Zhen Huang


2023

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GRACE: Gradient-guided Controllable Retrieval for Augmenting Attribute-based Text Generation
Zhihua Wen | Zhiliang Tian | Zhen Huang | Yuxin Yang | Zexin Jian | Changjian Wang | Dongsheng Li
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2023

Attribute-based generation methods are of growing significance in controlling the generation of large pre-trained language models (PLMs). Existing studies control the generation by (1) finetuning the model with attributes or (2) guiding the inference processing toward control signals while freezing the PLM. However, finetuning approaches infuse domain bias into generation, making it hard to generate out-of-domain texts. Besides, many methods guide the inference in its word-by-word generation, pushing the word probability to the target attributes, resulting in less fluent sentences. We argue that distilling controlling information from natural texts can produce fluent sentences while maintaining high controllability. In this paper, we propose GRAdient-guided Controllable rEtrieval (GRACE), a retrieval-augmented generation framework to facilitate the generation of fluent sentences with high attribute relevance. GRACE memorizes the semantic and attribute information from unlabeled corpora and applies a controllable retrieval to obtain desired information. For the generation, we design techniques to eliminate the domain bias from the retrieval results and integrate it into the generation model. Additionally, we propose a gradient-guided generation scheme that iteratively steers generation toward higher attribute relevance. Experimental results and quantities of examples verify the effectiveness of our method.

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GROVE: A Retrieval-augmented Complex Story Generation Framework with A Forest of Evidence
Zhihua Wen | Zhiliang Tian | Wei Wu | Yuxin Yang | Yanqi Shi | Zhen Huang | Dongsheng Li
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

Conditional story generation is significant in human-machine interaction, particularly in producing stories with complex plots. While Large language models (LLMs) perform well on multiple NLP tasks, including story generation, it is challenging to generate stories with both complex and creative plots. Existing methods often rely on detailed prompts to guide LLMs to meet target conditions, which inadvertently restrict the creative potential of the generated stories. We argue that leveraging information from exemplary human-written stories facilitates generating more diverse plotlines. Delving deeper into story details helps build complex and credible plots. In this paper, we propose a retrieval-auGmented stoRy generation framework with a fOrest of eVidEnce (GROVE) to enhance stories’ complexity. We build a retrieval repository for target conditions to produce few-shot examples to prompt LLMs. Additionally, we design an “asking-why” prompting scheme that extracts a forest of evidence, providing compensation for the ambiguities that may occur in the generated story. This iterative process uncovers underlying story backgrounds. Finally, we select the most fitting chains of evidence from the evidence forest and integrate them into the generated story, thereby enhancing the narrative’s complexity and credibility. Experimental results and numerous examples verify the effectiveness of our method.

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Temporal Extrapolation and Knowledge Transfer for Lifelong Temporal Knowledge Graph Reasoning
Zhongwu Chen | Chengjin Xu | Fenglong Su | Zhen Huang | Yong Dou
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

Real-world Temporal Knowledge Graphs keep growing with time and new entities and facts emerge continually, necessitating a model that can extrapolate to future timestamps and transfer knowledge for new components. Therefore, our work first dives into this more realistic issue, lifelong TKG reasoning, where existing methods can only address part of the challenges. Specifically, we formulate lifelong TKG reasoning as a temporal-path-based reinforcement learning (RL) framework. Then, we add temporal displacement into the action space of RL to extrapolate for the future and further propose a temporal-rule-based reward shaping to guide the training. To transfer and update knowledge, we design a new edge-aware message passing module, where the embeddings of new entities and edges are inductive. We conduct extensive experiments on three newly constructed benchmarks for lifelong TKG reasoning. Experimental results show the outperforming effectiveness of our model against all well-adapted baselines.

