Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: NAACL 2022

Marine Carpuat, Marie-Catherine de Marneffe, Ivan Vladimir Meza Ruiz (Editors)

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Seattle, United States
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Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: NAACL 2022
Marine Carpuat | Marie-Catherine de Marneffe | Ivan Vladimir Meza Ruiz

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PubHealthTab: A Public Health Table-based Dataset for Evidence-based Fact Checking
Mubashara Akhtar | Oana Cocarascu | Elena Simperl

Inspired by human fact checkers, who use different types of evidence (e.g. tables, images, audio) in addition to text, several datasets with tabular evidence data have been released in recent years. Whilst the datasets encourage research on table fact-checking, they rely on information from restricted data sources, such as Wikipedia for creating claims and extracting evidence data, making the fact-checking process different from the real-world process used by fact checkers. In this paper, we introduce PubHealthTab, a table fact-checking dataset based on real world public health claims and noisy evidence tables from sources similar to those used by real fact checkers. We outline our approach for collecting evidence data from various websites and present an in-depth analysis of our dataset. Finally, we evaluate state-of-the-art table representation and pre-trained models fine-tuned on our dataset, achieving an overall F1 score of 0.73.

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Masked Measurement Prediction: Learning to Jointly Predict Quantities and Units from Textual Context
Daniel Spokoyny | Ivan Lee | Zhao Jin | Taylor Berg-Kirkpatrick

Physical measurements constitute a large portion of numbers in academic papers, engineering reports, and web tables. Current benchmarks fall short of properly evaluating numeracy of pretrained language models on measurements, hindering research on developing new methods and applying them to numerical tasks. To that end, we introduce a novel task, Masked Measurement Prediction (MMP), where a model learns to reconstruct a number together with its associated unit given masked text. MMP is useful for both training new numerically informed models as well as evaluating numeracy of existing systems. To address this task, we introduce a new Generative Masked Measurement (GeMM) model that jointly learns to predict numbers along with their units. We perform fine-grained analyses comparing our model with various ablations and baselines. We use linear probing of traditional pretrained transformer models (RoBERTa) to show that they significantly underperform jointly trained number-unit models, highlighting the difficulty of this new task and the benefits of our proposed pretraining approach. We hope this framework accelerates the progress towards building more robust numerical reasoning systems in the future.

PromptGen: Automatically Generate Prompts using Generative Models
Yue Zhang | Hongliang Fei | Dingcheng Li | Ping Li

Recently, prompt learning has received significant attention, where the downstream tasks are reformulated to the mask-filling task with the help of a textual prompt. The key point of prompt learning is finding the most appropriate prompt. This paper proposes a novel model PromptGen, which can automatically generate prompts conditional on the input sentence. PromptGen is the first work considering dynamic prompt generation for knowledge probing, based on a pre-trained generative model. To mitigate any label information leaking from the pre-trained generative model, when given a generated prompt, we replace the query input with “None”. We pursue that this perturbed context-free prompt cannot trigger the correct label. We evaluate our model on the knowledge probing LAMA benchmark, and show that PromptGen significantly outperforms other baselines.

Improving Conversational Recommendation Systems’ Quality with Context-Aware Item Meta-Information
Bowen Yang | Cong Han | Yu Li | Lei Zuo | Zhou Yu

A key challenge of Conversational Recommendation Systems (CRS) is to integrate the recommendation function and the dialog generation function smoothly. Previous works employ graph neural networks with external knowledge graphs (KG) to model individual recommendation items and integrate KGs with language models through attention mechanism for response generation. Although previous approaches prove effective, there is still room for improvement. For example, KG-based approaches only rely on entity relations and bag-of-words to recommend items and neglect the information in the conversational context. We propose to improve the usage of dialog context for both recommendation and response generation using an encoding architecture along with the self-attention mechanism of transformers. In this paper, we propose a simple yet effective architecture comprising a pre-trained language model (PLM) and an item metadata encoder to integrate the recommendation and the dialog generation better. The proposed item encoder learns to map item metadata to embeddings reflecting the rich information of the item, which can be matched with dialog context. The PLM then consumes the context-aware item embeddings and dialog context to generate high-quality recommendations and responses. Experimental results on the benchmark dataset ReDial show that our model obtains state-of-the-art results on both recommendation and response generation tasks.

SEQZERO: Few-shot Compositional Semantic Parsing with Sequential Prompts and Zero-shot Models
Jingfeng Yang | Haoming Jiang | Qingyu Yin | Danqing Zhang | Bing Yin | Diyi Yang

Recent research showed promising results on combining pretrained language models (LMs) with canonical utterance for few-shot semantic parsing.The canonical utterance is often lengthy and complex due to the compositional structure of formal languages. Learning to generate such canonical utterance requires significant amount of data to reach high performance. Fine-tuning with only few-shot samples, the LMs can easily forget pretrained knowledge, overfit spurious biases, and suffer from compositionally out-of-distribution generalization errors. To tackle these issues, we propose a novel few-shot semantic parsing method – SEQZERO. SEQZERO decomposes the problem into a sequence of sub-problems, which corresponds to the sub-clauses of the formal language. Based on the decomposition, the LMs only need to generate short answers using prompts for predicting sub-clauses. Thus, SEQZERO avoids generating a long canonical utterance at once. Moreover, SEQZERO employs not only a few-shot model but also a zero-shot model to alleviate the overfitting.In particular, SEQZERO brings out the merits from both models via ensemble equipped with our proposed constrained rescaling.SEQZERO achieves SOTA performance of BART-based models on GeoQuery and EcommerceQuery, which are two few-shot datasets with compositional data split.

MultiVerS: Improving scientific claim verification with weak supervision and full-document context
David Wadden | Kyle Lo | Lucy Lu Wang | Arman Cohan | Iz Beltagy | Hannaneh Hajishirzi

The scientific claim verification task requires an NLP system to label scientific documents which Support or Refute an input claim, and to select evidentiary sentences (or rationales) justifying each predicted label. In this work, we present MultiVerS, which predicts a fact-checking label and identifies rationales in a multitask fashion based on a shared encoding of the claim and full document context. This approach accomplishes two key modeling goals. First, it ensures that all relevant contextual information is incorporated into each labeling decision. Second, it enables the model to learn from instances annotated with a document-level fact-checking label, but lacking sentence-level rationales. This allows MultiVerS to perform weakly-supervised domain adaptation by training on scientific documents labeled using high-precision heuristics. Our approach outperforms two competitive baselines on three scientific claim verification datasets, with particularly strong performance in zero / few-shot domain adaptation experiments. Our code and data are available at

An Item Response Theory Framework for Persuasion
Anastassia Kornilova | Vladimir Eidelman | Daniel Douglass

In this paper, we apply Item Response Theory, popular in education and political science research, to the analysis of argument persuasiveness in language. We empirically evaluate the model’s performance on three datasets, including a novel dataset in the area of political advocacy. We show the advantages of separating these components under several style and content representations, including evaluating the ability of the speaker embeddings generated by the model to parallel real-world observations about persuadability.

Self-Supervised Contrastive Learning with Adversarial Perturbations for Defending Word Substitution-based Attacks
Zhao Meng | Yihan Dong | Mrinmaya Sachan | Roger Wattenhofer

In this paper, we present an approach to improve the robustness of BERT language models against word substitution-based adversarial attacks by leveraging adversarial perturbations for self-supervised contrastive learning. We create a word-level adversarial attack generating hard positives on-the-fly as adversarial examples during contrastive learning. In contrast to previous works, our method improves model robustness without using any labeled data. Experimental results show that our method improves robustness of BERT against four different word substitution-based adversarial attacks, and combining our method with adversarial training gives higher robustness than adversarial training alone. As our method improves the robustness of BERT purely with unlabeled data, it opens up the possibility of using large text datasets to train robust language models against word substitution-based adversarial attacks.

Quiz Design Task: Helping Teachers Create Quizzes with Automated Question Generation
Philippe Laban | Chien-Sheng Wu | Lidiya Murakhovs’ka | Wenhao Liu | Caiming Xiong

Question generation (QGen) models are often evaluated with standardized NLG metrics that are based on n-gram overlap.In this paper, we measure whether these metric improvements translate to gains in a practical setting, focusing on the use case of helping teachers automate the generation of reading comprehension quizzes. In our study, teachers building a quiz receive question suggestions, which they can either accept or refuse with a reason. Even though we find that recent progress in QGen leads to a significant increase in question acceptance rates, there is still large room for improvement, with the best model having only 68.4% of its questions accepted by the ten teachers who participated in our study. We then leverage the annotations we collected to analyze standard NLG metrics and find that model performance has reached projected upper-bounds, suggesting new automatic metrics are needed to guide QGen research forward.

In-BoXBART: Get Instructions into Biomedical Multi-Task Learning
Mihir Parmar | Swaroop Mishra | Mirali Purohit | Man Luo | Murad Mohammad | Chitta Baral

Single-task models have proven pivotal in solving specific tasks; however, they have limitations in real-world applications where multi-tasking is necessary and domain shifts are exhibited. Recently, instructional prompts have shown significant improvement towards multi-task generalization; however, the effect of instructional prompts and Multi-Task Learning (MTL) has not been systematically studied in the biomedical domain. Motivated by this, this paper explores the impact of instructional prompts for biomedical MTL. We introduce the BoX, a collection of 32 instruction tasks for Biomedical NLP across (X) various categories. Using this meta-dataset, we propose a unified model termed as In-BoXBART, that can jointly learn all tasks of the BoX without any task-specific modules. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first attempt to propose a unified model in the biomedical domain and use instructions to achieve generalization across several biomedical tasks. Experimental results indicate that the proposed model: 1) outperforms single-task baseline by ~3% and multi-task (without instruction) baseline by ~18% on an average, and 2) shows ~23% improvement compared to single-task baseline in few-shot learning (i.e., 32 instances per task) on an average. Our analysis indicates that there is significant room for improvement across tasks in the BoX, implying the scope for future research direction.

How to Translate Your Samples and Choose Your Shots? Analyzing Translate-train & Few-shot Cross-lingual Transfer
Iman Jundi | Gabriella Lapesa

Translate-train or few-shot cross-lingual transfer can be used to improve the zero-shot performance of multilingual pretrained language models. Few-shot utilizes high-quality low-quantity samples (often manually translated from the English corpus ). Translate-train employs a machine translation of the English corpus, resulting in samples with lower quality that could be scaled to high quantity. Given the lower cost and higher availability of machine translation compared to manual professional translation, it is important to systematically compare few-shot and translate-train, understand when each has an advantage, and investigate how to choose the shots to translate in order to increase the few-shot gain. This work aims to fill this gap: we compare and quantify the performance gain of few-shot vs. translate-train using three different base models and a varying number of samples for three tasks/datasets (XNLI, PAWS-X, XQuAD) spanning 17 languages. We show that scaling up the training data using machine translation gives a larger gain compared to using the small-scale (higher-quality) few-shot data. When few-shot is beneficial, we show that there are random sets of samples that perform better across languages and that the performance on English and on the machine-translation of the samples can both be used to choose the shots to manually translate for an increased few-shot gain.

Multi-Hop Open-Domain Question Answering over Structured and Unstructured Knowledge
Yue Feng | Zhen Han | Mingming Sun | Ping Li

Open-domain question answering systems need to answer question of our interests with structured and unstructured information. However, existing approaches only select one source to generate answer or only conduct reasoning on structured information. In this paper, we pro- pose a Document-Entity Heterogeneous Graph Network, referred to as DEHG, to effectively integrate different sources of information, and conduct reasoning on heterogeneous information. DEHG employs a graph constructor to integrate structured and unstructured information, a context encoder to represent nodes and question, a heterogeneous information reasoning layer to conduct multi-hop reasoning on both information sources, and an answer decoder to generate answers for the question. Experimental results on HybirdQA dataset show that DEHG outperforms the state-of-the-art methods.

FedNLP: Benchmarking Federated Learning Methods for Natural Language Processing Tasks
Bill Yuchen Lin | Chaoyang He | Zihang Ze | Hulin Wang | Yufen Hua | Christophe Dupuy | Rahul Gupta | Mahdi Soltanolkotabi | Xiang Ren | Salman Avestimehr

Increasing concerns and regulations about data privacy and sparsity necessitate the study of privacy-preserving, decentralized learning methods for natural language processing (NLP) tasks. Federated learning (FL) provides promising approaches for a large number of clients (e.g., personal devices or organizations) to collaboratively learn a shared global model to benefit all clients while allowing users to keep their data locally. Despite interest in studying FL methods for NLP tasks, a systematic comparison and analysis is lacking in the literature. Herein, we present the FedNLP, a benchmarking framework for evaluating federated learning methods on four different task formulations: text classification, sequence tagging, question answering, and seq2seq. We propose a universal interface between Transformer-based language models (e.g., BERT, BART) and FL methods (e.g., FedAvg, FedOPT, etc.) under various non-IID partitioning strategies. Our extensive experiments with FedNLP provide empirical comparisons between FL methods and help us better understand the inherent challenges of this direction. The comprehensive analysis points to intriguing and exciting future research aimed at developing FL methods for NLP tasks.

SemAttack: Natural Textual Attacks via Different Semantic Spaces
Boxin Wang | Chejian Xu | Xiangyu Liu | Yu Cheng | Bo Li

Recent studies show that pre-trained language models (LMs) are vulnerable to textual adversarial attacks. However, existing attack methods either suffer from low attack success rates or fail to search efficiently in the exponentially large perturbation space. We propose an efficient and effective framework SemAttack to generate natural adversarial text by constructing different semantic perturbation functions. In particular, SemAttack optimizes the generated perturbations constrained on generic semantic spaces, including typo space, knowledge space (e.g., WordNet), contextualized semantic space (e.g., the embedding space of BERT clusterings), or the combination of these spaces. Thus, the generated adversarial texts are more semantically close to the original inputs. Extensive experiments reveal that state-of-the-art (SOTA) large-scale LMs (e.g., DeBERTa-v2) and defense strategies (e.g., FreeLB) are still vulnerable to SemAttack. We further demonstrate that SemAttack is general and able to generate natural adversarial texts for different languages (e.g., English and Chinese) with high attack success rates. Human evaluations also confirm that our generated adversarial texts are natural and barely affect human performance. Our code is publicly available at

Lacuna Reconstruction: Self-Supervised Pre-Training for Low-Resource Historical Document Transcription
Nikolai Vogler | Jonathan Allen | Matthew Miller | Taylor Berg-Kirkpatrick

We present a self-supervised pre-training approach for learning rich visual language representations for both handwritten and printed historical document transcription. After supervised fine-tuning of our pre-trained encoder representations for low-resource document transcription on two languages, (1) a heterogeneous set of handwritten Islamicate manuscript images and (2) early modern English printed documents, we show a meaningful improvement in recognition accuracy over the same supervised model trained from scratch with as few as 30 line image transcriptions for training. Our masked language model-style pre-training strategy, where the model is trained to be able to identify the true masked visual representation from distractors sampled from within the same line, encourages learning robust contextualized language representations invariant to scribal writing style and printing noise present across documents.

FreeTransfer-X: Safe and Label-Free Cross-Lingual Transfer from Off-the-Shelf Models
Yinpeng Guo | Liangyou Li | Xin Jiang | Qun Liu

Cross-lingual transfer (CLT) is of various applications. However, labeled cross-lingual corpus is expensive or even inaccessible, especially in the fields where labels are private, such as diagnostic results of symptoms in medicine and user profiles in business. Nevertheless, there are off-the-shelf models in these sensitive fields. Instead of pursuing the original labels, a workaround for CLT is to transfer knowledge from the off-the-shelf models without labels. To this end, we define a novel CLT problem named FreeTransfer-X that aims to achieve knowledge transfer from the off-the-shelf models in rich-resource languages. To address the problem, we propose a 2-step knowledge distillation (KD, Hinton et al., 2015) framework based on multilingual pre-trained language models (mPLM). The significant improvement over strong neural machine translation (NMT) baselines demonstrates the effectiveness of the proposed method. In addition to reducing annotation cost and protecting private labels, the proposed method is compatible with different networks and easy to be deployed. Finally, a range of analyses indicate the great potential of the proposed method.

Opportunities for Human-centered Evaluation of Machine Translation Systems
Daniel Liebling | Katherine Heller | Samantha Robertson | Wesley Deng

Machine translation models are embedded in larger user-facing systems. Although model evaluation has matured, evaluation at the systems level is still lacking. We review literature from both the translation studies and HCI communities about who uses machine translation and for what purposes. We emphasize an important difference in evaluating machine translation models versus the physical and cultural systems in which they are embedded. We then propose opportunities for improved measurement of user-facing translation systems. We pay particular attention to the need for design and evaluation to aid engendering trust and enhancing user agency in future machine translation systems.

Aligning Generative Language Models with Human Values
Ruibo Liu | Ge Zhang | Xinyu Feng | Soroush Vosoughi

Although current large-scale generative language models (LMs) can show impressive insights about factual knowledge, they do not exhibit similar success with respect to human values judgements (e.g., whether or not the generations of an LM are moral). Existing methods learn human values either by directly mimicking the behavior of human data, or rigidly constraining the generation space to human-chosen tokens. These methods are inherently limited in that they do not consider the contextual and abstract nature of human values and as a result often fail when dealing with out-of-domain context or sophisticated and abstract human values.This paper proposes SENSEI, a new reinforcement learning based method that can embed human values judgements into each step of language generation. SENSEI deploys an Actor-Critic framework, where the Critic is a reward distributor that simulates the reward assignment procedure of humans, while the Actor guides the generation towards the maximum reward direction. Compared with five existing methods in three human values alignment datasets, SENSEI not only achieves higher alignment performance in terms of both automatic and human evaluations, but also shows improvements on robustness and transfer learning on unseen human values.

PerKGQA: Question Answering over Personalized Knowledge Graphs
Ritam Dutt | Kasturi Bhattacharjee | Rashmi Gangadharaiah | Dan Roth | Carolyn Rose

Previous studies on question answering over knowledge graphs have typically operated over a single knowledge graph (KG). This KG is assumed to be known a priori and is lever- aged similarly for all users’ queries during inference. However, such an assumption is not applicable to real-world settings, such as health- care, where one needs to handle queries of new users over unseen KGs during inference. Furthermore, privacy concerns and high computational costs render it infeasible to query the single KG that has information about all users while answering a specific user’s query. The above concerns motivate our question answer- ing setting over personalized knowledge graphs (PERKGQA) where each user has restricted access to their KG. We observe that current state-of-the-art KGQA methods that require learning prior node representations fare poorly. We propose two complementary approaches, PATHCBR and PATHRGCN for PERKGQA. The former is a simple non-parametric technique that employs case-based reasoning, while the latter is a parametric approach using graph neural networks. Our proposed methods circumvent learning prior representations, can generalize to unseen KGs, and outperform strong baselines on an academic and an internal dataset by 6.5% and 10.5%.

Zero-shot Cross-lingual Conversational Semantic Role Labeling
Han Wu | Haochen Tan | Kun Xu | Shuqi Liu | Lianwei Wu | Linqi Song

While conversational semantic role labeling (CSRL) has shown its usefulness on Chinese conversational tasks, it is still under-explored in non-Chinese languages due to the lack of multilingual CSRL annotations for the parser training. To avoid expensive data collection and error-propagation of translation-based methods, we present a simple but effective approach to perform zero-shot cross-lingual CSRL.Our model implicitly learns language-agnostic, conversational structure-aware and semantically rich representations with the hierarchical encoders and elaborately designed pre-training objectives. Experimental results show that our model outperforms all baselines by large margins on two newly collected English CSRL test sets. More importantly, we confirm the usefulness of CSRL to non-Chinese conversational tasks such as the question-in-context rewriting task in English and the multi-turn dialogue response generation tasks in English, German and Japanese by incorporating the CSRL information into the downstream conversation-based models. We believe this finding is significant and will facilitate the research of non-Chinese dialogue tasks which suffer the problems of ellipsis and anaphora.

A Framework to Generate High-Quality Datapoints for Multiple Novel Intent Detection
Ankan Mullick | Sukannya Purkayastha | Pawan Goyal | Niloy Ganguly

Systems like Voice-command based conversational agents are characterized by a pre-defined set of skills or intents to perform user specified tasks. In the course of time, newer intents may emerge requiring retraining. However, the newer intents may not be explicitly announced and need to be inferred dynamically. Thus, there are two important tasks at hand (a). identifying emerging new intents, (b). annotating data of the new intents so that the underlying classifier can be retrained efficiently. The tasks become specially challenging when a large number of new intents emerge simultaneously and there is a limited budget of manual annotation. In this paper, we propose MNID (Multiple Novel Intent Detection) which is a cluster based framework to detect multiple novel intents with budgeted human annotation cost. Empirical results on various benchmark datasets (of different sizes) demonstrate that MNID, by intelligently using the budget for annotation, outperforms the baseline methods in terms of accuracy and F1-score.

Design Challenges for a Multi-Perspective Search Engine
Sihao Chen | Siyi Liu | Xander Uyttendaele | Yi Zhang | William Bruno | Dan Roth

Many users turn to document retrieval systems (e.g. search engines) to seek answers to controversial or open-ended questions. However, classical document retrieval systems fall short at delivering users a set of direct and diverse responses in such cases, which requires identifying responses within web documents in the context of the query, and aggregating the responses based on their different perspectives. The goal of this work is to survey and study the user information needs for building a multi-perspective search engine of such. We examine the challenges of synthesizing such language understanding objectives with document retrieval, and study a new perspective-oriented document retrieval paradigm. We discuss and assess the inherent natural language understanding challenges one needs to address in order to achieve the goal. Following the design challenges and principles, we propose and evaluate a practical prototype pipeline system. We use the prototype system to conduct a user survey in order to assess the utility of our paradigm, as well as understanding the user information needs when issuing controversial and open-ended queries to a search engine.

Exploring the Value of Multi-View Learning for Session-Aware Query Representation
Diego Ortiz | Jose Moreno | Gilles Hubert | Karen Pinel-Sauvagnat | Lynda Tamine

Recent years have witnessed a growing interest towards learning distributed query representations that are able to capture search intent semantics. Most existing approaches learn query embeddings using relevance supervision making them suited only to document ranking tasks. Besides, they generally consider either user’s query reformulations or system’s rankings whereas previous findings show that user’s query behavior and knowledge change depending on the system’s results, intertwine and affect each other during the completion of a search task. In this paper, we explore the value of multi-view learning for generic and unsupervised session-aware query representation learning. First, single-view query embeddings are obtained in separate spaces from query reformulations and document ranking representations using transformers. Then, we investigate the use of linear (CCA) and non linear (UMAP) multi-view learning methods, to align those spaces with the aim of revealing similarity traits in the multi-view shared space. Experimental evaluation is carried out in a query classification and session-based retrieval downstream tasks using respectively the KDD and TREC session datasets. The results show that multi-view learning is an effective and controllable approach for unsupervised learning of generic query representations and can reflect search behavior patterns.

Hierarchical Relation-Guided Type-Sentence Alignment for Long-Tail Relation Extraction with Distant Supervision
Yang Li | Guodong Long | Tao Shen | Jing Jiang

Distant supervision uses triple facts in knowledge graphs to label a corpus for relation extraction, leading to wrong labeling and long-tail problems. Some works use the hierarchy of relations for knowledge transfer to long-tail relations. However, a coarse-grained relation often implies only an attribute (e.g., domain or topic) of the distant fact, making it hard to discriminate relations based solely on sentence semantics. One solution is resorting to entity types, but open questions remain about how to fully leverage the information of entity types and how to align multi-granular entity types with sentences. In this work, we propose a novel model to enrich distantly-supervised sentences with entity types. It consists of (1) a pairwise type-enriched sentence encoding module injecting both context-free and -related backgrounds to alleviate sentence-level wrong labeling, and (2) a hierarchical type-sentence alignment module enriching a sentence with the triple fact’s basic attributes to support long-tail relations. Our model achieves new state-of-the-art results in overall and long-tail performance on benchmarks.

PCEE-BERT: Accelerating BERT Inference via Patient and Confident Early Exiting
Zhen Zhang | Wei Zhu | Jinfan Zhang | Peng Wang | Rize Jin | Tae-Sun Chung

BERT and other pretrained language models (PLMs) are ubiquitous in modern NLP. Even though PLMs are the state-of-the-art (SOTA) models for almost every NLP task (CITATION), the significant latency during inference prohibits wider industrial usage. In this work, we propose Patient and Confident Early Exiting BERT (PCEE-BERT), an off-the-shelf sample-dependent early exiting method that can work with different PLMs and can also work along with popular model compression methods. With a multi-exit BERT as the backbone model, PCEE-BERT will make the early exiting decision if enough numbers (patience parameter) of consecutive intermediate layers are confident about their predictions. The entropy value measures the confidence level of an intermediate layer’s prediction. Experiments on the GLUE benchmark demonstrate that our method outperforms previous SOTA early exiting methods. Ablation studies show that: (a) our method performs consistently well on other PLMs, such as ALBERT and TinyBERT; (b) PCEE-BERT can achieve different speed-up ratios by adjusting the patience parameter and the confidence threshold. The code for PCEE-BERT can be found at

Learning to repair: Repairing model output errors after deployment using a dynamic memory of feedback
Niket Tandon | Aman Madaan | Peter Clark | Yiming Yang

Large language models (LMs), while powerful, are not immune to mistakes, but can be difficult to retrain. Our goal is for an LM to continue to improve after deployment, without retraining, using feedback from the user. Our approach pairs an LM with (i) a growing memory of cases where the user identified an output error and provided general feedback on how to correct it (ii) a corrector model, trained to translate this general feedback into specific edits to repair the model output. Given a new, unseen input, our model can then use feedback from similar, past cases to repair output errors that may occur. We instantiate our approach using an existing, fixed model for script generation, that takes a goal (e.g., “bake a cake”) and generates a partially ordered sequence of actions to achieve that goal, sometimes containing errors. Our memory-enhanced system, , learns to apply user feedback to repair such errors (up to 30 points improvement), while making a start at avoiding similar past mistakes on new, unseen examples (up to 7 points improvement in a controlled setting). This is a first step towards strengthening deployed models, potentially broadening their utility. Our code and data is available at

One Size Does Not Fit All: The Case for Personalised Word Complexity Models
Sian Gooding | Manuel Tragut

Complex Word Identification (CWI) aims to detect words within a text that a reader may find difficult to understand. It has been shown that CWI systems can improve text simplification, readability prediction and vocabulary acquisition modelling. However, the difficulty of a word is a highly idiosyncratic notion that depends on a reader’s first language, proficiency and reading experience. In this paper, we show that personal models are best when predicting word complexity for individual readers. We use a novel active learning framework that allows models to be tailored to individuals and release a dataset of complexity annotations and models as a benchmark for further research.

