Tuo Zhao


2021

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Adversarial Regularization as Stackelberg Game: An Unrolled Optimization Approach
Simiao Zuo | Chen Liang | Haoming Jiang | Xiaodong Liu | Pengcheng He | Jianfeng Gao | Weizhu Chen | Tuo Zhao
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Adversarial regularization has been shown to improve the generalization performance of deep learning models in various natural language processing tasks. Existing works usually formulate the method as a zero-sum game, which is solved by alternating gradient descent/ascent algorithms. Such a formulation treats the adversarial and the defending players equally, which is undesirable because only the defending player contributes to the generalization performance. To address this issue, we propose Stackelberg Adversarial Regularization (SALT), which formulates adversarial regularization as a Stackelberg game. This formulation induces a competition between a leader and a follower, where the follower generates perturbations, and the leader trains the model subject to the perturbations. Different from conventional approaches, in SALT, the leader is in an advantageous position. When the leader moves, it recognizes the strategy of the follower and takes the anticipated follower’s outcomes into consideration. Such a leader’s advantage enables us to improve the model fitting to the unperturbed data. The leader’s strategic information is captured by the Stackelberg gradient, which is obtained using an unrolling algorithm. Our experimental results on a set of machine translation and natural language understanding tasks show that SALT outperforms existing adversarial regularization baselines across all tasks. Our code is publicly available.

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Towards Automatic Evaluation of Dialog Systems: A Model-Free Off-Policy Evaluation Approach
Haoming Jiang | Bo Dai | Mengjiao Yang | Tuo Zhao | Wei Wei
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Reliable automatic evaluation of dialogue systems under an interactive environment has long been overdue. An ideal environment for evaluating dialog systems, also known as the Turing test, needs to involve human interaction, which is usually not affordable for large-scale experiments. Though researchers have attempted to use metrics for language generation tasks (e.g., perplexity, BLEU) or some model-based reinforcement learning methods (e.g., self-play evaluation) for automatic evaluation, these methods only show very weak correlation with the actual human evaluation in practice. To bridge such a gap, we propose a new framework named ENIGMA for estimating human evaluation scores based on recent advances of off-policy evaluation in reinforcement learning. ENIGMA only requires a handful of pre-collected experience data, and therefore does not involve human interaction with the target policy during the evaluation, making automatic evaluations feasible. More importantly, ENIGMA is model-free and agnostic to the behavior policies for collecting the experience data, which significantly alleviates the technical difficulties of modeling complex dialogue environments and human behaviors. Our experiments show that ENIGMA significantly outperforms existing methods in terms of correlation with human evaluation scores.

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Token-wise Curriculum Learning for Neural Machine Translation
Chen Liang | Haoming Jiang | Xiaodong Liu | Pengcheng He | Weizhu Chen | Jianfeng Gao | Tuo Zhao
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2021

Existing curriculum learning approaches to Neural Machine Translation (NMT) require sampling sufficient amounts of “easy” samples from training data at the early training stage. This is not always achievable for low-resource languages where the amount of training data is limited. To address such a limitation, we propose a novel token-wise curriculum learning approach that creates sufficient amounts of easy samples. Specifically, the model learns to predict a short sub-sequence from the beginning part of each target sentence at the early stage of training. Then the sub-sequence is gradually expanded as the training progresses. Such a new curriculum design is inspired by the cumulative effect of translation errors, which makes the latter tokens more challenging to predict than the beginning ones. Extensive experiments show that our approach can consistently outperform baselines on five language pairs, especially for low-resource languages. Combining our approach with sentence-level methods further improves the performance of high-resource languages.

