Xinyu Wang


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DAMO-NLP at SemEval-2022 Task 11: A Knowledge-based System for Multilingual Named Entity Recognition
Xinyu Wang | Yongliang Shen | Jiong Cai | Tao Wang | Xiaobin Wang | Pengjun Xie | Fei Huang | Weiming Lu | Yueting Zhuang | Kewei Tu | Wei Lu | Yong Jiang
Proceedings of the 16th International Workshop on Semantic Evaluation (SemEval-2022)

The MultiCoNER shared task aims at detecting semantically ambiguous and complex named entities in short and low-context settings for multiple languages. The lack of contexts makes the recognition of ambiguous named entities challenging. To alleviate this issue, our team DAMO-NLP proposes a knowledge-based system, where we build a multilingual knowledge base based on Wikipedia to provide related context information to the named entity recognition (NER) model. Given an input sentence, our system effectively retrieves related contexts from the knowledge base. The original input sentences are then augmented with such context information, allowing significantly better contextualized token representations to be captured. Our system wins 10 out of 13 tracks in the MultiCoNER shared task.

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ITA: Image-Text Alignments for Multi-Modal Named Entity Recognition
Xinyu Wang | Min Gui | Yong Jiang | Zixia Jia | Nguyen Bach | Tao Wang | Zhongqiang Huang | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Recently, Multi-modal Named Entity Recognition (MNER) has attracted a lot of attention. Most of the work utilizes image information through region-level visual representations obtained from a pretrained object detector and relies on an attention mechanism to model the interactions between image and text representations. However, it is difficult to model such interactions as image and text representations are trained separately on the data of their respective modality and are not aligned in the same space. As text representations take the most important role in MNER, in this paper, we propose Image-text Alignments (ITA) to align image features into the textual space, so that the attention mechanism in transformer-based pretrained textual embeddings can be better utilized. ITA first aligns the image into regional object tags, image-level captions and optical characters as visual contexts, concatenates them with the input texts as a new cross-modal input, and then feeds it into a pretrained textual embedding model. This makes it easier for the attention module of a pretrained textual embedding model to model the interaction between the two modalities since they are both represented in the textual space. ITA further aligns the output distributions predicted from the cross-modal input and textual input views so that the MNER model can be more practical in dealing with text-only inputs and robust to noises from images. In our experiments, we show that ITA models can achieve state-of-the-art accuracy on multi-modal Named Entity Recognition datasets, even without image information.


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Structural Knowledge Distillation: Tractably Distilling Information for Structured Predictor
Xinyu Wang | Yong Jiang | Zhaohui Yan | Zixia Jia | Nguyen Bach | Tao Wang | Zhongqiang Huang | Fei Huang | Kewei Tu
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)

Knowledge distillation is a critical technique to transfer knowledge between models, typically from a large model (the teacher) to a more fine-grained one (the student). The objective function of knowledge distillation is typically the cross-entropy between the teacher and the student’s output distributions. However, for structured prediction problems, the output space is exponential in size; therefore, the cross-entropy objective becomes intractable to compute and optimize directly. In this paper, we derive a factorized form of the knowledge distillation objective for structured prediction, which is tractable for many typical choices of the teacher and student models. In particular, we show the tractability and empirical effectiveness of structural knowledge distillation between sequence labeling and dependency parsing models under four different scenarios: 1) the teacher and student share the same factorization form of the output structure scoring function; 2) the student factorization produces more fine-grained substructures than the teacher factorization; 3) the teacher factorization produces more fine-grained substructures than the student factorization; 4) the factorization forms from the teacher and the student are incompatible.

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Improving Named Entity Recognition by External Context Retrieving and Cooperative Learning
Xinyu Wang | Yong Jiang | Nguyen Bach | Tao Wang | Zhongqiang Huang | Fei Huang | Kewei Tu
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)

Recent advances in Named Entity Recognition (NER) show that document-level contexts can significantly improve model performance. In many application scenarios, however, such contexts are not available. In this paper, we propose to find external contexts of a sentence by retrieving and selecting a set of semantically relevant texts through a search engine, with the original sentence as the query. We find empirically that the contextual representations computed on the retrieval-based input view, constructed through the concatenation of a sentence and its external contexts, can achieve significantly improved performance compared to the original input view based only on the sentence. Furthermore, we can improve the model performance of both input views by Cooperative Learning, a training method that encourages the two input views to produce similar contextual representations or output label distributions. Experiments show that our approach can achieve new state-of-the-art performance on 8 NER data sets across 5 domains.

