Zhengxuan Wu


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Identifying the Limits of Cross-Domain Knowledge Transfer for Pretrained Models
Zhengxuan Wu | Nelson F. Liu | Christopher Potts
Proceedings of the 7th Workshop on Representation Learning for NLP

There is growing evidence that pretrained language models improve task-specific fine-tuning even where the task examples are radically different from those seen in training. We study an extreme case of transfer learning by providing a systematic exploration of how much transfer occurs when models are denied any information about word identity via random scrambling. In four classification tasks and two sequence labeling tasks, we evaluate LSTMs using GloVe embeddings, BERT, and baseline models. Among these models, we find that only BERT shows high rates of transfer into our scrambled domains, and for classification but not sequence labeling tasks. Our analyses seek to explain why transfer succeeds for some tasks but not others, to isolate the separate contributions of pretraining versus fine-tuning, to show that the fine-tuning process is not merely learning to unscramble the scrambled inputs, and to quantify the role of word frequency. Furthermore, our results suggest that current benchmarks may overestimate the degree to which current models actually understand language.


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Pragmatically Informative Color Generation by Grounding Contextual Modifiers
Zhengxuan Wu | Desmond C. Ong
Proceedings of the Society for Computation in Linguistics 2021

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Dynabench: Rethinking Benchmarking in NLP
Douwe Kiela | Max Bartolo | Yixin Nie | Divyansh Kaushik | Atticus Geiger | Zhengxuan Wu | Bertie Vidgen | Grusha Prasad | Amanpreet Singh | Pratik Ringshia | Zhiyi Ma | Tristan Thrush | Sebastian Riedel | Zeerak Waseem | Pontus Stenetorp | Robin Jia | Mohit Bansal | Christopher Potts | Adina Williams
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

We introduce Dynabench, an open-source platform for dynamic dataset creation and model benchmarking. Dynabench runs in a web browser and supports human-and-model-in-the-loop dataset creation: annotators seek to create examples that a target model will misclassify, but that another person will not. In this paper, we argue that Dynabench addresses a critical need in our community: contemporary models quickly achieve outstanding performance on benchmark tasks but nonetheless fail on simple challenge examples and falter in real-world scenarios. With Dynabench, dataset creation, model development, and model assessment can directly inform each other, leading to more robust and informative benchmarks. We report on four initial NLP tasks, illustrating these concepts and highlighting the promise of the platform, and address potential objections to dynamic benchmarking as a new standard for the field.

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DynaSent: A Dynamic Benchmark for Sentiment Analysis
Christopher Potts | Zhengxuan Wu | Atticus Geiger | Douwe Kiela
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)

We introduce DynaSent (‘Dynamic Sentiment’), a new English-language benchmark task for ternary (positive/negative/neutral) sentiment analysis. DynaSent combines naturally occurring sentences with sentences created using the open-source Dynabench Platform, which facilities human-and-model-in-the-loop dataset creation. DynaSent has a total of 121,634 sentences, each validated by five crowdworkers, and its development and test splits are designed to produce chance performance for even the best models we have been able to develop; when future models solve this task, we will use them to create DynaSent version 2, continuing the dynamic evolution of this benchmark. Here, we report on the dataset creation effort, focusing on the steps we took to increase quality and reduce artifacts. We also present evidence that DynaSent’s Neutral category is more coherent than the comparable category in other benchmarks, and we motivate training models from scratch for each round over successive fine-tuning.


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Structured Self-AttentionWeights Encode Semantics in Sentiment Analysis
Zhengxuan Wu | Thanh-Son Nguyen | Desmond Ong
Proceedings of the Third BlackboxNLP Workshop on Analyzing and Interpreting Neural Networks for NLP

Neural attention, especially the self-attention made popular by the Transformer, has become the workhorse of state-of-the-art natural language processing (NLP) models. Very recent work suggests that the self-attention in the Transformer encodes syntactic information; Here, we show that self-attention scores encode semantics by considering sentiment analysis tasks. In contrast to gradient-based feature attribution methods, we propose a simple and effective Layer-wise Attention Tracing (LAT) method to analyze structured attention weights. We apply our method to Transformer models trained on two tasks that have surface dissimilarities, but share common semantics—sentiment analysis of movie reviews and time-series valence prediction in life story narratives. Across both tasks, words with high aggregated attention weights were rich in emotional semantics, as quantitatively validated by an emotion lexicon labeled by human annotators. Our results show that structured attention weights encode rich semantics in sentiment analysis, and match human interpretations of semantics.