Zhouhan Lin


2022

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Leveraging Unimodal Self-Supervised Learning for Multimodal Audio-Visual Speech Recognition
Xichen Pan | Peiyu Chen | Yichen Gong | Helong Zhou | Xinbing Wang | Zhouhan Lin
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Training Transformer-based models demands a large amount of data, while obtaining aligned and labelled data in multimodality is rather cost-demanding, especially for audio-visual speech recognition (AVSR). Thus it makes a lot of sense to make use of unlabelled unimodal data. On the other side, although the effectiveness of large-scale self-supervised learning is well established in both audio and visual modalities, how to integrate those pre-trained models into a multimodal scenario remains underexplored. In this work, we successfully leverage unimodal self-supervised learning to promote the multimodal AVSR. In particular, audio and visual front-ends are trained on large-scale unimodal datasets, then we integrate components of both front-ends into a larger multimodal framework which learns to recognize parallel audio-visual data into characters through a combination of CTC and seq2seq decoding. We show that both components inherited from unimodal self-supervised learning cooperate well, resulting in that the multimodal framework yields competitive results through fine-tuning. Our model is experimentally validated on both word-level and sentence-level tasks. Especially, even without an external language model, our proposed model raises the state-of-the-art performances on the widely accepted Lip Reading Sentences 2 (LRS2) dataset by a large margin, with a relative improvement of 30%.

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Transkimmer: Transformer Learns to Layer-wise Skim
Yue Guan | Zhengyi Li | Jingwen Leng | Zhouhan Lin | Minyi Guo
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Transformer architecture has become the de-facto model for many machine learning tasks from natural language processing and computer vision. As such, improving its computational efficiency becomes paramount. One of the major computational inefficiency of Transformer based models is that they spend the identical amount of computation throughout all layers. Prior works have proposed to augment the Transformer model with the capability of skimming tokens to improve its computational efficiency. However, they suffer from not having effectual and end-to-end optimization of the discrete skimming predictor. To address the above limitations, we propose the Transkimmer architecture, which learns to identify hidden state tokens that are not required by each layer. The skimmed tokens are then forwarded directly to the final output, thus reducing the computation of the successive layers. The key idea in Transkimmer is to add a parameterized predictor before each layer that learns to make the skimming decision. We also propose to adopt reparameterization trick and add skim loss for the end-to-end training of Transkimmer. Transkimmer achieves 10.97x average speedup on GLUE benchmark compared with vanilla BERT-base baseline with less than 1% accuracy degradation.

2021

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Annotation Inconsistency and Entity Bias in MultiWOZ
Kun Qian | Ahmad Beirami | Zhouhan Lin | Ankita De | Alborz Geramifard | Zhou Yu | Chinnadhurai Sankar
Proceedings of the 22nd Annual Meeting of the Special Interest Group on Discourse and Dialogue

MultiWOZ (Budzianowski et al., 2018) is one of the most popular multi-domain taskoriented dialog datasets, containing 10K+ annotated dialogs covering eight domains. It has been widely accepted as a benchmark for various dialog tasks, e.g., dialog state tracking (DST), natural language generation (NLG) and end-to-end (E2E) dialog modeling. In this work, we identify an overlooked issue with dialog state annotation inconsistencies in the dataset, where a slot type is tagged inconsistently across similar dialogs leading to confusion for DST modeling. We propose an automated correction for this issue, which is present in 70% of the dialogs. Additionally, we notice that there is significant entity bias in the dataset (e.g., “cambridge” appears in 50% of the destination cities in the train domain). The entity bias can potentially lead to named entity memorization in generative models, which may go unnoticed as the test set suffers from a similar entity bias as well. We release a new test set with all entities replaced with unseen entities. Finally, we benchmark joint goal accuracy (JGA) of the state-of-theart DST baselines on these modified versions of the data. Our experiments show that the annotation inconsistency corrections lead to 7-10% improvement in JGA. On the other hand, we observe a 29% drop in JGA when models are evaluated on the new test set with unseen entities.

2020

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Exploiting Syntactic Structure for Better Language Modeling: A Syntactic Distance Approach
Wenyu Du | Zhouhan Lin | Yikang Shen | Timothy J. O’Donnell | Yoshua Bengio | Yue Zhang
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

It is commonly believed that knowledge of syntactic structure should improve language modeling. However, effectively and computationally efficiently incorporating syntactic structure into neural language models has been a challenging topic. In this paper, we make use of a multi-task objective, i.e., the models simultaneously predict words as well as ground truth parse trees in a form called “syntactic distances”, where information between these two separate objectives shares the same intermediate representation. Experimental results on the Penn Treebank and Chinese Treebank datasets show that when ground truth parse trees are provided as additional training signals, the model is able to achieve lower perplexity and induce trees with better quality.

2019

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Interactive Language Learning by Question Answering
Xingdi Yuan | Marc-Alexandre Côté | Jie Fu | Zhouhan Lin | Chris Pal | Yoshua Bengio | Adam Trischler
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

Humans observe and interact with the world to acquire knowledge. However, most existing machine reading comprehension (MRC) tasks miss the interactive, information-seeking component of comprehension. Such tasks present models with static documents that contain all necessary information, usually concentrated in a single short substring. Thus, models can achieve strong performance through simple word- and phrase-based pattern matching. We address this problem by formulating a novel text-based question answering task: Question Answering with Interactive Text (QAit). In QAit, an agent must interact with a partially observable text-based environment to gather information required to answer questions. QAit poses questions about the existence, location, and attributes of objects found in the environment. The data is built using a text-based game generator that defines the underlying dynamics of interaction with the environment. We propose and evaluate a set of baseline models for the QAit task that includes deep reinforcement learning agents. Experiments show that the task presents a major challenge for machine reading systems, while humans solve it with relative ease.

2018

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Straight to the Tree: Constituency Parsing with Neural Syntactic Distance
Yikang Shen | Zhouhan Lin | Athul Paul Jacob | Alessandro Sordoni | Aaron Courville | Yoshua Bengio
Proceedings of the 56th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

In this work, we propose a novel constituency parsing scheme. The model first predicts a real-valued scalar, named syntactic distance, for each split position in the sentence. The topology of grammar tree is then determined by the values of syntactic distances. Compared to traditional shift-reduce parsing schemes, our approach is free from the potentially disastrous compounding error. It is also easier to parallelize and much faster. Our model achieves the state-of-the-art single model F1 score of 92.1 on PTB and 86.4 on CTB dataset, which surpasses the previous single model results by a large margin.

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Learning Hierarchical Structures On-The-Fly with a Recurrent-Recursive Model for Sequences
Athul Paul Jacob | Zhouhan Lin | Alessandro Sordoni | Yoshua Bengio
Proceedings of the Third Workshop on Representation Learning for NLP

We propose a hierarchical model for sequential data that learns a tree on-the-fly, i.e. while reading the sequence. In the model, a recurrent network adapts its structure and reuses recurrent weights in a recursive manner. This creates adaptive skip-connections that ease the learning of long-term dependencies. The tree structure can either be inferred without supervision through reinforcement learning, or learned in a supervised manner. We provide preliminary experiments in a novel Math Expression Evaluation (MEE) task, which is created to have a hierarchical tree structure that can be used to study the effectiveness of our model. Additionally, we test our model in a well-known propositional logic and language modelling tasks. Experimental results have shown the potential of our approach.