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Automated Concatenation of Embeddings for Structured Prediction
Xinyu Wang | Yong Jiang | Nguyen Bach | Tao Wang | Zhongqiang Huang | Fei Huang | Kewei Tu
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)

Pretrained contextualized embeddings are powerful word representations for structured prediction tasks. Recent work found that better word representations can be obtained by concatenating different types of embeddings. However, the selection of embeddings to form the best concatenated representation usually varies depending on the task and the collection of candidate embeddings, and the ever-increasing number of embedding types makes it a more difficult problem. In this paper, we propose Automated Concatenation of Embeddings (ACE) to automate the process of finding better concatenations of embeddings for structured prediction tasks, based on a formulation inspired by recent progress on neural architecture search. Specifically, a controller alternately samples a concatenation of embeddings, according to its current belief of the effectiveness of individual embedding types in consideration for a task, and updates the belief based on a reward. We follow strategies in reinforcement learning to optimize the parameters of the controller and compute the reward based on the accuracy of a task model, which is fed with the sampled concatenation as input and trained on a task dataset. Empirical results on 6 tasks and 21 datasets show that our approach outperforms strong baselines and achieves state-of-the-art performance with fine-tuned embeddings in all the evaluations.

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Dependency Induction Through the Lens of Visual Perception
Ruisi Su | Shruti Rijhwani | Hao Zhu | Junxian He | Xinyu Wang | Yonatan Bisk | Graham Neubig
Proceedings of the 25th Conference on Computational Natural Language Learning

Most previous work on grammar induction focuses on learning phrasal or dependency structure purely from text. However, because the signal provided by text alone is limited, recently introduced visually grounded syntax models make use of multimodal information leading to improved performance in constituency grammar induction. However, as compared to dependency grammars, constituency grammars do not provide a straightforward way to incorporate visual information without enforcing language-specific heuristics. In this paper, we propose an unsupervised grammar induction model that leverages word concreteness and a structural vision-based heuristic to jointly learn constituency-structure and dependency-structure grammars. Our experiments find that concreteness is a strong indicator for learning dependency grammars, improving the direct attachment score (DAS) by over 50% as compared to state-of-the-art models trained on pure text. Next, we propose an extension of our model that leverages both word concreteness and visual semantic role labels in constituency and dependency parsing. Our experiments show that the proposed extension outperforms the current state-of-the-art visually grounded models in constituency parsing even with a smaller grammar size.

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Enhanced Universal Dependency Parsing with Automated Concatenation of Embeddings
Xinyu Wang | Zixia Jia | Yong Jiang | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Parsing Technologies and the IWPT 2021 Shared Task on Parsing into Enhanced Universal Dependencies (IWPT 2021)

This paper describe the system used in our submission to the IWPT 2021 Shared Task. Our system is a graph-based parser with the technique of Automated Concatenation of Embeddings (ACE). Because recent work found that better word representations can be obtained by concatenating different types of embeddings, we use ACE to automatically find the better concatenation of embeddings for the task of enhanced universal dependencies. According to official results averaged on 17 languages, our system rank 2nd over 9 teams.


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AIN: Fast and Accurate Sequence Labeling with Approximate Inference Network
Xinyu Wang | Yong Jiang | Nguyen Bach | Tao Wang | Zhongqiang Huang | Fei Huang | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

The linear-chain Conditional Random Field (CRF) model is one of the most widely-used neural sequence labeling approaches. Exact probabilistic inference algorithms such as the forward-backward and Viterbi algorithms are typically applied in training and prediction stages of the CRF model. However, these algorithms require sequential computation that makes parallelization impossible. In this paper, we propose to employ a parallelizable approximate variational inference algorithm for the CRF model. Based on this algorithm, we design an approximate inference network that can be connected with the encoder of the neural CRF model to form an end-to-end network, which is amenable to parallelization for faster training and prediction. The empirical results show that our proposed approaches achieve a 12.7-fold improvement in decoding speed with long sentences and a competitive accuracy compared with the traditional CRF approach.

