented. We argue that identifying and abstracting such natural language perspectives from editorials is a crucial step toward studying the implicit argumentation structure in news editorials. We first discuss the challenges and define a few conceptual tasks towards our goal. To demonstrate the utility of MultiOpEd and the induced tasks, we study the problem of perspective summarization in a multi-task learning setting, as a case study. We show that, with the induced tasks as auxiliary tasks, we can improve the quality of the perspective summary generated. We hope that MultiOpEd will be a useful resource for future studies on argumentation in the news editorial domain.

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Improving Faithfulness in Abstractive Summarization with Contrast Candidate Generation and Selection
Sihao Chen | Fan Zhang | Kazoo Sone | Dan Roth
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Despite significant progress in neural abstractive summarization, recent studies have shown that the current models are prone to generating summaries that are unfaithful to the original context. To address the issue, we study contrast candidate generation and selection as a model-agnostic post-processing technique to correct the extrinsic hallucinations (i.e. information not present in the source text) in unfaithful summaries. We learn a discriminative correction model by generating alternative candidate summaries where named entities and quantities in the generated summary are replaced with ones with compatible semantic types from the source document. This model is then used to select the best candidate as the final output summary. Our experiments and analysis across a number of neural summarization systems show that our proposed method is effective in identifying and correcting extrinsic hallucinations. We analyze the typical hallucination phenomenon by different types of neural summarization systems, in hope to provide insights for future work on the direction.


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Evaluating Models’ Local Decision Boundaries via Contrast Sets
Matt Gardner | Yoav Artzi | Victoria Basmov | Jonathan Berant | Ben Bogin | Sihao Chen | Pradeep Dasigi | Dheeru Dua | Yanai Elazar | Ananth Gottumukkala | Nitish Gupta | Hannaneh Hajishirzi | Gabriel Ilharco | Daniel Khashabi | Kevin Lin | Jiangming Liu | Nelson F. Liu | Phoebe Mulcaire | Qiang Ning | Sameer Singh | Noah A. Smith | Sanjay Subramanian | Reut Tsarfaty | Eric Wallace | Ally Zhang | Ben Zhou
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2020

Standard test sets for supervised learning evaluate in-distribution generalization. Unfortunately, when a dataset has systematic gaps (e.g., annotation artifacts), these evaluations are misleading: a model can learn simple decision rules that perform well on the test set but do not capture the abilities a dataset is intended to test. We propose a more rigorous annotation paradigm for NLP that helps to close systematic gaps in the test data. In particular, after a dataset is constructed, we recommend that the dataset authors manually perturb the test instances in small but meaningful ways that (typically) change the gold label, creating contrast sets. Contrast sets provide a local view of a model’s decision boundary, which can be used to more accurately evaluate a model’s true linguistic capabilities. We demonstrate the efficacy of contrast sets by creating them for 10 diverse NLP datasets (e.g., DROP reading comprehension, UD parsing, and IMDb sentiment analysis). Although our contrast sets are not explicitly adversarial, model performance is significantly lower on them than on the original test sets—up to 25% in some cases. We release our contrast sets as new evaluation benchmarks and encourage future dataset construction efforts to follow similar annotation processes.


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Seeing Things from a Different Angle:Discovering Diverse Perspectives about Claims
Sihao Chen | Daniel Khashabi | Wenpeng Yin | Chris Callison-Burch | Dan Roth
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 1 (Long and Short Papers)

One key consequence of the information revolution is a significant increase and a contamination of our information supply. The practice of fact checking won’t suffice to eliminate the biases in text data we observe, as the degree of factuality alone does not determine whether biases exist in the spectrum of opinions visible to us. To better understand controversial issues, one needs to view them from a diverse yet comprehensive set of perspectives. For example, there are many ways to respond to a claim such as “animals should have lawful rights”, and these responses form a spectrum of perspectives, each with a stance relative to this claim and, ideally, with evidence supporting it. Inherently, this is a natural language understanding task, and we propose to address it as such. Specifically, we propose the task of substantiated perspective discovery where, given a claim, a system is expected to discover a diverse set of well-corroborated perspectives that take a stance with respect to the claim. Each perspective should be substantiated by evidence paragraphs which summarize pertinent results and facts. We construct PERSPECTRUM, a dataset of claims, perspectives and evidence, making use of online debate websites to create the initial data collection, and augmenting it using search engines in order to expand and diversify our dataset. We use crowd-sourcing to filter out noise and ensure high-quality data. Our dataset contains 1k claims, accompanied with pools of 10k and 8k perspective sentences and evidence paragraphs, respectively. We provide a thorough analysis of the dataset to highlight key underlying language understanding challenges, and show that human baselines across multiple subtasks far outperform ma-chine baselines built upon state-of-the-art NLP techniques. This poses a challenge and opportunity for the NLP community to address.

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PerspectroScope: A Window to the World of Diverse Perspectives
Sihao Chen | Daniel Khashabi | Chris Callison-Burch | Dan Roth
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics: System Demonstrations

This work presents PerspectroScope, a web-based system which lets users query a discussion-worthy natural language claim, and extract and visualize various perspectives in support or against the claim, along with evidence supporting each perspective. The system thus lets users explore various perspectives that could touch upon aspects of the issue at hand.The system is built as a combination of retrieval engines and learned textual-entailment-like classifiers built using a few recent developments in natural language understanding. To make the system more adaptive, expand its coverage, and improve its decisions over time, our platform employs various mechanisms to get corrections from the users. PerspectroScope is available at Web demo link: Link to demo video: