Fandong Meng


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Unsupervised Paraphrasing by Simulated Annealing
Xianggen Liu | Lili Mou | Fandong Meng | Hao Zhou | Jie Zhou | Sen Song
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

We propose UPSA, a novel approach that accomplishes Unsupervised Paraphrasing by Simulated Annealing. We model paraphrase generation as an optimization problem and propose a sophisticated objective function, involving semantic similarity, expression diversity, and language fluency of paraphrases. UPSA searches the sentence space towards this objective by performing a sequence of local editing. We evaluate our approach on various datasets, namely, Quora, Wikianswers, MSCOCO, and Twitter. Extensive results show that UPSA achieves the state-of-the-art performance compared with previous unsupervised methods in terms of both automatic and human evaluations. Further, our approach outperforms most existing domain-adapted supervised models, showing the generalizability of UPSA.

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A Novel Graph-based Multi-modal Fusion Encoder for Neural Machine Translation
Yongjing Yin | Fandong Meng | Jinsong Su | Chulun Zhou | Zhengyuan Yang | Jie Zhou | Jiebo Luo
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Multi-modal neural machine translation (NMT) aims to translate source sentences into a target language paired with images. However, dominant multi-modal NMT models do not fully exploit fine-grained semantic correspondences between semantic units of different modalities, which have potential to refine multi-modal representation learning. To deal with this issue, in this paper, we propose a novel graph-based multi-modal fusion encoder for NMT. Specifically, we first represent the input sentence and image using a unified multi-modal graph, which captures various semantic relationships between multi-modal semantic units (words and visual objects). We then stack multiple graph-based multi-modal fusion layers that iteratively perform semantic interactions to learn node representations. Finally, these representations provide an attention-based context vector for the decoder. We evaluate our proposed encoder on the Multi30K datasets. Experimental results and in-depth analysis show the superiority of our multi-modal NMT model.

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A Contextual Hierarchical Attention Network with Adaptive Objective for Dialogue State Tracking
Yong Shan | Zekang Li | Jinchao Zhang | Fandong Meng | Yang Feng | Cheng Niu | Jie Zhou
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Recent studies in dialogue state tracking (DST) leverage historical information to determine states which are generally represented as slot-value pairs. However, most of them have limitations to efficiently exploit relevant context due to the lack of a powerful mechanism for modeling interactions between the slot and the dialogue history. Besides, existing methods usually ignore the slot imbalance problem and treat all slots indiscriminately, which limits the learning of hard slots and eventually hurts overall performance. In this paper, we propose to enhance the DST through employing a contextual hierarchical attention network to not only discern relevant information at both word level and turn level but also learn contextual representations. We further propose an adaptive objective to alleviate the slot imbalance problem by dynamically adjust weights of different slots during training. Experimental results show that our approach reaches 52.68% and 58.55% joint accuracy on MultiWOZ 2.0 and MultiWOZ 2.1 datasets respectively and achieves new state-of-the-art performance with considerable improvements (+1.24% and +5.98%).

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A Sentiment-Controllable Topic-to-Essay Generator with Topic Knowledge Graph
Lin Qiao | Jianhao Yan | Fandong Meng | Zhendong Yang | Jie Zhou
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2020

Generating a vivid, novel, and diverse essay with only several given topic words is a promising task of natural language generation. Previous work in this task exists two challenging problems: neglect of sentiment beneath the text and insufficient utilization of topic-related knowledge. Therefore, we propose a novel Sentiment Controllable topic-to- essay generator with a Topic Knowledge Graph enhanced decoder, named SCTKG, which is based on the conditional variational auto-encoder (CVAE) framework. We firstly inject the sentiment information into the generator for controlling sentiment for each sentence, which leads to various generated essays. Then we design a Topic Knowledge Graph enhanced decoder. Unlike existing models that use knowledge entities separately, our model treats knowledge graph as a whole and encodes more structured, connected semantic information in the graph to generate a more relevant essay. Experimental results show that our SCTKG can generate sentiment controllable essays and outperform the state-of-the-art approach in terms of topic relevance, fluency, and diversity on both automatic and human evaluation.

