Yang Li


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Bridging Pre-trained Language Models and Hand-crafted Features for Unsupervised POS Tagging
Houquan Zhou | Yang Li | Zhenghua Li | Min Zhang
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2022

In recent years, large-scale pre-trained language models (PLMs) have made extraordinary progress in most NLP tasks. But, in the unsupervised POS tagging task, works utilizing PLMs are few and fail to achieve state-of-the-art (SOTA) performance. The recent SOTA performance is yielded by a Guassian HMM variant proposed by He et al. (2018). However, as a generative model, HMM makes very strong independence assumptions, making it very challenging to incorporate contexualized word representations from PLMs. In this work, we for the first time propose a neural conditional random field autoencoder (CRF-AE) model for unsupervised POS tagging. The discriminative encoder of CRF-AE can straightforwardly incorporate ELMo word representations. Moreover, inspired by feature-rich HMM, we reintroduce hand-crafted features into the decoder of CRF-AE. Finally, experiments clearly show that our model outperforms previous state-of-the-art models by a large margin on Penn Treebank and multilingual Universal Dependencies treebank v2.0.

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Hierarchical Relation-Guided Type-Sentence Alignment for Long-Tail Relation Extraction with Distant Supervision
Yang Li | Guodong Long | Tao Shen | Jing Jiang
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: NAACL 2022

Distant supervision uses triple facts in knowledge graphs to label a corpus for relation extraction, leading to wrong labeling and long-tail problems. Some works use the hierarchy of relations for knowledge transfer to long-tail relations. However, a coarse-grained relation often implies only an attribute (e.g., domain or topic) of the distant fact, making it hard to discriminate relations based solely on sentence semantics. One solution is resorting to entity types, but open questions remain about how to fully leverage the information of entity types and how to align multi-granular entity types with sentences. In this work, we propose a novel model to enrich distantly-supervised sentences with entity types. It consists of (1) a pairwise type-enriched sentence encoding module injecting both context-free and -related backgrounds to alleviate sentence-level wrong labeling, and (2) a hierarchical type-sentence alignment module enriching a sentence with the triple fact’s basic attributes to support long-tail relations. Our model achieves new state-of-the-art results in overall and long-tail performance on benchmarks.

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Cross-Utterance Conditioned VAE for Non-Autoregressive Text-to-Speech
Yang Li | Cheng Yu | Guangzhi Sun | Hua Jiang | Fanglei Sun | Weiqin Zu | Ying Wen | Yang Yang | Jun Wang
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Modelling prosody variation is critical for synthesizing natural and expressive speech in end-to-end text-to-speech (TTS) systems. In this paper, a cross-utterance conditional VAE (CUC-VAE) is proposed to estimate a posterior probability distribution of the latent prosody features for each phoneme by conditioning on acoustic features, speaker information, and text features obtained from both past and future sentences. At inference time, instead of the standard Gaussian distribution used by VAE, CUC-VAE allows sampling from an utterance-specific prior distribution conditioned on cross-utterance information, which allows the prosody features generated by the TTS system to be related to the context and is more similar to how humans naturally produce prosody. The performance of CUC-VAE is evaluated via a qualitative listening test for naturalness, intelligibility and quantitative measurements, including word error rates and the standard deviation of prosody attributes. Experimental results on LJ-Speech and LibriTTS data show that the proposed CUC-VAE TTS system improves naturalness and prosody diversity with clear margins.


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Emotion Inference in Multi-Turn Conversations with Addressee-Aware Module and Ensemble Strategy
Dayu Li | Xiaodan Zhu | Yang Li | Suge Wang | Deyu Li | Jian Liao | Jianxing Zheng
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Emotion inference in multi-turn conversations aims to predict the participant’s emotion in the next upcoming turn without knowing the participant’s response yet, and is a necessary step for applications such as dialogue planning. However, it is a severe challenge to perceive and reason about the future feelings of participants, due to the lack of utterance information from the future. Moreover, it is crucial for emotion inference to capture the characteristics of emotional propagation in conversations, such as persistence and contagiousness. In this study, we focus on investigating the task of emotion inference in multi-turn conversations by modeling the propagation of emotional states among participants in the conversation history, and propose an addressee-aware module to automatically learn whether the participant keeps the historical emotional state or is affected by others in the next upcoming turn. In addition, we propose an ensemble strategy to further enhance the model performance. Empirical studies on three different benchmark conversation datasets demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed model over several strong baselines.


