We propose UPSA, a novel approach that accomplishes Unsupervised Paraphrasing by Simulated Annealing. We model paraphrase generation as an optimization problem and propose a sophisticated objective function, involving semantic similarity, expression diversity, and language fluency of paraphrases. UPSA searches the sentence space towards this objective by performing a sequence of local editing. We evaluate our approach on various datasets, namely, Quora, Wikianswers, MSCOCO, and Twitter. Extensive results show that UPSA achieves the state-of-the-art performance compared with previous unsupervised methods in terms of both automatic and human evaluations. Further, our approach outperforms most existing domain-adapted supervised models, showing the generalizability of UPSA.
We propose Object-oriented Neural Programming (OONP), a framework for semantically parsing documents in specific domains. Basically, OONP reads a document and parses it into a predesigned object-oriented data structure that reflects the domain-specific semantics of the document. An OONP parser models semantic parsing as a decision process: a neural net-based Reader sequentially goes through the document, and builds and updates an intermediate ontology during the process to summarize its partial understanding of the text. OONP supports a big variety of forms (both symbolic and differentiable) for representing the state and the document, and a rich family of operations to compose the representation. An OONP parser can be trained with supervision of different forms and strength, including supervised learning (SL), reinforcement learning (RL) and hybrid of the two. Our experiments on both synthetic and real-world document parsing tasks have shown that OONP can learn to handle fairly complicated ontology with training data of modest sizes.