SPEAKERS/FANGYU LIU
Fangyu Liu

Fangyu Liu

University of Cambridge

Fangyu's lectures

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ACL 2022

Fine-Grained Controllable Text Generation Using Non-Residual Prompting

The introduction of immensely large Causal Language Models (CLMs) has rejuvenated the interest in open-ended text generation. However, controlling the generative process for these Transformer-based models is at large an unsolved problem. Earlier work has explored either plug-and-play decoding strategies, or more powerful but blunt approaches such as prompting. There hence currently exists a trade-off between fine-grained control, and the capability for more expressive high-level instructions. To alleviate this trade-off, we propose an encoder-decoder architecture that enables intermediate text prompts at arbitrary time steps. We propose a resource-efficient method for converting a pre-trained CLM into this architecture, and demonstrate its potential on various experiments, including the novel task of contextualized word inclusion. Our method provides strong results on multiple experimental settings, proving itself to be both expressive and versatile.

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ACL 2022

Prix-LM: Pretraining for Multilingual Knowledge Base Construction

Knowledge bases (KBs) contain plenty of structured world and commonsense knowledge. As such, they often complement distributional text-based information and facilitate various downstream tasks. Since their manual construction is resource- and time-intensive, recent efforts have tried leveraging large pretrained language models (PLMs) to generate additional monolingual knowledge facts for KBs. However, such methods have not been attempted for building and enriching multilingual KBs. Besides wider application, such multilingual KBs can provide richer combined knowledge than monolingual (e.g., English) KBs. Knowledge expressed in different languages may be complementary and unequally distributed: this implies that the knowledge available in high-resource languages can be transferred to low-resource ones. To achieve this, it is crucial to represent multilingual knowledge in a shared/unified space. To this end, we propose a unified representation model, Prix-LM, for multilingual KB construction and completion. We leverage two types of knowledge, monolingual triples and cross-lingual links, extracted from existing multilingual KBs, and tune a multilingual language encoder XLM-R via a causal language modeling objective. Prix-LM integrates useful multilingual and KB-based factual knowledge into a single model. Experiments on standard entity-related tasks, such as link prediction in multiple languages, cross-lingual entity linking and bilingual lexicon induction, demonstrate its effectiveness, with gains reported over strong task-specialised baselines.

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ACL 2022

Rewire-then-Probe: A Contrastive Recipe for Probing Biomedical Knowledge of Pre-trained Language Models

Knowledge probing is crucial for understanding the knowledge transfer mechanism behind the pre-trained language models (PLMs). Despite the growing progress of probing knowledge for PLMs in the general domain, specialised areas such as biomedical domain are vastly under-explored. To catalyse the research in this direction, we release a well-curated biomedical knowledge probing benchmark, MedLAMA, which is constructed based on the Unified Medical Language System (UMLS) Metathesaurus. We test a wide spectrum of state-of-the-art PLMs and probing approaches on our benchmark, reaching at most 3% of acc@10. While highlighting various sources of domain-specific challenges that amount to this underwhelming performance, we illustrate that the underlying PLMs have a higher potential for probing tasks. To achieve this, we propose Contrastive-Probe, a novel self-supervised contrastive probing approach, that adjusts the underlying PLMs without using any probing data. While Contrastive-Probe pushes the acc@10 to 28%, the performance gap still remains notable. Our human expert evaluation suggests that the probing performance of our Contrastive-Probe is still under-estimated as UMLS still does not include the full spectrum of factual knowledge. We hope MedLAMA and Contrastive-Probe facilitate further developments of more suited probing techniques for this domain.

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EMNLP 2021

Integrating Transformers and Knowledge Graphs for Twitter Stance Detection

Stance detection (SD) entails classifying the sentiment of a text towards a given target, and is a relevant sub-task for opinion mining and social media analysis. Recent works have explored knowledge infusion - supplementing the linguistic competence and latent knowledge of large pre-trained language models with structured knowledge graphs (KGs), yet few works have applied such methods to the SD task. In this work, we first perform stance-relevant knowledge probing on Transformers-based pre-trained models in a zero-shot setting, showing these models' latent real-world knowledge about SD targets and their sensitivity to context. We then propose novel knowledge-enriched stance detection models. We evaluate them on two Twitter stance datasets, achieving state-of-the-art performance on both.

