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  1. Vlachos, Andreas ; Augenstein, Isabelle (Ed.)
    Parameter-efficient tuning aims at updating only a small subset of parameters when adapting a pretrained model to downstream tasks. In this work, we introduce PASTA, in which we only modify the special token representations (e.g., [SEP] and [CLS] in BERT) before the self-attention module at each layer in Transformer-based models. PASTA achieves comparable performance to fine-tuning in natural language understanding tasks including text classification and NER with up to only 0.029% of total parameters trained. Our work not only provides a simple yet effective way of parameter-efficient tuning, which has a wide range of practical applications when deploying finetuned models for multiple tasks, but also demonstrates the pivotal role of special tokens in pretrained language models. 
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  2. Vlachos, Andreas ; Augenstein, Isabelle (Ed.)
    In this paper, we seek to improve the faithfulness of TempRel extraction models from two perspectives. The first perspective is to extract genuinely based on contextual description. To achieve this, we propose to conduct counterfactual analysis to attenuate the effects of two significant types of training biases: the event trigger bias and the frequent label bias. We also add tense information into event representations to explicitly place an emphasis on the contextual description. The second perspective is to provide proper uncertainty estimation and abstain from extraction when no relation is described in the text. By parameterization of Dirichlet Prior over the model-predicted categorical distribution, we improve the model estimates of the correctness likelihood and make TempRel predictions more selective. We also employ temperature scaling to recalibrate the model confidence measure after bias mitigation. Through experimental analysis on MATRES, MATRES-DS, and TDDiscourse, we demonstrate that our model extracts TempRel and timelines more faithfully compared to SOTA methods, especially under distribution shifts. 
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  3. Improving factual consistency of abstractive summarization has been a widely studied topic. However, most of the prior works on training factuality-aware models have ignored the negative effect it has on summary quality. We propose {pasted macro ‘MODEL’}name (i.e. Effective Factual Summarization), a candidate summary generation and ranking technique to improve summary factuality without sacrificing quality. We show that using a contrastive learning framework with our refined candidate summaries leads to significant gains on both factuality and similarity-based metrics. Specifically, we propose a ranking strategy in which we effectively combine two metrics, thereby preventing any conflict during training. Models trained using our approach show up to 6 points of absolute improvement over the base model with respect to FactCC on XSUM and 11 points on CNN/DM, without negatively affecting either similarity-based metrics or absractiveness. 
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  4. Two key obstacles in biomedical relation extraction (RE) are the scarcity of annotations and the prevalence of instances without explicitly pre-defined labels due to low annotation coverage. Existing approaches, which treat biomedical RE as a multi-class classification task, often result in poor generalization in low-resource settings and do not have the ability to make selective prediction on unknown cases but give a guess from seen relations, hindering the applicability of those approaches. We present NBR, which converts biomedical RE as natural language inference formulation through indirect supervision. By converting relations to natural language hypotheses, NBR is capable of exploiting semantic cues to alleviate annotation scarcity. By incorporating a ranking-based loss that implicitly calibrates abstinent instances, NBR learns a clearer decision boundary and is instructed to abstain on uncertain instances. Extensive experiments on three widely-used biomedical RE benchmarks, namely ChemProt, DDI and GAD, verify the effectiveness of NBR in both full-set and low-resource regimes. Our analysis demonstrates that indirect supervision benefits biomedical RE even when a domain gap exists, and combining NLI knowledge with biomedical knowledge leads to the best performance gains. 
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  5. Large language models (LLMs) encode parametric knowledge about world facts and have shown remarkable performance in knowledge-driven NLP tasks. However, their reliance on parametric knowledge may cause them to overlook contextual cues, leading to incorrect predictions in context-sensitive NLP tasks (e.g., knowledge acquisition tasks). In this paper, we seek to assess and enhance LLMs’ contextual faithfulness in two aspects: knowledge conflict and prediction with abstention. We demonstrate that LLMs’ faithfulness can be significantly improved using carefully designed prompting strategies. In particular, we identify opinion-based prompts and counterfactual demonstrations as the most effective methods. Opinion-based prompts reframe the context as a narrator’s statement and inquire about the narrator’s opinions, while counterfactual demonstrations use instances containing false facts to improve faithfulness in knowledge conflict situations. Neither technique requires additional training. We conduct experiments on three datasets of two standard NLP tasks, machine reading comprehension and relation extraction, and the results demonstrate significant improvement in faithfulness to contexts. Code and data are released at https://github.com/wzhouad/context-faithful-llm. 
