Bingfeng Luo


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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.


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Playing 20 Question Game with Policy-Based Reinforcement Learning
Huang Hu | Xianchao Wu | Bingfeng Luo | Chongyang Tao | Can Xu | Wei Wu | Zhan Chen
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

The 20 Questions (Q20) game is a well known game which encourages deductive reasoning and creativity. In the game, the answerer first thinks of an object such as a famous person or a kind of animal. Then the questioner tries to guess the object by asking 20 questions. In a Q20 game system, the user is considered as the answerer while the system itself acts as the questioner which requires a good strategy of question selection to figure out the correct object and win the game. However, the optimal policy of question selection is hard to be derived due to the complexity and volatility of the game environment. In this paper, we propose a novel policy-based Reinforcement Learning (RL) method, which enables the questioner agent to learn the optimal policy of question selection through continuous interactions with users. To facilitate training, we also propose to use a reward network to estimate the more informative reward. Compared to previous methods, our RL method is robust to noisy answers and does not rely on the Knowledge Base of objects. Experimental results show that our RL method clearly outperforms an entropy-based engineering system and has competitive performance in a noisy-free simulation environment.

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Marrying Up Regular Expressions with Neural Networks: A Case Study for Spoken Language Understanding
Bingfeng Luo | Yansong Feng | Zheng Wang | Songfang Huang | Rui Yan | Dongyan Zhao
Proceedings of the 56th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

The success of many natural language processing (NLP) tasks is bound by the number and quality of annotated data, but there is often a shortage of such training data. In this paper, we ask the question: “Can we combine a neural network (NN) with regular expressions (RE) to improve supervised learning for NLP?”. In answer, we develop novel methods to exploit the rich expressiveness of REs at different levels within a NN, showing that the combination significantly enhances the learning effectiveness when a small number of training examples are available. We evaluate our approach by applying it to spoken language understanding for intent detection and slot filling. Experimental results show that our approach is highly effective in exploiting the available training data, giving a clear boost to the RE-unaware NN.


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Learning with Noise: Enhance Distantly Supervised Relation Extraction with Dynamic Transition Matrix
Bingfeng Luo | Yansong Feng | Zheng Wang | Zhanxing Zhu | Songfang Huang | Rui Yan | Dongyan Zhao
Proceedings of the 55th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Distant supervision significantly reduces human efforts in building training data for many classification tasks. While promising, this technique often introduces noise to the generated training data, which can severely affect the model performance. In this paper, we take a deep look at the application of distant supervision in relation extraction. We show that the dynamic transition matrix can effectively characterize the noise in the training data built by distant supervision. The transition matrix can be effectively trained using a novel curriculum learning based method without any direct supervision about the noise. We thoroughly evaluate our approach under a wide range of extraction scenarios. Experimental results show that our approach consistently improves the extraction results and outperforms the state-of-the-art in various evaluation scenarios.

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Learning to Predict Charges for Criminal Cases with Legal Basis
Bingfeng Luo | Yansong Feng | Jianbo Xu | Xiang Zhang | Dongyan Zhao
Proceedings of the 2017 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

The charge prediction task is to determine appropriate charges for a given case, which is helpful for legal assistant systems where the user input is fact description. We argue that relevant law articles play an important role in this task, and therefore propose an attention-based neural network method to jointly model the charge prediction task and the relevant article extraction task in a unified framework. The experimental results show that, besides providing legal basis, the relevant articles can also clearly improve the charge prediction results, and our full model can effectively predict appropriate charges for cases with different expression styles.