Wenhao Li


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Dataset Bias Mitigation in Multiple-Choice Visual Question Answering and Beyond
Zhecan Wang | Long Chen | Haoxuan You | Keyang Xu | Yicheng He | Wenhao Li | Noel Codella | Kai-Wei Chang | Shih-Fu Chang
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

Vision-language (VL) understanding tasks evaluate models’ comprehension of complex visual scenes through multiple-choice questions. However, we have identified two dataset biases that models can exploit as shortcuts to resolve various VL tasks correctly without proper understanding. The first type of dataset bias is Unbalanced Matching bias, where the correct answer overlaps the question and image more than the incorrect answers. The second type of dataset bias is Distractor Similarity bias, where incorrect answers are overly dissimilar to the correct answer but significantly similar to other incorrect answers within the same sample. To address these dataset biases, we first propose Adversarial Data Synthesis (ADS) to generate synthetic training and debiased evaluation data. We then introduce Intra-sample Counterfactual Training (ICT) to assist models in utilizing the synthesized training data, particularly the counterfactual data, via focusing on intra-sample differentiation. Extensive experiments demonstrate the effectiveness of ADS and ICT in consistently improving model performance across different benchmarks, even in domain-shifted scenarios.


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Recurrence Boosts Diversity! Revisiting Recurrent Latent Variable in Transformer-Based Variational AutoEncoder for Diverse Text Generation
Jinyi Hu | Xiaoyuan Yi | Wenhao Li | Maosong Sun | Xing Xie
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2022

Variational Auto-Encoder (VAE) has been widely adopted in text generation. Among many variants, recurrent VAE learns token-wise latent variables with each conditioned on the preceding ones, which captures sequential variability better in the era of RNN. However, it is unclear how to incorporate such recurrent dynamics into the recently dominant Transformer due to its parallelism. In this work, we propose TRACE, a Transformer-based recurrent VAE structure. TRACE imposes recurrence on segment-wise latent variables with arbitrarily separated text segments and constructs the posterior distribution with residual parameterization. Besides, we design an acceleration method by approximating idempotent matrices, which allows parallelism while maintaining the conditional dependence of latent variables. We demonstrate that TRACE could deduce a non-zero lower bound of the KL term and enhance the entanglement of each segment and preceding latent variables, providing a theoretical guarantee of generation diversity. Experiments on two unconditional and one conditional generation task show that TRACE achieves significantly improved diversity while maintaining satisfactory generation quality.

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Fuse It More Deeply! A Variational Transformer with Layer-Wise Latent Variable Inference for Text Generation
Jinyi Hu | Xiaoyuan Yi | Wenhao Li | Maosong Sun | Xing Xie
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

The past several years have witnessed Variational Auto-Encoder’s superiority in various text generation tasks. However, due to the sequential nature of the text, auto-regressive decoders tend to ignore latent variables and then reduce to simple language models, known as the KL vanishing problem, which would further deteriorate when VAE is combined with Transformer-based structures. To ameliorate this problem, we propose Della, a novel variational Transformer framework. Della learns a series of layer-wise latent variables with each inferred from those of lower layers and tightly coupled with the hidden states by low-rank tensor product. In this way, Della forces these posterior latent variables to be fused deeply with the whole computation path and hence incorporate more information. We theoretically demonstrate that our method can be regarded as entangling latent variables to avoid posterior information decrease through layers, enabling Della to get higher non-zero KL values even without any annealing or thresholding tricks. Experiments on four unconditional and three conditional generation tasks show that Della could better alleviate KL vanishing and improve both quality and diversity compared to several strong baselines.

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Understanding ME? Multimodal Evaluation for Fine-grained Visual Commonsense
Zhecan Wang | Haoxuan You | Yicheng He | Wenhao Li | Kai-Wei Chang | Shih-Fu Chang
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Visual commonsense understanding requires Vision Language (VL) models to not only understand image and text but also cross-reference in-between to fully integrate and achieve comprehension of the visual scene described. Recently, various approaches have been developed and have achieved high performance on visual commonsense benchmarks. However, it is unclear whether the models really understand the visual scene and underlying commonsense knowledge due to limited evaluation data resources. To provide an in-depth analysis, we present a Multimodal Evaluation (ME) pipeline to automatically generate question-answer pairs to test models’ understanding of the visual scene, text, and related knowledge. We then take a step further to show that training with the ME data boosts the model’s performance in standard VCR evaluation. Lastly, our in-depth analysis and comparison reveal interesting findings: (1) semantically low-level information can assist the learning of high-level information but not the opposite; (2) visual information is generally under utilization compared with text.