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DaMSTF: Domain Adversarial Learning Enhanced Meta Self-Training for Domain Adaptation
Menglong Lu | Zhen Huang | Yunxiang Zhao | Zhiliang Tian | Yang Liu | Dongsheng Li
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Self-training emerges as an important research line on domain adaptation. By taking the model’s prediction as the pseudo labels of the unlabeled data, self-training bootstraps the model with pseudo instances in the target domain. However, the prediction errors of pseudo labels (label noise) challenge the performance of self-training. To address this problem, previous approaches only use reliable pseudo instances, i.e., pseudo instances with high prediction confidence, to retrain the model. Although these strategies effectively reduce the label noise, they are prone to miss the hard examples. In this paper, we propose a new self-training framework for domain adaptation, namely Domain adversarial learning enhanced Self-Training Framework (DaMSTF). Firstly, DaMSTF involves meta-learning to estimate the importance of each pseudo instance, so as to simultaneously reduce the label noise and preserve hard examples. Secondly, we design a meta constructor for constructing the meta-validation set, which guarantees the effectiveness of the meta-learning module by improving the quality of the meta-validation set. Thirdly, we find that the meta-learning module suffers from the training guidance vanish- ment and tends to converge to an inferior optimal. To this end, we employ domain adversarial learning as a heuristic neural network initialization method, which can help the meta-learning module converge to a better optimal. Theoretically and experimentally, we demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed DaMSTF. On the cross-domain sentiment classification task, DaMSTF improves the performance of BERT with an average of nearly 4%.

2022

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IMCI: Integrate Multi-view Contextual Information for Fact Extraction and Verification
Hao Wang | Yangguang Li | Zhen Huang | Yong Dou
Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

With the rapid development of automatic fake news detection technology, fact extraction and verification (FEVER) has been attracting more attention. The task aims to extract the most related fact evidences from millions of open-domain Wikipedia documents and then verify the credibility of corresponding claims. Although several strong models have been proposed for the task and they have made great process, we argue that they fail to utilize multi-view contextual information and thus cannot obtain better performance. In this paper, we propose to integrate multi-view contextual information (IMCI) for fact extraction and verification. For each evidence sentence, we define two kinds of context, i.e. intra-document context and inter-document context. Intra-document context consists of the document title and all the other sentences from the same document. Inter-document context consists of all other evidences which may come from different documents. Then we integrate the multi-view contextual information to encode the evidence sentences to handle the task. Our experimental results on FEVER 1.0 shared task show that our IMCI framework makes great progress on both fact extraction and verification, and achieves state-of-the-art performance with a winning FEVER score of 73.96% and label accuracy of 77.25% on the online blind test set. We also conduct ablation study to detect the impact of multi-view contextual information.

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Adaptive Threshold Selective Self-Attention for Chinese NER
Biao Hu | Zhen Huang | Minghao Hu | Ziwen Zhang | Yong Dou
Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Recently, Transformer has achieved great success in Chinese named entity recognition (NER) owing to its good parallelism and ability to model long-range dependencies, which utilizes self-attention to encode context. However, the fully connected way of self-attention may scatter the attention distribution and allow some irrelevant character information to be integrated, leading to entity boundaries being misidentified. In this paper, we propose a data-driven Adaptive Threshold Selective Self-Attention (ATSSA) mechanism that aims to dynamically select the most relevant characters to enhance the Transformer architecture for Chinese NER. In ATSSA, the attention score threshold of each query is automatically generated, and characters with attention score higher than the threshold are selected by the query while others are discarded, so as to address irrelevant attention integration. Experiments on four benchmark Chinese NER datasets show that the proposed ATSSA brings 1.68 average F1 score improvements to the baseline model and achieves state-of-the-art performance.

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Social Bot-Aware Graph Neural Network for Early Rumor Detection
Zhen Huang | Zhilong Lv | Xiaoyun Han | Binyang Li | Menglong Lu | Dongsheng Li
Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Early rumor detection is a key challenging task to prevent rumors from spreading widely. Sociological research shows that social bots’ behavior in the early stage has become the main reason for rumors’ wide spread. However, current models do not explicitly distinguish genuine users from social bots, and their failure in identifying rumors timely. Therefore, this paper aims at early rumor detection by accounting for social bots’ behavior, and presents a Social Bot-Aware Graph Neural Network, named SBAG. SBAG firstly pre-trains a multi-layer perception network to capture social bot features, and then constructs multiple graph neural networks by embedding the features to model the early propagation of posts, which is further used to detect rumors. Extensive experiments on three benchmark datasets show that SBAG achieves significant improvements against the baselines and also identifies rumors within 3 hours while maintaining more than 90% accuracy.

