Lichao Sun


Query and Extract: Refining Event Extraction as Type-oriented Binary Decoding
Sijia Wang | Mo Yu | Shiyu Chang | Lichao Sun | Lifu Huang
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2022

Event extraction is typically modeled as a multi-class classification problem where event types and argument roles are treated as atomic symbols. These approaches are usually limited to a set of pre-defined types. We propose a novel event extraction framework that uses event types and argument roles as natural language queries to extract candidate triggers and arguments from the input text. With the rich semantics in the queries, our framework benefits from the attention mechanisms to better capture the semantic correlation between the event types or argument roles and the input text. Furthermore, the query-and-extract formulation allows our approach to leverage all available event annotations from various ontologies as a unified model. Experiments on ACE and ERE demonstrate that our approach achieves state-of-the-art performance on each dataset and significantly outperforms existing methods on zero-shot event extraction.

Rethinking the Video Sampling and Reasoning Strategies for Temporal Sentence Grounding
Jiahao Zhu | Daizong Liu | Pan Zhou | Xing Di | Yu Cheng | Song Yang | Wenzheng Xu | Zichuan Xu | Yao Wan | Lichao Sun | Zeyu Xiong
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2022

Temporal sentence grounding (TSG) aims to identify the temporal boundary of a specific segment from an untrimmed video by a sentence query. All existing works first utilize a sparse sampling strategy to extract a fixed number of video frames and then interact them with query for reasoning.However, we argue that these methods have overlooked two indispensable issues:1) Boundary-bias: The annotated target segment generally refers to two specific frames as corresponding start and end timestamps. The video downsampling process may lose these two frames and take the adjacent irrelevant frames as new boundaries.2) Reasoning-bias: Such incorrect new boundary frames also lead to the reasoning bias during frame-query interaction, reducing the generalization ability of model.To alleviate above limitations, in this paper, we propose a novel Siamese Sampling and Reasoning Network (SSRN) for TSG, which introduces a siamese sampling mechanism to generate additional contextual frames to enrich and refine the new boundaries. Specifically, a reasoning strategy is developed to learn the inter-relationship among these frames and generate soft labels on boundaries for more accurate frame-query reasoning. Such mechanism is also able to supplement the absent consecutive visual semantics to the sampled sparse frames for fine-grained activity understanding.Extensive experiments demonstrate the effectiveness of SSRN on three challenging datasets.

Efficient Federated Learning on Knowledge Graphs via Privacy-preserving Relation Embedding Aggregation
Kai Zhang | Yu Wang | Hongyi Wang | Lifu Huang | Carl Yang | Xun Chen | Lichao Sun
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2022

Federated learning (FL) can be essential in knowledge representation, reasoning, and data mining applications over multi-source knowledge graphs (KGs). A recent study FedE first proposes an FL framework that shares entity embeddings of KGs across all clients. However, entity embedding sharing from FedE would incur a severe privacy leakage. Specifically, the known entity embedding can be used to infer whether a specific relation between two entities exists in a private client. In this paper, we introduce a novel attack method that aims to recover the original data based on the embedding information, which is further used to evaluate the vulnerabilities of FedE. Furthermore, we propose a Federated learning paradigm with privacy-preserving Relation embedding aggregation (FedR) to tackle the privacy issue in FedE. Besides, relation embedding sharing can significantly reduce the communication cost due to its smaller size of queries. We conduct extensive experiments to evaluate FedR with five different KG embedding models and three datasets. Compared to FedE, FedR achieves similar utility and significant improvements regarding privacy-preserving effect and communication efficiency on the link prediction task.


Model Extraction and Adversarial Transferability, Your BERT is Vulnerable!
Xuanli He | Lingjuan Lyu | Lichao Sun | Qiongkai Xu
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Natural language processing (NLP) tasks, ranging from text classification to text generation, have been revolutionised by the pretrained language models, such as BERT. This allows corporations to easily build powerful APIs by encapsulating fine-tuned BERT models for downstream tasks. However, when a fine-tuned BERT model is deployed as a service, it may suffer from different attacks launched by the malicious users. In this work, we first present how an adversary can steal a BERT-based API service (the victim/target model) on multiple benchmark datasets with limited prior knowledge and queries. We further show that the extracted model can lead to highly transferable adversarial attacks against the victim model. Our studies indicate that the potential vulnerabilities of BERT-based API services still hold, even when there is an architectural mismatch between the victim model and the attack model. Finally, we investigate two defence strategies to protect the victim model, and find that unless the performance of the victim model is sacrificed, both model extraction and adversarial transferability can effectively compromise the target models.


Mixup-Transformer: Dynamic Data Augmentation for NLP Tasks
Lichao Sun | Congying Xia | Wenpeng Yin | Tingting Liang | Philip Yu | Lifang He
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Mixup is a latest data augmentation technique that linearly interpolates input examples and the corresponding labels. It has shown strong effectiveness in image classification by interpolating images at the pixel level. Inspired by this line of research, in this paper, we explore i) how to apply mixup to natural language processing tasks since text data can hardly be mixed in the raw format; ii) if mixup is still effective in transformer-based learning models,e.g., BERT.To achieve the goal, we incorporate mixup to transformer-based pre-trained architecture, named“mixup-transformer”, for a wide range of NLP tasks while keeping the whole end-to-end training system. We evaluate the proposed framework by running extensive experiments on the GLUEbenchmark. Furthermore, we also examine the performance of mixup-transformer in low-resource scenarios by reducing the training data with a certain ratio. Our studies show that mixup is a domain-independent data augmentation technique to pre-trained language models, resulting in significant performance improvement for transformer-based models.