Zuchao Li


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Restricted or Not: A General Training Framework for Neural Machine Translation
Zuchao Li | Masao Utiyama | Eiichiro Sumita | Hai Zhao
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Student Research Workshop

Restricted machine translation incorporates human prior knowledge into translation. It restricts the flexibility of the translation to satisfy the demands of translation in specific scenarios. Existing work typically imposes constraints on beam search decoding. Although this can satisfy the requirements overall, it usually requires a larger beam size and far longer decoding time than unrestricted translation, which limits the concurrent processing ability of the translation model in deployment, and thus its practicality. In this paper, we propose a general training framework that allows a model to simultaneously support both unrestricted and restricted translation by adopting an additional auxiliary training process without constraining the decoding process. This maintains the benefits of restricted translation but greatly reduces the extra time overhead of constrained decoding, thus improving its practicality. The effectiveness of our proposed training framework is demonstrated by experiments on both original (WAT21 EnJa) and simulated (WMT14 EnDe and EnFr) restricted translation benchmarks.

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What Works and Doesn’t Work, A Deep Decoder for Neural Machine Translation
Zuchao Li | Yiran Wang | Masao Utiyama | Eiichiro Sumita | Hai Zhao | Taro Watanabe
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2022

Deep learning has demonstrated performance advantages in a wide range of natural language processing tasks, including neural machine translation (NMT). Transformer NMT models are typically strengthened by deeper encoder layers, but deepening their decoder layers usually results in failure. In this paper, we first identify the cause of the failure of the deep decoder in the Transformer model. Inspired by this discovery, we then propose approaches to improving it, with respect to model structure and model training, to make the deep decoder practical in NMT. Specifically, with respect to model structure, we propose a cross-attention drop mechanism to allow the decoder layers to perform their own different roles, to reduce the difficulty of deep-decoder learning. For model training, we propose a collapse reducing training approach to improve the stability and effectiveness of deep-decoder training. We experimentally evaluated our proposed Transformer NMT model structure modification and novel training methods on several popular machine translation benchmarks. The results showed that deepening the NMT model by increasing the number of decoder layers successfully prevented the deepened decoder from degrading to an unconditional language model. In contrast to prior work on deepening an NMT model on the encoder, our method can deepen the model on both the encoder and decoder at the same time, resulting in a deeper model and improved performance.


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Syntax Role for Neural Semantic Role Labeling
Zuchao Li | Hai Zhao | Shexia He | Jiaxun Cai
Computational Linguistics, Volume 47, Issue 3 - November 2021

Semantic role labeling (SRL) is dedicated to recognizing the semantic predicate-argument structure of a sentence. Previous studies in terms of traditional models have shown syntactic information can make remarkable contributions to SRL performance; however, the necessity of syntactic information was challenged by a few recent neural SRL studies that demonstrate impressive performance without syntactic backbones and suggest that syntax information becomes much less important for neural semantic role labeling, especially when paired with recent deep neural network and large-scale pre-trained language models. Despite this notion, the neural SRL field still lacks a systematic and full investigation on the relevance of syntactic information in SRL, for both dependency and both monolingual and multilingual settings. This paper intends to quantify the importance of syntactic information for neural SRL in the deep learning framework. We introduce three typical SRL frameworks (baselines), sequence-based, tree-based, and graph-based, which are accompanied by two categories of exploiting syntactic information: syntax pruning-based and syntax feature-based. Experiments are conducted on the CoNLL-2005, -2009, and -2012 benchmarks for all languages available, and results show that neural SRL models can still benefit from syntactic information under certain conditions. Furthermore, we show the quantitative significance of syntax to neural SRL models together with a thorough empirical survey using existing models.