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Structure-Level Knowledge Distillation For Multilingual Sequence Labeling
Xinyu Wang | Yong Jiang | Nguyen Bach | Tao Wang | Fei Huang | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Multilingual sequence labeling is a task of predicting label sequences using a single unified model for multiple languages. Compared with relying on multiple monolingual models, using a multilingual model has the benefit of a smaller model size, easier in online serving, and generalizability to low-resource languages. However, current multilingual models still underperform individual monolingual models significantly due to model capacity limitations. In this paper, we propose to reduce the gap between monolingual models and the unified multilingual model by distilling the structural knowledge of several monolingual models (teachers) to the unified multilingual model (student). We propose two novel KD methods based on structure-level information: (1) approximately minimizes the distance between the student’s and the teachers’ structure-level probability distributions, (2) aggregates the structure-level knowledge to local distributions and minimizes the distance between two local probability distributions. Our experiments on 4 multilingual tasks with 25 datasets show that our approaches outperform several strong baselines and have stronger zero-shot generalizability than both the baseline model and teacher models.

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Correcting the Misuse: A Method for the Chinese Idiom Cloze Test
Xinyu Wang | Hongsheng Zhao | Tan Yang | Hongbo Wang
Proceedings of Deep Learning Inside Out (DeeLIO): The First Workshop on Knowledge Extraction and Integration for Deep Learning Architectures

The cloze test for Chinese idioms is a new challenge in machine reading comprehension: given a sentence with a blank, choosing a candidate Chinese idiom which matches the context. Chinese idiom is a type of Chinese idiomatic expression. The common misuse of Chinese idioms leads to error in corpus and causes error in the learned semantic representation of Chinese idioms. In this paper, we introduce the definition written by Chinese experts to correct the misuse. We propose a model for the Chinese idiom cloze test integrating various information effectively. We propose an attention mechanism called Attribute Attention to balance the weight of different attributes among different descriptions of the Chinese idiom. Besides the given candidates of every blank, we also try to choose the answer from all Chinese idioms that appear in the dataset as the extra loss due to the uniqueness and specificity of Chinese idioms. In experiments, our model outperforms the state-of-the-art model.

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Sketch-Driven Regular Expression Generation from Natural Language and Examples
Xi Ye | Qiaochu Chen | Xinyu Wang | Isil Dillig | Greg Durrett
Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Volume 8

Recent systems for converting natural language descriptions into regular expressions (regexes) have achieved some success, but typically deal with short, formulaic text and can only produce simple regexes. Real-world regexes are complex, hard to describe with brief sentences, and sometimes require examples to fully convey the user’s intent. We present a framework for regex synthesis in this setting where both natural language (NL) and examples are available. First, a semantic parser (either grammar-based or neural) maps the natural language description into an intermediate sketch, which is an incomplete regex containing holes to denote missing components. Then a program synthesizer searches over the regex space defined by the sketch and finds a regex that is consistent with the given string examples. Our semantic parser can be trained purely from weak supervision based on correctness of the synthesized regex, or it can leverage heuristically derived sketches. We evaluate on two prior datasets (Kushman and Barzilay 2013; Locascio et al. 2016) and a real-world dataset from Stack Overflow. Our system achieves state-of-the-art performance on the prior datasets and solves 57% of the real-world dataset, which existing neural systems completely fail on.1

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Second-Order Neural Dependency Parsing with Message Passing and End-to-End Training
Xinyu Wang | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 1st Conference of the Asia-Pacific Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 10th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing

In this paper, we propose second-order graph-based neural dependency parsing using message passing and end-to-end neural networks. We empirically show that our approaches match the accuracy of very recent state-of-the-art second-order graph-based neural dependency parsers and have significantly faster speed in both training and testing. We also empirically show the advantage of second-order parsing over first-order parsing and observe that the usefulness of the head-selection structured constraint vanishes when using BERT embedding.