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Token-level Adaptive Training for Neural Machine Translation
Shuhao Gu | Jinchao Zhang | Fandong Meng | Yang Feng | Wanying Xie | Jie Zhou | Dong Yu
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

There exists a token imbalance phenomenon in natural language as different tokens appear with different frequencies, which leads to different learning difficulties for tokens in Neural Machine Translation (NMT). The vanilla NMT model usually adopts trivial equal-weighted objectives for target tokens with different frequencies and tends to generate more high-frequency tokens and less low-frequency tokens compared with the golden token distribution. However, low-frequency tokens may carry critical semantic information that will affect the translation quality once they are neglected. In this paper, we explored target token-level adaptive objectives based on token frequencies to assign appropriate weights for each target token during training. We aimed that those meaningful but relatively low-frequency words could be assigned with larger weights in objectives to encourage the model to pay more attention to these tokens. Our method yields consistent improvements in translation quality on ZH-EN, EN-RO, and EN-DE translation tasks, especially on sentences that contain more low-frequency tokens where we can get 1.68, 1.02, and 0.52 BLEU increases compared with baseline, respectively. Further analyses show that our method can also improve the lexical diversity of translation.

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Multi-Unit Transformers for Neural Machine Translation
Jianhao Yan | Fandong Meng | Jie Zhou
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

Transformer models achieve remarkable success in Neural Machine Translation. Many efforts have been devoted to deepening the Transformer by stacking several units (i.e., a combination of Multihead Attentions and FFN) in a cascade, while the investigation over multiple parallel units draws little attention. In this paper, we propose the Multi-Unit Transformer (MUTE) , which aim to promote the expressiveness of the Transformer by introducing diverse and complementary units. Specifically, we use several parallel units and show that modeling with multiple units improves model performance and introduces diversity. Further, to better leverage the advantage of the multi-unit setting, we design biased module and sequential dependency that guide and encourage complementariness among different units. Experimental results on three machine translation tasks, the NIST Chinese-to-English, WMT’14 English-to-German and WMT’18 Chinese-to-English, show that the MUTE models significantly outperform the Transformer-Base, by up to +1.52, +1.90 and +1.10 BLEU points, with only a mild drop in inference speed (about 3.1%). In addition, our methods also surpass the Transformer-Big model, with only 54% of its parameters. These results demonstrate the effectiveness of the MUTE, as well as its efficiency in both the inference process and parameter usage.

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Bridging the Gap between Prior and Posterior Knowledge Selection for Knowledge-Grounded Dialogue Generation
Xiuyi Chen | Fandong Meng | Peng Li | Feilong Chen | Shuang Xu | Bo Xu | Jie Zhou
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

Knowledge selection plays an important role in knowledge-grounded dialogue, which is a challenging task to generate more informative responses by leveraging external knowledge. Recently, latent variable models have been proposed to deal with the diversity of knowledge selection by using both prior and posterior distributions over knowledge and achieve promising performance. However, these models suffer from a huge gap between prior and posterior knowledge selection. Firstly, the prior selection module may not learn to select knowledge properly because of lacking the necessary posterior information. Secondly, latent variable models suffer from the exposure bias that dialogue generation is based on the knowledge selected from the posterior distribution at training but from the prior distribution at inference. Here, we deal with these issues on two aspects: (1) We enhance the prior selection module with the necessary posterior information obtained from the specially designed Posterior Information Prediction Module (PIPM); (2) We propose a Knowledge Distillation Based Training Strategy (KDBTS) to train the decoder with the knowledge selected from the prior distribution, removing the exposure bias of knowledge selection. Experimental results on two knowledge-grounded dialogue datasets show that both PIPM and KDBTS achieve performance improvement over the state-of-the-art latent variable model and their combination shows further improvement.


