Yunbo Cao


2022

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Pre-training and Fine-tuning Neural Topic Model: A Simple yet Effective Approach to Incorporating External Knowledge
Linhai Zhang | Xuemeng Hu | Boyu Wang | Deyu Zhou | Qian-Wen Zhang | Yunbo Cao
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Recent years have witnessed growing interests in incorporating external knowledge such as pre-trained word embeddings (PWEs) or pre-trained language models (PLMs) into neural topic modeling. However, we found that employing PWEs and PLMs for topic modeling only achieved limited performance improvements but with huge computational overhead. In this paper, we propose a novel strategy to incorporate external knowledge into neural topic modeling where the neural topic model is pre-trained on a large corpus and then fine-tuned on the target dataset. Experiments have been conducted on three datasets and results show that the proposed approach significantly outperforms both current state-of-the-art neural topic models and some topic modeling approaches enhanced with PWEs or PLMs. Moreover, further study shows that the proposed approach greatly reduces the need for the huge size of training data.

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Hierarchical Curriculum Learning for AMR Parsing
Peiyi Wang | Liang Chen | Tianyu Liu | Damai Dai | Yunbo Cao | Baobao Chang | Zhifang Sui
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 2: Short Papers)

Abstract Meaning Representation (AMR) parsing aims to translate sentences to semantic representation with a hierarchical structure, and is recently empowered by pretrained sequence-to-sequence models. However, there exists a gap between their flat training objective (i.e., equally treats all output tokens) and the hierarchical AMR structure, which limits the model generalization. To bridge this gap, we propose a Hierarchical Curriculum Learning (HCL) framework with Structure-level (SC) and Instance-level Curricula (IC). SC switches progressively from core to detail AMR semantic elements while IC transits from structure-simple to -complex AMR instances during training. Through these two warming-up processes, HCL reduces the difficulty of learning complex structures, thus the flat model can better adapt to the AMR hierarchy. Extensive experiments on AMR2.0, AMR3.0, structure-complex and out-of-distribution situations verify the effectiveness of HCL.

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An Enhanced Span-based Decomposition Method for Few-Shot Sequence Labeling
Peiyi Wang | Runxin Xu | Tianyu Liu | Qingyu Zhou | Yunbo Cao | Baobao Chang | Zhifang Sui
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Few-Shot Sequence Labeling (FSSL) is a canonical paradigm for the tagging models, e.g., named entity recognition and slot filling, to generalize on an emerging, resource-scarce domain. Recently, the metric-based meta-learning framework has been recognized as a promising approach for FSSL. However, most prior works assign a label to each token based on the token-level similarities, which ignores the integrality of named entities or slots. To this end, in this paper, we propose ESD, an Enhanced Span-based Decomposition method for FSSL. ESD formulates FSSL as a span-level matching problem between test query and supporting instances. Specifically, ESD decomposes the span matching problem into a series of span-level procedures, mainly including enhanced span representation, class prototype aggregation and span conflicts resolution. Extensive experiments show that ESD achieves the new state-of-the-art results on two popular FSSL benchmarks, FewNERD and SNIPS, and is proven to be more robust in the noisy and nested tagging scenarios.

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G4: Grounding-guided Goal-oriented Dialogues Generation with Multiple Documents
Shiwei Zhang | Yiyang Du | Guanzhong Liu | Zhao Yan | Yunbo Cao
Proceedings of the Second DialDoc Workshop on Document-grounded Dialogue and Conversational Question Answering

Goal-oriented dialogues generation grounded in multiple documents(MultiDoc2Dial) is a challenging and realistic task. Unlike previous works which treat document-grounded dialogue modeling as a machine reading comprehension task from single document, MultiDoc2Dial task faces challenges of both seeking information from multiple documents and generating conversation response simultaneously. This paper summarizes our entries to agent response generation subtask in MultiDoc2Dial dataset. We propose a three-stage solution, Grounding-guided goal-oriented dialogues generation(G4), which predicts groundings from retrieved passages to guide the generation of the final response. Our experiments show that G4 achieves SacreBLEU score of 31.24 and F1 score of 44.6 which is 60.7% higher than the baseline model.

