Wenjuan Han


2022

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SHARP: Search-Based Adversarial Attack for Structured Prediction
Liwen Zhang | Zixia Jia | Wenjuan Han | Zilong Zheng | Kewei Tu
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: NAACL 2022

Adversarial attack of structured prediction models faces various challenges such as the difficulty of perturbing discrete words, the sentence quality issue, and the sensitivity of outputs to small perturbations. In this work, we introduce SHARP, a new attack method that formulates the black-box adversarial attack as a search-based optimization problem with a specially designed objective function considering sentence fluency, meaning preservation and attacking effectiveness. Additionally, three different searching strategies are analyzed and compared, i.e., Beam Search, Metropolis-Hastings Sampling, and Hybrid Search. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our attacking strategies on two challenging structured prediction tasks: Pos-tagging and dependency parsing. Through automatic and human evaluations, we show that our method performs a more potent attack compared with pioneer arts. Moreover, the generated adversarial examples can be used to successfully boost the robustness and performance of the victim model via adversarial training.

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Spa: On the Sparsity of Virtual Adversarial Training for Dependency Parsing
Chao Lou | Wenjuan Han | Kewei Tu
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: AACL-IJCNLP 2022

Virtual adversarial training (VAT) is a powerful approach to improving robustness and performance, leveraging both labeled and unlabeled data to compensate for the scarcity of labeled data. It is adopted on lots of vision and language classification tasks. However, for tasks with structured output (e.g., dependency parsing), the application of VAT is nontrivial due to the intrinsic proprieties of structures: (1) the non-sparse problem and (2) exponential complexity. Against this background, we propose the Sparse Parse Adjustment (spa) algorithm and successfully applied VAT to the dependency parsing task. spa refers to the learning algorithm which combines the graph-based dependency parsing model with VAT in an exact computational manner and enhances the dependency parser with controllable and adjustable sparsity. Empirical studies show that the TreeCRF parser optimized using outperforms other methods without sparsity regularization.

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On the Robustness of Question Rewriting Systems to Questions of Varying Hardness
Hai Ye | Hwee Tou Ng | Wenjuan Han
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

In conversational question answering (CQA), the task of question rewriting (QR) in context aims to rewrite a context-dependent question into an equivalent self-contained question that gives the same answer. In this paper, we are interested in the robustness of a QR system to questions varying in rewriting hardness or difficulty. Since there is a lack of questions classified based on their rewriting hardness, we first propose a heuristic method to automatically classify questions into subsets of varying hardness, by measuring the discrepancy between a question and its rewrite. To find out what makes questions hard or easy for rewriting, we then conduct a human evaluation to annotate the rewriting hardness of questions. Finally, to enhance the robustness of QR systems to questions of varying hardness, we propose a novel learning framework for QR that first trains a QR model independently on each subset of questions of a certain level of hardness, then combines these QR models as one joint model for inference. Experimental results on two datasets show that our framework improves the overall performance compared to the baselines.

2021

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Adapting Unsupervised Syntactic Parsing Methodology for Discourse Dependency Parsing
Liwen Zhang | Ge Wang | Wenjuan Han | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 1: Long Papers)

One of the main bottlenecks in developing discourse dependency parsers is the lack of annotated training data. A potential solution is to utilize abundant unlabeled data by using unsupervised techniques, but there is so far little research in unsupervised discourse dependency parsing. Fortunately, unsupervised syntactic dependency parsing has been studied by decades, which could potentially be adapted for discourse parsing. In this paper, we propose a simple yet effective method to adapt unsupervised syntactic dependency parsing methodology for unsupervised discourse dependency parsing. We apply the method to adapt two state-of-the-art unsupervised syntactic dependency parsing methods. Experimental results demonstrate that our adaptation is effective. Moreover, we extend the adapted methods to the semi-supervised and supervised setting and surprisingly, we find that they outperform previous methods specially designed for supervised discourse parsing. Further analysis shows our adaptations result in superiority not only in parsing accuracy but also in time and space efficiency.

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Robust Transfer Learning with Pretrained Language Models through Adapters
Wenjuan Han | Bo Pang | Ying Nian Wu
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)

Transfer learning with large pretrained transformer-based language models like BERT has become a dominating approach for most NLP tasks. Simply fine-tuning those large language models on downstream tasks or combining it with task-specific pretraining is often not robust. In particular, the performance considerably varies as the random seed changes or the number of pretraining and/or fine-tuning iterations varies, and the fine-tuned model is vulnerable to adversarial attack. We propose a simple yet effective adapter-based approach to mitigate these issues. Specifically, we insert small bottleneck layers (i.e., adapter) within each layer of a pretrained model, then fix the pretrained layers and train the adapter layers on the downstream task data, with (1) task-specific unsupervised pretraining and then (2) task-specific supervised training (e.g., classification, sequence labeling). Our experiments demonstrate that such a training scheme leads to improved stability and adversarial robustness in transfer learning to various downstream tasks.

