Research papers and code for "Hai Zhao":
Head-driven phrase structure grammar (HPSG) enjoys a uniform formalism representing rich contextual syntactic and even semantic meanings. This paper makes the first attempt to formulate a simplified HPSG by integrating constituent and dependency formal representations into head-driven phrase structure. Then two parsing algorithms are respectively proposed for two converted tree representations, division span and joint span. As HPSG encodes both constituent and dependency structure information, the proposed HPSG parsers may be regarded as a sort of joint decoder for both types of structures and thus are evaluated in terms of extracted or converted constituent and dependency parsing trees. Our parser achieves new state-of-the-art performance for both parsing tasks on Penn Treebank (PTB) and Chinese Penn Treebank, verifying the effectiveness of joint learning constituent and dependency structures. In details, we report 95.84 F1 of constituent parsing and 97.00% UAS of dependency parsing on PTB.

* Accepted by ACL 2019
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In this paper, we propose a span based model combined with syntactic information for n-ary open information extraction. The advantage of span model is that it can leverage span level features, which is difficult in token based BIO tagging methods. We also improve the previous bootstrap method to construct training corpus. Experiments show that our model outperforms previous open information extraction systems. Our code and data are publicly available at https://github.com/zhanjunlang/Span_OIE

* There is an error in this article. In section 2.2, we state that span level syntactic information is helpful for Open IE, which is one of major contribution of this paper. However, after our examination, there is a fatal error in the code for this part so the statement is not true
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Chemical information extraction is to convert chemical knowledge in text into true chemical database, which is a text processing task heavily relying on chemical compound name identification and standardization. Once a systematic name for a chemical compound is given, it will naturally and much simply convert the name into the eventually required molecular formula. However, for many chemical substances, they have been shown in many other names besides their systematic names which poses a great challenge for this task. In this paper, we propose a framework to do the auto standardization from the non-systematic names to the corresponding systematic names by using the spelling error correction, byte pair encoding tokenization and neural sequence to sequence model. Our framework is trained end to end and is fully data-driven. Our standardization accuracy on the test dataset achieves 54.04% which has a great improvement compared to previous state-of-the-art result.

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Easy-first parsing relies on subtree re-ranking to build the complete parse tree. Whereas the intermediate state of parsing processing are represented by various subtrees, whose internal structural information is the key lead for later parsing action decisions, we explore a better representation for such subtrees. In detail, this work introduces a bottom-up subtree encoder based on the child-sum tree-LSTM. Starting from an easy-first dependency parser without other handcraft features, we show that the effective subtree encoder does promote the parsing process, and is able to make a greedy search easy-first parser achieve promising results on benchmark treebanks compared to state-of-the-art baselines.

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Chinese pinyin input method engine (IME) converts pinyin into character so that Chinese characters can be conveniently inputted into computer through common keyboard. IMEs work relying on its core component, pinyin-to-character conversion (P2C). Usually Chinese IMEs simply predict a list of character sequences for user choice only according to user pinyin input at each turn. However, Chinese inputting is a multi-turn online procedure, which can be supposed to be exploited for further user experience promoting. This paper thus for the first time introduces a sequence-to-sequence model with gated-attention mechanism for the core task in IMEs. The proposed neural P2C model is learned by encoding previous input utterance as extra context to enable our IME capable of predicting character sequence with incomplete pinyin input. Our model is evaluated in different benchmark datasets showing great user experience improvement compared to traditional models, which demonstrates the first engineering practice of building Chinese aided IME.

* 7 pages, accepted by EMNLP 2018
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For different language pairs, word-level neural machine translation (NMT) models with a fixed-size vocabulary suffer from the same problem of representing out-of-vocabulary (OOV) words. The common practice usually replaces all these rare or unknown words with a <UNK> token, which limits the translation performance to some extent. Most of recent work handled such a problem by splitting words into characters or other specially extracted subword units to enable open-vocabulary translation. Byte pair encoding (BPE) is one of the successful attempts that has been shown extremely competitive by providing effective subword segmentation for NMT systems. In this paper, we extend the BPE style segmentation to a general unsupervised framework with three statistical measures: frequency (FRQ), accessor variety (AV) and description length gain (DLG). We test our approach on two translation tasks: German to English and Chinese to English. The experimental results show that AV and DLG enhanced systems outperform the FRQ baseline in the frequency weighted schemes at different significant levels.