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Seeking Patterns, Not just Memorizing Procedures: Contrastive Learning for Solving Math Word Problems
Zhongli Li | Wenxuan Zhang | Chao Yan | Qingyu Zhou | Chao Li | Hongzhi Liu | Yunbo Cao
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2022

Math Word Problem (MWP) solving needs to discover the quantitative relationships over natural language narratives. Recent work shows that existing models memorize procedures from context and rely on shallow heuristics to solve MWPs. In this paper, we look at this issue and argue that the cause is a lack of overall understanding of MWP patterns. We first investigate how a neural network understands patterns only from semantics, and observe that, if the prototype equations are the same, most problems get closer representations and those representations apart from them or close to other prototypes tend to produce wrong solutions. Inspired by it, we propose a contrastive learning approach, where the neural network perceives the divergence of patterns. We collect contrastive examples by converting the prototype equation into a tree and seeking similar tree structures. The solving model is trained with an auxiliary objective on the collected examples, resulting in the representations of problems with similar prototypes being pulled closer. We conduct experiments on the Chinese dataset Math23k and the English dataset MathQA. Our method greatly improves the performance in monolingual and multilingual settings.

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The Past Mistake is the Future Wisdom: Error-driven Contrastive Probability Optimization for Chinese Spell Checking
Yinghui Li | Qingyu Zhou | Yangning Li | Zhongli Li | Ruiyang Liu | Rongyi Sun | Zizhen Wang | Chao Li | Yunbo Cao | Hai-Tao Zheng
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2022

Chinese Spell Checking (CSC) aims to detect and correct Chinese spelling errors, which are mainly caused by the phonological or visual similarity. Recently, pre-trained language models (PLMs) promote the progress of CSC task. However, there exists a gap between the learned knowledge of PLMs and the goal of CSC task. PLMs focus on the semantics in text and tend to correct the erroneous characters to semantically proper or commonly used ones, but these aren’t the ground-truth corrections. To address this issue, we propose an Error-driven COntrastive Probability Optimization (ECOPO) framework for CSC task. ECOPO refines the knowledge representations of PLMs, and guides the model to avoid predicting these common characters through an error-driven way. Particularly, ECOPO is model-agnostic and it can be combined with existing CSC methods to achieve better performance. Extensive experiments and detailed analyses on SIGHAN datasets demonstrate that ECOPO is simple yet effective.

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Type-Driven Multi-Turn Corrections for Grammatical Error Correction
Shaopeng Lai | Qingyu Zhou | Jiali Zeng | Zhongli Li | Chao Li | Yunbo Cao | Jinsong Su
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2022

Grammatical Error Correction (GEC) aims to automatically detect and correct grammatical errors. In this aspect, dominant models are trained by one-iteration learning while performing multiple iterations of corrections during inference. Previous studies mainly focus on the data augmentation approach to combat the exposure bias, which suffers from two drawbacks.First, they simply mix additionally-constructed training instances and original ones to train models, which fails to help models be explicitly aware of the procedure of gradual corrections. Second, they ignore the interdependence between different types of corrections.In this paper, we propose a Type-Driven Multi-Turn Corrections approach for GEC. Using this approach, from each training instance, we additionally construct multiple training instances, each of which involves the correction of a specific type of errors. Then, we use these additionally-constructed training instances and the original one to train the model in turn.Experimental results and in-depth analysis show that our approach significantly benefits the model training. Particularly, our enhanced model achieves state-of-the-art single-model performance on English GEC benchmarks. We release our code at Github.

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AiM: Taking Answers in Mind to Correct Chinese Cloze Tests in Educational Applications
Yusen Zhang | Zhongli Li | Qingyu Zhou | Ziyi Liu | Chao Li | Mina Ma | Yunbo Cao | Hongzhi Liu
Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

To automatically correct handwritten assignments, the traditional approach is to use an OCR model to recognize characters and compare them to answers. The OCR model easily gets confused on recognizing handwritten Chinese characters, and the textual information of the answers is missing during the model inference. However, teachers always have these answers in mind to review and correct assignments. In this paper, we focus on the Chinese cloze tests correction and propose a multimodal approach(named AiM). The encoded representations of answers interact with the visual information of students’ handwriting. Instead of predicting ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, we perform the sequence labeling on the answer text to infer which answer character differs from the handwritten content in a fine-grained way. We take samples of OCR datasets as the positive samples for this task, and develop a negative sample augmentation method to scale up the training data. Experimental results show that AiM outperforms OCR-based methods by a large margin. Extensive studies demonstrate the effectiveness of our multimodal approach.

