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Qiaozhu Mei

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A Turing Test: Are AI Chatbots Behaviorally Similar to Humans?

Nov 19, 2023
Qiaozhu Mei, Yutong Xie, Walter Yuan, Matthew O. Jackson

We administer a Turing Test to AI Chatbots. We examine how Chatbots behave in a suite of classic behavioral games that are designed to elicit characteristics such as trust, fairness, risk-aversion, cooperation, \textit{etc.}; as well as a traditional Big-5 psychological survey that measures personality traits. ChatGPT-4 passes the Turing Test in that it consistently exhibits human-like behavioral and personality traits based on a comparison to the behavior of hundreds of thousands of humans from more than 50 countries. Chatbots also modify their behavior based on previous experience and contexts ``as if'' they were learning from the interactions, and change their behavior in response to different framings of the same strategic situation. Their behaviors are often distinct from average and modal human behaviors, in which case they tend to behave on the more altruistic and cooperative end of the distribution. We estimate that they act as if they are maximizing an average of their own and partner's payoff.

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A Metadata-Driven Approach to Understand Graph Neural Networks

Oct 30, 2023
Ting Wei Li, Qiaozhu Mei, Jiaqi Ma

Graph Neural Networks (GNNs) have achieved remarkable success in various applications, but their performance can be sensitive to specific data properties of the graph datasets they operate on. Current literature on understanding the limitations of GNNs has primarily employed a $\textit{model-driven}$ approach that leverage heuristics and domain knowledge from network science or graph theory to model the GNN behaviors, which is time-consuming and highly subjective. In this work, we propose a $\textit{metadata-driven}$ approach to analyze the sensitivity of GNNs to graph data properties, motivated by the increasing availability of graph learning benchmarks. We perform a multivariate sparse regression analysis on the metadata derived from benchmarking GNN performance across diverse datasets, yielding a set of salient data properties. To validate the effectiveness of our data-driven approach, we focus on one identified data property, the degree distribution, and investigate how this property influences GNN performance through theoretical analysis and controlled experiments. Our theoretical findings reveal that datasets with more balanced degree distribution exhibit better linear separability of node representations, thus leading to better GNN performance. We also conduct controlled experiments using synthetic datasets with varying degree distributions, and the results align well with our theoretical findings. Collectively, both the theoretical analysis and controlled experiments verify that the proposed metadata-driven approach is effective in identifying critical data properties for GNNs.

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Meta Semantic Template for Evaluation of Large Language Models

Oct 19, 2023
Yachuan Liu, Liang Chen, Jindong Wang, Qiaozhu Mei, Xing Xie

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Do large language models (LLMs) genuinely understand the semantics of the language, or just memorize the training data? The recent concern on potential data contamination of LLMs has raised awareness of the community to conduct research on LLMs evaluation. In this paper, we propose MSTemp, an approach that creates meta semantic templates to evaluate the semantic understanding ability of LLMs. The core of MSTemp is not to perform evaluation directly on existing benchmark datasets, but to generate new out-of-distribution (OOD) evaluation sets using existing datasets as seeds. Specifically, for a given sentence, MSTemp leverages another language model to generate new samples while preserving its semantics. The new samples are called semantic templates to the original sentence. Then, MSTemp generates evaluation samples via sentence parsing and random word replacement on the semantic templates. MSTemp is highly flexible, dynamic, and cost-effective. Our initial experiments show that MSTemp-generated samples can significantly reduce the performance of LLMs using existing datasets as seeds. We hope this initial work can shed light on future research of LLMs evaluation.

* Work in progress; 7 pages; more work at: 
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Automated Evaluation of Personalized Text Generation using Large Language Models

Oct 17, 2023
Yaqing Wang, Jiepu Jiang, Mingyang Zhang, Cheng Li, Yi Liang, Qiaozhu Mei, Michael Bendersky

Personalized text generation presents a specialized mechanism for delivering content that is specific to a user's personal context. While the research progress in this area has been rapid, evaluation still presents a challenge. Traditional automated metrics such as BLEU and ROUGE primarily measure lexical similarity to human-written references, and are not able to distinguish personalization from other subtle semantic aspects, thus falling short of capturing the nuances of personalized generated content quality. On the other hand, human judgments are costly to obtain, especially in the realm of personalized evaluation. Inspired by these challenges, we explore the use of large language models (LLMs) for evaluating personalized text generation, and examine their ability to understand nuanced user context. We present AuPEL, a novel evaluation method that distills three major semantic aspects of the generated text: personalization, quality and relevance, and automatically measures these aspects. To validate the effectiveness of AuPEL, we design carefully controlled experiments and compare the accuracy of the evaluation judgments made by LLMs versus that of judgements made by human annotators, and conduct rigorous analyses of the consistency and sensitivity of the proposed metric. We find that, compared to existing evaluation metrics, AuPEL not only distinguishes and ranks models based on their personalization abilities more accurately, but also presents commendable consistency and efficiency for this task. Our work suggests that using LLMs as the evaluators of personalized text generation is superior to traditional text similarity metrics, even though interesting new challenges still remain.

