Yicheng Wang


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Unsupervised Candidate Answer Extraction through Differentiable Masker-Reconstructor Model
Zhuoer Wang | Yicheng Wang | Ziwei Zhu | James Caverlee
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

Question generation is a widely used data augmentation approach with extensive applications, and extracting qualified candidate answers from context passages is a critical step for most question generation systems. However, existing methods for candidate answer extraction are reliant on linguistic rules or annotated data that face the partial annotation issue and challenges in generalization. To overcome these limitations, we propose a novel unsupervised candidate answer extraction approach that leverages the inherent structure of context passages through a Differentiable Masker-Reconstructor (DMR) Model with the enforcement of self-consistency for picking up salient information tokens. We curated two datasets with exhaustively-annotated answers and benchmark a comprehensive set of supervised and unsupervised candidate answer extraction methods. We demonstrate the effectiveness of the DMR model by showing its performance is superior among unsupervised methods and comparable to supervised methods.


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Robust Machine Comprehension Models via Adversarial Training
Yicheng Wang | Mohit Bansal
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 2 (Short Papers)

It is shown that many published models for the Stanford Question Answering Dataset (Rajpurkar et al., 2016) lack robustness, suffering an over 50% decrease in F1 score during adversarial evaluation based on the AddSent (Jia and Liang, 2017) algorithm. It has also been shown that retraining models on data generated by AddSent has limited effect on their robustness. We propose a novel alternative adversary-generation algorithm, AddSentDiverse, that significantly increases the variance within the adversarial training data by providing effective examples that punish the model for making certain superficial assumptions. Further, in order to improve robustness to AddSent’s semantic perturbations (e.g., antonyms), we jointly improve the model’s semantic-relationship learning capabilities in addition to our AddSentDiverse-based adversarial training data augmentation. With these additions, we show that we can make a state-of-the-art model significantly more robust, achieving a 36.5% increase in F1 score under many different types of adversarial evaluation while maintaining performance on the regular SQuAD task.

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Commonsense for Generative Multi-Hop Question Answering Tasks
Lisa Bauer | Yicheng Wang | Mohit Bansal
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Reading comprehension QA tasks have seen a recent surge in popularity, yet most works have focused on fact-finding extractive QA. We instead focus on a more challenging multi-hop generative task (NarrativeQA), which requires the model to reason, gather, and synthesize disjoint pieces of information within the context to generate an answer. This type of multi-step reasoning also often requires understanding implicit relations, which humans resolve via external, background commonsense knowledge. We first present a strong generative baseline that uses a multi-attention mechanism to perform multiple hops of reasoning and a pointer-generator decoder to synthesize the answer. This model performs substantially better than previous generative models, and is competitive with current state-of-the-art span prediction models. We next introduce a novel system for selecting grounded multi-hop relational commonsense information from ConceptNet via a pointwise mutual information and term-frequency based scoring function. Finally, we effectively use this extracted commonsense information to fill in gaps of reasoning between context hops, using a selectively-gated attention mechanism. This boosts the model’s performance significantly (also verified via human evaluation), establishing a new state-of-the-art for the task. We also show that our background knowledge enhancements are generalizable and improve performance on QAngaroo-WikiHop, another multi-hop reasoning dataset.