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Mapping Natural Language Instructions to Mobile UI Action Sequences
Yang Li | Jiacong He | Xin Zhou | Yuan Zhang | Jason Baldridge
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

We present a new problem: grounding natural language instructions to mobile user interface actions, and create three new datasets for it. For full task evaluation, we create PixelHelp, a corpus that pairs English instructions with actions performed by people on a mobile UI emulator. To scale training, we decouple the language and action data by (a) annotating action phrase spans in How-To instructions and (b) synthesizing grounded descriptions of actions for mobile user interfaces. We use a Transformer to extract action phrase tuples from long-range natural language instructions. A grounding Transformer then contextually represents UI objects using both their content and screen position and connects them to object descriptions. Given a starting screen and instruction, our model achieves 70.59% accuracy on predicting complete ground-truth action sequences in PixelHelp.

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Improving Long-Tail Relation Extraction with Collaborating Relation-Augmented Attention
Yang Li | Tao Shen | Guodong Long | Jing Jiang | Tianyi Zhou | Chengqi Zhang
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Wrong labeling problem and long-tail relations are two main challenges caused by distant supervision in relation extraction. Recent works alleviate the wrong labeling by selective attention via multi-instance learning, but cannot well handle long-tail relations even if hierarchies of the relations are introduced to share knowledge. In this work, we propose a novel neural network, Collaborating Relation-augmented Attention (CoRA), to handle both the wrong labeling and long-tail relations. Particularly, we first propose relation-augmented attention network as base model. It operates on sentence bag with a sentence-to-relation attention to minimize the effect of wrong labeling. Then, facilitated by the proposed base model, we introduce collaborating relation features shared among relations in the hierarchies to promote the relation-augmenting process and balance the training data for long-tail relations. Besides the main training objective to predict the relation of a sentence bag, an auxiliary objective is utilized to guide the relation-augmenting process for a more accurate bag-level representation. In the experiments on the popular benchmark dataset NYT, the proposed CoRA improves the prior state-of-the-art performance by a large margin in terms of Precision@N, AUC and Hits@K. Further analyses verify its superior capability in handling long-tail relations in contrast to the competitors.

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Public Sentiment Drift Analysis Based on Hierarchical Variational Auto-encoder
Wenyue Zhang | Xiaoli Li | Yang Li | Suge Wang | Deyu Li | Jian Liao | Jianxing Zheng
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

Detecting public sentiment drift is a challenging task due to sentiment change over time. Existing methods first build a classification model using historical data and subsequently detect drift if the model performs much worse on new data. In this paper, we focus on distribution learning by proposing a novel Hierarchical Variational Auto-Encoder (HVAE) model to learn better distribution representation, and design a new drift measure to directly evaluate distribution changes between historical data and new data.Our experimental results demonstrate that our proposed model achieves better results than three existing state-of-the-art methods.

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Widget Captioning: Generating Natural Language Description for Mobile User Interface Elements
Yang Li | Gang Li | Luheng He | Jingjie Zheng | Hong Li | Zhiwei Guan
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

Natural language descriptions of user interface (UI) elements such as alternative text are crucial for accessibility and language-based interaction in general. Yet, these descriptions are constantly missing in mobile UIs. We propose widget captioning, a novel task for automatically generating language descriptions for UI elements from multimodal input including both the image and the structural representations of user interfaces. We collected a large-scale dataset for widget captioning with crowdsourcing. Our dataset contains 162,860 language phrases created by human workers for annotating 61,285 UI elements across 21,750 unique UI screens. We thoroughly analyze the dataset, and train and evaluate a set of deep model configurations to investigate how each feature modality as well as the choice of learning strategies impact the quality of predicted captions. The task formulation and the dataset as well as our benchmark models contribute a solid basis for this novel multimodal captioning task that connects language and user interfaces.

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Artemis: A Novel Annotation Methodology for Indicative Single Document Summarization
Rahul Jha | Keping Bi | Yang Li | Mahdi Pakdaman | Asli Celikyilmaz | Ivan Zhiboedov | Kieran McDonald
Proceedings of the First Workshop on Evaluation and Comparison of NLP Systems

We describe Artemis (Annotation methodology for Rich, Tractable, Extractive, Multi-domain, Indicative Summarization), a novel hierarchical annotation process that produces indicative summaries for documents from multiple domains. Current summarization evaluation datasets are single-domain and focused on a few domains for which naturally occurring summaries can be easily found, such as news and scientific articles. These are not sufficient for training and evaluation of summarization models for use in document management and information retrieval systems, which need to deal with documents from multiple domains. Compared to other annotation methods such as Relative Utility and Pyramid, Artemis is more tractable because judges don’t need to look at all the sentences in a document when making an importance judgment for one of the sentences, while providing similarly rich sentence importance annotations. We describe the annotation process in detail and compare it with other similar evaluation systems. We also present analysis and experimental results over a sample set of 532 annotated documents.


