Zhongyang Li


2019

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Modeling Event Background for If-Then Commonsense Reasoning Using Context-aware Variational Autoencoder
Li Du | Xiao Ding | Ting Liu | Zhongyang Li
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

Understanding event and event-centered commonsense reasoning are crucial for natural language processing (NLP). Given an observed event, it is trivial for human to infer its intents and effects, while this type of If-Then reasoning still remains challenging for NLP systems. To facilitate this, a If-Then commonsense reasoning dataset Atomic is proposed, together with an RNN-based Seq2Seq model to conduct such reasoning. However, two fundamental problems still need to be addressed: first, the intents of an event may be multiple, while the generations of RNN-based Seq2Seq models are always semantically close; second, external knowledge of the event background may be necessary for understanding events and conducting the If-Then reasoning. To address these issues, we propose a novel context-aware variational autoencoder effectively learning event background information to guide the If-Then reasoning. Experimental results show that our approach improves the accuracy and diversity of inferences compared with state-of-the-art baseline methods.

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Event Representation Learning Enhanced with External Commonsense Knowledge
Xiao Ding | Kuo Liao | Ting Liu | Zhongyang Li | Junwen Duan
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

Prior work has proposed effective methods to learn event representations that can capture syntactic and semantic information over text corpus, demonstrating their effectiveness for downstream tasks such as script event prediction. On the other hand, events extracted from raw texts lacks of commonsense knowledge, such as the intents and emotions of the event participants, which are useful for distinguishing event pairs when there are only subtle differences in their surface realizations. To address this issue, this paper proposes to leverage external commonsense knowledge about the intent and sentiment of the event. Experiments on three event-related tasks, i.e., event similarity, script event prediction and stock market prediction, show that our model obtains much better event embeddings for the tasks, achieving 78% improvements on hard similarity task, yielding more precise inferences on subsequent events under given contexts, and better accuracies in predicting the volatilities of the stock market.

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Learning to Rank for Plausible Plausibility
Zhongyang Li | Tongfei Chen | Benjamin Van Durme
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Researchers illustrate improvements in contextual encoding strategies via resultant performance on a battery of shared Natural Language Understanding (NLU) tasks. Many of these tasks are of a categorical prediction variety: given a conditioning context (e.g., an NLI premise), provide a label based on an associated prompt (e.g., an NLI hypothesis). The categorical nature of these tasks has led to common use of a cross entropy log-loss objective during training. We suggest this loss is intuitively wrong when applied to plausibility tasks, where the prompt by design is neither categorically entailed nor contradictory given the context. Log-loss naturally drives models to assign scores near 0.0 or 1.0, in contrast to our proposed use of a margin-based loss. Following a discussion of our intuition, we describe a confirmation study based on an extreme, synthetically curated task derived from MultiNLI. We find that a margin-based loss leads to a more plausible model of plausibility. Finally, we illustrate improvements on the Choice Of Plausible Alternative (COPA) task through this change in loss.

2018

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Generating Reasonable and Diversified Story Ending Using Sequence to Sequence Model with Adversarial Training
Zhongyang Li | Xiao Ding | Ting Liu
Proceedings of the 27th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Story generation is a challenging problem in artificial intelligence (AI) and has received a lot of interests in the natural language processing (NLP) community. Most previous work tried to solve this problem using Sequence to Sequence (Seq2Seq) model trained with Maximum Likelihood Estimation (MLE). However, the pure MLE training objective much limits the power of Seq2Seq model in generating high-quality storys. In this paper, we propose using adversarial training augmented Seq2Seq model to generate reasonable and diversified story endings given a story context. Our model includes a generator that defines the policy of generating a story ending, and a discriminator that labels story endings as human-generated or machine-generated. Carefully designed human and automatic evaluation metrics demonstrate that our adversarial training augmented Seq2Seq model can generate more reasonable and diversified story endings compared to purely MLE-trained Seq2Seq model. Moreover, our model achieves better performance on the task of Story Cloze Test with an accuracy of 62.6% compared with state-of-the-art baseline methods.