Yi Cai


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Abstract-level Deductive Reasoning for Pre-trained Language Models
Xin Wu | Yi Cai | Ho-fung Leung
Proceedings of the 2024 Joint International Conference on Computational Linguistics, Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC-COLING 2024)

Pre-trained Language Models have been shown to be able to emulate deductive reasoning in natural language. However, PLMs are easily affected by irrelevant information (e.g., entity) in instance-level proofs when learning deductive reasoning. To address this limitation, we propose an Abstract-level Deductive Reasoner (ADR). ADR is trained to predict the abstract reasoning proof of each sample, which guides PLMs to learn general reasoning patterns rather than instance-level knowledge. Experimental results demonstrate that ADR significantly reduces the impact of PLMs learning instance-level knowledge (over 70%).

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A Logical Pattern Memory Pre-trained Model for Entailment Tree Generation
Li Yuan | Yi Cai | Haopeng Ren | Jiexin Wang
Proceedings of the 2024 Joint International Conference on Computational Linguistics, Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC-COLING 2024)

Generating coherent and credible explanations remains a significant challenge in the field of AI. In recent years, researchers have delved into the utilization of entailment trees to depict explanations, which exhibit a reasoning process of how a hypothesis is deduced from the supporting facts. However, existing models often overlook the importance of generating intermediate conclusions with logical consistency from the given facts, leading to inaccurate conclusions and undermining the overall credibility of entailment trees. To address this limitation, we propose the logical pattern memory pre-trained model (LMPM). LMPM incorporates an external memory structure to learn and store the latent representations of logical patterns, which aids in generating logically consistent conclusions. Furthermore, to mitigate the influence of logically irrelevant domain knowledge in the Wikipedia-based data, we introduce an entity abstraction approach to construct the dataset for pre-training LMPM. The experimental results highlight the effectiveness of our approach in improving the quality of entailment tree generation. By leveraging logical entailment patterns, our model produces more coherent and reasonable conclusions that closely align with the underlying premises.

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Beyond Code: Evaluate Thought Steps for Complex Code Generation
Liuwen Cao | Yi Cai | Jiexin Wang | Hongkui He | Hailin Huang
Proceedings of the 2024 Joint International Conference on Computational Linguistics, Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC-COLING 2024)

Code generation aims to generate code in a general-purpose programming language, such as C++, based on natural language intents. Existing efforts primarily focus on relatively simple programming problems and fail to evaluate the thought process involved in complex programming scenarios. In this paper, we introduce “steps-guided code generation,” a task that assesses the quality of both thought steps and code implementation to evaluate the overall management of handling a complex programming problem. To support this task, we construct CodeStepsEval, a real-world scenario dataset of complex programming problems in the C++ programming language with varying levels of difficulty. Comprehensive experiments on this dataset demonstrate the importance of high-quality steps in enhancing code generation performance and the challenges faced by the code LLMs in this task.

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Grounded Multimodal Procedural Entity Recognition for Procedural Documents: A New Dataset and Baseline
Haopeng Ren | Yushi Zeng | Yi Cai | Zhenqi Ye | Li Yuan | Pinli Zhu
Proceedings of the 2024 Joint International Conference on Computational Linguistics, Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC-COLING 2024)

Much of commonsense knowledge in real world is the form of procudures or sequences of steps to achieve particular goals. In recent years, knowledge extraction on procedural documents has attracted considerable attention. However, they often focus on procedural text but ignore a common multimodal scenario in the real world. Images and text can complement each other semantically, alleviating the semantic ambiguity suffered in text-only modality. Motivated by these, in this paper, we explore a problem of grounded multimodal procedural entity recognition (GMPER), aiming to detect the entity and the corresponding bounding box groundings in image (i.e., visual entities). A new dataset (Wiki-GMPER) is bult and extensive experiments are conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of our proposed model.

