Zujie Liang


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Prompts Can Play Lottery Tickets Well: Achieving Lifelong Information Extraction via Lottery Prompt Tuning
Zujie Liang | Feng Wei | Yin Jie | Yuxi Qian | Zhenghong Hao | Bing Han
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Thanks to the recent success of Pre-trained Language Models (PLMs), it has become a promising research direction to develop a universal model (UIE) that can solve all typical information extraction tasks within one generative framework. Nonetheless, in real-world scenarios of UIE applications, new data of different IE tasks and domains usually come in a stream over time. A desirable UIE system should be capable of continually learning new tasks without forgetting old ones, thereby allowing knowledge and functionalities expansion without re-training the whole system. In this paper, we study the UIE system under a more challenging yet practical scenario, i.e., “lifelong learning” settings, to evaluate its abilities in three aspects, including knowledge sharing and expansion, catastrophic forgetting prevention, and rapid generalization on few-shot and unseen tasks. To achieve these three goals, we present a novel parameter- and deployment-efficient prompt tuning method namely Lottery Prompt Tuning (LPT).LPT freezes the PLM’s parameters and sequentially learns compact pruned prompt vectors for each task leveraging a binary prompt mask, while keeping the prompt parameters selected by the previous tasks insusceptible. Furthermore, we use a simple yet effective method to perform mask selection and show the powerful transferability of Lottery Prompts to novel tasks. Extensive experiments demonstrate that LPT consistently sets state-of-the-art performance on multiple lifelong learning settings of UIE, including task-incremental setting on seen tasks, few-shot adaptation, and zero-shot generalization on novel tasks.


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Learning Neural Templates for Recommender Dialogue System
Zujie Liang | Huang Hu | Can Xu | Jian Miao | Yingying He | Yining Chen | Xiubo Geng | Fan Liang | Daxin Jiang
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

The task of Conversational Recommendation System (CRS), i.e., recommender dialog system, aims to recommend precise items to users through natural language interactions. Though recent end-to-end neural models have shown promising progress on this task, two key challenges still remain. First, the recommended items cannot be always incorporated into the generated response precisely and appropriately. Second, only the items mentioned in the training corpus have a chance to be recommended in the conversation. To tackle these challenges, we introduce a novel framework called NTRD for recommender dialogue system that can decouple the dialogue generation from the item recommendation. NTRD has two key components, i.e., response template generator and item selector. The former adopts an encoder-decoder model to generate a response template with slot locations tied to target items, while the latter fills in slot locations with the proper items using a sufficient attention mechanism. Our approach combines the strengths of both classical slot filling approaches (that are generally controllable) and modern neural NLG approaches (that are generally more natural and accurate). Extensive experiments on the benchmark ReDial show our approach significantly outperforms the previous state-of-the-art methods. Besides, our approach has the unique advantage to produce novel items that do not appear in the training set of dialogue corpus. The code is available at https://github.com/jokieleung/NTRD.

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Maria: A Visual Experience Powered Conversational Agent
Zujie Liang | Huang Hu | Can Xu | Chongyang Tao | Xiubo Geng | Yining Chen | Fan Liang | Daxin Jiang
Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Arguably, the visual perception of conversational agents to the physical world is a key way for them to exhibit the human-like intelligence. Image-grounded conversation is thus proposed to address this challenge. Existing works focus on exploring the multimodal dialog models that ground the conversation on a given image. In this paper, we take a step further to study image-grounded conversation under a fully open-ended setting where no paired dialog and image are assumed available. Specifically, we present Maria, a neural conversation agent powered by the visual world experiences which are retrieved from a large-scale image index. Maria consists of three flexible components, i.e., text-to-image retriever, visual concept detector and visual-knowledge-grounded response generator. The retriever aims to retrieve a correlated image to the dialog from an image index, while the visual concept detector extracts rich visual knowledge from the image. Then, the response generator is grounded on the extracted visual knowledge and dialog context to generate the target response. Extensive experiments demonstrate Maria outperforms previous state-of-the-art methods on automatic metrics and human evaluation, and can generate informative responses that have some visual commonsense of the physical world.


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Learning to Contrast the Counterfactual Samples for Robust Visual Question Answering
Zujie Liang | Weitao Jiang | Haifeng Hu | Jiaying Zhu
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

In the task of Visual Question Answering (VQA), most state-of-the-art models tend to learn spurious correlations in the training set and achieve poor performance in out-of-distribution test data. Some methods of generating counterfactual samples have been proposed to alleviate this problem. However, the counterfactual samples generated by most previous methods are simply added to the training data for augmentation and are not fully utilized. Therefore, we introduce a novel self-supervised contrastive learning mechanism to learn the relationship between original samples, factual samples and counterfactual samples. With the better cross-modal joint embeddings learned from the auxiliary training objective, the reasoning capability and robustness of the VQA model are boosted significantly. We evaluate the effectiveness of our method by surpassing current state-of-the-art models on the VQA-CP dataset, a diagnostic benchmark for assessing the VQA model’s robustness.