TEAM: A multitask learning based Taxonomy Expansion approach for Attach and Merge
Bornali Phukon | Anasua Mitra | Ranbir Sanasam | Priyankoo Sarmah

Taxonomy expansion is a crucial task. Most of Automatic expansion of taxonomy are of two types, attach and merge. In a taxonomy like WordNet, both merge and attach are integral parts of the expansion operations but majority of study consider them separately. This paper proposes a novel mult-task learning-based deep learning method known as Taxonomy Expansion with Attach and Merge (TEAM) that performs both the merge and attach operations. To the best of our knowledge this is the first study which integrates both merge and attach operations in a single model.The proposed models have been evaluated on three separate WordNet taxonomies, viz., Assamese, Bangla, and Hindi. From the various experimental setups, it is shown that TEAM outperforms its state-of-the-art counterparts for attach operation, and also provides highly encouraging performance for the merge operation.

Extracting Temporal Event Relation with Syntax-guided Graph Transformer
Shuaicheng Zhang | Qiang Ning | Lifu Huang

Extracting temporal relations (e.g., before, after, and simultaneous) among events is crucial to natural language understanding. One of the key challenges of this problem is that when the events of interest are far away in text, the context in-between often becomes complicated, making it challenging to resolve the temporal relationship between them. This paper thus proposes a new Syntax-guided Graph Transformer network (SGT) to mitigate this issue, by (1) explicitly exploiting the connection between two events based on their dependency parsing trees, and (2) automatically locating temporal cues between two events via a novel syntax-guided attention mechanism. Experiments on two benchmark datasets, MATRES and TB-DENSE, show that our approach significantly outperforms previous state-of-the-art methods on both end-to-end temporal relation extraction and temporal relation classification with up to 7.9% absolute F-score gain; This improvement also proves to be robust on the contrast set of MATRES. We will make all the programs publicly available once the paper is accepted.

From Cognitive to Computational Modeling: Text-based Risky Decision-Making Guided by Fuzzy Trace Theory
Jaron Mar | Jiamou Liu

Understanding, modelling and predicting human risky decision-making is challenging due to intrinsic individual differences and irrationality. Fuzzy trace theory (FTT) is a powerful paradigm that explains human decision-making by incorporating gists, i.e., fuzzy representations of information which capture only its quintessential meaning. Inspired by Broniatowski and Reyna’s FTT cognitive model, we propose a computational framework which combines the effects of the underlying semantics and sentiments on text-based decision-making. In particular, we introduce Category-2-Vector to learn categorical gists and categorical sentiments, and demonstrate how our computational model can be optimised to predict risky decision-making in groups and individuals.

Few-Shot Self-Rationalization with Natural Language Prompts
Ana Marasovic | Iz Beltagy | Doug Downey | Matthew Peters

Self-rationalization models that predict task labels and generate free-text elaborations for their predictions could enable more intuitive interaction with NLP systems. These models are, however, currently trained with a large amount of human-written free-text explanations for each task which hinders their broader usage. We propose to study a more realistic setting of self-rationalization using few training examples. We present FEB—a standardized collection of four existing English-language datasets and associated metrics. We identify the right prompting approach by extensively exploring natural language prompts on FEB. Then, by using this prompt and scaling the model size, we demonstrate that making progress on few-shot self-rationalization is possible. We show there is still ample room for improvement in this task: the average plausibility of generated explanations assessed by human annotators is at most 51% (with GPT-3), while plausibility of human explanations is 76%. We hope that FEB and our proposed approach will spur the community to take on the few-shot self-rationalization challenge.

DOCmT5: Document-Level Pretraining of Multilingual Language Models
Chia-Hsuan Lee | Aditya Siddhant | Viresh Ratnakar | Melvin Johnson

In this paper, we introduce DOCmT5, a multilingual sequence-to-sequence language model pretrained with large-scale parallel documents. While previous approaches have focused on leveraging sentence-level parallel data, we try to build a general-purpose pretrained model that can understand and generate long documents. We propose a simple and effective pretraining objective - Document reordering Machine Translation (DrMT), in which the input documents that are shuffled and masked need to be translated. DrMT brings consistent improvements over strong baselines on a variety of document-level generation tasks, including over 12 BLEU points for seen-language pair document-level MT, over 7 BLEU points for unseen-language-pair document-level MT and over 3 ROUGE-1 points for seen-language pair cross-lingual summarization. We achieve state-of-the-art (SOTA) on WMT20 De-En and IWSLT15 Zh-En document translation tasks. We also conduct extensive analysis on various factors for document pretraining, including (1) the effects of pretraining data quality and (2) The effects of combining mono-lingual and cross-lingual pretraining. We plan to make our model checkpoints publicly available.

Literature-Augmented Clinical Outcome Prediction
Aakanksha Naik | Sravanthi Parasa | Sergey Feldman | Lucy Lu Wang | Tom Hope

We present BEEP (Biomedical Evidence-Enhanced Predictions), a novel approach for clinical outcome prediction that retrieves patient-specific medical literature and incorporates it into predictive models. Based on each individual patient’s clinical notes, we train language models (LMs) to find relevant papers and fuse them with information from notes to predict outcomes such as in-hospital mortality. We develop methods to retrieve literature based on noisy, information-dense patient notes, and to augment existing outcome prediction models with retrieved papers in a manner that maximizes predictive accuracy. Our approach boosts predictive performance on three important clinical tasks in comparison to strong recent LM baselines, increasing F1 by up to 5 points and precision@Top-K by a large margin of over 25%.

Improving Few-Shot Relation Classification by Prototypical Representation Learning with Definition Text
Li Zhenzhen | Yuyang Zhang | Jian-Yun Nie | Dongsheng Li

Few-shot relation classification is difficult because the few instances available may not represent well the relation patterns. Some existing approaches explored extra information such as relation definition, in addition to the instances, to learn a better relation representation. However, the encoding of the extra information has been performed independently from the labeled instances. In this paper, we propose to learn a prototype encoder from relation definition in a way that is useful for relation instance classification. To this end, we use a joint training approach to train both a prototype encoder from definition and an instance encoder. Extensive experiments on several datasets demonstrate the effectiveness and usefulness of our prototype encoder from definition text, enabling us to outperform state-of-the-art approaches.

Entailment Tree Explanations via Iterative Retrieval-Generation Reasoner
Danilo Neves Ribeiro | Shen Wang | Xiaofei Ma | Rui Dong | Xiaokai Wei | Henghui Zhu | Xinchi Chen | Peng Xu | Zhiheng Huang | Andrew Arnold | Dan Roth

Large language models have achieved high performance on various question answering (QA) benchmarks, but the explainability of their output remains elusive. Structured explanations, called entailment trees, were recently suggested as a way to explain the reasoning behind a QA system’s answer. In order to better generate such entailment trees, we propose an architecture called Iterative Retrieval-Generation Reasoner (IRGR). Our model is able to explain a given hypothesis by systematically generating a step-by-step explanation from textual premises. The IRGR model iteratively searches for suitable premises, constructing a single entailment step at a time. Contrary to previous approaches, our method combines generation steps and retrieval of premises, allowing the model to leverage intermediate conclusions, and mitigating the input size limit of baseline encoder-decoder models. We conduct experiments using the EntailmentBank dataset, where we outperform existing benchmarks on premise retrieval and entailment tree generation, with around 300% gain in overall correctness.

Multimodal Intent Discovery from Livestream Videos
Adyasha Maharana | Quan Tran | Franck Dernoncourt | Seunghyun Yoon | Trung Bui | Walter Chang | Mohit Bansal

Individuals, educational institutions, and businesses are prolific at generating instructional video content such as “how-to” and tutorial guides. While significant progress has been made in basic video understanding tasks, identifying procedural intent within these instructional videos is a challenging and important task that remains unexplored but essential to video summarization, search, and recommendations. This paper introduces the problem of instructional intent identification and extraction from software instructional livestreams. We construct and present a new multimodal dataset consisting of software instructional livestreams and containing manual annotations for both detailed and abstract procedural intent that enable training and evaluation of joint video and text understanding models. We then introduce a multimodal cascaded cross-attention model to efficiently combine the weaker and noisier video signal with the more discriminative text signal. Our experiments show that our proposed model brings significant gains compared to strong baselines, including large-scale pretrained multimodal models. Our analysis further identifies that the task benefits from spatial as well as motion features extracted from videos, and provides insight on how the video signal is preferentially used for intent discovery. We also show that current models struggle to comprehend the nature of abstract intents, revealing important gaps in multimodal understanding and paving the way for future work.

A Question-Answer Driven Approach to Reveal Affirmative Interpretations from Verbal Negations
Md Mosharaf Hossain | Luke Holman | Anusha Kakileti | Tiffany Kao | Nathan Brito | Aaron Mathews | Eduardo Blanco

This paper explores a question-answer driven approach to reveal affirmative interpretations from verbal negations (i.e., when a negation cue grammatically modifies a verb). We create a new corpus consisting of 4,472 verbal negations and discover that 67.1% of them convey that an event actually occurred. Annotators generate and answer 7,277 questions % converted for 4,000 for the 3,001 negations that convey an affirmative interpretation. We first cast the problem of revealing affirmative interpretations from negations as a natural language inference (NLI) classification task. Experimental results show that state-of-the-art transformers trained with existing NLI corpora are insufficient to reveal affirmative interpretations. We also observe, however, that fine-tuning brings substantial improvements. In addition to NLI classification, we also explore the more realistic task of generating affirmative interpretations directly from negations with the T5 transformer. We conclude that the generation task remains a challenge as T5 substantially underperforms humans.

Harmless Transfer Learning for Item Embeddings
Chengyue Gong | Xiaocong Du | Dhruv Choudhary | Bhargav Bhushanam | Qiang Liu | Arun Kejariwal

Learning embedding layers (for classes, words, items, etc.) is a key component of lots of applications, ranging from natural language processing, recommendation systems to electronic health records, etc.However, the frequency of real-world items follows a long-tail distribution in these applications, causing naive training methods perform poorly on the rare items. A line of previous works address this problem by transferring the knowledge from the frequent items to rare items by introducing an auxiliary transfer loss. However, when defined improperly, the transfer loss may introduce harmful biases and deteriorate the performance.In this work, we propose a harmless transfer learning framework that limits the impact of the potential biases in both the definition and optimization of the transfer loss. On the definition side, we reduce the bias in transfer loss by focusing on the items to which information from high-frequency items can be efficiently transferred. On the optimization side, we leverage a lexicographic optimization framework to efficiently incorporate the information of the transfer loss without hurting the minimization of the main prediction loss function. Our method serves as a plug-in module and significantly boosts the performance on a variety of NLP and recommendation system tasks.

Fine-grained Image Captioning with CLIP Reward
Jaemin Cho | Seunghyun Yoon | Ajinkya Kale | Franck Dernoncourt | Trung Bui | Mohit Bansal

Modern image captioning models are usually trained with text similarity objectives. However, since reference captions in public datasets often describe the most salient common objects, models trained with the text similarity objectives tend to ignore specific and detailed aspects of an image that distinguish it from others. Towards more descriptive and distinctive caption generation, we propose to use CLIP, a multimodal encoder trained on huge image-text pairs from the web, to calculate multi-modal similarity and use it as a reward function. We also propose a simple finetuning strategy of CLIP text encoder to improve grammar that does not require extra text annotation. This completely eliminates the need for reference captions during the reward computation. To comprehensively evaluate descriptive captions, we introduce FineCapEval, a new dataset for caption evaluation with fine-grained criteria: overall, background, object, relations. In our experiments on text-to-image retrieval and FineCapEval, the proposed CLIP-guided model generates more distinctive captions than the CIDEroptimized model. We also show that our unsupervised grammar finetuning of the CLIP text encoder alleviates the degeneration problem of the naive CLIP reward. Lastly, we show human analysis where the annotators strongly prefer CLIP reward to CIDEr and MLE objectives on diverse criteria.

Improving the Faithfulness of Abstractive Summarization via Entity Coverage Control
Haopeng Zhang | Semih Yavuz | Wojciech Kryscinski | Kazuma Hashimoto | Yingbo Zhou

Abstractive summarization systems leveraging pre-training language models have achieved superior results on benchmark datasets. However, such models have been shown to be more prone to hallucinate facts that are unfaithful to the input context. In this paper, we propose a method to remedy entity-level extrinsic hallucinations with Entity Coverage Control (ECC). We first compute entity coverage precision and prepend the corresponding control code for each training example, which implicitly guides the model to recognize faithfulness contents in the training phase. We further extend our method via intermediate fine-tuning on large but noisy data extracted from Wikipedia to unlock zero-shot summarization. We show that the proposed method leads to more faithful and salient abstractive summarization in supervised fine-tuning and zero-shot settings according to our experimental results on three benchmark datasets XSum, Pubmed, and SAMSum of very different domains and styles.

Modeling Ideological Salience and Framing in Polarized Online Groups with Graph Neural Networks and Structured Sparsity
Valentin Hofmann | Xiaowen Dong | Janet Pierrehumbert | Hinrich Schuetze

The increasing polarization of online political discourse calls for computational tools that automatically detect and monitor ideological divides in social media. We introduce a minimally supervised method that leverages the network structure of online discussion forums, specifically Reddit, to detect polarized concepts. We model polarization along the dimensions of salience and framing, drawing upon insights from moral psychology. Our architecture combines graph neural networks with structured sparsity learning and results in representations for concepts and subreddits that capture temporal ideological dynamics such as right-wing and left-wing radicalization.

On Measuring Social Biases in Prompt-Based Multi-Task Learning
Afra Feyza Akyürek | Sejin Paik | Muhammed Kocyigit | Seda Akbiyik | Serife Leman Runyun | Derry Wijaya

Large language models trained on a mixture of NLP tasks that are converted into a text-to-text format using prompts, can generalize into novel forms of language and handle novel tasks. A large body of work within prompt engineering attempts to understand the effects of input forms and prompts in achieving superior performance. We consider an alternative measure and inquire whether the way in which an input is encoded affects social biases promoted in outputs. In this paper, we study T0, a large-scale multi-task text-to-text language model trained using prompt-based learning. We consider two different forms of semantically equivalent inputs: question-answer format and premise-hypothesis format. We use an existing bias benchmark for the former BBQ and create the first bias benchmark in natural language inference BBNLI with hand-written hypotheses while also converting each benchmark into the other form. The results on two benchmarks suggest that given two different formulations of essentially the same input, T0 conspicuously acts more biased in question answering form, which is seen during training, compared to premise-hypothesis form which is unlike its training examples. Code and data are released under

Anti-Overestimation Dialogue Policy Learning for Task-Completion Dialogue System
Chang Tian | Wenpeng Yin | Marie-Francine Moens

A dialogue policy module is an essential part of task-completion dialogue systems. Recently, increasing interest has focused on reinforcement learning (RL)-based dialogue policy. Its favorable performance and wise action decisions rely on an accurate estimation of action values. The overestimation problem is a widely known issue of RL since its estimate of the maximum action value is larger than the ground truth, which results in an unstable learning process and suboptimal policy. This problem is detrimental to RL-based dialogue policy learning. To mitigate this problem, this paper proposes a dynamic partial average estimator (DPAV) of the ground truth maximum action value. DPAV calculates the partial average between the predicted maximum action value and minimum action value, where the weights are dynamically adaptive and problem-dependent. We incorporate DPAV into a deep Q-network as the dialogue policy and show that our method can achieve better or comparable results compared to top baselines on three dialogue datasets of different domains with a lower computational load. In addition, we also theoretically prove the convergence and derive the upper and lower bounds of the bias compared with those of other methods.

Penn-Helsinki Parsed Corpus of Early Modern English: First Parsing Results and Analysis
Seth Kulick | Neville Ryant | Beatrice Santorini

The Penn-Helsinki Parsed Corpus of Early Modern English (PPCEME), a 1.7-million-word treebank that is an important resource for research in syntactic change, has several properties that present potential challenges for NLP technologies. We describe these key features of PPCEME that make it challenging for parsing, including a larger and more varied set of function tags than in the Penn Treebank, and present results for this corpus using a modified version of the Berkeley Neural Parser and the approach to function tag recovery of Gabbard et al. (2006). While this approach to function tag recovery gives reasonable results, it is in some ways inappropriate for span-based parsers. We also present further evidence of the importance of in-domain pretraining for contextualized word representations. The resulting parser will be used to parse Early English Books Online, a 1.5 billion word corpus whose utility for the study of syntactic change will be greatly increased with the addition of accurate parse trees.

Instilling Type Knowledge in Language Models via Multi-Task QA
Shuyang Li | Mukund Sridhar | Chandana Satya Prakash | Jin Cao | Wael Hamza | Julian McAuley

Understanding human language often necessitates understanding entities and their place in a taxonomy of knowledge—their types.Previous methods to learn entity types rely on training classifiers on datasets with coarse, noisy, and incomplete labels. We introduce a method to instill fine-grained type knowledge in language models with text-to-text pre-training on type-centric questions leveraging knowledge base documents and knowledge graphs.We create the WikiWiki dataset: entities and passages from 10M Wikipedia articles linked to the Wikidata knowledge graph with 41K types.Models trained on WikiWiki achieve state-of-the-art performance in zero-shot dialog state tracking benchmarks, accurately infer entity types in Wikipedia articles, and can discover new types deemed useful by human judges.

StATIK: Structure and Text for Inductive Knowledge Graph Completion
Elan Markowitz | Keshav Balasubramanian | Mehrnoosh Mirtaheri | Murali Annavaram | Aram Galstyan | Greg Ver Steeg

Knowledge graphs (KGs) often represent knowledge bases that are incomplete. Machine learning models can alleviate this by helping automate graph completion. Recently, there has been growing interest in completing knowledge bases that are dynamic, where previously unseen entities may be added to the KG with many missing links. In this paper, we present StATIKStructure And Text for Inductive Knowledge Completion. StATIK uses Language Models to extract the semantic information from text descriptions, while using Message Passing Neural Networks to capture the structural information. StATIK achieves state of the art results on three challenging inductive baselines. We further analyze our hybrid model through detailed ablation studies.

CoCoA-MT: A Dataset and Benchmark for Contrastive Controlled MT with Application to Formality
Maria Nadejde | Anna Currey | Benjamin Hsu | Xing Niu | Marcello Federico | Georgiana Dinu

The machine translation (MT) task is typically formulated as that of returning a single translation for an input segment. However, in many cases, multiple different translations are valid and the appropriate translation may depend on the intended target audience, characteristics of the speaker, or even the relationship between speakers. Specific problems arise when dealing with honorifics, particularly translating from English into languages with formality markers. For example, the sentence “Are you sure?” can be translated in German as “Sind Sie sich sicher?” (formal register) or “Bist du dir sicher?” (informal). Using wrong or inconsistent tone may be perceived as inappropriate or jarring for users of certain cultures and demographics. This work addresses the problem of learning to control target language attributes, in this case formality, from a small amount of labeled contrastive data. We introduce an annotated dataset (CoCoA-MT) and an associated evaluation metric for training and evaluating formality-controlled MT models for six diverse target languages. We show that we can train formality-controlled models by fine-tuning on labeled contrastive data, achieving high accuracy (82% in-domain and 73% out-of-domain) while maintaining overall quality.

CLEAR: Improving Vision-Language Navigation with Cross-Lingual, Environment-Agnostic Representations
Jialu Li | Hao Tan | Mohit Bansal

Vision-and-Language Navigation (VLN) tasks require an agent to navigate through the environment based on language instructions. In this paper, we aim to solve two key challenges in this task: utilizing multilingual instructions for improved instruction-path grounding and navigating through new environments that are unseen during training. To address these challenges, first, our agent learns a shared and visually-aligned cross-lingual language representation for the three languages (English, Hindi and Telugu) in the Room-Across-Room dataset. Our language representation learning is guided by text pairs that are aligned by visual information. Second, our agent learns an environment-agnostic visual representation by maximizing the similarity between semantically-aligned image pairs (with constraints on object-matching) from different environments. Our environment agnostic visual representation can mitigate the environment bias induced by low-level visual information. Empirically, on the Room-Across-Room dataset, we show that our multi-lingual agent gets large improvements in all metrics over the strong baseline model when generalizing to unseen environments with the cross-lingual language representation and the environment-agnostic visual representation. Furthermore, we show that our learned language and visual representations can be successfully transferred to the Room-to-Room and Cooperative Vision-and-Dialogue Navigation task, and present detailed qualitative and quantitative generalization and grounding analysis.

Language Models for Code-switch Detection of te reo Māori and English in a Low-resource Setting
Jesin James | Vithya Yogarajan | Isabella Shields | Catherine Watson | Peter Keegan | Keoni Mahelona | Peter-Lucas Jones

Te reo Māori, New Zealand’s only indigenous language, is code-switched with English. Māori speakers are atleast bilingual, and the use of Māori is increasing in New Zealand English. Unfortunately, due to the minimal availability of resources, including digital data, Māori is under-represented in technological advances. Cloud-based multilingual systems such as Google and Microsoft Azure support Māori language detection. However, we provide experimental evidence to show that the accuracy of such systems is low when detecting Māori. Hence, with the support of Māori community, we collect Māori and bilingual data to use natural language processing (NLP) to improve Māori language detection. We train bilingual sub-word embeddings and provide evidence to show that our bilingual embeddings improve overall accuracy compared to the publicly-available monolingual embeddings. This improvement has been verified for various NLP tasks using three bilingual databases containing formal transcripts and informal social media data. We also show that BiLSTM with pre-trained Māori-English sub-word embeddings outperforms large-scale contextual language models such as BERT on down streaming tasks of detecting Māori language. However, this research uses large models ‘as is’ for transfer learning, where no further training was done on Māori-English data. The best accuracy of 87% was obtained using BiLSTM with bilingual embeddings to detect Māori-English code-switching points.

Opponent Modeling in Negotiation Dialogues by Related Data Adaptation
Kushal Chawla | Gale Lucas | Jonathan May | Jonathan Gratch

Opponent modeling is the task of inferring another party’s mental state within the context of social interactions. In a multi-issue negotiation, it involves inferring the relative importance that the opponent assigns to each issue under discussion, which is crucial for finding high-value deals. A practical model for this task needs to infer these priorities of the opponent on the fly based on partial dialogues as input, without needing additional annotations for training. In this work, we propose a ranker for identifying these priorities from negotiation dialogues. The model takes in a partial dialogue as input and predicts the priority order of the opponent. We further devise ways to adapt related data sources for this task to provide more explicit supervision for incorporating the opponent’s preferences and offers, as a proxy to relying on granular utterance-level annotations. We show the utility of our proposed approach through extensive experiments based on two dialogue datasets. We find that the proposed data adaptations lead to strong performance in zero-shot and few-shot scenarios. Moreover, they allow the model to perform better than baselines while accessing fewer utterances from the opponent. We release our code to support future work in this direction.

LMTurk: Few-Shot Learners as Crowdsourcing Workers in a Language-Model-as-a-Service Framework
Mengjie Zhao | Fei Mi | Yasheng Wang | Minglei Li | Xin Jiang | Qun Liu | Hinrich Schuetze

Vast efforts have been devoted to creating high-performance few-shot learners, i.e., large-scale pretrained language models (PLMs) that perform well with little downstream task training data. Training PLMs has incurred significant cost, but utilizing the few-shot learners is still challenging due to their enormous size. This work focuses on a crucial question: How to make effective use of these few-shot learners? We propose LMTurk, a novel approach that treats few-shotlearners as crowdsourcing workers. The rationale is that crowdsourcing workers are in fact few-shot learners: They are shown a few illustrative examples to learn about a task and then start annotating. LMTurk employs few-shot learners built upon PLMs as workers. We show that the resulting annotations can be utilized to train models that solve the task well and are small enough to be deployable in practical scenarios. Active learning is integrated into LMTurk to reduce the amount of queries made to PLMs, minimizing the computational cost of running PLM inference passes. Altogether, LMTurk is an important step towards making effective use of current PLMs.

Entity Cloze By Date: What LMs Know About Unseen Entities
Yasumasa Onoe | Michael Zhang | Eunsol Choi | Greg Durrett

Language models (LMs) are typically trained once on a large-scale corpus and used for years without being updated. However, in a dynamic world, new entities constantly arise. We propose a framework to analyze what LMs can infer about new entities that did not exist when the LMs were pretrained. We derive a dataset of entities indexed by their origination date and paired with their English Wikipedia articles, from which we can find sentences about each entity. We evaluate LMs’ perplexity on masked spans within these sentences. We show that models more informed about the entities, such as those with access to a textual definition of them, achieve lower perplexity on this benchmark. Our experimental results demonstrate that making inferences about new entities remains difficult for LMs. Given its wide coverage on entity knowledge and temporal indexing, our dataset can be used to evaluate LMs and techniques designed to modify or extend their knowledge. Our automatic data collection pipeline can be easily used to continually update our benchmark.