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EMNLP 2021

Fast, Effective, and Self-Supervised: Transforming Masked Language Models into Universal Lexical and Sentence Encoders

Pretrained Masked Language Models (MLMs) have revolutionised NLP in recent years. However, previous work has indicated that off-the-shelf MLMs are not effective as universal lexical or sentence encoders without further task-specific fine-tuning on NLI, sentence similarity, or paraphrasing tasks using annotated task data. In this work, we demonstrate that it is possible to turn MLMs into effective universal lexical and sentence encoders even without any additional data and without any supervision. We propose an extremely simple, fast and effective contrastive learning technique, termed Mirror-BERT, which converts MLMs (e.g., BERT and RoBERTa) into such encoders in 20-30 seconds without any additional external knowledge. Mirror-BERT relies on fully identical or slightly modified string pairs as positive (i.e., synonymous) fine-tuning examples, and aims to maximise their similarity during identity fine-tuning. We report huge gains over off-the-shelf MLMs with Mirror-BERT in both lexical-level and sentence-level tasks, across different domains and different languages. Notably, in the standard sentence semantic similarity (STS) tasks, our self-supervised Mirror-BERT model even matches the performance of the task-tuned Sentence-BERT models from prior work. Finally, we delve deeper into the inner workings of MLMs, and suggest some evidence on why this simple approach can yield effective universal lexical and sentence encoders.

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EMNLP 2021

MirrorWiC: On Eliciting Word-in-Context Representations from Pretrained Language Models

Recent work indicated that pretrained language models (PLMs) such as BERT and RoBERTa can be transformed into effective sentence and word encoders even via simple self-supervised techniques. Inspired by this line of work, in this paper we propose a fully unsupervised approach to improving word-in-context (WiC) representations in PLMs, achieved via a simple and efficient WiC-targeted fine-tuning procedure: MirrorWiC. The proposed method leverages only raw texts sampled from Wikipedia, assuming no sense-annotated data, and learns context-aware word representations within a standard contrastive learning setup. We experiment with a series of standard and comprehensive WiC benchmarks across multiple languages. Our proposed fully unsupervised MirrorWiC models obtain substantial gains over off-the-shelf PLMs across all monolingual, multilingual and cross-lingual setups. Moreover, on some standard WiC benchmarks, MirrorWiC is even on-par with supervised models fine-tuned with in-task data and sense labels.

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EMNLP 2021

Mixture-of-Partitions: Infusing Large Biomedical Knowledge Graphs into BERT

Infusing factual knowledge into pretrained models is fundamental for many knowledge-intensive tasks. In this paper, we propose Mixture-of-Partitions (MoP), an infusion approach that can handle a very large knowledge graph (KG) by partitioning it into smaller sub-graphs and infusing their specific knowledge into various BERT models using lightweight adapters. To leverage the overall factual knowledge for a target task, these sub-graph adapters are further fine-tuned along with the underlying BERT through a mixture layer. We evaluate our MoP with three biomedical BERTs (SciBERT, BioBERT, PubmedBERT) on six downstream tasks (inc. NLI, QA, Classification), and the results show that our MoP consistently enhances the underlying BERTs in task performance, and achieves new SOTA performances on five evaluated datasets.