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CM-Net: A Novel Collaborative Memory Network for Spoken Language Understanding
Yijin Liu | Fandong Meng | Jinchao Zhang | Jie Zhou | Yufeng Chen | Jinan Xu
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

Spoken Language Understanding (SLU) mainly involves two tasks, intent detection and slot filling, which are generally modeled jointly in existing works. However, most existing models fail to fully utilize cooccurrence relations between slots and intents, which restricts their potential performance. To address this issue, in this paper we propose a novel Collaborative Memory Network (CM-Net) based on the well-designed block, named CM-block. The CM-block firstly captures slot-specific and intent-specific features from memories in a collaborative manner, and then uses these enriched features to enhance local context representations, based on which the sequential information flow leads to more specific (slot and intent) global utterance representations. Through stacking multiple CM-blocks, our CM-Net is able to alternately perform information exchange among specific memories, local contexts and the global utterance, and thus incrementally enriches each other. We evaluate the CM-Net on two standard benchmarks (ATIS and SNIPS) and a self-collected corpus (CAIS). Experimental results show that the CM-Net achieves the state-of-the-art results on the ATIS and SNIPS in most of criteria, and significantly outperforms the baseline models on the CAIS. Additionally, we make the CAIS dataset publicly available for the research community.

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Enhancing Context Modeling with a Query-Guided Capsule Network for Document-level Translation
Zhengxin Yang | Jinchao Zhang | Fandong Meng | Shuhao Gu | Yang Feng | Jie Zhou
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

Context modeling is essential to generate coherent and consistent translation for Document-level Neural Machine Translations. The widely used method for document-level translation usually compresses the context information into a representation via hierarchical attention networks. However, this method neither considers the relationship between context words nor distinguishes the roles of context words. To address this problem, we propose a query-guided capsule networks to cluster context information into different perspectives from which the target translation may concern. Experiment results show that our method can significantly outperform strong baselines on multiple data sets of different domains.

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A Novel Aspect-Guided Deep Transition Model for Aspect Based Sentiment Analysis
Yunlong Liang | Fandong Meng | Jinchao Zhang | Jinan Xu | Yufeng Chen | Jie Zhou
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

Aspect based sentiment analysis (ABSA) aims to identify the sentiment polarity towards the given aspect in a sentence, while previous models typically exploit an aspect-independent (weakly associative) encoder for sentence representation generation. In this paper, we propose a novel Aspect-Guided Deep Transition model, named AGDT, which utilizes the given aspect to guide the sentence encoding from scratch with the specially-designed deep transition architecture. Furthermore, an aspect-oriented objective is designed to enforce AGDT to reconstruct the given aspect with the generated sentence representation. In doing so, our AGDT can accurately generate aspect-specific sentence representation, and thus conduct more accurate sentiment predictions. Experimental results on multiple SemEval datasets demonstrate the effectiveness of our proposed approach, which significantly outperforms the best reported results with the same setting.

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Incremental Transformer with Deliberation Decoder for Document Grounded Conversations
Zekang Li | Cheng Niu | Fandong Meng | Yang Feng | Qian Li | Jie Zhou
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Document Grounded Conversations is a task to generate dialogue responses when chatting about the content of a given document. Obviously, document knowledge plays a critical role in Document Grounded Conversations, while existing dialogue models do not exploit this kind of knowledge effectively enough. In this paper, we propose a novel Transformer-based architecture for multi-turn document grounded conversations. In particular, we devise an Incremental Transformer to encode multi-turn utterances along with knowledge in related documents. Motivated by the human cognitive process, we design a two-pass decoder (Deliberation Decoder) to improve context coherence and knowledge correctness. Our empirical study on a real-world Document Grounded Dataset proves that responses generated by our model significantly outperform competitive baselines on both context coherence and knowledge relevance.

