Wenda Xu


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Visualize Before You Write: Imagination-Guided Open-Ended Text Generation
Wanrong Zhu | An Yan | Yujie Lu | Wenda Xu | Xin Wang | Miguel Eckstein | William Yang Wang
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EACL 2023

Recent advances in text-to-image synthesis make it possible to visualize machine imaginations for a given context. On the other hand, when generating text, human writers are gifted at creative visualization, which enhances their writings by forming imaginations as blueprints before putting down the stories in words. Inspired by such a cognitive process, we ask the natural question of whether we can endow machines with the same ability to utilize visual information and construct a general picture of the context to guide text generation. In this work, we propose iNLG that uses machine-generated images to guide language models (LM) in open-ended text generation. The experiments and analyses demonstrate the effectiveness of iNLG on open-ended text generation tasks, including text completion, story generation, and concept-to-text generation in both few-shot and full-data scenarios. Both automatic metrics and human evaluations verify that the text snippets generated by our iNLG are coherent and informative while displaying minor degeneration.

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CausalDialogue: Modeling Utterance-level Causality in Conversations
Yi-Lin Tuan | Alon Albalak | Wenda Xu | Michael Saxon | Connor Pryor | Lise Getoor | William Yang Wang
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2023

Despite their widespread adoption, neural conversation models have yet to exhibit natural chat capabilities with humans. In this research, we examine user utterances as causes and generated responses as effects, recognizing that changes in a cause should produce a different effect. To further explore this concept, we have compiled and expanded upon a new dataset called CausalDialogue through crowd-sourcing. This dataset includes multiple cause-effect pairs within a directed acyclic graph (DAG) structure. Our analysis reveals that traditional loss functions struggle to effectively incorporate the DAG structure, leading us to propose a causality-enhanced method called Exponential Maximum Average Treatment Effect (ExMATE) to enhance the impact of causality at the utterance level in training neural conversation models. To evaluate the needs of considering causality in dialogue generation, we built a comprehensive benchmark on CausalDialogue dataset using different models, inference, and training methods. Through experiments, we find that a causality-inspired loss like ExMATE can improve the diversity and agility of conventional loss function and there is still room for improvement to reach human-level quality on this new dataset.

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SESCORE2: Learning Text Generation Evaluation via Synthesizing Realistic Mistakes
Wenda Xu | Xian Qian | Mingxuan Wang | Lei Li | William Yang Wang
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Is it possible to train a general metric for evaluating text generation quality without human-annotated ratings? Existing learned metrics either perform unsatisfactory across text generation tasks or require human ratings for training on specific tasks. In this paper, we propose SEScore2, a self-supervised approach for training a model-based metric for text generation evaluation. The key concept is to synthesize realistic model mistakes by perturbing sentences retrieved from a corpus. We evaluate SEScore2 and previous methods on four text generation tasks across three languages. SEScore2 outperforms all prior unsupervised metrics on four text generation evaluation benchmarks, with an average Kendall improvement of 0.158. Surprisingly, SEScore2 even outperforms the supervised BLEURT and COMET on multiple text generation tasks.

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PECO: Examining Single Sentence Label Leakage in Natural Language Inference Datasets through Progressive Evaluation of Cluster Outliers
Michael Saxon | Xinyi Wang | Wenda Xu | William Yang Wang
Proceedings of the 17th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Building natural language inference (NLI) benchmarks that are both challenging for modern techniques, and free from shortcut biases is difficult. Chief among these biases is “single sentence label leakage,” where annotator-introduced spurious correlations yield datasets where the logical relation between (premise, hypothesis) pairs can be accurately predicted from only a single sentence, something that should in principle be impossible. We demonstrate that despite efforts to reduce this leakage, it persists in modern datasets that have been introduced since its 2018 discovery. To enable future amelioration efforts, introduce a novel model-driven technique, the progressive evaluation of cluster outliers (PECO) which enables both the objective measurement of leakage, and the automated detection of subpopulations in the data which maximally exhibit it.


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Not All Errors are Equal: Learning Text Generation Metrics using Stratified Error Synthesis
Wenda Xu | Yi-Lin Tuan | Yujie Lu | Michael Saxon | Lei Li | William Yang Wang
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2022

Is it possible to build a general and automatic natural language generation (NLG) evaluation metric? Existing learned metrics either perform unsatisfactorily or are restricted to tasks where large human rating data is already available. We introduce SESCORE, a model-based metric that is highly correlated with human judgements without requiring human annotation, by utilizing a novel, iterative error synthesis and severity scoring pipeline. This pipeline applies a series of plausible errors to raw text and assigns severity labels by simulating human judgements with entailment. We evaluate SESCORE against existing metrics by comparing how their scores correlate with human ratings. SESCORE outperforms all prior unsupervised metrics on multiple diverse NLG tasks including machine translation, image captioning, and WebNLG text generation. For WMT 20/21En-De and Zh-En, SESCORE improve the average Kendall correlation with human judgement from 0.154 to 0.195. SESCORE even achieves comparable performance to the best supervised metric COMET, despite receiving no human annotated training data.