Wenpeng Yin


2022

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Anti-Overestimation Dialogue Policy Learning for Task-Completion Dialogue System
Chang Tian | Wenpeng Yin | Marie-Francine Moens
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: NAACL 2022

A dialogue policy module is an essential part of task-completion dialogue systems. Recently, increasing interest has focused on reinforcement learning (RL)-based dialogue policy. Its favorable performance and wise action decisions rely on an accurate estimation of action values. The overestimation problem is a widely known issue of RL since its estimate of the maximum action value is larger than the ground truth, which results in an unstable learning process and suboptimal policy. This problem is detrimental to RL-based dialogue policy learning. To mitigate this problem, this paper proposes a dynamic partial average estimator (DPAV) of the ground truth maximum action value. DPAV calculates the partial average between the predicted maximum action value and minimum action value, where the weights are dynamically adaptive and problem-dependent. We incorporate DPAV into a deep Q-network as the dialogue policy and show that our method can achieve better or comparable results compared to top baselines on three dialogue datasets of different domains with a lower computational load. In addition, we also theoretically prove the convergence and derive the upper and lower bounds of the bias compared with those of other methods.

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Pairwise Representation Learning for Event Coreference
Xiaodong Yu | Wenpeng Yin | Dan Roth
Proceedings of the 11th Joint Conference on Lexical and Computational Semantics

Natural Language Processing tasks such as resolving the coreference of events require understanding the relations between two text snippets. These tasks are typically formulated as (binary) classification problems over independently induced representations of the text snippets. In this work, we develop a Pairwise Representation Learning (PairwiseRL) scheme for the event mention pairs, in which we jointly encode a pair of text snippets so that the representation of each mention in the pair is induced in the context of the other one. Furthermore, our representation supports a finer, structured representation of the text snippet to facilitate encoding events and their arguments. We show that PairwiseRL, despite its simplicity, outperforms the prior state-of-the-art event coreference systems on both cross-document and within-document event coreference benchmarks. We also conduct in-depth analysis in terms of the improvement and the limitation of pairwise representation so as to provide insights for future work.

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Ultra-fine Entity Typing with Indirect Supervision from Natural Language Inference
Bangzheng Li | Wenpeng Yin | Muhao Chen
Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Volume 10

The task of ultra-fine entity typing (UFET) seeks to predict diverse and free-form words or phrases that describe the appropriate types of entities mentioned in sentences. A key challenge for this task lies in the large number of types and the scarcity of annotated data per type. Existing systems formulate the task as a multi-way classification problem and train directly or distantly supervised classifiers. This causes two issues: (i) the classifiers do not capture the type semantics because types are often converted into indices; (ii) systems developed in this way are limited to predicting within a pre-defined type set, and often fall short of generalizing to types that are rarely seen or unseen in training. This work presents LITE🍻, a new approach that formulates entity typing as a natural language inference (NLI) problem, making use of (i) the indirect supervision from NLI to infer type information meaningfully represented as textual hypotheses and alleviate the data scarcity issue, as well as (ii) a learning-to-rank objective to avoid the pre-defining of a type set. Experiments show that, with limited training data, LITE obtains state-of-the-art performance on the UFET task. In addition, LITE demonstrates its strong generalizability by not only yielding best results on other fine-grained entity typing benchmarks, more importantly, a pre-trained LITE system works well on new data containing unseen types.1

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ConTinTin: Continual Learning from Task Instructions
Wenpeng Yin | Jia Li | Caiming Xiong
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