Data Augmentation for Low-Resource Dialogue Summarization
Yongtai Liu | Joshua Maynez | Gonçalo Simões | Shashi Narayan

We present DADS, a novel Data Augmentation technique for low-resource Dialogue Summarization. Our method generates synthetic examples by replacing sections of text from both the input dialogue and summary while preserving the augmented summary to correspond to a viable summary for the augmented dialogue. We utilize pretrained language models that produce highly likely dialogue alternatives while still being free to generate diverse alternatives. We applied our data augmentation method to the SAMSum dataset in low resource scenarios, mimicking real world problems such as chat, thread, and meeting summarization where large scale supervised datasets with human-written summaries are scarce. Through both automatic and human evaluations, we show that DADS shows strong improvements for low resource scenarios while generating topically diverse summaries without introducing additional hallucinations to the summaries.

A Versatile Adaptive Curriculum Learning Framework for Task-oriented Dialogue Policy Learning
Yang Zhao | Hua Qin | Wang Zhenyu | Changxi Zhu | Shihan Wang

Training a deep reinforcement learning-based dialogue policy with brute-force random sampling is costly. A new training paradigm was proposed to improve learning performance and efficiency by combining curriculum learning. However, attempts in the field of dialogue policy are very limited due to the lack of reliable evaluation of difficulty scores of dialogue tasks and the high sensitivity to the mode of progression through dialogue tasks. In this paper, we present a novel versatile adaptive curriculum learning (VACL) framework, which presents a substantial step toward applying automatic curriculum learning on dialogue policy tasks. It supports evaluating the difficulty of dialogue tasks only using the learning experiences of dialogue policy and skip-level selection according to their learning needs to maximize the learning efficiency. Moreover, an attractive feature of VACL is the construction of a generic, elastic global curriculum while training a good dialogue policy that could guide different dialogue policy learning without extra effort on re-training. The superiority and versatility of VACL are validated on three public dialogue datasets.

LongT5: Efficient Text-To-Text Transformer for Long Sequences
Mandy Guo | Joshua Ainslie | David Uthus | Santiago Ontanon | Jianmo Ni | Yun-Hsuan Sung | Yinfei Yang

Recent work has shown that either (1) increasing the input length or (2) increasing model size can improve the performance of Transformer-based neural models. In this paper, we present LongT5, a new model that explores the effects of scaling both the input length and model size at the same time. Specifically, we integrate attention ideas from long-input transformers (ETC), and adopt pre-training strategies from summarization pre-training (PEGASUS) into the scalable T5 architecture. The result is a new attention mechanism we call Transient Global (TGlobal), which mimics ETC’s local/global attention mechanism, but without requiring additional side-inputs. We are able to achieve state-of-the-art results on several summarization and question answering tasks, as well as outperform the original T5 models on these tasks. We have open sourced our architecture and training code, as well as our pre-trained model checkpoints.

Challenging America: Modeling language in longer time scales
Jakub Pokrywka | Filip Graliński | Krzysztof Jassem | Karol Kaczmarek | Krzysztof Jurkiewicz | Piotr Wierzchon

The aim of the paper is to apply, for historical texts, the methodology used commonly to solve various NLP tasks defined for contemporary data, i.e. pre-train and fine-tune large Transformer models. This paper introduces an ML challenge, named Challenging America (ChallAm), based on OCR-ed excerpts from historical newspapers collected from the Chronicling America portal. ChallAm provides a dataset of clippings, labeled with metadata on their origin, and paired with their textual contents retrieved by an OCR tool. Three, publicly available, ML tasks are defined in the challenge: to determine the article date, to detect the location of the issue, and to deduce a word in a text gap (cloze test). Strong baselines are provided for all three ChallAm tasks. In particular, we pre-trained a RoBERTa model from scratch from the historical texts. We also discuss the issues of discrimination and hate-speech present in the historical American texts.

LM-CORE: Language Models with Contextually Relevant External Knowledge
Jivat Kaur | Sumit Bhatia | Milan Aggarwal | Rachit Bansal | Balaji Krishnamurthy

Large transformer-based pre-trained language models have achieved impressive performance on a variety of knowledge-intensive tasks and can capture factual knowledge in their parameters. We argue that storing large amounts of knowledge in the model parameters is sub-optimal given the ever-growing amounts of knowledge and resource requirements. We posit that a more efficient alternative is to provide explicit access to contextually relevant structured knowledge to the model and train it to use that knowledge. We present LM-CORE – a general framework to achieve this– that allows decoupling of the language model training from the external knowledge source and allows the latter to be updated without affecting the already trained model. Experimental results show that LM-CORE, having access to external knowledge, achieves significant and robust outperformance over state-of-the-art knowledge-enhanced language models on knowledge probing tasks; can effectively handle knowledge updates; and performs well on two downstream tasks. We also present a thorough error analysis highlighting the successes and failures of LM-CORE. Our code and model checkpoints are publicly available.

A Generative Language Model for Few-shot Aspect-Based Sentiment Analysis
Ehsan Hosseini-Asl | Wenhao Liu | Caiming Xiong

Sentiment analysis is an important task in natural language processing. In recent works, pre-trained language models are often used to achieve state-of-the-art results, especially when training data is scarce. It is common to fine-tune on the downstream task, usually by adding task-specific layers on top of the model. In this paper, we focus on aspect-based sentiment analysis, which involves extracting aspect term, category, and predicting their corresponding polarities. In particular, we are interested in few-shot settings. We propose to reformulate the extraction and prediction tasks into the sequence generation task, using a generative language model with unidirectional attention (GPT2 is used unless stated otherwise). This way, the model learns to accomplish the tasks via language generation without the need of training task-specific layers. Our evaluation results on the single-task polarity prediction show that our approach outperforms the previous state-of-the-art (based on BERT) on average performance by a large margins in few-shot and full-shot settings. More importantly, our generative approach significantly reduces the model variance caused by low-resource data. We further demonstrate that the proposed generative language model can handle joint and multi-task settings, unlike previous work. We observe that the proposed sequence generation method achieves further improved performances on polarity prediction when the model is trained via joint and multi-task settings. Further evaluation on similar sentiment analysis datasets, SST-2, SST-5 and OOS intent detection validates the superiority and noise robustness of generative language model in few-shot settings.

Permutation Invariant Strategy Using Transformer Encoders for Table Understanding
Sarthak Dash | Sugato Bagchi | Nandana Mihindukulasooriya | Alfio Gliozzo

Representing text in tables is essential for many business intelligence tasks such as semantic retrieval, data exploration and visualization, and question answering. Existing methods that leverage pretrained Transformer encoders range from a simple construction of pseudo-sentences by concatenating text across rows or columns to complex parameter-intensive models that encode table structure and require additional pretraining. In this work, we introduce a novel encoding strategy for Transformer encoders that preserves the critical property of permutation invariance across rows or columns. Unlike existing state-of-the-art methods for Table Understanding, our proposed approach does not require any additional pretraining and still substantially outperforms existing methods in almost all instances. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our proposed approach on three table interpretation tasks: column type annotation, relation extraction, and entity linking through extensive experiments on existing tabular datasets.

MultiNERD: A Multilingual, Multi-Genre and Fine-Grained Dataset for Named Entity Recognition (and Disambiguation)
Simone Tedeschi | Roberto Navigli

Named Entity Recognition (NER) is the task of identifying named entities in texts and classifying them through specific semantic categories, a process which is crucial for a wide range of NLP applications. Current datasets for NER focus mainly on coarse-grained entity types, tend to consider a single textual genre and to cover a narrow set of languages, thus limiting the general applicability of NER systems.In this work, we design a new methodology for automatically producing NER annotations, and address the aforementioned limitations by introducing a novel dataset that covers 10 languages, 15 NER categories and 2 textual genres.We also introduce a manually-annotated test set, and extensively evaluate the quality of our novel dataset on both this new test set and standard benchmarks for NER.In addition, in our dataset, we include: i) disambiguation information to enable the development of multilingual entity linking systems, and ii) image URLs to encourage the creation of multimodal systems.We release our dataset at

Learning to Embed Multi-Modal Contexts for Situated Conversational Agents
Haeju Lee | Oh Joon Kwon | Yunseon Choi | Minho Park | Ran Han | Yoonhyung Kim | Jinhyeon Kim | Youngjune Lee | Haebin Shin | Kangwook Lee | Kee-Eung Kim

The Situated Interactive Multi-Modal Conversations (SIMMC) 2.0 aims to create virtual shopping assistants that can accept complex multi-modal inputs, i.e. visual appearances of objects and user utterances. It consists of four subtasks, multi-modal disambiguation (MM-Disamb), multi-modal coreference resolution (MM-Coref), multi-modal dialog state tracking (MM-DST), and response retrieval and generation. While many task-oriented dialog systems usually tackle each subtask separately, we propose a jointly learned multi-modal encoder-decoder that incorporates visual inputs and performs all four subtasks at once for efficiency. This approach won the MM-Coref and response retrieval subtasks and nominated runner-up for the remaining subtasks using a single unified model at the 10th Dialog Systems Technology Challenge (DSTC10), setting a high bar for the novel task of multi-modal task-oriented dialog systems.

Measuring and Improving Compositional Generalization in Text-to-SQL via Component Alignment
Yujian Gan | Xinyun Chen | Qiuping Huang | Matthew Purver

In text-to-SQL tasks — as in much of NLP — compositional generalization is a major challenge: neural networks struggle with compositional generalization where training and test distributions differ. However, most recent attempts to improve this are based on word-level synthetic data or specific dataset splits to generate compositional biases. In this work, we propose a clause-level compositional example generation method. We first split the sentences in the Spider text-to-SQL dataset into sub-sentences, annotating each sub-sentence with its corresponding SQL clause, resulting in a new dataset Spider-SS. We then construct a further dataset, Spider-CG, by composing Spider-SS sub-sentences in different combinations, to test the ability of models to generalize compositionally. Experiments show that existing models suffer significant performance degradation when evaluated on Spider-CG, even though every sub-sentence is seen during training. To deal with this problem, we modify a number of state-of-the-art models to train on the segmented data of Spider-SS, and we show that this method improves the generalization performance.

Empathetic Persuasion: Reinforcing Empathy and Persuasiveness in Dialogue Systems
Azlaan Mustafa Samad | Kshitij Mishra | Mauajama Firdaus | Asif Ekbal

Persuasion is an intricate process involving empathetic connection between two individuals. Plain persuasive responses may make a conversation non-engaging. Even the most well-intended and reasoned persuasive conversations can fall through in the absence of empathetic connection between the speaker and listener. In this paper, we propose a novel task of incorporating empathy when generating persuasive responses. We develop an empathetic persuasive dialogue system by fine-tuning a maximum likelihood Estimation (MLE)-based language model in a reinforcement learning (RL) framework. To design feedbacks for our RL-agent, we define an effective and efficient reward function considering consistency, repetitiveness, emotion and persuasion rewards to ensure consistency, non-repetitiveness, empathy and persuasiveness in the generated responses. Due to lack of emotion annotated persuasive data, we first annotate the existing Persuaion For Good dataset with emotions, then build transformer based classifiers to provide emotion based feedbacks to our RL agent. Experimental results confirm that our proposed model increases the rate of generating persuasive responses as compared to the available state-of-the-art dialogue models while making the dialogues empathetically more engaging and retaining the language quality in responses.

Attention Fusion: a light yet efficient late fusion mechanism for task adaptation in NLU
Jin Cao | Chandana Satya Prakash | Wael Hamza

Fine-tuning a pre-trained language model using annotated data has become the de-facto standard for adapting general-purpose pre-trained models like BERT to downstream tasks. However, given the trend of larger pre-trained models, fine-tuning these models for each downstream task is parameter-inefficient and computationally-expensive deeming this approach sub-optimal for adoption by NLU systems. In recent years, various approaches have been proposed for parameter efficient task adaptation such as Adaptor, Bitfit, Prompt tuning, Prefix tuning etc. However, most of these efforts propose to insert task specific parameters in-between or inside intermediate layers of the pre-trained encoder resulting in higher computational cost due to back-propagation of errors to all layers. To mitigate this issue, we propose a light but efficient, attention based fusion module which computes task-attuned token representations by aggregating intermediate layer representations from a pre-trained network. Our proposed fusion module trains only 0.0009% of total parameters and achieves competitive performance to the standard fine-tuning approach on various tasks. It is also decoupled from the pre-trained network making it efficient during computation and scalable during deployment. Last but not the least, we demonstrate that our proposed attention-fusion mechanism can transfer effectively to different languages for further re-use and expansion.

The Limits of Word Level Differential Privacy
Justus Mattern | Benjamin Weggenmann | Florian Kerschbaum

As the issues of privacy and trust are receiving increasing attention within the research community, various attempts have been made to anonymize textual data. A significant subset of these approaches incorporate differentially private mechanims to perturb word embeddings, thus replacing individual words in a sentence. While these methods represent very important contributions, have various advantages over other techniques and do show anonymization capabilities,they have several shortcomings. In this paper, we investigate these weaknesses and demonstrate significant mathematical constraints diminishing the theoretical privacy guaranteeas well as major practical shortcomings with regard to the protection against deanonymization attacks, the preservation of content of the original sentences as well as the quality of the language output. Finally, we propose a new method for text anonymization based on transformer based language models fine-tuned for paraphrasing that circumvents most of the identified weaknesses and also offers a formal privacy guarantee. We evaluate the performance of our method via thourough experimentation and demonstrate superior performance over the discussed mechanisms.

Efficient Learning of Multiple NLP Tasks via Collective Weight Factorization on BERT
Christos Papadopoulos | Yannis Panagakis | Manolis Koubarakis | Mihalis Nicolaou

The Transformer architecture continues to show remarkable performance gains in many Natural Language Processing tasks. However, obtaining such state-of-the-art performance in different tasks requires fine-tuning the same model separately for each task. Clearly, such an approach is demanding in terms of both memory requirements and computing power. In this paper, aiming to improve training efficiency across multiple tasks, we propose to collectively factorize the weighs of the multi-head attention module of a pre-trained Transformer. We test our proposed method on finetuning multiple natural language understanding tasks by employing BERT-Large as an instantiation of the Transformer and the GLUE as the evaluation benchmark. Experimental results show that our method requires training and storing only 1% of the initial model parameters for each task and matches or improves the original fine-tuned model’s performance for each task while effectively decreasing the parameter requirements by two orders of magnitude. Furthermore, compared to well-known adapter-based alternatives on the GLUE benchmark, our method consistently reaches the same levels of performance while requiring approximately four times fewer total and trainable parameters per task.

Learning Rich Representation of Keyphrases from Text
Mayank Kulkarni | Debanjan Mahata | Ravneet Arora | Rajarshi Bhowmik

In this work, we explore how to train task-specific language models aimed towards learning rich representation of keyphrases from text documents. We experiment with different masking strategies for pre-training transformer language models (LMs) in discriminative as well as generative settings. In the discriminative setting, we introduce a new pre-training objective - Keyphrase Boundary Infilling with Replacement (KBIR), showing large gains in performance (upto 8.16 points in F1) over SOTA, when the LM pre-trained using KBIR is fine-tuned for the task of keyphrase extraction. In the generative setting, we introduce a new pre-training setup for BART - KeyBART, that reproduces the keyphrases related to the input text in the CatSeq format, instead of the denoised original input. This also led to gains in performance (upto 4.33 points in F1@M) over SOTA for keyphrase generation. Additionally, we also fine-tune the pre-trained language models on named entity recognition (NER), question answering (QA), relation extraction (RE), abstractive summarization and achieve comparable performance with that of the SOTA, showing that learning rich representation of keyphrases is indeed beneficial for many other fundamental NLP tasks.

Improving Contextual Representation with Gloss Regularized Pre-training
Yu Lin | Zhecheng An | Peihao Wu | Zejun Ma

Though achieving impressive results on many NLP tasks, the BERT-like masked language models (MLM) encounter the discrepancy between pre-training and inference. In light of this gap, we investigate the contextual representation of pre-training and inference from the perspective of word probability distribution. We discover that BERT risks neglecting the contextual word similarity in pre-training. To tackle this issue, we propose an auxiliary gloss regularizer module to BERT pre-training (GR-BERT), to enhance word semantic similarity. By predicting masked words and aligning contextual embeddings to corresponding glosses simultaneously, the word similarity can be explicitly modeled. We design two architectures for GR-BERT and evaluate our model in downstream tasks. Experimental results show that the gloss regularizer benefits BERT in word-level and sentence-level semantic representation. The GR-BERT achieves new state-of-the-art in lexical substitution task and greatly promotes BERT sentence representation in both unsupervised and supervised STS tasks.

An Information-Theoretic Approach and Dataset for Probing Gender Stereotypes in Multilingual Masked Language Models
Victor Steinborn | Philipp Dufter | Haris Jabbar | Hinrich Schuetze

Bias research in NLP is a rapidly growing and developing field. Similar to CrowS-Pairs (Nangia et al., 2020), we assess gender bias in masked-language models (MLMs) by studying pairs of sentences with gender swapped person references.Most bias research focuses on and often is specific to English.Using a novel methodology for creating sentence pairs that is applicable across languages, we create, based on CrowS-Pairs, a multilingual dataset for English, Finnish, German, Indonesian and Thai.Additionally, we propose SJSD, a new bias measure based on Jensen–Shannon divergence, which we argue retains more information from the model output probabilities than other previously proposed bias measures for MLMs.Using multilingual MLMs, we find that SJSD diagnoses the same systematic biased behavior for non-English that previous studies have found for monolingual English pre-trained MLMs. SJSD outperforms the CrowS-Pairs measure, which struggles to find such biases for smaller non-English datasets.

Self-Training with Differentiable Teacher
Simiao Zuo | Yue Yu | Chen Liang | Haoming Jiang | Siawpeng Er | Chao Zhang | Tuo Zhao | Hongyuan Zha

Self-training achieves enormous success in various semi-supervised and weakly-supervised learning tasks. The method can be interpreted as a teacher-student framework, where the teacher generates pseudo-labels, and the student makes predictions. The two models are updated alternatingly. However, such a straightforward alternating update rule leads to training instability. This is because a small change in the teacher may result in a significant change in the student. To address this issue, we propose DRIFT, short for differentiable self-training, that treats teacher-student as a Stackelberg game. In this game, a leader is always in a more advantageous position than a follower. In self-training, the student contributes to the prediction performance, and the teacher controls the training process by generating pseudo-labels. Therefore, we treat the student as the leader and the teacher as the follower. The leader procures its advantage by acknowledging the follower’s strategy, which involves differentiable pseudo-labels and differentiable sample weights. Consequently, the leader-follower interaction can be effectively captured via Stackelberg gradient, obtained by differentiating the follower’s strategy. Experimental results on semi- and weakly-supervised classification and named entity recognition tasks show that our model outperforms existing approaches by large margins.

SHARP: Search-Based Adversarial Attack for Structured Prediction
Liwen Zhang | Zixia Jia | Wenjuan Han | Zilong Zheng | Kewei Tu

Adversarial attack of structured prediction models faces various challenges such as the difficulty of perturbing discrete words, the sentence quality issue, and the sensitivity of outputs to small perturbations. In this work, we introduce SHARP, a new attack method that formulates the black-box adversarial attack as a search-based optimization problem with a specially designed objective function considering sentence fluency, meaning preservation and attacking effectiveness. Additionally, three different searching strategies are analyzed and compared, i.e., Beam Search, Metropolis-Hastings Sampling, and Hybrid Search. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our attacking strategies on two challenging structured prediction tasks: Pos-tagging and dependency parsing. Through automatic and human evaluations, we show that our method performs a more potent attack compared with pioneer arts. Moreover, the generated adversarial examples can be used to successfully boost the robustness and performance of the victim model via adversarial training.

MM-Claims: A Dataset for Multimodal Claim Detection in Social Media
Gullal Singh Cheema | Sherzod Hakimov | Abdul Sittar | Eric Müller-Budack | Christian Otto | Ralph Ewerth

In recent years, the problem of misinformation on the web has become widespread across languages, countries, and various social media platforms. Although there has been much work on automated fake news detection, the role of images and their variety are not well explored. In this paper, we investigate the roles of image and text at an earlier stage of the fake news detection pipeline, called claim detection. For this purpose, we introduce a novel dataset, MM-Claims, which consists of tweets and corresponding images over three topics: COVID-19, Climate Change and broadly Technology. The dataset contains roughly 86000 tweets, out of which 3400 are labeled manually by multiple annotators for the training and evaluation of multimodal models. We describe the dataset in detail, evaluate strong unimodal and multimodal baselines, and analyze the potential and drawbacks of current models.

QLEVR: A Diagnostic Dataset for Quantificational Language and Elementary Visual Reasoning
Zechen Li | Anders Søgaard

Synthetic datasets have successfully been used to probe visual question-answering datasets for their reasoning abilities. CLEVR (John- son et al., 2017), for example, tests a range of visual reasoning abilities. The questions in CLEVR focus on comparisons of shapes, colors, and sizes, numerical reasoning, and existence claims. This paper introduces a minimally biased, diagnostic visual question-answering dataset, QLEVR, that goes beyond existential and numerical quantification and focus on more complex quantifiers and their combinations, e.g., asking whether there are more than two red balls that are smaller than at least three blue balls in an image. We describe how the dataset was created and present a first evaluation of state-of-the-art visual question-answering models, showing that QLEVR presents a formidable challenge to our current models. Code and Dataset are available at

MWP-BERT: Numeracy-Augmented Pre-training for Math Word Problem Solving
Zhenwen Liang | Jipeng Zhang | Lei Wang | Wei Qin | Yunshi Lan | Jie Shao | Xiangliang Zhang

Math word problem (MWP) solving faces a dilemma in number representation learning. In order to avoid the number representation issue and reduce the search space of feasible solutions, existing works striving for MWP solving usually replace real numbers with symbolic placeholders to focus on logic reasoning. However, different from common symbolic reasoning tasks like program synthesis and knowledge graph reasoning, MWP solving has extra requirements in numerical reasoning. In other words, instead of the number value itself, it is the reusable numerical property that matters more in numerical reasoning. Therefore, we argue that injecting numerical properties into symbolic placeholders with contextualized representation learning schema can provide a way out of the dilemma in the number representation issue here. In this work, we introduce this idea to the popular pre-training language model (PLM) techniques and build MWP-BERT, an effective contextual number representation PLM. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our MWP-BERT on MWP solving and several MWP-specific understanding tasks on both English and Chinese benchmarks.

Restoring Hebrew Diacritics Without a Dictionary
Elazar Gershuni | Yuval Pinter

We demonstrate that it is feasible to accurately diacritize Hebrew script without any human-curated resources other than plain diacritized text.We present Nakdimon, a two-layer character-level LSTM, that performs on par with much more complicated curation-dependent systems, across a diverse array of modern Hebrew sources.The model is accompanied by a training set and a test set, collected from diverse sources.

Masked Summarization to Generate Factually Inconsistent Summaries for Improved Factual Consistency Checking
Hwanhee Lee | Kang Min Yoo | Joonsuk Park | Hwaran Lee | Kyomin Jung

Despite the recent advances in abstractive summarization systems, it is still difficult to determine whether a generated summary is factual consistent with the source text. To this end, the latest approach is to train a factual consistency classifier on factually consistent and inconsistent summaries. Luckily, the former is readily available as reference summaries in existing summarization datasets. However, generating the latter remains a challenge, as they need to be factually inconsistent, yet closely relevant to the source text to be effective. In this paper, we propose to generate factually inconsistent summaries using source texts and reference summaries with key information masked. Experiments on seven benchmark datasets demonstrate that factual consistency classifiers trained on summaries generated using our method generally outperform existing models and show a competitive correlation with human judgments. We also analyze the characteristics of the summaries generated using our method. We will release the pre-trained model and the code at

Probing the Role of Positional Information in Vision-Language Models
Philipp J. Rösch | Jindřich Libovický

In most Vision-Language models (VL), the understanding of the image structure is enabled by injecting the position information (PI) about objects in the image. In our case study of LXMERT, a state-of-the-art VL model, we probe the use of the PI in the representation and study its effect on Visual Question Answering. We show that the model is not capable of leveraging the PI for the image-text matching task on a challenge set where only position differs. Yet, our experiments with probing confirm that the PI is indeed present in the representation. We introduce two strategies to tackle this: (i) Positional Information Pre-training and (ii) Contrastive Learning on PI using Cross-Modality Matching. Doing so, the model can correctly classify if images with detailed PI statements match. Additionally to the 2D information from bounding boxes, we introduce the object’s depth as new feature for a better object localization in the space. Even though we were able to improve the model properties as defined by our probes, it only has a negligible effect on the downstream performance. Our results thus highlight an important issue of multimodal modeling: the mere presence of information detectable by a probing classifier is not a guarantee that the information is available in a cross-modal setup.

”Diversity and Uncertainty in Moderation” are the Key to Data Selection for Multilingual Few-shot Transfer
Shanu Kumar | Sandipan Dandapat | Monojit Choudhury

Few-shot transfer often shows substantial gain over zero-shot transfer (CITATION), which is a practically useful trade-off between fully supervised and unsupervised learning approaches for multilingual pretained model-based systems. This paper explores various strategies for selecting data for annotation that can result in a better few-shot transfer. The proposed approaches rely on multiple measures such as data entropy using n-gram language model, predictive entropy, and gradient embedding. We propose a loss embedding method for sequence labeling tasks, which induces diversity and uncertainty sampling similar to gradient embedding. The proposed data selection strategies are evaluated and compared for POS tagging, NER, and NLI tasks for up to 20 languages. Our experiments show that the gradient and loss embedding-based strategies consistently outperform random data selection baselines, with gains varying with the initial performance of the zero-shot transfer. Furthermore, the proposed method shows similar trends in improvement even when the model is fine-tuned using a lower proportion of the original task-specific labeled training data for zero-shot transfer.