2021

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Dialogue Response Selection with Hierarchical Curriculum Learning
Yixuan Su | Deng Cai | Qingyu Zhou | Zibo Lin | Simon Baker | Yunbo Cao | Shuming Shi | Nigel Collier | Yan Wang
Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 1: Long Papers)

We study the learning of a matching model for dialogue response selection. Motivated by the recent finding that models trained with random negative samples are not ideal in real-world scenarios, we propose a hierarchical curriculum learning framework that trains the matching model in an “easy-to-difficult” scheme. Our learning framework consists of two complementary curricula: (1) corpus-level curriculum (CC); and (2) instance-level curriculum (IC). In CC, the model gradually increases its ability in finding the matching clues between the dialogue context and a response candidate. As for IC, it progressively strengthens the model’s ability in identifying the mismatching information between the dialogue context and a response candidate. Empirical studies on three benchmark datasets with three state-of-the-art matching models demonstrate that the proposed learning framework significantly improves the model performance across various evaluation metrics.

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Improving BERT with Syntax-aware Local Attention
Zhongli Li | Qingyu Zhou | Chao Li | Ke Xu | Yunbo Cao
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL-IJCNLP 2021

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Read, Listen, and See: Leveraging Multimodal Information Helps Chinese Spell Checking
Heng-Da Xu | Zhongli Li | Qingyu Zhou | Chao Li | Zizhen Wang | Yunbo Cao | Heyan Huang | Xian-Ling Mao
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL-IJCNLP 2021

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Enhancing Label Correlation Feedback in Multi-Label Text Classification via Multi-Task Learning
Ximing Zhang | Qian-Wen Zhang | Zhao Yan | Ruifang Liu | Yunbo Cao
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL-IJCNLP 2021

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Enhancing Dialogue-based Relation Extraction by Speaker and Trigger Words Prediction
Tianyang Zhao | Zhao Yan | Yunbo Cao | Zhoujun Li
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL-IJCNLP 2021

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Diversity and Consistency: Exploring Visual Question-Answer Pair Generation
Sen Yang | Qingyu Zhou | Dawei Feng | Yang Liu | Chao Li | Yunbo Cao | Dongsheng Li
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2021

Although showing promising values to downstream applications, generating question and answer together is under-explored. In this paper, we introduce a novel task that targets question-answer pair generation from visual images. It requires not only generating diverse question-answer pairs but also keeping the consistency of them. We study different generation paradigms for this task and propose three models: the pipeline model, the joint model, and the sequential model. We integrate variational inference into these models to achieve diversity and consistency. We also propose region representation scaling and attention alignment to improve the consistency further. We finally devise an evaluator as a quantitative metric for consistency. We validate our approach on two benchmarks, VQA2.0 and Visual-7w, by automatically and manually evaluating diversity and consistency. Experimental results show the effectiveness of our models: they can generate diverse or consistent pairs. Moreover, this task can be used to improve visual question generation and visual question answering.

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A Divide-And-Conquer Approach for Multi-label Multi-hop Relation Detection in Knowledge Base Question Answering
Deyu Zhou | Yanzheng Xiang | Linhai Zhang | Chenchen Ye | Qian-Wen Zhang | Yunbo Cao
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2021

Relation detection in knowledge base question answering, aims to identify the path(s) of relations starting from the topic entity node that is linked to the answer node in knowledge graph. Such path might consist of multiple relations, which we call multi-hop. Moreover, for a single question, there may exist multiple relation paths to the correct answer, which we call multi-label. However, most of existing approaches only detect one single path to obtain the answer without considering other correct paths, which might affect the final performance. Therefore, in this paper, we propose a novel divide-and-conquer approach for multi-label multi-hop relation detection (DC-MLMH) by decomposing it into head relation detection and conditional relation path generation. In specific, a novel path sampling mechanism is proposed to generate diverse relation paths for the inference stage. A majority-vote policy is employed to detect final KB answer. Comprehensive experiments were conducted on the FreebaseQA benchmark dataset. Experimental results show that the proposed approach not only outperforms other competitive multi-label baselines, but also has superiority over some state-of-art KBQA methods.