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NICT’s Neural Machine Translation Systems for the WAT21 Restricted Translation Task
Zuchao Li | Masao Utiyama | Eiichiro Sumita | Hai Zhao
Proceedings of the 8th Workshop on Asian Translation (WAT2021)

This paper describes our system (Team ID: nictrb) for participating in the WAT’21 restricted machine translation task. In our submitted system, we designed a new training approach for restricted machine translation. By sampling from the translation target, we can solve the problem that ordinary training data does not have a restricted vocabulary. With the further help of constrained decoding in the inference phase, we achieved better results than the baseline, confirming the effectiveness of our solution. In addition, we also tried the vanilla and sparse Transformer as the backbone network of the model, as well as model ensembling, which further improved the final translation performance.

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MiSS@WMT21: Contrastive Learning-reinforced Domain Adaptation in Neural Machine Translation
Zuchao Li | Masao Utiyama | Eiichiro Sumita | Hai Zhao
Proceedings of the Sixth Conference on Machine Translation

In this paper, we describe our MiSS system that participated in the WMT21 news translation task. We mainly participated in the evaluation of the three translation directions of English-Chinese and Japanese-English translation tasks. In the systems submitted, we primarily considered wider networks, deeper networks, relative positional encoding, and dynamic convolutional networks in terms of model structure, while in terms of training, we investigated contrastive learning-reinforced domain adaptation, self-supervised training, and optimization objective switching training methods. According to the final evaluation results, a deeper, wider, and stronger network can improve translation performance in general, yet our data domain adaption method can improve performance even more. In addition, we found that switching to the use of our proposed objective during the finetune phase using relatively small domain-related data can effectively improve the stability of the model’s convergence and achieve better optimal performance.

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Unsupervised Neural Machine Translation with Universal Grammar
Zuchao Li | Masao Utiyama | Eiichiro Sumita | Hai Zhao
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Machine translation usually relies on parallel corpora to provide parallel signals for training. The advent of unsupervised machine translation has brought machine translation away from this reliance, though performance still lags behind traditional supervised machine translation. In unsupervised machine translation, the model seeks symmetric language similarities as a source of weak parallel signal to achieve translation. Chomsky’s Universal Grammar theory postulates that grammar is an innate form of knowledge to humans and is governed by universal principles and constraints. Therefore, in this paper, we seek to leverage such shared grammar clues to provide more explicit language parallel signals to enhance the training of unsupervised machine translation models. Through experiments on multiple typical language pairs, we demonstrate the effectiveness of our proposed approaches.

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Seeking Common but Distinguishing Difference, A Joint Aspect-based Sentiment Analysis Model
Hongjiang Jing | Zuchao Li | Hai Zhao | Shu Jiang
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Aspect-based sentiment analysis (ABSA) task consists of three typical subtasks: aspect term extraction, opinion term extraction, and sentiment polarity classification. These three subtasks are usually performed jointly to save resources and reduce the error propagation in the pipeline. However, most of the existing joint models only focus on the benefits of encoder sharing between subtasks but ignore the difference. Therefore, we propose a joint ABSA model, which not only enjoys the benefits of encoder sharing but also focuses on the difference to improve the effectiveness of the model. In detail, we introduce a dual-encoder design, in which a pair encoder especially focuses on candidate aspect-opinion pair classification, and the original encoder keeps attention on sequence labeling. Empirical results show that our proposed model shows robustness and significantly outperforms the previous state-of-the-art on four benchmark datasets.

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MiSS: An Assistant for Multi-Style Simultaneous Translation
Zuchao Li | Kevin Parnow | Masao Utiyama | Eiichiro Sumita | Hai Zhao
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing: System Demonstrations

In this paper, we present MiSS, an assistant for multi-style simultaneous translation. Our proposed translation system has five key features: highly accurate translation, simultaneous translation, translation for multiple text styles, back-translation for translation quality evaluation, and grammatical error correction. With this system, we aim to provide a complete translation experience for machine translation users. Our design goals are high translation accuracy, real-time translation, flexibility, and measurable translation quality. Compared with the free commercial translation systems commonly used, our translation assistance system regards the machine translation application as a more complete and fully-featured tool for users. By incorporating additional features and giving the user better control over their experience, we improve translation efficiency and performance. Additionally, our assistant system combines machine translation, grammatical error correction, and interactive edits, and uses a crowdsourcing mode to collect more data for further training to improve both the machine translation and grammatical error correction models. A short video demonstrating our system is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGCo7KtRKd8.

