Wei Han


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DSTC-11: Speech Aware Task-Oriented Dialog Modeling Track
Hagen Soltau | Izhak Shafran | Mingqiu Wang | Abhinav Rastogi | Wei Han | Yuan Cao
Proceedings of The Eleventh Dialog System Technology Challenge

Most research on task oriented dialog modeling is based on written text input. However, users interact with practical dialog systems often using speech as input. Typically, systems convert speech into text using an Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) system, introducing errors. Furthermore, these systems do not address the differences in written and spoken language. The research on this topic is stymied by the lack of a public corpus. Motivated by these considerations, our goal in hosting the speech-aware dialog state tracking challenge was to create a public corpus or task which can be used to investigate the performance gap between the written and spoken forms of input, develop models that could alleviate this gap, and establish whether Text-to-Speech-based (TTS) systems is a reasonable surrogate to the more-labor intensive human data collection. We created three spoken versions of the popular written-domain MultiWoz task – (a) TTS-Verbatim: written user inputs were converted into speech waveforms using a TTS system, (b) Human-Verbatim: humans spoke the user inputs verbatim, and (c) Human-paraphrased: humans paraphrased the user inputs. Additionally, we provided different forms of ASR output to encourage wider participation from teams that may not have access to state-of-the-art ASR systems. These included ASR transcripts, word time stamps, and latent representations of the audio (audio encoder outputs). In this paper, we describe the corpus, report results from participating teams, provide preliminary analyses of their results, and summarize the current state-of-the-art in this domain.


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DoubleMix: Simple Interpolation-Based Data Augmentation for Text Classification
Hui Chen | Wei Han | Diyi Yang | Soujanya Poria
Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

This paper proposes a simple yet effective interpolation-based data augmentation approach termed DoubleMix, to improve the robustness of models in text classification. DoubleMix first leverages a couple of simple augmentation operations to generate several perturbed samples for each training data, and then uses the perturbed data and original data to carry out a two-step interpolation in the hidden space of neural models. Concretely, it first mixes up the perturbed data to a synthetic sample and then mixes up the original data and the synthetic perturbed data. DoubleMix enhances models’ robustness by learning the “shifted” features in hidden space. On six text classification benchmark datasets, our approach outperforms several popular text augmentation methods including token-level, sentence-level, and hidden-level data augmentation techniques. Also, experiments in low-resource settings show our approach consistently improves models’ performance when the training data is scarce. Extensive ablation studies and case studies confirm that each component of our approach contributes to the final performance and show that our approach exhibits superior performance on challenging counterexamples. Additionally, visual analysis shows that text features generated by our approach are highly interpretable.

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SANCL: Multimodal Review Helpfulness Prediction with Selective Attention and Natural Contrastive Learning
Wei Han | Hui Chen | Zhen Hai | Soujanya Poria | Lidong Bing
Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

With the boom of e-commerce, Multimodal Review Helpfulness Prediction (MRHP) that identifies the helpfulness score of multimodal product reviews has become a research hotspot. Previous work on this task focuses on attention-based modality fusion, information integration, and relation modeling, which primarily exposes the following drawbacks: 1) the model may fail to capture the really essential information due to its indiscriminate attention formulation; 2) lack appropriate modeling methods that takes full advantage of correlation among provided data. In this paper, we propose SANCL: Selective Attention and Natural Contrastive Learning for MRHP. SANCL adopts a probe-based strategy to enforce high attention weights on the regions of greater significance. It also constructs a contrastive learning framework based on natural matching properties in the dataset. Experimental results on two benchmark datasets with three categories show that SANCL achieves state-of-the-art baseline performance with lower memory consumption.

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MM-Align: Learning Optimal Transport-based Alignment Dynamics for Fast and Accurate Inference on Missing Modality Sequences
Wei Han | Hui Chen | Min-Yen Kan | Soujanya Poria
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Existing multimodal tasks mostly target at the complete input modality setting, i.e., each modality is either complete or completely missing in both training and test sets. However, the randomly missing situations have still been underexplored. In this paper, we present a novel approach named MM-Align to address the missing-modality inference problem. Concretely, we propose 1) an alignment dynamics learning module based on the theory of optimal transport (OT) for missing data imputation; 2) a denoising training algorithm to enhance the quality of imputation as well as the accuracy of model predictions. Compared with previous generative methods which devote to restoring the missing inputs, MM-Align learns to capture and imitate the alignment dynamics between modality sequences. Results of comprehensive experiments on two multimodal tasks empirically demonstrate that our method can perform more accurate and faster inference and alleviate the overfitting issue under different missing conditions.

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SAT: Improving Semi-Supervised Text Classification with Simple Instance-Adaptive Self-Training
Hui Chen | Wei Han | Soujanya Poria
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2022

Self-training methods have been explored in recent years and have exhibited great performance in improving semi-supervised learning. This work presents a simple instance-adaptive self-training method (SAT) for semi-supervised text classification. SAT first generates two augmented views for each unlabeled data, and then trains a meta learner to automatically identify the relative strength of augmentations based on the similarity between the original view and the augmented views. The weakly-augmented view is fed to the model to produce a pseudo-label and the strongly-augmented view is used to train the model to predict the same pseudo-label. We conducted extensive experiments and analyses on three text classification datasets and found that with varying sizes of labeled training data, SAT consistently shows competitive performance compared to existing semi-supervised learning methods.


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Improving Multimodal Fusion with Hierarchical Mutual Information Maximization for Multimodal Sentiment Analysis
Wei Han | Hui Chen | Soujanya Poria
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

In multimodal sentiment analysis (MSA), the performance of a model highly depends on the quality of synthesized embeddings. These embeddings are generated from the upstream process called multimodal fusion, which aims to extract and combine the input unimodal raw data to produce a richer multimodal representation. Previous work either back-propagates the task loss or manipulates the geometric property of feature spaces to produce favorable fusion results, which neglects the preservation of critical task-related information that flows from input to the fusion results. In this work, we propose a framework named MultiModal InfoMax (MMIM), which hierarchically maximizes the Mutual Information (MI) in unimodal input pairs (inter-modality) and between multimodal fusion result and unimodal input in order to maintain task-related information through multimodal fusion. The framework is jointly trained with the main task (MSA) to improve the performance of the downstream MSA task. To address the intractable issue of MI bounds, we further formulate a set of computationally simple parametric and non-parametric methods to approximate their truth value. Experimental results on the two widely used datasets demonstrate the efficacy of our approach.


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Finding the Evidence: Localization-aware Answer Prediction for Text Visual Question Answering
Wei Han | Hantao Huang | Tao Han
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Image text carries essential information to understand the scene and perform reasoning. Text-based visual question answering (text VQA) task focuses on visual questions that require reading text in images. Existing text VQA systems generate an answer by selecting from optical character recognition (OCR) texts or a fixed vocabulary. Positional information of text is underused and there is a lack of evidence for the generated answer. As such, this paper proposes a localization-aware answer prediction network (LaAP-Net) to address this challenge. Our LaAP-Net not only generates the answer to the question but also predicts a bounding box as evidence of the generated answer. Moreover, a context-enriched OCR representation (COR) for multimodal fusion is proposed to facilitate the localization task. Our proposed LaAP-Net outperforms existing approaches on three benchmark datasets for the text VQA task by a noticeable margin.


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Attribute based Chinese Named Entity Recognition and Disambiguation
Wei Han | Guang Liu | Yuzhao Mao | Zhenni Huang
Proceedings of the Second CIPS-SIGHAN Joint Conference on Chinese Language Processing