The mainstream machine learning paradigms for NLP often work with two underlying presumptions. First, the target task is predefined and static; a system merely needs to learn to solve it exclusively. Second, the supervision of a task mainly comes from a set of labeled examples. A question arises: how to build a system that can keep learning new tasks from their instructions?This work defines a new learning paradigm ConTinTin (Continual Learning from Task Instructions), in which a system should learn a sequence of new tasks one by one, each task is explained by a piece of textual instruction. The system is required to (i) generate the expected outputs of a new task by learning from its instruction, (ii) transfer the knowledge acquired from upstream tasks to help solve downstream tasks (i.e., forward-transfer), and (iii) retain or even improve the performance on earlier tasks after learning new tasks (i.e., backward-transfer). This new problem is studied on a stream of more than 60 tasks, each equipped with an instruction. Technically, our method InstructionSpeak contains two strategies that make full use of task instructions to improve forward-transfer and backward-transfer: one is to learn from negative outputs, the other is to re-visit instructions of previous tasks. To our knowledge, this is the first time to study ConTinTin in NLP. In addition to the problem formulation and our promising approach, this work also contributes to providing rich analyses for the community to better understand this novel learning problem.

2021

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BatchMixup: Improving Training by Interpolating Hidden States of the Entire Mini-batch
Wenpeng Yin | Huan Wang | Jin Qu | Caiming Xiong
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL-IJCNLP 2021

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DocNLI: A Large-scale Dataset for Document-level Natural Language Inference
Wenpeng Yin | Dragomir Radev | Caiming Xiong
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL-IJCNLP 2021

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Incremental Few-shot Text Classification with Multi-round New Classes: Formulation, Dataset and System
Congying Xia | Wenpeng Yin | Yihao Feng | Philip Yu
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Text classification is usually studied by labeling natural language texts with relevant categories from a predefined set. In the real world, new classes might keep challenging the existing system with limited labeled data. The system should be intelligent enough to recognize upcoming new classes with a few examples. In this work, we define a new task in the NLP domain, incremental few-shot text classification, where the system incrementally handles multiple rounds of new classes. For each round, there is a batch of new classes with a few labeled examples per class. Two major challenges exist in this new task: (i) For the learning process, the system should incrementally learn new classes round by round without re-training on the examples of preceding classes; (ii) For the performance, the system should perform well on new classes without much loss on preceding classes. In addition to formulating the new task, we also release two benchmark datasets in the incremental few-shot setting: intent classification and relation classification. Moreover, we propose two entailment approaches, ENTAILMENT and HYBRID, which show promise for solving this novel problem.

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Learning to Synthesize Data for Semantic Parsing
Bailin Wang | Wenpeng Yin | Xi Victoria Lin | Caiming Xiong
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Synthesizing data for semantic parsing has gained increasing attention recently. However, most methods require handcrafted (high-precision) rules in their generative process, hindering the exploration of diverse unseen data. In this work, we propose a generative model which features a (non-neural) PCFG that models the composition of programs (e.g., SQL), and a BART-based translation model that maps a program to an utterance. Due to the simplicity of PCFG and pre-trained BART, our generative model can be efficiently learned from existing data at hand. Moreover, explicitly modeling compositions using PCFG leads to better exploration of unseen programs, thus generate more diverse data. We evaluate our method in both in-domain and out-of-domain settings of text-to-SQL parsing on the standard benchmarks of GeoQuery and Spider, respectively. Our empirical results show that the synthesized data generated from our model can substantially help a semantic parser achieve better compositional and domain generalization.

2020

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Mixup-Transformer: Dynamic Data Augmentation for NLP Tasks
Lichao Sun | Congying Xia | Wenpeng Yin | Tingting Liang | Philip Yu | Lifang He
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Mixup is a latest data augmentation technique that linearly interpolates input examples and the corresponding labels. It has shown strong effectiveness in image classification by interpolating images at the pixel level. Inspired by this line of research, in this paper, we explore i) how to apply mixup to natural language processing tasks since text data can hardly be mixed in the raw format; ii) if mixup is still effective in transformer-based learning models,e.g., BERT.To achieve the goal, we incorporate mixup to transformer-based pre-trained architecture, named“mixup-transformer”, for a wide range of NLP tasks while keeping the whole end-to-end training system. We evaluate the proposed framework by running extensive experiments on the GLUEbenchmark. Furthermore, we also examine the performance of mixup-transformer in low-resource scenarios by reducing the training data with a certain ratio. Our studies show that mixup is a domain-independent data augmentation technique to pre-trained language models, resulting in significant performance improvement for transformer-based models.