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Knowledge-Guided Cross-Topic Visual Question Generation
Hongfei Liu | Guohua Wang | Jiayuan Xie | Jiali Chen | Wenhao Fang | Yi Cai
Proceedings of the 2024 Joint International Conference on Computational Linguistics, Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC-COLING 2024)

Visual question generation (VQG) task aims to generate high-quality questions based on the input image. Current methods primarily focus on generating questions containing specified content utilizing answers or question types as constraints. However, these constraints make it challenging to control the topic of generated questions (e.g., conversation or test subject topics) for various applications. Thus, it is necessary to utilize topics as constraints to guide question generation. Considering that there are many topics and it is almost impossible for human annotations to cover them, we propose the cross-topic learning VQG (CTL-VQG) task, which aims to generate questions related to unseen topics in cross-topic scenarios. In this paper, we propose a knowledge-guided cross-topic visual question generation (KC-VQG) model to extract unseen topic-related information for question generation. Specifically, an image-topic feature extractor is introduced in our model to extract topic-related intuitive visual features; an image-topic knowledge extractor is used to extract and select the most appropriate topic-related implicit knowledge from large language models for generating questions. Extensive experiments show that our model outperforms baselines and can effectively generate unseen topic-related questions in cross-topic scenarios.

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Step Feasibility-Aware and Error-Correctable Entailment Tree Generation
Junyue Song | Xin Wu | Yi Cai
Proceedings of the 2024 Joint International Conference on Computational Linguistics, Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC-COLING 2024)

An entailment tree is a structured reasoning path that clearly demonstrates the process of deriving hypotheses through multiple steps of inference from known premises. It enhances the interpretability of QA systems. Existing methods for generating entailment trees typically employ iterative frameworks to ensure reasoning faithfulness. However, they often suffer from the issue of false feasible steps, where selected steps appear feasible but actually lead to incorrect intermediate conclusions. Moreover, the existing iterative frameworks do not consider error-prone search branches, resulting in error propagation. In this work, we propose SPEH: an iterative entailment tree generation framework with Step feasibility Perception and state Error Handling mechanisms. Step Feasibility Perception enables the model to learn how to choose steps that are not false feasible. State Error Handling includes error detection and backtracking, allowing the model to correct errors when entering incorrect search branches. Experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach in improving the generation of entailment trees.


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Improving Named Entity Recognition via Bridge-based Domain Adaptation
Jingyun Xu | Changmeng Zheng | Yi Cai | Tat-Seng Chua
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2023

Recent studies have shown remarkable success in cross-domain named entity recognition (cross-domain NER). Despite the promising results, existing methods mainly utilize pre-training language models like BERT to represent words. As such, the original chaotic representations may challenge them to distinguish entity types of entities, leading to entity type misclassification. To this end, we attempt to utilize contrastive learning to refine the original representations and propose a model-agnostic framework named MoCL for cross-domain NER. Additionally, we respectively combine MoCL with two distinctive cross-domain NER methods and two pre-training language models to explore its generalization ability. Empirical results on seven domains show the effectiveness and good generalization ability of MoCL.

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Constructing Procedural Graphs with Multiple Dependency Relations: A New Dataset and Baseline
Haopeng Ren | Yushi Zeng | Yi Cai | Bihan Zhou | Zetao Lian
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2023

Current structured and semi-structured knowledge bases mainly focus on representing descriptive knowledge but ignore another commonsense knowledge (Procedural Knowledge). To structure the procedural knowledge, existing methods are proposed to automatically generate flow graphs from procedural documents. They focus on extracting sequential dependency between sentences but neglect another two important dependencies (i.e., inclusion dependency and constraint dependency) in procedural documents. In our paper, we explore a problem of automatically generating procedural graph with multiple dependency relations to extend the flow graph constructed by existing methods and propose a procedural graph construction method with syntactic information and discourse structures. A new dataset (WHPG) is built and extensive experiments are conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of our proposed model.

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Segment-Level and Category-Oriented Network for Knowledge-Based Referring Expression Comprehension
Yuqi Bu | Xin Wu | Liuwu Li | Yi Cai | Qiong Liu | Qingbao Huang
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2023

Knowledge-based referring expression comprehension (KB-REC) aims to identify visual objects referred to by expressions that incorporate knowledge. Existing methods employ sentence-level retrieval and fusion methods, which may lead to issues of similarity bias and interference from irrelevant information in unstructured knowledge sentences. To address these limitations, we propose a segment-level and category-oriented network (SLCO). Our approach includes a segment-level and prompt-based knowledge retrieval method to mitigate the similarity bias problem and a category-based grounding method to alleviate interference from irrelevant information in knowledge sentences. Experimental results show that our SLCO can eliminate interference and improve the overall performance of the KB-REC task.