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Grammatical Error Correction as GAN-like Sequence Labeling
Kevin Parnow | Zuchao Li | Hai Zhao
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL-IJCNLP 2021


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High-order Semantic Role Labeling
Zuchao Li | Hai Zhao | Rui Wang | Kevin Parnow
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2020

Semantic role labeling is primarily used to identify predicates, arguments, and their semantic relationships. Due to the limitations of modeling methods and the conditions of pre-identified predicates, previous work has focused on the relationships between predicates and arguments and the correlations between arguments at most, while the correlations between predicates have been neglected for a long time. High-order features and structure learning were very common in modeling such correlations before the neural network era. In this paper, we introduce a high-order graph structure for the neural semantic role labeling model, which enables the model to explicitly consider not only the isolated predicate-argument pairs but also the interaction between the predicate-argument pairs. Experimental results on 7 languages of the CoNLL-2009 benchmark show that the high-order structural learning techniques are beneficial to the strong performing SRL models and further boost our baseline to achieve new state-of-the-art results.

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Reference Language based Unsupervised Neural Machine Translation
Zuchao Li | Hai Zhao | Rui Wang | Masao Utiyama | Eiichiro Sumita
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2020

Exploiting a common language as an auxiliary for better translation has a long tradition in machine translation and lets supervised learning-based machine translation enjoy the enhancement delivered by the well-used pivot language in the absence of a source language to target language parallel corpus. The rise of unsupervised neural machine translation (UNMT) almost completely relieves the parallel corpus curse, though UNMT is still subject to unsatisfactory performance due to the vagueness of the clues available for its core back-translation training. Further enriching the idea of pivot translation by extending the use of parallel corpora beyond the source-target paradigm, we propose a new reference language-based framework for UNMT, RUNMT, in which the reference language only shares a parallel corpus with the source, but this corpus still indicates a signal clear enough to help the reconstruction training of UNMT through a proposed reference agreement mechanism. Experimental results show that our methods improve the quality of UNMT over that of a strong baseline that uses only one auxiliary language, demonstrating the usefulness of the proposed reference language-based UNMT and establishing a good start for the community.

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Parsing All: Syntax and Semantics, Dependencies and Spans
Junru Zhou | Zuchao Li | Hai Zhao
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2020

Both syntactic and semantic structures are key linguistic contextual clues, in which parsing the latter has been well shown beneficial from parsing the former. However, few works ever made an attempt to let semantic parsing help syntactic parsing. As linguistic representation formalisms, both syntax and semantics may be represented in either span (constituent/phrase) or dependency, on both of which joint learning was also seldom explored. In this paper, we propose a novel joint model of syntactic and semantic parsing on both span and dependency representations, which incorporates syntactic information effectively in the encoder of neural network and benefits from two representation formalisms in a uniform way. The experiments show that semantics and syntax can benefit each other by optimizing joint objectives. Our single model achieves new state-of-the-art or competitive results on both span and dependency semantic parsing on Propbank benchmarks and both dependency and constituent syntactic parsing on Penn Treebank.

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SJTU-NICT’s Supervised and Unsupervised Neural Machine Translation Systems for the WMT20 News Translation Task
Zuchao Li | Hai Zhao | Rui Wang | Kehai Chen | Masao Utiyama | Eiichiro Sumita
Proceedings of the Fifth Conference on Machine Translation

In this paper, we introduced our joint team SJTU-NICT ‘s participation in the WMT 2020 machine translation shared task. In this shared task, we participated in four translation directions of three language pairs: English-Chinese, English-Polish on supervised machine translation track, German-Upper Sorbian on low-resource and unsupervised machine translation tracks. Based on different conditions of language pairs, we have experimented with diverse neural machine translation (NMT) techniques: document-enhanced NMT, XLM pre-trained language model enhanced NMT, bidirectional translation as a pre-training, reference language based UNMT, data-dependent gaussian prior objective, and BT-BLEU collaborative filtering self-training. We also used the TF-IDF algorithm to filter the training set to obtain a domain more similar set with the test set for finetuning. In our submissions, the primary systems won the first place on English to Chinese, Polish to English, and German to Upper Sorbian translation directions.


