Zhaofeng Wu


2022

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ABC: Attention with Bounded-memory Control
Hao Peng | Jungo Kasai | Nikolaos Pappas | Dani Yogatama | Zhaofeng Wu | Lingpeng Kong | Roy Schwartz | Noah Smith
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Transformer architectures have achieved state- of-the-art results on a variety of natural language processing (NLP) tasks. However, their attention mechanism comes with a quadratic complexity in sequence lengths, making the computational overhead prohibitive, especially for long sequences. Attention context can be seen as a random-access memory with each token taking a slot. Under this perspective, the memory size grows linearly with the sequence length, and so does the overhead of reading from it. One way to improve the efficiency is to bound the memory size. We show that disparate approaches can be subsumed into one abstraction, attention with bounded-memory control (ABC), and they vary in their organization of the memory. ABC reveals new, unexplored possibilities. First, it connects several efficient attention variants that would otherwise seem apart. Second, this abstraction gives new insights—an established approach (Wang et al., 2020b) previously thought to not be applicable in causal attention, actually is. Last, we present a new instance of ABC, which draws inspiration from existing ABC approaches, but replaces their heuristic memory-organizing functions with a learned, contextualized one. Our experiments on language modeling, machine translation, and masked language model finetuning show that our approach outperforms previous efficient attention models; compared to the strong transformer baselines, it significantly improves the inference time and space efficiency with no or negligible accuracy loss.

2021

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Understanding Mention Detector-Linker Interaction in Neural Coreference Resolution
Zhaofeng Wu | Matt Gardner
Proceedings of the Fourth Workshop on Computational Models of Reference, Anaphora and Coreference

Despite significant recent progress in coreference resolution, the quality of current state-of-the-art systems still considerably trails behind human-level performance. Using the CoNLL-2012 and PreCo datasets, we dissect the best instantiation of the mainstream end-to-end coreference resolution model that underlies most current best-performing coreference systems, and empirically analyze the behavior of its two components: mention detector and mention linker. While the detector traditionally focuses heavily on recall as a design decision, we demonstrate the importance of precision, calling for their balance. However, we point out the difficulty in building a precise detector due to its inability to make important anaphoricity decisions. We also highlight the enormous room for improving the linker and show that the rest of its errors mainly involve pronoun resolution. We propose promising next steps and hope our findings will help future research in coreference resolution.

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Infusing Finetuning with Semantic Dependencies
Zhaofeng Wu | Hao Peng | Noah A. Smith
Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Volume 9

Abstract For natural language processing systems, two kinds of evidence support the use of text representations from neural language models “pretrained” on large unannotated corpora: performance on application-inspired benchmarks (Peters et al., 2018, inter alia), and the emergence of syntactic abstractions in those representations (Tenney et al., 2019, inter alia). On the other hand, the lack of grounded supervision calls into question how well these representations can ever capture meaning (Bender and Koller, 2020). We apply novel probes to recent language models— specifically focusing on predicate-argument structure as operationalized by semantic dependencies (Ivanova et al., 2012)—and find that, unlike syntax, semantics is not brought to the surface by today’s pretrained models. We then use convolutional graph encoders to explicitly incorporate semantic parses into task-specific finetuning, yielding benefits to natural language understanding (NLU) tasks in the GLUE benchmark. This approach demonstrates the potential for general-purpose (rather than task-specific) linguistic supervision, above and beyond conventional pretraining and finetuning. Several diagnostics help to localize the benefits of our approach.1

2019

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WTMED at MEDIQA 2019: A Hybrid Approach to Biomedical Natural Language Inference
Zhaofeng Wu | Yan Song | Sicong Huang | Yuanhe Tian | Fei Xia
Proceedings of the 18th BioNLP Workshop and Shared Task

Natural language inference (NLI) is challenging, especially when it is applied to technical domains such as biomedical settings. In this paper, we propose a hybrid approach to biomedical NLI where different types of information are exploited for this task. Our base model includes a pre-trained text encoder as the core component, and a syntax encoder and a feature encoder to capture syntactic and domain-specific information. Then we combine the output of different base models to form more powerful ensemble models. Finally, we design two conflict resolution strategies when the test data contain multiple (premise, hypothesis) pairs with the same premise. We train our models on the MedNLI dataset, yielding the best performance on the test set of the MEDIQA 2019 Task 1.