Yu Xia


2023

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Contrastive Bootstrapping for Label Refinement
Shudi Hou | Yu Xia | Muhao Chen | Sujian Li
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 2: Short Papers)

Traditional text classification typically categorizes texts into pre-defined coarse-grained classes, from which the produced models cannot handle the real-world scenario where finer categories emerge periodically for accurate services. In this work, we investigate the setting where fine-grained classification is done only using the annotation of coarse-grained categories and the coarse-to-fine mapping. We propose a lightweight contrastive clustering-based bootstrapping method to iteratively refine the labels of passages. During clustering, it pulls away negative passage-prototype pairs under the guidance of the mapping from both global and local perspectives. Experiments on NYT and 20News show that our method outperforms the state-of-the-art methods by a large margin.

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Debiasing Generative Named Entity Recognition by Calibrating Sequence Likelihood
Yu Xia | Yongwei Zhao | Wenhao Wu | Sujian Li
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 2: Short Papers)

Recognizing flat, overlapped and discontinuous entities uniformly has been paid increasing attention. Among these works, Seq2Seq formulation prevails for its flexibility and effectiveness. It arranges the output entities into a specific target sequence. However, it introduces bias by assigning all the probability mass to the observed sequence. To alleviate the bias, previous works either augment the data with possible sequences or resort to other formulations. In this paper, we stick to the Seq2Seq formulation and propose a reranking-based approach. It redistributes the likelihood among candidate sequences depending on their performance via a contrastive loss. Extensive experiments show that our simple yet effective method consistently boosts the baseline, and yields competitive or better results compared with the state-of-the-art methods on 8 widely-used datasets for Named Entity Recognition.

2022

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A Transition-based Method for Complex Question Understanding
Yu Xia | Wenbin Jiang | Yajuan Lyu | Sujian Li
Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Complex Question Understanding (CQU) parses complex questions to Question Decomposition Meaning Representation (QDMR) which is a sequence of atomic operators. Existing works are based on end-to-end neural models which do not explicitly model the intermediate states and lack interpretability for the parsing process. Besides, they predict QDMR in a mismatched granularity and do not model the step-wise information which is an essential characteristic of QDMR. To alleviate the issues, we treat QDMR as a computational graph and propose a transition-based method where a decider predicts a sequence of actions to build the graph node-by-node. In this way, the partial graph at each step enables better representation of the intermediate states and better interpretability. At each step, the decider encodes the intermediate state with specially designed encoders and predicts several candidates of the next action and its confidence. For inference, a searcher seeks the optimal graph based on the predictions of the decider to alleviate the error propagation. Experimental results demonstrate the parsing accuracy of our method against several strong baselines. Moreover, our method has transparent and human-readable intermediate results, showing improved interpretability.

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Learn and Review: Enhancing Continual Named Entity Recognition via Reviewing Synthetic Samples
Yu Xia | Quan Wang | Yajuan Lyu | Yong Zhu | Wenhao Wu | Sujian Li | Dai Dai
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2022

Traditional methods for named entity recognition (NER) classify mentions into a fixed set of pre-defined entity types. However, in many real-world scenarios, new entity types are incrementally involved. To investigate this problem, continual learning is introduced for NER. However, the existing method depends on the relevance between tasks and is prone to inter-type confusion. In this paper, we propose a novel two-stage framework Learn-and-Review (L&R) for continual NER under the type-incremental setting to alleviate the above issues. Specifically, for the learning stage, we distill the old knowledge from teacher to a student on the current dataset. For the reviewing stage, we first generate synthetic samples of old types to augment the dataset. Then, we further distill new knowledge from the above student and old knowledge from the teacher to get an enhanced student on the augmented dataset. This stage has the following advantages: (1) The synthetic samples mitigate the gap between the old and new task and thus enhance the further distillation; (2) Different types of entities are jointly seen during training which alleviates the inter-type confusion. Experimental results show that L&R outperforms the state-of-the-art method on CoNLL-03 and OntoNotes-5.0.