A Self-supervised Joint Training Framework for Document Reranking
Xiaozhi Zhu | Tianyong Hao | Sijie Cheng | Fu Lee Wang | Hai Liu

Pretrained language models such as BERT have been successfully applied to a wide range of natural language processing tasks and also achieved impressive performance in document reranking tasks. Recent works indicate that further pretraining the language models on the task-specific datasets before fine-tuning helps improve reranking performance. However, the pre-training tasks like masked language model and next sentence prediction were based on the context of documents instead of encouraging the model to understand the content of queries in document reranking task. In this paper, we propose a new self-supervised joint training framework (SJTF) with a self-supervised method called Masked Query Prediction (MQP) to establish semantic relations between given queries and positive documents. The framework randomly masks a token of query and encodes the masked query paired with positive documents, and uses a linear layer as a decoder to predict the masked token. In addition, the MQP is used to jointly optimize the models with supervised ranking objective during fine-tuning stage without an extra further pre-training stage. Extensive experiments on the MS MARCO passage ranking and TREC Robust datasets show that models trained with our framework obtain significant improvements compared to original models.

CODE-MVP: Learning to Represent Source Code from Multiple Views with Contrastive Pre-Training
Xin Wang | Yasheng Wang | Yao Wan | Jiawei Wang | Pingyi Zhou | Li Li | Hao Wu | Jin Liu

Recent years have witnessed increasing interest in code representation learning, which aims to represent the semantics of source code into distributed vectors. Currently, various works have been proposed to represent the complex semantics of source code from different views, including plain text, Abstract Syntax Tree (AST), and several kinds of code graphs (e.g., Control/Data Flow Graph). However, most of them only consider a single view of source code independently, ignoring the correspondences among different views. In this paper, we propose to integrate different views with the natural-language description of source code into a unified framework with Multi-View contrastive Pre-training, and name our model as CODE-MVP. Specifically, we first extract multiple code views using compiler tools, and learn the complementary information among them under a contrastive learning framework. Inspired by the type checking in compilation, we also design a fine-grained type inference objective in the pre-training. Experiments on three downstream tasks over five datasets demonstrate the superiority of CODE-MVP when compared with several state-of-the-art baselines. For example, we achieve 2.4/2.3/1.1 gain in terms of MRR/MAP/Accuracy metrics on natural language code retrieval, code similarity, and code defect detection tasks, respectively.

RGL: A Simple yet Effective Relation Graph Augmented Prompt-based Tuning Approach for Few-Shot Learning
Yaqing Wang | Xin Tian | Haoyi Xiong | Yueyang Li | Zeyu Chen | Sheng Guo | Dejing Dou

Pre-trained language models (PLMs) can provide a good starting point for downstream applications. However, it is difficult to generalize PLMs to new tasks given a few labeled samples. In this work, we show that Relation Graph augmented Learning (RGL) can improve the performance of few-shot natural language understanding tasks. During learning, RGL constructs a relation graph based on the label consistency between samples in the same batch, and learns to solve the resultant node classification and link prediction problems on the relation graph. In this way, RGL fully exploits the limited supervised information, which can boost the tuning effectiveness. Extensive experimental results show that RGL consistently improves the performance of prompt-based tuning strategies.

Seeing the wood for the trees: a contrastive regularization method for the low-resource Knowledge Base Question Answering | Shijie Mei | Xinrong Hu | Xun Yao | Jack Yang | Yi Guo

Given a context knowledge base (KB) and a corresponding question, the Knowledge Base Question Answering task aims to retrieve correct answer entities from this KB. Despite sophisticated retrieval algorithms, the impact of the low-resource (incomplete) KB is not fully exploited, where contributing components (. key entities and/or relations) may be absent for question answering. To effectively address this problem, we propose a contrastive regularization based method, which is motivated by the learn-by-analogy capability from human readers.Specifically, the proposed work includes two major modules: the knowledge extension and sMoCo module. The former aims at exploiting the latent knowledge from the context KB and generating auxiliary information in the form of question-answer pairs. The later module utilizes those additional pairs and applies the contrastive regularization to learn informative representations, that making hard positive pairs attracted and hard negative pairs separated. Empirically, we achieved the state-of-the-art performance on the WebQuestionsSP dataset and the effectiveness of proposed modules is also evaluated.

Phrase-level Textual Adversarial Attack with Label Preservation
Yibin Lei | Yu Cao | Dianqi Li | Tianyi Zhou | Meng Fang | Mykola Pechenizkiy

Generating high-quality textual adversarial examples is critical for investigating the pitfalls of natural language processing (NLP) models and further promoting their robustness. Existing attacks are usually realized through word-level or sentence-level perturbations, which either limit the perturbation space or sacrifice fluency and textual quality, both affecting the attack effectiveness. In this paper, we propose Phrase-Level Textual Adversarial ATtack (PLAT) that generates adversarial samples through phrase-level perturbations. PLAT first extracts the vulnerable phrases as attack targets by a syntactic parser, and then perturbs them by a pre-trained blank-infilling model. Such flexible perturbation design substantially expands the search space for more effective attacks without introducing too many modifications, and meanwhile maintaining the textual fluency and grammaticality via contextualized generation using surrounding texts. Moreover, we develop a label preservation filter leveraging the likelihoods of language models fine-tuned on each class, rather than textual similarity, to rule out those perturbations that potentially alter the original class label for humans. Extensive experiments and human evaluation demonstrate that PLAT has a superior attack effectiveness as well as a better label consistency than strong baselines.

Prompt Augmented Generative Replay via Supervised Contrastive Learning for Lifelong Intent Detection
Vaibhav Varshney | Mayur Patidar | Rajat Kumar | Lovekesh Vig | Gautam Shroff

Identifying all possible user intents for a dialog system at design time is challenging even for skilled domain experts. For practical applications, novel intents may have to be inferred incrementally on the fly. This typically entails repeated retraining of the intent detector on both the existing and novel intents which can be expensive and would require storage of all past data corresponding to prior intents. In this paper, the objective is to continually train an intent detector on new intents while maintaining performance on prior intents without mandating access to prior intent data. Several data replay-based approaches have been introduced to avoid catastrophic forgetting during continual learning, including exemplar and generative replay. Current generative replay approaches struggle to generate representative samples because the generation is conditioned solely on the class/task label. Motivated by the recent work around prompt-based generation via pre-trained language models (PLMs), we employ generative replay using PLMs for incremental intent detection. Unlike exemplar replay, we only store the relevant contexts per intent in memory and use these stored contexts (with the class label) as prompts for generating intent-specific utterances. We use a common model for both generation and classification to promote optimal sharing of knowledge across both tasks. To further improve generation, we employ supervised contrastive fine-tuning of the PLM. Our proposed approach achieves state-of-the-art (SOTA) for lifelong intent detection on four public datasets and even outperforms exemplar replay-based approaches. The technique also achieves SOTA on a lifelong relation extraction task, suggesting that the approach is extendable to other continual learning tasks beyond intent detection.

OTExtSum: Extractive Text Summarisation with Optimal Transport
Peggy Tang | Kun Hu | Rui Yan | Lei Zhang | Junbin Gao | Zhiyong Wang

Extractive text summarisation aims to select salient sentences from a document to form a short yet informative summary. While learning-based methods have achieved promising results, they have several limitations, such as dependence on expensive training and lack of interpretability. Therefore, in this paper, we propose a novel non-learning-based method by for the first time formulating text summarisation as an Optimal Transport (OT) problem, namely Optimal Transport Extractive Summariser (OTExtSum). Optimal sentence extraction is conceptualised as obtaining an optimal summary that minimises the transportation cost to a given document regarding their semantic distributions. Such a cost is defined by the Wasserstein distance and used to measure the summary’s semantic coverage of the original document. Comprehensive experiments on four challenging and widely used datasets - MultiNews, PubMed, BillSum, and CNN/DM demonstrate that our proposed method outperforms the state-of-the-art non-learning-based methods and several recent learning-based methods in terms of the ROUGE metric.

Speeding Up Entmax
Maxat Tezekbayev | Vassilina Nikoulina | Matthias Gallé | Zhenisbek Assylbekov

Softmax is the de facto standard for normalizing logits in modern neural networks for language processing. However, by producing a dense probability distribution each token in the vocabulary has a nonzero chance of being selected at each generation step, leading to a variety of reported problems in text generation. 𝛼-entmax of Peters et al. (2019) solves this problem, but is unfortunately slower than softmax. In this paper, we propose an alternative to 𝛼-entmax, which keeps its virtuous characteristics, but is as fast as optimized softmax and achieves on par or better performance in machine translation task.

Improving Code-Switching Dependency Parsing with Semi-Supervised Auxiliary Tasks
Şaziye Betül Özateş | Arzucan Özgür | Tunga Gungor | Özlem Çetinoğlu

Code-switching dependency parsing stands as a challenging task due to both the scarcity of necessary resources and the structural difficulties embedded in code-switched languages. In this study, we introduce novel sequence labeling models to be used as auxiliary tasks for dependency parsing of code-switched text in a semi-supervised scheme. We show that using auxiliary tasks enhances the performance of an LSTM-based dependency parsing model and leads to better results compared to an XLM-R-based model with significantly less computational and time complexity. As the first study that focuses on multiple code-switching language pairs for dependency parsing, we acquire state-of-the-art scores on all of the studied languages. Our best models outperform the previous work by 7.4 LAS points on average.

Dangling-Aware Entity Alignment with Mixed High-Order Proximities
Juncheng Liu | Zequn Sun | Bryan Hooi | Yiwei Wang | Dayiheng Liu | Baosong Yang | Xiaokui Xiao | Muhao Chen

We study dangling-aware entity alignment in knowledge graphs (KGs), which is an underexplored but important problem. As different KGs are naturally constructed by different sets of entities, a KG commonly contains some dangling entities that cannot find counterparts in other KGs. Therefore, dangling-aware entity alignment is more realistic than the conventional entity alignment where prior studies simply ignore dangling entities. We propose a framework using mixed high-order proximities on dangling-aware entity alignment. Our framework utilizes both the local high-order proximity in a nearest neighbor subgraph and the global high-order proximity in an embedding space for both dangling detection and entity alignment. Extensive experiments with two evaluation settings shows that our method more precisely detects dangling entities, and better aligns matchable entities. Further investigations demonstrate that our framework can mitigate the hubness problem on dangling-aware entity alignment.

DecBERT: Enhancing the Language Understanding of BERT with Causal Attention Masks
Ziyang Luo | Yadong Xi | Jing Ma | Zhiwei Yang | Xiaoxi Mao | Changjie Fan | Rongsheng Zhang

Since 2017, the Transformer-based models play critical roles in various downstream Natural Language Processing tasks. However, a common limitation of the attention mechanism utilized in Transformer Encoder is that it cannot automatically capture the information of word order, so explicit position embeddings are generally required to be fed into the target model. In contrast, Transformer Decoder with the causal attention masks is naturally sensitive to the word order. In this work, we focus on improving the position encoding ability of BERT with the causal attention masks. Furthermore, we propose a new pre-trained language model DecBERT and evaluate it on the GLUE benchmark. Experimental results show that (1) the causal attention mask is effective for BERT on the language understanding tasks; (2) our DecBERT model without position embeddings achieve comparable performance on the GLUE benchmark; and (3) our modification accelerates the pre-training process and DecBERT w/ PE achieves better overall performance than the baseline systems when pre-training with the same amount of computational resources.

Towards Computationally Feasible Deep Active Learning
Akim Tsvigun | Artem Shelmanov | Gleb Kuzmin | Leonid Sanochkin | Daniil Larionov | Gleb Gusev | Manvel Avetisian | Leonid Zhukov

Active learning (AL) is a prominent technique for reducing the annotation effort required for training machine learning models. Deep learning offers a solution for several essential obstacles to deploying AL in practice but introduces many others. One of such problems is the excessive computational resources required to train an acquisition model and estimate its uncertainty on instances in the unlabeled pool. We propose two techniques that tackle this issue for text classification and tagging tasks, offering a substantial reduction of AL iteration duration and the computational overhead introduced by deep acquisition models in AL. We also demonstrate that our algorithm that leverages pseudo-labeling and distilled models overcomes one of the essential obstacles revealed previously in the literature. Namely, it was shown that due to differences between an acquisition model used to select instances during AL and a successor model trained on the labeled data, the benefits of AL can diminish. We show that our algorithm, despite using a smaller and faster acquisition model, is capable of training a more expressive successor model with higher performance.

End-to-end Spoken Conversational Question Answering: Task, Dataset and Model
Chenyu You | Nuo Chen | Fenglin Liu | Shen Ge | Xian Wu | Yuexian Zou

In spoken question answering, the systems are designed to answer questions from contiguous text spans within the related speech transcripts. However, the most natural way that human seek or test their knowledge is via human conversations. Therefore, we propose a new Spoken Conversational Question Answering task (SCQA), aiming at enabling the systems to model complex dialogues flow given the speech documents. In this task, our main objective is to build the system to deal with conversational questions based on the audio recordings, and to explore the plausibility of providing more cues from different modalities with systems in information gathering. To this end, instead of directly adopting automatically generated speech transcripts with highly noisy data, we propose a novel unified data distillation approach, DDNet, which effectively ingests cross-modal information to achieve fine-grained representations of the speech and language modalities. Moreover, we propose a simple and novel mechanism, termed Dual Attention, by encouraging better alignments between audio and text to ease the process of knowledge transfer. To evaluate the capacity of SCQA systems in a dialogue-style interaction, we assemble a Spoken Conversational Question Answering (Spoken-CoQA) dataset with more than 40k question-answer pairs from 4k conversations. We first show that the performance of the existing state-of-the-art methods significantly degrade on our dataset, hence demonstrating the necessity of incorporating cross-modal information to achieve good performance gains. Our experimental results demonstrate that our proposed method achieves superior performance in spoken conversational question answering. Codes and datasets will be made publicly available.

Retrieval-Augmented Multilingual Keyphrase Generation with Retriever-Generator Iterative Training
Yifan Gao | Qingyu Yin | Zheng Li | Rui Meng | Tong Zhao | Bing Yin | Irwin King | Michael Lyu

Keyphrase generation is the task of automatically predicting keyphrases given a piece of long text. Despite its recent flourishing, keyphrase generation on non-English languages haven’t been vastly investigated. In this paper, we call attention to a new setting named multilingual keyphrase generation and we contribute two new datasets, EcommerceMKP and AcademicMKP, covering six languages. Technically, we propose a retrieval-augmented method for multilingual keyphrase generation to mitigate the data shortage problem in non-English languages. The retrieval-augmented model leverages keyphrase annotations in English datasets to facilitate generating keyphrases in low-resource languages. Given a non-English passage, a cross-lingual dense passage retrieval module finds relevant English passages. Then the associated English keyphrases serve as external knowledge for keyphrase generation in the current language. Moreover, we develop a retriever-generator iterative training algorithm to mine pseudo parallel passage pairs to strengthen the cross-lingual passage retriever. Comprehensive experiments and ablations show that the proposed approach outperforms all baselines.

FAtNet: Cost-Effective Approach Towards Mitigating the Linguistic Bias in Speaker Verification Systems
Divya Sharma | Arun Balaji Buduru

Linguistic bias in Deep Neural Network (DNN) based Natural Language Processing (NLP) systems is a critical problem that needs attention. The problem further intensifies in the case of security systems, such as speaker verification, where fairness is essential. Speaker verification systems are intelligent systems that determine if two speech recordings belong to the same speaker. Such human-oriented security systems should be usable by diverse people speaking varied languages. Thus, a speaker verification system trained on speech in one language should generalize when tested for other languages. However, DNN-based models are often language-dependent. Previous works explore domain adaptation to fine-tune the pre-trained model for out-of-domain languages. Fine-tuning the model individually for each existing language is expensive. Hence, it limits the usability of the system. This paper proposes the cost-effective idea of integrating a lightweight embedding with existing speaker verification systems to mitigate linguistic bias without adaptation. This work is motivated by the theoretical hypothesis that attentive-frames could help generate language-agnostic embeddings. For scientific validation of this hypothesis, we propose two frame-attentive networks and investigate the effect of their integration with baselines for twelve languages. Empirical results suggest that frame-attentive embedding can cost-effectively reduce linguistic bias and enhance the usability of baselines.

A Survey on Stance Detection for Mis- and Disinformation Identification
Momchil Hardalov | Arnav Arora | Preslav Nakov | Isabelle Augenstein

Understanding attitudes expressed in texts, also known as stance detection, plays an important role in systems for detecting false information online, be it misinformation (unintentionally false) or disinformation (intentionally false information). Stance detection has been framed in different ways, including (a) as a component of fact-checking, rumour detection, and detecting previously fact-checked claims, or (b) as a task in its own right. While there have been prior efforts to contrast stance detection with other related tasks such as argumentation mining and sentiment analysis, there is no existing survey on examining the relationship between stance detection and mis- and disinformation detection. Here, we aim to bridge this gap by reviewing and analysing existing work in this area, with mis- and disinformation in focus, and discussing lessons learnt and future challenges.

Syntax Controlled Knowledge Graph-to-Text Generation with Order and Semantic Consistency
Jin Liu | Chongfeng Fan | Zhou Fengyu | Huijuan Xu

The knowledge graph (KG) stores a large amount of structural knowledge, while it is not easy for direct human understanding. Knowledge graph-to-text (KG-to-text) generation aims to generate easy-to-understand sentences from the KG, and at the same time, maintains semantic consistency between generated sentences and the KG. Existing KG-to-text generation methods phrase this task as a sequence-to-sequence generation task with linearized KG as input and consider the consistency issue of the generated texts and KG through a simple selection between decoded sentence word and KG node word at each time step. However, the linearized KG order is obtained through a heuristic search without data-driven optimization. In this paper, we optimize the knowledge description order prediction under the order supervision extracted from the caption and further enhance the consistency of the generated sentences and KG through syntactic and semantic regularization. We incorporate the Part-of-Speech (POS) syntactic tags to constrain the positions to copy words from the KG and employ a semantic context scoring function to evaluate the semantic fitness for each word in its local context when decoding each word in the generated sentence. Extensive experiments are conducted on two datasets, WebNLG and DART, and achieve state-of-the-art performances. Our code is now public available.

To Answer or Not To Answer? Improving Machine Reading Comprehension Model with Span-based Contrastive Learning
Yunjie Ji | Liangyu Chen | Chenxiao Dou | Baochang Ma | Xiangang Li

Machine Reading Comprehension with Unanswerable Questions is a difficult NLP task, challenged by the questions which can not be answered from passages.It is observed that subtle literal changes often make an answerable question unanswerable, however, most MRC models fail to recognize such changes.To address this problem, in this paper, we propose a span-based method of Contrastive Learning (spanCL) which explicitly contrast answerable questions with their answerable and unanswerable counterparts at the answer span level.With spanCL, MRC models are forced to perceive crucial semantic changes from slight literal differences.Experiments on SQuAD 2.0 dataset show that spanCL can improve baselines significantly, yielding 0.86~2.14 absolute EM improvements. Additional experiments also show that spanCL is an effective way to utilize generated questions.

Target-Guided Dialogue Response Generation Using Commonsense and Data Augmentation
Prakhar Gupta | Harsh Jhamtani | Jeffrey Bigham

Target-guided response generation enables dialogue systems to smoothly transition a conversation from a dialogue context toward a target sentence. Such control is useful for designing dialogue systems that direct a conversation toward specific goals, such as creating non-obtrusive recommendations or introducing new topics in the conversation. In this paper, we introduce a new technique for target-guided response generation, which first finds a bridging path of commonsense knowledge concepts between the source and the target, and then uses the identified bridging path to generate transition responses. Additionally, we propose techniques to re-purpose existing dialogue datasets for target-guided generation. Experiments reveal that the proposed techniques outperform various baselines on this task.Finally, we observe that the existing automated metrics for this task correlate poorly with human judgement ratings. We propose a novel evaluation metric that we demonstrate is more reliable for target-guided response evaluation. Our work generally enables dialogue system designers to exercise more control over the conversations that their systems produce.

BanglaBERT: Language Model Pretraining and Benchmarks for Low-Resource Language Understanding Evaluation in Bangla
Abhik Bhattacharjee | Tahmid Hasan | Wasi Ahmad | Kazi Samin Mubasshir | Md Saiful Islam | Anindya Iqbal | M. Sohel Rahman | Rifat Shahriyar

In this work, we introduce BanglaBERT, a BERT-based Natural Language Understanding (NLU) model pretrained in Bangla, a widely spoken yet low-resource language in the NLP literature. To pretrain BanglaBERT, we collect 27.5 GB of Bangla pretraining data (dubbed ‘Bangla2B+’) by crawling 110 popular Bangla sites. We introduce two downstream task datasets on natural language inference and question answering and benchmark on four diverse NLU tasks covering text classification, sequence labeling, and span prediction. In the process, we bring them under the first-ever Bangla Language Understanding Benchmark (BLUB). BanglaBERT achieves state-of-the-art results outperforming multilingual and monolingual models. We are making the models, datasets, and a leaderboard publicly available at to advance Bangla NLP.

ALLSH: Active Learning Guided by Local Sensitivity and Hardness
Shujian Zhang | Chengyue Gong | Xingchao Liu | Pengcheng He | Weizhu Chen | Mingyuan Zhou

Active learning, which effectively collects informative unlabeled data for annotation, reduces the demand for labeled data. In this work, we propose to retrieve unlabeled samples with a local sensitivity and hardness-aware acquisition function. The proposed method generates data copies through local perturbations and selects data points whose predictive likelihoods diverge the most from their copies. We further empower our acquisition function by injecting the select-worst case perturbation. Our method achieves consistent gains over the commonly used active learning strategies in various classification tasks. Furthermore, we observe consistent improvements over the baselines on the study of prompt selection in prompt-based few-shot learning. These experiments demonstrate that our acquisition guided by local sensitivity and hardness can be effective and beneficial for many NLP tasks.

Low-resource Entity Set Expansion: A Comprehensive Study on User-generated Text
Yutong Shao | Nikita Bhutani | Sajjadur Rahman | Estevam Hruschka

Entity set expansion (ESE) aims at obtaining a more complete set of entities given a textual corpus and a seed set of entities of a concept. Although it is a critical task in many NLP applications, existing benchmarks are limited to well-formed text (e.g., Wikipedia) and well-defined concepts (e.g., countries and diseases). Furthermore, only a small number of predictions are evaluated compared to the actual size of an entity set. A rigorous assessment of ESE methods warrants more comprehensive benchmarks and evaluation. In this paper, we consider user-generated text to understand the generalizability of ESE methods. We develop new benchmarks and propose more rigorous evaluation metrics for assessing the performance of ESE methods. Additionally, we identify phenomena such as non-named entities, multifaceted entities, vague concepts that are more prevalent in user-generated text than well-formed text, and use them to profile ESE methods. We observe that the strong performance of state-of-the-art ESE methods does not generalize well to user-generated text. We conduct comprehensive empirical analysis and draw insights from the findings.

POLITICS: Pretraining with Same-story Article Comparison for Ideology Prediction and Stance Detection
Yujian Liu | Xinliang Frederick Zhang | David Wegsman | Nicholas Beauchamp | Lu Wang

Ideology is at the core of political science research. Yet, there still does not exist general-purpose tools to characterize and predict ideology across different genres of text. To this end, we study Pretrained Language Models using novel ideology-driven pretraining objectives that rely on the comparison of articles on the same story written by media of different ideologies. We further collect a large-scale dataset, consisting of more than 3.6M political news articles, for pretraining. Our model POLITICS outperforms strong baselines and the previous state-of-the-art models on ideology prediction and stance detection tasks. Further analyses show that POLITICS is especially good at understanding long or formally written texts, and is also robust in few-shot learning scenarios.

Empowering parameter-efficient transfer learning by recognizing the kernel structure in self-attention
Yifan Chen | Devamanyu Hazarika | Mahdi Namazifar | Yang Liu | Di Jin | Dilek Hakkani-Tur

The massive amount of trainable parameters in the pre-trained language models (PLMs) makes them hard to be deployed to multiple downstream tasks. To address this issue, parameter-efficient transfer learning methods have been proposed to tune only a few parameters during fine-tuning while freezing the rest. This paper looks at existing methods along this line through the kernel lens. Motivated by the connection between self-attention in transformer-based PLMs and kernel learning, we propose kernel-wise adapters, namely Kernel-mix, that utilize the kernel structure in self-attention to guide the assignment of the tunable parameters. These adapters use guidelines found in classical kernel learning and enable separate parameter tuning for each attention head. Our empirical results, over a diverse set of natural language generation and understanding tasks, show that our proposed adapters can attain or improve the strong performance of existing baselines.

RAIL-KD: RAndom Intermediate Layer Mapping for Knowledge Distillation
Md Akmal Haidar | Nithin Anchuri | Mehdi Rezagholizadeh | Abbas Ghaddar | Philippe Langlais | Pascal Poupart

Intermediate layer knowledge distillation (KD) can improve the standard KD technique (which only targets the output of teacher and student models) especially over large pre-trained language models. However, intermediate layer distillation suffers from excessive computational burdens and engineering efforts required for setting up a proper layer mapping. To address these problems, we propose a RAndom Intermediate Layer Knowledge Distillation (RAIL-KD) approach in which, intermediate layers from the teacher model are selected randomly to be distilled into the intermediate layers of the student model. This randomized selection enforces that all teacher layers are taken into account in the training process, while reducing the computational cost of intermediate layer distillation. Also, we show that it acts as a regularizer for improving the generalizability of the student model. We perform extensive experiments on GLUE tasks as well as on out-of-domain test sets. We show that our proposed RAIL-KD approach outperforms other state-of-the-art intermediate layer KD methods considerably in both performance and training-time.

