Yanyan Zhao


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HIT-SCIR at WASSA 2023: Empathy and Emotion Analysis at the Utterance-Level and the Essay-Level
Xin Lu | Zhuojun Li | Yanpeng Tong | Yanyan Zhao | Bing Qin
Proceedings of the 13th Workshop on Computational Approaches to Subjectivity, Sentiment, & Social Media Analysis

This paper introduces the participation of team HIT-SCIR to the WASSA 2023 Shared Task on Empathy Detection and Emotion Classification and Personality Detection in Interactions. We focus on three tracks: Track 1 (Empathy and Emotion Prediction in Conversations, CONV), Track 2 (Empathy Prediction, EMP) and Track 3 (Emotion Classification, EMO), and designed three different models to address them separately. For Track 1, we designed a direct fine-tuning DeBERTa model for three regression tasks at the utterance-level. For Track 2, we designed a multi-task learning RoBERTa model for two regression tasks at the essay-level. For Track 3, we designed a RoBERTa model with data augmentation for the classification task at the essay-level. Finally, our team ranked 1st in the Track 1 (CONV), 5th in the Track 2 (EMP) and 3rd in the Track 3 (EMO) in the evaluation phase.

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TransESC: Smoothing Emotional Support Conversation via Turn-Level State Transition
Weixiang Zhao | Yanyan Zhao | Shilong Wang | Bing Qin
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2023

Emotion Support Conversation (ESC) is an emerging and challenging task with the goal of reducing the emotional distress of people. Previous attempts fail to maintain smooth transitions between utterances in ESC because they ignoring to grasp the fine-grained transition information at each dialogue turn. To solve this problem, we propose to take into account turn-level state Transitions of ESC (TransESC) from three perspectives, including semantics transition, strategy transition and emotion transition, to drive the conversation in a smooth and natural way. Specifically, we construct the state transition graph with a two-step way, named transit-then-interact, to grasp such three types of turn-level transition information. Finally, they are injected into the transition aware decoder to generate more engaging responses. Both automatic and human evaluations on the benchmark dataset demonstrate the superiority of TransESC to generate more smooth and effective supportive responses. Our source code will be publicly available.

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Don’t Lose Yourself! Empathetic Response Generation via Explicit Self-Other Awareness
Weixiang Zhao | Yanyan Zhao | Xin Lu | Bing Qin
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2023

As a critical step to achieve human-like chatbots, empathetic response generation has attained increasing interests. Previous attempts are incomplete and not sufficient enough to elicit empathy because they only stay on the initial stage of empathy to automatically sense and simulate the feelings and thoughts of others via other-awareness. However, they ignore to include self-awareness to consider the own views of the self in their responses, which is a crucial process to achieve the empathy. To this end, we propose to generate Empathetic response with explicit Self-Other Awareness (EmpSOA). Specifically, three stages, self-other differentiation, self-other modulation and self-other generation, are devised to clearly maintain, regulate and inject the self-other aware information into the process of empathetic response generation. Both automatic and human evaluations on the benchmark dataset demonstrate the superiority of EmpSOA to generate more empathetic responses. Our source code will be publicly available.

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C2D2 Dataset: A Resource for the Cognitive Distortion Analysis and Its Impact on Mental Health
Bichen Wang | Pengfei Deng | Yanyan Zhao | Bing Qin
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

Cognitive distortions refer to patterns of irrational thinking that can lead to distorted perceptions of reality and mental health problems in individuals. Despite previous attempts to detect cognitive distortion through language, progress has been slow due to the lack of appropriate data. In this paper, we present the C2D2 dataset, the first expert-supervised Chinese Cognitive Distortion Dataset, which contains 7,500 cognitive distortion thoughts in everyday life scenes. Additionally, we examine the presence of cognitive distortions in social media texts shared by individuals diagnosed with mental disorders, providing insights into the association between cognitive distortions and mental health conditions. We propose that incorporating information about users’ cognitive distortions can enhance the performance of existing models mental disorder detection. We contribute to a better understanding of how cognitive distortions appear in individuals’ language and their impact on mental health.