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Evade the Trap of Mediocrity: Promoting Diversity and Novelty in Text Generation via Concentrating Attention
Wenhao Li | Xiaoyuan Yi | Jinyi Hu | Maosong Sun | Xing Xie
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Recently, powerful Transformer architectures have proven superior in generating high-quality sentences. Nevertheless, these models tend to produce dull high-frequency phrases, severely hurting the diversity and novelty of generated text. In this work, we dig into the intrinsic mechanism of this problem and found that sparser attention values in Transformer could improve diversity. To understand such a phenomenon, we first conduct both empirical and theoretical analysis and then attribute it to representation degeneration caused by the attentive mixture of the hidden states during training. We term this process the Trap of Mediocrity. To escape from such a trap, we introduce a novel attention regularization loss to control the sharpness of the attention distribution, which is transparent to model structures and can be easily implemented within 20 lines of python code. We prove that this method could be mathematically regarded as learning a Bayesian approximation of posterior attention. Experiments show that our method improved the diversity and novelty of the generated text while maintaining comparable quality on a variety of conditional and unconditional generation tasks.


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基于BPE分词的中国古诗主题模型及主题可控的诗歌生成(Topic model and topic-controlled poetry generation of Chinese ancient poem based on BPE)
Jiarui Zhang (张家瑞) | Wenhao Li (李文浩) | Maosong Sun (孙茂松)
Proceedings of the 20th Chinese National Conference on Computational Linguistics



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Jiuge: A Human-Machine Collaborative Chinese Classical Poetry Generation System
Guo Zhipeng | Xiaoyuan Yi | Maosong Sun | Wenhao Li | Cheng Yang | Jiannan Liang | Huimin Chen | Yuhui Zhang | Ruoyu Li
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics: System Demonstrations

Research on the automatic generation of poetry, the treasure of human culture, has lasted for decades. Most existing systems, however, are merely model-oriented, which input some user-specified keywords and directly complete the generation process in one pass, with little user participation. We believe that the machine, being a collaborator or an assistant, should not replace human beings in poetic creation. Therefore, we proposed Jiuge, a human-machine collaborative Chinese classical poetry generation system. Unlike previous systems, Jiuge allows users to revise the unsatisfied parts of a generated poem draft repeatedly. According to the revision, the poem will be dynamically updated and regenerated. After the revision and modification procedure, the user can write a satisfying poem together with Jiuge system collaboratively. Besides, Jiuge can accept multi-modal inputs, such as keywords, plain text or images. By exposing the options of poetry genres, styles and revision modes, Jiuge, acting as a professional assistant, allows constant and active participation of users in poetic creation.


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Automatic Poetry Generation with Mutual Reinforcement Learning
Xiaoyuan Yi | Maosong Sun | Ruoyu Li | Wenhao Li
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Poetry is one of the most beautiful forms of human language art. As a crucial step towards computer creativity, automatic poetry generation has drawn researchers’ attention for decades. In recent years, some neural models have made remarkable progress in this task. However, they are all based on maximum likelihood estimation, which only learns common patterns of the corpus and results in loss-evaluation mismatch. Human experts evaluate poetry in terms of some specific criteria, instead of word-level likelihood. To handle this problem, we directly model the criteria and use them as explicit rewards to guide gradient update by reinforcement learning, so as to motivate the model to pursue higher scores. Besides, inspired by writing theories, we propose a novel mutual reinforcement learning schema. We simultaneously train two learners (generators) which learn not only from the teacher (rewarder) but also from each other to further improve performance. We experiment on Chinese poetry. Based on a strong basic model, our method achieves better results and outperforms the current state-of-the-art method.

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Stylistic Chinese Poetry Generation via Unsupervised Style Disentanglement
Cheng Yang | Maosong Sun | Xiaoyuan Yi | Wenhao Li
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

The ability to write diverse poems in different styles under the same poetic imagery is an important characteristic of human poetry writing. Most previous works on automatic Chinese poetry generation focused on improving the coherency among lines. Some work explored style transfer but suffered from expensive expert labeling of poem styles. In this paper, we target on stylistic poetry generation in a fully unsupervised manner for the first time. We propose a novel model which requires no supervised style labeling by incorporating mutual information, a concept in information theory, into modeling. Experimental results show that our model is able to generate stylistic poems without losing fluency and coherency.