Xinyu Zhang


pdf bib
Multi-Objective Forward Reasoning and Multi-Reward Backward Refinement for Product Review Summarization
Libo Sun | Siyuan Wang | Meng Han | Ruofei Lai | Xinyu Zhang | Xuanjing Huang | Zhongyu Wei
Proceedings of the 2024 Joint International Conference on Computational Linguistics, Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC-COLING 2024)

Product review summarization aims to generate a concise summary based on product reviews to facilitate purchasing decisions. This intricate task gives rise to three challenges in existing work: factual accuracy, aspect comprehensiveness, and content relevance. In this paper, we first propose an FB-Thinker framework to improve the summarization ability of LLMs with multi-objective forward reasoning and multi-reward backward refinement. To enable LLM with these dual capabilities, we present two Chinese product review summarization datasets, Product-CSum and Product-CSum-Cross, for both instruction-tuning and cross-domain evaluation. Specifically, these datasets are collected via GPT-assisted manual annotations from an online forum and public datasets. We further design an evaluation mechanism Product-Eval, integrating both automatic and human evaluation across multiple dimensions for product summarization. Experimental results show the competitiveness and generalizability of our proposed framework in the product review summarization tasks.


pdf bib
Hence, Socrates is mortal: A Benchmark for Natural Language Syllogistic Reasoning
Yongkang Wu | Meng Han | Yutao Zhu | Lei Li | Xinyu Zhang | Ruofei Lai | Xiaoguang Li | Yuanhang Ren | Zhicheng Dou | Zhao Cao
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2023

Syllogistic reasoning, a typical form of deductive reasoning, is a critical capability widely required in natural language understanding tasks, such as text entailment and question answering. To better facilitate research on syllogistic reasoning, we develop a benchmark called SylloBase that differs from existing syllogistic datasets in three aspects: (1) Covering a complete taxonomy of syllogism reasoning patterns; (2) Containing both automatically and manually constructed samples; and (3) Involving both the generation and understanding tasks. We automatically construct 50k template-based syllogism samples by mining syllogism patterns from Wikidata and ConceptNet. To improve our dataset’s naturalness and challenge, we apply GPT-3 to paraphrase the template-based data and further manually rewrite 1,000 samples as the test set. State-of-the-art pre-trained language models can achieve the best generation ROUGE-L of 38.72 by T5 and the best multi-choice accuracy of 72.77% by RoBERTa on SylloBase, which indicates the great challenge of learning diverse syllogistic reasoning types on SylloBase. Our datasets are released at

pdf bib
MIRACL: A Multilingual Retrieval Dataset Covering 18 Diverse Languages
Xinyu Zhang | Nandan Thakur | Odunayo Ogundepo | Ehsan Kamalloo | David Alfonso-Hermelo | Xiaoguang Li | Qun Liu | Mehdi Rezagholizadeh | Jimmy Lin
Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Volume 11

MIRACL is a multilingual dataset for ad hoc retrieval across 18 languages that collectively encompass over three billion native speakers around the world. This resource is designed to support monolingual retrieval tasks, where the queries and the corpora are in the same language. In total, we have gathered over 726k high-quality relevance judgments for 78k queries over Wikipedia in these languages, where all annotations have been performed by native speakers hired by our team. MIRACL covers languages that are both typologically close as well as distant from 10 language families and 13 sub-families, associated with varying amounts of publicly available resources. Extensive automatic heuristic verification and manual assessments were performed during the annotation process to control data quality. In total, MIRACL represents an investment of around five person-years of human annotator effort. Our goal is to spur research on improving retrieval across a continuum of languages, thus enhancing information access capabilities for diverse populations around the world, particularly those that have traditionally been underserved. MIRACL is available at

