Wei Shi


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Say What You Mean! Large Language Models Speak Too Positively about Negative Commonsense Knowledge
Jiangjie Chen | Wei Shi | Ziquan Fu | Sijie Cheng | Lei Li | Yanghua Xiao
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Large language models (LLMs) have been widely studied for their ability to store and utilize positive knowledge. However, negative knowledge, such as “lions don’t live in the ocean”, is also ubiquitous in the world but rarely mentioned explicitly in text. What do LLMs know about negative knowledge?This work examines the ability of LLMs on negative commonsense knowledge. We design a constrained keywords-to-sentence generation task (CG) and a Boolean question answering task (QA) to probe LLMs.Our experiments reveal that LLMs frequently fail to generate valid sentences grounded in negative commonsense knowledge, yet they can correctly answer polar yes-or-no questions. We term this phenomenon the belief conflict of LLMs.Our further analysis shows that statistical shortcuts and negation reporting bias from language modeling pre-training cause this conflict.

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Investigating Transformer-Guided Chaining for Interpretable Natural Logic Reasoning
Kanagasabai Rajaraman | Saravanan Rajamanickam | Wei Shi
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2023

Natural logic reasoning has received increasing attention lately, with several datasets and neural models proposed, though with limited success. More recently, a new class of works have emerged adopting a Neuro-Symbolic approach, called transformer guided chaining, whereby the idea is to iteratively perform 1-step neural inferences and chain together the results to generate a multi-step reasoning trace. Several works have adapted variants of this central idea and reported significantly high accuracies compared to vanilla LLM’s. In this paper, we perform a critical empirical investigation of the chaining approach on a multi-hop First-Order Logic (FOL) reasoning benchmark. In particular, we develop a reference implementation, called Chainformer, and conduct several experiments to analyze the accuracy, generalization, interpretability, and performance over FOLs. Our findings highlight key strengths and possible current limitations and suggest potential areas for future research in logic reasoning.

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Speech-Aware Multi-Domain Dialogue State Generation with ASR Error Correction Modules
Ridong Jiang | Wei Shi | Bin Wang | Chen Zhang | Yan Zhang | Chunlei Pan | Jung Jae Kim | Haizhou Li
Proceedings of The Eleventh Dialog System Technology Challenge

Prior research on dialogue state tracking (DST) is mostly based on written dialogue corpora. For spoken dialogues, the DST model trained on the written text should use the results (or hypothesis) of automatic speech recognition (ASR) as input. But ASR hypothesis often includes errors, which leads to significant performance drop for spoken dialogue state tracking. We address the issue by developing the following ASR error correction modules. First, we train a model to convert ASR hypothesis to ground truth user utterance, which can fix frequent patterns of errors. The model takes ASR hypotheses of two ASR models as input and fine-tuned in two stages. The corrected hypothesis is fed into a large scale pre-trained encoder-decoder model (T5) for DST training and inference. Second, if an output slot value from the encoder-decoder model is a name, we compare it with names in a dictionary crawled from Web sites and, if feasible, replace with the crawled name of the shortest edit distance. Third, we fix errors of temporal expressions in ASR hypothesis by using hand-crafted rules. Experiment results on the DSTC 11 speech-aware dataset, which is built on the popular MultiWOZ task (version 2.1), show that our proposed method can effectively mitigate the performance drop when moving from written text to spoken conversations.


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E-KAR: A Benchmark for Rationalizing Natural Language Analogical Reasoning
Jiangjie Chen | Rui Xu | Ziquan Fu | Wei Shi | Zhongqiao Li | Xinbo Zhang | Changzhi Sun | Lei Li | Yanghua Xiao | Hao Zhou
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2022

The ability to recognize analogies is fundamental to human cognition. Existing benchmarks to test word analogy do not reveal the underneath process of analogical reasoning of neural models. Holding the belief that models capable of reasoning should be right for the right reasons, we propose a first-of-its-kind Explainable Knowledge-intensive Analogical Reasoning benchmark (E-KAR). Our benchmark consists of 1,655 (in Chinese) and 1,251 (in English) problems sourced from the Civil Service Exams, which require intensive background knowledge to solve. More importantly, we design a free-text explanation scheme to explain whether an analogy should be drawn, and manually annotate them for each and every question and candidate answer. Empirical results suggest that this benchmark is very challenging for some state-of-the-art models for both explanation generation and analogical question answering tasks, which invites further research in this area.


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Entity Enhancement for Implicit Discourse Relation Classification in the Biomedical Domain
Wei Shi | Vera Demberg
Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 2: Short Papers)

Implicit discourse relation classification is a challenging task, in particular when the text domain is different from the standard Penn Discourse Treebank (PDTB; Prasad et al., 2008) training corpus domain (Wall Street Journal in 1990s). We here tackle the task of implicit discourse relation classification on the biomedical domain, for which the Biomedical Discourse Relation Bank (BioDRB; Prasad et al., 2011) is available. We show that entity information can be used to improve discourse relational argument representation. In a first step, we show that explicitly marked instances that are content-wise similar to the target relations can be used to achieve good performance in the cross-domain setting using a simple unsupervised voting pipeline. As a further step, we show that with the linked entity information from the first step, a transformer which is augmented with entity-related information (KBERT; Liu et al., 2020) sets the new state of the art performance on the dataset, outperforming the large pre-trained BioBERT (Lee et al., 2020) model by 2% points.

