Xiang Hu


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Fast-R2D2: A Pretrained Recursive Neural Network based on Pruned CKY for Grammar Induction and Text Representation
Xiang Hu | Haitao Mi | Liang Li | Gerard de Melo
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Chart-based models have shown great potential in unsupervised grammar induction, running recursively and hierarchically, but requiring O(n³) time-complexity. The Recursive Transformer based on Differentiable Trees (R2D2) makes it possible to scale to large language model pretraining even with a complex tree encoder, by introducing a heuristic pruning method. However, its rule-based pruning process suffers from local optima and slow inference. In this paper, we propose a unified R2D2 method that overcomes these issues. We use a top-down unsupervised parser as a model-guided pruning method, which also enables parallel encoding during inference. Our parser casts parsing as a split point scoring task by first scoring all split points for a given sentence and then using the highest-scoring one to recursively split a span into two parts. The reverse order of the splits is considered as the order of pruning in the encoder. We optimize the unsupervised parser by minimizing the Kullback–Leibler distance between tree probabilities from the parser and the R2D2 model. Our experiments show that our Fast-R2D2 significantly improves the grammar induction quality and achieves competitive results in downstream tasks.


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R2D2: Recursive Transformer based on Differentiable Tree for Interpretable Hierarchical Language Modeling
Xiang Hu | Haitao Mi | Zujie Wen | Yafang Wang | Yi Su | Jing Zheng | Gerard de Melo
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)

Human language understanding operates at multiple levels of granularity (e.g., words, phrases, and sentences) with increasing levels of abstraction that can be hierarchically combined. However, existing deep models with stacked layers do not explicitly model any sort of hierarchical process. In this paper, we propose a recursive Transformer model based on differentiable CKY style binary trees to emulate this composition process, and we extend the bidirectional language model pre-training objective to this architecture, attempting to predict each word given its left and right abstraction nodes. To scale up our approach, we also introduce an efficient pruning and growing algorithm to reduce the time complexity and enable encoding in linear time. Experimental results on language modeling and unsupervised parsing show the effectiveness of our approach.


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Interactive Question Clarification in Dialogue via Reinforcement Learning
Xiang Hu | Zujie Wen | Yafang Wang | Xiaolong Li | Gerard de Melo
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics: Industry Track

Coping with ambiguous questions has been a perennial problem in real-world dialogue systems. Although clarification by asking questions is a common form of human interaction, it is hard to define appropriate questions to elicit more specific intents from a user. In this work, we propose a reinforcement model to clarify ambiguous questions by suggesting refinements of the original query. We first formulate a collection partitioning problem to select a set of labels enabling us to distinguish potential unambiguous intents. We list the chosen labels as intent phrases to the user for further confirmation. The selected label along with the original user query then serves as a refined query, for which a suitable response can more easily be identified. The model is trained using reinforcement learning with a deep policy network. We evaluate our model based on real-world user clicks and demonstrate significant improvements across several different experiments.