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SSR: Utilizing Simplified Stance Reasoning Process for Robust Stance Detection
Jianhua Yuan | Yanyan Zhao | Yanyue Lu | Bing Qin
Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Dataset bias in stance detection tasks allows models to achieve superior performance without using targets. Most existing debiasing methods are task-agnostic, which fail to utilize task knowledge to better discriminate between genuine and bias features. Motivated by how humans tackle stance detection tasks, we propose to incorporate the stance reasoning process as task knowledge to assist in learning genuine features and reducing reliance on bias features. The full stance reasoning process usually involves identifying the span of the mentioned target and corresponding opinion expressions, such fine-grained annotations are hard and expensive to obtain. To alleviate this, we simplify the stance reasoning process to relax the granularity of annotations from token-level to sentence-level, where labels for sub-tasks can be easily inferred from existing resources. We further implement those sub-tasks by maximizing mutual information between the texts and the opinioned targets. To evaluate whether stance detection models truly understand the task from various aspects, we collect and construct a series of new test sets. Our proposed model achieves better performance than previous task-agnostic debiasing methods on most of those new test sets while maintaining comparable performances to existing stance detection models.

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MuCDN: Mutual Conversational Detachment Network for Emotion Recognition in Multi-Party Conversations
Weixiang Zhao | Yanyan Zhao | Bing Qin
Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

As an emerging research topic in natural language processing community, emotion recognition in multi-party conversations has attained increasing interest. Previous approaches that focus either on dyadic or multi-party scenarios exert much effort to cope with the challenge of emotional dynamics and achieve appealing results. However, since emotional interactions among speakers are often more complicated within the entangled multi-party conversations, these works are limited in capturing effective emotional clues in conversational context. In this work, we propose Mutual Conversational Detachment Network (MuCDN) to clearly and effectively understand the conversational context by separating conversations into detached threads. Specifically, two detachment ways are devised to perform context and speaker-specific modeling within detached threads and they are bridged through a mutual module. Experimental results on two datasets show that our model achieves better performance over the baseline models.

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Sentiment Word Aware Multimodal Refinement for Multimodal Sentiment Analysis with ASR Errors
Yang Wu | Yanyan Zhao | Hao Yang | Song Chen | Bing Qin | Xiaohuan Cao | Wenting Zhao
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2022

Multimodal sentiment analysis has attracted increasing attention and lots of models have been proposed. However, the performance of the state-of-the-art models decreases sharply when they are deployed in the real world. We find that the main reason is that real-world applications can only access the text outputs by the automatic speech recognition (ASR) models, which may be with errors because of the limitation of model capacity. Through further analysis of the ASR outputs, we find that in some cases the sentiment words, the key sentiment elements in the textual modality, are recognized as other words, which makes the sentiment of the text change and hurts the performance of multimodal sentiment analysis models directly. To address this problem, we propose the sentiment word aware multimodal refinement model (SWRM), which can dynamically refine the erroneous sentiment words by leveraging multimodal sentiment clues. Specifically, we first use the sentiment word position detection module to obtain the most possible position of the sentiment word in the text and then utilize the multimodal sentiment word refinement module to dynamically refine the sentiment word embeddings. The refined embeddings are taken as the textual inputs of the multimodal feature fusion module to predict the sentiment labels. We conduct extensive experiments on the real-world datasets including MOSI-Speechbrain, MOSI-IBM, and MOSI-iFlytek and the results demonstrate the effectiveness of our model, which surpasses the current state-of-the-art models on three datasets. Furthermore, our approach can be adapted for other multimodal feature fusion models easily.

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Face-Sensitive Image-to-Emotional-Text Cross-modal Translation for Multimodal Aspect-based Sentiment Analysis
Hao Yang | Yanyan Zhao | Bing Qin
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Aspect-level multimodal sentiment analysis, which aims to identify the sentiment of the target aspect from multimodal data, recently has attracted extensive attention in the community of multimedia and natural language processing. Despite the recent success in textual aspect-based sentiment analysis, existing models mainly focused on utilizing the object-level semantic information in the image but ignore explicitly using the visual emotional cues, especially the facial emotions. How to distill visual emotional cues and align them with the textual content remains a key challenge to solve the problem. In this work, we introduce a face-sensitive image-to-emotional-text translation (FITE) method, which focuses on capturing visual sentiment cues through facial expressions and selectively matching and fusing with the target aspect in textual modality. To the best of our knowledge, we are the first that explicitly utilize the emotional information from images in the multimodal aspect-based sentiment analysis task. Experiment results show that our method achieves state-of-the-art results on the Twitter-2015 and Twitter-2017 datasets. The improvement demonstrates the superiority of our model in capturing aspect-level sentiment in multimodal data with facial expressions.