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Analyzing Code Embeddings for Coding Clinical Narratives
Wei Shi | Jiewen Wu | Xiwen Yang | Nancy Chen | Ivan Ho Mien | Jung-Jae Kim | Pavitra Krishnaswamy
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL-IJCNLP 2021


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Learning to Explicitate Connectives with Seq2Seq Network for Implicit Discourse Relation Classification
Wei Shi | Vera Demberg
Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Computational Semantics - Long Papers

Implicit discourse relation classification is one of the most difficult steps in discourse parsing. The difficulty stems from the fact that the coherence relation must be inferred based on the content of the discourse relational arguments. Therefore, an effective encoding of the relational arguments is of crucial importance. We here propose a new model for implicit discourse relation classification, which consists of a classifier, and a sequence-to-sequence model which is trained to generate a representation of the discourse relational arguments by trying to predict the relational arguments including a suitable implicit connective. Training is possible because such implicit connectives have been annotated as part of the PDTB corpus. Along with a memory network, our model could generate more refined representations for the task. And on the now standard 11-way classification, our method outperforms the previous state of the art systems on the PDTB benchmark on multiple settings including cross validation.

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Acquiring Annotated Data with Cross-lingual Explicitation for Implicit Discourse Relation Classification
Wei Shi | Frances Yung | Vera Demberg
Proceedings of the Workshop on Discourse Relation Parsing and Treebanking 2019

Implicit discourse relation classification is one of the most challenging and important tasks in discourse parsing, due to the lack of connectives as strong linguistic cues. A principle bottleneck to further improvement is the shortage of training data (ca. 18k instances in the Penn Discourse Treebank (PDTB)). Shi et al. (2017) proposed to acquire additional data by exploiting connectives in translation: human translators mark discourse relations which are implicit in the source language explicitly in the translation. Using back-translations of such explicitated connectives improves discourse relation parsing performance. This paper addresses the open question of whether the choice of the translation language matters, and whether multiple translations into different languages can be effectively used to improve the quality of the additional data.

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A Hybrid Model for Globally Coherent Story Generation
Fangzhou Zhai | Vera Demberg | Pavel Shkadzko | Wei Shi | Asad Sayeed
Proceedings of the Second Workshop on Storytelling

Automatically generating globally coherent stories is a challenging problem. Neural text generation models have been shown to perform well at generating fluent sentences from data, but they usually fail to keep track of the overall coherence of the story after a couple of sentences. Existing work that incorporates a text planning module succeeded in generating recipes and dialogues, but appears quite data-demanding. We propose a novel story generation approach that generates globally coherent stories from a fairly small corpus. The model exploits a symbolic text planning module to produce text plans, thus reducing the demand of data; a neural surface realization module then generates fluent text conditioned on the text plan. Human evaluation showed that our model outperforms various baselines by a wide margin and generates stories which are fluent as well as globally coherent.

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Next Sentence Prediction helps Implicit Discourse Relation Classification within and across Domains
Wei Shi | Vera Demberg
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

Implicit discourse relation classification is one of the most difficult tasks in discourse parsing. Previous studies have generally focused on extracting better representations of the relational arguments. In order to solve the task, it is however additionally necessary to capture what events are expected to cause or follow each other. Current discourse relation classifiers fall short in this respect. We here show that this shortcoming can be effectively addressed by using the bidirectional encoder representation from transformers (BERT) proposed by Devlin et al. (2019), which were trained on a next-sentence prediction task, and thus encode a representation of likely next sentences. The BERT-based model outperforms the current state of the art in 11-way classification by 8% points on the standard PDTB dataset. Our experiments also demonstrate that the model can be successfully ported to other domains: on the BioDRB dataset, the model outperforms the state of the art system around 15% points.


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On the Need of Cross Validation for Discourse Relation Classification
Wei Shi | Vera Demberg
Proceedings of the 15th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Volume 2, Short Papers

The task of implicit discourse relation classification has received increased attention in recent years, including two CoNNL shared tasks on the topic. Existing machine learning models for the task train on sections 2-21 of the PDTB and test on section 23, which includes a total of 761 implicit discourse relations. In this paper, we’d like to make a methodological point, arguing that the standard test set is too small to draw conclusions about whether the inclusion of certain features constitute a genuine improvement, or whether one got lucky with some properties of the test set, and argue for the adoption of cross validation for the discourse relation classification task by the community.

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Using Explicit Discourse Connectives in Translation for Implicit Discourse Relation Classification
Wei Shi | Frances Yung | Raphael Rubino | Vera Demberg
Proceedings of the Eighth International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Implicit discourse relation recognition is an extremely challenging task due to the lack of indicative connectives. Various neural network architectures have been proposed for this task recently, but most of them suffer from the shortage of labeled data. In this paper, we address this problem by procuring additional training data from parallel corpora: When humans translate a text, they sometimes add connectives (a process known as explicitation). We automatically back-translate it into an English connective and use it to infer a label with high confidence. We show that a training set several times larger than the original training set can be generated this way. With the extra labeled instances, we show that even a simple bidirectional Long Short-Term Memory Network can outperform the current state-of-the-art.


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Attention-Based Bidirectional Long Short-Term Memory Networks for Relation Classification
Peng Zhou | Wei Shi | Jun Tian | Zhenyu Qi | Bingchen Li | Hongwei Hao | Bo Xu
Proceedings of the 54th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 2: Short Papers)