Yan Xu


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Semantic matching for text classification with complex class descriptions
Brian De Silva | Kuan-Wen Huang | Gwang Lee | Karen Hovsepian | Yan Xu | Mingwei Shen
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Text classifiers are an indispensable tool for machine learning practitioners, but adapting them to new classes is expensive. To reduce the cost of new classes, previous work exploits class descriptions and/or labels from existing classes. However, these approaches leave a gap in the model development cycle as they support either zero- or few-shot learning, but not both. Existing classifiers either do not work on zero-shot problems, or fail to improve much with few-shot labels. Further, prior work is aimed at concise class descriptions, which may be insufficient for complex classes. We overcome these shortcomings by casting text classification as a matching problem, where a model matches examples with relevant class descriptions. This formulation lets us leverage labels and complex class descriptions to perform zero- and few-shot learning on new classes. We compare this approach with numerous baselines on text classification tasks with complex class descriptions and find that it achieves strong zero-shot performance and scales well with few-shot samples, beating strong baselines by 22.48% (average precision) in the 10-shot setting. Furthermore, we extend the popular Model-Agnostic Meta-Learning algorithm to the zero-shot matching setting and show it improves zero-shot performance by 4.29%. Our results show that expressing text classification as a matching problem is a cost-effective way to address new classes. This strategy enables zero-shot learning for cold-start scenarios and few-shot learning so the model can improve until it is capable enough to deploy.

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Contrastive Learning for Inference in Dialogue
Etsuko Ishii | Yan Xu | Bryan Wilie | Ziwei Ji | Holy Lovenia | Willy Chung | Pascale Fung
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Inference, especially those derived from inductive processes, is a crucial component in our conversation to complement the information implicitly or explicitly conveyed by a speaker. While recent large language models show remarkable advances in inference tasks, their performance in inductive reasoning, where not all information is present in the context, is far behind deductive reasoning. In this paper, we analyze the behavior of the models based on the task difficulty defined by the semantic information gap – which distinguishes inductive and deductive reasoning. Our analysis reveals that the information gap between dialogue contexts and desired inferences renders the inductive inference process more challenging. To mitigate this information gap, we investigate a contrastive learning approach by feeding negative samples. Our experiments suggest negative samples help models understand what is wrong and improve their inference generations.

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NusaCrowd: Open Source Initiative for Indonesian NLP Resources
Samuel Cahyawijaya | Holy Lovenia | Alham Fikri Aji | Genta Winata | Bryan Wilie | Fajri Koto | Rahmad Mahendra | Christian Wibisono | Ade Romadhony | Karissa Vincentio | Jennifer Santoso | David Moeljadi | Cahya Wirawan | Frederikus Hudi | Muhammad Satrio Wicaksono | Ivan Parmonangan | Ika Alfina | Ilham Firdausi Putra | Samsul Rahmadani | Yulianti Oenang | Ali Septiandri | James Jaya | Kaustubh Dhole | Arie Suryani | Rifki Afina Putri | Dan Su | Keith Stevens | Made Nindyatama Nityasya | Muhammad Adilazuarda | Ryan Hadiwijaya | Ryandito Diandaru | Tiezheng Yu | Vito Ghifari | Wenliang Dai | Yan Xu | Dyah Damapuspita | Haryo Wibowo | Cuk Tho | Ichwanul Karo Karo | Tirana Fatyanosa | Ziwei Ji | Graham Neubig | Timothy Baldwin | Sebastian Ruder | Pascale Fung | Herry Sujaini | Sakriani Sakti | Ayu Purwarianti
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2023

We present NusaCrowd, a collaborative initiative to collect and unify existing resources for Indonesian languages, including opening access to previously non-public resources. Through this initiative, we have brought together 137 datasets and 118 standardized data loaders. The quality of the datasets has been assessed manually and automatically, and their value is demonstrated through multiple experiments.NusaCrowd’s data collection enables the creation of the first zero-shot benchmarks for natural language understanding and generation in Indonesian and the local languages of Indonesia. Furthermore, NusaCrowd brings the creation of the first multilingual automatic speech recognition benchmark in Indonesian and the local languages of Indonesia. Our work strives to advance natural language processing (NLP) research for languages that are under-represented despite being widely spoken.

