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Ninghao Liu

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RadOnc-GPT: A Large Language Model for Radiation Oncology

Sep 22, 2023
Zhengliang Liu, Peilong Wang, Yiwei Li, Jason Holmes, Peng Shu, Lian Zhang, Chenbin Liu, Ninghao Liu, Dajiang Zhu, Xiang Li, Quanzheng Li, Samir H. Patel, Terence T. Sio, Tianming Liu, Wei Liu

This paper presents RadOnc-GPT, a large language model specialized for radiation oncology through advanced tuning methods. RadOnc-GPT was finetuned on a large dataset of radiation oncology patient records and clinical notes from the Mayo Clinic in Arizona. The model employs instruction tuning on three key tasks - generating radiotherapy treatment regimens, determining optimal radiation modalities, and providing diagnostic descriptions/ICD codes based on patient diagnostic details. Evaluations conducted by comparing RadOnc-GPT outputs to general large language model outputs showed that RadOnc-GPT generated outputs with significantly improved clarity, specificity, and clinical relevance. The study demonstrated the potential of using large language models fine-tuned using domain-specific knowledge like RadOnc-GPT to achieve transformational capabilities in highly specialized healthcare fields such as radiation oncology.

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Mitigating Shortcuts in Language Models with Soft Label Encoding

Sep 17, 2023
Zirui He, Huiqi Deng, Haiyan Zhao, Ninghao Liu, Mengnan Du

Recent research has shown that large language models rely on spurious correlations in the data for natural language understanding (NLU) tasks. In this work, we aim to answer the following research question: Can we reduce spurious correlations by modifying the ground truth labels of the training data? Specifically, we propose a simple yet effective debiasing framework, named Soft Label Encoding (SoftLE). We first train a teacher model with hard labels to determine each sample's degree of relying on shortcuts. We then add one dummy class to encode the shortcut degree, which is used to smooth other dimensions in the ground truth label to generate soft labels. This new ground truth label is used to train a more robust student model. Extensive experiments on two NLU benchmark tasks demonstrate that SoftLE significantly improves out-of-distribution generalization while maintaining satisfactory in-distribution accuracy.

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Explainability for Large Language Models: A Survey

Sep 17, 2023
Haiyan Zhao, Hanjie Chen, Fan Yang, Ninghao Liu, Huiqi Deng, Hengyi Cai, Shuaiqiang Wang, Dawei Yin, Mengnan Du

Large language models (LLMs) have demonstrated impressive capabilities in natural language processing. However, their internal mechanisms are still unclear and this lack of transparency poses unwanted risks for downstream applications. Therefore, understanding and explaining these models is crucial for elucidating their behaviors, limitations, and social impacts. In this paper, we introduce a taxonomy of explainability techniques and provide a structured overview of methods for explaining Transformer-based language models. We categorize techniques based on the training paradigms of LLMs: traditional fine-tuning-based paradigm and prompting-based paradigm. For each paradigm, we summarize the goals and dominant approaches for generating local explanations of individual predictions and global explanations of overall model knowledge. We also discuss metrics for evaluating generated explanations, and discuss how explanations can be leveraged to debug models and improve performance. Lastly, we examine key challenges and emerging opportunities for explanation techniques in the era of LLMs in comparison to conventional machine learning models.

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Towards Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) in the Internet of Things (IoT): Opportunities and Challenges

Sep 14, 2023
Fei Dou, Jin Ye, Geng Yuan, Qin Lu, Wei Niu, Haijian Sun, Le Guan, Guoyu Lu, Gengchen Mai, Ninghao Liu, Jin Lu, Zhengliang Liu, Zihao Wu, Chenjiao Tan, Shaochen Xu, Xianqiao Wang, Guoming Li, Lilong Chai, Sheng Li, Jin Sun, Hongyue Sun, Yunli Shao, Changying Li, Tianming Liu, Wenzhan Song

Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), possessing the capacity to comprehend, learn, and execute tasks with human cognitive abilities, engenders significant anticipation and intrigue across scientific, commercial, and societal arenas. This fascination extends particularly to the Internet of Things (IoT), a landscape characterized by the interconnection of countless devices, sensors, and systems, collectively gathering and sharing data to enable intelligent decision-making and automation. This research embarks on an exploration of the opportunities and challenges towards achieving AGI in the context of the IoT. Specifically, it starts by outlining the fundamental principles of IoT and the critical role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in IoT systems. Subsequently, it delves into AGI fundamentals, culminating in the formulation of a conceptual framework for AGI's seamless integration within IoT. The application spectrum for AGI-infused IoT is broad, encompassing domains ranging from smart grids, residential environments, manufacturing, and transportation to environmental monitoring, agriculture, healthcare, and education. However, adapting AGI to resource-constrained IoT settings necessitates dedicated research efforts. Furthermore, the paper addresses constraints imposed by limited computing resources, intricacies associated with large-scale IoT communication, as well as the critical concerns pertaining to security and privacy.

