Yixin Liu


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Revisiting the Gold Standard: Grounding Summarization Evaluation with Robust Human Evaluation
Yixin Liu | Alex Fabbri | Pengfei Liu | Yilun Zhao | Linyong Nan | Ruilin Han | Simeng Han | Shafiq Joty | Chien-Sheng Wu | Caiming Xiong | Dragomir Radev
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Human evaluation is the foundation upon which the evaluation of both summarization systems and automatic metrics rests. However, existing human evaluation studies for summarization either exhibit a low inter-annotator agreement or have insufficient scale, and an in-depth analysis of human evaluation is lacking. Therefore, we address the shortcomings of existing summarization evaluation along the following axes: (1) We propose a modified summarization salience protocol, Atomic Content Units (ACUs), which is based on fine-grained semantic units and allows for a high inter-annotator agreement. (2) We curate the Robust Summarization Evaluation (RoSE) benchmark, a large human evaluation dataset consisting of 22,000 summary-level annotations over 28 top-performing systems on three datasets. (3) We conduct a comparative study of four human evaluation protocols, underscoring potential confounding factors in evaluation setups. (4) We evaluate 50 automatic metrics and their variants using the collected human annotations across evaluation protocols and demonstrate how our benchmark leads to more statistically stable and significant results. The metrics we benchmarked include recent methods based on large language models (LLMs), GPTScore and G-Eval. Furthermore, our findings have important implications for evaluating LLMs, as we show that LLMs adjusted by human feedback (e.g., GPT-3.5) may overfit unconstrained human evaluation, which is affected by the annotators’ prior, input-agnostic preferences, calling for more robust, targeted evaluation methods.

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A Needle in a Haystack: An Analysis of High-Agreement Workers on MTurk for Summarization
Lining Zhang | Simon Mille | Yufang Hou | Daniel Deutsch | Elizabeth Clark | Yixin Liu | Saad Mahamood | Sebastian Gehrmann | Miruna Clinciu | Khyathi Raghavi Chandu | João Sedoc
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

To prevent the costly and inefficient use of resources on low-quality annotations, we want a method for creating a pool of dependable annotators who can effectively complete difficult tasks, such as evaluating automatic summarization. Thus, we investigate the recruitment of high-quality Amazon Mechanical Turk workers via a two-step pipeline. We show that we can successfully filter out subpar workers before they carry out the evaluations and obtain high-agreement annotations with similar constraints on resources. Although our workers demonstrate a strong consensus among themselves and CloudResearch workers, their alignment with expert judgments on a subset of the data is not as expected and needs further training in correctness. This paper still serves as a best practice for the recruitment of qualified annotators in other challenging annotation tasks.

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On Improving Summarization Factual Consistency from Natural Language Feedback
Yixin Liu | Budhaditya Deb | Milagro Teruel | Aaron Halfaker | Dragomir Radev | Ahmed Hassan Awadallah
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Despite the recent progress in language generation models, their outputs may not always meet user expectations. In this work, we study whether informational feedback in natural language can be leveraged to improve generation quality and user preference alignment. To this end, we consider factual consistency in summarization, the quality that the summary should only contain information supported by the input documents, as the user-expected preference. We collect a high-quality dataset, DeFacto, containing human demonstrations and informational natural language feedback consisting of corrective instructions, edited summaries, and explanations with respect to the factual consistency of the summary. Using our dataset, we study three natural language generation tasks: (1) editing a summary by following the human feedback, (2) generating human feedback for editing the original summary, and (3) revising the initial summary to correct factual errors by generating both the human feedback and edited summary. We show that DeFacto can provide factually consistent human-edited summaries and further insights into summarization factual consistency thanks to its informational natural language feedback. We further demonstrate that fine-tuned language models can leverage our dataset to improve the summary factual consistency, while large language models lack the zero-shot learning ability in our proposed tasks that require controllable text generation.

