Zihan Zhang


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Dual-Alignment Pre-training for Cross-lingual Sentence Embedding
Ziheng Li | Shaohan Huang | Zihan Zhang | Zhi-Hong Deng | Qiang Lou | Haizhen Huang | Jian Jiao | Furu Wei | Weiwei Deng | Qi Zhang
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Recent studies have shown that dual encoder models trained with the sentence-level translation ranking task are effective methods for cross-lingual sentence embedding. However, our research indicates that token-level alignment is also crucial in multilingual scenarios, which has not been fully explored previously. Based on our findings, we propose a dual-alignment pre-training (DAP) framework for cross-lingual sentence embedding that incorporates both sentence-level and token-level alignment. To achieve this, we introduce a novel representation translation learning (RTL) task, where the model learns to use one-side contextualized token representation to reconstruct its translation counterpart. This reconstruction objective encourages the model to embed translation information into the token representation. Compared to other token-level alignment methods such as translation language modeling, RTL is more suitable for dual encoder architectures and is computationally efficient. Extensive experiments on three sentence-level cross-lingual benchmarks demonstrate that our approach can significantly improve sentence embedding. Our code is available at https://github.com/ChillingDream/DAP.

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Pre-training Language Model as a Multi-perspective Course Learner
Beiduo Chen | Shaohan Huang | Zihan Zhang | Wu Guo | Zhenhua Ling | Haizhen Huang | Furu Wei | Weiwei Deng | Qi Zhang
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2023

ELECTRA, the generator-discriminator pre-training framework, has achieved impressive semantic construction capability among various downstream tasks. Despite the convincing performance, ELECTRA still faces the challenges of monotonous training and deficient interaction. Generator with only masked language modeling (MLM) leads to biased learning and label imbalance for discriminator, decreasing learning efficiency; no explicit feedback loop from discriminator to generator results in the chasm between these two components, underutilizing the course learning. In this study, a multi-perspective course learning (MCL) method is proposed to fetch a many degrees and visual angles for sample-efficient pre-training, and to fully leverage the relationship between generator and discriminator. Concretely, three self-supervision courses are designed to alleviate inherent flaws of MLM and balance the label in a multi-perspective way. Besides, two self-correction courses are proposed to bridge the chasm between the two encoders by creating a “correction notebook” for secondary-supervision. Moreover, a course soups trial is conducted to solve the “tug-of-war” dynamics problem of MCL, evolving a stronger pre-trained model. Experimental results show that our method significantly improves ELECTRA’s average performance by 2.8% and 3.2% absolute points respectively on GLUE and SQuAD 2.0 benchmarks, and overshadows recent advanced ELECTRA-style models under the same settings. The pre-trained MCL model is available at https://huggingface.co/McmanusChen/MCL-base.

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Auto Search Indexer for End-to-End Document Retrieval
Tianchi Yang | Minghui Song | Zihan Zhang | Haizhen Huang | Weiwei Deng | Feng Sun | Qi Zhang
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

Generative retrieval, which is a new advanced paradigm for document retrieval, has recently attracted research interests, since it encodes all documents into the model and directly generates the retrieved documents. However, its power is still underutilized since it heavily relies on the “preprocessed” document identifiers (docids), thus limiting its retrieval performance and ability to retrieve new documents. In this paper, we propose a novel fully end-to-end retrieval paradigm. It can not only end-to-end learn the best docids for existing and new documents automatically via a semantic indexing module, but also perform end-to-end document retrieval via an encoder-decoder-based generative model, namely Auto Search Indexer (ASI). Besides, we design a reparameterization mechanism to combine the above two modules into a joint optimization framework. Extensive experimental results demonstrate the superiority of our model over advanced baselines on both public and industrial datasets and also verify the ability to deal with new documents.

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CITB: A Benchmark for Continual Instruction Tuning
Zihan Zhang | Meng Fang | Ling Chen | Mohammad-Reza Namazi-Rad
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

Continual learning (CL) is a paradigm that aims to replicate the human ability to learn and accumulate knowledge continually without forgetting previous knowledge and transferring it to new tasks. Recent instruction tuning (IT) involves fine-tuning models to make them more adaptable to solving NLP tasks in general. However, it is still uncertain how instruction tuning works in the context of CL tasks. This challenging yet practical problem is formulated as Continual Instruction Tuning (CIT). In this work, we establish a CIT benchmark consisting of learning and evaluation protocols. We curate two long dialogue task streams of different types, InstrDialog and InstrDialog++, to study various CL methods systematically. Our experiments show that existing CL methods do not effectively leverage the rich natural language instructions, and fine-tuning an instruction-tuned model sequentially can yield similar or better results. We further explore different aspects that might affect the learning of CIT. We hope this benchmark will facilitate more research in this direction.