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Universal Natural Language Processing with Limited Annotations: Try Few-shot Textual Entailment as a Start
Wenpeng Yin | Nazneen Fatema Rajani | Dragomir Radev | Richard Socher | Caiming Xiong
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

A standard way to address different NLP problems is by first constructing a problem-specific dataset, then building a model to fit this dataset. To build the ultimate artificial intelligence, we desire a single machine that can handle diverse new problems, for which task-specific annotations are limited. We bring up textual entailment as a unified solver for such NLP problems. However, current research of textual entailment has not spilled much ink on the following questions: (i) How well does a pretrained textual entailment system generalize across domains with only a handful of domain-specific examples? and (ii) When is it worth transforming an NLP task into textual entailment? We argue that the transforming is unnecessary if we can obtain rich annotations for this task. Textual entailment really matters particularly when the target NLP task has insufficient annotations. Universal NLP can be probably achieved through different routines. In this work, we introduce Universal Few-shot textual Entailment (UFO-Entail). We demonstrate that this framework enables a pretrained entailment model to work well on new entailment domains in a few-shot setting, and show its effectiveness as a unified solver for several downstream NLP tasks such as question answering and coreference resolution when the end-task annotations are limited.

2019

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Benchmarking Zero-shot Text Classification: Datasets, Evaluation and Entailment Approach
Wenpeng Yin | Jamaal Hay | Dan Roth
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

Zero-shot text classification (0Shot-TC) is a challenging NLU problem to which little attention has been paid by the research community. 0Shot-TC aims to associate an appropriate label with a piece of text, irrespective of the text domain and the aspect (e.g., topic, emotion, event, etc.) described by the label. And there are only a few articles studying 0Shot-TC, all focusing only on topical categorization which, we argue, is just the tip of the iceberg in 0Shot-TC. In addition, the chaotic experiments in literature make no uniform comparison, which blurs the progress. This work benchmarks the 0Shot-TC problem by providing unified datasets, standardized evaluations, and state-of-the-art baselines. Our contributions include: i) The datasets we provide facilitate studying 0Shot-TC relative to conceptually different and diverse aspects: the “topic” aspect includes “sports” and “politics” as labels; the “emotion” aspect includes “joy” and “anger”; the “situation” aspect includes “medical assistance” and “water shortage”. ii) We extend the existing evaluation setup (label-partially-unseen) – given a dataset, train on some labels, test on all labels – to include a more challenging yet realistic evaluation label-fully-unseen 0Shot-TC (Chang et al., 2008), aiming at classifying text snippets without seeing task specific training data at all. iii) We unify the 0Shot-TC of diverse aspects within a textual entailment formulation and study it this way.

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Seeing Things from a Different Angle:Discovering Diverse Perspectives about Claims
Sihao Chen | Daniel Khashabi | Wenpeng Yin | Chris Callison-Burch | Dan Roth
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 1 (Long and Short Papers)

One key consequence of the information revolution is a significant increase and a contamination of our information supply. The practice of fact checking won’t suffice to eliminate the biases in text data we observe, as the degree of factuality alone does not determine whether biases exist in the spectrum of opinions visible to us. To better understand controversial issues, one needs to view them from a diverse yet comprehensive set of perspectives. For example, there are many ways to respond to a claim such as “animals should have lawful rights”, and these responses form a spectrum of perspectives, each with a stance relative to this claim and, ideally, with evidence supporting it. Inherently, this is a natural language understanding task, and we propose to address it as such. Specifically, we propose the task of substantiated perspective discovery where, given a claim, a system is expected to discover a diverse set of well-corroborated perspectives that take a stance with respect to the claim. Each perspective should be substantiated by evidence paragraphs which summarize pertinent results and facts. We construct PERSPECTRUM, a dataset of claims, perspectives and evidence, making use of online debate websites to create the initial data collection, and augmenting it using search engines in order to expand and diversify our dataset. We use crowd-sourcing to filter out noise and ensure high-quality data. Our dataset contains 1k claims, accompanied with pools of 10k and 8k perspective sentences and evidence paragraphs, respectively. We provide a thorough analysis of the dataset to highlight key underlying language understanding challenges, and show that human baselines across multiple subtasks far outperform ma-chine baselines built upon state-of-the-art NLP techniques. This poses a challenge and opportunity for the NLP community to address.

