Sishuo Chen


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Fine-Tuning Deteriorates General Textual Out-of-Distribution Detection by Distorting Task-Agnostic Features
Sishuo Chen | Wenkai Yang | Xiaohan Bi | Xu Sun
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EACL 2023

Detecting out-of-distribution (OOD) inputs is crucial for the safe deployment of natural language processing (NLP) models. Though existing methods, especially those based on the statistics in the feature space of fine-tuned pre-trained language models (PLMs), are claimed to be effective, their effectiveness on different types of distribution shifts remains underexplored. In this work, we take the first step to comprehensively evaluate the mainstream textual OOD detection methods for detecting semantic and non-semantic shifts. We find that: (1) no existing method behaves well in both settings; (2) fine-tuning PLMs on in-distribution data benefits detecting semantic shifts but severely deteriorates detecting non-semantic shifts, which can be attributed to the distortion of task-agnostic features. To alleviate the issue, we present a simple yet effective general OOD score named GNOME that integrates the confidence scores derived from the task-agnostic and task-specific representations. Experiments show that GNOME works well in both semantic and non-semantic shift scenarios, and further brings significant improvement on two cross-task benchmarks where both kinds of shifts simultaneously take place. Our code is available at

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Communication Efficient Federated Learning for Multilingual Neural Machine Translation with Adapter
Yi Liu | Xiaohan Bi | Lei Li | Sishuo Chen | Wenkai Yang | Xu Sun
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2023

Federated Multilingual Neural Machine Translation (Fed-MNMT) has emerged as a promising paradigm for institutions with limited language resources. This approach allows multiple institutions to act as clients and train a unified model through model synchronization, rather than collecting sensitive data for centralized training. This significantly reduces the cost of corpus collection and preserves data privacy. However, as pre-trained language models (PLMs) continue to increase in size, the communication cost for transmitting parameters during synchronization has become a training speed bottleneck. In this paper, we propose a communication-efficient Fed-MNMT framework that addresses this issue by keeping PLMs frozen and only transferring lightweight adapter modules between clients. Since different language pairs exhibit substantial discrepancies in data distributions, adapter parameters of clients may conflict with each other. To tackle this, we explore various clustering strategies to group parameters for integration and mitigate the negative effects of conflicting parameters. Experimental results demonstrate that our framework reduces communication cost by over 98% while achieving similar or even better performance compared to competitive baselines. Further analysis reveals that clustering strategies effectively solve the problem of linguistic discrepancy and pruning adapter modules further improves communication efficiency.


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Expose Backdoors on the Way: A Feature-Based Efficient Defense against Textual Backdoor Attacks
Sishuo Chen | Wenkai Yang | Zhiyuan Zhang | Xiaohan Bi | Xu Sun
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2022

Natural language processing (NLP) models are known to be vulnerable to backdoor attacks, which poses a newly arisen threat to NLP models. Prior online backdoor defense methods for NLP models only focus on the anomalies at either the input or output level, still suffering from fragility to adaptive attacks and high computational cost. In this work, we take the first step to investigate the unconcealment of textual poisoned samples at the intermediate-feature level and propose a feature-based efficient online defense method. Through extensive experiments on existing attacking methods, we find that the poisoned samples are far away from clean samples in the intermediate feature space of a poisoned NLP model. Motivated by this observation, we devise a distance-based anomaly score (DAN) to distinguish poisoned samples from clean samples at the feature level. Experiments on sentiment analysis and offense detection tasks demonstrate the superiority of DAN, as it substantially surpasses existing online defense methods in terms of defending performance and enjoys lower inference costs. Moreover, we show that DAN is also resistant to adaptive attacks based on feature-level regularization. Our code is available at

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Holistic Sentence Embeddings for Better Out-of-Distribution Detection
Sishuo Chen | Xiaohan Bi | Rundong Gao | Xu Sun
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2022

Detecting out-of-distribution (OOD) instances is significant for the safe deployment of NLP models. Among recent textual OOD detection works based on pretrained language models (PLMs), distance-based methods have shown superior performance. However, they estimate sample distance scores in the last-layer CLS embedding space and thus do not make full use of linguistic information underlying in PLMs. To address the issue, we propose to boost OOD detection by deriving more holistic sentence embeddings. On the basis of the observations that token averaging and layer combination contribute to improving OOD detection, we propose a simple embedding approach named Avg-Avg, which averages all token representations from each intermediate layer as the sentence embedding and significantly surpasses the state-of-the-art on a comprehensive suite of benchmarks by a 9.33% FAR95 margin. Furthermore, our analysis demonstrates that it indeed helps preserve general linguistic knowledge in fine-tuned PLMs and substantially benefits detecting background shifts. The simple yet effective embedding method can be applied to fine-tuned PLMs with negligible extra costs, providing a free gain in OOD detection. Our code is available at


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Translation as Cross-Domain Knowledge: Attention Augmentation for Unsupervised Cross-Domain Segmenting and Labeling Tasks
Ruixuan Luo | Yi Zhang | Sishuo Chen | Xu Sun
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2021

The nature of no word delimiter or inflection that can indicate segment boundaries or word semantics increases the difficulty of Chinese text understanding, and also intensifies the demand for word-level semantic knowledge to accomplish the tagging goal in Chinese segmenting and labeling tasks. However, for unsupervised Chinese cross-domain segmenting and labeling tasks, the model trained on the source domain frequently suffers from the deficient word-level semantic knowledge of the target domain. To address this issue, we propose a novel paradigm based on attention augmentation to introduce crucial cross-domain knowledge via a translation system. The proposed paradigm enables the model attention to draw cross-domain knowledge indicated by the implicit word-level cross-lingual alignment between the input and its corresponding translation. Aside from the model requiring cross-lingual input, we also establish an off-the-shelf model which eludes the dependency on cross-lingual translations. Experiments demonstrate that our proposal significantly advances the state-of-the-art results of cross-domain Chinese segmenting and labeling tasks.