Bin Bi


TRIPS: Efficient Vision-and-Language Pre-training with Text-Relevant Image Patch Selection
Chaoya Jiang | Haiyang Xu | Chenliang Li | Ming Yan | Wei Ye | Shikun Zhang | Bin Bi | Songfang Huang
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Vision Transformers (ViTs) have been widely used in large-scale Vision and Language Pre-training (VLP) models. Though previous VLP works have proved the effectiveness of ViTs, they still suffer from computational efficiency brought by the long visual sequence. To tackle this problem, in this paper, we propose an efficient vision-and-language pre-training model with Text-Relevant Image Patch Selection, namely TRIPS, which reduces the visual sequence progressively with a text-guided patch-selection layer in the visual backbone for efficient training and inference. The patch-selection layer can dynamically compute text-dependent visual attention to identify the attentive image tokens with text guidance and fuse inattentive ones in an end-to-end manner. Meanwhile, TRIPS does not introduce extra parameters to ViTs. Experimental results on a variety of popular benchmark datasets demonstrate that TRIPS gain a speedup of 40% over previous similar VLP models, yet with competitive or better downstream task performance.

mPLUG: Effective and Efficient Vision-Language Learning by Cross-modal Skip-connections
Chenliang Li | Haiyang Xu | Junfeng Tian | Wei Wang | Ming Yan | Bin Bi | Jiabo Ye | He Chen | Guohai Xu | Zheng Cao | Ji Zhang | Songfang Huang | Fei Huang | Jingren Zhou | Luo Si
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Large-scale pre-trained foundation models have been an emerging paradigm for building artificial intelligence (AI) systems, which can be quickly adapted to a wide range of downstream tasks. This paper presents mPLUG, a new vision-language foundation model for both cross-modal understanding and generation. Most existing pre-trained models suffer from inefficiency and linguistic signal overwhelmed by long visual sequences in cross-modal alignment. To address both problems, mPLUG introduces an effective and efficient vision-language architecture with novel cross-modal skip-connections.mPLUG is pre-trained end-to-end on large-scale image-text pairs with both discriminative and generative objectives. It achieves state-of-the-art results on a wide range of vision-language downstream tasks, including image captioning, image-text retrieval, visual grounding and visual question answering. mPLUG also demonstrates strong zero-shot transferability on vision-language and video-language tasks. The code and pre-trained models are available at


E2E-VLP: End-to-End Vision-Language Pre-training Enhanced by Visual Learning
Haiyang Xu | Ming Yan | Chenliang Li | Bin Bi | Songfang Huang | Wenming Xiao | Fei Huang
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)

Vision-language pre-training (VLP) on large-scale image-text pairs has achieved huge success for the cross-modal downstream tasks. The most existing pre-training methods mainly adopt a two-step training procedure, which firstly employs a pre-trained object detector to extract region-based visual features, then concatenates the image representation and text embedding as the input of Transformer to train. However, these methods face problems of using task-specific visual representation of the specific object detector for generic cross-modal understanding, and the computation inefficiency of two-stage pipeline. In this paper, we propose the first end-to-end vision-language pre-trained model for both V+L understanding and generation, namely E2E-VLP, where we build a unified Transformer framework to jointly learn visual representation, and semantic alignments between image and text. We incorporate the tasks of object detection and image captioning into pre-training with a unified Transformer encoder-decoder architecture for enhancing visual learning. An extensive set of experiments have been conducted on well-established vision-language downstream tasks to demonstrate the effectiveness of this novel VLP paradigm.

VECO: Variable and Flexible Cross-lingual Pre-training for Language Understanding and Generation
Fuli Luo | Wei Wang | Jiahao Liu | Yijia Liu | Bin Bi | Songfang Huang | Fei Huang | Luo Si
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)

Existing work in multilingual pretraining has demonstrated the potential of cross-lingual transferability by training a unified Transformer encoder for multiple languages. However, much of this work only relies on the shared vocabulary and bilingual contexts to encourage the correlation across languages, which is loose and implicit for aligning the contextual representations between languages. In this paper, we plug a cross-attention module into the Transformer encoder to explicitly build the interdependence between languages. It can effectively avoid the degeneration of predicting masked words only conditioned on the context in its own language. More importantly, when fine-tuning on downstream tasks, the cross-attention module can be plugged in or out on-demand, thus naturally benefiting a wider range of cross-lingual tasks, from language understanding to generation. As a result, the proposed cross-lingual model delivers new state-of-the-art results on various cross-lingual understanding tasks of the XTREME benchmark, covering text classification, sequence labeling, question answering, and sentence retrieval. For cross-lingual generation tasks, it also outperforms all existing cross-lingual models and state-of-the-art Transformer variants on WMT14 English-to-German and English-to-French translation datasets, with gains of up to 1 2 BLEU.