2020

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Entity Relative Position Representation based Multi-head Selection for Joint Entity and Relation Extraction
Tianyang Zhao | Zhao Yan | Yunbo Cao | Zhoujun Li
Proceedings of the 19th Chinese National Conference on Computational Linguistics

Joint entity and relation extraction has received increasing interests recently, due to the capability of utilizing the interactions between both steps. Among existing studies, the Multi-Head Selection (MHS) framework is efficient in extracting entities and relations simultaneously. However, the method is weak for its limited performance. In this paper, we propose several effective insights to address this problem. First, we propose an entity-specific Relative Position Representation (eRPR) to allow the model to fully leverage the distance information between entities and context tokens. Second, we introduce an auxiliary Global Relation Classification (GRC) to enhance the learning of local contextual features. Moreover, we improve the semantic representation by adopting a pre-trained language model BERT as the feature encoder. Finally, these new keypoints are closely integrated with the multi-head selection framework and optimized jointly. Extensive experiments on two benchmark datasets demonstrate that our approach overwhelmingly outperforms previous works in terms of all evaluation metrics, achieving significant improvements for relation F1 by +2.40% on CoNLL04 and +1.90% on ACE05, respectively.

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Difference-aware Knowledge Selection for Knowledge-grounded Conversation Generation
Chujie Zheng | Yunbo Cao | Daxin Jiang | Minlie Huang
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2020

In a multi-turn knowledge-grounded dialog, the difference between the knowledge selected at different turns usually provides potential clues to knowledge selection, which has been largely neglected in previous research. In this paper, we propose a difference-aware knowledge selection method. It first computes the difference between the candidate knowledge sentences provided at the current turn and those chosen in the previous turns. Then, the differential information is fused with or disentangled from the contextual information to facilitate final knowledge selection. Automatic, human observational, and interactive evaluation shows that our method is able to select knowledge more accurately and generate more informative responses, significantly outperforming the state-of-the-art baselines.

2017

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A Statistical Framework for Product Description Generation
Jinpeng Wang | Yutai Hou | Jing Liu | Yunbo Cao | Chin-Yew Lin
Proceedings of the Eighth International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 2: Short Papers)

We present in this paper a statistical framework that generates accurate and fluent product description from product attributes. Specifically, after extracting templates and learning writing knowledge from attribute-description parallel data, we use the learned knowledge to decide what to say and how to say for product description generation. To evaluate accuracy and fluency for the generated descriptions, in addition to BLEU and Recall, we propose to measure what to say (in terms of attribute coverage) and to measure how to say (by attribute-specified generation) separately. Experimental results show that our framework is effective.

2014

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Collective Tweet Wikification based on Semi-supervised Graph Regularization
Hongzhao Huang | Yunbo Cao | Xiaojiang Huang | Heng Ji | Chin-Yew Lin
Proceedings of the 52nd Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

2013

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Learning a Replacement Model for Query Segmentation with Consistency in Search Logs
Wei Zhang | Yunbo Cao | Chin-Yew Lin | Jian Su | Chew-Lim Tan
Proceedings of the Sixth International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing

2012

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A Lazy Learning Model for Entity Linking using Query-Specific Information
Wei Zhang | Jian Su | Chew-Lim Tan | Yunbo Cao | Chin-Yew Lin
Proceedings of COLING 2012

2009

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A Structural Support Vector Method for Extracting Contexts and Answers of Questions from Online Forums
Wen-Yun Yang | Yunbo Cao | Chin-Yew Lin
Proceedings of the 2009 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

2008

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Understanding and Summarizing Answers in Community-Based Question Answering Services
Yuanjie Liu | Shasha Li | Yunbo Cao | Chin-Yew Lin | Dingyi Han | Yong Yu
Proceedings of the 22nd International Conference on Computational Linguistics (Coling 2008)

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Searching Questions by Identifying Question Topic and Question Focus
Huizhong Duan | Yunbo Cao | Chin-Yew Lin | Yong Yu
Proceedings of ACL-08: HLT

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A Probabilistic Model for Fine-Grained Expert Search
Shenghua Bao | Huizhong Duan | Qi Zhou | Miao Xiong | Yunbo Cao | Yong Yu
Proceedings of ACL-08: HLT

2007

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Low-Quality Product Review Detection in Opinion Summarization
Jingjing Liu | Yunbo Cao | Chin-Yew Lin | Yalou Huang | Ming Zhou
Proceedings of the 2007 Joint Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and Computational Natural Language Learning (EMNLP-CoNLL)

2003

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Uncertainty Reduction in Collaborative Bootstrapping: Measure and Algorithm
Yunbo Cao | Hang Li | Li Lian
Proceedings of the 41st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

2002

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Base Noun Phrase Translation Using Web Data and the EM Algorithm
Yunbo Cao | Hang Li
COLING 2002: The 19th International Conference on Computational Linguistics