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Vector-Quantized Prompt Learning for Paraphrase Generation
Haotian Luo | Yixin Liu | Peidong Liu | Xianggen Liu
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

Deep generative modeling of natural languages has achieved many successes, such as producing fluent sentences and translating from one language into another. However, the development of generative modeling techniques for paraphrase generation still lags behind largely due to the challenges in addressing the complex conflicts between expression diversity and semantic preservation. This paper proposes to generate diverse and high-quality paraphrases by exploiting the pre-trained models with instance-dependent prompts. To learn generalizable prompts, we assume that the number of abstract transforming patterns of paraphrase generation (governed by prompts) is finite and usually not large. Therefore, we present vector-quantized prompts as the cues to control the generation of pre-trained models. Extensive experiments demonstrate that the proposed method achieves new state-of-art results on three benchmark datasets, including Quora, Wikianswers, and MSCOCO. We will release all the code upon acceptance.

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QTSumm: Query-Focused Summarization over Tabular Data
Yilun Zhao | Zhenting Qi | Linyong Nan | Boyu Mi | Yixin Liu | Weijin Zou | Simeng Han | Ruizhe Chen | Xiangru Tang | Yumo Xu | Dragomir Radev | Arman Cohan
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

People primarily consult tables to conduct data analysis or answer specific questions. Text generation systems that can provide accurate table summaries tailored to users’ information needs can facilitate more efficient access to relevant data insights. Motivated by this, we define a new query-focused table summarization task, where text generation models have to perform human-like reasoning and analysis over the given table to generate a tailored summary. We introduce a new benchmark named QTSumm for this task, which contains 7,111 human-annotated query-summary pairs over 2,934 tables covering diverse topics. We investigate a set of strong baselines on QTSumm, including text generation, table-to-text generation, and large language models. Experimental results and manual analysis reveal that the new task presents significant challenges in table-to-text generation for future research. Moreover, we propose a new approach named ReFactor, to retrieve and reason over query-relevant information from tabular data to generate several natural language facts. Experimental results demonstrate that ReFactor can bring effective improvements to baselines by concatenating the generated facts to the model input. Our data and code are publicly available at https://github.com/yale-nlp/QTSumm.

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Towards Interpretable and Efficient Automatic Reference-Based Summarization Evaluation
Yixin Liu | Alexander Fabbri | Yilun Zhao | Pengfei Liu | Shafiq Joty | Chien-Sheng Wu | Caiming Xiong | Dragomir Radev
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Interpretability and efficiency are two important considerations for the adoption of neural automatic metrics. In this work, we develop strong-performing automatic metrics for reference-based summarization evaluation, based on a two-stage evaluation pipeline that first extracts basic information units from one text sequence and then checks the extracted units in another sequence. The metrics we developed include two-stage metrics that can provide high interpretability at both the fine-grained unit level and summary level, and one-stage metrics that achieve a balance between efficiency and interpretability. We make the developed tools publicly available at https://github.com/Yale-LILY/AutoACU.


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BRIO: Bringing Order to Abstractive Summarization
Yixin Liu | Pengfei Liu | Dragomir Radev | Graham Neubig
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Abstractive summarization models are commonly trained using maximum likelihood estimation, which assumes a deterministic (one-point) target distribution in which an ideal model will assign all the probability mass to the reference summary. This assumption may lead to performance degradation during inference, where the model needs to compare several system-generated (candidate) summaries that have deviated from the reference summary. To address this problem, we propose a novel training paradigm which assumes a non-deterministic distribution so that different candidate summaries are assigned probability mass according to their quality. Our method achieves a new state-of-the-art result on the CNN/DailyMail (47.78 ROUGE-1) and XSum (49.07 ROUGE-1) datasets. Further analysis also shows that our model can estimate probabilities of candidate summaries that are more correlated with their level of quality.