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SJTU-NICT at MRP 2019: Multi-Task Learning for End-to-End Uniform Semantic Graph Parsing
Zuchao Li | Hai Zhao | Zhuosheng Zhang | Rui Wang | Masao Utiyama | Eiichiro Sumita
Proceedings of the Shared Task on Cross-Framework Meaning Representation Parsing at the 2019 Conference on Natural Language Learning

This paper describes our SJTU-NICT’s system for participating in the shared task on Cross-Framework Meaning Representation Parsing (MRP) at the 2019 Conference for Computational Language Learning (CoNLL). Our system uses a graph-based approach to model a variety of semantic graph parsing tasks. Our main contributions in the submitted system are summarized as follows: 1. Our model is fully end-to-end and is capable of being trained only on the given training set which does not rely on any other extra training source including the companion data provided by the organizer; 2. We extend our graph pruning algorithm to a variety of semantic graphs, solving the problem of excessive semantic graph search space; 3. We introduce multi-task learning for multiple objectives within the same framework. The evaluation results show that our system achieved second place in the overall F1 score and achieved the best F1 score on the DM framework.

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Syntax-aware Multilingual Semantic Role Labeling
Shexia He | Zuchao Li | Hai Zhao
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

Recently, semantic role labeling (SRL) has earned a series of success with even higher performance improvements, which can be mainly attributed to syntactic integration and enhanced word representation. However, most of these efforts focus on English, while SRL on multiple languages more than English has received relatively little attention so that is kept underdevelopment. Thus this paper intends to fill the gap on multilingual SRL with special focus on the impact of syntax and contextualized word representation. Unlike existing work, we propose a novel method guided by syntactic rule to prune arguments, which enables us to integrate syntax into multilingual SRL model simply and effectively. We present a unified SRL model designed for multiple languages together with the proposed uniform syntax enhancement. Our model achieves new state-of-the-art results on the CoNLL-2009 benchmarks of all seven languages. Besides, we pose a discussion on the syntactic role among different languages and verify the effectiveness of deep enhanced representation for multilingual SRL.


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Syntax for Semantic Role Labeling, To Be, Or Not To Be
Shexia He | Zuchao Li | Hai Zhao | Hongxiao Bai
Proceedings of the 56th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Semantic role labeling (SRL) is dedicated to recognizing the predicate-argument structure of a sentence. Previous studies have shown syntactic information has a remarkable contribution to SRL performance. However, such perception was challenged by a few recent neural SRL models which give impressive performance without a syntactic backbone. This paper intends to quantify the importance of syntactic information to dependency SRL in deep learning framework. We propose an enhanced argument labeling model companying with an extended korder argument pruning algorithm for effectively exploiting syntactic information. Our model achieves state-of-the-art results on the CoNLL-2008, 2009 benchmarks for both English and Chinese, showing the quantitative significance of syntax to neural SRL together with a thorough empirical survey over existing models.

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Moon IME: Neural-based Chinese Pinyin Aided Input Method with Customizable Association
Yafang Huang | Zuchao Li | Zhuosheng Zhang | Hai Zhao
Proceedings of ACL 2018, System Demonstrations

Chinese pinyin input method engine (IME) lets user conveniently input Chinese into a computer by typing pinyin through the common keyboard. In addition to offering high conversion quality, modern pinyin IME is supposed to aid user input with extended association function. However, existing solutions for such functions are roughly based on oversimplified matching algorithms at word-level, whose resulting products provide limited extension associated with user inputs. This work presents the Moon IME, a pinyin IME that integrates the attention-based neural machine translation (NMT) model and Information Retrieval (IR) to offer amusive and customizable association ability. The released IME is implemented on Windows via text services framework.

