Zhuang Li


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Variational Autoencoder with Disentanglement Priors for Low-Resource Task-Specific Natural Language Generation
Zhuang Li | Lizhen Qu | Qiongkai Xu | Tongtong Wu | Tianyang Zhan | Gholamreza Haffari
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

In this paper, we propose a variational autoencoder with disentanglement priors, VAE-Dprior, for task-specific natural language generation with none or a handful of task-specific labeled examples. In order to tackle compositional generalization across tasks, our model performs disentangled representation learning by introducing a conditional prior for the latent content space and another conditional prior for the latent label space. Both types of priors satisfy a novel property called 𝜖-disentangled. We show both empirically and theoretically that the novel priors can disentangle representations even without specific regularizations as in the prior work. The content prior enables directly sampling diverse content representations from the content space learned from the seen tasks, and fuse them with the representations of novel tasks for generating semantically diverse texts in the low-resource settings. Our extensive experiments demonstrate the superior performance of our model over competitive baselines in terms of i) data augmentation in continuous zero/few-shot learning, and ii) text style transfer in the few-shot setting.


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Total Recall: a Customized Continual Learning Method for Neural Semantic Parsers
Zhuang Li | Lizhen Qu | Gholamreza Haffari
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

This paper investigates continual learning for semantic parsing. In this setting, a neural semantic parser learns tasks sequentially without accessing full training data from previous tasks. Direct application of the SOTA continual learning algorithms to this problem fails to achieve comparable performance with re-training models with all seen tasks because they have not considered the special properties of structured outputs yielded by semantic parsers. Therefore, we propose TotalRecall, a continual learning method designed for neural semantic parsers from two aspects: i) a sampling method for memory replay that diversifies logical form templates and balances distributions of parse actions in a memory; ii) a two-stage training method that significantly improves generalization capability of the parsers across tasks. We conduct extensive experiments to study the research problems involved in continual semantic parsing and demonstrate that a neural semantic parser trained with TotalRecall achieves superior performance than the one trained directly with the SOTA continual learning algorithms and achieve a 3-6 times speedup compared to re-training from scratch.

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Few-Shot Semantic Parsing for New Predicates
Zhuang Li | Lizhen Qu | Shuo Huang | Gholamreza Haffari
Proceedings of the 16th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Main Volume

In this work, we investigate the problems of semantic parsing in a few-shot learning setting. In this setting, we are provided with k utterance-logical form pairs per new predicate. The state-of-the-art neural semantic parsers achieve less than 25% accuracy on benchmark datasets when k = 1. To tackle this problem, we proposed to i) apply a designated meta-learning method to train the model; ii) regularize attention scores with alignment statistics; iii) apply a smoothing technique in pretraining. As a result, our method consistently outperforms all the baselines in both one and two-shot settings.

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On Robustness of Neural Semantic Parsers
Shuo Huang | Zhuang Li | Lizhen Qu | Lei Pan
Proceedings of the 16th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Main Volume

Semantic parsing maps natural language (NL) utterances into logical forms (LFs), which underpins many advanced NLP problems. Semantic parsers gain performance boosts with deep neural networks, but inherit vulnerabilities against adversarial examples. In this paper, we provide the first empirical study on the robustness of semantic parsers in the presence of adversarial attacks. Formally, adversaries of semantic parsing are considered to be the perturbed utterance-LF pairs, whose utterances have exactly the same meanings as the original ones. A scalable methodology is proposed to construct robustness test sets based on existing benchmark corpora. Our results answered five research questions in measuring the sate-of-the-art parsers’ performance on robustness test sets, and evaluating the effect of data augmentation.


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Context Dependent Semantic Parsing: A Survey
Zhuang Li | Lizhen Qu | Gholamreza Haffari
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Semantic parsing is the task of translating natural language utterances into machine-readable meaning representations. Currently, most semantic parsing methods are not able to utilize the contextual information (e.g. dialogue and comments history), which has a great potential to boost the semantic parsing systems. To address this issue, context dependent semantic parsing has recently drawn a lot of attention. In this survey, we investigate progress on the methods for the context dependent semantic parsing, together with the current datasets and tasks. We then point out open problems and challenges for future research in this area.


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Unsupervised Pre-training With Seq2Seq Reconstruction Loss for Deep Relation Extraction Models
Zhuang Li | Lizhen Qu | Qiongkai Xu | Mark Johnson
Proceedings of the Australasian Language Technology Association Workshop 2016