Huan Sun


2020

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Clinical Reading Comprehension: A Thorough Analysis of the emrQA Dataset
Xiang Yue | Bernal Jimenez Gutierrez | Huan Sun
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Machine reading comprehension has made great progress in recent years owing to large-scale annotated datasets. In the clinical domain, however, creating such datasets is quite difficult due to the domain expertise required for annotation. Recently, Pampari et al. (EMNLP’18) tackled this issue by using expert-annotated question templates and existing i2b2 annotations to create emrQA, the first large-scale dataset for question answering (QA) based on clinical notes. In this paper, we provide an in-depth analysis of this dataset and the clinical reading comprehension (CliniRC) task. From our qualitative analysis, we find that (i) emrQA answers are often incomplete, and (ii) emrQA questions are often answerable without using domain knowledge. From our quantitative experiments, surprising results include that (iii) using a small sampled subset (5%-20%), we can obtain roughly equal performance compared to the model trained on the entire dataset, (iv) this performance is close to human expert’s performance, and (v) BERT models do not beat the best performing base model. Following our analysis of the emrQA, we further explore two desired aspects of CliniRC systems: the ability to utilize clinical domain knowledge and to generalize to unseen questions and contexts. We argue that both should be considered when creating future datasets.

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Rationalizing Medical Relation Prediction from Corpus-level Statistics
Zhen Wang | Jennifer Lee | Simon Lin | Huan Sun
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Nowadays, the interpretability of machine learning models is becoming increasingly important, especially in the medical domain. Aiming to shed some light on how to rationalize medical relation prediction, we present a new interpretable framework inspired by existing theories on how human memory works, e.g., theories of recall and recognition. Given the corpus-level statistics, i.e., a global co-occurrence graph of a clinical text corpus, to predict the relations between two entities, we first recall rich contexts associated with the target entities, and then recognize relational interactions between these contexts to form model rationales, which will contribute to the final prediction. We conduct experiments on a real-world public clinical dataset and show that our framework can not only achieve competitive predictive performance against a comprehensive list of neural baseline models, but also present rationales to justify its prediction. We further collaborate with medical experts deeply to verify the usefulness of our model rationales for clinical decision making.

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Adversarial Training for Code Retrieval with Question-Description Relevance Regularization
Jie Zhao | Huan Sun
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2020

Code retrieval is a key task aiming to match natural and programming languages. In this work, we propose adversarial learning for code retrieval, that is regularized by question-description relevance. First, we adapt a simple adversarial learning technique to generate difficult code snippets given the input question, which can help the learning of code retrieval that faces bi-modal and data-scarce challenges. Second, we propose to leverage question-description relevance to regularize adversarial learning, such that a generated code snippet should contribute more to the code retrieval training loss, only if its paired natural language description is predicted to be less relevant to the user given question. Experiments on large-scale code retrieval datasets of two programming languages show that our adversarial learning method is able to improve the performance of state-of-the-art models. Moreover, using an additional duplicated question detection model to regularize adversarial learning further improves the performance, and this is more effective than using the duplicated questions in strong multi-task learning baselines.

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Proceedings of the First Workshop on Natural Language Interfaces
Ahmed Hassan Awadallah | Yu Su | Huan Sun | Scott Wen-tau Yih
Proceedings of the First Workshop on Natural Language Interfaces

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Learning a Cost-Effective Annotation Policy for Question Answering
Bernhard Kratzwald | Stefan Feuerriegel | Huan Sun
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

State-of-the-art question answering (QA) relies upon large amounts of training data for which labeling is time consuming and thus expensive. For this reason, customizing QA systems is challenging. As a remedy, we propose a novel framework for annotating QA datasets that entails learning a cost-effective annotation policy and a semi-supervised annotation scheme. The latter reduces the human effort: it leverages the underlying QA system to suggest potential candidate annotations. Human annotators then simply provide binary feedback on these candidates. Our system is designed such that past annotations continuously improve the future performance and thus overall annotation cost. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first paper to address the problem of annotating questions with minimal annotation cost. We compare our framework against traditional manual annotations in an extensive set of experiments. We find that our approach can reduce up to 21.1% of the annotation cost.

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An Imitation Game for Learning Semantic Parsers from User Interaction
Ziyu Yao | Yiqi Tang | Wen-tau Yih | Huan Sun | Yu Su
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

Despite the widely successful applications, bootstrapping and fine-tuning semantic parsers are still a tedious process with challenges such as costly data annotation and privacy risks. In this paper, we suggest an alternative, human-in-the-loop methodology for learning semantic parsers directly from users. A semantic parser should be introspective of its uncertainties and prompt for user demonstrations when uncertain. In doing so it also gets to imitate the user behavior and continue improving itself autonomously with the hope that eventually it may become as good as the user in interpreting their questions. To combat the sparsity of demonstrations, we propose a novel annotation-efficient imitation learning algorithm, which iteratively collects new datasets by mixing demonstrated states and confident predictions and retrains the semantic parser in a Dataset Aggregation fashion (Ross et al., 2011). We provide a theoretical analysis of its cost bound and also empirically demonstrate its promising performance on the text-to-SQL problem. Code will be available at https://github.com/sunlab-osu/MISP.