Unbiased Math Word Problems Benchmark for Mitigating Solving Bias
Zhicheng Yang | Jinghui Qin | Jiaqi Chen | Xiaodan Liang

In this paper, we revisit the solving bias when evaluating models on current Math Word Problem (MWP) benchmarks. However, current solvers exist solving bias which consists of data bias and learning bias due to biased dataset and improper training strategy. Our experiments verify MWP solvers are easy to be biased by the biased training datasets which do not cover diverse questions for each problem narrative of all MWPs, thus a solver can only learn shallow heuristics rather than deep semantics for understanding problems. Besides, an MWP can be naturally solved by multiple equivalent equations while current datasets take only one of the equivalent equations as ground truth, forcing the model to match the labeled ground truth and ignoring other equivalent equations. Here, we first introduce a novel MWP dataset named UnbiasedMWP which is constructed by varying the grounded expressions in our collected data and annotating them with corresponding multiple new questions manually. Then, to further mitigate learning bias, we propose a Dynamic Target Selection (DTS) Strategy to dynamically select more suitable target expressions according to the longest prefix match between the current model output and candidate equivalent equations which are obtained by applying commutative law during training. The results show that our UnbiasedMWP has significantly fewer biases than its original data and other datasets, posing a promising benchmark for fairly evaluating the solvers’ reasoning skills rather than matching nearest neighbors. And the solvers trained with our DTS achieve higher accuracies on multiple MWP benchmarks. The source code is available at

Learn To Remember: Transformer with Recurrent Memory for Document-Level Machine Translation
Yukun Feng | Feng Li | Ziang Song | Boyuan Zheng | Philipp Koehn

The Transformer architecture has led to significant gains in machine translation. However, most studies focus on only sentence-level translation without considering the context dependency within documents, leading to the inadequacy of document-level coherence. Some recent research tried to mitigate this issue by introducing an additional context encoder or translating with multiple sentences or even the entire document. Such methods may lose the information on the target side or have an increasing computational complexity as documents get longer. To address such problems, we introduce a recurrent memory unit to the vanilla Transformer, which supports the information exchange between the sentence and previous context. The memory unit is recurrently updated by acquiring information from sentences, and passing the aggregated knowledge back to subsequent sentence states. We follow a two-stage training strategy, in which the model is first trained at the sentence level and then finetuned for document-level translation. We conduct experiments on three popular datasets for document-level machine translation and our model has an average improvement of 0.91 s-BLEU over the sentence-level baseline. We also achieve state-of-the-art results on TED and News, outperforming the previous work by 0.36 s-BLEU and 1.49 d-BLEU on average.

Improving Few-Shot Image Classification Using Machine- and User-Generated Natural Language Descriptions
Kosuke Nishida | Kyosuke Nishida | Shuichi Nishioka

Humans can obtain the knowledge of novel visual concepts from language descriptions, and we thus use the few-shot image classification task to investigate whether a machine learning model can have this capability. Our proposed model, LIDE (Learning from Image and DEscription), has a text decoder to generate the descriptions and a text encoder to obtain the text representations of machine- or user-generated descriptions. We confirmed that LIDE with machine-generated descriptions outperformed baseline models. Moreover, the performance was improved further with high-quality user-generated descriptions. The generated descriptions can be viewed as the explanations of the model’s predictions, and we observed that such explanations were consistent with prediction results. We also investigated why the language description improves the few-shot image classification performance by comparing the image representations and the text representations in the feature spaces.

All Information is Valuable: Question Matching over Full Information Transmission Network
Le Qi | Yu Zhang | Qingyu Yin | Guidong Zheng | Wen Junjie | Jinlong Li | Ting Liu

Question matching is the task of identifying whether two questions have the same intent. For better reasoning the relationship between questions, existing studies adopt multiple interaction modules and perform multi-round reasoning via deep neural networks. In this process, there are two kinds of critical information that are commonly employed: the representation information of original questions and the interactive information between pairs of questions. However, previous studies tend to transmit only one kind of information, while failing to utilize both kinds of information simultaneously. To address this problem, in this paper, we propose a Full Information Transmission Network (FITN) that can transmit both representation and interactive information together in a simultaneous fashion. More specifically, we employ a novel memory-based attention for keeping and transmitting the interactive information through a global interaction matrix. Besides, we apply an original-average mixed connection method to effectively transmit the representation information between different reasoning rounds, which helps to preserve the original representation features of questions along with the historical hidden features. Experiments on two standard benchmarks demonstrate that our approach outperforms strong baseline models.

Pathway2Text: Dataset and Method for Biomedical Pathway Description Generation
Junwei Yang | Zequn Liu | Ming Zhang | Sheng Wang

Biomedical pathways have been extensively used to characterize the mechanism of complex diseases. One essential step in biomedical pathway analysis is to curate the description of a pathway based on its graph structure and node features. Neural text generation could be a plausible technique to circumvent the tedious manual curation. In this paper, we propose a new dataset Pathway2Text, which contains 2,367 pairs of biomedical pathways and textual descriptions. All pathway graphs are experimentally derived or manually curated. All textual descriptions are written by domain experts. We form this problem as a Graph2Text task and propose a novel graph-based text generation approach kNN-Graph2Text, which explicitly exploited descriptions of similar graphs to generate new descriptions. We observed substantial improvement of our method on both Graph2Text and the reverse task of Text2Graph. We further illustrated how our dataset can be used as a novel benchmark for biomedical named entity recognition. Collectively, we envision our method will become an important benchmark for evaluating Graph2Text methods and advance biomedical research for complex diseases.

Exploring Neural Models for Query-Focused Summarization
Jesse Vig | Alexander Fabbri | Wojciech Kryscinski | Chien-Sheng Wu | Wenhao Liu

Query-focused summarization (QFS) aims to produce summaries that answer particular questions of interest, enabling greater user control and personalization. While recently released datasets, such as QMSum or AQuaMuSe, facilitate research efforts in QFS, the field lacks a comprehensive study of the broad space of applicable modeling methods. In this paper we conduct a systematic exploration of neural approaches to QFS, considering two general classes of methods: two-stage extractive-abstractive solutions and end-to-end models. Within those categories, we investigate existing models and explore strategies for transfer learning. We also present two modeling extensions that achieve state-of-the-art performance on the QMSum dataset, up to a margin of 3.38 ROUGE-1, 3.72 ROUGE2, and 3.28 ROUGE-L when combined with transfer learning strategies. Results from human evaluation suggest that the best models produce more comprehensive and factually consistent summaries compared to a baseline model. Code and checkpoints are made publicly available:

BitextEdit: Automatic Bitext Editing for Improved Low-Resource Machine Translation
Eleftheria Briakou | Sida Wang | Luke Zettlemoyer | Marjan Ghazvininejad

Mined bitexts can contain imperfect translations that yield unreliable training signals for Neural Machine Translation (NMT). While filtering such pairs out is known to improve final model quality, we argue that it is suboptimal in low-resource conditions where even mined data can be limited. In our work, we propose instead, to refine the mined bitexts via automatic editing: given a sentence in a language xf, and a possibly imperfect translation of it xe, our model generates a revised version xf' or xe' that yields a more equivalent translation pair (i.e., <xf, xe'> or <xf', xe>). We use a simple editing strategy by (1) mining potentially imperfect translations for each sentence in a given bitext, (2) learning a model to reconstruct the original translations and translate, in a multi-task fashion. Experiments demonstrate that our approach successfully improves the quality of CCMatrix mined bitext for 5 low-resource language-pairs and 10 translation directions by up to 8 BLEU points, in most cases improving upon a competitive translation-based baseline.

MixQG: Neural Question Generation with Mixed Answer Types
Lidiya Murakhovs’ka | Chien-Sheng Wu | Philippe Laban | Tong Niu | Wenhao Liu | Caiming Xiong

Asking good questions is an essential ability for both human and machine intelligence. However, existing neural question generation approaches mainly focus on short factoid type of answers. In this paper, we introduce a neural question generator, MixQG, to bridge this gap. We combine nine question answering datasets with diverse answer types, including yes/no, multiple-choice, extractive, and abstractive answers, to train a single generative model. We show with empirical results that our model outperforms existing work in both seen and unseen domains, and can generate questions with different cognitive levels when conditioned on different answer types. We run a human evaluation study to assess the quality of generated questions and find that MixQG outperforms the next best model by 10%. Our code and model checkpoints will be released and integrated with the HuggingFace library to facilitate various downstream applications.

Temporal Attention for Language Models
Guy D. Rosin | Kira Radinsky

Pretrained language models based on the transformer architecture have shown great success in NLP.Textual training data often comes from the web and is thus tagged with time-specific information, but most language models ignore this information.They are trained on the textual data alone, limiting their ability to generalize temporally.In this work, we extend the key component of the transformer architecture, i.e., the self-attention mechanism, and propose temporal attention - a time-aware self-attention mechanism.Temporal attention can be applied to any transformer model and requires the input texts to be accompanied with their relevant time points. This mechanism allows the transformer to capture this temporal information and create time-specific contextualized word representations.We leverage these representations for the task of semantic change detection; we apply our proposed mechanism to BERT and experiment on three datasets in different languages (English, German, and Latin) that also vary in time, size, and genre.Our proposed model achieves state-of-the-art results on all the datasets.

Efficient Few-Shot Fine-Tuning for Opinion Summarization
Arthur Brazinskas | Ramesh Nallapati | Mohit Bansal | Markus Dreyer

Abstractive summarization models are typically pre-trained on large amounts of generic texts, then fine-tuned on tens or hundreds of thousands of annotated samples. However, in opinion summarization, large annotated datasets of reviews paired with reference summaries are not available and would be expensive to create. This calls for fine-tuning methods robust to overfitting on small datasets. In addition, generically pre-trained models are often not accustomed to the specifics of customer reviews and, after fine-tuning, yield summaries with disfluencies and semantic mistakes. To address these problems, we utilize an efficient few-shot method based on adapters which, as we show, can easily store in-domain knowledge. Instead of fine-tuning the entire model, we add adapters and pre-train them in a task-specific way on a large corpus of unannotated customer reviews, using held-out reviews as pseudo summaries. Then, fine-tune the adapters on the small available human-annotated dataset. We show that this self-supervised adapter pre-training improves summary quality over standard fine-tuning by 2.0 and 1.3 ROUGE-L points on the Amazon and Yelp datasets, respectively. Finally, for summary personalization, we condition on aspect keyword queries, automatically created from generic datasets. In the same vein, we pre-train the adapters in a query-based manner on customer reviews and then fine-tune them on annotated datasets. This results in better-organized summary content reflected in improved coherence and fewer redundancies.

Domain-matched Pre-training Tasks for Dense Retrieval
Barlas Oguz | Kushal Lakhotia | Anchit Gupta | Patrick Lewis | Vladimir Karpukhin | Aleksandra Piktus | Xilun Chen | Sebastian Riedel | Scott Yih | Sonal Gupta | Yashar Mehdad

Pre-training on larger datasets with ever increasing model size isnow a proven recipe for increased performance across almost all NLP tasks.A notable exception is information retrieval, where additional pre-traininghas so far failed to produce convincing results. We show that, with theright pre-training setup, this barrier can be overcome. We demonstrate thisby pre-training large bi-encoder models on 1) a recently released set of 65 millionsynthetically generated questions, and 2) 200 million post-comment pairs from a preexisting dataset of Reddit conversations made available by evaluate on a set of information retrieval and dialogue retrieval benchmarks, showing substantial improvements over supervised baselines.

UniK-QA: Unified Representations of Structured and Unstructured Knowledge for Open-Domain Question Answering
Barlas Oguz | Xilun Chen | Vladimir Karpukhin | Stan Peshterliev | Dmytro Okhonko | Michael Schlichtkrull | Sonal Gupta | Yashar Mehdad | Scott Yih

We study open-domain question answering with structured, unstructured and semi-structured knowledge sources, including text, tables, lists and knowledge bases. Departing from prior work, we propose a unifying approach that homogenizes all sources by reducing them to text and applies the retriever-reader model which has so far been limited to text sources only. Our approach greatly improves the results on knowledge-base QA tasks by 11 points, compared to latest graph-based methods. More importantly, we demonstrate that our unified knowledge (UniK-QA) model is a simple and yet effective way to combine heterogeneous sources of knowledge, advancing the state-of-the-art results on two popular question answering benchmarks, NaturalQuestions and WebQuestions, by 3.5 and 2.6 points, respectively.The code of UniK-QA is available at:

White-box Testing of NLP models with Mask Neuron Coverage
Arshdeep Sekhon | Yangfeng Ji | Matthew Dwyer | Yanjun Qi

Recent literature has seen growing interest in using black-box strategies like for testing the behavior of NLP models. Research on white-box testing has developed a number of methods for evaluatinghow thoroughly the internal behavior of deep models is tested, but they are not applicableto NLP models.We propose a set of white-box testing methods that are customized for transformer-based NLP models.These include MASK NEURON COVERAGE (MNCOVER) that measures how thoroughlythe attention layers in models are exercised during testing.We show that MNCOVER can refine testing suites generated by CheckList by substantiallyreduce them in size, for more than 60% on average, while retaining failing tests – thereby concentrating the faultdetection power of the test suite.Further we show how can be used to guide CheckList input generation,evaluate alternative NLP testing methods, and drive data augmentation to improve accuracy.

Hierarchical Transformers Are More Efficient Language Models
Piotr Nawrot | Szymon Tworkowski | Michał Tyrolski | Lukasz Kaiser | Yuhuai Wu | Christian Szegedy | Henryk Michalewski

Transformer models yield impressive results on many NLP and sequence modeling tasks. Remarkably, Transformers can handle long sequences, which allows them to produce long coherent outputs: entire paragraphs produced by GPT-3 or well-structured images produced by DALL-E. These large language models are impressive but also very inefficient and costly, which limits their applications and accessibility. We postulate that having an explicit hierarchical architecture is the key to Transformers that efficiently handle long sequences. To verify this claim, we first study different ways to downsample and upsample activations in Transformers so as to make them hierarchical. We use the best performing upsampling and downsampling layers to create Hourglass - a hierarchical Transformer language model. Hourglass improves upon the Transformer baseline given the same amount of computation and can yield the same results as Transformers more efficiently. In particular, Hourglass sets new state-of-the-art for Transformer models on the ImageNet32 generation task and improves language modeling efficiency on the widely studied enwik8 benchmark.

DISARM: Detecting the Victims Targeted by Harmful Memes
Shivam Sharma | Md Shad Akhtar | Preslav Nakov | Tanmoy Chakraborty

Internet memes have emerged as an increasingly popular means of communication on the web. Although memes are typically intended to elicit humour, they have been increasingly used to spread hatred, trolling, and cyberbullying, as well as to target specific individuals, communities, or society on political, socio-cultural, and psychological grounds. While previous work has focused on detecting harmful, hateful, and offensive memes in general, identifying whom these memes attack (i.e., the ‘victims’) remains a challenging and underexplored area. We attempt to address this problem in this paper. To this end, we create a dataset in which we annotate each meme with its victim(s) such as the name of the targeted person(s), organization(s), and community(ies). We then propose DISARM (Detecting vIctimS targeted by hARmful Memes), a framework that uses named-entity recognition and person identification to detect all entities a meme is referring to, and then, incorporates a novel contextualized multimodal deep neural network to classify whether the meme intends to harm these entities. We perform several systematic experiments on three different test sets, corresponding to entities that are (i) all seen while training, (ii) not seen as a harmful target while training, and (iii) not seen at all while training. The evaluation shows that DISARM significantly outperforms 10 unimodal and multimodal systems. Finally, we demonstrate that DISARM is interpretable and comparatively more generalizable and that it can reduce the relative error rate of harmful target identification by up to 9 % absolute over multimodal baseline systems.

KD-VLP: Improving End-to-End Vision-and-Language Pretraining with Object Knowledge Distillation
Yongfei Liu | Chenfei Wu | Shao-Yen Tseng | Vasudev Lal | Xuming He | Nan Duan

Self-supervised vision-and-language pretraining (VLP) aims to learn transferable multi-modal representations from large-scale image-text data and to achieve strong performances on a broad scope of vision-language tasks after finetuning. Previous mainstream VLP approaches typically adopt a two-step strategy relying on external object detectors to encode images in a multi-modal Transformer framework, which suffer from restrictive object concept space, limited image context and inefficient computation. In this paper, we propose an object-aware end-to-end VLP framework, which directly feeds image grid features from CNNs into the Transformer and learns the multi-modal representations jointly. More importantly, we propose to perform object knowledge distillation to facilitate learning cross-modal alignment at different semantic levels. To achieve that, we design two novel pretext tasks by taking object features and their semantic labels from external detectors as supervision: 1.) Object-guided masked vision modeling task focuses on enforcing object-aware representation learning in the multi-modal Transformer; 2.) Phrase-region alignment task aims to improve cross-modal alignment by utilizing the similarities between noun phrases and object labels in the linguistic space. Extensive experiments on a wide range of vision-language tasks demonstrate the efficacy of our proposed framework, and we achieve competitive or superior performances over the existing pretraining strategies.

Dependency Position Encoding for Relation Extraction
Qiushi Guo | Xin Wang | Dehong Gao

Leveraging the dependency tree of the input sentence is able to improve the model performance for relation extraction. A challenging issue is how to remove confusions from the tree. Efforts have been made to utilize the dependency connections between words to selectively emphasize target-relevant information. However, these approaches are limited in focusing on exploiting dependency types. In this paper, we propose dependency position encoding (DPE), an efficient way of incorporating both dependency connections and dependency types into the self-attention mechanism to distinguish the importance of different word dependencies for the task. In contrast to previous studies that process input sentence and dependency information in separate streams, DPE can be seamlessly incorporated into the Transformer and makes it possible to use an one-stream scheme to extract relations between entity pairs. Extensive experiments show that models with our DPE significantly outperform the previous methods on SemEval 2010 Task 8, KBP37, and TACRED.

Good Visual Guidance Make A Better Extractor: Hierarchical Visual Prefix for Multimodal Entity and Relation Extraction
Xiang Chen | Ningyu Zhang | Lei Li | Yunzhi Yao | Shumin Deng | Chuanqi Tan | Fei Huang | Luo Si | Huajun Chen

Multimodal named entity recognition and relation extraction (MNER and MRE) is a fundamental and crucial branch in information extraction. However, existing approaches for MNER and MRE usually suffer from error sensitivity when irrelevant object images incorporated in texts.To deal with these issues, we propose a novel Hierarchical Visual Prefix fusion NeTwork (HVPNeT) for visual-enhanced entity and relation extraction, aiming to achieve more effective and robust performance. Specifically, we regard visual representation as pluggable visual prefix to guide the textual representation for error insensitive forecasting decision. We further propose a dynamic gated aggregation strategy to achieve hierarchical multi-scaled visual features as visual prefix for fusion. Extensive experiments on three benchmark datasets demonstrate the effectiveness of our method, and achieve state-of-the-art performance.

The Role of Context in Detecting Previously Fact-Checked Claims
Shaden Shaar | Firoj Alam | Giovanni Da San Martino | Preslav Nakov

Recent years have seen the proliferation of disinformation and fake news online. Traditional approaches to mitigate these issues is to use manual or automatic fact-checking. Recently, another approach has emerged: checking whether the input claim has previously been fact-checked, which can be done automatically, and thus fast, while also offering credibility and explainability, thanks to the human fact-checking and explanations in the associated fact-checking article. Here, we focus on claims made in a political debate and we study the impact of modeling the context of the claim: both on the source side, i.e., in the debate, as well as on the target side, i.e., in the fact-checking explanation document. We do this by modeling the local context, the global context, as well as by means of co-reference resolution, and multi-hop reasoning over the sentences of the document describing the fact-checked claim. The experimental results show that each of these represents a valuable information source, but that modeling the source-side context is most important, and can yield 10+ points of absolute improvement over a state-of-the-art model.

Pruning Adatperfusion with Lottery Ticket Hypothesis
Jiarun Wu | Qingliang Chen | Zeguan Xiao | Yuliang Gu | Mengsi Sun

Pre-trained language models have shown great success in multiple downstream tasks. However, they are computationally expensive to fine-tune. Thus, transfer learning with adapter modules has been introduced to alleviate this problem, helping to extract knowledge of the downstream tasks. Adapterfusion models are an example of the transformers-with-adapter-modules, which merge multiple adapters to incorporate knowledge from different tasks. However, merging multiple adapters will inevitably cause redundancies, increasing the training and inference time massively. Therefore, in this paper, we propose an approach to identify the influence of each adapter module and a novel way to prune adapters based on the prestigious Lottery Ticket Hypothesis. Experiments on GLUE datasets show that the pruned Adapterfusion model with our scheme can achieve state-of-the-art results, reducing sizes significantly while keeping performance intact.

EVI: Multilingual Spoken Dialogue Tasks and Dataset for Knowledge-Based Enrolment, Verification, and Identification
Georgios Spithourakis | Ivan Vulić | Michał Lis | Inigo Casanueva | Paweł Budzianowski

Knowledge-based authentication is crucial for task-oriented spoken dialogue systems that offer personalised and privacy-focused services. Such systems should be able to enrol (E), verify (V), and identify (I) new and recurring users based on their personal information, e.g. postcode, name, and date of birth. In this work, we formalise the three authentication tasks and their evaluation protocols, and we present EVI, a challenging spoken multilingual dataset with 5,506 dialogues in English, Polish, and French. Our proposed models set the first competitive benchmarks, explore the challenges of multilingual natural language processing of spoken dialogue, and set directions for future research.

Post-Training Dialogue Summarization using Pseudo-Paraphrasing
Qi Jia | Yizhu Liu | Haifeng Tang | Kenny Zhu

Previous dialogue summarization techniques adapt large language models pretrained on the narrative text by injecting dialogue-specific features into the models. These features either require additional knowledge to recognize or make the resulting models harder to tune. To bridge the format gap between dialogues and narrative summaries in dialogue summarization tasks, we propose to post-train pretrained language models (PLMs) to rephrase from dialogue to narratives. After that, the model is fine-tuned for dialogue summarization as usual. Comprehensive experiments show that our approach significantly improves vanilla PLMs on dialogue summarization and outperforms other SOTA models by the summary quality and implementation costs.

A Dual-Channel Framework for Sarcasm Recognition by Detecting Sentiment Conflict
Yiyi Liu | Yequan Wang | Aixin Sun | Xuying Meng | Jing Li | Jiafeng Guo

Sarcasm employs ambivalence, where one says something positive but actually means negative, and vice versa. The essence of sarcasm, which is also a sufficient and necessary condition, is the conflict between literal and implied sentiments expressed in one sentence. However, it is difficult to recognize such sentiment conflict because the sentiments are mixed or even implicit. As a result, the recognition of sophisticated and obscure sentiment brings in a great challenge to sarcasm detection. In this paper, we propose a Dual-Channel Framework by modeling both literal and implied sentiments separately. Based on this dual-channel framework, we design the Dual-Channel Network (DC-Net) to recognize sentiment conflict. Experiments on political debates (i.e. IAC-V1 and IAC-V2) and Twitter datasets show that our proposed DC-Net achieves state-of-the-art performance on sarcasm recognition. Our code is released to support research.

Zero-shot Entity Linking with Less Data
G P Shrivatsa Bhargav | Dinesh Khandelwal | Saswati Dana | Dinesh Garg | Pavan Kapanipathi | Salim Roukos | Alexander Gray | L Venkata Subramaniam

Entity Linking (EL) maps an entity mention in a natural language sentence to an entity in a knowledge base (KB). The Zero-shot Entity Linking (ZEL) extends the scope of EL to unseen entities at the test time without requiring new labeled data. BLINK (BERT-based) is one of the SOTA models for ZEL. Interestingly, we discovered that BLINK exhibits diminishing returns, i.e., it reaches 98% of its performance with just 1% of the training data and the remaining 99% of the data yields only a marginal increase of 2% in the performance. While this extra 2% gain makes a huge difference for downstream tasks, training BLINK on large amounts of data is very resource-intensive and impractical. In this paper, we propose a neuro-symbolic, multi-task learning approach to bridge this gap. Our approach boosts the BLINK’s performance with much less data by exploiting an auxiliary information about entity types. Specifically, we train our model on two tasks simultaneously - entity linking (primary task) and hierarchical entity type prediction (auxiliary task). The auxiliary task exploits the hierarchical structure of entity types. Our approach achieves superior performance on ZEL task with significantly less training data. On four different benchmark datasets, we show that our approach achieves significantly higher performance than SOTA models when they are trained with just 0.01%, 0.1%, or 1% of the original training data. Our code is available at

GraphCache: Message Passing as Caching for Sentence-Level Relation Extraction
Yiwei Wang | Muhao Chen | Wenxuan Zhou | Yujun Cai | Yuxuan Liang | Bryan Hooi

Entity types and textual context are essential properties for sentence-level relation extraction (RE). Existing work only encodes these properties within individual instances, which limits the performance of RE given the insufficient features in a single sentence. In contrast, we model these properties from the whole dataset and use the dataset-level information to enrich the semantics of every instance. We propose the GraphCache (Graph Neural Network as Caching) module, that propagates the features across sentences to learn better representations for RE. GraphCache aggregates the features from sentences in the whole dataset to learn global representations of properties, and use them to augment the local features within individual sentences. The global property features act as dataset-level prior knowledge for RE, and a complement to the sentence-level features. Inspired by the classical caching technique in computer systems, we develop GraphCache to update the property representations in an online manner. Overall, GraphCache yields significant effectiveness gains on RE and enables efficient message passing across all sentences in the dataset.

Revisiting Generative Commonsense Reasoning: A Pre-Ordering Approach
Chao Zhao | Faeze Brahman | Tenghao Huang | Snigdha Chaturvedi

Pre-trained models (PTMs) have lead to great improvements in natural language generation (NLG). However, it is still unclear how much commonsense knowledge they possess. With the goal of evaluating commonsense knowledge of NLG models, recent work has proposed the problem of generative commonsense reasoning, e.g., to compose a logical sentence given a set of unordered concepts. Existing approaches to this problem hypothesize that PTMs lack sufficient parametric knowledge for this task, which can be overcome by introducing external knowledge or task-specific pre-training objectives. Different from this trend, we argue that PTM’s inherent ability for generative commonsense reasoning is underestimated due to the order-agnostic property of its input. In particular, we hypothesize that the order of the input concepts can affect the PTM’s ability to utilize its commonsense knowledge. To this end, we propose a pre-ordering approach to elaborately manipulate the order of the given concepts before generation. Experiments show that our approach can outperform the more sophisticated models that have access to a lot of external data and resources.