pdf bib
IAG: Induction-Augmented Generation Framework for Answering Reasoning Questions
Zhebin Zhang | Xinyu Zhang | Yuanhang Ren | Saijiang Shi | Meng Han | Yongkang Wu | Ruofei Lai | Zhao Cao
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Retrieval-Augmented Generation (RAG), by incorporating external knowledge with parametric memory of language models, has become the state-of-the-art architecture for open-domain QA tasks. However, common knowledge bases are inherently constrained by limited coverage and noisy information, making retrieval-based approaches inadequate to answer implicit reasoning questions. In this paper, we propose an Induction-Augmented Generation (IAG) framework that utilizes inductive knowledge along with the retrieved documents for implicit reasoning. We leverage large language models (LLMs) for deriving such knowledge via a novel prompting method based on inductive reasoning patterns. On top of this, we implement two versions of IAG named IAG-GPT and IAG-Student, respectively. IAG-GPT directly utilizes the knowledge generated by GPT-3 for answer prediction, while IAG-Student gets rid of dependencies on GPT service at inference time by incorporating a student inductor model. The inductor is firstly trained via knowledge distillation and further optimized by back-propagating the generator feedback via differentiable beam scores. Experimental results show that IAG outperforms RAG baselines as well as ChatGPT on two Open-Domain QA tasks. Notably, our best models have won the first place in the official leaderboards of CSQA2.0 (since Nov 1, 2022) and StrategyQA (since Jan 8, 2023).

pdf bib
Hi-ArG: Exploring the Integration of Hierarchical Argumentation Graphs in Language Pretraining
Jingcong Liang | Rong Ye | Meng Han | Qi Zhang | Ruofei Lai | Xinyu Zhang | Zhao Cao | Xuanjing Huang | Zhongyu Wei
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

The knowledge graph is a structure to store and represent knowledge, and recent studies have discussed its capability to assist language models for various applications. Some variations of knowledge graphs aim to record arguments and their relations for computational argumentation tasks. However, many must simplify semantic types to fit specific schemas, thus losing flexibility and expression ability. In this paper, we propose the **Hi**erarchical **Ar**gumentation **G**raph (Hi-ArG), a new structure to organize arguments. We also introduce two approaches to exploit Hi-ArG, including a text-graph multi-modal model GreaseArG and a new pre-training framework augmented with graph information. Experiments on two argumentation tasks have shown that after further pre-training and fine-tuning, GreaseArG supersedes same-scale language models on these tasks, while incorporating graph information during further pre-training can also improve the performance of vanilla language models. Code for this paper is available at <>.

pdf bib
Argue with Me Tersely: Towards Sentence-Level Counter-Argument Generation
Jiayu Lin | Rong Ye | Meng Han | Qi Zhang | Ruofei Lai | Xinyu Zhang | Zhao Cao | Xuanjing Huang | Zhongyu Wei
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Counter-argument generation—a captivating area in computational linguistics—seeks to craft statements that offer opposing views. While most research has ventured into paragraph-level generation, sentence-level counter-argument generation beckons with its unique constraints and brevity-focused challenges. Furthermore, the diverse nature of counter-arguments poses challenges for evaluating model performance solely based on n-gram-based metrics. In this paper, we present the ArgTersely benchmark for sentence-level counter-argument generation, drawing from a manually annotated dataset from the ChangeMyView debate forum. We also propose Arg-LlaMA for generating high-quality counter-argument. For better evaluation, we trained a BERT-based evaluator Arg-Judge with human preference data. We conducted comparative experiments involving various baselines such as LlaMA, Alpaca, GPT-3, and others. The results show the competitiveness of our proposed framework and evaluator in counter-argument generation tasks. Code and data are available at

pdf bib
Spacerini: Plug-and-play Search Engines with Pyserini and Hugging Face
Christopher Akiki | Odunayo Ogundepo | Aleksandra Piktus | Xinyu Zhang | Akintunde Oladipo | Jimmy Lin | Martin Potthast
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing: System Demonstrations

We present Spacerini, a tool that integrates the Pyserini toolkit for reproducible information retrieval research with Hugging Face to enable the seamless construction and deployment of interactive search engines. Spacerini makes state-of-the-art sparse and dense retrieval models more accessible to non-IR practitioners while minimizing deployment effort. This is useful for NLP researchers who want to better understand and validate their research by performing qualitative analyses of training corpora, for IR researchers who want to demonstrate new retrieval models integrated into the growing Pyserini ecosystem, and for third parties reproducing the work of other researchers. Spacerini is open source and includes utilities for loading, preprocessing, indexing, and deploying search engines locally and remotely. We demonstrate a portfolio of 13 search engines created with Spacerini for different use cases.