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Causal Analysis of Syntactic Agreement Neurons in Multilingual Language Models
Aaron Mueller | Yu Xia | Tal Linzen
Proceedings of the 26th Conference on Computational Natural Language Learning (CoNLL)

Structural probing work has found evidence for latent syntactic information in pre-trained language models. However, much of this analysis has focused on monolingual models, and analyses of multilingual models have employed correlational methods that are confounded by the choice of probing tasks. In this study, we causally probe multilingual language models (XGLM and multilingual BERT) as well as monolingual BERT-based models across various languages; we do this by performing counterfactual perturbations on neuron activations and observing the effect on models’ subject-verb agreement probabilities. We observe where in the model and to what extent syntactic agreement is encoded in each language. We find significant neuron overlap across languages in autoregressive multilingual language models, but not masked language models. We also find two distinct layer-wise effect patterns and two distinct sets of neurons used for syntactic agreement, depending on whether the subject and verb are separated by other tokens. Finally, we find that behavioral analyses of language models are likely underestimating how sensitive masked language models are to syntactic information.

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Promoting Pre-trained LM with Linguistic Features on Automatic Readability Assessment
Shudi Hou | Simin Rao | Yu Xia | Sujian Li
Proceedings of the 2nd Conference of the Asia-Pacific Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 12th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 2: Short Papers)

Automatic readability assessment (ARA) aims at classifying the readability level of a passage automatically. In the past, manually selected linguistic features are used to classify the passages. However, as the use of deep neural network surges, there is less work focusing on these linguistic features. Recently, many works integrate linguistic features with pre-trained language model (PLM) to make up for the information that PLMs are not good at capturing. Despite their initial success, insufficient analysis of the long passage characteristic of ARA has been done before. To further investigate the promotion of linguistic features on PLMs in ARA from the perspective of passage length, with commonly used linguistic features and abundant experiments, we find that: (1) Linguistic features promote PLMs in ARA mainly on long passages. (2) The promotion of the features on PLMs becomes less significant when the dataset size exceeds 750 passages. (3) By analyzing commonly used ARA datasets, we find Newsela is actually not suitable for ARA. Our code is available at https://github.com/recorderhou/linguistic-features-in-ARA.

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Low Resource Style Transfer via Domain Adaptive Meta Learning
Xiangyang Li | Xiang Long | Yu Xia | Sujian Li
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Text style transfer (TST) without parallel data has achieved some practical success. However, most of the existing unsupervised text style transfer methods suffer from (i) requiring massive amounts of non-parallel data to guide transferring different text styles. (ii) colossal performance degradation when fine-tuning the model in new domains. In this work, we propose DAML-ATM (Domain Adaptive Meta-Learning with Adversarial Transfer Model), which consists of two parts: DAML and ATM. DAML is a domain adaptive meta-learning approach to learn general knowledge in multiple heterogeneous source domains, capable of adapting to new unseen domains with a small amount of data. Moreover, we propose a new unsupervised TST approach Adversarial Transfer Model (ATM), composed of a sequence-to-sequence pre-trained language model and uses adversarial style training for better content preservation and style transfer. Results on multi-domain datasets demonstrate that our approach generalizes well on unseen low-resource domains, achieving state-of-the-art results against ten strong baselines.

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Explainable Question Answering based on Semantic Graph by Global Differentiable Learning and Dynamic Adaptive Reasoning
Jianguo Mao | Wenbin Jiang | Xiangdong Wang | Hong Liu | Yu Xia | Yajuan Lyu | QiaoQiao She
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Multi-hop Question Answering is an agent task for testing the reasoning ability. With the development of pre-trained models, the implicit reasoning ability has been surprisingly improved and can even surpass human performance. However, the nature of the black box hinders the construction of explainable intelligent systems. Several researchers have explored explainable neural-symbolic reasoning methods based on question decomposition techniques. The undifferentiable symbolic operations and the error propagation in the reasoning process lead to poor performance. To alleviate it, we propose a simple yet effective Global Differentiable Learning strategy to explore optimal reasoning paths from the latent probability space so that the model learns to solve intermediate reasoning processes without expert annotations. We further design a Dynamic Adaptive Reasoner to enhance the generalization of unseen questions. Our method achieves 17% improvements in F1-score against BreakRC and shows better interpretability. We take a step forward in building interpretable reasoning methods.