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DataLab: A Platform for Data Analysis and Intervention
Yang Xiao | Jinlan Fu | Weizhe Yuan | Vijay Viswanathan | Zhoumianze Liu | Yixin Liu | Graham Neubig | Pengfei Liu
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics: System Demonstrations

Despite data’s crucial role in machine learning, most existing tools and research tend to focus on systems on top of existing data rather than how to interpret and manipulate data. In this paper, we propose DataLab, a unified data-oriented platform that not only allows users to interactively analyze the characteristics of data but also provides a standardized interface so that many data processing operations can be provided within a unified interface. Additionally, in view of the ongoing surge in the proliferation of datasets, DataLab has features for dataset recommendation and global vision analysis that help researchers form a better view of the data ecosystem. So far, DataLab covers 1,300 datasets and 3,583 of its transformed version, where 313 datasets support different types of analysis (e.g., with respect to gender bias) with the help of 119M samples annotated by 318 feature functions. DataLab is under active development and will be supported going forward. We have released a web platform, web API, Python SDK, and PyPI published package, which hopefully, can meet the diverse needs of researchers.

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Leveraging Locality in Abstractive Text Summarization
Yixin Liu | Ansong Ni | Linyong Nan | Budhaditya Deb | Chenguang Zhu | Ahmed Hassan Awadallah | Dragomir Radev
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Neural attention models have achieved significant improvements on many natural language processing tasks. However, the quadratic memory complexity of the self-attention module with respect to the input length hinders their applications in long text summarization. Instead of designing more efficient attention modules, we approach this problem by investigating if models with a restricted context can have competitive performance compared with the memory-efficient attention models that maintain a global context by treating the input as a single sequence. Our model is applied to individual pages, which contain parts of inputs grouped by the principle of locality, during both the encoding and decoding stages. We empirically investigated three kinds of locality in text summarization at different levels of granularity, ranging from sentences to documents. Our experimental results show that our model has a better performance compared with strong baseline models with efficient attention modules, and our analysis provides further insights into our locality-aware modeling strategy.

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R2D2: Robust Data-to-Text with Replacement Detection
Linyong Nan | Lorenzo Jaime Flores | Yilun Zhao | Yixin Liu | Luke Benson | Weijin Zou | Dragomir Radev
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Unfaithful text generation is a common problem for text generation systems. In the case of Data-to-Text (D2T) systems, the factuality of the generated text is particularly crucial for any real-world applications. We introduce R2D2, a training framework that addresses unfaithful Data-to-Text generation by training a system both as a generator and a faithfulness discriminator with additional replacement detection and unlikelihood learning tasks. To facilitate such training, we propose two methods for sampling unfaithful sentences. We argue that the poor entity retrieval capability of D2T systems is one of the primary sources of unfaithfulness, so in addition to the existing metrics, we further propose named entity based metrics to evaluate the fidelity of D2T generations. Our experimental results show that R2D2 systems could effectively mitigate the unfaithful text generation, and they achieve new state-of-theart results on FeTaQA, LogicNLG, and ToTTo, all with significant improvements.