pdf bib
GAIA Search: Hugging Face and Pyserini Interoperability for NLP Training Data Exploration
Aleksandra Piktus | Odunayo Ogundepo | Christopher Akiki | Akintunde Oladipo | Xinyu Zhang | Hailey Schoelkopf | Stella Biderman | Martin Potthast | Jimmy Lin
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 3: System Demonstrations)

Noticing the urgent need to provide tools for fast and user-friendly qualitative analysis of large-scale textual corpora of the modern NLP, we propose to turn to the mature and well-tested methods from the domain of Information Retrieval (IR) - a research field with a long history of tackling TB-scale document collections. We discuss how Pyserini - a widely used toolkit for reproducible IR research can be integrated with the Hugging Face ecosystem of open-source AI libraries and artifacts. We leverage the existing functionalities of both platforms while proposing novel features further facilitating their integration. Our goal is to give NLP researchers tools that will allow them to develop retrieval-based instrumentation for their data analytics needs with ease and agility. We include a Jupyter Notebook-based walk through the core interoperability features, available on GitHub: We then demonstrate how the ideas we present can be operationalized to create a powerful tool for qualitative data analysis in NLP. We present GAIA Search - a search engine built following previously laid out principles, giving access to four popular large-scale text collections. GAIA serves a dual purpose of illustrating the potential of methodologies we discuss but also as a standalone qualitative analysis tool that can be leveraged by NLP researchers aiming to understand datasets prior to using them in training. GAIA is hosted live on Hugging Face Spaces:

pdf bib
Evaluating Embedding APIs for Information Retrieval
Ehsan Kamalloo | Xinyu Zhang | Odunayo Ogundepo | Nandan Thakur | David Alfonso-hermelo | Mehdi Rezagholizadeh | Jimmy Lin
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 5: Industry Track)

The ever-increasing size of language models curtails their widespread access to the community, thereby galvanizing many companies and startups into offering access to large language models through APIs. One particular API, suitable for dense retrieval, is the semantic embedding API that builds vector representations of a given text. With a growing number of APIs at our disposal, in this paper, our goal is to analyze semantic embedding APIs in realistic retrieval scenarios in order to assist practitioners and researchers in finding suitable services according to their needs. Specifically, we wish to investigate the capabilities of existing APIs on domain generalization and multilingual retrieval. For this purpose, we evaluate the embedding APIs on two standard benchmarks, BEIR, and MIRACL. We find that re-ranking BM25 results using the APIs is a budget-friendly approach and is most effective on English, in contrast to the standard practice, i.e., employing them as first-stage retrievers. For non-English retrieval, re-ranking still improves the results, but a hybrid model with BM25 works best albeit at a higher cost. We hope our work lays the groundwork for thoroughly evaluating APIs that are critical in search and more broadly, in information retrieval.


pdf bib
Hyperlink-induced Pre-training for Passage Retrieval in Open-domain Question Answering
Jiawei Zhou | Xiaoguang Li | Lifeng Shang | Lan Luo | Ke Zhan | Enrui Hu | Xinyu Zhang | Hao Jiang | Zhao Cao | Fan Yu | Xin Jiang | Qun Liu | Lei Chen
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

To alleviate the data scarcity problem in training question answering systems, recent works propose additional intermediate pre-training for dense passage retrieval (DPR). However, there still remains a large discrepancy between the provided upstream signals and the downstream question-passage relevance, which leads to less improvement. To bridge this gap, we propose the HyperLink-induced Pre-training (HLP), a method to pre-train the dense retriever with the text relevance induced by hyperlink-based topology within Web documents. We demonstrate that the hyperlink-based structures of dual-link and co-mention can provide effective relevance signals for large-scale pre-training that better facilitate downstream passage retrieval. We investigate the effectiveness of our approach across a wide range of open-domain QA datasets under zero-shot, few-shot, multi-hop, and out-of-domain scenarios. The experiments show our HLP outperforms the BM25 by up to 7 points as well as other pre-training methods by more than 10 points in terms of top-20 retrieval accuracy under the zero-shot scenario. Furthermore, HLP significantly outperforms other pre-training methods under the other scenarios.

pdf bib
A Hmong Corpus with Elaborate Expression Annotations
David R. Mortensen | Xinyu Zhang | Chenxuan Cui | Katherine J. Zhang
Proceedings of the Thirteenth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