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GiGaMAE: Generalizable Graph Masked Autoencoder via Collaborative Latent Space Reconstruction

Aug 18, 2023
Yucheng Shi, Yushun Dong, Qiaoyu Tan, Jundong Li, Ninghao Liu

Self-supervised learning with masked autoencoders has recently gained popularity for its ability to produce effective image or textual representations, which can be applied to various downstream tasks without retraining. However, we observe that the current masked autoencoder models lack good generalization ability on graph data. To tackle this issue, we propose a novel graph masked autoencoder framework called GiGaMAE. Different from existing masked autoencoders that learn node presentations by explicitly reconstructing the original graph components (e.g., features or edges), in this paper, we propose to collaboratively reconstruct informative and integrated latent embeddings. By considering embeddings encompassing graph topology and attribute information as reconstruction targets, our model could capture more generalized and comprehensive knowledge. Furthermore, we introduce a mutual information based reconstruction loss that enables the effective reconstruction of multiple targets. This learning objective allows us to differentiate between the exclusive knowledge learned from a single target and common knowledge shared by multiple targets. We evaluate our method on three downstream tasks with seven datasets as benchmarks. Extensive experiments demonstrate the superiority of GiGaMAE against state-of-the-art baselines. We hope our results will shed light on the design of foundation models on graph-structured data. Our code is available at:

* Accepted by CIKM 2023 
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XGBD: Explanation-Guided Graph Backdoor Detection

Aug 08, 2023
Zihan Guan, Mengnan Du, Ninghao Liu

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Backdoor attacks pose a significant security risk to graph learning models. Backdoors can be embedded into the target model by inserting backdoor triggers into the training dataset, causing the model to make incorrect predictions when the trigger is present. To counter backdoor attacks, backdoor detection has been proposed. An emerging detection strategy in the vision and NLP domains is based on an intriguing phenomenon: when training models on a mixture of backdoor and clean samples, the loss on backdoor samples drops significantly faster than on clean samples, allowing backdoor samples to be easily detected by selecting samples with the lowest loss values. However, the ignorance of topological feature information on graph data limits its detection effectiveness when applied directly to the graph domain. To this end, we propose an explanation-guided backdoor detection method to take advantage of the topological information. Specifically, we train a helper model on the graph dataset, feed graph samples into the model, and then adopt explanation methods to attribute model prediction to an important subgraph. We observe that backdoor samples have distinct attribution distribution than clean samples, so the explanatory subgraph could serve as more discriminative features for detecting backdoor samples. Comprehensive experiments on multiple popular datasets and attack methods demonstrate the effectiveness and explainability of our method. Our code is available:

* 8 pages, 9 figures 
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CohortGPT: An Enhanced GPT for Participant Recruitment in Clinical Study

Jul 21, 2023
Zihan Guan, Zihao Wu, Zhengliang Liu, Dufan Wu, Hui Ren, Quanzheng Li, Xiang Li, Ninghao Liu

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Participant recruitment based on unstructured medical texts such as clinical notes and radiology reports has been a challenging yet important task for the cohort establishment in clinical research. Recently, Large Language Models (LLMs) such as ChatGPT have achieved tremendous success in various downstream tasks thanks to their promising performance in language understanding, inference, and generation. It is then natural to test their feasibility in solving the cohort recruitment task, which involves the classification of a given paragraph of medical text into disease label(s). However, when applied to knowledge-intensive problem settings such as medical text classification, where the LLMs are expected to understand the decision made by human experts and accurately identify the implied disease labels, the LLMs show a mediocre performance. A possible explanation is that, by only using the medical text, the LLMs neglect to use the rich context of additional information that languages afford. To this end, we propose to use a knowledge graph as auxiliary information to guide the LLMs in making predictions. Moreover, to further boost the LLMs adapt to the problem setting, we apply a chain-of-thought (CoT) sample selection strategy enhanced by reinforcement learning, which selects a set of CoT samples given each individual medical report. Experimental results and various ablation studies show that our few-shot learning method achieves satisfactory performance compared with fine-tuning strategies and gains superb advantages when the available data is limited. The code and sample dataset of the proposed CohortGPT model is available at:

* 16 pages, 10 figures 
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Hierarchical Semantic Tree Concept Whitening for Interpretable Image Classification

Jul 10, 2023
Haixing Dai, Lu Zhang, Lin Zhao, Zihao Wu, Zhengliang Liu, David Liu, Xiaowei Yu, Yanjun Lyu, Changying Li, Ninghao Liu, Tianming Liu, Dajiang Zhu

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With the popularity of deep neural networks (DNNs), model interpretability is becoming a critical concern. Many approaches have been developed to tackle the problem through post-hoc analysis, such as explaining how predictions are made or understanding the meaning of neurons in middle layers. Nevertheless, these methods can only discover the patterns or rules that naturally exist in models. In this work, rather than relying on post-hoc schemes, we proactively instill knowledge to alter the representation of human-understandable concepts in hidden layers. Specifically, we use a hierarchical tree of semantic concepts to store the knowledge, which is leveraged to regularize the representations of image data instances while training deep models. The axes of the latent space are aligned with the semantic concepts, where the hierarchical relations between concepts are also preserved. Experiments on real-world image datasets show that our method improves model interpretability, showing better disentanglement of semantic concepts, without negatively affecting model classification performance.

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