Xindong Wu


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Chinese Idiom Paraphrasing
Jipeng Qiang | Yang Li | Chaowei Zhang | Yun Li | Yi Zhu | Yunhao Yuan | Xindong Wu
Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Volume 11

Idioms are a kind of idiomatic expression in Chinese, most of which consist of four Chinese characters. Due to the properties of non-compositionality and metaphorical meaning, Chinese idioms are hard to be understood by children and non-native speakers. This study proposes a novel task, denoted as Chinese Idiom Paraphrasing (CIP). CIP aims to rephrase idiom-containing sentences to non-idiomatic ones under the premise of preserving the original sentence’s meaning. Since the sentences without idioms are more easily handled by Chinese NLP systems, CIP can be used to pre-process Chinese datasets, thereby facilitating and improving the performance of Chinese NLP tasks, e.g., machine translation systems, Chinese idiom cloze, and Chinese idiom embeddings. In this study, we can treat the CIP task as a special paraphrase generation task. To circumvent difficulties in acquiring annotations, we first establish a large-scale CIP dataset based on human and machine collaboration, which consists of 115,529 sentence pairs. In addition to three sequence-to-sequence methods as the baselines, we further propose a novel infill-based approach based on text infilling. The results show that the proposed method has better performance than the baselines based on the established CIP dataset.