Xiao Wang


pdf bib
DSRM: Boost Textual Adversarial Training with Distribution Shift Risk Minimization
SongYang Gao | Shihan Dou | Yan Liu | Xiao Wang | Qi Zhang | Zhongyu Wei | Jin Ma | Ying Shan
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Adversarial training is one of the best-performing methods in improving the robustness of deep language models. However, robust models come at the cost of high time consumption, as they require multi-step gradient ascents or word substitutions to obtain adversarial samples. In addition, these generated samples are deficient in grammatical quality and semantic consistency, which impairs the effectiveness of adversarial training. To address these problems, we introduce a novel, effective procedure for instead adversarial training with only clean data. Our procedure, distribution shift risk minimization (DSRM), estimates the adversarial loss by perturbing the input data’s probability distribution rather than their embeddings. This formulation results in a robust model that minimizes the expected global loss under adversarial attacks. Our approach requires zero adversarial samples for training and reduces time consumption by up to 70% compared to current best-performing adversarial training methods. Experiments demonstrate that DSRM considerably improves BERT’s resistance to textual adversarial attacks and achieves state-of-the-art robust accuracy on various benchmarks.

pdf bib
Effective Contrastive Weighting for Dense Query Expansion
Xiao Wang | Sean MacAvaney | Craig Macdonald | Iadh Ounis
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Verbatim queries submitted to search engines often do not sufficiently describe the user’s search intent. Pseudo-relevance feedback (PRF) techniques, which modify a query’srepresentation using the top-ranked documents, have been shown to overcome such inadequacies and improve retrieval effectiveness for both lexical methods (e.g., BM25) and dense methods (e.g., ANCE, ColBERT). For instance, the recent ColBERT-PRF approach heuristically chooses new embeddings to add to the query representation using the inverse document frequency (IDF) of the underlying tokens. However, this heuristic potentially ignores the valuable context encoded by the embeddings. In this work, we present a contrastive solution that learns to select the most useful embeddings for expansion. More specifically, a deep language model-based contrastive weighting model, called CWPRF, is trained to learn to discriminate between relevant and non-relevant documents for semantic search. Our experimental results show that our contrastive weighting model can aid to select useful expansion embeddings and outperform various baselines. In particular, CWPRF can improve nDCG@10 by upto to 4.1% compared to an existing PRF approach for ColBERT while maintaining its efficiency.

pdf bib
Farewell to Aimless Large-scale Pretraining: Influential Subset Selection for Language Model
Xiao Wang | Weikang Zhou | Qi Zhang | Jie Zhou | SongYang Gao | Junzhe Wang | Menghan Zhang | Xiang Gao | Yun Wen Chen | Tao Gui
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2023

Pretrained language models have achieved remarkable success in various natural language processing tasks. However, pretraining has recently shifted toward larger models and larger data, which has resulted in significant computational and energy costs. In this paper, we propose Influence Subset Selection (ISS) for language model, which explicitly utilizes end-task knowledge to select a tiny subset of the pretraining corpus. Specifically, the ISS selects the samples that will provide the most positive influence on the performance of the end task. Furthermore, we design a gradient matching-based influence estimation method, which can drastically reduce the computation time of influence. With only 0.45% of the data and a three-orders-of-magnitude lower computational cost, ISS outperformed pretrained models (e.g., RoBERTa) on eight datasets covering four domains.

pdf bib
A Confidence-based Partial Label Learning Model for Crowd-Annotated Named Entity Recognition
Limao Xiong | Jie Zhou | Qunxi Zhu | Xiao Wang | Yuanbin Wu | Qi Zhang | Tao Gui | Xuanjing Huang | Jin Ma | Ying Shan
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2023

Existing models for named entity recognition (NER) are mainly based on large-scale labeled datasets, which always obtain using crowdsourcing. However, it is hard to obtain a unified and correct label via majority voting from multiple annotators for NER due to the large labeling space and complexity of this task. To address this problem, we aim to utilize the original multi-annotator labels directly. Particularly, we propose a CONfidence-based partial Label Learning (CONLL) method to integrate the prior confidence (given by annotators) and posterior confidences (learned by models) for crowd-annotated NER. This model learns a token- and content-dependent confidence via an Expectation–Maximization (EM) algorithm by minimizing empirical risk. The true posterior estimator and confidence estimator perform iteratively to update the true posterior and confidence respectively. We conduct extensive experimental results on both real-world and synthetic datasets, which show that our model can improve performance effectively compared with strong baselines.