* 12 pages, accepted by CCL 2018
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Implicit discourse relation recognition is a challenging task as the relation prediction without explicit connectives in discourse parsing needs understanding of text spans and cannot be easily derived from surface features from the input sentence pairs. Thus, properly representing the text is very crucial to this task. In this paper, we propose a model augmented with different grained text representations, including character, subword, word, sentence, and sentence pair levels. The proposed deeper model is evaluated on the benchmark treebank and achieves state-of-the-art accuracy with greater than 48% in 11-way and $F_1$ score greater than 50% in 4-way classifications for the first time according to our best knowledge.

* 13(10) pages, accepted by COLING 2018
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Answering questions from university admission exams (Gaokao in Chinese) is a challenging AI task since it requires effective representation to capture complicated semantic relations between questions and answers. In this work, we propose a hybrid neural model for deep question-answering task from history examinations. Our model employs a cooperative gated neural network to retrieve answers with the assistance of extra labels given by a neural turing machine labeler. Empirical study shows that the labeler works well with only a small training dataset and the gated mechanism is good at fetching the semantic representation of lengthy answers. Experiments on question answering demonstrate the proposed model obtains substantial performance gains over various neural model baselines in terms of multiple evaluation metrics.

* Proceedings of the 27th International Conference on Computational Linguistics (COLING 2018)
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Most previous approaches to Chinese word segmentation formalize this problem as a character-based sequence labeling task where only contextual information within fixed sized local windows and simple interactions between adjacent tags can be captured. In this paper, we propose a novel neural framework which thoroughly eliminates context windows and can utilize complete segmentation history. Our model employs a gated combination neural network over characters to produce distributed representations of word candidates, which are then given to a long short-term memory (LSTM) language scoring model. Experiments on the benchmark datasets show that without the help of feature engineering as most existing approaches, our models achieve competitive or better performances with previous state-of-the-art methods.

* ACL2016
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This paper presents generalized probabilistic models for high-order projective dependency parsing and an algorithmic framework for learning these statistical models involving dependency trees. Partition functions and marginals for high-order dependency trees can be computed efficiently, by adapting our algorithms which extend the inside-outside algorithm to higher-order cases. To show the effectiveness of our algorithms, we perform experiments on three languages---English, Chinese and Czech, using maximum conditional likelihood estimation for model training and L-BFGS for parameter estimation. Our methods achieve competitive performance for English, and outperform all previously reported dependency parsers for Chinese and Czech.

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Semantic role labeling (SRL) is a task to recognize all the predicate-argument pairs of a sentence, which has been in a performance improvement bottleneck after a series of latest works were presented. This paper proposes a novel syntax-agnostic SRL model enhanced by the proposed associated memory network (AMN), which makes use of inter-sentence attention of label-known associated sentences as a kind of memory to further enhance dependency-based SRL. In detail, we use sentences and their labels from train dataset as an associated memory cue to help label the target sentence. Furthermore, we compare several associated sentences selecting strategies and label merging methods in AMN to find and utilize the label of associated sentences while attending them. By leveraging the attentive memory from known training data, Our full model reaches state-of-the-art on CoNLL-2009 benchmark datasets for syntax-agnostic setting, showing a new effective research line of SRL enhancement other than exploiting external resources such as well pre-trained language models.

* Published at NAACL 2019; This is camera Ready version; Code is available at https://github.com/Frozenmad/AMN_SRL
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Pinyin-to-character (P2C) conversion is the core component of pinyin-based Chinese input method engine (IME). However, the conversion is seriously compromised by the ambiguities of Chinese characters corresponding to pinyin as well as the predefined fixed vocabularies. To alleviate such inconveniences, we propose a neural P2C conversion model augmented by a large online updating vocabulary with a target vocabulary sampling mechanism. Our experiments show that the proposed approach reduces the decoding time on CPUs up to 50$\%$ on P2C tasks at the same or only negligible change in conversion accuracy, and the online updated vocabulary indeed helps our IME effectively follows user inputting behavior.

* 8 pages, 6 figures
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Rapidly developed neural models have achieved competitive performance in Chinese word segmentation (CWS) as their traditional counterparts. However, most of methods encounter the computational inefficiency especially for long sentences because of the increasing model complexity and slower decoders. This paper presents a simple neural segmenter which directly labels the gap existence between adjacent characters to alleviate the existing drawback. Our segmenter is fully end-to-end and capable of performing segmentation very fast. We also show a performance difference with different tag sets. The experiments show that our segmenter can provide comparable performance with state-of-the-art.

