Zhe Zhao


pdf bib
Addressing NER Annotation Noises with Uncertainty-Guided Tree-Structured CRFs
Jian Liu | Weichang Liu | Yufeng Chen | Jinan Xu | Zhe Zhao
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Real-world named entity recognition (NER) datasets are notorious for their noisy nature, attributed to annotation errors, inconsistencies, and subjective interpretations. Such noises present a substantial challenge for traditional supervised learning methods. In this paper, we present a new and unified approach to tackle annotation noises for NER. Our method considers NER as a constituency tree parsing problem, utilizing a tree-structured Conditional Random Fields (CRFs) with uncertainty evaluation for integration. Through extensive experiments conducted on four real-world datasets, we demonstrate the effectiveness of our model in addressing both partial and incorrect annotation errors. Remarkably, our model exhibits superb performance even in extreme scenarios with 90% annotation noise.

pdf bib
SAMP: A Model Inference Toolkit of Post-Training Quantization for Text Processing via Self-Adaptive Mixed-Precision
Rong Tian | Zijing Zhao | Weijie Liu | Haoyan Liu | Weiquan Mao | Zhe Zhao | Kan Zhou
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing: Industry Track

The latest industrial inference engines, such as FasterTransformer and TurboTransformers, have verified that half-precision floating point (FP16) and 8-bit integer (INT8) quantization can greatly improve model inference speed. However, the existing INT8 quantization methods are too complicated, and improper usage will lead to model performance damage greatly. In this paper, we develop a toolkit for users to easily quantize their models for inference, in which Self-Adaptive Mixed-Precision (SAMP) is proposed to automatically control quantization rate by a mixed-precision architecture to balance model accuracy and efficiency. Experimental results show that our SAMP toolkit has a higher speedup than PyTorch and FasterTransformer while ensuring the required accuracy. In addition, SAMP is based on a modular design, decoupling the tokenizer, embedding, encoder and target layers, which allows users to handle various downstream tasks and can be seamlessly integrated into PyTorch.

pdf bib
Learning with Partial Annotations for Event Detection
Jian Liu | Dianbo Sui | Kang Liu | Haoyan Liu | Zhe Zhao
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Event detection (ED) seeks to discover and classify event instances in plain texts. Previous methods for ED typically adopt supervised learning, requiring fully labeled and high-quality training data. However, in a real-world application, we may not obtain clean training data but only partially labeled one, which could substantially impede the learning process. In this work, we conduct a seminal study for learning with partial annotations for ED.We propose a new trigger localization formulation using contrastive learning to distinguish ground-truth triggers from contexts, showing a decent robustness for addressing partial annotation noise. Impressively, in an extreme scenario where more than 90% of events are unlabeled, our approach achieves an F1 score of over 60%.In addition, we re-annotate and make available two fully annotated subsets of ACE 2005 to serve as an unbiased benchmark for event detection. We hope our approach and data will inspire future studies on this vital yet understudied problem.

pdf bib
Document-Level Event Argument Extraction With a Chain Reasoning Paradigm
Jian Liu | Chen Liang | Jinan Xu | Haoyan Liu | Zhe Zhao
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Document-level event argument extraction aims to identify event arguments beyond sentence level, where a significant challenge is to model long-range dependencies. Focusing on this challenge, we present a new chain reasoning paradigm for the task, which can generate decomposable first-order logic rules for reasoning. This paradigm naturally captures long-range interdependence due to the chains’ compositional nature, which also improves interpretability by explicitly modeling the reasoning process. We introduce T-norm fuzzy logic for optimization, which permits end-to-end learning and shows promise for integrating the expressiveness of logical reasoning with the generalization of neural networks. In experiments, we show that our approach outperforms previous methods by a significant margin on two standard benchmarks (over 6 points in F1).Moreover, it is data-efficient in low-resource scenarios and robust enough to defend against adversarial attacks.

pdf bib
TencentPretrain: A Scalable and Flexible Toolkit for Pre-training Models of Different Modalities
Zhe Zhao | Yudong Li | Cheng Hou | Jing Zhao | Rong Tian | Weijie Liu | Yiren Chen | Ningyuan Sun | Haoyan Liu | Weiquan Mao | Han Guo | Weigang Gou | Taiqiang Wu | Tao Zhu | Wenhang Shi | Chen Chen | Shan Huang | Sihong Chen | Liqun Liu | Feifei Li | Xiaoshuai Chen | Xingwu Sun | Zhanhui Kang | Xiaoyong Du | Linlin Shen | Kimmo Yan
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 3: System Demonstrations)

