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Wenting Zhao

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Language Model Inversion

Nov 22, 2023
John X. Morris, Wenting Zhao, Justin T. Chiu, Vitaly Shmatikov, Alexander M. Rush

Language models produce a distribution over the next token; can we use this information to recover the prompt tokens? We consider the problem of language model inversion and show that next-token probabilities contain a surprising amount of information about the preceding text. Often we can recover the text in cases where it is hidden from the user, motivating a method for recovering unknown prompts given only the model's current distribution output. We consider a variety of model access scenarios, and show how even without predictions for every token in the vocabulary we can recover the probability vector through search. On Llama-2 7b, our inversion method reconstructs prompts with a BLEU of $59$ and token-level F1 of $78$ and recovers $27\%$ of prompts exactly. Code for reproducing all experiments is available at

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UNcommonsense Reasoning: Abductive Reasoning about Uncommon Situations

Nov 14, 2023
Wenting Zhao, Justin T Chiu, Jena D. Hwang, Faeze Brahman, Jack Hessel, Sanjiban Choudhury, Yejin Choi, Xiang Lorraine Li, Alane Suhr

Language technologies that accurately model the dynamics of events must perform commonsense reasoning. Existing work evaluating commonsense reasoning focuses on making inferences about common, everyday situations. To instead investigate the ability to model unusual, unexpected, and unlikely situations, we explore the task of uncommonsense abductive reasoning. Given a piece of context with an unexpected outcome, this task requires reasoning abductively to generate a natural language explanation that makes the unexpected outcome more likely in the context. To this end, we curate and release a new English language corpus called UNcommonsense. We characterize the differences between the performance of human explainers and the best performing large language models, finding that model-enhanced human-written explanations achieve the highest quality by trading off between specificity and diversity. Finally, we experiment with several online imitation learning algorithms to train open and accessible language models on this task. When compared with the vanilla supervised fine-tuning approach, these methods consistently reduce lose rates on both common and uncommonsense abductive reasoning judged by human evaluators.

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In Search of the Long-Tail: Systematic Generation of Long-Tail Knowledge via Logical Rule Guided Search

Nov 13, 2023
Huihan Li, Yuting Ning, Zeyi Liao, Siyuan Wang, Xiang Lorraine Li, Ximing Lu, Faeze Brahman, Wenting Zhao, Yejin Choi, Xiang Ren

Since large language models have approached human-level performance on many tasks, it has become increasingly harder for researchers to find tasks that are still challenging to the models. Failure cases usually come from the long-tail distribution - data that an oracle language model could assign a probability on the lower end of its distribution. Current methodology such as prompt engineering or crowdsourcing are insufficient for creating long-tail examples because humans are constrained by cognitive bias. We propose a Logic-Induced-Knowledge-Search (LINK) framework for systematically generating long-tail knowledge statements. Grounded by a symbolic rule, we search for long-tail values for each variable of the rule by first prompting a LLM, then verifying the correctness of the values with a critic, and lastly pushing for the long-tail distribution with a reranker. With this framework we construct a dataset, Logic-Induced-Long-Tail (LINT), consisting of 200 symbolic rules and 50K knowledge statements spanning across four domains. Human annotations find that 84% of the statements in LINT are factually correct. In contrast, ChatGPT and GPT4 struggle with directly generating long-tail statements under the guidance of logic rules, each only getting 56% and 78% of their statements correct. Moreover, their "long-tail" generations in fact fall into the higher likelihood range, and thus are not really long-tail. Our findings suggest that LINK is effective for generating data in the long-tail distribution while enforcing quality. LINT can be useful for systematically evaluating LLMs' capabilities in the long-tail distribution. We challenge the models with a simple entailment classification task using samples from LINT. We find that ChatGPT and GPT4's capability in identifying incorrect knowledge drop by ~3% in the long-tail distribution compared to head distribution.