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ARCH: Efficient Adversarial Regularized Training with Caching
Simiao Zuo | Chen Liang | Haoming Jiang | Pengcheng He | Xiaodong Liu | Jianfeng Gao | Weizhu Chen | Tuo Zhao
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2021

Adversarial regularization can improve model generalization in many natural language processing tasks. However, conventional approaches are computationally expensive since they need to generate a perturbation for each sample in each epoch. We propose a new adversarial regularization method ARCH (adversarial regularization with caching), where perturbations are generated and cached once every several epochs. As caching all the perturbations imposes memory usage concerns, we adopt a K-nearest neighbors-based strategy to tackle this issue. The strategy only requires caching a small amount of perturbations, without introducing additional training time. We evaluate our proposed method on a set of neural machine translation and natural language understanding tasks. We observe that ARCH significantly eases the computational burden (saves up to 70% of computational time in comparison with conventional approaches). More surprisingly, by reducing the variance of stochastic gradients, ARCH produces a notably better (in most of the tasks) or comparable model generalization. Our code is publicly available.

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Fine-Tuning Pre-trained Language Model with Weak Supervision: A Contrastive-Regularized Self-Training Approach
Yue Yu | Simiao Zuo | Haoming Jiang | Wendi Ren | Tuo Zhao | Chao Zhang
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Fine-tuned pre-trained language models (LMs) have achieved enormous success in many natural language processing (NLP) tasks, but they still require excessive labeled data in the fine-tuning stage. We study the problem of fine-tuning pre-trained LMs using only weak supervision, without any labeled data. This problem is challenging because the high capacity of LMs makes them prone to overfitting the noisy labels generated by weak supervision. To address this problem, we develop a contrastive self-training framework, COSINE, to enable fine-tuning LMs with weak supervision. Underpinned by contrastive regularization and confidence-based reweighting, our framework gradually improves model fitting while effectively suppressing error propagation. Experiments on sequence, token, and sentence pair classification tasks show that our model outperforms the strongest baseline by large margins and achieves competitive performance with fully-supervised fine-tuning methods. Our implementation is available on https://github.com/yueyu1030/COSINE.

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The First Workshop on Evaluations and Assessments of Neural Conversation Systems
Wei Wei | Bo Dai | Tuo Zhao | Lihong Li | Diyi Yang | Yun-Nung Chen | Y-Lan Boureau | Asli Celikyilmaz | Alborz Geramifard | Aman Ahuja | Haoming Jiang
The First Workshop on Evaluations and Assessments of Neural Conversation Systems

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Named Entity Recognition with Small Strongly Labeled and Large Weakly Labeled Data
Haoming Jiang | Danqing Zhang | Tianyu Cao | Bing Yin | Tuo Zhao
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)

Weak supervision has shown promising results in many natural language processing tasks, such as Named Entity Recognition (NER). Existing work mainly focuses on learning deep NER models only with weak supervision, i.e., without any human annotation, and shows that by merely using weakly labeled data, one can achieve good performance, though still underperforms fully supervised NER with manually/strongly labeled data. In this paper, we consider a more practical scenario, where we have both a small amount of strongly labeled data and a large amount of weakly labeled data. Unfortunately, we observe that weakly labeled data does not necessarily improve, or even deteriorate the model performance (due to the extensive noise in the weak labels) when we train deep NER models over a simple or weighted combination of the strongly labeled and weakly labeled data. To address this issue, we propose a new multi-stage computational framework – NEEDLE with three essential ingredients: (1) weak label completion, (2) noise-aware loss function, and (3) final fine-tuning over the strongly labeled data. Through experiments on E-commerce query NER and Biomedical NER, we demonstrate that NEEDLE can effectively suppress the noise of the weak labels and outperforms existing methods. In particular, we achieve new SOTA F1-scores on 3 Biomedical NER datasets: BC5CDR-chem 93.74, BC5CDR-disease 90.69, NCBI-disease 92.28.