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A Text-Centered Shared-Private Framework via Cross-Modal Prediction for Multimodal Sentiment Analysis
Yang Wu | Zijie Lin | Yanyan Zhao | Bing Qin | Li-Nan Zhu
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL-IJCNLP 2021

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Retrieve, Discriminate and Rewrite: A Simple and Effective Framework for Obtaining Affective Response in Retrieval-Based Chatbots
Xin Lu | Yijian Tian | Yanyan Zhao | Bing Qin
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2021

Obtaining affective response is a key step in building empathetic dialogue systems. This task has been studied a lot in generation-based chatbots, but the related research in retrieval-based chatbots is still in the early stage. Existing works in retrieval-based chatbots are based on Retrieve-and-Rerank framework, which have a common problem of satisfying affect label at the expense of response quality. To address this problem, we propose a simple and effective Retrieve-Discriminate-Rewrite framework. The framework replaces the reranking mechanism with a new discriminate-and-rewrite mechanism, which predicts the affect label of the retrieved high-quality response via discrimination module and further rewrites the affect unsatisfied response via rewriting module. This can not only guarantee the quality of the response, but also satisfy the given affect label. In addition, another challenge for this line of research is the lack of an off-the-shelf affective response dataset. To address this problem and test our proposed framework, we annotate a Sentimental Douban Conversation Corpus based on the original Douban Conversation Corpus. Experimental results show that our proposed framework is effective and outperforms competitive baselines.


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An Iterative Emotion Interaction Network for Emotion Recognition in Conversations
Xin Lu | Yanyan Zhao | Yang Wu | Yijian Tian | Huipeng Chen | Bing Qin
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Emotion recognition in conversations (ERC) has received much attention recently in the natural language processing community. Considering that the emotions of the utterances in conversations are interactive, previous works usually implicitly model the emotion interaction between utterances by modeling dialogue context, but the misleading emotion information from context often interferes with the emotion interaction. We noticed that the gold emotion labels of the context utterances can provide explicit and accurate emotion interaction, but it is impossible to input gold labels at inference time. To address this problem, we propose an iterative emotion interaction network, which uses iteratively predicted emotion labels instead of gold emotion labels to explicitly model the emotion interaction. This approach solves the above problem, and can effectively retain the performance advantages of explicit modeling. We conduct experiments on two datasets, and our approach achieves state-of-the-art performance.


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Benben: A Chinese Intelligent Conversational Robot
Wei-Nan Zhang | Ting Liu | Bing Qin | Yu Zhang | Wanxiang Che | Yanyan Zhao | Xiao Ding
Proceedings of ACL 2017, System Demonstrations


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SemEval-2016 Task 5: Aspect Based Sentiment Analysis
Maria Pontiki | Dimitris Galanis | Haris Papageorgiou | Ion Androutsopoulos | Suresh Manandhar | Mohammad AL-Smadi | Mahmoud Al-Ayyoub | Yanyan Zhao | Bing Qin | Orphée De Clercq | Véronique Hoste | Marianna Apidianaki | Xavier Tannier | Natalia Loukachevitch | Evgeniy Kotelnikov | Nuria Bel | Salud María Jiménez-Zafra | Gülşen Eryiğit
Proceedings of the 10th International Workshop on Semantic Evaluation (SemEval-2016)


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Sentence Compression for Target-Polarity Word Collocation Extraction
Yanyan Zhao | Wanxiang Che | Honglei Guo | Bing Qin | Zhong Su | Ting Liu
Proceedings of COLING 2014, the 25th International Conference on Computational Linguistics: Technical Papers


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Collocation Polarity Disambiguation Using Web-based Pseudo Contexts
Yanyan Zhao | Bing Qin | Ting Liu
Proceedings of the 2012 Joint Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and Computational Natural Language Learning


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Generalizing Syntactic Structures for Product Attribute Candidate Extraction
Yanyan Zhao | Bing Qin | Shen Hu | Ting Liu
Human Language Technologies: The 2010 Annual Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics