Qi Liu


Relational Memory-Augmented Language Models
Qi Liu | Dani Yogatama | Phil Blunsom
Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Volume 10

We present a memory-augmented approach to condition an autoregressive language model on a knowledge graph. We represent the graph as a collection of relation triples and retrieve relevant relations for a given context to improve text generation. Experiments on WikiText-103, WMT19, and enwik8 English datasets demonstrate that our approach produces a better language model in terms of perplexity and bits per character. We also show that relational memory improves coherence, is complementary to token-based memory, and enables causal interventions. Our model provides a simple yet effective way to combine an autoregressive language model and a knowledge graph for more coherent and logical generation.

Incorporating Dynamic Semantics into Pre-Trained Language Model for Aspect-based Sentiment Analysis
Kai Zhang | Kun Zhang | Mengdi Zhang | Hongke Zhao | Qi Liu | Wei Wu | Enhong Chen
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2022

Aspect-based sentiment analysis (ABSA) predicts sentiment polarity towards a specific aspect in the given sentence. While pre-trained language models such as BERT have achieved great success, incorporating dynamic semantic changes into ABSA remains challenging. To this end, in this paper, we propose to address this problem by Dynamic Re-weighting BERT (DR-BERT), a novel method designed to learn dynamic aspect-oriented semantics for ABSA. Specifically, we first take the Stack-BERT layers as a primary encoder to grasp the overall semantic of the sentence and then fine-tune it by incorporating a lightweight Dynamic Re-weighting Adapter (DRA). Note that the DRA can pay close attention to a small region of the sentences at each step and re-weigh the vitally important words for better aspect-aware sentiment understanding. Finally, experimental results on three benchmark datasets demonstrate the effectiveness and the rationality of our proposed model and provide good interpretable insights for future semantic modeling.

Augmenting Multi-Turn Text-to-SQL Datasets with Self-Play
Qi Liu | Zihuiwen Ye | Tao Yu | Linfeng Song | Phil Blunsom
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2022

The task of context-dependent text-to-SQL aims to convert multi-turn user utterances to formal SQL queries. This is a challenging task due to both the scarcity of training data from which to learn complex contextual dependencies and to generalize to unseen databases. In this paper we explore augmenting the training datasets using self-play, which leverages contextual information to synthesize new interactions to adapt the model to new databases. We first design a SQL-to-text model conditioned on a sampled goal query, which represents a user’s intent, that then converses with a text-to-SQL semantic parser to generate new interactions. We then filter the synthesized interactions and retrain the models with the augmented data. We find that self-play improves the accuracy of a strong baseline on SParC and CoSQL, two widely used cross-domain text-to-SQL datasets. Our analysis shows that self-play simulates various conversational thematic relations, enhances cross-domain generalization and improves beam-search.

Tiny-NewsRec: Effective and Efficient PLM-based News Recommendation
Yang Yu | Fangzhao Wu | Chuhan Wu | Jingwei Yi | Qi Liu
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

News recommendation is a widely adopted technique to provide personalized news feeds for the user. Recently, pre-trained language models (PLMs) have demonstrated the great capability of natural language understanding and benefited news recommendation via improving news modeling. However, most existing works simply finetune the PLM with the news recommendation task, which may suffer from the known domain shift problem between the pre-training corpus and downstream news texts. Moreover, PLMs usually contain a large volume of parameters and have high computational overhead, which imposes a great burden on low-latency online services. In this paper, we propose Tiny-NewsRec, which can improve both the effectiveness and the efficiency of PLM-based news recommendation. We first design a self-supervised domain-specific post-training method to better adapt the general PLM to the news domain with a contrastive matching task between news titles and news bodies. We further propose a two-stage knowledge distillation method to improve the efficiency of the large PLM-based news recommendation model while maintaining its performance. Multiple teacher models originated from different time steps of our post-training procedure are used to transfer comprehensive knowledge to the student model in both its post-training stage and finetuning stage. Extensive experiments on two real-world datasets validate the effectiveness and efficiency of our method.


Pretraining the Noisy Channel Model for Task-Oriented Dialogue
Qi Liu | Lei Yu | Laura Rimell | Phil Blunsom
Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Volume 9

Abstract Direct decoding for task-oriented dialogue is known to suffer from the explaining-away effect, manifested in models that prefer short and generic responses. Here we argue for the use of Bayes’ theorem to factorize the dialogue task into two models, the distribution of the context given the response, and the prior for the response itself. This approach, an instantiation of the noisy channel model, both mitigates the explaining-away effect and allows the principled incorporation of large pretrained models for the response prior. We present extensive experiments showing that a noisy channel model decodes better responses compared to direct decoding and that a two-stage pretraining strategy, employing both open-domain and task-oriented dialogue data, improves over randomly initialized models.

Counterfactual Data Augmentation for Neural Machine Translation
Qi Liu | Matt Kusner | Phil Blunsom
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

We propose a data augmentation method for neural machine translation. It works by interpreting language models and phrasal alignment causally. Specifically, it creates augmented parallel translation corpora by generating (path-specific) counterfactual aligned phrases. We generate these by sampling new source phrases from a masked language model, then sampling an aligned counterfactual target phrase by noting that a translation language model can be interpreted as a Gumbel-Max Structural Causal Model (Oberst and Sontag, 2019). Compared to previous work, our method takes both context and alignment into account to maintain the symmetry between source and target sequences. Experiments on IWSLT’15 English → Vietnamese, WMT’17 English → German, WMT’18 English → Turkish, and WMT’19 robust English → French show that the method can improve the performance of translation, backtranslation and translation robustness.