2018

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TwoWingOS: A Two-Wing Optimization Strategy for Evidential Claim Verification
Wenpeng Yin | Dan Roth
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Determining whether a given claim is supported by evidence is a fundamental NLP problem that is best modeled as Textual Entailment. However, given a large collection of text, finding evidence that could support or refute a given claim is a challenge in itself, amplified by the fact that different evidence might be needed to support or refute a claim. Nevertheless, most prior work decouples evidence finding from determining the truth value of the claim given the evidence. We propose to consider these two aspects jointly. We develop TwoWingOS (two-wing optimization strategy), a system that, while identifying appropriate evidence for a claim, also determines whether or not the claim is supported by the evidence. Given the claim, TwoWingOS attempts to identify a subset of the evidence candidates; given the predicted evidence, it then attempts to determine the truth value of the corresponding claim entailment problem. We treat this problem as coupled optimization problems, training a joint model for it. TwoWingOS offers two advantages: (i) Unlike pipeline systems it facilitates flexible-size evidence set, and (ii) Joint training improves both the claim entailment and the evidence identification. Experiments on a benchmark dataset show state-of-the-art performance.

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End-Task Oriented Textual Entailment via Deep Explorations of Inter-Sentence Interactions
Wenpeng Yin | Dan Roth | Hinrich Schütze
Proceedings of the 56th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 2: Short Papers)

This work deals with SciTail, a natural entailment challenge derived from a multi-choice question answering problem. The premises and hypotheses in SciTail were generated with no awareness of each other, and did not specifically aim at the entailment task. This makes it more challenging than other entailment data sets and more directly useful to the end-task – question answering. We propose DEISTE (deep explorations of inter-sentence interactions for textual entailment) for this entailment task. Given word-to-word interactions between the premise-hypothesis pair (P, H), DEISTE consists of: (i) a parameter-dynamic convolution to make important words in P and H play a dominant role in learnt representations; and (ii) a position-aware attentive convolution to encode the representation and position information of the aligned word pairs. Experiments show that DEISTE gets ≈5% improvement over prior state of the art and that the pretrained DEISTE on SciTail generalizes well on RTE-5.

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Attentive Convolution: Equipping CNNs with RNN-style Attention Mechanisms
Wenpeng Yin | Hinrich Schütze
Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Volume 6

In NLP, convolutional neural networks (CNNs) have benefited less than recurrent neural networks (RNNs) from attention mechanisms. We hypothesize that this is because the attention in CNNs has been mainly implemented as attentive pooling (i.e., it is applied to pooling) rather than as attentive convolution (i.e., it is integrated into convolution). Convolution is the differentiator of CNNs in that it can powerfully model the higher-level representation of a word by taking into account its local fixed-size context in the input text tx. In this work, we propose an attentive convolution network, ATTCONV. It extends the context scope of the convolution operation, deriving higher-level features for a word not only from local context, but also from information extracted from nonlocal context by the attention mechanism commonly used in RNNs. This nonlocal context can come (i) from parts of the input text tx that are distant or (ii) from extra (i.e., external) contexts ty. Experiments on sentence modeling with zero-context (sentiment analysis), single-context (textual entailment) and multiple-context (claim verification) demonstrate the effectiveness of ATTCONV in sentence representation learning with the incorporation of context. In particular, attentive convolution outperforms attentive pooling and is a strong competitor to popular attentive RNNs.1

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Term Definitions Help Hypernymy Detection
Wenpeng Yin | Dan Roth
Proceedings of the Seventh Joint Conference on Lexical and Computational Semantics