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GCDT: A Global Context Enhanced Deep Transition Architecture for Sequence Labeling
Yijin Liu | Fandong Meng | Jinchao Zhang | Jinan Xu | Yufeng Chen | Jie Zhou
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Current state-of-the-art systems for sequence labeling are typically based on the family of Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs). However, the shallow connections between consecutive hidden states of RNNs and insufficient modeling of global information restrict the potential performance of those models. In this paper, we try to address these issues, and thus propose a Global Context enhanced Deep Transition architecture for sequence labeling named GCDT. We deepen the state transition path at each position in a sentence, and further assign every token with a global representation learned from the entire sentence. Experiments on two standard sequence labeling tasks show that, given only training data and the ubiquitous word embeddings (Glove), our GCDT achieves 91.96 F1 on the CoNLL03 NER task and 95.43 F1 on the CoNLL2000 Chunking task, which outperforms the best reported results under the same settings. Furthermore, by leveraging BERT as an additional resource, we establish new state-of-the-art results with 93.47 F1 on NER and 97.30 F1 on Chunking.

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Retrieving Sequential Information for Non-Autoregressive Neural Machine Translation
Chenze Shao | Yang Feng | Jinchao Zhang | Fandong Meng | Xilin Chen | Jie Zhou
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Non-Autoregressive Transformer (NAT) aims to accelerate the Transformer model through discarding the autoregressive mechanism and generating target words independently, which fails to exploit the target sequential information. Over-translation and under-translation errors often occur for the above reason, especially in the long sentence translation scenario. In this paper, we propose two approaches to retrieve the target sequential information for NAT to enhance its translation ability while preserving the fast-decoding property. Firstly, we propose a sequence-level training method based on a novel reinforcement algorithm for NAT (Reinforce-NAT) to reduce the variance and stabilize the training procedure. Secondly, we propose an innovative Transformer decoder named FS-decoder to fuse the target sequential information into the top layer of the decoder. Experimental results on three translation tasks show that the Reinforce-NAT surpasses the baseline NAT system by a significant margin on BLEU without decelerating the decoding speed and the FS-decoder achieves comparable translation performance to the autoregressive Transformer with considerable speedup.

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Bridging the Gap between Training and Inference for Neural Machine Translation
Wen Zhang | Yang Feng | Fandong Meng | Di You | Qun Liu
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Neural Machine Translation (NMT) generates target words sequentially in the way of predicting the next word conditioned on the context words. At training time, it predicts with the ground truth words as context while at inference it has to generate the entire sequence from scratch. This discrepancy of the fed context leads to error accumulation among the way. Furthermore, word-level training requires strict matching between the generated sequence and the ground truth sequence which leads to overcorrection over different but reasonable translations. In this paper, we address these issues by sampling context words not only from the ground truth sequence but also from the predicted sequence by the model during training, where the predicted sequence is selected with a sentence-level optimum. Experiment results on Chinese->English and WMT’14 English->German translation tasks demonstrate that our approach can achieve significant improvements on multiple datasets.


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Modeling Localness for Self-Attention Networks
Baosong Yang | Zhaopeng Tu | Derek F. Wong | Fandong Meng | Lidia S. Chao | Tong Zhang
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Self-attention networks have proven to be of profound value for its strength of capturing global dependencies. In this work, we propose to model localness for self-attention networks, which enhances the ability of capturing useful local context. We cast localness modeling as a learnable Gaussian bias, which indicates the central and scope of the local region to be paid more attention. The bias is then incorporated into the original attention distribution to form a revised distribution. To maintain the strength of capturing long distance dependencies while enhance the ability of capturing short-range dependencies, we only apply localness modeling to lower layers of self-attention networks. Quantitative and qualitative analyses on Chinese-English and English-German translation tasks demonstrate the effectiveness and universality of the proposed approach.