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Automatic Prompt Rewriting for Personalized Text Generation

Sep 29, 2023
Cheng Li, Mingyang Zhang, Qiaozhu Mei, Weize Kong, Michael Bendersky

Facilitated by large language models (LLMs), personalized text generation has become a rapidly growing research direction. Most existing studies focus on designing specialized models for a particular domain, or they require fine-tuning the LLMs to generate personalized text. We consider a typical scenario in which the large language model, which generates personalized output, is frozen and can only be accessed through APIs. Under this constraint, all one can do is to improve the input text (i.e., text prompts) sent to the LLM, a procedure that is usually done manually. In this paper, we propose a novel method to automatically revise prompts for personalized text generation. The proposed method takes the initial prompts generated by a state-of-the-art, multistage framework for personalized generation and rewrites a few critical components that summarize and synthesize the personal context. The prompt rewriter employs a training paradigm that chains together supervised learning (SL) and reinforcement learning (RL), where SL reduces the search space of RL and RL facilitates end-to-end training of the rewriter. Using datasets from three representative domains, we demonstrate that the rewritten prompts outperform both the original prompts and the prompts optimized via supervised learning or reinforcement learning alone. In-depth analysis of the rewritten prompts shows that they are not only human readable, but also able to guide manual revision of prompts when there is limited resource to employ reinforcement learning to train the prompt rewriter, or when it is costly to deploy an automatic prompt rewriter for inference.

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Can LLMs Effectively Leverage Graph Structural Information: When and Why

Sep 29, 2023
Jin Huang, Xingjian Zhang, Qiaozhu Mei, Jiaqi Ma

This paper studies Large Language Models (LLMs) augmented with structured data--particularly graphs--a crucial data modality that remains underexplored in the LLM literature. We aim to understand when and why the incorporation of structural information inherent in graph data can improve the prediction performance of LLMs on node classification tasks with textual features. To address the ``when'' question, we examine a variety of prompting methods for encoding structural information, in settings where textual node features are either rich or scarce. For the ``why'' questions, we probe into two potential contributing factors to the LLM performance: data leakage and homophily. Our exploration of these questions reveals that (i) LLMs can benefit from structural information, especially when textual node features are scarce; (ii) there is no substantial evidence indicating that the performance of LLMs is significantly attributed to data leakage; and (iii) the performance of LLMs on a target node is strongly positively related to the local homophily ratio of the node\footnote{Codes and datasets are at: \url{}}.

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Emoji Promotes Developer Participation and Issue Resolution on GitHub

Sep 07, 2023
Yuhang Zhou, Xuan Lu, Ge Gao, Qiaozhu Mei, Wei Ai

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Although remote working is increasingly adopted during the pandemic, many are concerned by the low-efficiency in the remote working. Missing in text-based communication are non-verbal cues such as facial expressions and body language, which hinders the effective communication and negatively impacts the work outcomes. Prevalent on social media platforms, emojis, as alternative non-verbal cues, are gaining popularity in the virtual workspaces well. In this paper, we study how emoji usage influences developer participation and issue resolution in virtual workspaces. To this end, we collect GitHub issues for a one-year period and apply causal inference techniques to measure the causal effect of emojis on the outcome of issues, controlling for confounders such as issue content, repository, and author information. We find that emojis can significantly reduce the resolution time of issues and attract more user participation. We also compare the heterogeneous effect on different types of issues. These findings deepen our understanding of the developer communities, and they provide design implications on how to facilitate interactions and broaden developer participation.

* 12 pages, 5 figures. To be published in the 18th International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media (ICWSM 2024) 
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Teach LLMs to Personalize -- An Approach inspired by Writing Education

Aug 15, 2023
Cheng Li, Mingyang Zhang, Qiaozhu Mei, Yaqing Wang, Spurthi Amba Hombaiah, Yi Liang, Michael Bendersky

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Personalized text generation is an emerging research area that has attracted much attention in recent years. Most studies in this direction focus on a particular domain by designing bespoke features or models. In this work, we propose a general approach for personalized text generation using large language models (LLMs). Inspired by the practice of writing education, we develop a multistage and multitask framework to teach LLMs for personalized generation. In writing instruction, the task of writing from sources is often decomposed into multiple steps that involve finding, evaluating, summarizing, synthesizing, and integrating information. Analogously, our approach to personalized text generation consists of multiple stages: retrieval, ranking, summarization, synthesis, and generation. In addition, we introduce a multitask setting that helps the model improve its generation ability further, which is inspired by the observation in education that a student's reading proficiency and writing ability are often correlated. We evaluate our approach on three public datasets, each of which covers a different and representative domain. Our results show significant improvements over a variety of baselines.

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