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  6. Many discriminative natural language understanding (NLU) tasks have large label spaces. Learning such a process of large-space decision making is particularly challenging due to the lack of training instances per label and the difficulty of selection among many fine-grained labels. Inspired by dense retrieval methods for passage finding in open-domain QA, we propose a reformulation of large-space discriminative NLU tasks as a learning-to-retrieve task, leading to a novel solution named Dense Decision Retrieval (DDR). Instead of predicting fine-grained decisions as logits, DDR adopts a dual-encoder architecture that learns to predict by retrieving from a decision thesaurus. This approach not only leverages rich indirect supervision signals from easy-to-consume learning resources for dense retrieval, it also leads to enhanced prediction generalizability with a semantically meaningful representation of the large decision space. When evaluated on tasks with decision spaces ranging from hundreds to hundred-thousand scales, DDR outperforms strong baselines greatly by 27.54% in P @1 on two extreme multi-label classification tasks, 1.17% in F1 score ultra-fine entity typing, and 1.26% in accuracy on three few-shot intent classification tasks on average. 
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  7. Goal-oriented Script Generation is a new task of generating a list of steps that can fulfill the given goal. In this paper, we propose to extend the task from the perspective of cognitive theory. Instead of a simple flat structure, the steps are typically organized hierarchically — Human often decompose a complex task into subgoals, where each subgoal can be further decomposed into steps. To establish the benchmark, we contribute a new dataset, propose several baseline methods, and set up evaluation metrics. Both automatic and human evaluation verify the high-quality of dataset, as well as the effectiveness of incorporating subgoals into hierarchical script generation. Furthermore, We also design and evaluate the model to discover subgoal, and find that it is a bit more difficult to decompose the goals than summarizing from segmented steps. 
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  8. Traditional text classification typically categorizes texts into pre-defined coarse-grained classes, from which the produced models cannot handle the real-world scenario where finer categories emerge periodically for accurate services. In this work, we investigate the setting where fine-grained classification is done only using the annotation of coarse-grained categories and the coarse-to-fine mapping. We propose a lightweight contrastive clustering-based bootstrapping method to iteratively refine the labels of passages. During clustering, it pulls away negative passage-prototype pairs under the guidance of the mapping from both global and local perspectives. Experiments on NYT and 20News show that our method outperforms the state-of-the-art methods by a large margin. 
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  9. Humans subconsciously engage in geospatial reasoning when reading articles. We recognize place names and their spatial relations in text and mentally associate them with their physical locations on Earth. Although pretrained language models can mimic this cognitive process using linguistic context, they do not utilize valuable geospatial information in large, widely available geographical databases, e.g., OpenStreetMap. This paper introduces GeoLM, a geospatially grounded language model that enhances the understanding of geo-entities in natural language. GeoLM leverages geo-entity mentions as anchors to connect linguistic information in text corpora with geospatial information extracted from geographical databases. GeoLM connects the two types of context through contrastive learning and masked language modeling. It also incorporates a spatial coordinate embedding mechanism to encode distance and direction relations to capture geospatial context. In the experiment, we demonstrate that GeoLM exhibits promising capabilities in supporting toponym recognition, toponym linking, relation extraction, and geo-entity typing, which bridge the gap between natural language processing and geospatial sciences. The code is publicly available at https://github.com/knowledge-computing/geolm. 
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  10. Sentence-level relation extraction (RE) aims at identifying the relationship between two entities in a sentence. Many efforts have been devoted to this problem, while the best performing methods are still far from perfect. In this paper, we revisit two problems that affect the performance of existing RE models, namely entity representation and noisy or ill-defined labels. Our improved RE baseline, incorporated with entity representations with typed markers, achieves an F1 of 74.6% on TACRED, significantly outperforms previous SOTA methods. Furthermore, the presented new baseline achieves an F1 of 91.1% on the refined Re-TACRED dataset, demonstrating that the pretrained language models (PLMs) achieve high performance on this task. We release our code to the community for future research. 
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