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Towards Mitigating LLM Hallucination via Self Reflection
Ziwei Ji | Tiezheng Yu | Yan Xu | Nayeon Lee | Etsuko Ishii | Pascale Fung
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

Large language models (LLMs) have shown promise for generative and knowledge-intensive tasks including question-answering (QA) tasks. However, the practical deployment still faces challenges, notably the issue of “hallucination”, where models generate plausible-sounding but unfaithful or nonsensical information. This issue becomes particularly critical in the medical domain due to the uncommon professional concepts and potential social risks involved. This paper analyses the phenomenon of hallucination in medical generative QA systems using widely adopted LLMs and datasets. Our investigation centers on the identification and comprehension of common problematic answers, with a specific emphasis on hallucination. To tackle this challenge, we present an interactive self-reflection methodology that incorporates knowledge acquisition and answer generation. Through this feedback process, our approach steadily enhances the factuality, consistency, and entailment of the generated answers. Consequently, we harness the interactivity and multitasking ability of LLMs and produce progressively more precise and accurate answers. Experimental results on both automatic and human evaluation demonstrate the superiority of our approach in hallucination reduction compared to baselines.

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KILM: Knowledge Injection into Encoder-Decoder Language Models
Yan Xu | Mahdi Namazifar | Devamanyu Hazarika | Aishwarya Padmakumar | Yang Liu | Dilek Hakkani-Tur
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Large pre-trained language models (PLMs) have been shown to retain implicit knowledge within their parameters. To enhance this implicit knowledge, we propose Knowledge Injection into Language Models (KILM), a novel approach that injects entity-related knowledge into encoder-decoder PLMs, via a generative knowledge infilling objective through continued pre-training. This is done without architectural modifications to the PLMs or adding additional parameters. Experimental results over a suite of knowledge-intensive tasks spanning numerous datasets show that KILM enables models to retain more knowledge and hallucinate less while preserving their original performance on general NLU and NLG tasks. KILM also demonstrates improved zero-shot performances on tasks such as entity disambiguation, outperforming state-of-the-art models having 30x more parameters.


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VScript: Controllable Script Generation with Visual Presentation
Ziwei Ji | Yan Xu | I-Tsun Cheng | Samuel Cahyawijaya | Rita Frieske | Etsuko Ishii | Min Zeng | Andrea Madotto | Pascale Fung
Proceedings of the 2nd Conference of the Asia-Pacific Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 12th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing: System Demonstrations

In order to offer a customized script tool and inspire professional scriptwriters, we present VScript. It is a controllable pipeline that generates complete scripts, including dialogues and scene descriptions, as well as presents visually using video retrieval. With an interactive interface, our system allows users to select genres and input starting words that control the theme and development of the generated script. We adopt a hierarchical structure, which first generates the plot, then the script and its visual presentation. A novel approach is also introduced to plot-guided dialogue generation by treating it as an inverse dialogue summarization. The experiment results show that our approach outperforms the baselines on both automatic and human evaluations, especially in genre control.

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Can Question Rewriting Help Conversational Question Answering?
Etsuko Ishii | Yan Xu | Samuel Cahyawijaya | Bryan Wilie
Proceedings of the Third Workshop on Insights from Negative Results in NLP

Question rewriting (QR) is a subtask of conversational question answering (CQA) aiming to ease the challenges of understanding dependencies among dialogue history by reformulating questions in a self-contained form. Despite seeming plausible, little evidence is available to justify QR as a mitigation method for CQA. To verify the effectiveness of QR in CQA, we investigate a reinforcement learning approach that integrates QR and CQA tasks and does not require corresponding QR datasets for targeted CQA.We find, however, that the RL method is on par with the end-to-end baseline. We provide an analysis of the failure and describe the difficulty of exploiting QR for CQA.