Identifying and Mitigating Spurious Correlations for Improving Robustness in NLP Models
Tianlu Wang | Rohit Sridhar | Diyi Yang | Xuezhi Wang

Recently, NLP models have achieved remarkable progress across a variety of tasks; however, they have also been criticized for being not robust. Many robustness problems can be attributed to models exploiting “spurious correlations”, or “shortcuts” between the training data and the task labels. Most existing work identifies a limited set of task-specific shortcuts via human priors or error analyses, which requires extensive expertise and efforts. In this paper, we aim to automatically identify such spurious correlations in NLP models at scale. We first leverage existing interpretability methods to extract tokens that significantly affect model’s decision process from the input text. We then distinguish “genuine” tokens and “spurious” tokens by analyzing model predictions across multiple corpora and further verify them through knowledge-aware perturbations. We show that our proposed method can effectively and efficiently identify a scalable set of “shortcuts”, and mitigating these leads to more robust models in multiple applications.

Great~Truths~are ~Always ~Simple: A Rather Simple Knowledge Encoder for Enhancing the Commonsense Reasoning Capacity of Pre-Trained Models
Jinhao Jiang | Kun Zhou | Ji-Rong Wen | Xin Zhao

Commonsense reasoning in natural language is a desired ability of artificial intelligent systems. For solving complex commonsense reasoning tasks, a typical solution is to enhance pre-trained language models (PTMs) with a knowledge-aware graph neural network (GNN) encoder that models a commonsense knowledge graph (CSKG).Despite the effectiveness, these approaches are built on heavy architectures, and can’t clearly explain how external knowledge resources improve the reasoning capacity of PTMs. Considering this issue, we conduct a deep empirical analysis, and find that it is indeed relation features from CSKGs (but not node features) that mainly contribute to the performance improvement of PTMs. Based on this finding, we design a simple MLP-based knowledge encoder that utilizes statistical relation paths as features. Extensive experiments conducted on five benchmarks demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach, which also largely reduces the parameters for encoding CSKGs.Our codes and data are publicly available at

Analyzing the Intensity of Complaints on Social Media
Ming Fang | Shi Zong | Jing Li | Xinyu Dai | Shujian Huang | Jiajun Chen

Complaining is a speech act that expresses a negative inconsistency between reality and human’s expectations. While prior studies mostly focus on identifying the existence or the type of complaints, in this work, we present the first study in computational linguistics of measuring the intensity of complaints from text. Analyzing complaints from such perspective is particularly useful, as complaints of certain degrees may cause severe consequences for companies or organizations. We first collect 3,103 posts about complaints in education domain from Weibo, a popular Chinese social media platform. These posts are then annotated with complaints intensity scores using Best-Worst Scaling (BWS) method. We show that complaints intensity can be accurately estimated by computational models with best mean square error achieving 0.11. Furthermore, we conduct a comprehensive linguistic analysis around complaints, including the connections between complaints and sentiment, and a cross-lingual comparison for complaints expressions used by Chinese and English speakers. We finally show that our complaints intensity scores can be incorporated for better estimating the popularity of posts on social media.

Detecting Narrative Elements in Informational Text
Effi Levi | Guy Mor | Tamir Sheafer | Shaul Shenhav

Automatic extraction of narrative elements from text, combining narrative theories with computational models, has been receiving increasing attention over the last few years. Previous works have utilized the oral narrative theory by Labov and Waletzky to identify various narrative elements in personal stories texts. Instead, we direct our focus to informational texts, specifically news stories. We introduce NEAT (Narrative Elements AnnoTation) – a novel NLP task for detecting narrative elements in raw text. For this purpose, we designed a new multi-label narrative annotation scheme, better suited for informational text (e.g. news media), by adapting elements from the narrative theory of Labov and Waletzky (Complication and Resolution) and adding a new narrative element of our own (Success). We then used this scheme to annotate a new dataset of 2,209 sentences, compiled from 46 news articles from various category domains. We trained a number of supervised models in several different setups over the annotated dataset to identify the different narrative elements, achieving an average F1 score of up to 0.77. The results demonstrate the holistic nature of our annotation scheme as well as its robustness to domain category.

When do Contrastive Word Alignments Improve Many-to-many Neural Machine Translation?
Zhuoyuan Mao | Chenhui Chu | Raj Dabre | Haiyue Song | Zhen Wan | Sadao Kurohashi

Word alignment has proven to benefit many-to-many neural machine translation (NMT). However, high-quality ground-truth bilingual dictionaries were used for pre-editing in previous methods, which are unavailable for most language pairs. Meanwhile, the contrastive objective can implicitly utilize automatically learned word alignment, which has not been explored in many-to-many NMT. This work proposes a word-level contrastive objective to leverage word alignments for many-to-many NMT. Empirical results show that this leads to 0.8 BLEU gains for several language pairs. Analyses reveal that in many-to-many NMT, the encoder’s sentence retrieval performance highly correlates with the translation quality, which explains when the proposed method impacts translation. This motivates future exploration for many-to-many NMT to improve the encoder’s sentence retrieval performance.

Minimally-Supervised Relation Induction from Pre-trained Language Model
Lu Sun | Yongliang Shen | Weiming Lu

Relation Induction is a very practical task in Natural Language Processing (NLP) area. In practical application scenarios, people want to induce more entity pairs having the same relation from only a few seed entity pairs. Thus, instead of the laborious supervised setting, in this paper, we focus on the minimally-supervised setting where only a couple of seed entity pairs per relation are provided. Although the conventional relation induction methods have made some success, their performance depends heavily on the quality of word embeddings. The great success of Pre-trained Language Models, such as BERT, changes the NLP area a lot, and they are proven to be able to better capture relation knowledge. In this paper, we propose a novel method to induce relation with BERT under the minimally-supervised setting. Specifically, we firstly extract proper templates from the corpus by using the mask-prediction task in BERT to build pseudo-sentences as the context of entity pairs. Then we use BERT attention weights to better represent the pseudo-sentences. In addition, We also use the IntegratedGradient of entity pairs to iteratively select better templates further. Finally, with the high-quality pseudo-sentences, we can train a better classifier for relation induction. Experiments onGoogle Analogy Test Sets (GATS), Bigger Analogy TestSet (BATS) and DiffVec demonstrate that our proposed method achieves state-of-the-art performance.

Crake: Causal-Enhanced Table-Filler for Question Answering over Large Scale Knowledge Base
Minhao Zhang | Ruoyu Zhang | Yanzeng Li | Lei Zou

Semantic parsing solves knowledge base (KB) question answering (KBQA) by composing a KB query, which generally involves node extraction (NE) and graph composition (GC) to detect and connect related nodes in a query. Despite the strong causal effects between NE and GC, previous works fail to directly model such causalities in their pipeline, hindering the learning of subtask correlations. Also, the sequence-generation process for GC in previous works induces ambiguity and exposure bias, which further harms accuracy. In this work, we formalize semantic parsing into two stages. In the first stage (graph structure generation), we propose a causal-enhanced table-filler to overcome the issues in sequence-modelling and to learn the internal causalities. In the second stage (relation extraction), an efficient beam-search algorithm is presented to scale complex queries on large-scale KBs. Experiments on LC-QuAD 1.0 indicate that our method surpasses previous state-of-the-arts by a large margin (17%) while remaining time and space efficiency.

Exploring the Universal Vulnerability of Prompt-based Learning Paradigm
Lei Xu | Yangyi Chen | Ganqu Cui | Hongcheng Gao | Zhiyuan Liu

Prompt-based learning paradigm bridges the gap between pre-training and fine-tuning, and works effectively under the few-shot setting. However, we find that this learning paradigm inherits the vulnerability from the pre-training stage, where model predictions can be misled by inserting certain triggers into the text. In this paper, we explore this universal vulnerability by either injecting backdoor triggers or searching for adversarial triggers on pre-trained language models using only plain text. In both scenarios, we demonstrate that our triggers can totally control or severely decrease the performance of prompt-based models fine-tuned on arbitrary downstream tasks, reflecting the universal vulnerability of the prompt-based learning paradigm. Further experiments show that adversarial triggers have good transferability among language models. We also find conventional fine-tuning models are not vulnerable to adversarial triggers constructed from pre-trained language models. We conclude by proposing a potential solution to mitigate our attack methods. Code and data are publicly available.

Exploiting Numerical-Contextual Knowledge to Improve Numerical Reasoning in Question Answering
Jeonghwan Kim | Junmo Kang | Kyung-min Kim | Giwon Hong | Sung-Hyon Myaeng

Numerical reasoning over text is a challenging subtask in question answering (QA) that requires both the understanding of texts and numbers. However, existing language models in these numerical reasoning QA models tend to overly rely on the pre-existing parametric knowledge at inference time, which commonly causes hallucination in interpreting numbers. Our work proposes a novel attention masked reasoning model, the NC-BERT, that learns to leverage the number-related contextual knowledge to alleviate the over-reliance on parametric knowledge and enhance the numerical reasoning capabilities of the QA model. The empirical results suggest that understanding of numbers in their context by reducing the parametric knowledge influence, and refining numerical information in the number embeddings lead to improved numerical reasoning accuracy and performance in DROP, a numerical QA dataset.

Learn from Relation Information: Towards Prototype Representation Rectification for Few-Shot Relation Extraction
Yang Liu | Jinpeng Hu | Xiang Wan | Tsung-Hui Chang

Few-shot Relation Extraction refers to fast adaptation to novel relation classes with few samples through training on the known relation classes. Most existing methods focus on implicitly introducing relation information (i.e., relation label or relation description) to constrain the prototype representation learning, such as contrastive learning, graphs, and specifically designed attentions, which may bring useless and even harmful parameters. Besides, these approaches are limited in handing outlier samples far away from the class center due to the weakly implicit constraint. In this paper, we propose an effective and parameter-less Prototype Rectification Method (PRM) to promote few-shot relation extraction, where we utilize a prototype rectification module to rectify original prototypes explicitly by the relation information. Specifically, PRM is composed of two gate mechanisms. One gate decides how much of the original prototype remains, and another one updates the remained prototype with relation information. In doing so, better and stabler global relation information can be captured for guiding prototype representations, and thus PRM can robustly deal with outliers. Moreover, we also extend PRM to both none-of-the-above (NOTA) and domain adaptation scenarios. Experimental results on FewRel 1.0 and 2.0 datasets demonstrate the effectiveness of our proposed method, which achieves state-of-the-art performance.

HUE: Pretrained Model and Dataset for Understanding Hanja Documents of Ancient Korea
Haneul Yoo | Jiho Jin | Juhee Son | JinYeong Bak | Kyunghyun Cho | Alice Oh

Historical records in Korea before the 20th century were primarily written in Hanja, an extinct language based on Chinese characters and not understood by modern Korean or Chinese speakers. Historians with expertise in this time period have been analyzing the documents, but that process is very difficult and time-consuming, and language models would significantly speed up the process. Toward building and evaluating language models for Hanja, we release the Hanja Understanding Evaluation dataset consisting of chronological attribution, topic classification, named entity recognition, and summary retrieval tasks. We also present BERT-based models continued training on the two major corpora from the 14th to the 19th centuries: the Annals of the Joseon Dynasty and Diaries of the Royal Secretariats. We compare the models with several baselines on all tasks and show there are significant improvements gained by training on the two corpora. Additionally, we run zero-shot experiments on the Daily Records of the Royal Court and Important Officials (DRRI). The DRRI dataset has not been studied much by the historians, and not at all by the NLP community.

SeaD: End-to-end Text-to-SQL Generation with Schema-aware Denoising
Kuan Xu | Yongbo Wang | Yongliang Wang | Zihao Wang | Zujie Wen | Yang Dong

On the WikiSQL benchmark, most methods tackle the challenge of text-to-SQL with predefined sketch slots and build sophisticated sub-tasks to fill these slots. Though achieving promising results, these methods suffer from over-complex model structure. In this paper, we present a simple yet effective approach that enables auto-regressive sequence-to-sequence model to robust text-to-SQL generation. Instead of formulating the task of text-to-SQL as slot-filling, we propose to train sequence-to-sequence model with Schema-aware Denoising (SeaD), which consists of two denoising objectives that train model to either recover input or predict output from two novel erosion and shuffle noises. These model-agnostic denoising objectives act as the auxiliary tasks for structural data modeling during sequence-to-sequence generation. In addition, we propose a clause-sensitive execution guided (EG) decoding strategy to overcome the limitation of EG decoding for generative model. The experiments show that the proposed method improves the performance of sequence-to-sequence model in both schema linking and grammar correctness and establishes new state-of-the-art on WikiSQL benchmark. Our work indicates that the capacity of sequence-to-sequence model for text-to-SQL may have been under-estimated and could be enhanced by specialized denoising task.

Cross-Lingual Cross-Modal Consolidation for Effective Multilingual Video Corpus Moment Retrieval
Jiaheng Liu | Tan Yu | Hanyu Peng | Mingming Sun | Ping Li

Existing multilingual video corpus moment retrieval (mVCMR) methods are mainly based on a two-stream structure. The visual stream utilizes the visual content in the video to estimate the query-visual similarity, and the subtitle stream exploits the query-subtitle similarity. The final query-video similarity ensembles similarities from two streams. In our work, we pro- pose a simple and effective strategy termed as Cross-lingual Cross-modal Consolidation (C3 ) to improve mVCMR accuracy. We adopt the ensemble similarity as the teacher to guide the training of each stream, leading to a more powerful ensemble similarity. Meanwhile, we use the teacher for a specific language to guide the student for another language to exploit the complementary knowledge across languages. Ex- tensive experiments on mTVR dataset demonstrate the effectiveness of our C3 method.

Delving Deep into Regularity: A Simple but Effective Method for Chinese Named Entity Recognition
Yingjie Gu | Xiaoye Qu | Zhefeng Wang | Yi Zheng | Baoxing Huai | Nicholas Jing Yuan

Recent years have witnessed the improving performance of Chinese Named Entity Recognition (NER) from proposing new frameworks or incorporating word lexicons. However, the inner composition of entity mentions in character-level Chinese NER has been rarely studied. Actually, most mentions of regular types have strong name regularity. For example, entities end with indicator words such as “公司 (company) ” or “银行 (bank)” usually belong to organization. In this paper, we propose a simple but effective method for investigating the regularity of entity spans in Chinese NER, dubbed as Regularity-Inspired reCOgnition Network (RICON). Specifically, the proposed model consists of two branches: a regularity-aware module and a regularity-agnostic module. The regularity-aware module captures the internal regularity of each span for better entity type prediction, while the regularity-agnostic module is employed to locate the boundary of entities and relieve the excessive attention to span regularity. An orthogonality space is further constructed to encourage two modules to extract different aspects of regularity features. To verify the effectiveness of our method, we conduct extensive experiments on three benchmark datasets and a practical medical dataset. The experimental results show that our RICON significantly outperforms previous state-of-the-art methods, including various lexicon-based methods.

CRUSH: Contextually Regularized and User anchored Self-supervised Hate speech Detection
Souvic Chakraborty | Parag Dutta | Sumegh Roychowdhury | Animesh Mukherjee

The last decade has witnessed a surge in the interaction of people through social networking platforms. While there are several positive aspects of these social platforms, their proliferation has led them to become the breeding ground for cyber-bullying and hate speech. Recent advances in NLP have often been used to mitigate the spread of such hateful content.Since the task of hate speech detection is usually applicable in the context of social networks, we introduce CRUSH, a framework for hate speech detection using User Anchored self-supervision and contextual regularization.Our proposed approach secures ~1-12% improvement in test set metrics over best performing previous approaches on two types of tasks and multiple popular English language social networking datasets.

METGEN: A Module-Based Entailment Tree Generation Framework for Answer Explanation
Ruixin Hong | Hongming Zhang | Xintong Yu | Changshui Zhang

Knowing the reasoning chains from knowledge to the predicted answers can help construct an explainable question answering (QA) system. Advances on QA explanation propose to explain the answers with entailment trees composed of multiple entailment steps. While current work proposes to generate entailment trees with end-to-end generative models, the steps in the generated trees are not constrained and could be unreliable. In this paper, we propose METGEN, a Module-based Entailment Tree GENeration framework that has multiple modules and a reasoning controller. Given a question and several supporting knowledge, METGEN can iteratively generate the entailment tree by conducting single-step entailment with separate modules and selecting the reasoning flow with the controller. As each module is guided to perform a specific type of entailment reasoning, the steps generated by METGEN are more reliable and valid. Experiment results on the standard benchmark show that METGEN can outperform previous state-of-the-art models with only 9% of the parameters.

A Timestep aware Sentence Embedding and Acme Coverage for Brief but Informative Title Generation
Quanbin Wang | XieXiong Lin | Feng Wang

The title generation task that summarizes article content in recapitulatory words relies heavily on utilizing the corresponding key context. To generate a title with appropriate information in the content and avoid repetition, we propose a title generation framework with two complementary components in this paper. First, we propose a Timestep aware Sentence Embedding (TSE) mechanism, which updates the sentences’ representations by re-locating the critical words in the corresponding sentence for each decoding step. Then, we present an Acme Coverage (AC) mechanism to solve the repetition problem and preserve the remaining valuable keywords after each decoding step according to the final vocabulary distribution. We conduct comprehensive experiments on various title generation tasks with different backbones, the evaluation scores of ROUGE and METEOR in varying degrees are significantly outperforming most of the existing state-of-the-art approaches. The experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness and generality of our novel generation framework TSE-AC.

Make The Most of Prior Data: A Solution for Interactive Text Summarization with Preference Feedback
Duy-Hung Nguyen | Nguyen Viet Dung Nghiem | Bao-Sinh Nguyen | Dung Tien Tien Le | Shahab Sabahi | Minh-Tien Nguyen | Hung Le

For summarization, human preferences is critical to tame outputs of the summarizer in favor of human interests, as ground-truth summaries are scarce and ambiguous. Practical settings require dynamic exchanges between humans and AI agents wherein feedback is provided in an online manner, a few at a time. In this paper, we introduce a new framework to train summarization models with preference feedback interactively. By properly leveraging offline data and a novel reward model, we improve the performance regarding ROUGE scores and sample-efficiency. Our experiments on three various datasets confirm the benefit of the proposed framework in active, few-shot and online settings of preference learning.

XLTime: A Cross-Lingual Knowledge Transfer Framework for Temporal Expression Extraction
Yuwei Cao | William Groves | Tanay Kumar Saha | Joel Tetreault | Alejandro Jaimes | Hao Peng | Philip Yu

Temporal Expression Extraction (TEE) is essential for understanding time in natural language. It has applications in Natural Language Processing (NLP) tasks such as question answering, information retrieval, and causal inference. To date, work in this area has mostly focused on English as there is a scarcity of labeled data for other languages. We propose XLTime, a novel framework for multilingual TEE. XLTime works on top of pre-trained language models and leverages multi-task learning to prompt cross-language knowledge transfer both from English and within the non-English languages. XLTime alleviates problems caused by a shortage of data in the target language. We apply XLTime with different language models and show that it outperforms the previous automatic SOTA methods on French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Basque, by large margins. XLTime also closes the gap considerably on the handcrafted HeidelTime method.

BehancePR: A Punctuation Restoration Dataset for Livestreaming Video Transcript
Viet Lai | Amir Pouran Ben Veyseh | Franck Dernoncourt | Thien Nguyen

Given the increasing number of livestreaming videos, automatic speech recognition and post-processing for livestreaming video transcripts are crucial for efficient data management as well as knowledge mining. A key step in this process is punctuation restoration which restores fundamental text structures such as phrase and sentence boundaries from the video transcripts. This work presents a new human-annotated corpus, called BehancePR, for punctuation restoration in livestreaming video transcripts. Our experiments on BehancePR demonstrate the challenges of punctuation restoration for this domain. Furthermore, we show that popular natural language processing toolkits like Stanford Stanza, Spacy, and Trankit underperform on detecting sentence boundary on non-punctuated transcripts of livestreaming videos. The dataset is publicly accessible at

Event Detection for Suicide Understanding
Luis Guzman-Nateras | Viet Lai | Amir Pouran Ben Veyseh | Franck Dernoncourt | Thien Nguyen

Suicide is a serious problem in every society. Understanding life events of a potential patient is essential for successful suicide-risk assessment and prevention. In this work, we focus on the Event Detection (ED) task to identify event trigger words of suicide-related events in public posts of discussion forums. In particular, we introduce SuicideED: a new dataset for the ED task that features seven suicidal event types to comprehensively capture suicide actions and ideation, and general risk and protective factors. Our experiments with current state-of-the-art ED systems suggest that this domain poses meaningful challenges as there is significant room for improvement of ED models. We will release SuicideED to support future research in this important area.

Great Power, Great Responsibility: Recommendations for Reducing Energy for Training Language Models
Joseph McDonald | Baolin Li | Nathan Frey | Devesh Tiwari | Vijay Gadepally | Siddharth Samsi

The energy requirements of current natural language processing models continue to grow at a rapid, unsustainable pace. Recent works highlighting this problem conclude there is an urgent need for methods that reduce the energy needs of NLP and machine learning more broadly. In this article, we investigate techniques that can be used to reduce the energy consumption of common NLP applications. In particular, we focus on techniques to measure energy usage and different hardware and datacenter-oriented settings that can be tuned to reduce energy consumption for training and inference for language models. We characterize the impact of these settings on metrics such as computational performance and energy consumption through experiments conducted on a high performance computing system as well as popular cloud computing platforms. These techniques can lead to significant reduction in energy consumption when training language models or their use for inference. For example, power-capping, which limits the maximum power a GPU can consume, can enable a 15% decrease in energy usage with marginal increase in overall computation time when training a transformer-based language model.

What kinds of errors do reference resolution models make and what can we learn from them?
Jorge Sánchez | Mauricio Mazuecos | Hernán Maina | Luciana Benotti

Referring resolution is the task of identifying the referent of a natural language expression, for example “the woman behind the other woman getting a massage”. In this paper we investigate which are the kinds of referring expressions on which current transformer based models fail. Motivated by this analysis we identify the weakening of the spatial natural constraints as one of its causes and propose a model that aims to restore it. We evaluate our proposed model on different datasets for the task showing improved performance on the most challenging kinds of referring expressions. Finally we present a thorough analysis of the kinds errors that are improved by the new model and those that are not and remain future challenges for the task.

Uncertainty-Aware Cross-Lingual Transfer with Pseudo Partial Labels
Shuo Lei | Xuchao Zhang | Jianfeng He | Fanglan Chen | Chang-Tien Lu

Large-scale multilingual pre-trained language models have achieved remarkable performance in zero-shot cross-lingual tasks. A recent study has demonstrated the effectiveness of self-learning-based approach on cross-lingual transfer, where only unlabeled data of target languages are required, without any efforts to annotate gold labels for target languages. However, it suffers from noisy training due to the incorrectly pseudo-labeled samples. In this work, we propose an uncertainty-aware Cross-Lingual Transfer framework with Pseudo-Partial-Label (CLTP)1 to maximize the utilization of unlabeled data by reducing the noise introduced in the training phase. To estimate pseudo-partial-label for each unlabeled data, we propose a novel estimation method, considering both prediction confidence and the limitation to the number of similar labels. Extensive experiments are conducted on two cross-lingual tasks, including Named Entity Recognition (NER) and Natural Language Inference (NLI) across 40 languages, which shows our method can outperform the baselines on both high-resource and low-resource languages, such as 6.9 on Kazakh (kk) and 5.2 Marathi (mr) for NER.

NLU++: A Multi-Label, Slot-Rich, Generalisable Dataset for Natural Language Understanding in Task-Oriented Dialogue
Inigo Casanueva | Ivan Vulić | Georgios Spithourakis | Paweł Budzianowski

We present NLU++, a novel dataset for natural language understanding (NLU) in task-oriented dialogue (ToD) systems, with the aim to provide a much more challenging evaluation environment for dialogue NLU models, up to date with the current application and industry requirements. NLU++ is divided into two domains (BANKING and HOTELS) and brings several crucial improvements over current commonly used NLU datasets. 1) NLU++ provides fine-grained domain ontologies with a large set of challenging multi-intent sentences combined with finer-grained and thus more challenging slot sets. 2) The ontology is divided into domain-specific and generic (i.e., domain-universal) intents that overlap across domains, promoting cross-domain reusability of annotated examples. 3) The dataset design has been inspired by the problems observed in industrial ToD systems, and 4) it has been collected, filtered and carefully annotated by dialogue NLU experts, yielding high-quality annotated data. Finally, we benchmark a series of current state-of-the-art NLU models on NLU++; the results demonstrate the challenging nature of the dataset, especially in low-data regimes, and call for further research on ToD NLU.

Challenges in Generalization in Open Domain Question Answering
Linqing Liu | Patrick Lewis | Sebastian Riedel | Pontus Stenetorp

Recent work on Open Domain Question Answering has shown that there is a large discrepancy in model performance between novel test questions and those that largely overlap with training questions. However, it is unclear which aspects of novel questions make them challenging. Drawing upon studies on systematic generalization, we introduce and annotate questions according to three categories that measure different levels and kinds of generalization: training set overlap, compositional generalization (comp-gen), and novel-entity generalization (novel-entity). When evaluating six popular parametric and non-parametric models, we find that for the established Natural Questions and TriviaQA datasets, even the strongest model performance for comp-gen/novel-entity is 13.1/5.4% and 9.6/1.5% lower compared to that for the full test set – indicating the challenge posed by these types of questions. Furthermore, we show that whilst non-parametric models can handle questions containing novel entities relatively well, they struggle with those requiring compositional generalization. Lastly, we find that key question difficulty factors are: cascading errors from the retrieval component, frequency of question pattern, and frequency of the entity.