Recently, the success of pre-training in text domain has been fully extended to vision, audio, and cross-modal scenarios. The proposed pre-training models of different modalities are showing a rising trend of homogeneity in their model structures, which brings the opportunity to implement different pre-training models within a uniform framework. In this paper, we present TencentPretrain, a toolkit supporting pre-training models of different modalities. The core feature of TencentPretrain is the modular design. The toolkit uniformly divides pre-training models into 5 components: embedding, encoder, target embedding, decoder, and target. As almost all of common modules are provided in each component, users can choose the desired modules from different components to build a complete pre-training model. The modular design enables users to efficiently reproduce existing pre-training models or build brand-new one. We test the toolkit on text, vision, and audio benchmarks and show that it can match the performance of the original implementations.

pdf bib
Novel Slot Detection With an Incremental Setting
Chen Liang | Hongliang Li | Changhao Guan | Qingbin Liu | Jian Liu | Jinan Xu | Zhe Zhao
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

Current dialogue systems face diverse user requests and rapid change domains, making quickly adapt to scenarios with previous unseen slot types become a major challenge. Recently, researchers have introduced novel slot detection (NSD) to discover potential new types. However, dialogue system with NSD does not bring practical improvements due to the system still cannot handle novel slots in subsequent interactions. In this paper, we define incremental novel slot detection (INSD), which separates the dialogue system to deal with novel types as two major phrases: 1) model discovers unknown slots, 2) training model to possess the capability to handle new classes. We provide an effective model to extract novel slots with set prediction strategy and propose a query-enhanced approach to overcome catastrophic forgetting during the process of INSD. We construct two INSD datasets to evaluate our method and experimental results show that our approach exhibits superior performance.


pdf bib
CSL: A Large-scale Chinese Scientific Literature Dataset
Yudong Li | Yuqing Zhang | Zhe Zhao | Linlin Shen | Weijie Liu | Weiquan Mao | Hui Zhang
Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Scientific literature serves as a high-quality corpus, supporting a lot of Natural Language Processing (NLP) research. However, existing datasets are centered around the English language, which restricts the development of Chinese scientific NLP. In this work, we present CSL, a large-scale Chinese Scientific Literature dataset, which contains the titles, abstracts, keywords and academic fields of 396k papers. To our knowledge, CSL is the first scientific document dataset in Chinese. The CSL can serve as a Chinese corpus. Also, this semi-structured data is a natural annotation that can constitute many supervised NLP tasks. Based on CSL, we present a benchmark to evaluate the performance of models across scientific domain tasks, i.e., summarization, keyword generation and text classification. We analyze the behavior of existing text-to-text models on the evaluation tasks and reveal the challenges for Chinese scientific NLP tasks, which provides a valuable reference for future research. Data and code will be publicly available.

pdf bib
A Simple and Effective Method to Improve Zero-Shot Cross-Lingual Transfer Learning
Kunbo Ding | Weijie Liu | Yuejian Fang | Weiquan Mao | Zhe Zhao | Tao Zhu | Haoyan Liu | Rong Tian | Yiren Chen
Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Existing zero-shot cross-lingual transfer methods rely on parallel corpora or bilingual dictionaries, which are expensive and impractical for low-resource languages. To disengage from these dependencies, researchers have explored training multilingual models on English-only resources and transferring them to low-resource languages. However, its effect is limited by the gap between embedding clusters of different languages. To address this issue, we propose Embedding-Push, Attention-Pull, and Robust targets to transfer English embeddings to virtual multilingual embeddings without semantic loss, thereby improving cross-lingual transferability. Experimental results on mBERT and XLM-R demonstrate that our method significantly outperforms previous works on the zero-shot cross-lingual text classification task and can obtain a better multilingual alignment.

pdf bib
Multi-stage Distillation Framework for Cross-Lingual Semantic Similarity Matching
Kunbo Ding | Weijie Liu | Yuejian Fang | Zhe Zhao | Qi Ju | Xuefeng Yang | Rong Tian | Zhu Tao | Haoyan Liu | Han Guo | Xingyu Bai | Weiquan Mao | Yudong Li | Weigang Guo | Taiqiang Wu | Ningyuan Sun
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: NAACL 2022