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EMNLP 2021

Visually Grounded Reasoning across Languages and Cultures

The design of widespread vision-and-language datasets and pre-trained encoders directly adopts, or draws inspiration from, the concepts and images of ImageNet. While one can hardly overestimate how much this benchmark contributed to progress in computer vision, it is mostly derived from lexical databases and image queries in English, resulting in source material with a North American or Western European bias. Therefore, we devise a new protocol to construct an ImageNet-style hierarchy representative of more languages and cultures. In particular, we let the selection of both concepts and images be entirely driven by native speakers, rather than scraping them automatically. Specifically, we focus on a typologically diverse set of languages, namely, Indonesian, Mandarin Chinese, Swahili, Tamil, and Turkish. On top of the concepts and images obtained through this new protocol, we create a multilingual dataset for {M}ulticultur{a}l {R}easoning over {V}ision and {L}anguage (MaRVL) by eliciting statements from native speaker annotators about pairs of images. The task consists of discriminating whether each grounded statement is true or false. We establish a series of baselines using state-of-the-art models and find that their cross-lingual transfer performance lags dramatically behind supervised performance in English. These results invite us to reassess the robustness and accuracy of current state-of-the-art models beyond a narrow domain, but also open up new exciting challenges for the development of truly multilingual and multicultural systems.

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EMNLP 2021

Visually Grounded Reasoning across Languages and Cultures

The design of widespread vision-and-language datasets and pre-trained encoders directly adopts, or draws inspiration from, the concepts and images of ImageNet. While one can hardly overestimate how much this benchmark contributed to progress in computer vision, it is mostly derived from lexical databases and image queries in English, resulting in source material with a North American or Western European bias. Therefore, we devise a new protocol to construct an ImageNet-style hierarchy representative of more languages and cultures. In particular, we let the selection of both concepts and images be entirely driven by native speakers, rather than scraping them automatically. Specifically, we focus on a typologically diverse set of languages, namely, Indonesian, Mandarin Chinese, Swahili, Tamil, and Turkish. On top of the concepts and images obtained through this new protocol, we create a multilingual dataset for {M}ulticultur{a}l {R}easoning over {V}ision and {L}anguage (MaRVL) by eliciting statements from native speaker annotators about pairs of images. The task consists of discriminating whether each grounded statement is true or false. We establish a series of baselines using state-of-the-art models and find that their cross-lingual transfer performance lags dramatically behind supervised performance in English. These results invite us to reassess the robustness and accuracy of current state-of-the-art models beyond a narrow domain, but also open up new exciting challenges for the development of truly multilingual and multicultural systems.

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EMNLP 2021

Mixture-of-Partitions: Infusing Large Biomedical Knowledge Graphs into BERT

Infusing factual knowledge into pretrained models is fundamental for many knowledge-intensive tasks. In this paper, we propose Mixture-of-Partitions (MoP), an infusion approach that can handle a very large knowledge graph (KG) by partitioning it into smaller sub-graphs and infusing their specific knowledge into various BERT models using lightweight adapters. To leverage the overall factual knowledge for a target task, these sub-graph adapters are further fine-tuned along with the underlying BERT through a mixture layer. We evaluate our MoP with three biomedical BERTs (SciBERT, BioBERT, PubmedBERT) on six downstream tasks (inc. NLI, QA, Classification), and the results show that our MoP consistently enhances the underlying BERTs in task performance, and achieves new SOTA performances on five evaluated datasets.

lecture cover

EMNLP 2021

Visually Grounded Reasoning across Languages and Cultures

The design of widespread vision-and-language datasets and pre-trained encoders directly adopts, or draws inspiration from, the concepts and images of ImageNet. While one can hardly overestimate how much this benchmark contributed to progress in computer vision, it is mostly derived from lexical databases and image queries in English, resulting in source material with a North American or Western European bias. Therefore, we devise a new protocol to construct an ImageNet-style hierarchy representative of more languages and cultures. In particular, we let the selection of both concepts and images be entirely driven by native speakers, rather than scraping them automatically. Specifically, we focus on a typologically diverse set of languages, namely, Indonesian, Mandarin Chinese, Swahili, Tamil, and Turkish. On top of the concepts and images obtained through this new protocol, we create a multilingual dataset for {M}ulticultur{a}l {R}easoning over {V}ision and {L}anguage (MaRVL) by eliciting statements from native speaker annotators about pairs of images. The task consists of discriminating whether each grounded statement is true or false. We establish a series of baselines using state-of-the-art models and find that their cross-lingual transfer performance lags dramatically behind supervised performance in English. These results invite us to reassess the robustness and accuracy of current state-of-the-art models beyond a narrow domain, but also open up new exciting challenges for the development of truly multilingual and multicultural systems.