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Event Detection without Triggers
Shulin Liu | Yang Li | Feng Zhang | Tao Yang | Xinpeng Zhou
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 1 (Long and Short Papers)

The goal of event detection (ED) is to detect the occurrences of events and categorize them. Previous work solved this task by recognizing and classifying event triggers, which is defined as the word or phrase that most clearly expresses an event occurrence. As a consequence, existing approaches required both annotated triggers and event types in training data. However, triggers are nonessential to event detection, and it is time-consuming for annotators to pick out the “most clearly” word from a given sentence, especially from a long sentence. The expensive annotation of training corpus limits the application of existing approaches. To reduce manual effort, we explore detecting events without triggers. In this work, we propose a novel framework dubbed as Type-aware Bias Neural Network with Attention Mechanisms (TBNNAM), which encodes the representation of a sentence based on target event types. Experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness. Remarkably, the proposed approach even achieves competitive performances compared with state-of-the-arts that used annotated triggers.


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Guess Me if You Can: Acronym Disambiguation for Enterprises
Yang Li | Bo Zhao | Ariel Fuxman | Fangbo Tao
Proceedings of the 56th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Acronyms are abbreviations formed from the initial components of words or phrases. In enterprises, people often use acronyms to make communications more efficient. However, acronyms could be difficult to understand for people who are not familiar with the subject matter (new employees, etc.), thereby affecting productivity. To alleviate such troubles, we study how to automatically resolve the true meanings of acronyms in a given context. Acronym disambiguation for enterprises is challenging for several reasons. First, acronyms may be highly ambiguous since an acronym used in the enterprise could have multiple internal and external meanings. Second, there are usually no comprehensive knowledge bases such as Wikipedia available in enterprises. Finally, the system should be generic to work for any enterprise. In this work we propose an end-to-end framework to tackle all these challenges. The framework takes the enterprise corpus as input and produces a high-quality acronym disambiguation system as output. Our disambiguation models are trained via distant supervised learning, without requiring any manually labeled training examples. Therefore, our proposed framework can be deployed to any enterprise to support high-quality acronym disambiguation. Experimental results on real world data justified the effectiveness of our system.


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Hashtag Recommendation with Topical Attention-Based LSTM
Yang Li | Ting Liu | Jing Jiang | Liang Zhang
Proceedings of COLING 2016, the 26th International Conference on Computational Linguistics: Technical Papers

Microblogging services allow users to create hashtags to categorize their posts. In recent years, the task of recommending hashtags for microblogs has been given increasing attention. However, most of existing methods depend on hand-crafted features. Motivated by the successful use of long short-term memory (LSTM) for many natural language processing tasks, in this paper, we adopt LSTM to learn the representation of a microblog post. Observing that hashtags indicate the primary topics of microblog posts, we propose a novel attention-based LSTM model which incorporates topic modeling into the LSTM architecture through an attention mechanism. We evaluate our model using a large real-world dataset. Experimental results show that our model significantly outperforms various competitive baseline methods. Furthermore, the incorporation of topical attention mechanism gives more than 7.4% improvement in F1 score compared with standard LSTM method.


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Answering Elementary Science Questions by Constructing Coherent Scenes using Background Knowledge
Yang Li | Peter Clark
Proceedings of the 2015 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing


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The ICT statistical machine translation system for the IWSLT 2009
Haitao Mi | Yang Li | Tian Xia | Xinyan Xiao | Yang Feng | Jun Xie | Hao Xiong | Zhaopeng Tu | Daqi Zheng | Yanjuan Lu | Qun Liu
Proceedings of the 6th International Workshop on Spoken Language Translation: Evaluation Campaign

This paper describes the ICT Statistical Machine Translation systems that used in the evaluation campaign of the International Workshop on Spoken Language Translation (IWSLT) 2009. For this year’s evaluation, we participated in the Challenge Task (Chinese-English and English-Chinese) and BTEC Task (Chinese-English). And we mainly focus on one new method to improve single system’s translation quality. Specifically, we developed a sentence-similarity based development set selection technique. For each task, we finally submitted the single system who got the maximum BLEU scores on the selected development set. The four single translation systems are based on different techniques: a linguistically syntax-based system, two formally syntax-based systems and a phrase-based system. Typically, we didn’t use any rescoring or system combination techniques in this year’s evaluation.