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Unsupervised Natural Language Parsing (Introductory Tutorial)
Kewei Tu | Yong Jiang | Wenjuan Han | Yanpeng Zhao
Proceedings of the 16th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Tutorial Abstracts

Unsupervised parsing learns a syntactic parser from training sentences without parse tree annotations. Recently, there has been a resurgence of interest in unsupervised parsing, which can be attributed to the combination of two trends in the NLP community: a general trend towards unsupervised training or pre-training, and an emerging trend towards finding or modeling linguistic structures in neural models. In this tutorial, we will introduce to the general audience what unsupervised parsing does and how it can be useful for and beyond syntactic parsing. We will then provide a systematic overview of major classes of approaches to unsupervised parsing, namely generative and discriminative approaches, and analyze their relative strengths and weaknesses. We will cover both decade-old statistical approaches and more recent neural approaches to give the audience a sense of the historical and recent development of the field. We will also discuss emerging research topics such as BERT-based approaches and visually grounded learning.

2020

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Towards Holistic and Automatic Evaluation of Open-Domain Dialogue Generation
Bo Pang | Erik Nijkamp | Wenjuan Han | Linqi Zhou | Yixian Liu | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Open-domain dialogue generation has gained increasing attention in Natural Language Processing. Its evaluation requires a holistic means. Human ratings are deemed as the gold standard. As human evaluation is inefficient and costly, an automated substitute is highly desirable. In this paper, we propose holistic evaluation metrics that capture different aspects of open-domain dialogues. Our metrics consist of (1) GPT-2 based context coherence between sentences in a dialogue, (2) GPT-2 based fluency in phrasing, (3) n-gram based diversity in responses to augmented queries, and (4) textual-entailment-inference based logical self-consistency. The empirical validity of our metrics is demonstrated by strong correlations with human judgments. We open source the code and relevant materials.

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ToHRE: A Top-Down Classification Strategy with Hierarchical Bag Representation for Distantly Supervised Relation Extraction
Erxin Yu | Wenjuan Han | Yuan Tian | Yi Chang
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Distantly Supervised Relation Extraction (DSRE) has proven to be effective to find relational facts from texts, but it still suffers from two main problems: the wrong labeling problem and the long-tail problem. Most of the existing approaches address these two problems through flat classification, which lacks hierarchical information of relations. To leverage the informative relation hierarchies, we formulate DSRE as a hierarchical classification task and propose a novel hierarchical classification framework, which extracts the relation in a top-down manner. Specifically, in our proposed framework, 1) we use a hierarchically-refined representation method to achieve hierarchy-specific representation; 2) a top-down classification strategy is introduced instead of training a set of local classifiers. The experiments on NYT dataset demonstrate that our approach significantly outperforms other state-of-the-art approaches, especially for the long-tail problem.

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A Survey of Unsupervised Dependency Parsing
Wenjuan Han | Yong Jiang | Hwee Tou Ng | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Syntactic dependency parsing is an important task in natural language processing. Unsupervised dependency parsing aims to learn a dependency parser from sentences that have no annotation of their correct parse trees. Despite its difficulty, unsupervised parsing is an interesting research direction because of its capability of utilizing almost unlimited unannotated text data. It also serves as the basis for other research in low-resource parsing. In this paper, we survey existing approaches to unsupervised dependency parsing, identify two major classes of approaches, and discuss recent trends. We hope that our survey can provide insights for researchers and facilitate future research on this topic.

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Second-Order Unsupervised Neural Dependency Parsing
Songlin Yang | Yong Jiang | Wenjuan Han | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Most of the unsupervised dependency parsers are based on first-order probabilistic generative models that only consider local parent-child information. Inspired by second-order supervised dependency parsing, we proposed a second-order extension of unsupervised neural dependency models that incorporate grandparent-child or sibling information. We also propose a novel design of the neural parameterization and optimization methods of the dependency models. In second-order models, the number of grammar rules grows cubically with the increase of vocabulary size, making it difficult to train lexicalized models that may contain thousands of words. To circumvent this problem while still benefiting from both second-order parsing and lexicalization, we use the agreement-based learning framework to jointly train a second-order unlexicalized model and a first-order lexicalized model. Experiments on multiple datasets show the effectiveness of our second-order models compared with recent state-of-the-art methods. Our joint model achieves a 10% improvement over the previous state-of-the-art parser on the full WSJ test set.