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AstBERT: Enabling Language Model for Financial Code Understanding with Abstract Syntax Trees
Rong Liang | Tiehua Zhang | Yujie Lu | Yuze Liu | Zhen Huang | Xin Chen
Proceedings of the Fourth Workshop on Financial Technology and Natural Language Processing (FinNLP)

Using the pre-trained language models to understand source codes has attracted increasing attention from financial institutions owing to the great potential to uncover financial risks. However, there are several challenges in applying these language models to solve programming language related problems directly. For instance, the shift of domain knowledge between natural language (NL) and programming language (PL) requires understanding the semantic and syntactic information from the data from different perspectives. To this end, we propose the AstBERT model, a pre-trained PL model aiming to better understand the financial codes using the abstract syntax tree (AST). Specifically, we collect a sheer number of source codes (both Java and Python) from the Alipay code repository and incorporate both syntactic and semantic code knowledge into our model through the help of code parsers, in which AST information of the source codes can be interpreted and integrated. We evaluate the performance of the proposed model on three tasks, including code question answering, code clone detection and code refinement. Experiment results show that our AstBERT achieves promising performance on three different downstream tasks.

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R2F: A General Retrieval, Reading and Fusion Framework for Document-level Natural Language Inference
Hao Wang | Yixin Cao | Yangguang Li | Zhen Huang | Kun Wang | Jing Shao
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Document-level natural language inference (DOCNLI) is a new challenging task in natural language processing, aiming at judging the entailment relationship between a pair of hypothesis and premise documents. Current datasets and baselines largely follow sentence-level settings, but fail to address the issues raised by longer documents. In this paper, we establish a general solution, named Retrieval, Reading and Fusion (R2F) framework, and a new setting, by analyzing the main challenges of DOCNLI: interpretability, long-range dependency, and cross-sentence inference. The basic idea of the framework is to simplify document-level task into a set of sentence-level tasks, and improve both performance and interpretability with the power of evidence. For each hypothesis sentence, the framework retrieves evidence sentences from the premise, and reads to estimate its credibility. Then the sentence-level results are fused to judge the relationship between the documents. For the setting, we contribute complementary evidence and entailment label annotation on hypothesis sentences, for interpretability study. Our experimental results show that R2F framework can obtain state-of-the-art performance and is robust for diverse evidence retrieval methods. Moreover, it can give more interpretable prediction results. Our model and code are released at https://github.com/phoenixsecularbird/R2F.

2020

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Using a Penalty-based Loss Re-estimation Method to Improve Implicit Discourse Relation Classification
Xiao Li | Yu Hong | Huibin Ruan | Zhen Huang
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

We tackle implicit discourse relation classification, a task of automatically determining semantic relationships between arguments. The attention-worthy words in arguments are crucial clues for classifying the discourse relations. Attention mechanisms have been proven effective in highlighting the attention-worthy words during encoding. However, our survey shows that some inessential words are unintentionally misjudged as the attention-worthy words and, therefore, assigned heavier attention weights than should be. We propose a penalty-based loss re-estimation method to regulate the attention learning process, integrating penalty coefficients into the computation of loss by means of overstability of attention weight distributions. We conduct experiments on the Penn Discourse TreeBank (PDTB) corpus. The test results show that our loss re-estimation method leads to substantial improvements for a variety of attention mechanisms, and it obtains highly competitive performance compared to the state-of-the-art methods.

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Interactively-Propagative Attention Learning for Implicit Discourse Relation Recognition
Huibin Ruan | Yu Hong | Yang Xu | Zhen Huang | Guodong Zhou | Min Zhang
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

We tackle implicit discourse relation recognition. Both self-attention and interactive-attention mechanisms have been applied for attention-aware representation learning, which improves the current discourse analysis models. To take advantages of the two attention mechanisms simultaneously, we develop a propagative attention learning model using a cross-coupled two-channel network. We experiment on Penn Discourse Treebank. The test results demonstrate that our model yields substantial improvements over the baselines (BiLSTM and BERT).

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Argumentation Mining on Essays at Multi Scales
Hao Wang | Zhen Huang | Yong Dou | Yu Hong
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Argumentation mining on essays is a new challenging task in natural language processing, which aims to identify the types and locations of argumentation components. Recent research mainly models the task as a sequence tagging problem and deal with all the argumentation components at word level. However, this task is not scale-independent. Some types of argumentation components which serve as core opinions on essays or paragraphs, are at essay level or paragraph level. Sequence tagging method conducts reasoning by local context words, and fails to effectively mine these components. To this end, we propose a multi-scale argumentation mining model, where we respectively mine different types of argumentation components at corresponding levels. Besides, an effective coarse-to-fine argumentation fusion mechanism is proposed to further improve the performance. We conduct a serial of experiments on the Persuasive Essay dataset (PE2.0). Experimental results indicate that our model outperforms existing models on mining all types of argumentation components.

