Zhan Shi


Visual Semantic Parsing: From Images to Abstract Meaning Representation
Mohamed Ashraf Abdelsalam | Zhan Shi | Federico Fancellu | Kalliopi Basioti | Dhaivat Bhatt | Vladimir Pavlovic | Afsaneh Fazly
Proceedings of the 26th Conference on Computational Natural Language Learning (CoNLL)

The success of scene graphs for visual scene understanding has brought attention to the benefits of abstracting a visual input (e.g., image) into a structured representation, where entities (people and objects) are nodes connected by edges specifying their relations. Building these representations, however, requires expensive manual annotation in the form of images paired with their scene graphs or frames. These formalisms remain limited in the nature of entities and relations they can capture. In this paper, we propose to leverage a widely-used meaning representation in the field of natural language processing, the Abstract Meaning Representation (AMR), to address these shortcomings. Compared to scene graphs, which largely emphasize spatial relationships, our visual AMR graphs are more linguistically informed, with a focus on higher-level semantic concepts extrapolated from visual input. Moreover, they allow us to generate meta-AMR graphs to unify information contained in multiple image descriptions under one representation. Through extensive experimentation and analysis, we demonstrate that we can re-purpose an existing text-to-AMR parser to parse images into AMRs. Our findings point to important future research directions for improved scene understanding.


Unsupervised Conversation Disentanglement through Co-Training
Hui Liu | Zhan Shi | Xiaodan Zhu
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Conversation disentanglement aims to separate intermingled messages into detached sessions, which is a fundamental task in understanding multi-party conversations. Existing work on conversation disentanglement relies heavily upon human-annotated datasets, which is expensive to obtain in practice. In this work, we explore training a conversation disentanglement model without referencing any human annotations. Our method is built upon the deep co-training algorithm, which consists of two neural networks: a message-pair classifier and a session classifier. The former is responsible of retrieving local relations between two messages while the latter categorizes a message to a session by capturing context-aware information. Both the two networks are initialized respectively with pseudo data built from the unannotated corpus. During the deep co-training process, we use the session classifier as a reinforcement learning component to learn a session assigning policy by maximizing the local rewards given by the message-pair classifier. For the message-pair classifier, we enrich its training data by retrieving message pairs with high confidence from the disentangled sessions predicted by the session classifier. Experimental results on the large Movie Dialogue Dataset demonstrate that our proposed approach achieves competitive performance compared to previous supervised methods. Further experiments show that the predicted disentangled conversations can promote the performance on the downstream task of multi-party response selection.

Retrieval, Analogy, and Composition: A framework for Compositional Generalization in Image Captioning
Zhan Shi | Hui Liu | Martin Renqiang Min | Christopher Malon | Li Erran Li | Xiaodan Zhu
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2021

Image captioning systems are expected to have the ability to combine individual concepts when describing scenes with concept combinations that are not observed during training. In spite of significant progress in image captioning with the help of the autoregressive generation framework, current approaches fail to generalize well to novel concept combinations. We propose a new framework that revolves around probing several similar image caption training instances (retrieval), performing analogical reasoning over relevant entities in retrieved prototypes (analogy), and enhancing the generation process with reasoning outcomes (composition). Our method augments the generation model by referring to the neighboring instances in the training set to produce novel concept combinations in generated captions. We perform experiments on the widely used image captioning benchmarks. The proposed models achieve substantial improvement over the compared baselines on both composition-related evaluation metrics and conventional image captioning metrics.

Enhancing Descriptive Image Captioning with Natural Language Inference
Zhan Shi | Hui Liu | Xiaodan Zhu
Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 2: Short Papers)

Generating descriptive sentences that convey non-trivial, detailed, and salient information about images is an important goal of image captioning. In this paper we propose a novel approach to encourage captioning models to produce more detailed captions using natural language inference, based on the motivation that, among different captions of an image, descriptive captions are more likely to entail less descriptive captions. Specifically, we construct directed inference graphs for reference captions based on natural language inference. A PageRank algorithm is then employed to estimate the descriptiveness score of each node. Built on that, we use reference sampling and weighted designated rewards to guide captioning to generate descriptive captions. The results on MSCOCO show that the proposed method outperforms the baselines significantly on a wide range of conventional and descriptiveness-related evaluation metrics.


Improving Image Captioning with Better Use of Caption
Zhan Shi | Xu Zhou | Xipeng Qiu | Xiaodan Zhu
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Image captioning is a multimodal problem that has drawn extensive attention in both the natural language processing and computer vision community. In this paper, we present a novel image captioning architecture to better explore semantics available in captions and leverage that to enhance both image representation and caption generation. Our models first construct caption-guided visual relationship graphs that introduce beneficial inductive bias using weakly supervised multi-instance learning. The representation is then enhanced with neighbouring and contextual nodes with their textual and visual features. During generation, the model further incorporates visual relationships using multi-task learning for jointly predicting word and object/predicate tag sequences. We perform extensive experiments on the MSCOCO dataset, showing that the proposed framework significantly outperforms the baselines, resulting in the state-of-the-art performance under a wide range of evaluation metrics. The code of our paper has been made publicly available.


Adversarial Multi-Criteria Learning for Chinese Word Segmentation
Xinchi Chen | Zhan Shi | Xipeng Qiu | Xuanjing Huang
Proceedings of the 55th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Different linguistic perspectives causes many diverse segmentation criteria for Chinese word segmentation (CWS). Most existing methods focus on improve the performance for each single criterion. However, it is interesting to exploit these different criteria and mining their common underlying knowledge. In this paper, we propose adversarial multi-criteria learning for CWS by integrating shared knowledge from multiple heterogeneous segmentation criteria. Experiments on eight corpora with heterogeneous segmentation criteria show that the performance of each corpus obtains a significant improvement, compared to single-criterion learning. Source codes of this paper are available on Github.