Jiaxin Pei


2022

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Modeling Information Change in Science Communication with Semantically Matched Paraphrases
Dustin Wright | Jiaxin Pei | David Jurgens | Isabelle Augenstein
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Whether the media faithfully communicate scientific information has long been a core issue to the science community. Automatically identifying paraphrased scientific findings could enable large-scale tracking and analysis of information changes in the science communication process, but this requires systems to understand the similarity between scientific information across multiple domains. To this end, we present the SCIENTIFIC PARAPHRASE AND INFORMATION CHANGE DATASET (SPICED), the first paraphrase dataset of scientific findings annotated for degree of information change. SPICED contains 6,000 scientific finding pairs extracted from news stories, social media discussions, and full texts of original papers. We demonstrate that SPICED poses a challenging task and that models trained on SPICED improve downstream performance on evidence retrieval for fact checking of real-world scientific claims. Finally, we show that models trained on SPICED can reveal large-scale trends in the degrees to which people and organizations faithfully communicate new scientific findings. Data, code, and pre-trained models are available at http://www.copenlu.com/publication/2022_emnlp_wright/.

2021

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Measuring Sentence-Level and Aspect-Level (Un)certainty in Science Communications
Jiaxin Pei | David Jurgens
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Certainty and uncertainty are fundamental to science communication. Hedges have widely been used as proxies for uncertainty. However, certainty is a complex construct, with authors expressing not only the degree but the type and aspects of uncertainty in order to give the reader a certain impression of what is known. Here, we introduce a new study of certainty that models both the level and the aspects of certainty in scientific findings. Using a new dataset of 2167 annotated scientific findings, we demonstrate that hedges alone account for only a partial explanation of certainty. We show that both the overall certainty and individual aspects can be predicted with pre-trained language models, providing a more complete picture of the author’s intended communication. Downstream analyses on 431K scientific findings from news and scientific abstracts demonstrate that modeling sentence-level and aspect-level certainty is meaningful for areas like science communication. Both the model and datasets used in this paper are released at https://blablablab.si.umich.edu/projects/certainty/.

2020

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Quantifying Intimacy in Language
Jiaxin Pei | David Jurgens
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

Intimacy is a fundamental aspect of how we relate to others in social settings. Language encodes the social information of intimacy through both topics and other more subtle cues (such as linguistic hedging and swearing). Here, we introduce a new computational framework for studying expressions of the intimacy in language with an accompanying dataset and deep learning model for accurately predicting the intimacy level of questions (Pearson r = 0.87). Through analyzing a dataset of 80.5M questions across social media, books, and films, we show that individuals employ interpersonal pragmatic moves in their language to align their intimacy with social settings. Then, in three studies, we further demonstrate how individuals modulate their intimacy to match social norms around gender, social distance, and audience, each validating key findings from studies in social psychology. Our work demonstrates that intimacy is a pervasive and impactful social dimension of language.

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Pre-train and Plug-in: Flexible Conditional Text Generation with Variational Auto-Encoders
Yu Duan | Canwen Xu | Jiaxin Pei | Jialong Han | Chenliang Li
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Conditional Text Generation has drawn much attention as a topic of Natural Language Generation (NLG) which provides the possibility for humans to control the properties of generated contents. Current conditional generation models cannot handle emerging conditions due to their joint end-to-end learning fashion. When a new condition added, these techniques require full retraining. In this paper, we present a new framework named Pre-train and Plug-in Variational Auto-Encoder (PPVAE) towards flexible conditional text generation. PPVAE decouples the text generation module from the condition representation module to allow “one-to-many” conditional generation. When a fresh condition emerges, only a lightweight network needs to be trained and works as a plug-in for PPVAE, which is efficient and desirable for real-world applications. Extensive experiments demonstrate the superiority of PPVAE against the existing alternatives with better conditionality and diversity but less training effort.

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MATINF: A Jointly Labeled Large-Scale Dataset for Classification, Question Answering and Summarization
Canwen Xu | Jiaxin Pei | Hongtao Wu | Yiyu Liu | Chenliang Li
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Recently, large-scale datasets have vastly facilitated the development in nearly all domains of Natural Language Processing. However, there is currently no cross-task dataset in NLP, which hinders the development of multi-task learning. We propose MATINF, the first jointly labeled large-scale dataset for classification, question answering and summarization. MATINF contains 1.07 million question-answer pairs with human-labeled categories and user-generated question descriptions. Based on such rich information, MATINF is applicable for three major NLP tasks, including classification, question answering, and summarization. We benchmark existing methods and a novel multi-task baseline over MATINF to inspire further research. Our comprehensive comparison and experiments over MATINF and other datasets demonstrate the merits held by MATINF.

2018

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S2SPMN: A Simple and Effective Framework for Response Generation with Relevant Information
Jiaxin Pei | Chenliang Li
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

How to generate relevant and informative responses is one of the core topics in response generation area. Following the task formulation of machine translation, previous works mainly consider response generation task as a mapping from a source sentence to a target sentence. To realize this mapping, existing works tend to design intuitive but complex models. However, the relevant information existed in large dialogue corpus is mainly overlooked. In this paper, we propose Sequence to Sequence with Prototype Memory Network (S2SPMN) to exploit the relevant information provided by the large dialogue corpus to enhance response generation. Specifically, we devise two simple approaches in S2SPMN to select the relevant information (named prototypes) from the dialogue corpus. These prototypes are then saved into prototype memory network (PMN). Furthermore, a hierarchical attention mechanism is devised to extract the semantic information from the PMN to assist the response generation process. Empirical studies reveal the advantage of our model over several classical and strong baselines.