Yang Zhong


Modeling Intensification for Sign Language Generation: A Computational Approach
Mert Inan | Yang Zhong | Sabit Hassan | Lorna Quandt | Malihe Alikhani
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2022

End-to-end sign language generation models do not accurately represent the prosody in sign language. A lack of temporal and spatial variations leads to poor-quality generated presentations that confuse human interpreters. In this paper, we aim to improve the prosody in generated sign languages by modeling intensification in a data-driven manner. We present different strategies grounded in linguistics of sign language that inform how intensity modifiers can be represented in gloss annotations. To employ our strategies, we first annotate a subset of the benchmark PHOENIX-14T, a German Sign Language dataset, with different levels of intensification. We then use a supervised intensity tagger to extend the annotated dataset and obtain labels for the remaining portion of it. This enhanced dataset is then used to train state-of-the-art transformer models for sign language generation. We find that our efforts in intensification modeling yield better results when evaluated with automatic metrics. Human evaluation also indicates a higher preference of the videos generated using our model.

Computing and Exploiting Document Structure to Improve Unsupervised Extractive Summarization of Legal Case Decisions
Yang Zhong | Diane Litman
Proceedings of the Natural Legal Language Processing Workshop 2022

Though many algorithms can be used to automatically summarize legal case decisions, most fail to incorporate domain knowledge about how important sentences in a legal decision relate to a representation of its document structure. For example, analysis of a legal case sum- marization dataset demonstrates that sentences serving different types of argumentative roles in the decision appear in different sections of the document. In this work, we propose an unsupervised graph-based ranking model that uses a reweighting algorithm to exploit properties of the document structure of legal case decisions. We also explore the impact of using different methods to compute the document structure. Results on the Canadian Legal Case Law dataset show that our proposed method outperforms several strong baselines.


WIKIBIAS: Detecting Multi-Span Subjective Biases in Language
Yang Zhong | Jingfeng Yang | Wei Xu | Diyi Yang
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2021

Biases continue to be prevalent in modern text and media, especially subjective bias – a special type of bias that introduces improper attitudes or presents a statement with the presupposition of truth. To tackle the problem of detecting and further mitigating subjective bias, we introduce a manually annotated parallel corpus WIKIBIAS with more than 4,000 sentence pairs from Wikipedia edits. This corpus contains annotations towards both sentence-level bias types and token-level biased segments. We present systematic analyses of our dataset and results achieved by a set of state-of-the-art baselines in terms of three tasks: bias classification, tagging biased segments, and neutralizing biased text. We find that current models still struggle with detecting multi-span biases despite their reasonable performances, suggesting that our dataset can serve as a useful research benchmark. We also demonstrate that models trained on our dataset can generalize well to multiple domains such as news and political speeches.


Neural CRF Model for Sentence Alignment in Text Simplification
Chao Jiang | Mounica Maddela | Wuwei Lan | Yang Zhong | Wei Xu
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

The success of a text simplification system heavily depends on the quality and quantity of complex-simple sentence pairs in the training corpus, which are extracted by aligning sentences between parallel articles. To evaluate and improve sentence alignment quality, we create two manually annotated sentence-aligned datasets from two commonly used text simplification corpora, Newsela and Wikipedia. We propose a novel neural CRF alignment model which not only leverages the sequential nature of sentences in parallel documents but also utilizes a neural sentence pair model to capture semantic similarity. Experiments demonstrate that our proposed approach outperforms all the previous work on monolingual sentence alignment task by more than 5 points in F1. We apply our CRF aligner to construct two new text simplification datasets, Newsela-Auto and Wiki-Auto, which are much larger and of better quality compared to the existing datasets. A Transformer-based seq2seq model trained on our datasets establishes a new state-of-the-art for text simplification in both automatic and human evaluation.