Yandi Xia


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A Unified Generative Approach to Product Attribute-Value Identification
Keiji Shinzato | Naoki Yoshinaga | Yandi Xia | Wei-Te Chen
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2023

Product attribute-value identification (PAVI) has been studied to link products on e-commerce sites with their attribute values (e.g., ⟨Material, Cotton⟩) using product text as clues. Technical demands from real-world e-commerce platforms require PAVI methods to handle unseen values, multi-attribute values, and canonicalized values, which are only partly addressed in existing extraction- and classification-based approaches. Motivated by this, we explore a generative approach to the PAVI task. We finetune a pre-trained generative model, T5, to decode a set of attribute-value pairs as a target sequence from the given product text. Since the attribute value pairs are unordered set elements, how to linearize them will matter; we, thus, explore methods of composing an attribute-value pair and ordering the pairs for the task. Experimental results confirm that our generation-based approach outperforms the existing extraction and classification-based methods on large-scale real-world datasets meant for those methods.

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Does Named Entity Recognition Truly Not Scale Up to Real-world Product Attribute Extraction?
Wei-Te Chen | Keiji Shinzato | Naoki Yoshinaga | Yandi Xia
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing: Industry Track

The key challenge in the attribute-value extraction (AVE) task from e-commerce sites is the scalability to diverse attributes for a large number of products in real-world e-commerce sites. To make AVE scalable to diverse attributes, recent researchers adopted a question-answering (QA)-based approach that additionally inputs the target attribute as a query to extract its values, and confirmed its advantage over a classical approach based on named-entity recognition (NER) on real-word e-commerce datasets. In this study, we argue the scalability of the NER-based approach compared to the QA-based approach, since researchers have compared BERT-based QA-based models to only a weak BiLSTM-based NER baseline trained from scratch in terms of only accuracy on datasets designed to evaluate the QA-based approach. Experimental results using a publicly available real-word dataset revealed that, under a fair setting, BERT-based NER models rival BERT-based QA models in terms of the accuracy, and their inference is faster than the QA model that processes the same product text several times to handle multiple target attributes.


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Simple and Effective Knowledge-Driven Query Expansion for QA-Based Product Attribute Extraction
Keiji Shinzato | Naoki Yoshinaga | Yandi Xia | Wei-Te Chen
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 2: Short Papers)

A key challenge in attribute value extraction (AVE) from e-commerce sites is how to handle a large number of attributes for diverse products. Although this challenge is partially addressed by a question answering (QA) approach which finds a value in product data for a given query (attribute), it does not work effectively for rare and ambiguous queries. We thus propose simple knowledge-driven query expansion based on possible answers (values) of a query (attribute) for QA-based AVE. We retrieve values of a query (attribute) from the training data to expand the query. We train a model with two tricks, knowledge dropout and knowledge token mixing, which mimic the imperfection of the value knowledge in testing. Experimental results on our cleaned version of AliExpress dataset show that our method improves the performance of AVE (+6.08 macro F1), especially for rare and ambiguous attributes (+7.82 and +6.86 macro F1, respectively).

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Extreme Multi-Label Classification with Label Masking for Product Attribute Value Extraction
Wei-Te Chen | Yandi Xia | Keiji Shinzato
Proceedings of the Fifth Workshop on e-Commerce and NLP (ECNLP 5)

Although most studies have treated attribute value extraction (AVE) as named entity recognition, these approaches are not practical in real-world e-commerce platforms because they perform poorly, and require canonicalization of extracted values. Furthermore, since values needed for actual services is static in many attributes, extraction of new values is not always necessary. Given the above, we formalize AVE as extreme multi-label classification (XMC). A major problem in solving AVE as XMC is that the distribution between positive and negative labels for products is heavily imbalanced. To mitigate the negative impact derived from such biased distribution, we propose label masking, a simple and effective method to reduce the number of negative labels in training. We exploit attribute taxonomy designed for e-commerce platforms to determine which labels are negative for products. Experimental results using a dataset collected from a Japanese e-commerce platform demonstrate that the label masking improves micro and macro F1 scores by 3.38 and 23.20 points, respectively.


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Multimodal Item Categorization Fully Based on Transformer
Lei Chen | Houwei Chou | Yandi Xia | Hirokazu Miyake
Proceedings of the 4th Workshop on e-Commerce and NLP

The Transformer has proven to be a powerful feature extraction method and has gained widespread adoption in natural language processing (NLP). In this paper we propose a multimodal item categorization (MIC) system solely based on the Transformer for both text and image processing. On a multimodal product data set collected from a Japanese e-commerce giant, we tested a new image classification model based on the Transformer and investigated different ways of fusing bi-modal information. Our experimental results on real industry data showed that the Transformer-based image classifier has performance on par with ResNet-based classifiers and is four times faster to train. Furthermore, a cross-modal attention layer was found to be critical for the MIC system to achieve performance gains over text-only and image-only models.


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Web-Scale Language-Independent Cataloging of Noisy Product Listings for E-Commerce
Pradipto Das | Yandi Xia | Aaron Levine | Giuseppe Di Fabbrizio | Ankur Datta
Proceedings of the 15th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Volume 1, Long Papers

The cataloging of product listings through taxonomy categorization is a fundamental problem for any e-commerce marketplace, with applications ranging from personalized search recommendations to query understanding. However, manual and rule based approaches to categorization are not scalable. In this paper, we compare several classifiers for categorizing listings in both English and Japanese product catalogs. We show empirically that a combination of words from product titles, navigational breadcrumbs, and list prices, when available, improves results significantly. We outline a novel method using correspondence topic models and a lightweight manual process to reduce noise from mis-labeled data in the training set. We contrast linear models, gradient boosted trees (GBTs) and convolutional neural networks (CNNs), and show that GBTs and CNNs yield the highest gains in error reduction. Finally, we show GBTs applied in a language-agnostic way on a large-scale Japanese e-commerce dataset have improved taxonomy categorization performance over current state-of-the-art based on deep belief network models.

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Large-Scale Categorization of Japanese Product Titles Using Neural Attention Models
Yandi Xia | Aaron Levine | Pradipto Das | Giuseppe Di Fabbrizio | Keiji Shinzato | Ankur Datta
Proceedings of the 15th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Volume 2, Short Papers

We propose a variant of Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) models, the Attention CNN (ACNN); for large-scale categorization of millions of Japanese items into thirty-five product categories. Compared to a state-of-the-art Gradient Boosted Tree (GBT) classifier, the proposed model reduces training time from three weeks to three days while maintaining more than 96% accuracy. Additionally, our proposed model characterizes products by imputing attentive focus on word tokens in a language agnostic way. The attention words have been observed to be semantically highly correlated with the predicted categories and give us a choice of automatic feature extraction for downstream processing.


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A Preliminary Study of Disputation Behavior in Online Debating Forum
Zhongyu Wei | Yandi Xia | Chen Li | Yang Liu | Zachary Stallbohm | Yi Li | Yang Jin
Proceedings of the Third Workshop on Argument Mining (ArgMining2016)

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An Efficient Cross-lingual Model for Sentence Classification Using Convolutional Neural Network
Yandi Xia | Zhongyu Wei | Yang Liu
Proceedings of the ACL 2016 Student Research Workshop