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More Embeddings, Better Sequence Labelers?
Xinyu Wang | Yong Jiang | Nguyen Bach | Tao Wang | Zhongqiang Huang | Fei Huang | Kewei Tu
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2020

Recent work proposes a family of contextual embeddings that significantly improves the accuracy of sequence labelers over non-contextual embeddings. However, there is no definite conclusion on whether we can build better sequence labelers by combining different kinds of embeddings in various settings. In this paper, we conduct extensive experiments on 3 tasks over 18 datasets and 8 languages to study the accuracy of sequence labeling with various embedding concatenations and make three observations: (1) concatenating more embedding variants leads to better accuracy in rich-resource and cross-domain settings and some conditions of low-resource settings; (2) concatenating contextual sub-word embeddings with contextual character embeddings hurts the accuracy in extremely low-resource settings; (3) based on the conclusion of (1), concatenating additional similar contextual embeddings cannot lead to further improvements. We hope these conclusions can help people build stronger sequence labelers in various settings.

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Building a Bridge: A Method for Image-Text Sarcasm Detection Without Pretraining on Image-Text Data
Xinyu Wang | Xiaowen Sun | Tan Yang | Hongbo Wang
Proceedings of the First International Workshop on Natural Language Processing Beyond Text

Sarcasm detection in social media with text and image is becoming more challenging. Previous works of image-text sarcasm detection were mainly to fuse the summaries of text and image: different sub-models read the text and image respectively to get the summaries, and fuses the summaries. Recently, some multi-modal models based on the architecture of BERT are proposed such as ViLBERT. However, they can only be pretrained on the image-text data. In this paper, we propose an image-text model for sarcasm detection using the pretrained BERT and ResNet without any further pretraining. BERT and ResNet have been pretrained on much larger text or image data than image-text data. We connect the vector spaces of BERT and ResNet to utilize more data. We use the pretrained Multi-Head Attention of BERT to model the text and image. Besides, we propose a 2D-Intra-Attention to extract the relationships between words and images. In experiments, our model outperforms the state-of-the-art model.

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Enhanced Universal Dependency Parsing with Second-Order Inference and Mixture of Training Data
Xinyu Wang | Yong Jiang | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 16th International Conference on Parsing Technologies and the IWPT 2020 Shared Task on Parsing into Enhanced Universal Dependencies

This paper presents the system used in our submission to the IWPT 2020 Shared Task. Our system is a graph-based parser with second-order inference. For the low-resource Tamil corpora, we specially mixed the training data of Tamil with other languages and significantly improved the performance of Tamil. Due to our misunderstanding of the submission requirements, we submitted graphs that are not connected, which makes our system only rank 6th over 10 teams. However, after we fixed this problem, our system is 0.6 ELAS higher than the team that ranked 1st in the official results.


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ShanghaiTech at MRP 2019: Sequence-to-Graph Transduction with Second-Order Edge Inference for Cross-Framework Meaning Representation Parsing
Xinyu Wang | Yixian Liu | Zixia Jia | Chengyue Jiang | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the Shared Task on Cross-Framework Meaning Representation Parsing at the 2019 Conference on Natural Language Learning

This paper presents the system used in our submission to the CoNLL 2019 shared task: Cross-Framework Meaning Representation Parsing. Our system is a graph-based parser which combines an extended pointer-generator network that generates nodes and a second-order mean field variational inference module that predicts edges. Our system achieved 1st and 2nd place for the DM and PSD frameworks respectively on the in-framework ranks and achieved 3rd place for the DM framework on the cross-framework ranks.

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Second-Order Semantic Dependency Parsing with End-to-End Neural Networks
Xinyu Wang | Jingxian Huang | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Semantic dependency parsing aims to identify semantic relationships between words in a sentence that form a graph. In this paper, we propose a second-order semantic dependency parser, which takes into consideration not only individual dependency edges but also interactions between pairs of edges. We show that second-order parsing can be approximated using mean field (MF) variational inference or loopy belief propagation (LBP). We can unfold both algorithms as recurrent layers of a neural network and therefore can train the parser in an end-to-end manner. Our experiments show that our approach achieves state-of-the-art performance.