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Scene Graph Enhanced Pseudo-Labeling for Referring Expression Comprehension
Cantao Wu | Yi Cai | Liuwu Li | Jiexin Wang
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

Referring Expression Comprehension (ReC) is a task that involves localizing objects in images based on natural language expressions. Most ReC methods typically approach the task as a supervised learning problem. However, the need for costly annotations, such as clear image-text pairs or region-text pairs, hinders the scalability of existing approaches. In this work, we propose a novel scene graph-based framework that automatically generates high-quality pseudo region-query pairs. Our method harnesses scene graphs to capture the relationships between objects in images and generate expressions enriched with relation information. To ensure accurate mapping between visual regions and text, we introduce an external module that employs a calibration algorithm to filter out ambiguous queries. Additionally, we employ a rewriter module to enhance the diversity of our generated pseudo queries through rewriting. Extensive experiments demonstrate that our method outperforms previous pseudo-labeling methods by about 10%, 12%, and 11% on RefCOCO, RefCOCO+, and RefCOCOg, respectively. Furthermore, it surpasses the state-of-the-art unsupervised approach by more than 15% on the RefCOCO dataset.

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CLEVR-Implicit: A Diagnostic Dataset for Implicit Reasoning in Referring Expression Comprehension
Jingwei Zhang | Xin Wu | Yi Cai
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Recently, pre-trained vision-language (VL) models have achieved remarkable success in various cross-modal tasks, including referring expression comprehension (REC). These models are pre-trained on the large-scale image-text pairs to learn the alignment between words in textual descriptions and objects in the corresponding images and then fine-tuned on downstream tasks. However, the performance of VL models is hindered when dealing with implicit text, which describes objects through comparisons between two or more objects rather than explicitly mentioning them. This is because the models struggle to align the implicit text with the objects in the images. To address the challenge, we introduce CLEVR-Implicit, a dataset consisting of synthetic images and corresponding two types of implicit text for the REC task. Additionally, to enhance the performance of VL models on implicit text, we propose a method called Transforming Implicit text into Explicit text (TIE), which enables VL models to reason with the implicit text. TIE consists of two modules: (1) the prompt design module builds prompts for implicit text by adding masked tokens, and (2) the cloze procedure module fine-tunes the prompts by utilizing masked language modeling (MLM) to predict the explicit words with the implicit prompts. Experimental results on our dataset demonstrate a significant improvement of 37.94% in the performance of VL models on implicit text after employing our TIE method.

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Rethinking Multimodal Entity and Relation Extraction from a Translation Point of View
Changmeng Zheng | Junhao Feng | Yi Cai | Xiaoyong Wei | Qing Li
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

We revisit the multimodal entity and relation extraction from a translation point of view. Special attention is paid on the misalignment issue in text-image datasets which may mislead the learning. We are motivated by the fact that the cross-modal misalignment is a similar problem of cross-lingual divergence issue in machine translation. The problem can then be transformed and existing solutions can be borrowed by treating a text and its paired image as the translation to each other. We implement a multimodal back-translation using diffusion-based generative models for pseudo-paralleled pairs and a divergence estimator by constructing a high-resource corpora as a bridge for low-resource learners. Fine-grained confidence scores are generated to indicate both types and degrees of alignments with which better representations are obtained. The method has been validated in the experiments by outperforming 14 state-of-the-art methods in both entity and relation extraction tasks. The source code is available at https://github.com/thecharm/TMR.


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Mitigating Contradictions in Dialogue Based on Contrastive Learning
Weizhao Li | Junsheng Kong | Ben Liao | Yi Cai
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2022

Chatbot models have achieved remarkable progress in recent years but tend to yield contradictory responses. In this paper, we exploit the advantage of contrastive learning technique to mitigate this issue. To endow the model with the ability of discriminating contradictory patterns, we minimize the similarity between the target response and contradiction related negative example. The negative example is generated with learnable latent noise, which receives contradiction related feedback from the pretrained critic. Experimental results show that our method helps to avoid contradictions in response generation while preserving response fluency, outperforming existing methods on both automatic and human evaluation.

