Hong Chen


Go Back in Time: Generating Flashbacks in Stories with Event Temporal Prompts
Rujun Han | Hong Chen | Yufei Tian | Nanyun Peng
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Stories or narratives are comprised of a sequence of events. To compose interesting stories, professional writers often leverage a creative writing technique called *flashback* that inserts past events into current storylines as we commonly observe in novels and plays. However, it is challenging for machines to generate *flashback* as it requires a solid understanding of event **temporal order** (e.g. *feeling hungry* before *eat*, not vice versa), and the creativity to arrange storylines so that earlier events do not always appear first in **narrative order**. Two major issues in existing systems that exacerbate the challenges: 1) temporal bias in pertaining and story datasets that leads to monotonic event temporal orders; 2) lack of explicit guidance that helps machines decide where to insert *flashbacks*. We propose to address these issues using structured storylines to encode events and their pair-wise temporal relations (before, after and vague) as **temporal prompts** that guide how stories should unfold temporally. We leverage a Plan-and-Write framework enhanced by reinforcement learning to generate storylines and stories end-to-end. Evaluation results show that the proposed method can generate more interesting stories with *flashbacks* while maintaining textual diversity, fluency, and temporal coherence.

Subgraph Retrieval Enhanced Model for Multi-hop Knowledge Base Question Answering
Jing Zhang | Xiaokang Zhang | Jifan Yu | Jian Tang | Jie Tang | Cuiping Li | Hong Chen
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Recent works on knowledge base question answering (KBQA) retrieve subgraphs for easier reasoning. The desired subgraph is crucial as a small one may exclude the answer but a large one might introduce more noises. However, the existing retrieval is either heuristic or interwoven with the reasoning, causing reasoning on the partial subgraphs, which increases the reasoning bias when the intermediate supervision is missing. This paper proposes a trainable subgraph retriever (SR) decoupled from the subsequent reasoning process, which enables a plug-and-play framework to enhance any subgraph-oriented KBQA model. Extensive experiments demonstrate SR achieves significantly better retrieval and QA performance than existing retrieval methods. Via weakly supervised pre-training as well as the end-to-end fine-tuning, SR achieves new state-of-the-art performance when combined with NSM (He et al., 2021), a subgraph-oriented reasoner, for embedding-based KBQA methods. Codes and datasets are available online (https://github.com/RUCKBReasoning/SubgraphRetrievalKBQA)

Knowledge-augmented Self-training of A Question Rewriter for Conversational Knowledge Base Question Answering
Xirui Ke | Jing Zhang | Xin Lv | Yiqi Xu | Shulin Cao | Cuiping Li | Hong Chen | Juanzi Li
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2022

The recent rise of conversational applications such as online customer service systems and intelligent personal assistants has promoted the development of conversational knowledge base question answering (ConvKBQA). Different from the traditional single-turn KBQA, ConvKBQA usually explores multi-turn questions around a topic, where ellipsis and coreference pose great challenges to the single-turn KBQA systems which require self-contained questions. In this paper, we propose a rewrite-and-reason framework to first produce a full-fledged rewritten question based on the conversation history and then reason the answer by existing single-turn KBQA models. To overcome the absence of the rewritten supervision signals, we introduce a knowledge-augmented self-training mechanism to transfer the question rewriter from another dataset to adapt to the current knowledge base. Our question rewriter is decoupled from the subsequent QA process, which makes it easy to be united with either retrieval-based or semantic parsing-based KBQA models. Experiment results demonstrate the effectiveness of our method and a new state-of-the-art result is achieved. The code and dataset are available online now.

StoryER: Automatic Story Evaluation via Ranking, Rating and Reasoning
Hong Chen | Duc Vo | Hiroya Takamura | Yusuke Miyao | Hideki Nakayama
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Existing automatic story evaluation methods place a premium on story lexical level coherence, deviating from human preference.We go beyond this limitation by considering a novel Story Evaluation method that mimics human preference when judging a story, namely StoryER, which consists of three sub-tasks: Ranking, Rating and Reasoning.Given either a machine-generated or a human-written story, StoryER requires the machine to output 1) a preference score that corresponds to human preference, 2) specific ratings and their corresponding confidences and 3) comments for various aspects (e.g., opening, character-shaping).To support these tasks, we introduce a well-annotated dataset comprising (i) 100k ranked story pairs; and (ii) a set of 46k ratings and comments on various aspects of the story.We finetune Longformer-Encoder-Decoder (LED) on the collected dataset, with the encoder responsible for preference score and aspect prediction and the decoder for comment generation.Our comprehensive experiments result a competitive benchmark for each task, showing the high correlation to human preference.In addition, we have witnessed the joint learning of the preference scores, the aspect ratings, and the comments brings gain each single task.Our dataset and benchmarks are publicly available to advance the research of story evaluation tasks.

