Yi Sun


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NSP-BERT: A Prompt-based Few-Shot Learner through an Original Pre-training Task —— Next Sentence Prediction
Yi Sun | Yu Zheng | Chao Hao | Hangping Qiu
Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Using prompts to utilize language models to perform various downstream tasks, also known as prompt-based learning or prompt-learning, has lately gained significant success in comparison to the pre-train and fine-tune paradigm. Nonetheless, virtually most prompt-based methods are token-level such as PET based on mask language model (MLM). In this paper, we attempt to accomplish several NLP tasks in the zero-shot and few-shot scenarios using a BERT original pre-training task abandoned by RoBERTa and other models——Next Sentence Prediction (NSP). Unlike token-level techniques, our sentence-level prompt-based method NSP-BERT does not need to fix the length of the prompt or the position to be predicted, allowing it to handle tasks such as entity linking with ease. NSP-BERT can be applied to a variety of tasks based on its properties. We present an NSP-tuning approach with binary cross-entropy loss for single-sentence classification tasks that is competitive compared to PET and EFL. By continuing to train BERT on RoBERTa’s corpus, the model’s performance improved significantly, which indicates that the pre-training corpus is another important determinant of few-shot besides model size and prompt method.

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Improving Relevance Quality in Product Search using High-Precision Query-Product Semantic Similarity
Alireza Bagheri Garakani | Fan Yang | Wen-Yu Hua | Yetian Chen | Michinari Momma | Jingyuan Deng | Yan Gao | Yi Sun
Proceedings of the Fifth Workshop on e-Commerce and NLP (ECNLP 5)

Ensuring relevance quality in product search is a critical task as it impacts the customer’s ability to find intended products in the short-term as well as the general perception and trust of the e-commerce system in the long term. In this work we leverage a high-precision cross-encoder BERT model for semantic similarity between customer query and products and survey its effectiveness for three ranking applications where offline-generated scores could be used: (1) as an offline metric for estimating relevance quality impact, (2) as a re-ranking feature covering head/torso queries, and (3) as a training objective for optimization. We present results on effectiveness of this strategy for the large e-commerce setting, which has general applicability for choice of other high-precision models and tasks in ranking.

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Spelling Correction using Phonetics in E-commerce Search
Fan Yang | Alireza Bagheri Garakani | Yifei Teng | Yan Gao | Jia Liu | Jingyuan Deng | Yi Sun
Proceedings of the Fifth Workshop on e-Commerce and NLP (ECNLP 5)

In E-commerce search, spelling correction plays an important role to find desired products for customers in processing user-typed search queries. However, resolving phonetic errors is a critical but much overlooked area. The query with phonetic spelling errors tends to appear correct based on pronunciation but is nonetheless inaccurate in spelling (e.g., “bluetooth sound system” vs. “blutut sant sistam”) with numerous noisy forms and sparse occurrences. In this work, we propose a generalized spelling correction system integrating phonetics to address phonetic errors in E-commerce search without additional latency cost. Using India (IN) E-commerce market for illustration, the experiment shows that our proposed phonetic solution significantly improves the F1 score by 9%+ and recall of phonetic errors by 8%+. This phonetic spelling correction system has been deployed to production, currently serving hundreds of millions of customers.

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Using Natural Sentence Prompts for Understanding Biases in Language Models
Sarah Alnegheimish | Alicia Guo | Yi Sun
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Evaluation of biases in language models is often limited to synthetically generated datasets. This dependence traces back to the need of prompt-style dataset to trigger specific behaviors of language models. In this paper, we address this gap by creating a prompt dataset with respect to occupations collected from real-world natural sentences present in Wikipedia.We aim to understand the differences between using template-based prompts and natural sentence prompts when studying gender-occupation biases in language models. We find bias evaluations are very sensitiveto the design choices of template prompts, and we propose using natural sentence prompts as a way of more systematically using real-world sentences to move away from design decisions that may bias the results.