Yunhao Yuan


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Chinese Idiom Paraphrasing
Jipeng Qiang | Yang Li | Chaowei Zhang | Yun Li | Yi Zhu | Yunhao Yuan | Xindong Wu
Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Volume 11

Idioms are a kind of idiomatic expression in Chinese, most of which consist of four Chinese characters. Due to the properties of non-compositionality and metaphorical meaning, Chinese idioms are hard to be understood by children and non-native speakers. This study proposes a novel task, denoted as Chinese Idiom Paraphrasing (CIP). CIP aims to rephrase idiom-containing sentences to non-idiomatic ones under the premise of preserving the original sentence’s meaning. Since the sentences without idioms are more easily handled by Chinese NLP systems, CIP can be used to pre-process Chinese datasets, thereby facilitating and improving the performance of Chinese NLP tasks, e.g., machine translation systems, Chinese idiom cloze, and Chinese idiom embeddings. In this study, we can treat the CIP task as a special paraphrase generation task. To circumvent difficulties in acquiring annotations, we first establish a large-scale CIP dataset based on human and machine collaboration, which consists of 115,529 sentence pairs. In addition to three sequence-to-sequence methods as the baselines, we further propose a novel infill-based approach based on text infilling. The results show that the proposed method has better performance than the baselines based on the established CIP dataset.

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ParaLS: Lexical Substitution via Pretrained Paraphraser
Jipeng Qiang | Kang Liu | Yun Li | Yunhao Yuan | Yi Zhu
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Lexical substitution (LS) aims at finding appropriate substitutes for a target word in a sentence. Recently, LS methods based on pretrained language models have made remarkable progress, generating potential substitutes for a target word through analysis of its contextual surroundings. However, these methods tend to overlook the preservation of the sentence’s meaning when generating the substitutes. This study explores how to generate the substitute candidates from a paraphraser, as the generated paraphrases from a paraphraser contain variations in word choice and preserve the sentence’s meaning. Since we cannot directly generate the substitutes via commonly used decoding strategies, we propose two simple decoding strategies that focus on the variations of the target word during decoding. Experimental results show that our methods outperform state-of-the-art LS methods based on pre-trained language models on three benchmarks.


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An Unsupervised Method for Building Sentence Simplification Corpora in Multiple Languages
Xinyu Lu | Jipeng Qiang | Yun Li | Yunhao Yuan | Yi Zhu
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2021

The availability of parallel sentence simplification (SS) is scarce for neural SS modelings. We propose an unsupervised method to build SS corpora from large-scale bilingual translation corpora, alleviating the need for SS supervised corpora. Our method is motivated by the following two findings: neural machine translation model usually tends to generate more high-frequency tokens and the difference of text complexity levels exists between the source and target language of a translation corpus. By taking the pair of the source sentences of translation corpus and the translations of their references in a bridge language, we can construct large-scale pseudo parallel SS data. Then, we keep these sentence pairs with a higher complexity difference as SS sentence pairs. The building SS corpora with an unsupervised approach can satisfy the expectations that the aligned sentences preserve the same meanings and have difference in text complexity levels. Experimental results show that SS methods trained by our corpora achieve the state-of-the-art results and significantly outperform the results on English benchmark WikiLarge.