DSM: Question Generation over Knowledge Base via Modeling Diverse Subgraphs with Meta-learner
Shasha Guo | Jing Zhang | Yanling Wang | Qianyi Zhang | Cuiping Li | Hong Chen
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Existing methods on knowledge base question generation (KBQG) learn a one-size-fits-all model by training together all subgraphs without distinguishing the diverse semantics of subgraphs. In this work, we show that making use of the past experience on semantically similar subgraphs can reduce the learning difficulty and promote the performance of KBQG models. To achieve this, we propose a novel approach to model diverse subgraphs with meta-learner (DSM). Specifically, we devise a graph contrastive learning-based retriever to identify semantically similar subgraphs, so that we can construct the semantics-aware learning tasks for the meta-learner to learn semantics-specific and semantics-agnostic knowledge on and across these tasks. Extensive experiments on two widely-adopted benchmarks for KBQG show that DSM derives new state-of-the-art performance and benefits the question answering tasks as a means of data augmentation.

Character-centric Story Visualization via Visual Planning and Token Alignment
Hong Chen | Rujun Han | Te-Lin Wu | Hideki Nakayama | Nanyun Peng
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Story visualization advances the traditional text-to-image generation by enabling multiple image generation based on a complete story. This task requires machines to 1) understand long text inputs, and 2) produce a globally consistent image sequence that illustrates the contents of the story. A key challenge of consistent story visualization is to preserve characters that are essential in stories. To tackle the challenge, we propose to adapt a recent work that augments VQ-VAE with a text-to-visual-token (transformer) architecture. Specifically, we modify the text-to-visual-token module with a two-stage framework: 1) character token planning model that predicts the visual tokens for characters only; 2) visual token completion model that generates the remaining visual token sequence, which is sent to VQ-VAE for finalizing image generations. To encourage characters to appear in the images, we further train the two-stage framework with a character-token alignment objective. Extensive experiments and evaluations demonstrate that the proposed method excels at preserving characters and can produce higher quality image sequences compared with the strong baselines.


GraphPlan: Story Generation by Planning with Event Graph
Hong Chen | Raphael Shu | Hiroya Takamura | Hideki Nakayama
Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Natural Language Generation

Story generation is a task that aims to automatically generate a meaningful story. This task is challenging because it requires high-level understanding of the semantic meaning of sentences and causality of story events. Naivesequence-to-sequence models generally fail to acquire such knowledge, as it is difficult to guarantee logical correctness in a text generation model without strategic planning. In this study, we focus on planning a sequence of events assisted by event graphs and use the events to guide the generator. Rather than using a sequence-to-sequence model to output a sequence, as in some existing works, we propose to generate an event sequence by walking on an event graph. The event graphs are built automatically based on the corpus. To evaluate the proposed approach, we incorporate human participation, both in event planning and story generation. Based on the largescale human annotation results, our proposed approach has been shown to provide more logically correct event sequences and stories compared with previous approaches.

Improving Privacy Guarantee and Efficiency of Latent Dirichlet Allocation Model Training Under Differential Privacy
Tao Huang | Hong Chen
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2021

Latent Dirichlet allocation (LDA), a widely used topic model, is often employed as a fundamental tool for text analysis in various applications. However, the training process of the LDA model typically requires massive text corpus data. On one hand, such massive data may expose private information in the training data, thereby incurring significant privacy concerns. On the other hand, the efficiency of the LDA model training may be impacted, since LDA training often needs to handle these massive text corpus data. To address the privacy issues in LDA model training, some recent works have combined LDA training algorithms that are based on collapsed Gibbs sampling (CGS) with differential privacy. Nevertheless, these works usually have a high accumulative privacy budget due to vast iterations in CGS. Moreover, these works always have low efficiency due to handling massive text corpus data. To improve the privacy guarantee and efficiency, we combine a subsampling method with CGS and propose a novel LDA training algorithm with differential privacy, SUB-LDA. We find that subsampling in CGS naturally improves efficiency while amplifying privacy. We propose a novel metric, the efficiency–privacy function, to evaluate improvements of the privacy guarantee and efficiency. Based on a conventional subsampling method, we propose an adaptive subsampling method to improve the model’s utility produced by SUB-LDA when the subsampling ratio is small. We provide a comprehensive analysis of SUB-LDA, and the experiment results validate its efficiency and privacy guarantee improvements.

