Yanyan Zou


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Summarizing Dialogues with Negative Cues
Junpeng Liu | Yanyan Zou | Yuxuan Xi | Shengjie Li | Mian Ma | Zhuoye Ding
Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Abstractive dialogue summarization aims to convert a long dialogue content into its short form where the salient information is preserved while the redundant pieces are ignored. Different from the well-structured text, such as news and scientific articles, dialogues often consist of utterances coming from two or more interlocutors, where the conversations are often informal, verbose, and repetitive, sprinkled with false-starts, backchanneling, reconfirmations, hesitations, speaker interruptions and the salient information is often scattered across the whole chat. The above properties of conversations make it difficult to directly concentrate on scattered outstanding utterances and thus present new challenges of summarizing dialogues. In this work, rather than directly forcing a summarization system to merely pay more attention to the salient pieces, we propose to explicitly have the model perceive the redundant parts of an input dialogue history during the training phase. To be specific, we design two strategies to construct examples without salient pieces as negative cues. Then, the sequence-to-sequence likelihood loss is cooperated with the unlikelihood objective to drive the model to focus less on the unimportant information and also pay more attention to the salient pieces. Extensive experiments on the benchmark dataset demonstrate that our simple method significantly outperforms the baselines with regard to both semantic matching and factual consistent based metrics. The human evaluation also proves the performance gains.

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Interactive Latent Knowledge Selection for E-Commerce Product Copywriting Generation
Zeming Wang | Yanyan Zou | Yuejian Fang | Hongshen Chen | Mian Ma | Zhuoye Ding | Bo Long
Proceedings of the Fifth Workshop on e-Commerce and NLP (ECNLP 5)

As the multi-modal e-commerce is thriving, high-quality advertising product copywriting has gain more attentions, which plays a crucial role in the e-commerce recommender, advertising and even search platforms. The advertising product copywriting is able to enhance the user experience by highlighting the product’s characteristics with textual descriptions and thus to improve the likelihood of user click and purchase. Automatically generating product copywriting has attracted noticeable interests from both academic and industrial communities, where existing solutions merely make use of a product’s title and attribute information to generate its corresponding description. However, in addition to the product title and attributes, we observe that there are various auxiliary descriptions created by the shoppers or marketers in the e-commerce platforms (namely human knowledge), which contains valuable information for product copywriting generation, yet always accompanying lots of noises. In this work, we propose a novel solution to automatically generating product copywriting that involves all the title, attributes and denoised auxiliary knowledge. To be specific, we design an end-to-end generation framework equipped with two variational autoencoders that works interactively to select informative human knowledge and generate diverse copywriting.

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Automatic Scene-based Topic Channel Construction System for E-Commerce
Peng Lin | Yanyan Zou | Lingfei Wu | Mian Ma | Zhuoye Ding | Bo Long
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing: Industry Track

Scene marketing that well demonstrates user interests within a certain scenario has proved effective for offline shopping. To conduct scene marketing for e-commerce platforms, this work presents a novel product form, scene-based topic channel which typically consists of a list of diverse products belonging to the same usage scenario and a topic title that describes the scenario with marketing words. As manual construction of channels is time-consuming due to billions of products as well as dynamic and diverse customers’ interests, it is necessary to leverage AI techniques to automatically construct channels for certain usage scenarios and even discover novel topics. To be specific, we first frame the channel construction task as a two-step problem, i.e., scene-based topic generation and product clustering, and propose an E-commerce Scene-based Topic Channel construction system (i.e., ESTC) to achieve automated production, consisting of scene-based topic generation model for the e-commerce domain, product clustering on the basis of topic similarity, as well as quality control based on automatic model filtering and human screening. Extensive offline experiments and online A/B test validates the effectiveness of such a novel product form as well as the proposed system. In addition, we also introduce the experience of deploying the proposed system on a real-world e-commerce recommendation platform.


