Yiming Zhang


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Fast Adaptation via Prompted Data: An Efficient Cross-Domain Fine-tuning Method for Large Language Models
Yiming Zhang | Hantao Yang | Haobo Wang | Jake Zhao
Proceedings of the 2024 Joint International Conference on Computational Linguistics, Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC-COLING 2024)

Large language models (LLMs) have achieved great success in a variety of natural language understanding tasks. However, domain discrepancies between the downstream task and the pre-training corpora may have hurdled LLMs to excel further in the vertical applications. Contrary to prior computational-heavy methods, we propose a lightweight solution to further bridge the gap in applying LLMs to diverse downstream tasks — a Fast Adaptation method for LLMs via Prompted Data, in short FAvPD. Notably, with FAvPD, we establish an additional adaptive tuning procedure, wherein we integrate downstream text corpora, gold labels as well as external knowledge sources and then envelop them into a form of highly controllable prompt. As a simple, easy-to-use, and versatile solution, FAvPD lies in the intersection of regimes like knowledge-augmented LLMs, fine-tuning, and adaptation techniques. With extensive experiments, we prove that FAvPD excels in both performance efficacy and training efficiency over related prior works. FAvPD is publicly available at https://github.com/Hyatio/FAvPD.


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Learning to Ignore Adversarial Attacks
Yiming Zhang | Yangqiaoyu Zhou | Samuel Carton | Chenhao Tan
Proceedings of the 17th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Despite the strong performance of current NLP models, they can be brittle against adversarial attacks. To enable effective learning against adversarial inputs, we introduce the use of rationale models that can explicitly learn to ignore attack tokens. We find that the rationale models can successfully ignore over 90% of attack tokens. This approach leads to consistent sizable improvements (~10%) over baseline models in robustness on three datasets for both BERT and RoBERTa, and also reliably outperforms data augmentation with adversarial examples alone. In many cases, we find that our method is able to close the gap between model performance on a clean test set and an attacked test set and hence reduce the effect of adversarial attacks.

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BiasX: “Thinking Slow” in Toxic Content Moderation with Explanations of Implied Social Biases
Yiming Zhang | Sravani Nanduri | Liwei Jiang | Tongshuang Wu | Maarten Sap
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Toxicity annotators and content moderators often default to mental shortcuts when making decisions. This can lead to subtle toxicity being missed, and seemingly toxic but harmless content being over-detected. We introduce BiasX, a framework that enhances content moderation setups with free-text explanations of statements’ implied social biases, and explore its effectiveness through a large-scale crowdsourced user study. We show that indeed, participants substantially benefit from explanations for correctly identifying subtly (non-)toxic content. The quality of explanations is critical: imperfect machine-generated explanations (+2.4% on hard toxic examples) help less compared to expert-written human explanations (+7.2%). Our results showcase the promise of using free-text explanations to encourage more thoughtful toxicity moderation.

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Revisiting the Knowledge Injection Frameworks
Peng Fu | Yiming Zhang | Haobo Wang | Weikang Qiu | Junbo Zhao
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

In recent years, large language models (LLMs), such as GPTs, have attained great impact worldwide. However, how to adapt these LLMs to better suit the vertical domain-specific tasks by utilizing external knowledge remains not completely solved. Indeed, there have emerged a few works on this line where most of them rely on an alignment heuristic that is built to inject the corresponding knowledge tuple into the associated text sample. However, despite the promise, we identify a pivotal problem in this work ubiquitously. Simply put, we find that injecting unaligned (i.e., random) knowledge tuple into the LLMs achieves comparable (and sometimes better) results than the aligned knowledge being injected. We therefore take a thorough investigation of this frustrating finding on a variety of related prior work and further provide a chain of potential interpretations for the phenomenon. Based on all that, we offer a simple remediated technique. Briefly, the core of this technique roots in an ideological emphasis on the pruning and purification of the external knowledge base to be injected into LLMs. At last, we show that by integrating this technique into most (if not all) knowledge injection frameworks and recent LLMs, it manages to overcome the aforementioned sanity problem and further pushes the boundary of the performance of the domain-adaptive LLMs.

