Weishi Wang


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Retrieving Multimodal Information for Augmented Generation: A Survey
Ruochen Zhao | Hailin Chen | Weishi Wang | Fangkai Jiao | Xuan Long Do | Chengwei Qin | Bosheng Ding | Xiaobao Guo | Minzhi Li | Xingxuan Li | Shafiq Joty
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

As Large Language Models (LLMs) become popular, there emerged an important trend of using multimodality to augment the LLMs’ generation ability, which enables LLMs to better interact with the world. However, there lacks a unified perception of at which stage and how to incorporate different modalities. In this survey, we review methods that assist and augment generative models by retrieving multimodal knowledge, whose formats range from images, codes, tables, graphs, to audio. Such methods offer a promising solution to important concerns such as factuality, reasoning, interpretability, and robustness. By providing an in-depth review, this survey is expected to provide scholars with a deeper understanding of the methods’ applications and encourage them to adapt existing techniques to the fast-growing field of LLMs.

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Towards Low-Resource Automatic Program Repair with Meta-Learning and Pretrained Language Models
Weishi Wang | Yue Wang | Steven Hoi | Shafiq Joty
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Automatic program repair (APR) has gained increasing attention as an essential technique in software development to reduce manual debugging efforts and boost developers’ productivity. Recent advances in deep learning (DL) based models have demonstrated promising results by learning from large-scale bug-fix examples in a data-driven manner. However, in practical scenarios, software bugs have an imbalanced distribution, and the fixing knowledge learned by APR models often only capture the patterns of frequent error types, making it inapplicable to handle the rare error types. To address this limitation, we investigate a novel task of low-resource APR, and propose Meta-APR, a new meta-learning framework integrated with code pretrained language models to generate fixes for low-resource bugs with limited training samples. Our Meta-APR learns better error-specific knowledge from high-resource bugs through efficient first-order meta-learning optimization, which allows for a faster adaptation to the target low-resource bugs. Besides, while we adopt CodeT5, a pretrained code-aware encoder-decoder Transformer, as the backbone model for Meta-APR, it is a model-agnostic framework that can be integrated with any neural models. Extensive experimental results on three benchmarks in various programming languages verify the superiority of our method over existing DL-based APR approaches.


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CodeT5: Identifier-aware Unified Pre-trained Encoder-Decoder Models for Code Understanding and Generation
Yue Wang | Weishi Wang | Shafiq Joty | Steven C.H. Hoi
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Pre-trained models for Natural Languages (NL) like BERT and GPT have been recently shown to transfer well to Programming Languages (PL) and largely benefit a broad set of code-related tasks. Despite their success, most current methods either rely on an encoder-only (or decoder-only) pre-training that is suboptimal for generation (resp. understanding) tasks or process the code snippet in the same way as NL, neglecting the special characteristics of PL such as token types. We present CodeT5, a unified pre-trained encoder-decoder Transformer model that better leverages the code semantics conveyed from the developer-assigned identifiers. Our model employs a unified framework to seamlessly support both code understanding and generation tasks and allows for multi-task learning. Besides, we propose a novel identifier-aware pre-training task that enables the model to distinguish which code tokens are identifiers and to recover them when they are masked. Furthermore, we propose to exploit the user-written code comments with a bimodal dual generation task for better NL-PL alignment. Comprehensive experiments show that CodeT5 significantly outperforms prior methods on understanding tasks such as code defect detection and clone detection, and generation tasks across various directions including PL-NL, NL-PL, and PL-PL. Further analysis reveals that our model can better capture semantic information from code. Our code and pre-trained models are released at https://github.com/salesforce/CodeT5.


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Response Selection for Multi-Party Conversations with Dynamic Topic Tracking
Weishi Wang | Steven C.H. Hoi | Shafiq Joty
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

While participants in a multi-party multi-turn conversation simultaneously engage in multiple conversation topics, existing response selection methods are developed mainly focusing on a two-party single-conversation scenario. Hence, the prolongation and transition of conversation topics are ignored by current methods. In this work, we frame response selection as a dynamic topic tracking task to match the topic between the response and relevant conversation context. With this new formulation, we propose a novel multi-task learning framework that supports efficient encoding through large pretrained models with only two utterances at once to perform dynamic topic disentanglement and response selection. We also propose Topic-BERT an essential pretraining step to embed topic information into BERT with self-supervised learning. Experimental results on the DSTC-8 Ubuntu IRC dataset show state-of-the-art results in response selection and topic disentanglement tasks outperforming existing methods by a good margin.