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Topic-Aware Contrastive Learning for Abstractive Dialogue Summarization
Junpeng Liu | Yanyan Zou | Hainan Zhang | Hongshen Chen | Zhuoye Ding | Caixia Yuan | Xiaojie Wang
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2021

Unlike well-structured text, such as news reports and encyclopedia articles, dialogue content often comes from two or more interlocutors, exchanging information with each other. In such a scenario, the topic of a conversation can vary upon progression and the key information for a certain topic is often scattered across multiple utterances of different speakers, which poses challenges to abstractly summarize dialogues. To capture the various topic information of a conversation and outline salient facts for the captured topics, this work proposes two topic-aware contrastive learning objectives, namely coherence detection and sub-summary generation objectives, which are expected to implicitly model the topic change and handle information scattering challenges for the dialogue summarization task. The proposed contrastive objectives are framed as auxiliary tasks for the primary dialogue summarization task, united via an alternative parameter updating strategy. Extensive experiments on benchmark datasets demonstrate that the proposed simple method significantly outperforms strong baselines and achieves new state-of-the-art performance. The code and trained models are publicly available via .

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FCM: A Fine-grained Comparison Model for Multi-turn Dialogue Reasoning
Xu Wang | Hainan Zhang | Shuai Zhao | Yanyan Zou | Hongshen Chen | Zhuoye Ding | Bo Cheng | Yanyan Lan
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2021

Despite the success of neural dialogue systems in achieving high performance on the leader-board, they cannot meet users’ requirements in practice, due to their poor reasoning skills. The underlying reason is that most neural dialogue models only capture the syntactic and semantic information, but fail to model the logical consistency between the dialogue history and the generated response. Recently, a new multi-turn dialogue reasoning task has been proposed, to facilitate dialogue reasoning research. However, this task is challenging, because there are only slight differences between the illogical response and the dialogue history. How to effectively solve this challenge is still worth exploring. This paper proposes a Fine-grained Comparison Model (FCM) to tackle this problem. Inspired by human’s behavior in reading comprehension, a comparison mechanism is proposed to focus on the fine-grained differences in the representation of each response candidate. Specifically, each candidate representation is compared with the whole history to obtain a history consistency representation. Furthermore, the consistency signals between each candidate and the speaker’s own history are considered to drive a model prefer a candidate that is logically consistent with the speaker’s history logic. Finally, the above consistency representations are employed to output a ranking list of the candidate responses for multi-turn dialogue reasoning. Experimental results on two public dialogue datasets show that our method obtains higher ranking scores than the baseline models.

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Adaptive Bridge between Training and Inference for Dialogue Generation
Haoran Xu | Hainan Zhang | Yanyan Zou | Hongshen Chen | Zhuoye Ding | Yanyan Lan
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Although exposure bias has been widely studied in some NLP tasks, it faces its unique challenges in dialogue response generation, the representative one-to-various generation scenario. In real human dialogue, there are many appropriate responses for the same context, not only with different expressions, but also with different topics. Therefore, due to the much bigger gap between various ground-truth responses and the generated synthetic response, exposure bias is more challenging in dialogue generation task. What’s more, as MLE encourages the model to only learn the common words among different ground-truth responses, but ignores the interesting and specific parts, exposure bias may further lead to the common response generation problem, such as “I don’t know” and “HaHa?” In this paper, we propose a novel adaptive switching mechanism, which learns to automatically transit between ground-truth learning and generated learning regarding the word-level matching score, such as the cosine similarity. Experimental results on both Chinese STC dataset and English Reddit dataset, show that our adaptive method achieves a significant improvement in terms of metric-based evaluation and human evaluation, as compared with the state-of-the-art exposure bias approaches. Further analysis on NMT task also shows that our model can achieve a significant improvement.


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Pre-training for Abstractive Document Summarization by Reinstating Source Text
Yanyan Zou | Xingxing Zhang | Wei Lu | Furu Wei | Ming Zhou
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

Abstractive document summarization is usually modeled as a sequence-to-sequence (SEQ2SEQ) learning problem. Unfortunately, training large SEQ2SEQ based summarization models on limited supervised summarization data is challenging. This paper presents three sequence-to-sequence pre-training (in shorthand, STEP) objectives which allow us to pre-train a SEQ2SEQ based abstractive summarization model on unlabeled text. The main idea is that, given an input text artificially constructed from a document, a model is pre-trained to reinstate the original document. These objectives include sentence reordering, next sentence generation and masked document generation, which have close relations with the abstractive document summarization task. Experiments on two benchmark summarization datasets (i.e., CNN/DailyMail and New York Times) show that all three objectives can improve performance upon baselines. Compared to models pre-trained on large-scale data (larger than 160GB), our method, with only 19GB text for pre-training, achieves comparable results, which demonstrates its effectiveness.


