Yapei Chang


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RankGen: Improving Text Generation with Large Ranking Models
Kalpesh Krishna | Yapei Chang | John Wieting | Mohit Iyyer
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Given an input sequence (or prefix), modern language models often assign high probabilities to output sequences that are repetitive, incoherent, or irrelevant to the prefix; as such, model-generated text also contains such artifacts. To address these issues we present RankGen, a 1.2B parameter encoder model for English that scores model generations given a prefix. RankGen can be flexibly incorporated as a scoring function in beam search and used to decode from any pretrained language model. We train RankGen using large-scale contrastive learning to map a prefix close to the ground-truth sequence that follows it and far away from two types of negatives: (1) random sequences from the same document as the prefix, and (2) sequences generated from a large language model conditioned on the prefix. Experiments across four different language models (345M-11B parameters) and two domains show that RankGen significantly outperforms decoding algorithms like nucleus, top-k, and typical sampling on both automatic metrics (85.0 vs 77.3 MAUVE) as well as human evaluations with English writers (74.5% human preference over nucleus sampling). Analysis reveals that RankGen outputs are more relevant to the prefix and improve continuity and coherence compared to baselines. We release our model checkpoints, code, and human preference data with explanations to facilitate future research.

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RELiC: Retrieving Evidence for Literary Claims
Katherine Thai | Yapei Chang | Kalpesh Krishna | Mohit Iyyer
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Humanities scholars commonly provide evidence for claims that they make about a work of literature (e.g., a novel) in the form of quotations from the work. We collect a large-scale dataset (RELiC) of 78K literary quotations and surrounding critical analysis and use it to formulate the novel task of literary evidence retrieval, in which models are given an excerpt of literary analysis surrounding a masked quotation and asked to retrieve the quoted passage from the set of all passages in the work. Solving this retrieval task requires a deep understanding of complex literary and linguistic phenomena, which proves challenging to methods that overwhelmingly rely on lexical and semantic similarity matching. We implement a RoBERTa-based dense passage retriever for this task that outperforms existing pretrained information retrieval baselines; however, experiments and analysis by human domain experts indicate that there is substantial room for improvement.