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Towards Exploiting Sticker for Multimodal Sentiment Analysis in Social Media: A New Dataset and Baseline
Feng Ge | Weizhao Li | Haopeng Ren | Yi Cai
Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Sentiment analysis in social media is challenging since posts are short of context. As a popular way to express emotion on social media, stickers related to these posts can supplement missing sentiments and help identify sentiments precisely. However, research about stickers has not been investigated further. To this end, we present a Chinese sticker-based multimodal dataset for the sentiment analysis task (CSMSA). Compared with previous real-world photo-based multimodal datasets, the CSMSA dataset focuses on stickers, conveying more vivid and moving emotions. The sticker-based multimodal sentiment analysis task is challenging in three aspects: inherent multimodality of stickers, significant inter-series variations between stickers, and complex multimodal sentiment fusion. We propose SAMSAM to address the above three challenges. Our model introduces a flexible masked self-attention mechanism to allow the dynamic interaction between post texts and stickers. The experimental results indicate that our model performs best compared with other models. More researches need to be devoted to this field. The dataset is publicly available at https://github.com/Logos23333/CSMSA.


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ChicHealth @ MEDIQA 2021: Exploring the limits of pre-trained seq2seq models for medical summarization
Liwen Xu | Yan Zhang | Lei Hong | Yi Cai | Szui Sung
Proceedings of the 20th Workshop on Biomedical Language Processing

In this article, we will describe our system for MEDIQA2021 shared tasks. First, we will describe the method of the second task, multiple answer summary (MAS). For extracting abstracts, we follow the rules of (CITATION). First, the candidate sentences are roughly estimated by using the Roberta model. Then the Markov chain model is used to evaluate the sentences in a fine-grained manner. Our team won the first place in overall performance, with the fourth place in MAS task, the seventh place in RRS task and the eleventh place in QS task. For the QS and RRS tasks, we investigate the performanceS of the end-to-end pre-trained seq2seq model. Experiments show that the methods of adversarial training and reverse translation are beneficial to improve the fine tuning performance.

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IgSEG: Image-guided Story Ending Generation
Qingbao Huang | Chuan Huang | Linzhang Mo | Jielong Wei | Yi Cai | Ho-fung Leung | Qing Li
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL-IJCNLP 2021


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Aligned Dual Channel Graph Convolutional Network for Visual Question Answering
Qingbao Huang | Jielong Wei | Yi Cai | Changmeng Zheng | Junying Chen | Ho-fung Leung | Qing Li
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Visual question answering aims to answer the natural language question about a given image. Existing graph-based methods only focus on the relations between objects in an image and neglect the importance of the syntactic dependency relations between words in a question. To simultaneously capture the relations between objects in an image and the syntactic dependency relations between words in a question, we propose a novel dual channel graph convolutional network (DC-GCN) for better combining visual and textual advantages. The DC-GCN model consists of three parts: an I-GCN module to capture the relations between objects in an image, a Q-GCN module to capture the syntactic dependency relations between words in a question, and an attention alignment module to align image representations and question representations. Experimental results show that our model achieves comparable performance with the state-of-the-art approaches.

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TSDG: Content-aware Neural Response Generation with Two-stage Decoding Process
Junsheng Kong | Zhicheng Zhong | Yi Cai | Xin Wu | Da Ren
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2020

Neural response generative models have achieved remarkable progress in recent years but tend to yield irrelevant and uninformative responses. One of the reasons is that encoder-decoder based models always use a single decoder to generate a complete response at a stroke. This tends to generate high-frequency function words with less semantic information rather than low-frequency content words with more semantic information. To address this issue, we propose a content-aware model with two-stage decoding process named Two-stage Dialogue Generation (TSDG). We separate the decoding process of content words and function words so that content words can be generated independently without the interference of function words. Experimental results on two datasets indicate that our model significantly outperforms several competitive generative models in terms of automatic and human evaluation.

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A Two-phase Prototypical Network Model for Incremental Few-shot Relation Classification
Haopeng Ren | Yi Cai | Xiaofeng Chen | Guohua Wang | Qing Li
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Relation Classification (RC) plays an important role in natural language processing (NLP). Current conventional supervised and distantly supervised RC models always make a closed-world assumption which ignores the emergence of novel relations in open environment. To incrementally recognize the novel relations, current two solutions (i.e, re-training and lifelong learning) are designed but suffer from the lack of large-scale labeled data for novel relations. Meanwhile, prototypical network enjoys better performance on both fields of deep supervised learning and few-shot learning. However, it still suffers from the incompatible feature embedding problem when the novel relations come in. Motivated by them, we propose a two-phase prototypical network with prototype attention alignment and triplet loss to dynamically recognize the novel relations with a few support instances meanwhile without catastrophic forgetting. Extensive experiments are conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of our proposed model.