Previous studies have proved that cross-lingual knowledge distillation can significantly improve the performance of pre-trained models for cross-lingual similarity matching tasks. However, the student model needs to be large in this operation. Otherwise, its performance will drop sharply, thus making it impractical to be deployed to memory-limited devices. To address this issue, we delve into cross-lingual knowledge distillation and propose a multi-stage distillation framework for constructing a small-size but high-performance cross-lingual model. In our framework, contrastive learning, bottleneck, and parameter recurrent strategies are delicately combined to prevent performance from being compromised during the compression process. The experimental results demonstrate that our method can compress the size of XLM-R and MiniLM by more than 50%, while the performance is only reduced by about 1%.

pdf bib
Parameter-efficient Continual Learning Framework in Industrial Real-time Text Classification System
Tao Zhu | Zhe Zhao | Weijie Liu | Jiachi Liu | Yiren Chen | Weiquan Mao | Haoyan Liu | Kunbo Ding | Yudong Li | Xuefeng Yang
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies: Industry Track

Catastrophic forgetting is a challenge for model deployment in industrial real-time systems, which requires the model to quickly master a new task without forgetting the old one. Continual learning aims to solve this problem; however, it usually updates all the model parameters, resulting in extensive training times and the inability to deploy quickly. To address this challenge, we propose a parameter-efficient continual learning framework, in which efficient parameters are selected through an offline parameter selection strategy and then trained using an online regularization method. In our framework, only a few parameters need to be updated, which not only alleviates catastrophic forgetting, but also allows the model to be saved with the changed parameters instead of all parameters. Extensive experiments are conducted to examine the effectiveness of our proposal. We believe this paper will provide useful insights and experiences on developing deep learning-based online real-time systems.


pdf bib
FastBERT: a Self-distilling BERT with Adaptive Inference Time
Weijie Liu | Peng Zhou | Zhiruo Wang | Zhe Zhao | Haotang Deng | Qi Ju
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Pre-trained language models like BERT have proven to be highly performant. However, they are often computationally expensive in many practical scenarios, for such heavy models can hardly be readily implemented with limited resources. To improve their efficiency with an assured model performance, we propose a novel speed-tunable FastBERT with adaptive inference time. The speed at inference can be flexibly adjusted under varying demands, while redundant calculation of samples is avoided. Moreover, this model adopts a unique self-distillation mechanism at fine-tuning, further enabling a greater computational efficacy with minimal loss in performance. Our model achieves promising results in twelve English and Chinese datasets. It is able to speed up by a wide range from 1 to 12 times than BERT if given different speedup thresholds to make a speed-performance tradeoff.

pdf bib
CLUE: A Chinese Language Understanding Evaluation Benchmark
Liang Xu | Hai Hu | Xuanwei Zhang | Lu Li | Chenjie Cao | Yudong Li | Yechen Xu | Kai Sun | Dian Yu | Cong Yu | Yin Tian | Qianqian Dong | Weitang Liu | Bo Shi | Yiming Cui | Junyi Li | Jun Zeng | Rongzhao Wang | Weijian Xie | Yanting Li | Yina Patterson | Zuoyu Tian | Yiwen Zhang | He Zhou | Shaoweihua Liu | Zhe Zhao | Qipeng Zhao | Cong Yue | Xinrui Zhang | Zhengliang Yang | Kyle Richardson | Zhenzhong Lan
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

The advent of natural language understanding (NLU) benchmarks for English, such as GLUE and SuperGLUE allows new NLU models to be evaluated across a diverse set of tasks. These comprehensive benchmarks have facilitated a broad range of research and applications in natural language processing (NLP). The problem, however, is that most such benchmarks are limited to English, which has made it difficult to replicate many of the successes in English NLU for other languages. To help remedy this issue, we introduce the first large-scale Chinese Language Understanding Evaluation (CLUE) benchmark. CLUE is an open-ended, community-driven project that brings together 9 tasks spanning several well-established single-sentence/sentence-pair classification tasks, as well as machine reading comprehension, all on original Chinese text. To establish results on these tasks, we report scores using an exhaustive set of current state-of-the-art pre-trained Chinese models (9 in total). We also introduce a number of supplementary datasets and additional tools to help facilitate further progress on Chinese NLU. Our benchmark is released at https://www.cluebenchmarks.com


pdf bib
UER: An Open-Source Toolkit for Pre-training Models
Zhe Zhao | Hui Chen | Jinbin Zhang | Xin Zhao | Tao Liu | Wei Lu | Xi Chen | Haotang Deng | Qi Ju | Xiaoyong Du
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP): System Demonstrations