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ASCEND: A Spontaneous Chinese-English Dataset for Code-switching in Multi-turn Conversation
Holy Lovenia | Samuel Cahyawijaya | Genta Winata | Peng Xu | Yan Xu | Zihan Liu | Rita Frieske | Tiezheng Yu | Wenliang Dai | Elham J. Barezi | Qifeng Chen | Xiaojuan Ma | Bertram Shi | Pascale Fung
Proceedings of the Thirteenth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

Code-switching is a speech phenomenon occurring when a speaker switches language during a conversation. Despite the spontaneous nature of code-switching in conversational spoken language, most existing works collect code-switching data from read speech instead of spontaneous speech. ASCEND (A Spontaneous Chinese-English Dataset) is a high-quality Mandarin Chinese-English code-switching corpus built on spontaneous multi-turn conversational dialogue sources collected in Hong Kong. We report ASCEND’s design and procedure for collecting the speech data, including annotations. ASCEND consists of 10.62 hours of clean speech, collected from 23 bilingual speakers of Chinese and English. Furthermore, we conduct baseline experiments using pre-trained wav2vec 2.0 models, achieving a best performance of 22.69% character error rate and 27.05% mixed error rate.

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Integrating Question Rewrites in Conversational Question Answering: A Reinforcement Learning Approach
Etsuko Ishii | Bryan Wilie | Yan Xu | Samuel Cahyawijaya | Pascale Fung
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Student Research Workshop

Resolving dependencies among dialogue history is one of the main obstacles in the research on conversational question answering (QA). The conversational question rewrites (QR) task has been shown to be effective to solve this problem by reformulating questions in a self-contained form. However, QR datasets are limited and existing methods tend to depend on the assumption of the existence of corresponding QR datasets for every CQA dataset. This paper proposes a reinforcement learning approach that integrates QR and CQA tasks without corresponding labeled QR datasets. We train a QR model based on the reward signal obtained from the CQA, and the experimental results show that our approach can bring improvement over the pipeline approaches.

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Retrieval-Free Knowledge-Grounded Dialogue Response Generation with Adapters
Yan Xu | Etsuko Ishii | Samuel Cahyawijaya | Zihan Liu | Genta Indra Winata | Andrea Madotto | Dan Su | Pascale Fung
Proceedings of the Second DialDoc Workshop on Document-grounded Dialogue and Conversational Question Answering

To diversify and enrich generated dialogue responses, knowledge-grounded dialogue has been investigated in recent years. The existing methods tackle the knowledge grounding challenge by retrieving the relevant sentences over a large corpus and augmenting the dialogues with explicit extra information. Despite their success, however, the existing works have drawbacks on the inference efficiency. This paper proposes KnowExpert, an end-to-end framework to bypass the explicit retrieval process and inject knowledge into the pre-trained language models with lightweight adapters and adapt to the knowledge-grounded dialogue task. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first attempt to tackle this challenge without retrieval in this task under an open-domain chit-chat scenario. The experimental results show that KnowExpert performs comparably with some retrieval-based baselines while being time-efficient in inference, demonstrating the effectiveness of our proposed method.


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CAiRE in DialDoc21: Data Augmentation for Information Seeking Dialogue System
Yan Xu | Etsuko Ishii | Genta Indra Winata | Zhaojiang Lin | Andrea Madotto | Zihan Liu | Peng Xu | Pascale Fung
Proceedings of the 1st Workshop on Document-grounded Dialogue and Conversational Question Answering (DialDoc 2021)

Information-seeking dialogue systems, including knowledge identification and response generation, aim to respond to users with fluent, coherent, and informative responses based on users’ needs, which. To tackle this challenge, we utilize data augmentation methods and several training techniques with the pre-trained language models to learn a general pattern of the task and thus achieve promising performance. In DialDoc21 competition, our system achieved 74.95 F1 score and 60.74 Exact Match score in subtask 1, and 37.72 SacreBLEU score in subtask 2. Empirical analysis is provided to explain the effectiveness of our approaches.


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Learning Knowledge Bases with Parameters for Task-Oriented Dialogue Systems
Andrea Madotto | Samuel Cahyawijaya | Genta Indra Winata | Yan Xu | Zihan Liu | Zhaojiang Lin | Pascale Fung
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2020

Task-oriented dialogue systems are either modularized with separate dialogue state tracking (DST) and management steps or end-to-end trainable. In either case, the knowledge base (KB) plays an essential role in fulfilling user requests. Modularized systems rely on DST to interact with the KB, which is expensive in terms of annotation and inference time. End-to-end systems, instead, use the KB directly as input, but they cannot scale when the KB is larger than a few hundred entries. In this paper, we propose a method to embed the KB, of any size, directly into the model parameters. The resulting model does not require any DST or template responses, nor the KB as input, and it can dynamically update its KB via fine-tuning. We evaluate our solution in five task-oriented dialogue datasets with small, medium, and large KB size. Our experiments show that end-to-end models can effectively embed knowledge bases in their parameters and achieve competitive performance in all evaluated datasets.