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GEMv2: Multilingual NLG Benchmarking in a Single Line of Code
Sebastian Gehrmann | Abhik Bhattacharjee | Abinaya Mahendiran | Alex Wang | Alexandros Papangelis | Aman Madaan | Angelina Mcmillan-major | Anna Shvets | Ashish Upadhyay | Bernd Bohnet | Bingsheng Yao | Bryan Wilie | Chandra Bhagavatula | Chaobin You | Craig Thomson | Cristina Garbacea | Dakuo Wang | Daniel Deutsch | Deyi Xiong | Di Jin | Dimitra Gkatzia | Dragomir Radev | Elizabeth Clark | Esin Durmus | Faisal Ladhak | Filip Ginter | Genta Indra Winata | Hendrik Strobelt | Hiroaki Hayashi | Jekaterina Novikova | Jenna Kanerva | Jenny Chim | Jiawei Zhou | Jordan Clive | Joshua Maynez | João Sedoc | Juraj Juraska | Kaustubh Dhole | Khyathi Raghavi Chandu | Laura Perez Beltrachini | Leonardo F . R. Ribeiro | Lewis Tunstall | Li Zhang | Mahim Pushkarna | Mathias Creutz | Michael White | Mihir Sanjay Kale | Moussa Kamal Eddine | Nico Daheim | Nishant Subramani | Ondrej Dusek | Paul Pu Liang | Pawan Sasanka Ammanamanchi | Qi Zhu | Ratish Puduppully | Reno Kriz | Rifat Shahriyar | Ronald Cardenas | Saad Mahamood | Salomey Osei | Samuel Cahyawijaya | Sanja Štajner | Sebastien Montella | Shailza Jolly | Simon Mille | Tahmid Hasan | Tianhao Shen | Tosin Adewumi | Vikas Raunak | Vipul Raheja | Vitaly Nikolaev | Vivian Tsai | Yacine Jernite | Ying Xu | Yisi Sang | Yixin Liu | Yufang Hou
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing: System Demonstrations

Evaluations in machine learning rarely use the latest metrics, datasets, or human evaluation in favor of remaining compatible with prior work. The compatibility, often facilitated through leaderboards, thus leads to outdated but standardized evaluation practices. We pose that the standardization is taking place in the wrong spot. Evaluation infrastructure should enable researchers to use the latest methods and what should be standardized instead is how to incorporate these new evaluation advances. We introduce GEMv2, the new version of the Generation, Evaluation, and Metrics Benchmark which uses a modular infrastructure for dataset, model, and metric developers to benefit from each other’s work. GEMv2 supports 40 documented datasets in 51 languages, ongoing online evaluation for all datasets, and our interactive tools make it easier to add new datasets to the living benchmark.

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Surfer100: Generating Surveys From Web Resources, Wikipedia-style
Irene Li | Alex Fabbri | Rina Kawamura | Yixin Liu | Xiangru Tang | Jaesung Tae | Chang Shen | Sally Ma | Tomoe Mizutani | Dragomir Radev
Proceedings of the Thirteenth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

Fast-developing fields such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) often outpace the efforts of encyclopedic sources such as Wikipedia, which either do not completely cover recently-introduced topics or lack such content entirely. As a result, methods for automatically producing content are valuable tools to address this information overload. We show that recent advances in pretrained language modeling can be combined for a two-stage extractive and abstractive approach for Wikipedia lead paragraph generation. We extend this approach to generate longer Wikipedia-style summaries with sections and examine how such methods struggle in this application through detailed studies with 100 reference human-collected surveys. This is the first study on utilizing web resources for long Wikipedia-style summaries to the best of our knowledge.


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SimCLS: A Simple Framework for Contrastive Learning of Abstractive Summarization
Yixin Liu | Pengfei Liu
Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 2: Short Papers)

In this paper, we present a conceptually simple while empirically powerful framework for abstractive summarization, SimCLS, which can bridge the gap between the learning objective and evaluation metrics resulting from the currently dominated sequence-to-sequence learning framework by formulating text generation as a reference-free evaluation problem (i.e., quality estimation) assisted by contrastive learning. Experimental results show that, with minor modification over existing top-scoring systems, SimCLS can improve the performance of existing top-performing models by a large margin. Particularly, 2.51 absolute improvement against BART and 2.50 over PEGASUS w.r.t ROUGE-1 on the CNN/DailyMail dataset, driving the state-of-the-art performance to a new level. We have open-sourced our codes and results: https://github.com/yixinL7/SimCLS. Results of our proposed models have been deployed into ExplainaBoard platform, which allows researchers to understand our systems in a more fine-grained way.