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Controllable Abstractive Sentence Summarization with Guiding Entities
Changmeng Zheng | Yi Cai | Guanjie Zhang | Qing Li
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Entities are the major proportion and build up the topic of text summaries. Although existing text summarization models can produce promising results of automatic metrics, for example, ROUGE, it is difficult to guarantee that an entity is contained in generated summaries. In this paper, we propose a controllable abstractive sentence summarization model which generates summaries with guiding entities. Instead of generating summaries from left to right, we start with a selected entity, generate the left part first, then the right part of a complete summary. Compared to previous entity-based text summarization models, our method can ensure that entities appear in final output summaries rather than generating the complete sentence with implicit entity and article representations. Our model can also generate more novel entities with them incorporated into outputs directly. To evaluate the informativeness of the proposed model, we develop a fine-grained informativeness metrics in the relevance, extraness and omission perspectives. We conduct experiments in two widely-used sentence summarization datasets and experimental results show that our model outperforms the state-of-the-art methods in both automatic evaluation scores and informativeness metrics.

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Task-oriented Domain-specific Meta-Embedding for Text Classification
Xin Wu | Yi Cai | Yang Kai | Tao Wang | Qing Li
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

Meta-embedding learning, which combines complementary information in different word embeddings, have shown superior performances across different Natural Language Processing tasks. However, domain-specific knowledge is still ignored by existing meta-embedding methods, which results in unstable performances across specific domains. Moreover, the importance of general and domain word embeddings is related to downstream tasks, how to regularize meta-embedding to adapt downstream tasks is an unsolved problem. In this paper, we propose a method to incorporate both domain-specific and task-oriented information into meta-embeddings. We conducted extensive experiments on four text classification datasets and the results show the effectiveness of our proposed method.


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A Boundary-aware Neural Model for Nested Named Entity Recognition
Changmeng Zheng | Yi Cai | Jingyun Xu | Ho-fung Leung | Guandong Xu
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

In natural language processing, it is common that many entities contain other entities inside them. Most existing works on named entity recognition (NER) only deal with flat entities but ignore nested ones. We propose a boundary-aware neural model for nested NER which leverages entity boundaries to predict entity categorical labels. Our model can locate entities precisely by detecting boundaries using sequence labeling models. Based on the detected boundaries, our model utilizes the boundary-relevant regions to predict entity categorical labels, which can decrease computation cost and relieve error propagation problem in layered sequence labeling model. We introduce multitask learning to capture the dependencies of entity boundaries and their categorical labels, which helps to improve the performance of identifying entities. We conduct our experiments on GENIA dataset and the experimental results demonstrate that our model outperforms other state-of-the-art methods.

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Recognizing Conflict Opinions in Aspect-level Sentiment Classification with Dual Attention Networks
Xingwei Tan | Yi Cai | Changxi Zhu
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

Aspect-level sentiment classification, which is a fine-grained sentiment analysis task, has received lots of attention these years. There is a phenomenon that people express both positive and negative sentiments towards an aspect at the same time. Such opinions with conflicting sentiments, however, are ignored by existing studies, which design models based on the absence of them. We argue that the exclusion of conflict opinions is problematic, for the reason that it represents an important style of human thinking – dialectic thinking. If a real-world sentiment classification system ignores the existence of conflict opinions when it is designed, it will incorrectly mixed conflict opinions into other sentiment polarity categories in action. Existing models have problems when recognizing conflicting opinions, such as data sparsity. In this paper, we propose a multi-label classification model with dual attention mechanism to address these problems.


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Exploring Topic Discriminating Power of Words in Latent Dirichlet Allocation
Kai Yang | Yi Cai | Zhenhong Chen | Ho-fung Leung | Raymond Lau
Proceedings of COLING 2016, the 26th International Conference on Computational Linguistics: Technical Papers

Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) and its variants have been widely used to discover latent topics in textual documents. However, some of topics generated by LDA may be noisy with irrelevant words scattering across these topics. We name this kind of words as topic-indiscriminate words, which tend to make topics more ambiguous and less interpretable by humans. In our work, we propose a new topic model named TWLDA, which assigns low weights to words with low topic discriminating power (ability). Our experimental results show that the proposed approach, which effectively reduces the number of topic-indiscriminate words in discovered topics, improves the effectiveness of LDA.