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Joint Learning of POS and Dependencies for Multilingual Universal Dependency Parsing
Zuchao Li | Shexia He | Zhuosheng Zhang | Hai Zhao
Proceedings of the CoNLL 2018 Shared Task: Multilingual Parsing from Raw Text to Universal Dependencies

This paper describes the system of team LeisureX in the CoNLL 2018 Shared Task: Multilingual Parsing from Raw Text to Universal Dependencies. Our system predicts the part-of-speech tag and dependency tree jointly. For the basic tasks, including tokenization, lemmatization and morphology prediction, we employ the official baseline model (UDPipe). To train the low-resource languages, we adopt a sampling method based on other richresource languages. Our system achieves a macro-average of 68.31% LAS F1 score, with an improvement of 2.51% compared with the UDPipe.

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A Full End-to-End Semantic Role Labeler, Syntactic-agnostic Over Syntactic-aware?
Jiaxun Cai | Shexia He | Zuchao Li | Hai Zhao
Proceedings of the 27th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Semantic role labeling (SRL) is to recognize the predicate-argument structure of a sentence, including subtasks of predicate disambiguation and argument labeling. Previous studies usually formulate the entire SRL problem into two or more subtasks. For the first time, this paper introduces an end-to-end neural model which unifiedly tackles the predicate disambiguation and the argument labeling in one shot. Using a biaffine scorer, our model directly predicts all semantic role labels for all given word pairs in the sentence without relying on any syntactic parse information. Specifically, we augment the BiLSTM encoder with a non-linear transformation to further distinguish the predicate and the argument in a given sentence, and model the semantic role labeling process as a word pair classification task by employing the biaffine attentional mechanism. Though the proposed model is syntax-agnostic with local decoder, it outperforms the state-of-the-art syntax-aware SRL systems on the CoNLL-2008, 2009 benchmarks for both English and Chinese. To our best knowledge, we report the first syntax-agnostic SRL model that surpasses all known syntax-aware models.

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Seq2seq Dependency Parsing
Zuchao Li | Jiaxun Cai | Shexia He | Hai Zhao
Proceedings of the 27th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

This paper presents a sequence to sequence (seq2seq) dependency parser by directly predicting the relative position of head for each given word, which therefore results in a truly end-to-end seq2seq dependency parser for the first time. Enjoying the advantage of seq2seq modeling, we enrich a series of embedding enhancement, including firstly introduced subword and node2vec augmentation. Meanwhile, we propose a beam search decoder with tree constraint and subroot decomposition over the sequence to furthermore enhance our seq2seq parser. Our parser is evaluated on benchmark treebanks, being on par with the state-of-the-art parsers by achieving 94.11% UAS on PTB and 88.78% UAS on CTB, respectively.

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A Unified Syntax-aware Framework for Semantic Role Labeling
Zuchao Li | Shexia He | Jiaxun Cai | Zhuosheng Zhang | Hai Zhao | Gongshen Liu | Linlin Li | Luo Si
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Semantic role labeling (SRL) aims to recognize the predicate-argument structure of a sentence. Syntactic information has been paid a great attention over the role of enhancing SRL. However, the latest advance shows that syntax would not be so important for SRL with the emerging much smaller gap between syntax-aware and syntax-agnostic SRL. To comprehensively explore the role of syntax for SRL task, we extend existing models and propose a unified framework to investigate more effective and more diverse ways of incorporating syntax into sequential neural networks. Exploring the effect of syntactic input quality on SRL performance, we confirm that high-quality syntactic parse could still effectively enhance syntactically-driven SRL. Using empirically optimized integration strategy, we even enlarge the gap between syntax-aware and syntax-agnostic SRL. Our framework achieves state-of-the-art results on CoNLL-2009 benchmarks both for English and Chinese, substantially outperforming all previous models.