P-INT: A Path-based Interaction Model for Few-shot Knowledge Graph Completion
Jingwen Xu | Jing Zhang | Xirui Ke | Yuxiao Dong | Hong Chen | Cuiping Li | Yongbin Liu
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2021

Few-shot knowledge graph completion is to infer the unknown facts (i.e., query head-tail entity pairs) of a given relation with only a few observed reference entity pairs. Its general process is to first encode the implicit relation of an entity pair and then match the relation of a query entity pair with the relations of the reference entity pairs. Most existing methods have thus far encoded an entity pair and matched entity pairs by using the direct neighbors of concerned entities. In this paper, we propose the P-INT model for effective few-shot knowledge graph completion. First, P-INT infers and leverages the paths that can expressively encode the relation of two entities. Second, to capture the fine grained matches, P-INT calculates the interactions of paths instead of mix- ing them for each entity pair. Extensive experimental results demonstrate that P-INT out- performs the state-of-the-art baselines by 11.2– 14.2% in terms of Hits@1. Our codes and datasets are online now.

SciXGen: A Scientific Paper Dataset for Context-Aware Text Generation
Hong Chen | Hiroya Takamura | Hideki Nakayama
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2021

Generating texts in scientific papers requires not only capturing the content contained within the given input but also frequently acquiring the external information called context. We push forward the scientific text generation by proposing a new task, namely context-aware text generation in the scientific domain, aiming at exploiting the contributions of context in generated texts. To this end, we present a novel challenging large-scale Scientific Paper Dataset for ConteXt-Aware Text Generation (SciXGen), consisting of well-annotated 205,304 papers with full references to widely-used objects (e.g., tables, figures, algorithms) in a paper. We comprehensively benchmark, using state-of-the-arts, the efficacy of our newly constructed SciXGen dataset in generating description and paragraph. Our dataset and benchmarks will be made publicly available to hopefully facilitate the scientific text generation research.

A Pretraining Numerical Reasoning Model for Ordinal Constrained Question Answering on Knowledge Base
Yu Feng | Jing Zhang | Gaole He | Wayne Xin Zhao | Lemao Liu | Quan Liu | Cuiping Li | Hong Chen
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2021

Knowledge Base Question Answering (KBQA) is to answer natural language questions posed over knowledge bases (KBs). This paper targets at empowering the IR-based KBQA models with the ability of numerical reasoning for answering ordinal constrained questions. A major challenge is the lack of explicit annotations about numerical properties. To address this challenge, we propose a pretraining numerical reasoning model consisting of NumGNN and NumTransformer, guided by explicit self-supervision signals. The two modules are pretrained to encode the magnitude and ordinal properties of numbers respectively and can serve as model-agnostic plugins for any IR-based KBQA model to enhance its numerical reasoning ability. Extensive experiments on two KBQA benchmarks verify the effectiveness of our method to enhance the numerical reasoning ability for IR-based KBQA models.


PreCo: A Large-scale Dataset in Preschool Vocabulary for Coreference Resolution
Hong Chen | Zhenhua Fan | Hao Lu | Alan Yuille | Shu Rong
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

We introduce PreCo, a large-scale English dataset for coreference resolution. The dataset is designed to embody the core challenges in coreference, such as entity representation, by alleviating the challenge of low overlap between training and test sets and enabling separated analysis of mention detection and mention clustering. To strengthen the training-test overlap, we collect a large corpus of 38K documents and 12.5M words which are mostly from the vocabulary of English-speaking preschoolers. Experiments show that with higher training-test overlap, error analysis on PreCo is more efficient than the one on OntoNotes, a popular existing dataset. Furthermore, we annotate singleton mentions making it possible for the first time to quantify the influence that a mention detector makes on coreference resolution performance. The dataset is freely available at https://preschool-lab.github.io/PreCo/.