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Multi-hop Question Generation with Graph Convolutional Network
Dan Su | Yan Xu | Wenliang Dai | Ziwei Ji | Tiezheng Yu | Pascale Fung
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2020

Multi-hop Question Generation (QG) aims to generate answer-related questions by aggregating and reasoning over multiple scattered evidence from different paragraphs. It is a more challenging yet under-explored task compared to conventional single-hop QG, where the questions are generated from the sentence containing the answer or nearby sentences in the same paragraph without complex reasoning. To address the additional challenges in multi-hop QG, we propose Multi-Hop Encoding Fusion Network for Question Generation (MulQG), which does context encoding in multiple hops with Graph Convolutional Network and encoding fusion via an Encoder Reasoning Gate. To the best of our knowledge, we are the first to tackle the challenge of multi-hop reasoning over paragraphs without any sentence-level information. Empirical results on HotpotQA dataset demonstrate the effectiveness of our method, in comparison with baselines on automatic evaluation metrics. Moreover, from the human evaluation, our proposed model is able to generate fluent questions with high completeness and outperforms the strongest baseline by 20.8% in the multi-hop evaluation. on. The code is publicly availableat https://github.com/HLTCHKU

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CAiRE-COVID: A Question Answering and Query-focused Multi-Document Summarization System for COVID-19 Scholarly Information Management
Dan Su | Yan Xu | Tiezheng Yu | Farhad Bin Siddique | Elham Barezi | Pascale Fung
Proceedings of the 1st Workshop on NLP for COVID-19 (Part 2) at EMNLP 2020

We present CAiRE-COVID, a real-time question answering (QA) and multi-document summarization system, which won one of the 10 tasks in the Kaggle COVID-19 Open Research Dataset Challenge, judged by medical experts. Our system aims to tackle the recent challenge of mining the numerous scientific articles being published on COVID-19 by answering high priority questions from the community and summarizing salient question-related information. It combines information extraction with state-of-the-art QA and query-focused multi-document summarization techniques, selecting and highlighting evidence snippets from existing literature given a query. We also propose query-focused abstractive and extractive multi-document summarization methods, to provide more relevant information related to the question. We further conduct quantitative experiments that show consistent improvements on various metrics for each module. We have launched our website CAiRE-COVID for broader use by the medical community, and have open-sourced the code for our system, to bootstrap further study by other researches.


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Zero-shot Cross-lingual Dialogue Systems with Transferable Latent Variables
Zihan Liu | Jamin Shin | Yan Xu | Genta Indra Winata | Peng Xu | Andrea Madotto | Pascale Fung
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

Despite the surging demands for multilingual task-oriented dialog systems (e.g., Alexa, Google Home), there has been less research done in multilingual or cross-lingual scenarios. Hence, we propose a zero-shot adaptation of task-oriented dialogue system to low-resource languages. To tackle this challenge, we first use a set of very few parallel word pairs to refine the aligned cross-lingual word-level representations. We then employ a latent variable model to cope with the variance of similar sentences across different languages, which is induced by imperfect cross-lingual alignments and inherent differences in languages. Finally, the experimental results show that even though we utilize much less external resources, our model achieves better adaptation performance for natural language understanding task (i.e., the intent detection and slot filling) compared to the current state-of-the-art model in the zero-shot scenario.

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Generalizing Question Answering System with Pre-trained Language Model Fine-tuning
Dan Su | Yan Xu | Genta Indra Winata | Peng Xu | Hyeondey Kim | Zihan Liu | Pascale Fung
Proceedings of the 2nd Workshop on Machine Reading for Question Answering

With a large number of datasets being released and new techniques being proposed, Question answering (QA) systems have witnessed great breakthroughs in reading comprehension (RC)tasks. However, most existing methods focus on improving in-domain performance, leaving open the research question of how these mod-els and techniques can generalize to out-of-domain and unseen RC tasks. To enhance the generalization ability, we propose a multi-task learning framework that learns the shared representation across different tasks. Our model is built on top of a large pre-trained language model, such as XLNet, and then fine-tuned on multiple RC datasets. Experimental results show the effectiveness of our methods, with an average Exact Match score of 56.59 and an average F1 score of 68.98, which significantly improves the BERT-Large baseline by8.39 and 7.22, respectively