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Adversarial Attack and Defense of Structured Prediction Models
Wenjuan Han | Liwen Zhang | Yong Jiang | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

Building an effective adversarial attacker and elaborating on countermeasures for adversarial attacks for natural language processing (NLP) have attracted a lot of research in recent years. However, most of the existing approaches focus on classification problems. In this paper, we investigate attacks and defenses for structured prediction tasks in NLP. Besides the difficulty of perturbing discrete words and the sentence fluency problem faced by attackers in any NLP tasks, there is a specific challenge to attackers of structured prediction models: the structured output of structured prediction models is sensitive to small perturbations in the input. To address these problems, we propose a novel and unified framework that learns to attack a structured prediction model using a sequence-to-sequence model with feedbacks from multiple reference models of the same structured prediction task. Based on the proposed attack, we further reinforce the victim model with adversarial training, making its prediction more robust and accurate. We evaluate the proposed framework in dependency parsing and part-of-speech tagging. Automatic and human evaluations show that our proposed framework succeeds in both attacking state-of-the-art structured prediction models and boosting them with adversarial training.

2019

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A Regularization-based Framework for Bilingual Grammar Induction
Yong Jiang | Wenjuan Han | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

Grammar induction aims to discover syntactic structures from unannotated sentences. In this paper, we propose a framework in which the learning process of the grammar model of one language is influenced by knowledge from the model of another language. Unlike previous work on multilingual grammar induction, our approach does not rely on any external resource, such as parallel corpora, word alignments or linguistic phylogenetic trees. We propose three regularization methods that encourage similarity between model parameters, dependency edge scores, and parse trees respectively. We deploy our methods on a state-of-the-art unsupervised discriminative parser and evaluate it on both transfer grammar induction and bilingual grammar induction. Empirical results on multiple languages show that our methods outperform strong baselines.

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Multilingual Grammar Induction with Continuous Language Identification
Wenjuan Han | Ge Wang | Yong Jiang | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

The key to multilingual grammar induction is to couple grammar parameters of different languages together by exploiting the similarity between languages. Previous work relies on linguistic phylogenetic knowledge to specify similarity between languages. In this work, we propose a novel universal grammar induction approach that represents language identities with continuous vectors and employs a neural network to predict grammar parameters based on the representation. Without any prior linguistic phylogenetic knowledge, we automatically capture similarity between languages with the vector representations and softly tie the grammar parameters of different languages. In our experiments, we apply our approach to 15 languages across 8 language families and subfamilies in the Universal Dependency Treebank dataset, and we observe substantial performance gain on average over monolingual and multilingual baselines.

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Enhancing Unsupervised Generative Dependency Parser with Contextual Information
Wenjuan Han | Yong Jiang | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Most of the unsupervised dependency parsers are based on probabilistic generative models that learn the joint distribution of the given sentence and its parse. Probabilistic generative models usually explicit decompose the desired dependency tree into factorized grammar rules, which lack the global features of the entire sentence. In this paper, we propose a novel probabilistic model called discriminative neural dependency model with valence (D-NDMV) that generates a sentence and its parse from a continuous latent representation, which encodes global contextual information of the generated sentence. We propose two approaches to model the latent representation: the first deterministically summarizes the representation from the sentence and the second probabilistically models the representation conditioned on the sentence. Our approach can be regarded as a new type of autoencoder model to unsupervised dependency parsing that combines the benefits of both generative and discriminative techniques. In particular, our approach breaks the context-free independence assumption in previous generative approaches and therefore becomes more expressive. Our extensive experimental results on seventeen datasets from various sources show that our approach achieves competitive accuracy compared with both generative and discriminative state-of-the-art unsupervised dependency parsers.

2017

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Dependency Grammar Induction with Neural Lexicalization and Big Training Data
Wenjuan Han | Yong Jiang | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 2017 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

We study the impact of big models (in terms of the degree of lexicalization) and big data (in terms of the training corpus size) on dependency grammar induction. We experimented with L-DMV, a lexicalized version of Dependency Model with Valence (Klein and Manning, 2004) and L-NDMV, our lexicalized extension of the Neural Dependency Model with Valence (Jiang et al., 2016). We find that L-DMV only benefits from very small degrees of lexicalization and moderate sizes of training corpora. L-NDMV can benefit from big training data and lexicalization of greater degrees, especially when enhanced with good model initialization, and it achieves a result that is competitive with the current state-of-the-art.

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Combining Generative and Discriminative Approaches to Unsupervised Dependency Parsing via Dual Decomposition
Yong Jiang | Wenjuan Han | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 2017 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Unsupervised dependency parsing aims to learn a dependency parser from unannotated sentences. Existing work focuses on either learning generative models using the expectation-maximization algorithm and its variants, or learning discriminative models using the discriminative clustering algorithm. In this paper, we propose a new learning strategy that learns a generative model and a discriminative model jointly based on the dual decomposition method. Our method is simple and general, yet effective to capture the advantages of both models and improve their learning results. We tested our method on the UD treebank and achieved a state-of-the-art performance on thirty languages.

2016

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Unsupervised Neural Dependency Parsing
Yong Jiang | Wenjuan Han | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 2016 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing