Songlin Yang


2022

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Headed-Span-Based Projective Dependency Parsing
Songlin Yang | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

We propose a new method for projective dependency parsing based on headed spans. In a projective dependency tree, the largest subtree rooted at each word covers a contiguous sequence (i.e., a span) in the surface order. We call such a span marked by a root word headed span. A projective dependency tree can be represented as a collection of headed spans. We decompose the score of a dependency tree into the scores of the headed spans and design a novel O(n3) dynamic programming algorithm to enable global training and exact inference. Our model achieves state-of-the-art or competitive results on PTB, CTB, and UD

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Bottom-Up Constituency Parsing and Nested Named Entity Recognition with Pointer Networks
Songlin Yang | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Constituency parsing and nested named entity recognition (NER) are similar tasks since they both aim to predict a collection of nested and non-crossing spans. In this work, we cast nested NER to constituency parsing and propose a novel pointing mechanism for bottom-up parsing to tackle both tasks. The key idea is based on the observation that if we traverse a constituency tree in post-order, i.e., visiting a parent after its children, then two consecutively visited spans would share a boundary. Our model tracks the shared boundaries and predicts the next boundary at each step by leveraging a pointer network. As a result, it needs only linear steps to parse and thus is efficient. It also maintains a parsing configuration for structural consistency, i.e., always outputting valid trees. Experimentally, our model achieves the state-of-the-art performance on PTB among all BERT-based models (96.01 F1 score) and competitive performance on CTB7 in constituency parsing; and it also achieves strong performance on three benchmark datasets of nested NER: ACE2004, ACE2005, and GENIA. Our code will be available at https://github.com/xxxxx.

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Nested Named Entity Recognition as Latent Lexicalized Constituency Parsing
Chao Lou | Songlin Yang | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Nested named entity recognition (NER) has been receiving increasing attention. Recently, Fu et al. (2020) adapt a span-based constituency parser to tackle nested NER. They treat nested entities as partially-observed constituency trees and propose the masked inside algorithm for partial marginalization. However, their method cannot leverage entity heads, which have been shown useful in entity mention detection and entity typing. In this work, we resort to more expressive structures, lexicalized constituency trees in which constituents are annotated by headwords, to model nested entities. We leverage the Eisner-Satta algorithm to perform partial marginalization and inference efficiently.In addition, we propose to use (1) a two-stage strategy (2) a head regularization loss and (3) a head-aware labeling loss in order to enhance the performance. We make a thorough ablation study to investigate the functionality of each component. Experimentally, our method achieves the state-of-the-art performance on ACE2004, ACE2005 and NNE, and competitive performance on GENIA, and meanwhile has a fast inference speed.

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Dynamic Programming in Rank Space: Scaling Structured Inference with Low-Rank HMMs and PCFGs
Songlin Yang | Wei Liu | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Hidden Markov Models (HMMs) and Probabilistic Context-Free Grammars (PCFGs) are widely used structured models, both of which can be represented as factor graph grammars (FGGs), a powerful formalism capable of describing a wide range of models. Recent research found it beneficial to use large state spaces for HMMs and PCFGs. However, inference with large state spaces is computationally demanding, especially for PCFGs. To tackle this challenge, we leverage tensor rank decomposition (aka. CPD) to decrease inference computational complexities for a subset of FGGs subsuming HMMs and PCFGs. We apply CPD on the factors of an FGG and then construct a new FGG defined in the rank space. Inference with the new FGG produces the same result but has a lower time complexity when the rank size is smaller than the state size. We conduct experiments on HMM language modeling and unsupervised PCFG parsing, showing better performance than previous work. Our code is publicly available at https://github.com/VPeterV/RankSpace-Models.

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Combining (Second-Order) Graph-Based and Headed-Span-Based Projective Dependency Parsing
Songlin Yang | Kewei Tu
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2022

Graph-based methods, which decompose the score of a dependency tree into scores of dependency arcs, are popular in dependency parsing for decades. Recently, (CITATION) propose a headed-span-based method that decomposes the score of a dependency tree into scores of headed spans. They show improvement over first-order graph-based methods. However, their method does not score dependency arcs at all, and dependency arcs are implicitly induced by their cubic-time algorithm, which is possibly sub-optimal since modeling dependency arcs is intuitively useful. In this work, we aim to combine graph-based and headed-span-based methods, incorporating both arc scores and headed span scores into our model. First, we show a direct way to combine with O(n4) parsing complexity. To decrease complexity, inspired by the classical head-splitting trick, we show two O(n3) dynamic programming algorithms to combine first- and second-order graph-based and headed-span-based methods. Our experiments on PTB, CTB, and UD show that combining first-order graph-based and headed-span-based methods is effective. We also confirm the effectiveness of second-order graph-based parsing in the deep learning age, however, we observe marginal or no improvement when combining second-order graph-based and headed-span-based methods .

2021

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PCFGs Can Do Better: Inducing Probabilistic Context-Free Grammars with Many Symbols
Songlin Yang | Yanpeng Zhao | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Probabilistic context-free grammars (PCFGs) with neural parameterization have been shown to be effective in unsupervised phrase-structure grammar induction. However, due to the cubic computational complexity of PCFG representation and parsing, previous approaches cannot scale up to a relatively large number of (nonterminal and preterminal) symbols. In this work, we present a new parameterization form of PCFGs based on tensor decomposition, which has at most quadratic computational complexity in the symbol number and therefore allows us to use a much larger number of symbols. We further use neural parameterization for the new form to improve unsupervised parsing performance. We evaluate our model across ten languages and empirically demonstrate the effectiveness of using more symbols.

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Neural Bi-Lexicalized PCFG Induction
Songlin Yang | Yanpeng Zhao | Kewei Tu
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)

Neural lexicalized PCFGs (L-PCFGs) have been shown effective in grammar induction. However, to reduce computational complexity, they make a strong independence assumption on the generation of the child word and thus bilexical dependencies are ignored. In this paper, we propose an approach to parameterize L-PCFGs without making implausible independence assumptions. Our approach directly models bilexical dependencies and meanwhile reduces both learning and representation complexities of L-PCFGs. Experimental results on the English WSJ dataset confirm the effectiveness of our approach in improving both running speed and unsupervised parsing performance.

2020

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Second-Order Unsupervised Neural Dependency Parsing
Songlin Yang | Yong Jiang | Wenjuan Han | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Most of the unsupervised dependency parsers are based on first-order probabilistic generative models that only consider local parent-child information. Inspired by second-order supervised dependency parsing, we proposed a second-order extension of unsupervised neural dependency models that incorporate grandparent-child or sibling information. We also propose a novel design of the neural parameterization and optimization methods of the dependency models. In second-order models, the number of grammar rules grows cubically with the increase of vocabulary size, making it difficult to train lexicalized models that may contain thousands of words. To circumvent this problem while still benefiting from both second-order parsing and lexicalization, we use the agreement-based learning framework to jointly train a second-order unlexicalized model and a first-order lexicalized model. Experiments on multiple datasets show the effectiveness of our second-order models compared with recent state-of-the-art methods. Our joint model achieves a 10% improvement over the previous state-of-the-art parser on the full WSJ test set.