This paper describes the first publicly available corpus of Hmong, a minority language of China, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, and various countries in Europe and the Americas. The corpus has been scraped from a long-running Usenet newsgroup called soc.culture.hmong and consists of approximately 12 million tokens. This corpus (called SCH) is also the first substantial corpus to be annotated for elaborate expressions, a kind of four-part coordinate construction that is common and important in the languages of mainland Southeast Asia. We show that word embeddings trained on SCH can benefit tasks in Hmong (solving analogies) and that a model trained on it can label previously unseen elaborate expressions, in context, with an F1 of 90.79 (precision: 87.36, recall: 94.52). [ISO 639-3: mww, hmj]

pdf bib
Towards Efficient NLP: A Standard Evaluation and A Strong Baseline
Xiangyang Liu | Tianxiang Sun | Junliang He | Jiawen Wu | Lingling Wu | Xinyu Zhang | Hao Jiang | Zhao Cao | Xuanjing Huang | Xipeng Qiu
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Supersized pre-trained language models have pushed the accuracy of various natural language processing (NLP) tasks to a new state-of-the-art (SOTA). Rather than pursuing the reachless SOTA accuracy, more and more researchers start paying attention to model efficiency and usability. Different from accuracy, the metric for efficiency varies across different studies, making them hard to be fairly compared. To that end, this work presents ELUE (Efficient Language Understanding Evaluation), a standard evaluation, and a public leaderboard for efficient NLP models. ELUE is dedicated to depicting the Pareto Frontier for various language understanding tasks, such that it can tell whether and how much a method achieves Pareto improvement. Along with the benchmark, we also release a strong baseline, ElasticBERT, which allows BERT to exit at any layer in both static and dynamic ways. We demonstrate the ElasticBERT, despite its simplicity, outperforms or performs on par with SOTA compressed and early exiting models. With ElasticBERT, the proposed ELUE has a strong Pareto Frontier and makes a better evaluation for efficient NLP models.

pdf bib
Certified Error Control of Candidate Set Pruning for Two-Stage Relevance Ranking
Minghan Li | Xinyu Zhang | Ji Xin | Hongyang Zhang | Jimmy Lin
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

In information retrieval (IR), candidate set pruning has been commonly used to speed up two-stage relevance ranking. However, such an approach lacks accurate error control and often trades accuracy against computational efficiency in an empirical fashion, missing theoretical guarantees. In this paper, we propose the concept of certified error control of candidate set pruning for relevance ranking, which means that the test error after pruning is guaranteed to be controlled under a user-specified threshold with high probability. Both in-domain and out-of-domain experiments show that our method successfully prunes the first-stage retrieved candidate sets to improve the second-stage reranking speed while satisfying the pre-specified accuracy constraints in both settings. For example, on MS MARCO Passage v1, our method reduces the average candidate set size from 1000 to 27, increasing reranking speed by about 37 times, while keeping MRR@10 greater than a pre-specified value of 0.38 with about 90% empirical coverage. In contrast, empirical baselines fail to meet such requirements. Code and data are available at:

pdf bib
AfriCLIRMatrix: Enabling Cross-Lingual Information Retrieval for African Languages
Odunayo Ogundepo | Xinyu Zhang | Shuo Sun | Kevin Duh | Jimmy Lin
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Language diversity in NLP is critical in enabling the development of tools for a wide range of users.However, there are limited resources for building such tools for many languages, particularly those spoken in Africa.For search, most existing datasets feature few or no African languages, directly impacting researchers’ ability to build and improve information access capabilities in those languages.Motivated by this, we created AfriCLIRMatrix, a test collection for cross-lingual information retrieval research in 15 diverse African languages.In total, our dataset contains 6 million queries in English and 23 million relevance judgments automatically mined from Wikipedia inter-language links, covering many more African languages than any existing information retrieval test collection.In addition, we release BM25, dense retrieval, and sparse–dense hybrid baselines to provide a starting point for the development of future systems.We hope that these efforts can spur additional work in search for African languages.AfriCLIRMatrix can be downloaded at

