Xingwei Tan


Event Temporal Relation Extraction with Bayesian Translational Model
Xingwei Tan | Gabriele Pergola | Yulan He
Proceedings of the 17th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Existing models to extract temporal relations between events lack a principled method to incorporate external knowledge. In this study, we introduce Bayesian-Trans, a Bayesian learning-based method that models the temporal relation representations as latent variables and infers their values via Bayesian inference and translational functions. Compared to conventional neural approaches, instead of performing point estimation to find the best set parameters, the proposed model infers the parameters’ posterior distribution directly, enhancing the model’s capability to encode and express uncertainty about the predictions. Experimental results on the three widely used datasets show that Bayesian-Trans outperforms existing approaches for event temporal relation extraction. We additionally present detailed analyses on uncertainty quantification, comparison of priors, and ablation studies, illustrating the benefits of the proposed approach.


Event-Centric Question Answering via Contrastive Learning and Invertible Event Transformation
Junru Lu | Xingwei Tan | Gabriele Pergola | Lin Gui | Yulan He
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2022

Human reading comprehension often requires reasoning of event semantic relations in narratives, represented by Event-centric Question-Answering (QA). To address event-centric QA, we propose a novel QA model with contrastive learning and invertible event transformation, call TranCLR. Our proposed model utilizes an invertible transformation matrix to project semantic vectors of events into a common event embedding space, trained with contrastive learning, and thus naturally inject event semantic knowledge into mainstream QA pipelines. The transformation matrix is fine-tuned with the annotated event relation types between events that occurred in questions and those in answers, using event-aware question vectors. Experimental results on the Event Semantic Relation Reasoning (ESTER) dataset show significant improvements in both generative and extractive settings compared to the existing strong baselines, achieving over 8.4% gain in the token-level F1 score and 3.0% gain in Exact Match (EM) score under the multi-answer setting. Qualitative analysis reveals the high quality of the generated answers by TranCLR, demonstrating the feasibility of injecting event knowledge into QA model learning. Our code and models can be found at


Extracting Event Temporal Relations via Hyperbolic Geometry
Xingwei Tan | Gabriele Pergola | Yulan He
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Detecting events and their evolution through time is a crucial task in natural language understanding. Recent neural approaches to event temporal relation extraction typically map events to embeddings in the Euclidean space and train a classifier to detect temporal relations between event pairs. However, embeddings in the Euclidean space cannot capture richer asymmetric relations such as event temporal relations. We thus propose to embed events into hyperbolic spaces, which are intrinsically oriented at modeling hierarchical structures. We introduce two approaches to encode events and their temporal relations in hyperbolic spaces. One approach leverages hyperbolic embeddings to directly infer event relations through simple geometrical operations. In the second one, we devise an end-to-end architecture composed of hyperbolic neural units tailored for the temporal relation extraction task. Thorough experimental assessments on widely used datasets have shown the benefits of revisiting the tasks on a different geometrical space, resulting in state-of-the-art performance on several standard metrics. Finally, the ablation study and several qualitative analyses highlighted the rich event semantics implicitly encoded into hyperbolic spaces.


Recognizing Conflict Opinions in Aspect-level Sentiment Classification with Dual Attention Networks
Xingwei Tan | Yi Cai | Changxi Zhu
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

Aspect-level sentiment classification, which is a fine-grained sentiment analysis task, has received lots of attention these years. There is a phenomenon that people express both positive and negative sentiments towards an aspect at the same time. Such opinions with conflicting sentiments, however, are ignored by existing studies, which design models based on the absence of them. We argue that the exclusion of conflict opinions is problematic, for the reason that it represents an important style of human thinking – dialectic thinking. If a real-world sentiment classification system ignores the existence of conflict opinions when it is designed, it will incorrectly mixed conflict opinions into other sentiment polarity categories in action. Existing models have problems when recognizing conflicting opinions, such as data sparsity. In this paper, we propose a multi-label classification model with dual attention mechanism to address these problems.