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Incorporating Word and Subword Units in Unsupervised Machine Translation Using Language Model Rescoring
Zihan Liu | Yan Xu | Genta Indra Winata | Pascale Fung
Proceedings of the Fourth Conference on Machine Translation (Volume 2: Shared Task Papers, Day 1)

This paper describes CAiRE’s submission to the unsupervised machine translation track of the WMT’19 news shared task from German to Czech. We leverage a phrase-based statistical machine translation (PBSMT) model and a pre-trained language model to combine word-level neural machine translation (NMT) and subword-level NMT models without using any parallel data. We propose to solve the morphological richness problem of languages by training byte-pair encoding (BPE) embeddings for German and Czech separately, and they are aligned using MUSE (Conneau et al., 2018). To ensure the fluency and consistency of translations, a rescoring mechanism is proposed that reuses the pre-trained language model to select the translation candidates generated through beam search. Moreover, a series of pre-processing and post-processing approaches are applied to improve the quality of final translations.

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Learning to Learn Sales Prediction with Social Media Sentiment
Zhaojiang Lin | Andrea Madotto | Genta Indra Winata | Zihan Liu | Yan Xu | Cong Gao | Pascale Fung
Proceedings of the First Workshop on Financial Technology and Natural Language Processing

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CAiRE_HKUST at SemEval-2019 Task 3: Hierarchical Attention for Dialogue Emotion Classification
Genta Indra Winata | Andrea Madotto | Zhaojiang Lin | Jamin Shin | Yan Xu | Peng Xu | Pascale Fung
Proceedings of the 13th International Workshop on Semantic Evaluation

Detecting emotion from dialogue is a challenge that has not yet been extensively surveyed. One could consider the emotion of each dialogue turn to be independent, but in this paper, we introduce a hierarchical approach to classify emotion, hypothesizing that the current emotional state depends on previous latent emotions. We benchmark several feature-based classifiers using pre-trained word and emotion embeddings, state-of-the-art end-to-end neural network models, and Gaussian processes for automatic hyper-parameter search. In our experiments, hierarchical architectures consistently give significant improvements, and our best model achieves a 76.77% F1-score on the test set.


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Improved relation classification by deep recurrent neural networks with data augmentation
Yan Xu | Ran Jia | Lili Mou | Ge Li | Yunchuan Chen | Yangyang Lu | Zhi Jin
Proceedings of COLING 2016, the 26th International Conference on Computational Linguistics: Technical Papers

Nowadays, neural networks play an important role in the task of relation classification. By designing different neural architectures, researchers have improved the performance to a large extent in comparison with traditional methods. However, existing neural networks for relation classification are usually of shallow architectures (e.g., one-layer convolutional neural networks or recurrent networks). They may fail to explore the potential representation space in different abstraction levels. In this paper, we propose deep recurrent neural networks (DRNNs) for relation classification to tackle this challenge. Further, we propose a data augmentation method by leveraging the directionality of relations. We evaluated our DRNNs on the SemEval-2010 Task 8, and achieve an F1-score of 86.1%, outperforming previous state-of-the-art recorded results.

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How Transferable are Neural Networks in NLP Applications?
Lili Mou | Zhao Meng | Rui Yan | Ge Li | Yan Xu | Lu Zhang | Zhi Jin
Proceedings of the 2016 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

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Compressing Neural Language Models by Sparse Word Representations
Yunchuan Chen | Lili Mou | Yan Xu | Ge Li | Zhi Jin
Proceedings of the 54th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

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Natural Language Inference by Tree-Based Convolution and Heuristic Matching
Lili Mou | Rui Men | Ge Li | Yan Xu | Lu Zhang | Rui Yan | Zhi Jin
Proceedings of the 54th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 2: Short Papers)


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Classifying Relations via Long Short Term Memory Networks along Shortest Dependency Paths
Yan Xu | Lili Mou | Ge Li | Yunchuan Chen | Hao Peng | Zhi Jin
Proceedings of the 2015 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

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Discriminative Neural Sentence Modeling by Tree-Based Convolution
Lili Mou | Hao Peng | Ge Li | Yan Xu | Lu Zhang | Zhi Jin
Proceedings of the 2015 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing