Zhiruo Wang


2023

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MCoNaLa: A Benchmark for Code Generation from Multiple Natural Languages
Zhiruo Wang | Grace Cuenca | Shuyan Zhou | Frank F. Xu | Graham Neubig
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EACL 2023

While there has been a recent burgeoning of applications at the intersection of natural and programming languages, such as code generation and code summarization, these applications are usually English-centric. This creates a barrier for program developers who are not proficient in English. To mitigate this gap in technology development across languages, we propose a multilingual dataset, MCoNaLa, to benchmark code generation from natural language commands extending beyond English. Modeled off of the methodology from the English Code/Natural Language Challenge (CoNaLa) dataset, we annotated a total of 896 NL-Code pairs in three languages: Spanish, Japanese, and Russian. We present a systematic evaluation on MCoNaLa by testing state-of-the-art code generation systems. Although the difficulties vary across three languages, all systems lag significantly behind their English counterparts, revealing the challenges in adapting code generation to new languages.

2022

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HiTab: A Hierarchical Table Dataset for Question Answering and Natural Language Generation
Zhoujun Cheng | Haoyu Dong | Zhiruo Wang | Ran Jia | Jiaqi Guo | Yan Gao | Shi Han | Jian-Guang Lou | Dongmei Zhang
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Tables are often created with hierarchies, but existing works on table reasoning mainly focus on flat tables and neglect hierarchical tables. Hierarchical tables challenge numerical reasoning by complex hierarchical indexing, as well as implicit relationships of calculation and semantics. We present a new dataset, HiTab, to study question answering (QA) and natural language generation (NLG) over hierarchical tables. HiTab is a cross-domain dataset constructed from a wealth of statistical reports and Wikipedia pages, and has unique characteristics: (1) nearly all tables are hierarchical, and (2) QA pairs are not proposed by annotators from scratch, but are revised from real and meaningful sentences authored by analysts. (3) to reveal complex numerical reasoning in statistical reports, we provide fine-grained annotations of quantity and entity alignment. Experiments suggest that this HiTab presents a strong challenge for existing baselines and a valuable benchmark for future research. Targeting hierarchical structure, we devise a hierarchy-aware logical form for symbolic reasoning over tables, which shows high effectiveness. Targeting table reasoning, we leverage entity and quantity alignment to explore partially supervised training in QA and conditional generation in NLG, and largely reduce spurious predictions in QA and produce better descriptions in NLG.

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Table Retrieval May Not Necessitate Table-specific Model Design
Zhiruo Wang | Zhengbao Jiang | Eric Nyberg | Graham Neubig
Proceedings of the Workshop on Structured and Unstructured Knowledge Integration (SUKI)

Tables are an important form of structured data for both human and machine readers alike, providing answers to questions that cannot, or cannot easily, be found in texts. Recent work has designed special models and training paradigms for table-related tasks such as table-based question answering and table retrieval. Though effective, they add complexity in both modeling and data acquisition compared to generic text solutions and obscure which elements are truly beneficial. In this work, we focus on the task of table retrieval, and ask: “is table-specific model design necessary for table retrieval, or can a simpler text-based model be effectively used to achieve a similar result?’’ First, we perform an analysis on a table-based portion of the Natural Questions dataset (NQ-table), and find that structure plays a negligible role in more than 70% of the cases. Based on this, we experiment with a general Dense Passage Retriever (DPR) based on text and a specialized Dense Table Retriever (DTR) that uses table-specific model designs. We find that DPR performs well without any table-specific design and training, and even achieves superior results compared to DTR when fine-tuned on properly linearized tables. We then experiment with three modules to explicitly encode table structures, namely auxiliary row/column embeddings, hard attention masks, and soft relation-based attention biases. However, none of these yielded significant improvements, suggesting that table-specific model design may not be necessary for table retrieval.

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Retrieval as Attention: End-to-end Learning of Retrieval and Reading within a Single Transformer
Zhengbao Jiang | Luyu Gao | Zhiruo Wang | Jun Araki | Haibo Ding | Jamie Callan | Graham Neubig
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Systems for knowledge-intensive tasks such as open-domain question answering (QA) usually consist of two stages: efficient retrieval of relevant documents from a large corpus and detailed reading of the selected documents. This is usually done through two separate models, a retriever that encodes the query and finds nearest neighbors, and a reader based on Transformers. These two components are usually modeled separately, which necessitates a cumbersome implementation and is awkward to optimize in an end-to-end fashion. In this paper, we revisit this design and eschew the separate architecture and training in favor of a single Transformer that performs retrieval as attention (RAA), and end-to-end training solely based on supervision from the end QA task. We demonstrate for the first time that an end-to-end trained single Transformer can achieve both competitive retrieval and QA performance on in-domain datasets, matching or even slightly outperforming state-of-the-art dense retrievers and readers. Moreover, end-to-end adaptation of our model significantly boosts its performance on out-of-domain datasets in both supervised and unsupervised settings, making our model a simple and adaptable end-to-end solution for knowledge-intensive tasks.

2020

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FastBERT: a Self-distilling BERT with Adaptive Inference Time
Weijie Liu | Peng Zhou | Zhiruo Wang | Zhe Zhao | Haotang Deng | Qi Ju
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Pre-trained language models like BERT have proven to be highly performant. However, they are often computationally expensive in many practical scenarios, for such heavy models can hardly be readily implemented with limited resources. To improve their efficiency with an assured model performance, we propose a novel speed-tunable FastBERT with adaptive inference time. The speed at inference can be flexibly adjusted under varying demands, while redundant calculation of samples is avoided. Moreover, this model adopts a unique self-distillation mechanism at fine-tuning, further enabling a greater computational efficacy with minimal loss in performance. Our model achieves promising results in twelve English and Chinese datasets. It is able to speed up by a wide range from 1 to 12 times than BERT if given different speedup thresholds to make a speed-performance tradeoff.