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EMNLP 2021

Fast, Effective, and Self-Supervised: Transforming Masked Language Models into Universal Lexical and Sentence Encoders

Pretrained Masked Language Models (MLMs) have revolutionised NLP in recent years. However, previous work has indicated that off-the-shelf MLMs are not effective as universal lexical or sentence encoders without further task-specific fine-tuning on NLI, sentence similarity, or paraphrasing tasks using annotated task data. In this work, we demonstrate that it is possible to turn MLMs into effective universal lexical and sentence encoders even without any additional data and without any supervision. We propose an extremely simple, fast and effective contrastive learning technique, termed Mirror-BERT, which converts MLMs (e.g., BERT and RoBERTa) into such encoders in 20-30 seconds without any additional external knowledge. Mirror-BERT relies on fully identical or slightly modified string pairs as positive (i.e., synonymous) fine-tuning examples, and aims to maximise their similarity during identity fine-tuning. We report huge gains over off-the-shelf MLMs with Mirror-BERT in both lexical-level and sentence-level tasks, across different domains and different languages. Notably, in the standard sentence semantic similarity (STS) tasks, our self-supervised Mirror-BERT model even matches the performance of the task-tuned Sentence-BERT models from prior work. Finally, we delve deeper into the inner workings of MLMs, and suggest some evidence on why this simple approach can yield effective universal lexical and sentence encoders.

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ACL 2021

Learning Domain-Specialised Representations for Cross-Lingual Biomedical Entity Linking

Injecting external domain-specific knowledge (e.g., UMLS) into pretrained language models (LMs) advances their capability to handle specialised in-domain tasks such as biomedical entity linking (BEL). However, such abundant expert knowledge is available only for a handful of languages (e.g., English). In this work, by proposing a novel cross-lingual biomedical entity linking task (XL-BEL) and establishing a new XL-BEL benchmark spanning 10 typologically diverse languages, we first investigate the ability of standard knowledge-agnostic as well as knowledge-enhanced monolingual and multilingual LMs beyond the standard monolingual English BEL task. The scores indicate large gaps to English performance. We then address the challenge of transferring domain-specific knowledge in resource-rich languages to resource-poor ones. To this end, we propose and evaluate a series of cross-lingual transfer methods for the XL-BEL task, and demonstrate that general-domain bitext helps propagate the available English knowledge to languages with little to no in-domain data. Remarkably, we show that our proposed domain-specific transfer methods yield consistent gains across all target languages, sometimes up to 20 Precision@1 points, without any in-domain knowledge in the target language, and without any in-domain parallel data.

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NAACL 2021

Self-Alignment Pretraining for Biomedical Entity Representations

Despite the widespread success of self-supervised learning via masked language models (MLM), accurately capturing fine-grained semantic relationships in the biomedical domain remains a challenge. This is of paramount importance for entity-level tasks such as entity linking where the ability to model entity relations (especially synonymy) is pivotal. To address this challenge, we propose SapBERT, a pretraining scheme that self-aligns the representation space of biomedical entities. We design a scalable metric learning framework that can leverage UMLS, a massive collection of biomedical ontologies with 4M+ concepts. In contrast with previous pipeline-based hybrid systems, SapBERT offers an elegant one-model-for-all solution to the problem of medical entity linking (MEL), achieving a new state-of-the-art (SOTA) on six MEL benchmarking datasets. In the scientific domain, we achieve SOTA even without task-specific supervision. With substantial improvement over various domain-specific pretrained MLMs such as BioBERT, SciBERTand and PubMedBERT, our pretraining scheme proves to be both effective and robust.

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