Beyond Distributional Hypothesis: Let Language Models Learn Meaning-Text Correspondence
Myeongjun Jang | Frank Mtumbuka | Thomas Lukasiewicz

The logical negation property (LNP), which implies generating different predictions for semantically opposite inputs (p is true iff ¬p is false), is an important property that a trustworthy language model must satisfy. However, much recent evidence shows that large-size pre-trained language models (PLMs) do not satisfy this property. In this paper, we perform experiments using probing tasks to assess PLMs’ LNP understanding. Unlike previous studies that only examined negation expressions, we expand the boundary of the investigation to lexical semantics. Through experiments, we observe that PLMs violate the LNP frequently. To alleviate the issue, we propose a novel intermediate training task, named meaning-matching, designed to directly learn a meaning text correspondence, instead of relying on the distributional hypothesis. Through multiple experiments, we find that the task enables PLMs to learn lexical semantic information. Also, through fine-tuning experiments on 7 GLUE tasks, we confirm that it is a safe intermediate task that guarantees a similar or better performance of downstream tasks. Finally, we observe that our proposed approach outperforms our previous counterparts despite its time and resource efficiency.

Por Qué Não Utiliser Alla Språk? Mixed Training with Gradient Optimization in Few-Shot Cross-Lingual Transfer
Haoran Xu | Kenton Murray

The current state-of-the-art for few-shot cross-lingual transfer learning first trains on abundant labeled data in the source language and then fine-tunes with a few examples on the target language, termed target-adapting. Though this has been demonstrated to work on a variety of tasks, in this paper we show some deficiencies of this approach and propose a one-step mixed training method that trains on both source and target data with stochastic gradient surgery, a novel gradient-level optimization. Unlike the previous studies that focus on one language at a time when target-adapting, we use one model to handle all target languages simultaneously to avoid excessively language-specific models. Moreover, we discuss the unreality of utilizing large target development sets for model selection in previous literature. We further show that our method is both development-free for target languages, and is also able to escape from overfitting issues. We conduct a large-scale experiment on 4 diverse NLP tasks across up to 48 languages. Our proposed method achieves state-of-the-art performance on all tasks and outperforms target-adapting by a large margin, especially for languages that are linguistically distant from the source language, e.g., 7.36% F1 absolute gain on average for the NER task, up to 17.60% on Punjabi.

Learning to Execute Actions or Ask Clarification Questions
Zhengxiang Shi | Yue Feng | Aldo Lipani

Collaborative tasks are ubiquitous activities where a form of communication is required in order to reach a joint goal. Collaborative building is one of such tasks. We wish to develop an intelligent builder agent in a simulated building environment (Minecraft) that can build whatever users wish to build by just talking to the agent. In order to achieve this goal, such agents need to be able to take the initiative by asking clarification questions when further information is needed. Existing works on Minecraft Corpus Dataset only learn to execute instructions neglecting the importance of asking for clarifications. In this paper, we extend the Minecraft Corpus Dataset by annotating all builder utterances into eight types, including clarification questions, and propose a new builder agent model capable of determining when to ask or execute instructions. Experimental results show that our model achieves state-of-the-art performance on the collaborative building task with a substantial improvement. We also define two new tasks, the learning to ask task and the joint learning task. The latter consists of solving both collaborating building and learning to ask tasks jointly.

Capturing Conversational Interaction for Question Answering via Global History Reasoning
Jin Qian | Bowei Zou | Mengxing Dong | Xiao Li | AiTi Aw | Yu Hong

Conversational Question Answering (ConvQA) is required to answer the current question, conditioned on the observable paragraph-level context and conversation history. Previous works have intensively studied history-dependent reasoning. They perceive and absorb topic-related information of prior utterances in the interactive encoding stage. It yielded significant improvement compared to history-independent reasoning. This paper further strengthens the ConvQA encoder by establishing long-distance dependency among global utterances in multi-turn conversation. We use multi-layer transformers to resolve long-distance relationships, which potentially contribute to the reweighting of attentive information in historical utterances.Experiments on QuAC show that our method obtains a substantial improvement (1%), yielding the F1 score of 73.7%. All source codes are available at

Learning Structural Information for Syntax-Controlled Paraphrase Generation
Erguang Yang | Chenglin Bai | Deyi Xiong | Yujie Zhang | Yao Meng | Jinan Xu | Yufeng Chen

Syntax-controlled paraphrase generation aims to produce paraphrase conform to given syntactic patterns. To address this task, recent works have started to use parse trees (or syntactic templates) to guide generation.A constituency parse tree contains abundant structural information, such as parent-child relation, sibling relation, and the alignment relation between words and nodes.Previous works have only utilized parent-child and alignment relations, which may affect the generation quality.To address this limitation, we propose a Structural Information-augmented Syntax-Controlled Paraphrasing (SI-SCP) model. Particularly, we design a syntax encoder based on tree-transformer to capture parent-child and sibling relations. To model the alignment relation between words and nodes, we propose an attention regularization objective, which makes the decoder accurately select corresponding syntax nodes to guide the generation of words.Experiments show that SI-SCP achieves state-of-the-art performances in terms of semantic and syntactic quality on two popular benchmark datasets.Additionally, we propose a Syntactic Template Retriever (STR) to retrieve compatible syntactic structures. We validate that STR is capable of retrieving compatible syntactic structures. We further demonstrate the effectiveness of SI-SCP to generate diverse paraphrases with retrieved syntactic structures.

Controllable Sentence Simplification via Operation Classification
Liam Cripwell | Joël Legrand | Claire Gardent

Different types of transformations have been used to model sentence simplification ranging from mainly local operations such as phrasal or lexical rewriting, deletion and re-ordering to the more global affecting the whole input sentence such as sentence rephrasing, copying and splitting. In this paper, we propose a novel approach to sentence simplification which encompasses four global operations: whether to rephrase or copy and whether to split based on syntactic or discourse structure. We create a novel dataset that can be used to train highly accurate classification systems for these four operations. We propose a controllable-simplification model that tailors simplifications to these operations and show that it outperforms both end-to-end, non-controllable approaches and previous controllable approaches.

Balancing Multi-Domain Corpora Learning for Open-Domain Response Generation
Yujie Xing | Jinglun Cai | Nils Barlaug | Peng Liu | Jon Atle Gulla

Open-domain conversational systems are assumed to generate equally good responses on multiple domains. Previous work achieved good performance on the single corpus, but training and evaluating on multiple corpora from different domains are less studied. This paper explores methods of generating relevant responses for each of multiple multi-domain corpora. We first examine interleaved learning which intermingles multiple corpora as the baseline. We then investigate two multi-domain learning methods, labeled learning and multi-task labeled learning, which encode each corpus through a unique corpus embedding. Furthermore, we propose Domain-specific Frequency (DF), a novel word-level importance weight that measures the relative importance of a word for a specific corpus compared to other corpora. Based on DF, we propose weighted learning, a method that integrates DF to the loss function. We also adopt DF as a new evaluation metric. Extensive experiments show that our methods gain significant improvements on both automatic and human evaluation. We share our code and data for reproducibility.

Semantic-Preserving Abstractive Text Summarization with Siamese Generative Adversarial Net
Xin Sheng | Linli Xu | Yinlong Xu | Deqiang Jiang | Bo Ren

We propose a novel siamese generative adversarial net for abstractive text summarization (SSPGAN), which can preserve the main semantics of the source text. Different from previous generative adversarial net based methods, SSPGAN is equipped with a siamese semantic-preserving discriminator, which can not only be trained to discriminate the machine-generated summaries from the human-summarized ones, but also ensure the semantic consistency between the source text and target summary. As a consequence of the min-max game between the generator and the siamese semantic-preserving discriminator, the generator can generate a summary that conveys the key content of the source text more accurately. Extensive experiments on several text summarization benchmarks in different languages demonstrate that the proposed model can achieve significant improvements over the state-of-the-art methods.

Towards Job-Transition-Tag Graph for a Better Job Title Representation Learning
Jun Zhu | Celine Hudelot

Works on learning job title representation are mainly based on Job-Transition Graph, built from the working history of talents. However, since these records are usually messy, this graph is very sparse, which affects the quality of the learned representation and hinders further analysis. To address this specific issue, we propose to enrich the graph with additional nodes that improve the quality of job title representation. Specifically, we construct Job-Transition-Tag Graph, a heterogeneous graph containing two types of nodes, i.e., job titles and tags (i.e., words related to job responsibilities or functionalities). Along this line, we reformulate job title representation learning as the task of learning node embedding on the Job-Transition-Tag Graph. Experiments on two datasets show the interest of our approach.

CL-ReLKT: Cross-lingual Language Knowledge Transfer for Multilingual Retrieval Question Answering
Peerat Limkonchotiwat | Wuttikorn Ponwitayarat | Can Udomcharoenchaikit | Ekapol Chuangsuwanich | Sarana Nutanong

Cross-Lingual Retrieval Question Answering (CL-ReQA) is concerned with retrieving answer documents or passages to a question written in a different language. A common approach to CL-ReQA is to create a multilingual sentence embedding space such that question-answer pairs across different languages are close to each other. In this paper, we propose a novel CL-ReQA method utilizing the concept of language knowledge transfer and a new cross-lingual consistency training technique to create a multilingual embedding space for ReQA. To assess the effectiveness of our work, we conducted comprehensive experiments on CL-ReQA and a downstream task, machine reading QA. We compared our proposed method with the current state-of-the-art solutions across three public CL-ReQA corpora. Our method outperforms competitors in 19 out of 21 settings of CL-ReQA. When used with a downstream machine reading QA task, our method outperforms the best existing language-model-based method by 10% in F1 while being 10 times faster in sentence embedding computation. The code and models are available at

BORT: Back and Denoising Reconstruction for End-to-End Task-Oriented Dialog
Haipeng Sun | Junwei Bao | Youzheng Wu | Xiaodong He

A typical end-to-end task-oriented dialog system transfers context into dialog state, and upon which generates a response, which usually faces the problem of error propagation from both previously generated inaccurate dialog states and responses, especially in low-resource scenarios. To alleviate these issues, we propose BORT, a back and denoising reconstruction approach for end-to-end task-oriented dialog system. Squarely, to improve the accuracy of dialog states, back reconstruction is used to reconstruct the original input context from the generated dialog states since inaccurate dialog states cannot recover the corresponding input context. To enhance the denoising capability of the model to reduce the impact of error propagation, denoising reconstruction is used to reconstruct the corrupted dialog state and response. Extensive experiments conducted on MultiWOZ 2.0 and CamRest676 show the effectiveness of BORT. Furthermore, BORT demonstrates its advanced capabilities in the zero-shot domain and low-resource scenarios.

Multi-stage Distillation Framework for Cross-Lingual Semantic Similarity Matching
Kunbo Ding | Weijie Liu | Yuejian Fang | Zhe Zhao | Qi Ju | Xuefeng Yang | Rong Tian | Zhu Tao | Haoyan Liu | Han Guo | Xingyu Bai | Weiquan Mao | Yudong Li | Weigang Guo | Taiqiang Wu | Ningyuan Sun

Previous studies have proved that cross-lingual knowledge distillation can significantly improve the performance of pre-trained models for cross-lingual similarity matching tasks. However, the student model needs to be large in this operation. Otherwise, its performance will drop sharply, thus making it impractical to be deployed to memory-limited devices. To address this issue, we delve into cross-lingual knowledge distillation and propose a multi-stage distillation framework for constructing a small-size but high-performance cross-lingual model. In our framework, contrastive learning, bottleneck, and parameter recurrent strategies are delicately combined to prevent performance from being compromised during the compression process. The experimental results demonstrate that our method can compress the size of XLM-R and MiniLM by more than 50%, while the performance is only reduced by about 1%.

On the Limitations of Dataset Balancing: The Lost Battle Against Spurious Correlations
Roy Schwartz | Gabriel Stanovsky

Recent work has shown that deep learning models in NLP are highly sensitive to low-level correlations between simple features and specific output labels, leading to over-fitting and lack of generalization. To mitigate this problem, a common practice is to balance datasets by adding new instances or by filtering out “easy” instances (Sakaguchi et al., 2020), culminating in a recent proposal to eliminate single-word correlations altogether (Gardner et al., 2021). In this opinion paper, we identify that despite these efforts, increasingly-powerful models keep exploiting ever-smaller spurious correlations, and as a result even balancing all single-word features is insufficient for mitigating all of these correlations. In parallel, a truly balanced dataset may be bound to “throw the baby out with the bathwater” and miss important signal encoding common sense and world knowledge. We highlight several alternatives to dataset balancing, focusing on enhancing datasets with richer contexts, allowing models to abstain and interact with users, and turning from large-scale fine-tuning to zero- or few-shot setups.

Specializing Pre-trained Language Models for Better Relational Reasoning via Network Pruning
Siyu Ren | Kenny Zhu

Pretrained masked language models (PLMs) were shown to be inheriting a considerable amount of relational knowledge from the source corpora. In this paper, we present an in-depth and comprehensive study concerning specializing PLMs into relational models from the perspective of network pruning. We show that it is possible to find subnetworks capable of representing grounded commonsense relations at non-trivial sparsity while being more generalizable than original PLMs in scenarios requiring knowledge of single or multiple commonsense relations.

D2GCLF: Document-to-Graph Classifier for Legal Document Classification
Qiqi Wang | Kaiqi Zhao | Robert Amor | Benjamin Liu | Ruofan Wang

Legal document classification is an essential task in law intelligence to automate the labor-intensive law case filing process. Unlike traditional document classification problems, legal documents should be classified by reasons and facts instead of topics. We propose a Document-to-Graph Classifier (D2GCLF), which extracts facts as relations between key participants in the law case and represents a legal document with four relation graphs. Each graph is responsible for capturing different relations between the litigation participants. We further develop a graph attention network on top of the four relation graphs to classify the legal documents. Experiments on a real-world legal document dataset show that D2GCLF outperforms the state-of-the-art methods in terms of accuracy.

A Label-Aware Autoregressive Framework for Cross-Domain NER
Jinpeng Hu | He Zhao | Dan Guo | Xiang Wan | Tsung-Hui Chang

Cross-domain named entity recognition (NER) aims to borrow the entity information from the source domain to help the entity recognition in the target domain with limited labeled data. Despite the promising performance of existing approaches, most of them focus on reducing the discrepancy of token representation between source and target domains, while the transfer of the valuable label information is often not explicitly considered or even ignored. Therefore, we propose a novel autoregressive framework to advance cross-domain NER by first enhancing the relationship between labels and tokens and then further improving the transferability of label information. Specifically, we associate each label with an embedding vector, and for each token, we utilize a bidirectional LSTM (Bi-LSTM) to encode the labels of its previous tokens for modeling internal context information and label dependence. Afterward, we propose a Bi-Attention module that merges the token representation from a pre-trained model and the label features from the Bi-LSTM as the label-aware information, which is concatenated to the token representation to facilitate cross-domain NER. In doing so, label information contained in the embedding vectors can be effectively transferred to the target domain, and Bi-LSTM can further model the label relationship among different domains by pre-train and then fine-tune setting. Experimental results on several datasets confirm the effectiveness of our model, where our model achieves significant improvements over the state of the arts.

A Dog Is Passing Over The Jet? A Text-Generation Dataset for Korean Commonsense Reasoning and Evaluation
Jaehyung Seo | Seounghoon Lee | Chanjun Park | Yoonna Jang | Hyeonseok Moon | Sugyeong Eo | Seonmin Koo | Heuiseok Lim

Recent natural language understanding (NLU) research on the Korean language has been vigorously maturing with the advancements of pretrained language models and datasets. However, Korean pretrained language models still struggle to generate a short sentence with a given condition based on compositionality and commonsense reasoning (i.e., generative commonsense reasoning). The two major challenges are inadequate data resources to develop generative commonsense reasoning regarding Korean linguistic features and to evaluate language models which are necessary for natural language generation (NLG). To solve these problems, we propose a text-generation dataset for Korean generative commonsense reasoning and language model evaluation. In this work, a semi-automatic dataset construction approach filters out contents inexplicable to commonsense, ascertains quality, and reduces the cost of building the dataset. We also present an in-depth analysis of the generation results of language models with various evaluation metrics along with human-annotated scores. The whole dataset is publicly available at (

Improve Discourse Dependency Parsing with Contextualized Representations
Yifei Zhou | Yansong Feng

Previous works show that discourse analysis benefits from modeling intra- and inter-sentential levels separately, where proper representations for text units of different granularities are desired to capture both the information of the text units and their relation to the context. In this paper, we propose to take advantage of transformers to encode different contextualized representations of units of different levels to dynamically capture the information required for discourse dependency analysis on intra- and inter-sentential levels. Motivated by the observation of writing patterns shared across articles to improve discourse analysis, we propose to design sequence labeling methods to take advantage of such structural information from the context that substantially outperforms traditional direct classification methods. Experiments show that our model achieves state-of-the-art results on both English and Chinese datasets.

LiST: Lite Prompted Self-training Makes Parameter-efficient Few-shot Learners
Yaqing Wang | Subhabrata Mukherjee | Xiaodong Liu | Jing Gao | Ahmed Awadallah | Jianfeng Gao

We present a new method LiST for efficient fine-tuning of large pre-trained language models (PLMs) in few-shot learning settings. LiST improves over recent methods that adopt prompt-based fine-tuning (FN) using two key techniques. The first is the use of self-training to leverage large amounts of unlabeled data for prompt-based FN in few-shot settings. We use self-training in conjunction with meta-learning for re-weighting noisy pseudo-prompt labels. Traditionally, self-training is expensive as it requires updating all the model parameters repetitively. Therefore, we use a second technique for light-weight fine-tuning where we introduce a small number of task-specific parameters that are fine-tuned during self-training while keeping the PLM encoder frozen. Our experiments show that LiST can effectively leverage unlabeled data to improve the model performance for few-shot learning. Additionally, the finetuning process is efficient as it only updates a small percentage of the parameters and the overall model footprint is reduced since several tasks can share a common PLM encoder as backbone. We present a comprehensive study on six NLU tasks to validate the effectiveness of LiST. The results show that LiST improves by 35% over classic fine-tuning methods and 6% over prompt-based FN with 96% reduction in number of trainable parameters when fine-tuned with no more than 30 labeled examples from each task. With only 14M tunable parameters, LiST outperforms GPT-3 in-context learning by 33% on few-shot NLU tasks

CLMLF:A Contrastive Learning and Multi-Layer Fusion Method for Multimodal Sentiment Detection
Zhen Li | Bing Xu | Conghui Zhu | Tiejun Zhao

Compared with unimodal data, multimodal data can provide more features to help the model analyze the sentiment of data. Previous research works rarely consider token-level feature fusion, and few works explore learning the common features related to sentiment in multimodal data to help the model fuse multimodal features. In this paper, we propose a Contrastive Learning and Multi-Layer Fusion (CLMLF) method for multimodal sentiment detection. Specifically, we first encode text and image to obtain hidden representations, and then use a multi-layer fusion module to align and fuse the token-level features of text and image. In addition to the sentiment analysis task, we also designed two contrastive learning tasks, label based contrastive learning and data based contrastive learning tasks, which will help the model learn common features related to sentiment in multimodal data. Extensive experiments conducted on three publicly available multimodal datasets demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach for multimodal sentiment detection compared with existing methods. The codes are available for use at https: //

Weakly Supervised Text Classification using Supervision Signals from a Language Model
Ziqian Zeng | Weimin Ni | Tianqing Fang | Xiang Li | Xinran Zhao | Yangqiu Song

Solving text classification in a weakly supervised manner is important for real-world applications where human annotations are scarce. In this paper, we propose to query a masked language model with cloze style prompts to obtain supervision signals. We design a prompt which combines the document itself and “this article is talking about [MASK].” A masked language model can generate words for the [MASK] token. The generated words which summarize the content of a document can be utilized as supervision signals. We propose a latent variable model to learn a word distribution learner which associates generated words to pre-defined categories and a document classifier simultaneously without using any annotated data. Evaluation on three datasets, AGNews, 20Newsgroups, and UCINews, shows that our method can outperform baselines by 2%, 4%, and 3%.

Analytical Reasoning of Text
Wanjun Zhong | Siyuan Wang | Duyu Tang | Zenan Xu | Daya Guo | Yining Chen | Jiahai Wang | Jian Yin | Ming Zhou | Nan Duan

Analytical reasoning is an essential and challenging task that requires a system to analyze a scenario involving a set of particular circumstances and perform reasoning over it to make conclusions. However, current neural models with implicit reasoning ability struggle to solve this task. In this paper, we study the challenge of analytical reasoning of text and collect a new dataset consisting of questions from the Law School Admission Test from 1991 to 2016. We analyze what knowledge understanding and reasoning abilities are required to do well on this task, and present an approach dubbed ARM. It extracts knowledge such as participants and facts from the context. Such knowledge are applied to an inference engine to deduce legitimate solutions for drawing conclusions. In our experiments, we find that ubiquitous pre-trained models struggle to deal with this task as their performance is close to random guess. Results show that ARM outperforms pre-trained models significantly. Moreover, we demonstrate that ARM has better explicit interpretable reasoning ability.

Denoising Neural Network for News Recommendation with Positive and Negative Implicit Feedback
Yunfan Hu | Zhaopeng Qiu | Xian Wu

News recommendation is different from movie or e-commercial recommendation as people usually do not grade the news. Therefore, user feedback for news is always implicit (click behavior, reading time, etc). Inevitably, there are noises in implicit feedback. On one hand, the user may exit immediately after clicking the news as he dislikes the news content, leaving the noise in his positive implicit feedback; on the other hand, the user may be recommended multiple interesting news at the same time and only click one of them, producing the noise in his negative implicit feedback. Opposite implicit feedback could construct more integrated user preferences and help each other to minimize the noise influence. Previous works on news recommendation only used positive implicit feedback and suffered from the noise impact. In this paper, we propose a denoising neural network for news recommendation with positive and negative implicit feedback, named DRPN. DRPN utilizes both feedback for recommendation with a module to denoise both positive and negative implicit feedback to further enhance the performance. Experiments on the real-world large-scale dataset demonstrate the state-of-the-art performance of DRPN.

Continual Machine Reading Comprehension via Uncertainty-aware Fixed Memory and Adversarial Domain Adaptation
Zhijing Wu | Hua Xu | Jingliang Fang | Kai Gao

Continual Machine Reading Comprehension aims to incrementally learn from a continuous data stream across time without access the previous seen data, which is crucial for the development of real-world MRC systems. However, it is a great challenge to learn a new domain incrementally without catastrophically forgetting previous knowledge. In this paper, MA-MRC, a continual MRC model with uncertainty-aware fixed Memory and Adversarial domain adaptation, is proposed. In MA-MRC, a fixed size memory stores a small number of samples in previous domain data along with an uncertainty-aware updating strategy when new domain data arrives. For incremental learning, MA-MRC not only keeps a stable understanding by learning both memory and new domain data, but also makes full use of the domain adaptation relationship between them by adversarial learning strategy. The experimental results show that MA-MRC is superior to strong baselines and has a substantial incremental learning ability without catastrophically forgetting under two different continual MRC settings.

Jointly Learning Guidance Induction and Faithful Summary Generation via Conditional Variational Autoencoders
Wang Xu | Tiejun Zhao

Abstractive summarization can generate high quality results with the development of the neural network. However, generating factual consistency summaries is a challenging task for abstractive summarization. Recent studies extract the additional information with off-the-shelf tools from the source document as a clue to guide the summary generation, which shows effectiveness to improve the faithfulness. Unlike these work, we present a novel framework based on conditional variational autoencoders, which induces the guidance information and generates the summary equipment with the guidance synchronously. Experiments on XSUM and CNNDM dataset show that our approach can generate relevant and fluent summaries which is more faithful than the existing state-of-the-art approaches, according to multiple factual consistency metrics.

Context-Aware Language Modeling for Goal-Oriented Dialogue Systems
Charlie Snell | Sherry Yang | Justin Fu | Yi Su | Sergey Levine

Goal-oriented dialogue systems face a trade-off between fluent language generation and task-specific control. While supervised learning with large language models is capable of producing realistic text, how to steer such responses towards completing a specific task without sacrificing language quality remains an open question. In this work, we formulate goal-oriented dialogue as a partially observed Markov decision process, interpreting the language model as a representation of both the dynamics and the policy. This view allows us to extend techniques from learning-based control, such as task relabeling, to derive a simple and effective method to finetune language models in a goal-aware way, leading to significantly improved task performance. We additionally introduce a number of training strategies that serve to better focus the model on the task at hand. We evaluate our method, Context-Aware Language Models (CALM), on a practical flight-booking task using AirDialogue. Empirically, CALM outperforms the state-of-the-art method by 7% in terms of task success, matching human-level task performance.

Am I Me or You? State-of-the-Art Dialogue Models Cannot Maintain an Identity
Kurt Shuster | Jack Urbanek | Arthur Szlam | Jason Weston

State-of-the-art dialogue models still often stumble with regards to factual accuracy and self-contradiction. Anecdotally, they have been observed to fail to maintain character identity throughout discourse; and more specifically, may take on the role of their interlocutor. In this work we formalize and quantify this deficiency, and show experimentally through human evaluations that this is indeed a problem. In contrast, we show that discriminative models trained specifically to recognize who is speaking can perform well; and further, these can be used as automated metrics. Finally, we evaluate a wide variety of mitigation methods, including changes to model architecture, training protocol, and decoding strategy. Our best models reduce mistaken identity issues by nearly 65% according to human annotators, while simultaneously improving engagingness. Despite these results, we find that maintaining character identity still remains a challenging problem.