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Aspect-based Meeting Transcript Summarization: A Two-Stage Approach with Weak Supervision on Sentence Classification

Nov 07, 2023
Zhongfen Deng, Seunghyun Yoon, Trung Bui, Franck Dernoncourt, Quan Hung Tran, Shuaiqi Liu, Wenting Zhao, Tao Zhang, Yibo Wang, Philip S. Yu

Aspect-based meeting transcript summarization aims to produce multiple summaries, each focusing on one aspect of content in a meeting transcript. It is challenging as sentences related to different aspects can mingle together, and those relevant to a specific aspect can be scattered throughout the long transcript of a meeting. The traditional summarization methods produce one summary mixing information of all aspects, which cannot deal with the above challenges of aspect-based meeting transcript summarization. In this paper, we propose a two-stage method for aspect-based meeting transcript summarization. To select the input content related to specific aspects, we train a sentence classifier on a dataset constructed from the AMI corpus with pseudo-labeling. Then we merge the sentences selected for a specific aspect as the input for the summarizer to produce the aspect-based summary. Experimental results on the AMI corpus outperform many strong baselines, which verifies the effectiveness of our proposed method.

* Accepted by 2023 IEEE International Conference on Big Data 
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JPAVE: A Generation and Classification-based Model for Joint Product Attribute Prediction and Value Extraction

Nov 07, 2023
Zhongfen Deng, Hao Peng, Tao Zhang, Shuaiqi Liu, Wenting Zhao, Yibo Wang, Philip S. Yu

Product attribute value extraction is an important task in e-Commerce which can help several downstream applications such as product search and recommendation. Most previous models handle this task using sequence labeling or question answering method which rely on the sequential position information of values in the product text and are vulnerable to data discrepancy between training and testing. This limits their generalization ability to real-world scenario in which each product can have multiple descriptions across various shopping platforms with different composition of text and style. They also have limited zero-shot ability to new values. In this paper, we propose a multi-task learning model with value generation/classification and attribute prediction called JPAVE to predict values without the necessity of position information of values in the text. Furthermore, the copy mechanism in value generator and the value attention module in value classifier help our model address the data discrepancy issue by only focusing on the relevant part of input text and ignoring other information which causes the discrepancy issue such as sentence structure in the text. Besides, two variants of our model are designed for open-world and closed-world scenarios. In addition, copy mechanism introduced in the first variant based on value generation can improve its zero-shot ability for identifying unseen values. Experimental results on a public dataset demonstrate the superiority of our model compared with strong baselines and its generalization ability of predicting new values.

* Accepted by 2023 IEEE International Conference on Big Data 
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DIVKNOWQA: Assessing the Reasoning Ability of LLMs via Open-Domain Question Answering over Knowledge Base and Text

Oct 31, 2023
Wenting Zhao, Ye Liu, Tong Niu, Yao Wan, Philip S. Yu, Shafiq Joty, Yingbo Zhou, Semih Yavuz

Large Language Models (LLMs) have exhibited impressive generation capabilities, but they suffer from hallucinations when solely relying on their internal knowledge, especially when answering questions that require less commonly known information. Retrieval-augmented LLMs have emerged as a potential solution to ground LLMs in external knowledge. Nonetheless, recent approaches have primarily emphasized retrieval from unstructured text corpora, owing to its seamless integration into prompts. When using structured data such as knowledge graphs, most methods simplify it into natural text, neglecting the underlying structures. Moreover, a significant gap in the current landscape is the absence of a realistic benchmark for evaluating the effectiveness of grounding LLMs on heterogeneous knowledge sources (e.g., knowledge base and text). To fill this gap, we have curated a comprehensive dataset that poses two unique challenges: (1) Two-hop multi-source questions that require retrieving information from both open-domain structured and unstructured knowledge sources; retrieving information from structured knowledge sources is a critical component in correctly answering the questions. (2) The generation of symbolic queries (e.g., SPARQL for Wikidata) is a key requirement, which adds another layer of challenge. Our dataset is created using a combination of automatic generation through predefined reasoning chains and human annotation. We also introduce a novel approach that leverages multiple retrieval tools, including text passage retrieval and symbolic language-assisted retrieval. Our model outperforms previous approaches by a significant margin, demonstrating its effectiveness in addressing the above-mentioned reasoning challenges.