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Democratizing Reasoning Ability: Tailored Learning from Large Language Model
Zhaoyang Wang | Shaohan Huang | Yuxuan Liu | Jiahai Wang | Minghui Song | Zihan Zhang | Haizhen Huang | Furu Wei | Weiwei Deng | Feng Sun | Qi Zhang
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Large language models (LLMs) exhibit impressive emergent abilities in natural language processing, but their democratization is hindered due to huge computation requirements and closed-source nature. Recent research on advancing open-source smaller LMs by distilling knowledge from black-box LLMs has obtained promising results in the instruction-following ability. However, the reasoning ability which is more challenging to foster, is relatively rarely explored. In this paper, we propose a tailored learning approach to distill such reasoning ability to smaller LMs to facilitate the democratization of the exclusive reasoning ability. In contrast to merely employing LLM as a data annotator, we exploit the potential of LLM as a reasoning teacher by building an interactive multi-round learning paradigm. This paradigm enables the student to expose its deficiencies to the black-box teacher who then can provide customized training data in return. Further, to exploit the reasoning potential of the smaller LM, we propose self-reflection learning to motivate the student to learn from self-made mistakes. The learning from self-reflection and LLM are all tailored to the student’s learning status, thanks to the seamless integration with the multi-round learning paradigm. Comprehensive experiments and analysis on mathematical and commonsense reasoning tasks demonstrate the effectiveness of our method. The code will be available at https://github.com/Raibows/Learn-to-Reason.

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Turn-Level Active Learning for Dialogue State Tracking
Zihan Zhang | Meng Fang | Fanghua Ye | Ling Chen | Mohammad-Reza Namazi-Rad
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Dialogue state tracking (DST) plays an important role in task-oriented dialogue systems. However, collecting a large amount of turn-by-turn annotated dialogue data is costly and inefficient. In this paper, we propose a novel turn-level active learning framework for DST to actively select turns in dialogues to annotate. Given the limited labelling budget, experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness of selective annotation of dialogue turns. Additionally, our approach can effectively achieve comparable DST performance to traditional training approaches with significantly less annotated data, which provides a more efficient way to annotate new dialogue data.

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How Do Large Language Models Capture the Ever-changing World Knowledge? A Review of Recent Advances
Zihan Zhang | Meng Fang | Ling Chen | Mohammad-Reza Namazi-Rad | Jun Wang
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Although large language models (LLMs) are impressive in solving various tasks, they can quickly be outdated after deployment. Maintaining their up-to-date status is a pressing concern in the current era. This paper provides a comprehensive review of recent advances in aligning deployed LLMs with the ever-changing world knowledge. We categorize research works systemically and provide in-depth comparisons and discussions. We also discuss existing challenges and highlight future directions to facilitate research in this field.


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PromptBERT: Improving BERT Sentence Embeddings with Prompts
Ting Jiang | Jian Jiao | Shaohan Huang | Zihan Zhang | Deqing Wang | Fuzhen Zhuang | Furu Wei | Haizhen Huang | Denvy Deng | Qi Zhang
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

We propose PromptBERT, a novel contrastive learning method for learning better sentence representation. We firstly analysis the drawback of current sentence embedding from original BERT and find that it is mainly due to the static token embedding bias and ineffective BERT layers. Then we propose the first prompt-based sentence embeddings method and discuss two prompt representing methods and three prompt searching methods to make BERT achieve better sentence embeddings .Moreover, we propose a novel unsupervised training objective by the technology of template denoising, which substantially shortens the performance gap between the supervised and unsupervised settings. Extensive experiments show the effectiveness of our method. Compared to SimCSE, PromptBert achieves 2.29 and 2.58 points of improvement based on BERT and RoBERTa in the unsupervised setting.

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RoChBert: Towards Robust BERT Fine-tuning for Chinese
Zihan Zhang | Jinfeng Li | Ning Shi | Bo Yuan | Xiangyu Liu | Rong Zhang | Hui Xue | Donghong Sun | Chao Zhang
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2022

Despite of the superb performance on a wide range of tasks, pre-trained language models (e.g., BERT) have been proved vulnerable to adversarial texts. In this paper, we present RoChBERT, a framework to build more Robust BERT-based models by utilizing a more comprehensive adversarial graph to fuse Chinese phonetic and glyph features into pre-trained representations during fine-tuning. Inspired by curriculum learning, we further propose to augment the training dataset with adversarial texts in combination with intermediate samples. Extensive experiments demonstrate that RoChBERT outperforms previous methods in significant ways: (i) robust – RoChBERT greatly improves the model robustness without sacrificing accuracy on benign texts. Specifically, the defense lowers the success rates of unlimited and limited attacks by 59.43% and 39.33% respectively, while remaining accuracy of 93.30%; (ii) flexible – RoChBERT can easily extend to various language models to solve different downstream tasks with excellent performance; and (iii) efficient – RoChBERT can be directly applied to the fine-tuning stage without pre-training language model from scratch, and the proposed data augmentation method is also low-cost.

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Is Neural Topic Modelling Better than Clustering? An Empirical Study on Clustering with Contextual Embeddings for Topics
Zihan Zhang | Meng Fang | Ling Chen | Mohammad Reza Namazi Rad
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Recent work incorporates pre-trained word embeddings such as BERT embeddings into Neural Topic Models (NTMs), generating highly coherent topics. However, with high-quality contextualized document representations, do we really need sophisticated neural models to obtain coherent and interpretable topics? In this paper, we conduct thorough experiments showing that directly clustering high-quality sentence embeddings with an appropriate word selecting method can generate more coherent and diverse topics than NTMs, achieving also higher efficiency and simplicity.