Zheng Fang


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A User-Centered, Interactive, Human-in-the-Loop Topic Modelling System
Zheng Fang | Lama Alqazlan | Du Liu | Yulan He | Rob Procter
Proceedings of the 17th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Human-in-the-loop topic modelling incorporates users’ knowledge into the modelling process, enabling them to refine the model iteratively. Recent research has demonstrated the value of user feedback, but there are still issues to consider, such as the difficulty in tracking changes, comparing different models and the lack of evaluation based on real-world examples of use. We developed a novel, interactive human-in-the-loop topic modeling system with a user-friendly interface that enables users compare and record every step they take, and a novel topic words suggestion feature to help users provide feedback that is faithful to the ground truth. Our system also supports not only what traditional topic models can do, i.e., learning the topics from the whole corpus, but also targeted topic modelling, i.e., learning topics for specific aspects of the corpus. In this article, we provide an overview of the system and present the results of a series of user studies designed to assess the value of the system in progressively more realistic applications of topic modelling.


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Disentangled Learning of Stance and Aspect Topics for Vaccine Attitude Detection in Social Media
Lixing Zhu | Zheng Fang | Gabriele Pergola | Robert Procter | Yulan He
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Building models to detect vaccine attitudes on social media is challenging because of the composite, often intricate aspects involved, and the limited availability of annotated data. Existing approaches have relied heavily on supervised training that requires abundant annotations and pre-defined aspect categories. Instead, with the aim of leveraging the large amount of unannotated data now available on vaccination, we propose a novel semi-supervised approach for vaccine attitude detection, called VADet. A variational autoencoding architecture based on language models is employed to learn from unlabelled data the topical information of the domain. Then, the model is fine-tuned with a few manually annotated examples of user attitudes. We validate the effectiveness of VADet on our annotated data and also on an existing vaccination corpus annotated with opinions on vaccines. Our results show that VADet is able to learn disentangled stance and aspect topics, and outperforms existing aspect-based sentiment analysis models on both stance detection and tweet clustering.

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Non-Autoregressive Chinese ASR Error Correction with Phonological Training
Zheng Fang | Ruiqing Zhang | Zhongjun He | Hua Wu | Yanan Cao
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) is an efficient and widely used input method that transcribes speech signals into text. As the errors introduced by ASR systems will impair the performance of downstream tasks, we introduce a post-processing error correction method, PhVEC, to correct errors in text space. For the errors in ASR result, existing works mainly focus on fixed-length corrections, modifying each wrong token to a correct one (one-to-one correction), but rarely consider the variable-length correction (one-to-many or many-to-one correction). In this paper, we propose an efficient non-autoregressive (NAR) method for Chinese ASR error correction for both cases. Instead of conventionally predicting the sentence length in NAR methods, we propose a novel approach that uses phonological tokens to extend the source sentence for variable-length correction, enabling our model to generate phonetically similar corrections. Experimental results on datasets of different domains show that our method achieves significant improvement in word error rate reduction and speeds up the inference by 6.2 times compared with the autoregressive model.


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Deep Differential Amplifier for Extractive Summarization
Ruipeng Jia | Yanan Cao | Fang Fang | Yuchen Zhou | Zheng Fang | Yanbing Liu | Shi 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)

For sentence-level extractive summarization, there is a disproportionate ratio of selected and unselected sentences, leading to flatting the summary features when maximizing the accuracy. The imbalanced classification of summarization is inherent, which can’t be addressed by common algorithms easily. In this paper, we conceptualize the single-document extractive summarization as a rebalance problem and present a deep differential amplifier framework. Specifically, we first calculate and amplify the semantic difference between each sentence and all other sentences, and then apply the residual unit as the second item of the differential amplifier to deepen the architecture. Finally, to compensate for the imbalance, the corresponding objective loss of minority class is boosted by a weighted cross-entropy. In contrast to previous approaches, this model pays more attention to the pivotal information of one sentence, instead of all the informative context modeling by recurrent or Transformer architecture. We demonstrate experimentally on two benchmark datasets that our summarizer performs competitively against state-of-the-art methods. Our source code will be available on Github.

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TEBNER: Domain Specific Named Entity Recognition with Type Expanded Boundary-aware Network
Zheng Fang | Yanan Cao | Tai Li | Ruipeng Jia | Fang Fang | Yanmin Shang | Yuhai Lu
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

To alleviate label scarcity in Named Entity Recognition (NER) task, distantly supervised NER methods are widely applied to automatically label data and identify entities. Although the human effort is reduced, the generated incomplete and noisy annotations pose new challenges for learning effective neural models. In this paper, we propose a novel dictionary extension method which extracts new entities through the type expanded model. Moreover, we design a multi-granularity boundary-aware network which detects entity boundaries from both local and global perspectives. We conduct experiments on different types of datasets, the results show that our model outperforms previous state-of-the-art distantly supervised systems and even surpasses the supervised models.

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A Query-Driven Topic Model
Zheng Fang | Yulan He | Rob Procter
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL-IJCNLP 2021