2019

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A Multi-Type Multi-Span Network for Reading Comprehension that Requires Discrete Reasoning
Minghao Hu | Yuxing Peng | Zhen Huang | Dongsheng Li
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

Rapid progress has been made in the field of reading comprehension and question answering, where several systems have achieved human parity in some simplified settings. However, the performance of these models degrades significantly when they are applied to more realistic scenarios, such as answers involve various types, multiple text strings are correct answers, or discrete reasoning abilities are required. In this paper, we introduce the Multi-Type Multi-Span Network (MTMSN), a neural reading comprehension model that combines a multi-type answer predictor designed to support various answer types (e.g., span, count, negation, and arithmetic expression) with a multi-span extraction method for dynamically producing one or multiple text spans. In addition, an arithmetic expression reranking mechanism is proposed to rank expression candidates for further confirming the prediction. Experiments show that our model achieves 79.9 F1 on the DROP hidden test set, creating new state-of-the-art results. Source code (https://github.com/huminghao16/MTMSN) is released to facilitate future work.

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Open-Domain Targeted Sentiment Analysis via Span-Based Extraction and Classification
Minghao Hu | Yuxing Peng | Zhen Huang | Dongsheng Li | Yiwei Lv
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Open-domain targeted sentiment analysis aims to detect opinion targets along with their sentiment polarities from a sentence. Prior work typically formulates this task as a sequence tagging problem. However, such formulation suffers from problems such as huge search space and sentiment inconsistency. To address these problems, we propose a span-based extract-then-classify framework, where multiple opinion targets are directly extracted from the sentence under the supervision of target span boundaries, and corresponding polarities are then classified using their span representations. We further investigate three approaches under this framework, namely the pipeline, joint, and collapsed models. Experiments on three benchmark datasets show that our approach consistently outperforms the sequence tagging baseline. Moreover, we find that the pipeline model achieves the best performance compared with the other two models.

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Retrieve, Read, Rerank: Towards End-to-End Multi-Document Reading Comprehension
Minghao Hu | Yuxing Peng | Zhen Huang | Dongsheng Li
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

This paper considers the reading comprehension task in which multiple documents are given as input. Prior work has shown that a pipeline of retriever, reader, and reranker can improve the overall performance. However, the pipeline system is inefficient since the input is re-encoded within each module, and is unable to leverage upstream components to help downstream training. In this work, we present RE3QA, a unified question answering model that combines context retrieving, reading comprehension, and answer reranking to predict the final answer. Unlike previous pipelined approaches, RE3QA shares contextualized text representation across different components, and is carefully designed to use high-quality upstream outputs (e.g., retrieved context or candidate answers) for directly supervising downstream modules (e.g., the reader or the reranker). As a result, the whole network can be trained end-to-end to avoid the context inconsistency problem. Experiments show that our model outperforms the pipelined baseline and achieves state-of-the-art results on two versions of TriviaQA and two variants of SQuAD.

2018

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Attention-Guided Answer Distillation for Machine Reading Comprehension
Minghao Hu | Yuxing Peng | Furu Wei | Zhen Huang | Dongsheng Li | Nan Yang | Ming Zhou
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Despite that current reading comprehension systems have achieved significant advancements, their promising performances are often obtained at the cost of making an ensemble of numerous models. Besides, existing approaches are also vulnerable to adversarial attacks. This paper tackles these problems by leveraging knowledge distillation, which aims to transfer knowledge from an ensemble model to a single model. We first demonstrate that vanilla knowledge distillation applied to answer span prediction is effective for reading comprehension systems. We then propose two novel approaches that not only penalize the prediction on confusing answers but also guide the training with alignment information distilled from the ensemble. Experiments show that our best student model has only a slight drop of 0.4% F1 on the SQuAD test set compared to the ensemble teacher, while running 12x faster during inference. It even outperforms the teacher on adversarial SQuAD datasets and NarrativeQA benchmark.