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ExplainaBoard: An Explainable Leaderboard for NLP
Pengfei Liu | Jinlan Fu | Yang Xiao | Weizhe Yuan | Shuaichen Chang | Junqi Dai | Yixin Liu | Zihuiwen Ye | Graham Neubig
Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing: System Demonstrations

With the rapid development of NLP research, leaderboards have emerged as one tool to track the performance of various systems on various NLP tasks. They are effective in this goal to some extent, but generally present a rather simplistic one-dimensional view of the submitted systems, communicated only through holistic accuracy numbers. In this paper, we present a new conceptualization and implementation of NLP evaluation: the ExplainaBoard, which in addition to inheriting the functionality of the standard leaderboard, also allows researchers to (i) diagnose strengths and weaknesses of a single system (e.g. what is the best-performing system bad at?) (ii) interpret relationships between multiple systems. (e.g. where does system A outperform system B? What if we combine systems A, B and C?) and (iii) examine prediction results closely (e.g. what are common errors made by multiple systems or in what contexts do particular errors occur?). So far, ExplainaBoard covers more than 400 systems, 50 datasets, 40 languages, and 12 tasks. We not only released an online platform at the website but also make our evaluation tool an API with MIT Licence at Github and PyPi that allows users to conveniently assess their models offline. We additionally release all output files from systems that we have run or collected to motivate “output-driven” research in the future.

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RefSum: Refactoring Neural Summarization
Yixin Liu | Zi-Yi Dou | Pengfei Liu
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Although some recent works show potential complementarity among different state-of-the-art systems, few works try to investigate this problem in text summarization. Researchers in other areas commonly refer to the techniques of reranking or stacking to approach this problem. In this work, we highlight several limitations of previous methods, which motivates us to present a new framework Refactor that provides a unified view of text summarization and summaries combination. Experimentally, we perform a comprehensive evaluation that involves twenty-two base systems, four datasets, and three different application scenarios. Besides new state-of-the-art results on CNN/DailyMail dataset (46.18 ROUGE-1), we also elaborate on how our proposed method addresses the limitations of the traditional methods and the effectiveness of the Refactor model sheds light on insight for performance improvement. Our system can be directly used by other researchers as an off-the-shelf tool to achieve further performance improvements. We open-source all the code and provide a convenient interface to use it: https://github.com/yixinL7/Refactoring-Summarization.

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On Learning Text Style Transfer with Direct Rewards
Yixin Liu | Graham Neubig | John Wieting
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

In most cases, the lack of parallel corpora makes it impossible to directly train supervised models for the text style transfer task. In this paper, we explore training algorithms that instead optimize reward functions that explicitly consider different aspects of the style-transferred outputs. In particular, we leverage semantic similarity metrics originally used for fine-tuning neural machine translation models to explicitly assess the preservation of content between system outputs and input texts. We also investigate the potential weaknesses of the existing automatic metrics and propose efficient strategies of using these metrics for training. The experimental results show that our model provides significant gains in both automatic and human evaluation over strong baselines, indicating the effectiveness of our proposed methods and training strategies.


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Training and Inference Methods for High-Coverage Neural Machine Translation
Michael Yang | Yixin Liu | Rahul Mayuranath
Proceedings of the Fourth Workshop on Neural Generation and Translation

In this paper, we introduce a system built for the Duolingo Simultaneous Translation And Paraphrase for Language Education (STAPLE) shared task at the 4th Workshop on Neural Generation and Translation (WNGT 2020). We participated in the English-to-Japanese track with a Transformer model pretrained on the JParaCrawl corpus and fine-tuned in two steps on the JESC corpus and then the (smaller) Duolingo training corpus. First, during training, we find it is essential to deliberately expose the model to higher-quality translations more often during training for optimal translation performance. For inference, encouraging a small amount of diversity with Diverse Beam Search to improve translation coverage yielded marginal improvement over regular Beam Search. Finally, using an auxiliary filtering model to filter out unlikely candidates from Beam Search improves performance further. We achieve a weighted F1 score of 27.56% on our own test set, outperforming the STAPLE AWS translations baseline score of 4.31%.