Li Dong


2020

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Harvesting and Refining Question-Answer Pairs for Unsupervised QA
Zhongli Li | Wenhui Wang | Li Dong | Furu Wei | Ke Xu
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Question Answering (QA) has shown great success thanks to the availability of large-scale datasets and the effectiveness of neural models. Recent research works have attempted to extend these successes to the settings with few or no labeled data available. In this work, we introduce two approaches to improve unsupervised QA. First, we harvest lexically and syntactically divergent questions from Wikipedia to automatically construct a corpus of question-answer pairs (named as RefQA). Second, we take advantage of the QA model to extract more appropriate answers, which iteratively refines data over RefQA. We conduct experiments on SQuAD 1.1, and NewsQA by fine-tuning BERT without access to manually annotated data. Our approach outperforms previous unsupervised approaches by a large margin, and is competitive with early supervised models. We also show the effectiveness of our approach in the few-shot learning setting.

2019

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Visualizing and Understanding the Effectiveness of BERT
Yaru Hao | Li Dong | Furu Wei | Ke 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)

Language model pre-training, such as BERT, has achieved remarkable results in many NLP tasks. However, it is unclear why the pre-training-then-fine-tuning paradigm can improve performance and generalization capability across different tasks. In this paper, we propose to visualize loss landscapes and optimization trajectories of fine-tuning BERT on specific datasets. First, we find that pre-training reaches a good initial point across downstream tasks, which leads to wider optima and easier optimization compared with training from scratch. We also demonstrate that the fine-tuning procedure is robust to overfitting, even though BERT is highly over-parameterized for downstream tasks. Second, the visualization results indicate that fine-tuning BERT tends to generalize better because of the flat and wide optima, and the consistency between the training loss surface and the generalization error surface. Third, the lower layers of BERT are more invariant during fine-tuning, which suggests that the layers that are close to input learn more transferable representations of language.

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Inspecting Unification of Encoding and Matching with Transformer: A Case Study of Machine Reading Comprehension
Hangbo Bao | Li Dong | Furu Wei | Wenhui Wang | Nan Yang | Lei Cui | Songhao Piao | Ming Zhou
Proceedings of the 2nd Workshop on Machine Reading for Question Answering

Most machine reading comprehension (MRC) models separately handle encoding and matching with different network architectures. In contrast, pretrained language models with Transformer layers, such as GPT (Radford et al., 2018) and BERT (Devlin et al., 2018), have achieved competitive performance on MRC. A research question that naturally arises is: apart from the benefits of pre-training, how many performance gain comes from the unified network architecture. In this work, we evaluate and analyze unifying encoding and matching components with Transformer for the MRC task. Experimental results on SQuAD show that the unified model outperforms previous networks that separately treat encoding and matching. We also introduce a metric to inspect whether a Transformer layer tends to perform encoding or matching. The analysis results show that the unified model learns different modeling strategies compared with previous manually-designed models.

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Learning a Unified Named Entity Tagger from Multiple Partially Annotated Corpora for Efficient Adaptation
Xiao Huang | Li Dong | Elizabeth Boschee | Nanyun Peng
Proceedings of the 23rd Conference on Computational Natural Language Learning (CoNLL)

Named entity recognition (NER) identifies typed entity mentions in raw text. While the task is well-established, there is no universally used tagset: often, datasets are annotated for use in downstream applications and accordingly only cover a small set of entity types relevant to a particular task. For instance, in the biomedical domain, one corpus might annotate genes, another chemicals, and another diseases—despite the texts in each corpus containing references to all three types of entities. In this paper, we propose a deep structured model to integrate these “partially annotated” datasets to jointly identify all entity types appearing in the training corpora. By leveraging multiple datasets, the model can learn robust input representations; by building a joint structured model, it avoids potential conflicts caused by combining several models’ predictions at test time. Experiments show that the proposed model significantly outperforms strong multi-task learning baselines when training on multiple, partially annotated datasets and testing on datasets that contain tags from more than one of the training corpora.

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Data-to-text Generation with Entity Modeling
Ratish Puduppully | Li Dong | Mirella Lapata
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Recent approaches to data-to-text generation have shown great promise thanks to the use of large-scale datasets and the application of neural network architectures which are trained end-to-end. These models rely on representation learning to select content appropriately, structure it coherently, and verbalize it grammatically, treating entities as nothing more than vocabulary tokens. In this work we propose an entity-centric neural architecture for data-to-text generation. Our model creates entity-specific representations which are dynamically updated. Text is generated conditioned on the data input and entity memory representations using hierarchical attention at each time step. We present experiments on the RotoWire benchmark and a (five times larger) new dataset on the baseball domain which we create. Our results show that the proposed model outperforms competitive baselines in automatic and human evaluation.