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FLamE: Few-shot Learning from Natural Language Explanations
Yangqiaoyu Zhou | Yiming Zhang | Chenhao Tan
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Natural language explanations have the potential to provide rich information that in principle guides model reasoning. Yet, recent work by Lampinen et al. has shown limited utility of natural language explanations in improving classification. To effectively learn from explanations, we present FLamE, a two-stage few-shot learning framework that first generates explanations using GPT-3, and then fine-tunes a smaller model (e.g., RoBERTa) with generated explanations. Our experiments on natural language inference demonstrate effectiveness over strong baselines, increasing accuracy by 17.6% over GPT-3 Babbage and 5.7% over GPT-3 Davinci in e-SNLI.Despite improving classification performance, human evaluation surprisingly reveals that the majority of generated explanations does not adequately justify classification decisions. Additional analyses point to the important role of label-specific cues (e.g., “not know” for the neutral label) in generated explanations.


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Towards Unifying the Label Space for Aspect- and Sentence-based Sentiment Analysis
Yiming Zhang | Min Zhang | Sai Wu | Junbo Zhao
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2022

The aspect-based sentiment analysis (ABSA) is a fine-grained task that aims to determine the sentiment polarity towards targeted aspect terms occurring in the sentence. The development of the ABSA task is very much hindered by the lack of annotated data. To tackle this, the prior works have studied the possibility of utilizing the sentiment analysis (SA) datasets to assist in training the ABSA model, primarily via pretraining or multi-task learning. In this article, we follow this line, and for the first time, we manage to apply the Pseudo-Label (PL) method to merge the two homogeneous tasks. While it seems straightforward to use generated pseudo labels to handle this case of label granularity unification for two highly related tasks, we identify its major challenge in this paper and propose a novel framework, dubbed as Dual-granularity Pseudo Labeling (DPL). Further, similar to PL, we regard the DPL as a general framework capable of combining other prior methods in the literature. Through extensive experiments, DPL has achieved state-of-the-art performance on standard benchmarks surpassing the prior work significantly.

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Active Example Selection for In-Context Learning
Yiming Zhang | Shi Feng | Chenhao Tan
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

With a handful of demonstration examples, large-scale language models demonstrate strong capability to perform various tasks by in-context learning from these examples, without any fine-tuning. We demonstrate that in-context learning performance can be highly unstable across samples of examples, indicating the idiosyncrasies of how language models acquire information. We formulate example selection for in-context learning as a sequential decision problem, and propose a reinforcement learning algorithm for identifying generalizable policies to select demonstration examples. For GPT-2, our learned policies demonstrate strong abilities of generalizing to unseen tasks in training, with a 5.8% improvement on average. Examples selected from our learned policies can even achieve a small improvement on GPT-3 Ada. However, the improvement diminishes on larger GPT-3 models, suggesting emerging capabilities of large language models.


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D-NET: A Pre-Training and Fine-Tuning Framework for Improving the Generalization of Machine Reading Comprehension
Hongyu Li | Xiyuan Zhang | Yibing Liu | Yiming Zhang | Quan Wang | Xiangyang Zhou | Jing Liu | Hua Wu | Haifeng Wang
Proceedings of the 2nd Workshop on Machine Reading for Question Answering

In this paper, we introduce a simple system Baidu submitted for MRQA (Machine Reading for Question Answering) 2019 Shared Task that focused on generalization of machine reading comprehension (MRC) models. Our system is built on a framework of pretraining and fine-tuning, namely D-NET. The techniques of pre-trained language models and multi-task learning are explored to improve the generalization of MRC models and we conduct experiments to examine the effectiveness of these strategies. Our system is ranked at top 1 of all the participants in terms of averaged F1 score. Our codes and models will be released at PaddleNLP.