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Representation learning is the foundation of machine reading comprehension. In state-of-the-art models, deep learning methods broadly use word and character level representations. However, character is not naturally the minimal linguistic unit. In addition, with a simple concatenation of character and word embedding, previous models actually give suboptimal solution. In this paper, we propose to use subword rather than character for word embedding enhancement. We also empirically explore different augmentation strategies on subword-augmented embedding to enhance the cloze-style reading comprehension model reader. In detail, we present a reader that uses subword-level representation to augment word embedding with a short list to handle rare words effectively. A thorough examination is conducted to evaluate the comprehensive performance and generalization ability of the proposed reader. Experimental results show that the proposed approach helps the reader significantly outperform the state-of-the-art baselines on various public datasets.

* Proceedings of the 27th International Conference on Computational Linguistics (COLING 2018)
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Chinese input methods are used to convert pinyin sequence or other Latin encoding systems into Chinese character sentences. For more effective pinyin-to-character conversion, typical Input Method Engines (IMEs) rely on a predefined vocabulary that demands manually maintenance on schedule. For the purpose of removing the inconvenient vocabulary setting, this work focuses on automatic wordhood acquisition by fully considering that Chinese inputting is a free human-computer interaction procedure. Instead of strictly defining words, a loose word likelihood is introduced for measuring how likely a character sequence can be a user-recognized word with respect to using IME. Then an online algorithm is proposed to adjust the word likelihood or generate new words by comparing user true choice for inputting and the algorithm prediction. The experimental results show that the proposed solution can agilely adapt to diverse typings and demonstrate performance approaching highly-optimized IME with fixed vocabulary.

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Semantic parsing, i.e., the automatic derivation of meaning representation such as an instantiated predicate-argument structure for a sentence, plays a critical role in deep processing of natural language. Unlike all other top systems of semantic dependency parsing that have to rely on a pipeline framework to chain up a series of submodels each specialized for a specific subtask, the one presented in this article integrates everything into one model, in hopes of achieving desirable integrity and practicality for real applications while maintaining a competitive performance. This integrative approach tackles semantic parsing as a word pair classification problem using a maximum entropy classifier. We leverage adaptive pruning of argument candidates and large-scale feature selection engineering to allow the largest feature space ever in use so far in this field, it achieves a state-of-the-art performance on the evaluation data set for CoNLL-2008 shared task, on top of all but one top pipeline system, confirming its feasibility and effectiveness.

* Journal Of Artificial Intelligence Research, Volume 46, pages 203-233, 2013
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The goal of semantic role labeling (SRL) is to discover the predicate-argument structure of a sentence, which plays a critical role in deep processing of natural language. This paper introduces simple yet effective auxiliary tags for dependency-based SRL to enhance a syntax-agnostic model with multi-hop self-attention. Our syntax-agnostic model achieves competitive performance with state-of-the-art models on the CoNLL-2009 benchmarks both for English and Chinese.

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Semantic role labeling (SRL) is to recognize the predicate-argument structure of a sentence, including subtasks of predicate disambiguation and argument labeling. Previous studies usually formulate the entire SRL problem into two or more subtasks. For the first time, this paper introduces an end-to-end neural model which unifiedly tackles the predicate disambiguation and the argument labeling in one shot. Using a biaffine scorer, our model directly predicts all semantic role labels for all given word pairs in the sentence without relying on any syntactic parse information. Specifically, we augment the BiLSTM encoder with a non-linear transformation to further distinguish the predicate and the argument in a given sentence, and model the semantic role labeling process as a word pair classification task by employing the biaffine attentional mechanism. Though the proposed model is syntax-agnostic with local decoder, it outperforms the state-of-the-art syntax-aware SRL systems on the CoNLL-2008, 2009 benchmarks for both English and Chinese. To our best knowledge, we report the first syntax-agnostic SRL model that surpasses all known syntax-aware models.

* In Proceedings of the 27th International Conference on Computational Linguistics (COLING 2018)
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This paper reviews the development of Chinese word segmentation (CWS) in the most recent decade, 2007-2017. Special attention was paid to the deep learning technologies that has already permeated into most areas of natural language processing (NLP). The basic view we have arrived at is that compared to traditional supervised learning methods, neural network based methods have not shown any superior performance. The most critical challenge still lies on balancing of recognition of in-vocabulary (IV) and out-of-vocabulary (OOV) words. However, as neural models have potentials to capture the essential linguistic structure of natural language, we are optimistic about significant progresses may arrive in the near future.

* in Chinese
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