Existing works, including ELMO and BERT, have revealed the importance of pre-training for NLP tasks. While there does not exist a single pre-training model that works best in all cases, it is of necessity to develop a framework that is able to deploy various pre-training models efficiently. For this purpose, we propose an assemble-on-demand pre-training toolkit, namely Universal Encoder Representations (UER). UER is loosely coupled, and encapsulated with rich modules. By assembling modules on demand, users can either reproduce a state-of-the-art pre-training model or develop a pre-training model that remains unexplored. With UER, we have built a model zoo, which contains pre-trained models based on different corpora, encoders, and targets (objectives). With proper pre-trained models, we could achieve new state-of-the-art results on a range of downstream datasets.


pdf bib
Analogical Reasoning on Chinese Morphological and Semantic Relations
Shen Li | Zhe Zhao | Renfen Hu | Wensi Li | Tao Liu | Xiaoyong Du
Proceedings of the 56th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 2: Short Papers)

Analogical reasoning is effective in capturing linguistic regularities. This paper proposes an analogical reasoning task on Chinese. After delving into Chinese lexical knowledge, we sketch 68 implicit morphological relations and 28 explicit semantic relations. A big and balanced dataset CA8 is then built for this task, including 17813 questions. Furthermore, we systematically explore the influences of vector representations, context features, and corpora on analogical reasoning. With the experiments, CA8 is proved to be a reliable benchmark for evaluating Chinese word embeddings.


pdf bib
Ngram2vec: Learning Improved Word Representations from Ngram Co-occurrence Statistics
Zhe Zhao | Tao Liu | Shen Li | Bofang Li | Xiaoyong Du
Proceedings of the 2017 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

The existing word representation methods mostly limit their information source to word co-occurrence statistics. In this paper, we introduce ngrams into four representation methods: SGNS, GloVe, PPMI matrix, and its SVD factorization. Comprehensive experiments are conducted on word analogy and similarity tasks. The results show that improved word representations are learned from ngram co-occurrence statistics. We also demonstrate that the trained ngram representations are useful in many aspects such as finding antonyms and collocations. Besides, a novel approach of building co-occurrence matrix is proposed to alleviate the hardware burdens brought by ngrams.

pdf bib
Initializing Convolutional Filters with Semantic Features for Text Classification
Shen Li | Zhe Zhao | Tao Liu | Renfen Hu | Xiaoyong Du
Proceedings of the 2017 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) are widely used in NLP tasks. This paper presents a novel weight initialization method to improve the CNNs for text classification. Instead of randomly initializing the convolutional filters, we encode semantic features into them, which helps the model focus on learning useful features at the beginning of the training. Experiments demonstrate the effectiveness of the initialization technique on seven text classification tasks, including sentiment analysis and topic classification.

pdf bib
Investigating Different Syntactic Context Types and Context Representations for Learning Word Embeddings
Bofang Li | Tao Liu | Zhe Zhao | Buzhou Tang | Aleksandr Drozd | Anna Rogers | Xiaoyong Du
Proceedings of the 2017 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

The number of word embedding models is growing every year. Most of them are based on the co-occurrence information of words and their contexts. However, it is still an open question what is the best definition of context. We provide a systematical investigation of 4 different syntactic context types and context representations for learning word embeddings. Comprehensive experiments are conducted to evaluate their effectiveness on 6 extrinsic and intrinsic tasks. We hope that this paper, along with the published code, would be helpful for choosing the best context type and representation for a given task.


pdf bib
Weighted Neural Bag-of-n-grams Model: New Baselines for Text Classification
Bofang Li | Zhe Zhao | Tao Liu | Puwei Wang | Xiaoyong Du
Proceedings of COLING 2016, the 26th International Conference on Computational Linguistics: Technical Papers

NBSVM is one of the most popular methods for text classification and has been widely used as baselines for various text representation approaches. It uses Naive Bayes (NB) feature to weight sparse bag-of-n-grams representation. N-gram captures word order in short context and NB feature assigns more weights to those important words. However, NBSVM suffers from sparsity problem and is reported to be exceeded by newly proposed distributed (dense) text representations learned by neural networks. In this paper, we transfer the n-grams and NB weighting to neural models. We train n-gram embeddings and use NB weighting to guide the neural models to focus on important words. In fact, our methods can be viewed as distributed (dense) counterparts of sparse bag-of-n-grams in NBSVM. We discover that n-grams and NB weighting are also effective in distributed representations. As a result, our models achieve new strong baselines on 9 text classification datasets, e.g. on IMDB dataset, we reach performance of 93.5% accuracy, which exceeds previous state-of-the-art results obtained by deep neural models. All source codes are publicly available at https://github.com/zhezhaoa/neural_BOW_toolkit.