pdf bib
Coarse-to-Fine: Hierarchical Multi-task Learning for Natural Language Understanding
Zhaoye Fei | Yu Tian | Yongkang Wu | Xinyu Zhang | Yutao Zhu | Zheng Liu | Jiawen Wu | Dejiang Kong | Ruofei Lai | Zhao Cao | Zhicheng Dou | Xipeng Qiu
Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Generalized text representations are the foundation of many natural language understanding tasks. To fully utilize the different corpus, it is inevitable that models need to understand the relevance among them. However, many methods ignore the relevance and adopt a single-channel model (a coarse paradigm) directly for all tasks, which lacks enough rationality and interpretation. In addition, some existing works learn downstream tasks by stitches skill block (a fine paradigm), which might cause irrational results due to its redundancy and noise. In this work, we first analyze the task correlation through three different perspectives, , data property, manual design, and model-based relevance, based on which the similar tasks are grouped together. Then, we propose a hierarchical framework with a coarse-to-fine paradigm, with the bottom level shared to all the tasks, the mid-level divided to different groups, and the top-level assigned to each of the tasks. This allows our model to learn basic language properties from all tasks, boost performance on relevant tasks, and reduce the negative impact from irrelevant tasks. Our experiments on 13 benchmark datasets across five natural language understanding tasks demonstrate the superiority of our method.


pdf bib
Mr. TyDi: A Multi-lingual Benchmark for Dense Retrieval
Xinyu Zhang | Xueguang Ma | Peng Shi | Jimmy Lin
Proceedings of the 1st Workshop on Multilingual Representation Learning

We present Mr. TyDi, a multi-lingual benchmark dataset for mono-lingual retrieval in eleven typologically diverse languages, designed to evaluate ranking with learned dense representations. The goal of this resource is to spur research in dense retrieval techniques in non-English languages, motivated by recent observations that existing techniques for representation learning perform poorly when applied to out-of-distribution data. As a starting point, we provide zero-shot baselines for this new dataset based on a multi-lingual adaptation of DPR that we call “mDPR”. Experiments show that although the effectiveness of mDPR is much lower than BM25, dense representations nevertheless appear to provide valuable relevance signals, improving BM25 results in sparse–dense hybrids. In addition to analyses of our results, we also discuss future challenges and present a research agenda in multi-lingual dense retrieval. Mr. TyDi can be downloaded at

pdf bib
Bag-of-Words Baselines for Semantic Code Search
Xinyu Zhang | Ji Xin | Andrew Yates | Jimmy Lin
Proceedings of the 1st Workshop on Natural Language Processing for Programming (NLP4Prog 2021)

The task of semantic code search is to retrieve code snippets from a source code corpus based on an information need expressed in natural language. The semantic gap between natural language and programming languages has for long been regarded as one of the most significant obstacles to the effectiveness of keyword-based information retrieval (IR) methods. It is a common assumption that “traditional” bag-of-words IR methods are poorly suited for semantic code search: our work empirically investigates this assumption. Specifically, we examine the effectiveness of two traditional IR methods, namely BM25 and RM3, on the CodeSearchNet Corpus, which consists of natural language queries paired with relevant code snippets. We find that the two keyword-based methods outperform several pre-BERT neural models. We also compare several code-specific data pre-processing strategies and find that specialized tokenization improves effectiveness.

pdf bib
Generalized Supervised Attention for Text Generation
Yixian Liu | Liwen Zhang | Xinyu Zhang | Yong Jiang | Yue Zhang | Kewei Tu
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL-IJCNLP 2021


pdf bib
A Little Bit Is Worse Than None: Ranking with Limited Training Data
Xinyu Zhang | Andrew Yates | Jimmy Lin
Proceedings of SustaiNLP: Workshop on Simple and Efficient Natural Language Processing

Researchers have proposed simple yet effective techniques for the retrieval problem based on using BERT as a relevance classifier to rerank initial candidates from keyword search. In this work, we tackle the challenge of fine-tuning these models for specific domains in a data and computationally efficient manner. Typically, researchers fine-tune models using corpus-specific labeled data from sources such as TREC. We first answer the question: How much data of this type do we need? Recognizing that the most computationally efficient training is no training, we explore zero-shot ranking using BERT models that have already been fine-tuned with the large MS MARCO passage retrieval dataset. We arrive at the surprising and novel finding that “some” labeled in-domain data can be worse than none at all.