Yanpeng Zhao


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PCFGs Can Do Better: Inducing Probabilistic Context-Free Grammars with Many Symbols
Songlin Yang | Yanpeng Zhao | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Probabilistic context-free grammars (PCFGs) with neural parameterization have been shown to be effective in unsupervised phrase-structure grammar induction. However, due to the cubic computational complexity of PCFG representation and parsing, previous approaches cannot scale up to a relatively large number of (nonterminal and preterminal) symbols. In this work, we present a new parameterization form of PCFGs based on tensor decomposition, which has at most quadratic computational complexity in the symbol number and therefore allows us to use a much larger number of symbols. We further use neural parameterization for the new form to improve unsupervised parsing performance. We evaluate our model across ten languages and empirically demonstrate the effectiveness of using more symbols.

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Neural Bi-Lexicalized PCFG Induction
Songlin Yang | Yanpeng Zhao | 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)

Neural lexicalized PCFGs (L-PCFGs) have been shown effective in grammar induction. However, to reduce computational complexity, they make a strong independence assumption on the generation of the child word and thus bilexical dependencies are ignored. In this paper, we propose an approach to parameterize L-PCFGs without making implausible independence assumptions. Our approach directly models bilexical dependencies and meanwhile reduces both learning and representation complexities of L-PCFGs. Experimental results on the English WSJ dataset confirm the effectiveness of our approach in improving both running speed and unsupervised parsing performance.

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An Empirical Study of Compound PCFGs
Yanpeng Zhao | Ivan Titov
Proceedings of the Second Workshop on Domain Adaptation for NLP

Compound probabilistic context-free grammars (C-PCFGs) have recently established a new state of the art for phrase-structure grammar induction. However, due to the high time-complexity of chart-based representation and inference, it is difficult to investigate them comprehensively. In this work, we rely on a fast implementation of C-PCFGs to conduct evaluation complementary to that of (CITATION). We highlight three key findings: (1) C-PCFGs are data-efficient, (2) C-PCFGs make the best use of global sentence-level information in preterminal rule probabilities, and (3) the best configurations of C-PCFGs on English do not always generalize to morphology-rich languages.

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Unsupervised Natural Language Parsing (Introductory Tutorial)
Kewei Tu | Yong Jiang | Wenjuan Han | Yanpeng Zhao
Proceedings of the 16th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Tutorial Abstracts

Unsupervised parsing learns a syntactic parser from training sentences without parse tree annotations. Recently, there has been a resurgence of interest in unsupervised parsing, which can be attributed to the combination of two trends in the NLP community: a general trend towards unsupervised training or pre-training, and an emerging trend towards finding or modeling linguistic structures in neural models. In this tutorial, we will introduce to the general audience what unsupervised parsing does and how it can be useful for and beyond syntactic parsing. We will then provide a systematic overview of major classes of approaches to unsupervised parsing, namely generative and discriminative approaches, and analyze their relative strengths and weaknesses. We will cover both decade-old statistical approaches and more recent neural approaches to give the audience a sense of the historical and recent development of the field. We will also discuss emerging research topics such as BERT-based approaches and visually grounded learning.


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Visually Grounded Compound PCFGs
Yanpeng Zhao | Ivan Titov
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

Exploiting visual groundings for language understanding has recently been drawing much attention. In this work, we study visually grounded grammar induction and learn a constituency parser from both unlabeled text and its visual groundings. Existing work on this task (Shi et al., 2019) optimizes a parser via Reinforce and derives the learning signal only from the alignment of images and sentences. While their model is relatively accurate overall, its error distribution is very uneven, with low performance on certain constituents types (e.g., 26.2% recall on verb phrases, VPs) and high on others (e.g., 79.6% recall on noun phrases, NPs). This is not surprising as the learning signal is likely insufficient for deriving all aspects of phrase-structure syntax and gradient estimates are noisy. We show that using an extension of probabilistic context-free grammar model we can do fully-differentiable end-to-end visually grounded learning. Additionally, this enables us to complement the image-text alignment loss with a language modeling objective. On the MSCOCO test captions, our model establishes a new state of the art, outperforming its non-grounded version and, thus, confirming the effectiveness of visual groundings in constituency grammar induction. It also substantially outperforms the previous grounded model, with largest improvements on more ‘abstract’ categories (e.g., +55.1% recall on VPs).


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Gaussian Mixture Latent Vector Grammars
Yanpeng Zhao | Liwen Zhang | Kewei Tu
Proceedings of the 56th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

We introduce Latent Vector Grammars (LVeGs), a new framework that extends latent variable grammars such that each nonterminal symbol is associated with a continuous vector space representing the set of (infinitely many) subtypes of the nonterminal. We show that previous models such as latent variable grammars and compositional vector grammars can be interpreted as special cases of LVeGs. We then present Gaussian Mixture LVeGs (GM-LVeGs), a new special case of LVeGs that uses Gaussian mixtures to formulate the weights of production rules over subtypes of nonterminals. A major advantage of using Gaussian mixtures is that the partition function and the expectations of subtype rules can be computed using an extension of the inside-outside algorithm, which enables efficient inference and learning. We apply GM-LVeGs to part-of-speech tagging and constituency parsing and show that GM-LVeGs can achieve competitive accuracies.