Existing methods of hypernymy detection mainly rely on statistics over a big corpus, either mining some co-occurring patterns like “animals such as cats” or embedding words of interest into context-aware vectors. These approaches are therefore limited by the availability of a large enough corpus that can cover all terms of interest and provide sufficient contextual information to represent their meaning. In this work, we propose a new paradigm, HyperDef, for hypernymy detection – expressing word meaning by encoding word definitions, along with context driven representation. This has two main benefits: (i) Definitional sentences express (sense-specific) corpus-independent meanings of words, hence definition-driven approaches enable strong generalization – once trained, the model is expected to work well in open-domain testbeds; (ii) Global context from a large corpus and definitions provide complementary information for words. Consequently, our model, HyperDef, once trained on task-agnostic data, gets state-of-the-art results in multiple benchmarks

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Recurrent One-Hop Predictions for Reasoning over Knowledge Graphs
Wenpeng Yin | Yadollah Yaghoobzadeh | Hinrich Schütze
Proceedings of the 27th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Large scale knowledge graphs (KGs) such as Freebase are generally incomplete. Reasoning over multi-hop (mh) KG paths is thus an important capability that is needed for question answering or other NLP tasks that require knowledge about the world. mh-KG reasoning includes diverse scenarios, e.g., given a head entity and a relation path, predict the tail entity; or given two entities connected by some relation paths, predict the unknown relation between them. We present ROPs, recurrent one-hop predictors, that predict entities at each step of mh-KB paths by using recurrent neural networks and vector representations of entities and relations, with two benefits: (i) modeling mh-paths of arbitrary lengths while updating the entity and relation representations by the training signal at each step; (ii) handling different types of mh-KG reasoning in a unified framework. Our models show state-of-the-art for two important multi-hop KG reasoning tasks: Knowledge Base Completion and Path Query Answering.

2017

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Task-Specific Attentive Pooling of Phrase Alignments Contributes to Sentence Matching
Wenpeng Yin | Hinrich Schütze
Proceedings of the 15th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Volume 1, Long Papers

This work studies comparatively two typical sentence matching tasks: textual entailment (TE) and answer selection (AS), observing that weaker phrase alignments are more critical in TE, while stronger phrase alignments deserve more attention in AS. The key to reach this observation lies in phrase detection, phrase representation, phrase alignment, and more importantly how to connect those aligned phrases of different matching degrees with the final classifier. Prior work (i) has limitations in phrase generation and representation, or (ii) conducts alignment at word and phrase levels by handcrafted features or (iii) utilizes a single framework of alignment without considering the characteristics of specific tasks, which limits the framework’s effectiveness across tasks. We propose an architecture based on Gated Recurrent Unit that supports (i) representation learning of phrases of arbitrary granularity and (ii) task-specific attentive pooling of phrase alignments between two sentences. Experimental results on TE and AS match our observation and show the effectiveness of our approach.

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Improved Neural Relation Detection for Knowledge Base Question Answering
Mo Yu | Wenpeng Yin | Kazi Saidul Hasan | Cicero dos Santos | Bing Xiang | Bowen Zhou
Proceedings of the 55th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Relation detection is a core component of many NLP applications including Knowledge Base Question Answering (KBQA). In this paper, we propose a hierarchical recurrent neural network enhanced by residual learning which detects KB relations given an input question. Our method uses deep residual bidirectional LSTMs to compare questions and relation names via different levels of abstraction. Additionally, we propose a simple KBQA system that integrates entity linking and our proposed relation detector to make the two components enhance each other. Our experimental results show that our approach not only achieves outstanding relation detection performance, but more importantly, it helps our KBQA system achieve state-of-the-art accuracy for both single-relation (SimpleQuestions) and multi-relation (WebQSP) QA benchmarks.