StructuralLM: Structural Pre-training for Form Understanding
Chenliang Li | Bin Bi | Ming Yan | Wei Wang | Songfang Huang | Fei Huang | Luo Si
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)

Large pre-trained language models achieve state-of-the-art results when fine-tuned on downstream NLP tasks. However, they almost exclusively focus on text-only representation, while neglecting cell-level layout information that is important for form image understanding. In this paper, we propose a new pre-training approach, StructuralLM, to jointly leverage cell and layout information from scanned documents. Specifically, we pre-train StructuralLM with two new designs to make the most of the interactions of cell and layout information: 1) each cell as a semantic unit; 2) classification of cell positions. The pre-trained StructuralLM achieves new state-of-the-art results in different types of downstream tasks, including form understanding (from 78.95 to 85.14), document visual question answering (from 72.59 to 83.94) and document image classification (from 94.43 to 96.08).

Addressing Semantic Drift in Generative Question Answering with Auxiliary Extraction
Chenliang Li | Bin Bi | Ming Yan | Wei Wang | Songfang Huang
Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 2: Short Papers)

Recently, question answering (QA) based on machine reading comprehension has become popular. This work focuses on generative QA which aims to generate an abstractive answer to a given question instead of extracting an answer span from a provided passage. Generative QA often suffers from two critical problems: (1) summarizing content irrelevant to a given question, (2) drifting away from a correct answer during generation. In this paper, we address these problems by a novel Rationale-Enriched Answer Generator (REAG), which incorporates an extractive mechanism into a generative model. Specifically, we add an extraction task on the encoder to obtain the rationale for an answer, which is the most relevant piece of text in an input document to a given question. Based on the extracted rationale and original input, the decoder is expected to generate an answer with high confidence. We jointly train REAG on the MS MARCO QA+NLG task and the experimental results show that REAG improves the quality and semantic accuracy of answers over baseline models.


PALM: Pre-training an Autoencoding&Autoregressive Language Model for Context-conditioned Generation
Bin Bi | Chenliang Li | Chen Wu | Ming Yan | Wei Wang | Songfang Huang | Fei Huang | Luo Si
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

Self-supervised pre-training, such as BERT, MASS and BART, has emerged as a powerful technique for natural language understanding and generation. Existing pre-training techniques employ autoencoding and/or autoregressive objectives to train Transformer-based models by recovering original word tokens from corrupted text with some masked tokens. The training goals of existing techniques are often inconsistent with the goals of many language generation tasks, such as generative question answering and conversational response generation, for producing new text given context. This work presents PALM with a novel scheme that jointly pre-trains an autoencoding and autoregressive language model on a large unlabeled corpus, specifically designed for generating new text conditioned on context. The new scheme alleviates the mismatch introduced by the existing denoising scheme between pre-training and fine-tuning where generation is more than reconstructing original text. An extensive set of experiments show that PALM achieves new state-of-the-art results on a variety of language generation benchmarks covering generative question answering (Rank 1 on the official MARCO leaderboard), abstractive summarization on CNN/DailyMail as well as Gigaword, question generation on SQuAD, and conversational response generation on Cornell Movie Dialogues.


Incorporating External Knowledge into Machine Reading for Generative Question Answering
Bin Bi | Chen Wu | Ming Yan | Wei Wang | Jiangnan Xia | Chenliang Li
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

Commonsense and background knowledge is required for a QA model to answer many nontrivial questions. Different from existing work on knowledge-aware QA, we focus on a more challenging task of leveraging external knowledge to generate answers in natural language for a given question with context. In this paper, we propose a new neural model, Knowledge-Enriched Answer Generator (KEAG), which is able to compose a natural answer by exploiting and aggregating evidence from all four information sources available: question, passage, vocabulary and knowledge. During the process of answer generation, KEAG adaptively determines when to utilize symbolic knowledge and which fact from the knowledge is useful. This allows the model to exploit external knowledge that is not explicitly stated in the given text, but that is relevant for generating an answer. The empirical study on public benchmark of answer generation demonstrates that KEAG improves answer quality over models without knowledge and existing knowledge-aware models, confirming its effectiveness in leveraging knowledge.