Hang Xu


Visual-Language Navigation Pretraining via Prompt-based Environmental Self-exploration
Xiwen Liang | Fengda Zhu | Li Lingling | Hang Xu | Xiaodan Liang
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Vision-language navigation (VLN) is a challenging task due to its large searching space in the environment. To address this problem, previous works have proposed some methods of fine-tuning a large model that pretrained on large-scale datasets. However, the conventional fine-tuning methods require extra human-labeled navigation data and lack self-exploration capabilities in environments, which hinders their generalization of unseen scenes. To improve the ability of fast cross-domain adaptation, we propose Prompt-based Environmental Self-exploration (ProbES), which can self-explore the environments by sampling trajectories and automatically generates structured instructions via a large-scale cross-modal pretrained model (CLIP). Our method fully utilizes the knowledge learned from CLIP to build an in-domain dataset by self-exploration without human labeling. Unlike the conventional approach of fine-tuning, we introduce prompt tuning to achieve fast adaptation for language embeddings, which substantially improves the learning efficiency by leveraging prior knowledge. By automatically synthesizing trajectory-instruction pairs in any environment without human supervision and instruction prompt tuning, our model can adapt to diverse vision-language navigation tasks, including VLN and REVERIE. Both qualitative and quantitative results show that our ProbES significantly improves the generalization ability of the navigation model.

ZeroGen: Efficient Zero-shot Learning via Dataset Generation
Jiacheng Ye | Jiahui Gao | Qintong Li | Hang Xu | Jiangtao Feng | Zhiyong Wu | Tao Yu | Lingpeng Kong
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

There is a growing interest in dataset generation recently due to the superior generative capacity of large pre-trained language models (PLMs). In this paper, we study a flexible and efficient zero-short learning method, ZeroGen.Given a zero-shot task, we first generate a dataset from scratch using PLMs in an unsupervised manner. Then, we train a tiny task model (e.g., LSTM) under the supervision of the synthesized dataset. This approach allows highly efficient inference as the final task model only has orders of magnitude fewer parameters comparing to PLMs (e.g., GPT2-XL).Apart from being annotation-free and efficient, we argue that ZeroGen can also provide useful insights from the perspective of data-free model-agnostic knowledge distillation, and unreferenced text generation evaluation. Experiments and analysis on different NLP tasks, namely, text classification, question answering, and natural language inference, show the effectiveness of ZeroGen.


EfficientBERT: Progressively Searching Multilayer Perceptron via Warm-up Knowledge Distillation
Chenhe Dong | Guangrun Wang | Hang Xu | Jiefeng Peng | Xiaozhe Ren | Xiaodan Liang
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2021

Pre-trained language models have shown remarkable results on various NLP tasks. Nevertheless, due to their bulky size and slow inference speed, it is hard to deploy them on edge devices. In this paper, we have a critical insight that improving the feed-forward network (FFN) in BERT has a higher gain than improving the multi-head attention (MHA) since the computational cost of FFN is 2~3 times larger than MHA. Hence, to compact BERT, we are devoted to designing efficient FFN as opposed to previous works that pay attention to MHA. Since FFN comprises a multilayer perceptron (MLP) that is essential in BERT optimization, we further design a thorough search space towards an advanced MLP and perform a coarse-to-fine mechanism to search for an efficient BERT architecture. Moreover, to accelerate searching and enhance model transferability, we employ a novel warm-up knowledge distillation strategy at each search stage. Extensive experiments show our searched EfficientBERT is 6.9× smaller and 4.4× faster than BERT\rmBASE, and has competitive performances on GLUE and SQuAD Benchmarks. Concretely, EfficientBERT attains a 77.7 average score on GLUE test, 0.7 higher than MobileBERT\rmTINY, and achieves an 85.3/74.5 F1 score on SQuAD v1.1/v2.0 dev, 3.2/2.7 higher than TinyBERT4 even without data augmentation. The code is released at https://github.com/cheneydon/efficient-bert.