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Super Tickets in Pre-Trained Language Models: From Model Compression to Improving Generalization
Chen Liang | Simiao Zuo | Minshuo Chen | Haoming Jiang | Xiaodong Liu | Pengcheng He | Tuo Zhao | Weizhu Chen
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)

The Lottery Ticket Hypothesis suggests that an over-parametrized network consists of ”lottery tickets”, and training a certain collection of them (i.e., a subnetwork) can match the performance of the full model. In this paper, we study such a collection of tickets, which is referred to as ”winning tickets”, in extremely over-parametrized models, e.g., pre-trained language models. We observe that at certain compression ratios, the generalization performance of the winning tickets can not only match but also exceed that of the full model. In particular, we observe a phase transition phenomenon: As the compression ratio increases, generalization performance of the winning tickets first improves then deteriorates after a certain threshold. We refer to the tickets on the threshold as ”super tickets”. We further show that the phase transition is task and model dependent — as the model size becomes larger and the training data set becomes smaller, the transition becomes more pronounced. Our experiments on the GLUE benchmark show that the super tickets improve single task fine-tuning by 0.9 points on BERT-base and 1.0 points on BERT-large, in terms of task-average score. We also demonstrate that adaptively sharing the super tickets across tasks benefits multi-task learning.

2020

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Calibrated Language Model Fine-Tuning for In- and Out-of-Distribution Data
Lingkai Kong | Haoming Jiang | Yuchen Zhuang | Jie Lyu | Tuo Zhao | Chao Zhang
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

Fine-tuned pre-trained language models can suffer from severe miscalibration for both in-distribution and out-of-distribution (OOD) data due to over-parameterization. To mitigate this issue, we propose a regularized fine-tuning method. Our method introduces two types of regularization for better calibration: (1) On-manifold regularization, which generates pseudo on-manifold samples through interpolation within the data manifold. Augmented training with these pseudo samples imposes a smoothness regularization to improve in-distribution calibration. (2) Off-manifold regularization, which encourages the model to output uniform distributions for pseudo off-manifold samples to address the over-confidence issue for OOD data. Our experiments demonstrate that the proposed method outperforms existing calibration methods for text classification in terms of expectation calibration error, misclassification detection, and OOD detection on six datasets. Our code can be found at https://github.com/Lingkai-Kong/Calibrated-BERT-Fine-Tuning.

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Multi-Domain Neural Machine Translation with Word-Level Adaptive Layer-wise Domain Mixing
Haoming Jiang | Chen Liang | Chong Wang | Tuo Zhao
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Many multi-domain neural machine translation (NMT) models achieve knowledge transfer by enforcing one encoder to learn shared embedding across domains. However, this design lacks adaptation to individual domains. To overcome this limitation, we propose a novel multi-domain NMT model using individual modules for each domain, on which we apply word-level, adaptive and layer-wise domain mixing. We first observe that words in a sentence are often related to multiple domains. Hence, we assume each word has a domain proportion, which indicates its domain preference. Then word representations are obtained by mixing their embedding in individual domains based on their domain proportions. We show this can be achieved by carefully designing multi-head dot-product attention modules for different domains, and eventually taking weighted averages of their parameters by word-level layer-wise domain proportions. Through this, we can achieve effective domain knowledge sharing and capture fine-grained domain-specific knowledge as well. Our experiments show that our proposed model outperforms existing ones in several NMT tasks.

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SMART: Robust and Efficient Fine-Tuning for Pre-trained Natural Language Models through Principled Regularized Optimization
Haoming Jiang | Pengcheng He | Weizhu Chen | Xiaodong Liu | Jianfeng Gao | Tuo Zhao
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Transfer learning has fundamentally changed the landscape of natural language processing (NLP). Many state-of-the-art models are first pre-trained on a large text corpus and then fine-tuned on downstream tasks. However, due to limited data resources from downstream tasks and the extremely high complexity of pre-trained models, aggressive fine-tuning often causes the fine-tuned model to overfit the training data of downstream tasks and fail to generalize to unseen data. To address such an issue in a principled manner, we propose a new learning framework for robust and efficient fine-tuning for pre-trained models to attain better generalization performance. The proposed framework contains two important ingredients: 1. Smoothness-inducing regularization, which effectively manages the complexity of the model; 2. Bregman proximal point optimization, which is an instance of trust-region methods and can prevent aggressive updating. Our experiments show that the proposed framework achieves new state-of-the-art performance on a number of NLP tasks including GLUE, SNLI, SciTail and ANLI. Moreover, it also outperforms the state-of-the-art T5 model, which is the largest pre-trained model containing 11 billion parameters, on GLUE.