pdf bib
Orthogonal Subspace Learning for Language Model Continual Learning
Xiao Wang | Tianze Chen | Qiming Ge | Han Xia | Rong Bao | Rui Zheng | Qi Zhang | Tao Gui | Xuanjing Huang
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

Benefiting from massive corpora and advanced hardware, large language models (LLMs) exhibit remarkable capabilities in language understanding and generation. However, their performance degrades in scenarios where multiple tasks are encountered sequentially, also known as catastrophic forgetting. In this paper, we propose orthogonal low-rank adaptation (O-LoRA), a simple and efficient approach for continual learning in language models, effectively mitigating catastrophic forgetting while learning new tasks. Specifically, O-LoRA learns tasks in different (low-rank) vector subspaces that are kept orthogonal to each other in order to minimize interference. Our method induces only marginal additional parameter costs and requires no user data storage for replay. Experimental results on continual learning benchmarks show that our method outperforms state-of-the-art methods. Furthermore, compared to previous approaches, our method excels in preserving the generalization ability of LLMs on unseen tasks.


pdf bib
MINER: Improving Out-of-Vocabulary Named Entity Recognition from an Information Theoretic Perspective
Xiao Wang | Shihan Dou | Limao Xiong | Yicheng Zou | Qi Zhang | Tao Gui | Liang Qiao | Zhanzhan Cheng | Xuanjing Huang
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

NER model has achieved promising performance on standard NER benchmarks. However, recent studies show that previous approaches may over-rely on entity mention information, resulting in poor performance on out-of-vocabulary(OOV) entity recognition. In this work, we propose MINER, a novel NER learning framework, to remedy this issue from an information-theoretic perspective. The proposed approach contains two mutual information based training objectives: i) generalizing information maximization, which enhances representation via deep understanding of context and entity surface forms; ii) superfluous information minimization, which discourages representation from rotate memorizing entity names or exploiting biased cues in data. Experiments on various settings and datasets demonstrate that it achieves better performance in predicting OOV entities.


pdf bib
TextFlint: Unified Multilingual Robustness Evaluation Toolkit for Natural Language Processing
Xiao Wang | Qin Liu | Tao Gui | Qi Zhang | Yicheng Zou | Xin Zhou | Jiacheng Ye | Yongxin Zhang | Rui Zheng | Zexiong Pang | Qinzhuo Wu | Zhengyan Li | Chong Zhang | Ruotian Ma | Zichu Fei | Ruijian Cai | Jun Zhao | Xingwu Hu | Zhiheng Yan | Yiding Tan | Yuan Hu | Qiyuan Bian | Zhihua Liu | Shan Qin | Bolin Zhu | Xiaoyu Xing | Jinlan Fu | Yue Zhang | Minlong Peng | Xiaoqing Zheng | Yaqian Zhou | Zhongyu Wei | Xipeng Qiu | Xuanjing Huang
Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing: System Demonstrations

TextFlint is a multilingual robustness evaluation toolkit for NLP tasks that incorporates universal text transformation, task-specific transformation, adversarial attack, subpopulation, and their combinations to provide comprehensive robustness analyses. This enables practitioners to automatically evaluate their models from various aspects or to customize their evaluations as desired with just a few lines of code. TextFlint also generates complete analytical reports as well as targeted augmented data to address the shortcomings of the model in terms of its robustness. To guarantee acceptability, all the text transformations are linguistically based and all the transformed data selected (up to 100,000 texts) scored highly under human evaluation. To validate the utility, we performed large-scale empirical evaluations (over 67,000) on state-of-the-art deep learning models, classic supervised methods, and real-world systems. The toolkit is already available at https://github.com/textflint with all the evaluation results demonstrated at textflint.io.


pdf bib
Cross-Lingual Document Retrieval with Smooth Learning
Jiapeng Liu | Xiao Zhang | Dan Goldwasser | Xiao Wang
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Cross-lingual document search is an information retrieval task in which the queries’ language and the documents’ language are different. In this paper, we study the instability of neural document search models and propose a novel end-to-end robust framework that achieves improved performance in cross-lingual search with different documents’ languages. This framework includes a novel measure of the relevance, smooth cosine similarity, between queries and documents, and a novel loss function, Smooth Ordinal Search Loss, as the objective function. We further provide theoretical guarantee on the generalization error bound for the proposed framework. We conduct experiments to compare our approach with other document search models, and observe significant gains under commonly used ranking metrics on the cross-lingual document retrieval task in a variety of languages.