Boxi Cao


Pre-training to Match for Unified Low-shot Relation Extraction
Fangchao Liu | Hongyu Lin | Xianpei Han | Boxi Cao | Le Sun
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Low-shot relation extraction (RE) aims to recognize novel relations with very few or even no samples, which is critical in real scenario application. Few-shot and zero-shot RE are two representative low-shot RE tasks, which seem to be with similar target but require totally different underlying abilities. In this paper, we propose Multi-Choice Matching Networks to unify low-shot relation extraction. To fill in the gap between zero-shot and few-shot RE, we propose the triplet-paraphrase meta-training, which leverages triplet paraphrase to pre-train zero-shot label matching ability and uses meta-learning paradigm to learn few-shot instance summarizing ability. Experimental results on three different low-shot RE tasks show that the proposed method outperforms strong baselines by a large margin, and achieve the best performance on few-shot RE leaderboard.

Can Prompt Probe Pretrained Language Models? Understanding the Invisible Risks from a Causal View
Boxi Cao | Hongyu Lin | Xianpei Han | Fangchao Liu | Le Sun
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Prompt-based probing has been widely used in evaluating the abilities of pretrained language models (PLMs). Unfortunately, recent studies have discovered such an evaluation may be inaccurate, inconsistent and unreliable. Furthermore, the lack of understanding its inner workings, combined with its wide applicability, has the potential to lead to unforeseen risks for evaluating and applying PLMs in real-world applications. To discover, understand and quantify the risks, this paper investigates the prompt-based probing from a causal view, highlights three critical biases which could induce biased results and conclusions, and proposes to conduct debiasing via causal intervention. This paper provides valuable insights for the design of unbiased datasets, better probing frameworks and more reliable evaluations of pretrained language models. Furthermore, our conclusions also echo that we need to rethink the criteria for identifying better pretrained language models.


Knowledgeable or Educated Guess? Revisiting Language Models as Knowledge Bases
Boxi Cao | Hongyu Lin | Xianpei Han | Le Sun | Lingyong Yan | Meng Liao | Tong Xue | Jin Xu
Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Previous literatures show that pre-trained masked language models (MLMs) such as BERT can achieve competitive factual knowledge extraction performance on some datasets, indicating that MLMs can potentially be a reliable knowledge source. In this paper, we conduct a rigorous study to explore the underlying predicting mechanisms of MLMs over different extraction paradigms. By investigating the behaviors of MLMs, we find that previous decent performance mainly owes to the biased prompts which overfit dataset artifacts. Furthermore, incorporating illustrative cases and external contexts improve knowledge prediction mainly due to entity type guidance and golden answer leakage. Our findings shed light on the underlying predicting mechanisms of MLMs, and strongly question the previous conclusion that current MLMs can potentially serve as reliable factual knowledge bases.