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Learning to Ask Unanswerable Questions for Machine Reading Comprehension
Haichao Zhu | Li Dong | Furu Wei | Wenhui Wang | Bing Qin | Ting Liu
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Machine reading comprehension with unanswerable questions is a challenging task. In this work, we propose a data augmentation technique by automatically generating relevant unanswerable questions according to an answerable question paired with its corresponding paragraph that contains the answer. We introduce a pair-to-sequence model for unanswerable question generation, which effectively captures the interactions between the question and the paragraph. We also present a way to construct training data for our question generation models by leveraging the existing reading comprehension dataset. Experimental results show that the pair-to-sequence model performs consistently better compared with the sequence-to-sequence baseline. We further use the automatically generated unanswerable questions as a means of data augmentation on the SQuAD 2.0 dataset, yielding 1.9 absolute F1 improvement with BERT-base model and 1.7 absolute F1 improvement with BERT-large model.

2018

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Coarse-to-Fine Decoding for Neural Semantic Parsing
Li Dong | Mirella Lapata
Proceedings of the 56th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Semantic parsing aims at mapping natural language utterances into structured meaning representations. In this work, we propose a structure-aware neural architecture which decomposes the semantic parsing process into two stages. Given an input utterance, we first generate a rough sketch of its meaning, where low-level information (such as variable names and arguments) is glossed over. Then, we fill in missing details by taking into account the natural language input and the sketch itself. Experimental results on four datasets characteristic of different domains and meaning representations show that our approach consistently improves performance, achieving competitive results despite the use of relatively simple decoders.

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Confidence Modeling for Neural Semantic Parsing
Li Dong | Chris Quirk | Mirella Lapata
Proceedings of the 56th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

In this work we focus on confidence modeling for neural semantic parsers which are built upon sequence-to-sequence models. We outline three major causes of uncertainty, and design various metrics to quantify these factors. These metrics are then used to estimate confidence scores that indicate whether model predictions are likely to be correct. Beyond confidence estimation, we identify which parts of the input contribute to uncertain predictions allowing users to interpret their model, and verify or refine its input. Experimental results show that our confidence model significantly outperforms a widely used method that relies on posterior probability, and improves the quality of interpretation compared to simply relying on attention scores.

2017

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Learning to Generate Product Reviews from Attributes
Li Dong | Shaohan Huang | Furu Wei | Mirella Lapata | Ming Zhou | Ke Xu
Proceedings of the 15th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Volume 1, Long Papers

Automatically generating product reviews is a meaningful, yet not well-studied task in sentiment analysis. Traditional natural language generation methods rely extensively on hand-crafted rules and predefined templates. This paper presents an attention-enhanced attribute-to-sequence model to generate product reviews for given attribute information, such as user, product, and rating. The attribute encoder learns to represent input attributes as vectors. Then, the sequence decoder generates reviews by conditioning its output on these vectors. We also introduce an attention mechanism to jointly generate reviews and align words with input attributes. The proposed model is trained end-to-end to maximize the likelihood of target product reviews given the attributes. We build a publicly available dataset for the review generation task by leveraging the Amazon book reviews and their metadata. Experiments on the dataset show that our approach outperforms baseline methods and the attention mechanism significantly improves the performance of our model.

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Learning to Paraphrase for Question Answering
Li Dong | Jonathan Mallinson | Siva Reddy | Mirella Lapata
Proceedings of the 2017 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Question answering (QA) systems are sensitive to the many different ways natural language expresses the same information need. In this paper we turn to paraphrases as a means of capturing this knowledge and present a general framework which learns felicitous paraphrases for various QA tasks. Our method is trained end-to-end using question-answer pairs as a supervision signal. A question and its paraphrases serve as input to a neural scoring model which assigns higher weights to linguistic expressions most likely to yield correct answers. We evaluate our approach on QA over Freebase and answer sentence selection. Experimental results on three datasets show that our framework consistently improves performance, achieving competitive results despite the use of simple QA models.

2016

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Long Short-Term Memory-Networks for Machine Reading
Jianpeng Cheng | Li Dong | Mirella Lapata
Proceedings of the 2016 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

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Solving and Generating Chinese Character Riddles
Chuanqi Tan | Furu Wei | Li Dong | Weifeng Lv | Ming Zhou
Proceedings of the 2016 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

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Language to Logical Form with Neural Attention
Li Dong | Mirella Lapata
Proceedings of the 54th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

2015

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A Statistical Parsing Framework for Sentiment Classification
Li Dong | Furu Wei | Shujie Liu | Ming Zhou | Ke Xu
Computational Linguistics, Volume 41, Issue 2 - June 2015

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Question Answering over Freebase with Multi-Column Convolutional Neural Networks
Li Dong | Furu Wei | Ming Zhou | Ke Xu
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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Splusplus: A Feature-Rich Two-stage Classifier for Sentiment Analysis of Tweets
Li Dong | Furu Wei | Yichun Yin | Ming Zhou | Ke Xu
Proceedings of the 9th International Workshop on Semantic Evaluation (SemEval 2015)

2014

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Adaptive Recursive Neural Network for Target-dependent Twitter Sentiment Classification
Li Dong | Furu Wei | Chuanqi Tan | Duyu Tang | Ming Zhou | Ke Xu
Proceedings of the 52nd Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 2: Short Papers)

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A Joint Segmentation and Classification Framework for Sentiment Analysis
Duyu Tang | Furu Wei | Bing Qin | Li Dong | Ting Liu | Ming Zhou
Proceedings of the 2014 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)