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Towards Robust Neural Machine Translation
Yong Cheng | Zhaopeng Tu | Fandong Meng | Junjie Zhai | Yang Liu
Proceedings of the 56th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Small perturbations in the input can severely distort intermediate representations and thus impact translation quality of neural machine translation (NMT) models. In this paper, we propose to improve the robustness of NMT models with adversarial stability training. The basic idea is to make both the encoder and decoder in NMT models robust against input perturbations by enabling them to behave similarly for the original input and its perturbed counterpart. Experimental results on Chinese-English, English-German and English-French translation tasks show that our approaches can not only achieve significant improvements over strong NMT systems but also improve the robustness of NMT models.


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Interactive Attention for Neural Machine Translation
Fandong Meng | Zhengdong Lu | Hang Li | Qun Liu
Proceedings of COLING 2016, the 26th International Conference on Computational Linguistics: Technical Papers

Conventional attention-based Neural Machine Translation (NMT) conducts dynamic alignment in generating the target sentence. By repeatedly reading the representation of source sentence, which keeps fixed after generated by the encoder (Bahdanau et al., 2015), the attention mechanism has greatly enhanced state-of-the-art NMT. In this paper, we propose a new attention mechanism, called INTERACTIVE ATTENTION, which models the interaction between the decoder and the representation of source sentence during translation by both reading and writing operations. INTERACTIVE ATTENTION can keep track of the interaction history and therefore improve the translation performance. Experiments on NIST Chinese-English translation task show that INTERACTIVE ATTENTION can achieve significant improvements over both the previous attention-based NMT baseline and some state-of-the-art variants of attention-based NMT (i.e., coverage models (Tu et al., 2016)). And neural machine translator with our INTERACTIVE ATTENTION can outperform the open source attention-based NMT system Groundhog by 4.22 BLEU points and the open source phrase-based system Moses by 3.94 BLEU points averagely on multiple test sets.


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Encoding Source Language with Convolutional Neural Network for Machine Translation
Fandong Meng | Zhengdong Lu | Mingxuan Wang | Hang Li | Wenbin Jiang | Qun Liu
Proceedings of the 53rd Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 7th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 1: Long Papers)


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A Dependency Edge-based Transfer Model for Statistical Machine Translation
Hongshen Chen | Jun Xie | Fandong Meng | Wenbin Jiang | Qun Liu
Proceedings of COLING 2014, the 25th International Conference on Computational Linguistics: Technical Papers

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Modeling Term Translation for Document-informed Machine Translation
Fandong Meng | Deyi Xiong | Wenbin Jiang | Qun Liu
Proceedings of the 2014 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)


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Translation with Source Constituency and Dependency Trees
Fandong Meng | Jun Xie | Linfeng Song | Yajuan Lü | Qun Liu
Proceedings of the 2013 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing


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ICT: A Translation based Method for Cross-lingual Textual Entailment
Fandong Meng | Hao Xiong | Qun Liu
*SEM 2012: The First Joint Conference on Lexical and Computational Semantics – Volume 1: Proceedings of the main conference and the shared task, and Volume 2: Proceedings of the Sixth International Workshop on Semantic Evaluation (SemEval 2012)

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Discriminative Boosting from Dictionary and Raw Text – A Novel Approach to Build A Chinese Word Segmenter
Fandong Meng | Wenbin Jiang | Hao Xiong | Qun Liu
Proceedings of COLING 2012: Posters

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Iterative Annotation Transformation with Predict-Self Reestimation for Chinese Word Segmentation
Wenbin Jiang | Fandong Meng | Qun Liu | Yajuan Lü
Proceedings of the 2012 Joint Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and Computational Natural Language Learning


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ETS: An Error Tolerable System for Coreference Resolution
Hao Xiong | Linfeng Song | Fandong Meng | Yang Liu | Qun Liu | Yajuan Lv
Proceedings of the Fifteenth Conference on Computational Natural Language Learning: Shared Task