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Aligning Cross-Lingual Entities with Multi-Aspect Information
Hsiu-Wei Yang | Yanyan Zou | Peng Shi | Wei Lu | Jimmy Lin | Xu Sun
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

Multilingual knowledge graphs (KGs), such as YAGO and DBpedia, represent entities in different languages. The task of cross-lingual entity alignment is to match entities in a source language with their counterparts in target languages. In this work, we investigate embedding-based approaches to encode entities from multilingual KGs into the same vector space, where equivalent entities are close to each other. Specifically, we apply graph convolutional networks (GCNs) to combine multi-aspect information of entities, including topological connections, relations, and attributes of entities, to learn entity embeddings. To exploit the literal descriptions of entities expressed in different languages, we propose two uses of a pretrained multilingual BERT model to bridge cross-lingual gaps. We further propose two strategies to integrate GCN-based and BERT-based modules to boost performance. Extensive experiments on two benchmark datasets demonstrate that our method significantly outperforms existing systems.

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Text2Math: End-to-end Parsing Text into Math Expressions
Yanyan Zou | Wei Lu
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

We propose Text2Math, a model for semantically parsing text into math expressions. The model can be used to solve different math related problems including arithmetic word problems and equation parsing problems. Unlike previous approaches, we tackle the problem from an end-to-end structured prediction perspective where our algorithm aims to predict the complete math expression at once as a tree structure, where minimal manual efforts are involved in the process. Empirical results on benchmark datasets demonstrate the efficacy of our approach.

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Incorporating Fine-grained Events in Stock Movement Prediction
Deli Chen | Yanyan Zou | Keiko Harimoto | Ruihan Bao | Xuancheng Ren | Xu Sun
Proceedings of the Second Workshop on Economics and Natural Language Processing

Considering event structure information has proven helpful in text-based stock movement prediction. However, existing works mainly adopt the coarse-grained events, which loses the specific semantic information of diverse event types. In this work, we propose to incorporate the fine-grained events in stock movement prediction. Firstly, we propose a professional finance event dictionary built by domain experts and use it to extract fine-grained events automatically from finance news. Then we design a neural model to combine finance news with fine-grained event structure and stock trade data to predict the stock movement. Besides, in order to improve the generalizability of the proposed method, we design an advanced model that uses the extracted fine-grained events as the distant supervised label to train a multi-task framework of event extraction and stock prediction. The experimental results show that our method outperforms all the baselines and has good generalizability.

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Quantity Tagger: A Latent-Variable Sequence Labeling Approach to Solving Addition-Subtraction Word Problems
Yanyan Zou | Wei Lu
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

An arithmetic word problem typically includes a textual description containing several constant quantities. The key to solving the problem is to reveal the underlying mathematical relations (such as addition and subtraction) among quantities, and then generate equations to find solutions. This work presents a novel approach, Quantity Tagger, that automatically discovers such hidden relations by tagging each quantity with a sign corresponding to one type of mathematical operation. For each quantity, we assume there exists a latent, variable-sized quantity span surrounding the quantity token in the text, which conveys information useful for determining its sign. Empirical results show that our method achieves 5 and 8 points of accuracy gains on two datasets respectively, compared to prior approaches.

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Joint Detection and Location of English Puns
Yanyan Zou | Wei Lu
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)

A pun is a form of wordplay for an intended humorous or rhetorical effect, where a word suggests two or more meanings by exploiting polysemy (homographic pun) or phonological similarity to another word (heterographic pun). This paper presents an approach that addresses pun detection and pun location jointly from a sequence labeling perspective. We employ a new tagging scheme such that the model is capable of performing such a joint task, where useful structural information can be properly captured. We show that our proposed model is effective in handling both homographic and heterographic puns. Empirical results on the benchmark datasets demonstrate that our approach can achieve new state-of-the-art results.


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Learning Cross-lingual Distributed Logical Representations for Semantic Parsing
Yanyan Zou | Wei Lu
Proceedings of the 56th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 2: Short Papers)

With the development of several multilingual datasets used for semantic parsing, recent research efforts have looked into the problem of learning semantic parsers in a multilingual setup. However, how to improve the performance of a monolingual semantic parser for a specific language by leveraging data annotated in different languages remains a research question that is under-explored. In this work, we present a study to show how learning distributed representations of the logical forms from data annotated in different languages can be used for improving the performance of a monolingual semantic parser. We extend two existing monolingual semantic parsers to incorporate such cross-lingual distributed logical representations as features. Experiments show that our proposed approach is able to yield improved semantic parsing results on the standard multilingual GeoQuery dataset.