Zijian Wang


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Debiasing Neural Retrieval via In-batch Balancing Regularization
Yuantong Li | Xiaokai Wei | Zijian Wang | Shen Wang | Parminder Bhatia | Xiaofei Ma | Andrew Arnold
Proceedings of the 4th Workshop on Gender Bias in Natural Language Processing (GeBNLP)

People frequently interact with information retrieval (IR) systems, however, IR models exhibit biases and discrimination towards various demographics. The in-processing fair ranking methods provides a trade-offs between accuracy and fairness through adding a fairness-related regularization term in the loss function. However, there haven’t been intuitive objective functions that depend on the click probability and user engagement to directly optimize towards this.In this work, we propose the {textbf{I}n-{textbf{B}atch {textbf{B}alancing {textbf{R}egularization (IBBR) to mitigate the ranking disparity among subgroups. In particular, we develop a differentiable {textbf{normed Pairwise Ranking Fairness} (nPRF) and leverage the T-statistics on top of nPRF over subgroups as a regularization to improve fairness. Empirical results with the BERT-based neural rankers on the MS MARCO Passage Retrieval dataset with the human-annotated non-gendered queries benchmark {cite{rekabsaz2020neural} show that our {ibbr{} method with nPRF achieves significantly less bias with minimal degradation in ranking performance compared with the baseline.

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DQ-BART: Efficient Sequence-to-Sequence Model via Joint Distillation and Quantization
Zheng Li | Zijian Wang | Ming Tan | Ramesh Nallapati | Parminder Bhatia | Andrew Arnold | Bing Xiang | Dan Roth
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 2: Short Papers)

Large-scale pre-trained sequence-to-sequence models like BART and T5 achieve state-of-the-art performance on many generative NLP tasks. However, such models pose a great challenge in resource-constrained scenarios owing to their large memory requirements and high latency. To alleviate this issue, we propose to jointly distill and quantize the model, where knowledge is transferred from the full-precision teacher model to the quantized and distilled low-precision student model. Empirical analyses show that, despite the challenging nature of generative tasks, we were able to achieve a 16.5x model footprint compression ratio with little performance drop relative to the full-precision counterparts on multiple summarization and QA datasets. We further pushed the limit of compression ratio to 27.7x and presented the performance-efficiency trade-off for generative tasks using pre-trained models. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first work aiming to effectively distill and quantize sequence-to-sequence pre-trained models for language generation tasks.


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Modeling Subjective Assessments of Guilt in Newspaper Crime Narratives
Elisa Kreiss | Zijian Wang | Christopher Potts
Proceedings of the 24th Conference on Computational Natural Language Learning

Crime reporting is a prevalent form of journalism with the power to shape public perceptions and social policies. How does the language of these reports act on readers? We seek to address this question with the SuspectGuilt Corpus of annotated crime stories from English-language newspapers in the U.S. For SuspectGuilt, annotators read short crime articles and provided text-level ratings concerning the guilt of the main suspect as well as span-level annotations indicating which parts of the story they felt most influenced their ratings. SuspectGuilt thus provides a rich picture of how linguistic choices affect subjective guilt judgments. We use SuspectGuilt to train and assess predictive models which validate the usefulness of the corpus, and show that these models benefit from genre pretraining and joint supervision from the text-level ratings and span-level annotations. Such models might be used as tools for understanding the societal effects of crime reporting.


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Answering Complex Open-domain Questions Through Iterative Query Generation
Peng Qi | Xiaowen Lin | Leo Mehr | Zijian Wang | Christopher D. Manning
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

It is challenging for current one-step retrieve-and-read question answering (QA) systems to answer questions like “Which novel by the author of ‘Armada’ will be adapted as a feature film by Steven Spielberg?” because the question seldom contains retrievable clues about the missing entity (here, the author). Answering such a question requires multi-hop reasoning where one must gather information about the missing entity (or facts) to proceed with further reasoning. We present GoldEn (Gold Entity) Retriever, which iterates between reading context and retrieving more supporting documents to answer open-domain multi-hop questions. Instead of using opaque and computationally expensive neural retrieval models, GoldEn Retriever generates natural language search queries given the question and available context, and leverages off-the-shelf information retrieval systems to query for missing entities. This allows GoldEn Retriever to scale up efficiently for open-domain multi-hop reasoning while maintaining interpretability. We evaluate GoldEn Retriever on the recently proposed open-domain multi-hop QA dataset, HotpotQA, and demonstrate that it outperforms the best previously published model despite not using pretrained language models such as BERT.

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TalkDown: A Corpus for Condescension Detection in Context
Zijian Wang | Christopher Potts
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

Condescending language use is caustic; it can bring dialogues to an end and bifurcate communities. Thus, systems for condescension detection could have a large positive impact. A challenge here is that condescension is often impossible to detect from isolated utterances, as it depends on the discourse and social context. To address this, we present TalkDown, a new labeled dataset of condescending linguistic acts in context. We show that extending a language-only model with representations of the discourse improves performance, and we motivate techniques for dealing with the low rates of condescension overall. We also use our model to estimate condescension rates in various online communities and relate these differences to differing community norms.


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It’s going to be okay: Measuring Access to Support in Online Communities
Zijian Wang | David Jurgens
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

People use online platforms to seek out support for their informational and emotional needs. Here, we ask what effect does revealing one’s gender have on receiving support. To answer this, we create (i) a new dataset and method for identifying supportive replies and (ii) new methods for inferring gender from text and name. We apply these methods to create a new massive corpus of 102M online interactions with gender-labeled users, each rated by degree of supportiveness. Our analysis shows wide-spread and consistent disparity in support: identifying as a woman is associated with higher rates of support - but also higher rates of disparagement.