Unsupervised Domain Adaptation for Question Generation with DomainData Selection and Self-training
Peide Zhu | Claudia Hauff

Question generation (QG) approaches based on large neural models require (i) large-scale and (ii) high-quality training data. These two requirements pose difficulties for specific application domains where training data is expensive and difficult to obtain. The trained QG models’ effectiveness can degrade significantly when they are applied on a different domain due to domain shift. In this paper, we explore an unsupervised domain adaptation approach to combat the lack of training data and domain shift issue with domain data selection and self-training. We first present a novel answer-aware strategy for domain data selection to select data with the most similarity to a new domain. The selected data are then used as pseudo-in-domain data to retrain the QG model. We then present generation confidence guided self-training with two generation confidence modeling methods (i) generated questions’ perplexity and (ii) the fluency score. We test our approaches on three large public datasets with different domain similarities, using a transformer-based pre-trained QG model. The results show that our proposed approaches outperform the baselines, and show the viability of unsupervised domain adaptation with answer-aware data selection and self-training on the QG task.

CCQA: A New Web-Scale Question Answering Dataset for Model Pre-Training
Patrick Huber | Armen Aghajanyan | Barlas Oguz | Dmytro Okhonko | Scott Yih | Sonal Gupta | Xilun Chen

We propose a novel open-domain question-answering dataset based on the Common Crawl project. With a previously unseen number of around 130 million multilingual question-answer pairs (including about 60 million English data-points), we use our large-scale, natural, diverse and high-quality corpus to in-domain pre-train popular language models for the task of question-answering. In our experiments, we find that our Common Crawl Question Answering dataset (CCQA) achieves promising results in zero-shot, low resource and fine-tuned settings across multiple tasks, models and benchmarks.

The Case for a Single Model that can Both Generate Continuations and Fill-in-the-Blank
Daphne Ippolito | Liam Dugan | Emily Reif | Ann Yuan | Andy Coenen | Chris Callison-Burch

The task of inserting text into a specified position in a passage, known as fill in the blank (FitB), is useful for a variety of applications where writers interact with a natural language generation (NLG) system to craft text. While previous work has tackled this problem with models trained specifically to do fill in the blank, a more useful model is one that can effectively perform _both_ FitB and continuation tasks. In this work, we evaluate the feasibility of using a single model to do both tasks. We show that models pre-trained with a FitB-style objective are capable of both tasks, while models pre-trained for continuation are not. Finally, we show how these models can be easily finetuned to allow for fine-grained control over the length and word choice of the generation.

Learning Discriminative Representations for Open Relation Extraction with Instance Ranking and Label Calibration
Shusen Wang | Bin Duan | Yanan Wu | Yajing Xu

Open relation extraction is the task to extract relational facts without pre-defined relation types from open-domain corpora. However, since there are some hard or semi-hard instances sharing similar context and entity information but belonging to different underlying relation, current OpenRE methods always cluster them into the same relation type. In this paper, we propose a novel method based on Instance Ranking and Label Calibration strategies (IRLC) to learn discriminative representations for open relation extraction. Due to lacking the original instance label, we provide three surrogate strategies to generate the positive, hard negative, and semi-hard negative instances for the original instance. Instance ranking aims to refine the relational feature space by pushing the hard and semi-hard negative instances apart from the original instance with different margins and pulling the original instance and its positive instance together. To refine the cluster probability distributions of these instances, we introduce a label calibration strategy to model the constraint relationship between instances. Experimental results on two public datasets demonstrate that our proposed method can significantly outperform the previous state-of-the-art methods.

Textual Entailment for Event Argument Extraction: Zero- and Few-Shot with Multi-Source Learning
Oscar Sainz | Itziar Gonzalez-Dios | Oier Lopez de Lacalle | Bonan Min | Eneko Agirre

Recent work has shown that NLP tasks such as Relation Extraction (RE) can be recasted as a Textual Entailment tasks using verbalizations, with strong performance in zero-shot and few-shot settings thanks to pre-trained entailment models. The fact that relations in current RE datasets are easily verbalized casts doubts on whether entailment would be effective in more complex tasks. In this work we show that entailment is also effective in Event Argument Extraction (EAE), reducing the need of manual annotation to 50% and 20% in ACE and WikiEvents, respectively, while achieving the same performance as with full training. More importantly, we show that recasting EAE as entailment alleviates the dependency on schemas, which has been a roadblock for transferring annotations between domains. Thanks to entailment, the multi-source transfer between ACE and WikiEvents further reduces annotation down to 10% and 5% (respectively) of the full training without transfer.Our analysis shows that key to good results is the use of several entailment datasets to pre-train the entailment model. Similar to previous approaches, our method requires a small amount of effort for manual verbalization: only less than 15 minutes per event argument types is needed; comparable results can be achieved from users of different level of expertise.

RCL: Relation Contrastive Learning for Zero-Shot Relation Extraction
Shusen Wang | Bosen Zhang | Yajing Xu | Yanan Wu | Bo Xiao

Zero-shot relation extraction aims to identify novel relations which cannot be observed at the training stage. However, it still faces some challenges since the unseen relations of instances are similar or the input sentences have similar entities, the unseen relation representations from different categories tend to overlap and lead to errors. In this paper, we propose a novel Relation Contrastive Learning framework (RCL) to mitigate above two types of similar problems: Similar Relations and Similar Entities. By jointly optimizing a contrastive instance loss with a relation classification loss on seen relations, RCL can learn subtle difference between instances and achieve better separation between different relation categories in the representation space simultaneously. Especially in contrastive instance learning, the dropout noise as data augmentation is adopted to amplify the semantic difference between similar instances without breaking relation representation, so as to promote model to learn more effective representations. Experiments conducted on two well-known datasets show that RCL can significantly outperform previous state-of-the-art methods. Moreover, if the seen relations are insufficient, RCL can also obtain comparable results with the model trained on the full training set, showing the robustness of our approach.

Latent Group Dropout for Multilingual and Multidomain Machine Translation
Minh-Quang Pham | François Yvon | Josep Crego

Multidomain and multilingual machine translation often rely on parameter sharing strategies, where large portions of the network are meant to capture the commonalities of the tasks at hand, while smaller parts are reserved to model the peculiarities of a language or a domain. In adapter-based approaches, these strategies are hardcoded in the network architecture, independent of the similarities between tasks. In this work, we propose a new method to better take advantage of these similarities, using a latent-variable model. We also develop new techniques to train this model end-to-end and report experimental results showing that the learned patterns are both meaningful and yield improved translation performance without any increase of the model size.

ATP: AMRize Then Parse! Enhancing AMR Parsing with PseudoAMRs
Liang Chen | Peiyi Wang | Runxin Xu | Tianyu Liu | Zhifang Sui | Baobao Chang

As Abstract Meaning Representation (AMR) implicitly involves compound semantic annotations, we hypothesize auxiliary tasks which are semantically or formally related can better enhance AMR parsing. We find that 1) Semantic role labeling (SRL) and dependency parsing (DP), would bring more performance gain than other tasks e.g. MT and summarization in the text-to-AMR transition even with much less data. 2) To make a better fit for AMR, data from auxiliary tasks should be properly “AMRized” to PseudoAMR before training. Knowledge from shallow level parsing tasks can be better transferred to AMR Parsing with structure transform. 3) Intermediate-task learning is a better paradigm to introduce auxiliary tasks to AMR parsing, compared to multitask learning. From an empirical perspective, we propose a principled method to involve auxiliary tasks to boost AMR parsing. Extensive experiments show that our method achieves new state-of-the-art performance on different benchmarks especially in topology-related scores. Code and models are released at

TaCL: Improving BERT Pre-training with Token-aware Contrastive Learning
Yixuan Su | Fangyu Liu | Zaiqiao Meng | Tian Lan | Lei Shu | Ehsan Shareghi | Nigel Collier

Masked language models (MLMs) such as BERT have revolutionized the field of Natural Language Understanding in the past few years. However, existing pre-trained MLMs often output an anisotropic distribution of token representations that occupies a narrow subset of the entire representation space. Such token representations are not ideal, especially for tasks that demand discriminative semantic meanings of distinct tokens. In this work, we propose TaCL (Token-aware Contrastive Learning), a novel continual pre-training approach that encourages BERT to learn an isotropic and discriminative distribution of token representations. TaCL is fully unsupervised and requires no additional data. We extensively test our approach on a wide range of English and Chinese benchmarks. The results show that TaCL brings consistent and notable improvements over the original BERT model. Furthermore, we conduct detailed analysis to reveal the merits and inner-workings of our approach.

MTG: A Benchmark Suite for Multilingual Text Generation
Yiran Chen | Zhenqiao Song | Xianze Wu | Danqing Wang | Jingjing Xu | Jiaze Chen | Hao Zhou | Lei Li

We introduce MTG, a new benchmark suite for training and evaluating multilingual text generation. It is the first-proposed multilingual multiway text generation dataset with the largest human-annotated data (400k). It includes four generation tasks (story generation, question generation, title generation and text summarization) across five languages (English, German, French, Spanish and Chinese). The multiway setup enables testing knowledge transfer capabilities for a model across languages and tasks. Using MTG, we train and analyze several popular multilingual generation models from different aspects. Our benchmark suite fosters model performance enhancement with more human-annotated parallel data. It provides comprehensive evaluations with diverse generation scenarios. Code and data are available at

Weakly Supervised Text-to-SQL Parsing through Question Decomposition
Tomer Wolfson | Daniel Deutch | Jonathan Berant

Text-to-SQL parsers are crucial in enabling non-experts to effortlessly query relational data. Training such parsers, by contrast, generally requires expertise in annotating natural language (NL) utterances with corresponding SQL queries.In this work, we propose a weak supervision approach for training text-to-SQL parsers. We take advantage of the recently proposed question meaning representation called QDMR, an intermediate between NL and formal query languages.Given questions, their QDMR structures (annotated by non-experts or automatically predicted), and the answers, we are able to automatically synthesize SQL queries that are used to train text-to-SQL models. We test our approach by experimenting on five benchmark datasets. Our results show that the weakly supervised models perform competitively with those trained on annotated NL-SQL data.Overall, we effectively train text-to-SQL parsers, while using zero SQL annotations.

Detect Rumors in Microblog Posts for Low-Resource Domains via Adversarial Contrastive Learning
Hongzhan Lin | Jing Ma | Liangliang Chen | Zhiwei Yang | Mingfei Cheng | Chen Guang

Massive false rumors emerging along with breaking news or trending topics severely hinder the truth. Existing rumor detection approaches achieve promising performance on the yesterday’s news, since there is enough corpus collected from the same domain for model training. However, they are poor at detecting rumors about unforeseen events especially those propagated in minority languages due to the lack of training data and prior knowledge (i.e., low-resource regimes). In this paper, we propose an adversarial contrastive learning framework to detect rumors by adapting the features learned from well-resourced rumor data to that of the low-resourced. Our model explicitly overcomes the restriction of domain and/or language usage via language alignment and a novel supervised contrastive training paradigm. Moreover, we develop an adversarial augmentation mechanism to further enhance the robustness of low-resource rumor representation. Extensive experiments conducted on two low-resource datasets collected from real-world microblog platforms demonstrate that our framework achieves much better performance than state-of-the-art methods and exhibits a superior capacity for detecting rumors at early stages.

DialoKG: Knowledge-Structure Aware Task-Oriented Dialogue Generation
Md Rashad Al Hasan Rony | Ricardo Usbeck | Jens Lehmann

Task-oriented dialogue generation is challenging since the underlying knowledge is often dynamic and effectively incorporating knowledge into the learning process is hard. It is particularly challenging to generate both human-like and informative responses in this setting. Recent research primarily focused on various knowledge distillation methods where the underlying relationship between the facts in a knowledge base is not effectively captured. In this paper, we go one step further and demonstrate how the structural information of a knowledge graph can improve the system’s inference capabilities. Specifically, we propose DialoKG, a novel task-oriented dialogue system that effectively incorporates knowledge into a language model. Our proposed system views relational knowledge as a knowledge graph and introduces (1) a structure-aware knowledge embedding technique, and (2) a knowledge graph-weighted attention masking strategy to facilitate the system selecting relevant information during the dialogue generation. An empirical evaluation demonstrates the effectiveness of DialoKG over state-of-the-art methods on several standard benchmark datasets.

Zero-Shot Event Detection Based on Ordered Contrastive Learning and Prompt-Based Prediction
Senhui Zhang | Tao Ji | Wendi Ji | Xiaoling Wang

Event detection is a classic natural language processing task. However, the constantly emerging new events make supervised methods not applicable to unseen types. Previous zero-shot event detection methods either require predefined event types as heuristic rules or resort to external semantic analyzing tools. To overcome this weakness, we propose an end-to-end framework named Zero-Shot Event Detection Based on Ordered Contrastive Learning and Prompt-Based Prediction (ZEOP). By creatively introducing multiple contrastive samples with ordered similarities, the encoder can learn event representations from both instance-level and class-level, which makes the distinctions between different unseen types more significant. Meanwhile, we utilize the prompt-based prediction to identify trigger words without relying on external resources. Experiments demonstrate that our model detects events more effectively and accurately than state-of-the-art methods.

KETOD: Knowledge-Enriched Task-Oriented Dialogue
Zhiyu Chen | Bing Liu | Seungwhan Moon | Chinnadhurai Sankar | Paul Crook | William Yang Wang

Existing studies in dialogue system research mostly treat task-oriented dialogue and chit-chat as separate domains. Towards building a human-like assistant that can converse naturally and seamlessly with users, it is important to build a dialogue system that conducts both types of conversations effectively. In this work, we investigate how task-oriented dialogue and knowledge-grounded chit-chat can be effectively integrated into a single model. To this end, we create a new dataset, KETOD (Knowledge-Enriched Task-Oriented Dialogue), where we naturally enrich task-oriented dialogues with chit-chat based on relevant entity knowledge. We also propose two new models, SimpleToDPlus and Combiner, for the proposed task. Experimental results on both automatic and human evaluations show that the proposed methods can significantly improve the performance in knowledge-enriched response generation while maintaining a competitive task-oriented dialog performance. We believe our new dataset will be a valuable resource for future studies. Our dataset and code are publicly available at

TANet: Thread-Aware Pretraining for Abstractive Conversational Summarization
Ze Yang | Christian Wang | Zhoujin Tian | Wei Wu | Zhoujun Li

Although pre-trained language models (PLMs) have achieved great success and become a milestone in NLP, abstractive conversational summarization remains a challenging but less studied task. The difficulty lies in two aspects. One is the lack of large-scale conversational summary data. Another is that applying the existing pre-trained models to this task is tricky because of the structural dependence within the conversation and its informal expression, etc. In this work, we first build a large-scale (11M) pretraining dataset called RCSum, based on the multi-person discussions in the Reddit community. We then present TANet, a thread-aware Transformer-based network. Unlike the existing pre-trained models that treat a conversation as a sequence of sentences, we argue that the inherent contextual dependency among the utterances plays an essential role in understanding the entire conversation and thus propose two new techniques to incorporate the structural information into our model. The first is thread-aware attention which is computed by taking into account the contextual dependency within utterances. Second, we apply thread prediction loss to predict the relations between utterances. We evaluate our model on four datasets of real conversations, covering types of meeting transcripts, customer-service records, and forum threads. Experimental results demonstrate that TANet achieves a new state-of-the-art in terms of both automatic evaluation and human judgment.

AdapterBias: Parameter-efficient Token-dependent Representation Shift for Adapters in NLP Tasks
Chin-Lun Fu | Zih-Ching Chen | Yun-Ru Lee | Hung-yi Lee

Transformer-based pre-trained models with millions of parameters require large storage. Recent approaches tackle this shortcoming by training adapters, but these approaches still require a relatively large number of parameters. In this study, AdapterBias, a surprisingly simple yet effective adapter architecture, is proposed. AdapterBias adds a token-dependent shift to the hidden output of transformer layers to adapt to downstream tasks with only a vector and a linear layer. Extensive experiments are conducted to demonstrate the effectiveness of AdapterBias. The experiments show that our proposed method can dramatically reduce the trainable parameters compared to the previous works with a minimal decrease in task performances compared with fine-tuned pre-trained models. We further find that AdapterBias automatically learns to assign more significant representation shifts to the tokens related to the task in consideration.

Bridging the Gap between Training and Inference: Multi-Candidate Optimization for Diverse Neural Machine Translation
Huan Lin | Baosong Yang | Liang Yao | Dayiheng Liu | Haibo Zhang | Jun Xie | Min Zhang | Jinsong Su

Diverse NMT aims at generating multiple diverse yet faithful translations given a source sentence. In this paper, we investigate a common shortcoming in existing diverse NMT studies: the model is usually trained with single reference, while expected to generate multiple candidate translations in inference. The discrepancy between training and inference enlarges the confidence variance and quality gap among candidate translations and thus hinders model performance. To deal with this defect, we propose a multi-candidate optimization framework for diverse NMT. Specifically, we define assessments to score the diversity and the quality of candidate translations during training, and optimize the diverse NMT model with two strategies based on reinforcement learning, namely hard constrained training and soft constrained training. We conduct experiments on NIST Chinese-English and WMT14 English-German translation tasks. The results illustrate that our framework is transparent to basic diverse NMT models, and universally makes better trade-off between diversity and quality. Our source codeis available at

Learning from Bootstrapping and Stepwise Reinforcement Reward: A Semi-Supervised Framework for Text Style Transfer
Zhengyuan Liu | Nancy Chen

Text style transfer is an important task in controllable language generation. Supervised approaches have pushed performance improvement on style-oriented rewriting such as formality conversion. However, challenges remain due to the scarcity of large-scale parallel data in many domains. While unsupervised approaches do not rely on annotated sentence pairs for each style, they are often plagued with instability issues such as mode collapse or quality degradation.To take advantage of both supervised and unsupervised paradigms and tackle the challenges, in this work, we propose a semi-supervised framework for text style transfer. First, the learning process is bootstrapped with supervision guided by automatically constructed pseudo-parallel pairs using lexical and semantic-based methods. Then the model learns from unlabeled data via reinforcement rewards. Specifically, we propose to improve the sequence-to-sequence policy gradient via stepwise reward optimization, providing fine-grained learning signals and stabilizing the reinforced learning process. Experimental results show that the proposed approach achieves state-of-the-art performance on multiple datasets, and produces effective generation with as minimal as 10% of training data.

EA2E: Improving Consistency with Event Awareness for Document-Level Argument Extraction
Qi Zeng | Qiusi Zhan | Heng Ji

Events are inter-related in documents. Motivated by the one-sense-per-discourse theory, we hypothesize that a participant tends to play consistent roles across multiple events in the same document. However recent work on document-level event argument extraction models each individual event in isolation and therefore causes inconsistency among extracted arguments across events, which will further cause discrepancy for downstream applications such as event knowledge base population, question answering, and hypothesis generation. In this work, we formulate event argument consistency as the constraints from event-event relations under the document-level setting. To improve consistency we introduce the Event-Aware Argument Extraction (EA2E) model with augmented context for training and inference. Experiment results on WIKIEVENTS and ACE2005 datasets demonstrate the effectiveness of EA2E compared to baseline methods.

Label Refinement via Contrastive Learning for Distantly-Supervised Named Entity Recognition
Huaiyuan Ying | Shengxuan Luo | Tiantian Dang | Sheng Yu

Distantly-supervised named entity recognition (NER) locates and classifies entities using only knowledge bases and unlabeled corpus to mitigate the reliance on human-annotated labels. The distantly annotated data suffer from the noise in labels, and previous works on DSNER have proved the importance of pre-refining distant labels with hand-crafted rules and extra existing semantic information. In this work, we explore the way to directly learn the distant label refinement knowledge by imitating annotations of different qualities and comparing these annotations in contrastive learning frameworks. the proposed distant label refinement model can give modified suggestions on distant data without additional supervised labels, and thus reduces the requirement on the quality of the knowledge bases. We perform extensive experiments and observe that recent and state-of-the-art DSNER methods gain evident benefits with our method.

Negative Sample is Negative in Its Own Way: Tailoring Negative Sentences for Image-Text Retrieval
Zhihao Fan | Zhongyu Wei | Zejun Li | Siyuan Wang | Xuanjing Huang | Jianqing Fan

Matching model is essential for Image-Text Retrieval framework. Existing research usually train the model with a triplet loss and explore various strategy to retrieve hard negative sentences in the dataset. We argue that current retrieval-based negative sample construction approach is limited in the scale of the dataset thus fail to identify negative sample of high difficulty for every image. We propose our TAiloring neGative Sentences with Discrimination and Correction (TAGS-DC) to generate synthetic sentences automatically as negative samples. TAGS-DC is composed of masking and refilling to generate synthetic negative sentences with higher difficulty. To keep the difficulty during training, we mutually improve the retrieval and generation through parameter sharing. To further utilize fine-grained semantic of mismatch in the negative sentence, we propose two auxiliary tasks, namely word discrimination and word correction to improve the training. In experiments, we verify the effectiveness of our model on MS-COCO and Flickr30K compared with current state-of-the-art models and demonstrates its robustness and faithfulness in the further analysis.

Explore More Guidance: A Task-aware Instruction Network for Sign Language Translation Enhanced with Data Augmentation
Yong Cao | Wei Li | Xianzhi Li | Min Chen | Guangyong Chen | Long Hu | Zhengdao Li | Kai Hwang

Sign language recognition and translation first uses a recognition module to generate glosses from sign language videos and then employs a translation module to translate glosses into spoken sentences. Most existing works focus on the recognition step, while paying less attention to sign language translation. In this work, we propose a task-aware instruction network, namely TIN-SLT, for sign language translation, by introducing the isntruction module and the learning-based feature fuse strategy into a Transformer network. In this way, the pre-trained model’s language ability can be well explored and utilized to further boost the translation performance. Moreover, by exploring the representation space of sign language glosses and target spoken language, we propose a multi-level data augmentation scheme to adjust the data distribution of the training set. We conduct extensive experiments on two challenging benchmark datasets, PHOENIX-2014-T and ASLG-PC12, on which our method outperforms former best solutions by 1.65 and 1.42 in terms of BLEU-4. Our code and trained networks will be available upon the publication of this work.

RoViST: Learning Robust Metrics for Visual Storytelling
Eileen Wang | Caren Han | Josiah Poon

Visual storytelling (VST) is the task of generating a story paragraph that describes a given image sequence. Most existing storytelling approaches have evaluated their models using traditional natural language generation metrics like BLEU or CIDEr. However, such metrics based on n-gram matching tend to have poor correlation with human evaluation scores and do not explicitly consider other criteria necessary for storytelling such as sentence structure or topic coherence. Moreover, a single score is not enough to assess a story as it does not inform us about what specific errors were made by the model. In this paper, we propose 3 evaluation metrics sets that analyses which aspects we would look for in a good story: 1) visual grounding, 2) coherence, and 3) non-redundancy. We measure the reliability of our metric sets by analysing its correlation with human judgement scores on a sample of machine stories obtained from 4 state-of-the-arts models trained on the Visual Storytelling Dataset (VIST). Our metric sets outperforms other metrics on human correlation, and could be served as a learning based evaluation metric set that is complementary to existing rule-based metrics.

Query2Particles: Knowledge Graph Reasoning with Particle Embeddings
Jiaxin Bai | Zihao Wang | Hongming Zhang | Yangqiu Song

Answering complex logical queries on incomplete knowledge graphs (KGs) with missing edges is a fundamental and important task for knowledge graph reasoning. The query embedding method is proposed to answer these queries by jointly encoding queries and entities to the same embedding space. Then the answer entities are selected according to the similarities between the entity embeddings and the query embedding. As the answers to a complex query are obtained from a combination of logical operations over sub-queries, the embeddings of the answer entities may not always follow a uni-modal distribution in the embedding space. Thus, it is challenging to simultaneously retrieve a set of diverse answers from the embedding space using a single and concentrated query representation such as a vector or a hyper-rectangle. To better cope with queries with diversified answers, we propose Query2Particles (Q2P), a complex KG query answering method. Q2P encodes each query into multiple vectors, named particle embeddings. By doing so, the candidate answers can be retrieved from different areas over the embedding space using the maximal similarities between the entity embeddings and any of the particle embeddings. Meanwhile, the corresponding neural logic operations are defined to support its reasoning over arbitrary first-order logic queries. The experiments show that Query2Particles achieves state-of-the-art performance on the complex query answering tasks on FB15k, FB15K-237, and NELL knowledge graphs.

ID10M: Idiom Identification in 10 Languages
Simone Tedeschi | Federico Martelli | Roberto Navigli

Idioms are phrases which present a figurative meaning that cannot be (completely) derived by looking at the meaning of their individual components.Identifying and understanding idioms in context is a crucial goal and a key challenge in a wide range of Natural Language Understanding tasks. Although efforts have been undertaken in this direction, the automatic identification and understanding of idioms is still a largely under-investigated area, especially when operating in a multilingual scenario. In this paper, we address such limitations and put forward several new contributions: we propose a novel multilingual Transformer-based system for the identification of idioms; we produce a high-quality automatically-created training dataset in 10 languages, along with a novel manually-curated evaluation benchmark; finally, we carry out a thorough performance analysis and release our evaluation suite at

Cross-Domain Classification of Moral Values
Enrico Liscio | Alin Dondera | Andrei Geadau | Catholijn Jonker | Pradeep Murukannaiah

Moral values influence how we interpret and act upon the information we receive. Identifying human moral values is essential for artificially intelligent agents to co-exist with humans. Recent progress in natural language processing allows the identification of moral values in textual discourse. However, domain-specific moral rhetoric poses challenges for transferring knowledge from one domain to another.We provide the first extensive investigation on the effects of cross-domain classification of moral values from text. We compare a state-of-the-art deep learning model (BERT) in seven domains and four cross-domain settings. We show that a value classifier can generalize and transfer knowledge to novel domains, but it can introduce catastrophic forgetting. We also highlight the typical classification errors in cross-domain value classification and compare the model predictions to the annotators agreement. Our results provide insights to computer and social scientists that seek to identify moral rhetoric specific to a domain of discourse.