Kunfeng Lai


Make Templates Smarter: A Template Based Data2Text System Powered by Text Stitch Model
Bingfeng Luo | Zuo Bai | Kunfeng Lai | Jianping Shen
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2020

Neural network (NN) based data2text models achieve state-of-the-art (SOTA) performance in most metrics, but they sometimes drop or modify the information in the input, and it is hard to control the generation contents. Moreover, it requires paired training data that are usually expensive to collect. Template-based methods have good fidelity and controllability but require heavy human involvement. We propose a novel template-based data2text system powered by a text stitch model. It ensures fidelity and controllability by using templates to produce the main contents. In addition, it reduces human involvement in template design by using a text stitch model to automatically stitch adjacent template units, which is a step that usually requires careful template design and limits template reusability. The text stitch model can be trained in self-supervised fashion, which only requires free texts. The experiments on a benchmark dataset show that our system outperforms SOTA NN-based systems in fidelity and surpasses template-based systems in diversity and human involvement.

Task-Completion Dialogue Policy Learning via Monte Carlo Tree Search with Dueling Network
Sihan Wang | Kaijie Zhou | Kunfeng Lai | Jianping Shen
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

We introduce a framework of Monte Carlo Tree Search with Double-q Dueling network (MCTS-DDU) for task-completion dialogue policy learning. Different from the previous deep model-based reinforcement learning methods, which uses background planning and may suffer from low-quality simulated experiences, MCTS-DDU performs decision-time planning based on dialogue state search trees built by Monte Carlo simulations and is robust to the simulation errors. Such idea arises naturally in human behaviors, e.g. predicting others’ responses and then deciding our own actions. In the simulated movie-ticket booking task, our method outperforms the background planning approaches significantly. We demonstrate the effectiveness of MCTS and the dueling network in detailed ablation studies, and also compare the performance upper bounds of these two planning methods.


Matching Article Pairs with Graphical Decomposition and Convolutions
Bang Liu | Di Niu | Haojie Wei | Jinghong Lin | Yancheng He | Kunfeng Lai | Yu Xu
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Identifying the relationship between two articles, e.g., whether two articles published from different sources describe the same breaking news, is critical to many document understanding tasks. Existing approaches for modeling and matching sentence pairs do not perform well in matching longer documents, which embody more complex interactions between the enclosed entities than a sentence does. To model article pairs, we propose the Concept Interaction Graph to represent an article as a graph of concepts. We then match a pair of articles by comparing the sentences that enclose the same concept vertex through a series of encoding techniques, and aggregate the matching signals through a graph convolutional network. To facilitate the evaluation of long article matching, we have created two datasets, each consisting of about 30K pairs of breaking news articles covering diverse topics in the open domain. Extensive evaluations of the proposed methods on the two datasets demonstrate significant improvements over a wide range of state-of-the-art methods for natural language matching.