2019

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Leveraging 2-hop Distant Supervision from Table Entity Pairs for Relation Extraction
Xiang Deng | Huan Sun
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

Distant supervision (DS) has been widely used to automatically construct (noisy) labeled data for relation extraction (RE). Given two entities, distant supervision exploits sentences that directly mention them for predicting their semantic relation. We refer to this strategy as 1-hop DS, which unfortunately may not work well for long-tail entities with few supporting sentences. In this paper, we introduce a new strategy named 2-hop DS to enhance distantly supervised RE, based on the observation that there exist a large number of relational tables on the Web which contain entity pairs that share common relations. We refer to such entity pairs as anchors for each other, and collect all sentences that mention the anchor entity pairs of a given target entity pair to help relation prediction. We develop a new neural RE method REDS2 in the multi-instance learning paradigm, which adopts a hierarchical model structure to fuse information respectively from 1-hop DS and 2-hop DS. Extensive experimental results on a benchmark dataset show that REDS2 can consistently outperform various baselines across different settings by a substantial margin.

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Model-based Interactive Semantic Parsing: A Unified Framework and A Text-to-SQL Case Study
Ziyu Yao | Yu Su | Huan Sun | Wen-tau Yih
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

As a promising paradigm, interactive semantic parsing has shown to improve both semantic parsing accuracy and user confidence in the results. In this paper, we propose a new, unified formulation of the interactive semantic parsing problem, where the goal is to design a model-based intelligent agent. The agent maintains its own state as the current predicted semantic parse, decides whether and where human intervention is needed, and generates a clarification question in natural language. A key part of the agent is a world model: it takes a percept (either an initial question or subsequent feedback from the user) and transitions to a new state. We then propose a simple yet remarkably effective instantiation of our framework, demonstrated on two text-to-SQL datasets (WikiSQL and Spider) with different state-of-the-art base semantic parsers. Compared to an existing interactive semantic parsing approach that treats the base parser as a black box, our approach solicits less user feedback but yields higher run-time accuracy.

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Reinforced Dynamic Reasoning for Conversational Question Generation
Boyuan Pan | Hao Li | Ziyu Yao | Deng Cai | Huan Sun
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

This paper investigates a new task named Conversational Question Generation (CQG) which is to generate a question based on a passage and a conversation history (i.e., previous turns of question-answer pairs). CQG is a crucial task for developing intelligent agents that can drive question-answering style conversations or test user understanding of a given passage. Towards that end, we propose a new approach named Reinforced Dynamic Reasoning network, which is based on the general encoder-decoder framework but incorporates a reasoning procedure in a dynamic manner to better understand what has been asked and what to ask next about the passage into the general encoder-decoder framework. To encourage producing meaningful questions, we leverage a popular question answering (QA) model to provide feedback and fine-tune the question generator using a reinforcement learning mechanism. Empirical results on the recently released CoQA dataset demonstrate the effectiveness of our method in comparison with various baselines and model variants. Moreover, to show the applicability of our method, we also apply it to create multi-turn question-answering conversations for passages in SQuAD.

2018

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Global Relation Embedding for Relation Extraction
Yu Su | Honglei Liu | Semih Yavuz | Izzeddin Gür | Huan Sun | Xifeng Yan
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 1 (Long Papers)

We study the problem of textual relation embedding with distant supervision. To combat the wrong labeling problem of distant supervision, we propose to embed textual relations with global statistics of relations, i.e., the co-occurrence statistics of textual and knowledge base relations collected from the entire corpus. This approach turns out to be more robust to the training noise introduced by distant supervision. On a popular relation extraction dataset, we show that the learned textual relation embedding can be used to augment existing relation extraction models and significantly improve their performance. Most remarkably, for the top 1,000 relational facts discovered by the best existing model, the precision can be improved from 83.9% to 89.3%.

2017

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An End-to-End Deep Framework for Answer Triggering with a Novel Group-Level Objective
Jie Zhao | Yu Su | Ziyu Guan | Huan Sun
Proceedings of the 2017 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Given a question and a set of answer candidates, answer triggering determines whether the candidate set contains any correct answers. If yes, it then outputs a correct one. In contrast to existing pipeline methods which first consider individual candidate answers separately and then make a prediction based on a threshold, we propose an end-to-end deep neural network framework, which is trained by a novel group-level objective function that directly optimizes the answer triggering performance. Our objective function penalizes three potential types of error and allows training the framework in an end-to-end manner. Experimental results on the WikiQA benchmark show that our framework outperforms the state of the arts by a 6.6% absolute gain under F1 measure.

2016

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On Generating Characteristic-rich Question Sets for QA Evaluation
Yu Su | Huan Sun | Brian Sadler | Mudhakar Srivatsa | Izzeddin Gür | Zenghui Yan | Xifeng Yan
Proceedings of the 2016 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing