Yicheng Zou


MINER: Improving Out-of-Vocabulary Named Entity Recognition from an Information Theoretic Perspective
Xiao Wang | Shihan Dou | Limao Xiong | Yicheng Zou | Qi Zhang | Tao Gui | Liang Qiao | Zhanzhan Cheng | Xuanjing Huang
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

NER model has achieved promising performance on standard NER benchmarks. However, recent studies show that previous approaches may over-rely on entity mention information, resulting in poor performance on out-of-vocabulary(OOV) entity recognition. In this work, we propose MINER, a novel NER learning framework, to remedy this issue from an information-theoretic perspective. The proposed approach contains two mutual information based training objectives: i) generalizing information maximization, which enhances representation via deep understanding of context and entity surface forms; ii) superfluous information minimization, which discourages representation from rotate memorizing entity names or exploiting biased cues in data. Experiments on various settings and datasets demonstrate that it achieves better performance in predicting OOV entities.

Divide and Conquer: Text Semantic Matching with Disentangled Keywords and Intents
Yicheng Zou | Hongwei Liu | Tao Gui | Junzhe Wang | Qi Zhang | Meng Tang | Haixiang Li | Daniell Wang
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2022

Text semantic matching is a fundamental task that has been widely used in various scenarios, such as community question answering, information retrieval, and recommendation. Most state-of-the-art matching models, e.g., BERT, directly perform text comparison by processing each word uniformly. However, a query sentence generally comprises content that calls for different levels of matching granularity. Specifically, keywords represent factual information such as action, entity, and event that should be strictly matched, while intents convey abstract concepts and ideas that can be paraphrased into various expressions. In this work, we propose a simple yet effective training strategy for text semantic matching in a divide-and-conquer manner by disentangling keywords from intents. Our approach can be easily combined with pre-trained language models (PLM) without influencing their inference efficiency, achieving stable performance improvements against a wide range of PLMs on three benchmarks.

Making Parameter-efficient Tuning More Efficient: A Unified Framework for Classification Tasks
Xin Zhou | Ruotian Ma | Yicheng Zou | Xuanting Chen | Tao Gui | Qi Zhang | Xuanjing Huang | Rui Xie | Wei Wu
Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Large pre-trained language models (PLMs) have demonstrated superior performance in industrial applications. Recent studies have explored parameter-efficient PLM tuning, which only updates a small amount of task-specific parameters while achieving both high efficiency and comparable performance against standard fine-tuning. However, all these methods ignore the inefficiency problem caused by the task-specific output layers, which is inflexible for us to re-use PLMs and introduces non-negligible parameters. In this work, we focus on the text classification task and propose plugin-tuning, a framework that further improves the efficiency of existing parameter-efficient methods with a unified classifier. Specifically, we re-formulate both token and sentence classification tasks into a unified language modeling task, and map label spaces of different tasks into the same vocabulary space. In this way, we can directly re-use the language modeling heads of PLMs, avoiding introducing extra parameters for different tasks. We conduct experiments on six classification benchmarks. The experimental results show that plugin-tuning can achieve comparable performance against fine-tuned PLMs, while further saving around 50% parameters on top of other parameter-efficient methods.

Increasing Visual Awareness in Multimodal Neural Machine Translation from an Information Theoretic Perspective
Baijun Ji | Tong Zhang | Yicheng Zou | Bojie Hu | Si Shen
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Multimodal machine translation (MMT) aims to improve translation quality by equipping the source sentence with its corresponding image. Despite the promising performance, MMT models still suffer the problem of input degradation: models focus more on textual information while visual information is generally overlooked. In this paper, we endeavor to improve MMT performance by increasing visual awareness from an information theoretic perspective. In detail, we decompose the informative visual signals into two parts: source-specific information and target-specific information. We use mutual information to quantify them and propose two methods for objective optimization to better leverage visual signals. Experiments on two datasets demonstrate that our approach can effectively enhance the visual awareness of MMT model and achieve superior results against strong baselines.


TextFlint: Unified Multilingual Robustness Evaluation Toolkit for Natural Language Processing
Xiao Wang | Qin Liu | Tao Gui | Qi Zhang | Yicheng Zou | Xin Zhou | Jiacheng Ye | Yongxin Zhang | Rui Zheng | Zexiong Pang | Qinzhuo Wu | Zhengyan Li | Chong Zhang | Ruotian Ma | Zichu Fei | Ruijian Cai | Jun Zhao | Xingwu Hu | Zhiheng Yan | Yiding Tan | Yuan Hu | Qiyuan Bian | Zhihua Liu | Shan Qin | Bolin Zhu | Xiaoyu Xing | Jinlan Fu | Yue Zhang | Minlong Peng | Xiaoqing Zheng | Yaqian Zhou | Zhongyu Wei | Xipeng Qiu | Xuanjing Huang
Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing: System Demonstrations

TextFlint is a multilingual robustness evaluation toolkit for NLP tasks that incorporates universal text transformation, task-specific transformation, adversarial attack, subpopulation, and their combinations to provide comprehensive robustness analyses. This enables practitioners to automatically evaluate their models from various aspects or to customize their evaluations as desired with just a few lines of code. TextFlint also generates complete analytical reports as well as targeted augmented data to address the shortcomings of the model in terms of its robustness. To guarantee acceptability, all the text transformations are linguistically based and all the transformed data selected (up to 100,000 texts) scored highly under human evaluation. To validate the utility, we performed large-scale empirical evaluations (over 67,000) on state-of-the-art deep learning models, classic supervised methods, and real-world systems. The toolkit is already available at https://github.com/textflint with all the evaluation results demonstrated at textflint.io.

Low-Resource Dialogue Summarization with Domain-Agnostic Multi-Source Pretraining
Yicheng Zou | Bolin Zhu | Xingwu Hu | Tao Gui | Qi Zhang
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

With the rapid increase in the volume of dialogue data from daily life, there is a growing demand for dialogue summarization. Unfortunately, training a large summarization model is generally infeasible due to the inadequacy of dialogue data with annotated summaries. Most existing works for low-resource dialogue summarization directly pretrain models in other domains, e.g., the news domain, but they generally neglect the huge difference between dialogues and conventional articles. To bridge the gap between out-of-domain pretraining and in-domain fine-tuning, in this work, we propose a multi-source pretraining paradigm to better leverage the external summary data. Specifically, we exploit large-scale in-domain non-summary data to separately pretrain the dialogue encoder and the summary decoder. The combined encoder-decoder model is then pretrained on the out-of-domain summary data using adversarial critics, aiming to facilitate domain-agnostic summarization. The experimental results on two public datasets show that with only limited training data, our approach achieves competitive performance and generalizes well in different dialogue scenarios.

Learning Implicit Sentiment in Aspect-based Sentiment Analysis with Supervised Contrastive Pre-Training
Zhengyan Li | Yicheng Zou | Chong Zhang | Qi Zhang | Zhongyu Wei
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Aspect-based sentiment analysis aims to identify the sentiment polarity of a specific aspect in product reviews. We notice that about 30% of reviews do not contain obvious opinion words, but still convey clear human-aware sentiment orientation, which is known as implicit sentiment. However, recent neural network-based approaches paid little attention to implicit sentiment entailed in the reviews. To overcome this issue, we adopt Supervised Contrastive Pre-training on large-scale sentiment-annotated corpora retrieved from in-domain language resources. By aligning the representation of implicit sentiment expressions to those with the same sentiment label, the pre-training process leads to better capture of both implicit and explicit sentiment orientation towards aspects in reviews. Experimental results show that our method achieves state-of-the-art performance on SemEval2014 benchmarks, and comprehensive analysis validates its effectiveness on learning implicit sentiment.

Thinking Clearly, Talking Fast: Concept-Guided Non-Autoregressive Generation for Open-Domain Dialogue Systems
Yicheng Zou | Zhihua Liu | Xingwu Hu | Qi Zhang
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Human dialogue contains evolving concepts, and speakers naturally associate multiple concepts to compose a response. However, current dialogue models with the seq2seq framework lack the ability to effectively manage concept transitions and can hardly introduce multiple concepts to responses in a sequential decoding manner. To facilitate a controllable and coherent dialogue, in this work, we devise a concept-guided non-autoregressive model (CG-nAR) for open-domain dialogue generation. The proposed model comprises a multi-concept planning module that learns to identify multiple associated concepts from a concept graph and a customized Insertion Transformer that performs concept-guided non-autoregressive generation to complete a response. The experimental results on two public datasets show that CG-nAR can produce diverse and coherent responses, outperforming state-of-the-art baselines in both automatic and human evaluations with substantially faster inference speed.


A Lexicon-Based Graph Neural Network for Chinese NER
Tao Gui | Yicheng Zou | Qi Zhang | Minlong Peng | Jinlan Fu | Zhongyu Wei | Xuanjing Huang
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

Recurrent neural networks (RNN) used for Chinese named entity recognition (NER) that sequentially track character and word information have achieved great success. However, the characteristic of chain structure and the lack of global semantics determine that RNN-based models are vulnerable to word ambiguities. In this work, we try to alleviate this problem by introducing a lexicon-based graph neural network with global semantics, in which lexicon knowledge is used to connect characters to capture the local composition, while a global relay node can capture global sentence semantics and long-range dependency. Based on the multiple graph-based interactions among characters, potential words, and the whole-sentence semantics, word ambiguities can be effectively tackled. Experiments on four NER datasets show that the proposed model achieves significant improvements against other baseline models.


A Lexicon-Based Supervised Attention Model for Neural Sentiment Analysis
Yicheng Zou | Tao Gui | Qi Zhang | Xuanjing Huang
Proceedings of the 27th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Attention mechanisms have been leveraged for sentiment classification tasks because not all words have the same importance. However, most existing attention models did not take full advantage of sentiment lexicons, which provide rich sentiment information and play a critical role in sentiment analysis. To achieve the above target, in this work, we propose a novel lexicon-based supervised attention model (LBSA), which allows a recurrent neural network to focus on the sentiment content, thus generating sentiment-informative representations. Compared with general attention models, our model has better interpretability and less noise. Experimental results on three large-scale sentiment classification datasets showed that the proposed method outperforms previous methods.