2016

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Learning Word Meta-Embeddings
Wenpeng Yin | Hinrich Schütze
Proceedings of the 54th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

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Simple Question Answering by Attentive Convolutional Neural Network
Wenpeng Yin | Mo Yu | Bing Xiang | Bowen Zhou | Hinrich Schütze
Proceedings of COLING 2016, the 26th International Conference on Computational Linguistics: Technical Papers

This work focuses on answering single-relation factoid questions over Freebase. Each question can acquire the answer from a single fact of form (subject, predicate, object) in Freebase. This task, simple question answering (SimpleQA), can be addressed via a two-step pipeline: entity linking and fact selection. In fact selection, we match the subject entity in a fact candidate with the entity mention in the question by a character-level convolutional neural network (char-CNN), and match the predicate in that fact with the question by a word-level CNN (word-CNN). This work makes two main contributions. (i) A simple and effective entity linker over Freebase is proposed. Our entity linker outperforms the state-of-the-art entity linker over SimpleQA task. (ii) A novel attentive maxpooling is stacked over word-CNN, so that the predicate representation can be matched with the predicate-focused question representation more effectively. Experiments show that our system sets new state-of-the-art in this task.

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ABCNN: Attention-Based Convolutional Neural Network for Modeling Sentence Pairs
Wenpeng Yin | Hinrich Schütze | Bing Xiang | Bowen Zhou
Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Volume 4

How to model a pair of sentences is a critical issue in many NLP tasks such as answer selection (AS), paraphrase identification (PI) and textual entailment (TE). Most prior work (i) deals with one individual task by fine-tuning a specific system; (ii) models each sentence’s representation separately, rarely considering the impact of the other sentence; or (iii) relies fully on manually designed, task-specific linguistic features. This work presents a general Attention Based Convolutional Neural Network (ABCNN) for modeling a pair of sentences. We make three contributions. (i) The ABCNN can be applied to a wide variety of tasks that require modeling of sentence pairs. (ii) We propose three attention schemes that integrate mutual influence between sentences into CNNs; thus, the representation of each sentence takes into consideration its counterpart. These interdependent sentence pair representations are more powerful than isolated sentence representations. (iii) ABCNNs achieve state-of-the-art performance on AS, PI and TE tasks. We release code at: https://github.com/yinwenpeng/Answer_Selection.

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Attention-Based Convolutional Neural Network for Machine Comprehension
Wenpeng Yin | Sebastian Ebert | Hinrich Schütze
Proceedings of the Workshop on Human-Computer Question Answering

2015

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Online Updating of Word Representations for Part-of-Speech Tagging
Wenpeng Yin | Tobias Schnabel | Hinrich Schütze
Proceedings of the 2015 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

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MultiGranCNN: An Architecture for General Matching of Text Chunks on Multiple Levels of Granularity
Wenpeng Yin | Hinrich Schütze
Proceedings of the 53rd Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 7th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 1: Long Papers)

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Multichannel Variable-Size Convolution for Sentence Classification
Wenpeng Yin | Hinrich Schütze
Proceedings of the Nineteenth Conference on Computational Natural Language Learning

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LCCT: A Semi-supervised Model for Sentiment Classification
Min Yang | Wenting Tu | Ziyu Lu | Wenpeng Yin | Kam-Pui Chow
Proceedings of the 2015 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

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Convolutional Neural Network for Paraphrase Identification
Wenpeng Yin | Hinrich Schütze
Proceedings of the 2015 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

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Discriminative Phrase Embedding for Paraphrase Identification
Wenpeng Yin | Hinrich Schütze
Proceedings of the 2015 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

2014

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An Exploration of Embeddings for Generalized Phrases
Wenpeng Yin | Hinrich Schütze
Proceedings of the ACL 2014 Student Research Workshop

2012

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A Supervised Aggregation Framework for Multi-Document Summarization
Yulong Pei | Wenpeng Yin | Qifeng Fan | Lian’en Huang
Proceedings of COLING 2012

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RelationListwise for Query-Focused Multi-Document Summarization
Wenpeng Yin | Lifu Huang | Yulong Pei | Lian’en Huang
Proceedings of COLING 2012

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SentTopic-MultiRank: a Novel Ranking Model for Multi-Document Summarization
Wenpeng Yin | Yulong Pei | Fan Zhang | Lian’en Huang
Proceedings of COLING 2012