Fast and Scalable Dialogue State Tracking with Explicit Modular Decomposition
Dingmin Wang | Chenghua Lin | Qi Liu | Kam-Fai Wong
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

We present a fast and scalable architecture called Explicit Modular Decomposition (EMD), in which we incorporate both classification-based and extraction-based methods and design four modules (for clas- sification and sequence labelling) to jointly extract dialogue states. Experimental results based on the MultiWoz 2.0 dataset validates the superiority of our proposed model in terms of both complexity and scalability when compared to the state-of-the-art methods, especially in the scenario of multi-domain dialogues entangled with many turns of utterances.

NewsBERT: Distilling Pre-trained Language Model for Intelligent News Application
Chuhan Wu | Fangzhao Wu | Yang Yu | Tao Qi | Yongfeng Huang | Qi Liu
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2021

Pre-trained language models (PLMs) like BERT have made great progress in NLP. News articles usually contain rich textual information, and PLMs have the potentials to enhance news text modeling for various intelligent news applications like news recommendation and retrieval. However, most existing PLMs are in huge size with hundreds of millions of parameters. Many online news applications need to serve millions of users with low latency tolerance, which poses great challenges to incorporating PLMs in these scenarios. Knowledge distillation techniques can compress a large PLM into a much smaller one and meanwhile keeps good performance. However, existing language models are pre-trained and distilled on general corpus like Wikipedia, which has gaps with the news domain and may be suboptimal for news intelligence. In this paper, we propose NewsBERT, which can distill PLMs for efficient and effective news intelligence. In our approach, we design a teacher-student joint learning and distillation framework to collaboratively learn both teacher and student models, where the student model can learn from the learning experience of the teacher model. In addition, we propose a momentum distillation method by incorporating the gradients of teacher model into the update of student model to better transfer the knowledge learned by the teacher model. Thorough experiments on two real-world datasets with three tasks show that NewsBERT can empower various intelligent news applications with much smaller models.


Insertion-based Decoding with Automatically Inferred Generation Order
Jiatao Gu | Qi Liu | Kyunghyun Cho
Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Volume 7

Conventional neural autoregressive decoding commonly assumes a fixed left-to-right generation order, which may be sub-optimal. In this work, we propose a novel decoding algorithm— InDIGO—which supports flexible sequence generation in arbitrary orders through insertion operations. We extend Transformer, a state-of-the-art sequence generation model, to efficiently implement the proposed approach, enabling it to be trained with either a pre-defined generation order or adaptive orders obtained from beam-search. Experiments on four real-world tasks, including word order recovery, machine translation, image caption, and code generation, demonstrate that our algorithm can generate sequences following arbitrary orders, while achieving competitive or even better performance compared with the conventional left-to-right generation. The generated sequences show that InDIGO adopts adaptive generation orders based on input information.


Learning Domain Representation for Multi-Domain Sentiment Classification
Qi Liu | Yue Zhang | Jiangming Liu
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 1 (Long Papers)

Training data for sentiment analysis are abundant in multiple domains, yet scarce for other domains. It is useful to leveraging data available for all existing domains to enhance performance on different domains. We investigate this problem by learning domain-specific representations of input sentences using neural network. In particular, a descriptor vector is learned for representing each domain, which is used to map adversarially trained domain-general Bi-LSTM input representations into domain-specific representations. Based on this model, we further expand the input representation with exemplary domain knowledge, collected by attending over a memory network of domain training data. Results show that our model outperforms existing methods on multi-domain sentiment analysis significantly, giving the best accuracies on two different benchmarks.

Mining Evidences for Concept Stock Recommendation
Qi Liu | Yue Zhang
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 1 (Long Papers)

We investigate the task of mining relevant stocks given a topic of concern on emerging capital markets, for which there is lack of structural understanding. Deep learning is leveraged to mine evidences from large scale textual data, which contain valuable market information. In particular, distributed word similarities trained over large scale raw texts are taken as a basis of relevance measuring, and deep reinforcement learning is leveraged to learn a strategy of topic expansion, given a small amount of manually labeled data from financial analysts. Results on two Chinese stock market datasets show that our method outperforms a strong baseline using information retrieval techniques.

Sentence-State LSTM for Text Representation
Yue Zhang | Qi Liu | Linfeng Song
Proceedings of the 56th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Bi-directional LSTMs are a powerful tool for text representation. On the other hand, they have been shown to suffer various limitations due to their sequential nature. We investigate an alternative LSTM structure for encoding text, which consists of a parallel state for each word. Recurrent steps are used to perform local and global information exchange between words simultaneously, rather than incremental reading of a sequence of words. Results on various classification and sequence labelling benchmarks show that the proposed model has strong representation power, giving highly competitive performances compared to stacked BiLSTM models with similar parameter numbers.


THUTR: A Translation Retrieval System
Chunyang Liu | Qi Liu | Yang Liu | Maosong Sun
Proceedings of COLING 2012: Demonstration Papers