Wenmian Yang


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Mitigating Exposure Bias in Grammatical Error Correction with Data Augmentation and Reweighting
Hannan Cao | Wenmian Yang | Hwee Tou Ng
Proceedings of the 17th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics

The most popular approach in grammatical error correction (GEC) is based on sequence-to-sequence (seq2seq) models. Similar to other autoregressive generation tasks, seq2seq GEC also faces the exposure bias problem, i.e., the context tokens are drawn from different distributions during training and testing, caused by the teacher forcing mechanism. In this paper, we propose a novel data manipulation approach to overcome this problem, which includes a data augmentation method during training to mimic the decoder input at inference time, and a data reweighting method to automatically balance the importance of each kind of augmented samples. Experimental results on benchmark GEC datasets show that our method achieves significant improvements compared to prior approaches.


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Grammatical Error Correction with Contrastive Learning in Low Error Density Domains
Hannan Cao | Wenmian Yang | Hwee Tou Ng
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2021

Although grammatical error correction (GEC) has achieved good performance on texts written by learners of English as a second language, performance on low error density domains where texts are written by English speakers of varying levels of proficiency can still be improved. In this paper, we propose a contrastive learning approach to encourage the GEC model to assign a higher probability to a correct sentence while reducing the probability of incorrect sentences that the model tends to generate, so as to improve the accuracy of the model. Experimental results show that our approach significantly improves the performance of GEC models in low error density domains, when evaluated on the benchmark CWEB dataset.

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On the Generation of Medical Dialogs for COVID-19
Meng Zhou | Zechen Li | Bowen Tan | Guangtao Zeng | Wenmian Yang | Xuehai He | Zeqian Ju | Subrato Chakravorty | Shu Chen | Xingyi Yang | Yichen Zhang | Qingyang Wu | Zhou Yu | Kun Xu | Eric Xing | Pengtao Xie
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)

Under the pandemic of COVID-19, people experiencing COVID19-related symptoms have a pressing need to consult doctors. Because of the shortage of medical professionals, many people cannot receive online consultations timely. To address this problem, we aim to develop a medical dialog system that can provide COVID19-related consultations. We collected two dialog datasets – CovidDialog – (in English and Chinese respectively) containing conversations between doctors and patients about COVID-19. While the largest of their kind, these two datasets are still relatively small compared with general-domain dialog datasets. Training complex dialog generation models on small datasets bears high risk of overfitting. To alleviate overfitting, we develop a multi-task learning approach, which regularizes the data-deficient dialog generation task with a masked token prediction task. Experiments on the CovidDialog datasets demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach. We perform both human evaluation and automatic evaluation of dialogs generated by our method. Results show that the generated responses are promising in being doctor-like, relevant to conversation history, clinically informative and correct. The code and the data are available at https://github.com/UCSD-AI4H/COVID-Dialogue.


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MedDialog: Large-scale Medical Dialogue Datasets
Guangtao Zeng | Wenmian Yang | Zeqian Ju | Yue Yang | Sicheng Wang | Ruisi Zhang | Meng Zhou | Jiaqi Zeng | Xiangyu Dong | Ruoyu Zhang | Hongchao Fang | Penghui Zhu | Shu Chen | Pengtao Xie
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

Medical dialogue systems are promising in assisting in telemedicine to increase access to healthcare services, improve the quality of patient care, and reduce medical costs. To facilitate the research and development of medical dialogue systems, we build large-scale medical dialogue datasets – MedDialog, which contain 1) a Chinese dataset with 3.4 million conversations between patients and doctors, 11.3 million utterances, 660.2 million tokens, covering 172 specialties of diseases, and 2) an English dataset with 0.26 million conversations, 0.51 million utterances, 44.53 million tokens, covering 96 specialties of diseases. To our best knowledge, MedDialog is the largest medical dialogue dataset to date. We pretrain several dialogue generation models on the Chinese MedDialog dataset, including Transformer, GPT, BERT-GPT, and compare their performance. It is shown that models trained on MedDialog are able to generate clinically correct and doctor-like medical dialogues. We also study the transferability of models trained on MedDialog to low-resource medical dialogue generation tasks. It is shown that via transfer learning which finetunes the models pretrained on MedDialog, the performance on medical dialogue generation tasks with small datasets can be greatly improved, as shown in human evaluation and automatic evaluation. The datasets and code are available at https://github.com/UCSD-AI4H/Medical-Dialogue-System


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Improving Abstractive Document Summarization with Salient Information Modeling
Yongjian You | Weijia Jia | Tianyi Liu | Wenmian Yang
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Comprehensive document encoding and salient information selection are two major difficulties for generating summaries with adequate salient information. To tackle the above difficulties, we propose a Transformer-based encoder-decoder framework with two novel extensions for abstractive document summarization. Specifically, (1) to encode the documents comprehensively, we design a focus-attention mechanism and incorporate it into the encoder. This mechanism models a Gaussian focal bias on attention scores to enhance the perception of local context, which contributes to producing salient and informative summaries. (2) To distinguish salient information precisely, we design an independent saliency-selection network which manages the information flow from encoder to decoder. This network effectively reduces the influences of secondary information on the generated summaries. Experimental results on the popular CNN/Daily Mail benchmark demonstrate that our model outperforms other state-of-the-art baselines on the ROUGE metrics.