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Symbolic Planning and Code Generation for Grounded Dialogue

Oct 26, 2023
Justin T. Chiu, Wenting Zhao, Derek Chen, Saujas Vaduguru, Alexander M. Rush, Daniel Fried

Large language models (LLMs) excel at processing and generating both text and code. However, LLMs have had limited applicability in grounded task-oriented dialogue as they are difficult to steer toward task objectives and fail to handle novel grounding. We present a modular and interpretable grounded dialogue system that addresses these shortcomings by composing LLMs with a symbolic planner and grounded code execution. Our system consists of a reader and planner: the reader leverages an LLM to convert partner utterances into executable code, calling functions that perform grounding. The translated code's output is stored to track dialogue state, while a symbolic planner determines the next appropriate response. We evaluate our system's performance on the demanding OneCommon dialogue task, involving collaborative reference resolution on abstract images of scattered dots. Our system substantially outperforms the previous state-of-the-art, including improving task success in human evaluations from 56% to 69% in the most challenging setting.

* Accepted to EMNLP 2023 
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Localize, Retrieve and Fuse: A Generalized Framework for Free-Form Question Answering over Tables

Sep 21, 2023
Wenting Zhao, Ye Liu, Yao Wan, Yibo Wang, Zhongfen Deng, Philip S. Yu

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Question answering on tabular data (a.k.a TableQA), which aims at generating answers to questions grounded on a provided table, has gained significant attention recently. Prior work primarily produces concise factual responses through information extraction from individual or limited table cells, lacking the ability to reason across diverse table cells. Yet, the realm of free-form TableQA, which demands intricate strategies for selecting relevant table cells and the sophisticated integration and inference of discrete data fragments, remains mostly unexplored. To this end, this paper proposes a generalized three-stage approach: Table-to- Graph conversion and cell localizing, external knowledge retrieval, and the fusion of table and text (called TAG-QA), to address the challenge of inferring long free-form answers in generative TableQA. In particular, TAG-QA (1) locates relevant table cells using a graph neural network to gather intersecting cells between relevant rows and columns, (2) leverages external knowledge from Wikipedia, and (3) generates answers by integrating both tabular data and natural linguistic information. Experiments showcase the superior capabilities of TAG-QA in generating sentences that are both faithful and coherent, particularly when compared to several state-of-the-art baselines. Notably, TAG-QA surpasses the robust pipeline-based baseline TAPAS by 17% and 14% in terms of BLEU-4 and PARENT F-score, respectively. Furthermore, TAG-QA outperforms the end-to-end model T5 by 16% and 12% on BLEU-4 and PARENT F-score, respectively.

* Accepted by AACL-IJCNLP 2023 
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Named Entity Recognition via Machine Reading Comprehension: A Multi-Task Learning Approach

Sep 20, 2023
Yibo Wang, Wenting Zhao, Yao Wan, Zhongfen Deng, Philip S. Yu

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Named Entity Recognition (NER) aims to extract and classify entity mentions in the text into pre-defined types (e.g., organization or person name). Recently, many works have been proposed to shape the NER as a machine reading comprehension problem (also termed MRC-based NER), in which entity recognition is achieved by answering the formulated questions related to pre-defined entity types through MRC, based on the contexts. However, these works ignore the label dependencies among entity types, which are critical for precisely recognizing named entities. In this paper, we propose to incorporate the label dependencies among entity types into a multi-task learning framework for better MRC-based NER. We decompose MRC-based NER into multiple tasks and use a self-attention module to capture label dependencies. Comprehensive experiments on both nested NER and flat NER datasets are conducted to validate the effectiveness of the proposed Multi-NER. Experimental results show that Multi-NER can achieve better performance on all datasets.

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