Wenlong Zhao


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IGA: An Intent-Guided Authoring Assistant
Simeng Sun | Wenlong Zhao | Varun Manjunatha | Rajiv Jain | Vlad Morariu | Franck Dernoncourt | Balaji Vasan Srinivasan | Mohit Iyyer
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

While large-scale pretrained language models have significantly improved writing assistance functionalities such as autocomplete, more complex and controllable writing assistants have yet to be explored. We leverage advances in language modeling to build an interactive writing assistant that generates and rephrases text according to fine-grained author specifications. Users provide input to our Intent-Guided Assistant (IGA) in the form of text interspersed with tags that correspond to specific rhetorical directives (e.g., adding description or contrast, or rephrasing a particular sentence). We fine-tune a language model on a dataset heuristically-labeled with author intent, which allows IGA to fill in these tags with generated text that users can subsequently edit to their liking. A series of automatic and crowdsourced evaluations confirm the quality of IGA’s generated outputs, while a small-scale user study demonstrates author preference for IGA over baseline methods in a creative writing task. We release our dataset, code, and demo to spur further research into AI-assisted writing.


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Compressing Transformer-Based Semantic Parsing Models using Compositional Code Embeddings
Prafull Prakash | Saurabh Kumar Shashidhar | Wenlong Zhao | Subendhu Rongali | Haidar Khan | Michael Kayser
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2020

The current state-of-the-art task-oriented semantic parsing models use BERT or RoBERTa as pretrained encoders; these models have huge memory footprints. This poses a challenge to their deployment for voice assistants such as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant on edge devices with limited memory budgets. We propose to learn compositional code embeddings to greatly reduce the sizes of BERT-base and RoBERTa-base. We also apply the technique to DistilBERT, ALBERT-base, and ALBERT-large, three already compressed BERT variants which attain similar state-of-the-art performances on semantic parsing with much smaller model sizes. We observe 95.15% 98.46% embedding compression rates and 20.47% 34.22% encoder compression rates, while preserving >97.5% semantic parsing performances. We provide the recipe for training and analyze the trade-off between code embedding sizes and downstream performances.


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A Customizable Editor for Text Simplification
John Lee | Wenlong Zhao | Wenxiu Xie
Proceedings of COLING 2016, the 26th International Conference on Computational Linguistics: System Demonstrations

We present a browser-based editor for simplifying English text. Given an input sentence, the editor performs both syntactic and lexical simplification. It splits a complex sentence into shorter ones, and suggests word substitutions in drop-down lists. The user can choose the best substitution from the list, undo any inappropriate splitting, and further edit the sentence as necessary. A significant novelty is that the system accepts a customized vocabulary list for a target reader population. It identifies all words in the text that do not belong to the list, and attempts to substitute them with words from the list, thus producing a text tailored for the targeted readers.