Liang Ding


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Self-Attention with Cross-Lingual Position Representation
Liang Ding | Longyue Wang | Dacheng Tao
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Position encoding (PE), an essential part of self-attention networks (SANs), is used to preserve the word order information for natural language processing tasks, generating fixed position indices for input sequences. However, in cross-lingual scenarios, machine translation, the PEs of source and target sentences are modeled independently. Due to word order divergences in different languages, modeling the cross-lingual positional relationships might help SANs tackle this problem. In this paper, we augment SANs with cross-lingual position representations to model the bilingually aware latent structure for the input sentence. Specifically, we utilize bracketing transduction grammar (BTG)-based reordering information to encourage SANs to learn bilingual diagonal alignments. Experimental results on WMT’14 EnglishGerman, WAT’17 JapaneseEnglish, and WMT’17 ChineseEnglish translation tasks demonstrate that our approach significantly and consistently improves translation quality over strong baselines. Extensive analyses confirm that the performance gains come from the cross-lingual information.

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Context-Aware Cross-Attention for Non-Autoregressive Translation
Liang Ding | Longyue Wang | Di Wu | Dacheng Tao | Zhaopeng Tu
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Non-autoregressive translation (NAT) significantly accelerates the inference process by predicting the entire target sequence. However, due to the lack of target dependency modelling in the decoder, the conditional generation process heavily depends on the cross-attention. In this paper, we reveal a localness perception problem in NAT cross-attention, for which it is difficult to adequately capture source context. To alleviate this problem, we propose to enhance signals of neighbour source tokens into conventional cross-attention. Experimental results on several representative datasets show that our approach can consistently improve translation quality over strong NAT baselines. Extensive analyses demonstrate that the enhanced cross-attention achieves better exploitation of source contexts by leveraging both local and global information.

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SlotRefine: A Fast Non-Autoregressive Model for Joint Intent Detection and Slot Filling
Di Wu | Liang Ding | Fan Lu | Jian Xie
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

Slot filling and intent detection are two main tasks in spoken language understanding (SLU) system. In this paper, we propose a novel non-autoregressive model named SlotRefine for joint intent detection and slot filling. Besides, we design a novel two-pass iteration mechanism to handle the uncoordinated slots problem caused by conditional independence of non-autoregressive model. Experiments demonstrate that our model significantly outperforms previous models in slot filling task, while considerably speeding up the decoding (up to x10.77). In-depth analysis show that 1) pretraining schemes could further enhance our model; 2) two-pass mechanism indeed remedy the uncoordinated slots.


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The University of Sydney’s Machine Translation System for WMT19
Liang Ding | Dacheng Tao
Proceedings of the Fourth Conference on Machine Translation (Volume 2: Shared Task Papers, Day 1)

This paper describes the University of Sydney’s submission of the WMT 2019 shared news translation task. We participated in the Finnish->English direction and got the best BLEU(33.0) score among all the participants. Our system is based on the self-attentional Transformer networks, into which we integrated the most recent effective strategies from academic research (e.g., BPE, back translation, multi-features data selection, data augmentation, greedy model ensemble, reranking, ConMBR system combination, and postprocessing). Furthermore, we propose a novel augmentation method Cycle Translation and a data mixture strategy Big/Small parallel construction to entirely exploit the synthetic corpus. Extensive experiments show that adding the above techniques can make continuous improvements of the BLEU scores, and the best result outperforms the baseline (Transformer ensemble model trained with the original parallel corpus) by approximately 5.3 BLEU score, achieving the state-of-the-art performance.