Posts by Collection



Towards Holistic and Automatic Evaluation of Open-Domain Dialogue Generation

Published in ACL 2020, 1900


Open-domain dialogue generation has gained increasing attention in Natural Language Processing. Its evaluation requires a holistic means. Human ratings are deemed as the gold standard. As human evaluation is inefficient and costly, an automated substitute is highly desirable. In this paper, we propose holistic evaluation metrics that capture different aspects of open-domain dialogues. Our metrics consist of (1) GPT-2 based context coherence between sentences in a dialogue,(2) GPT-2 based fluency in phrasing,(3) n-gram based diversity in responses to augmented queries, and (4) textual-entailment-inference based logical self-consistency. The empirical validity of our metrics is demonstrated by strong correlations with human judgments. We open source the code and relevant materials.

Recommended citation: Bo Pang, Erik Nijkamp, Wenjuan Han, Linqi Zhou, Yixian Liu, Kewei Tu. ACL 2020.

Learning Multi-Layer Latent Variable Model via Variational Optimization of Short Run MCMC for Approximate Inference

Published in ECCV 2020, 1900


This paper studies the fundamental problem of learning deep generative models that consist of multiple layers of latent variables organized in top-down architectures. Such models have high expressivity and allow for learning hierarchical representations. Learning such a generative model requires inferring the latent variables for each training example based on the posterior distribution of these latent variables. The inference typically requires Markov chain Monte Caro (MCMC) that can be time consuming. In this paper, we propose to use noise initialized non-persistent short run MCMC, such as finite step Langevin dynamics initialized from the prior distribution of the latent variables, as an approximate inference engine, where the step size of the Langevin dynamics is variationally optimized by minimizing the Kullback-Leibler divergence between the distribution produced by the short run MCMC and the posterior distribution. Our experiments show that the proposed method outperforms variational auto-encoder (VAE) in terms of reconstruction error and synthesis quality. The advantage of the proposed method is that it is simple and automatic without the need to design an inference model.

Recommended citation: Erik Nijkamp, Bo Pang, Linqi Zhou, Tian Han, Song-Chun Zhu, and Ying Nian Wu. ECCV 2020.

Learning Latent Space Energy-Based Prior Model

Published in NeurIPS 2020, 1900


The generator model assumes that the observed example is generated by a low-dimensional latent vector via a top-down network, and the latent vector follows a simple and known prior distribution, such as uniform or Gaussian white noise distribution. While we can learn an expressive top-down network to map the prior distribution to the data distribution, we can also learn an expressive prior model instead of assuming a given prior distribution. This follows the philosophy of empirical Bayes where the prior model is learned from the observed data. We propose to learn an energy-based prior model for the latent vector, where the energy function is parametrized by a very simple multi-layer perceptron. Due to the low-dimensionality of the latent space, learning a latent space energy-based prior model proves to be both feasible and desirable. In this paper, we develop the maximum likelihood learning algorithm and its variation based on short-run Markov chain Monte Carlo sampling from the prior and the posterior distributions of the latent vector, and we show that the learned model exhibits strong performance in terms of image and text generation and anomaly detection.

Recommended citation: Bo Pang, Tian Han, Erik Nijkamp, Song-Chun Zhu, and Ying Nian Wu. NeurIPS 2020.

Joint Training of Variational Auto-Encoder and Latent Energy-Based Model

Published in NeurIPS 2020, 1900


This paper proposes a joint training method to learn both the variational auto-encoder (VAE) and the latent energy-based model (EBM). The joint training of VAE and latent EBM are based on an objective function that consists of three Kullback-Leibler divergences between three joint distributions on the latent vector and the image, and the objective function is of an elegant symmetric and anti-symmetric form of divergence triangle that seamlessly integrates variational and adversarial learning. In this joint training scheme, the latent EBM serves as a critic of the generator model, while the generator model and the inference model in VAE serve as the approximate synthesis sampler and inference sampler of the latent EBM. Our experiments show that the joint training greatly improves the synthesis quality of the VAE. It also enables learning of an energy function that is capable of detecting out of sample examples for anomaly detection.

Recommended citation: Tian Han, Erik Nijkamp, Linqi Zhou, Bo Pang, Song-Chun Zhu, and Ying Nian Wu. CVPR 2020.



Teaching experience 1

Undergraduate course, University 1, Department, 2014

This is a description of a teaching experience. You can use markdown like any other post.

Teaching experience 2

Workshop, University 1, Department, 2015

This is a description of a teaching experience. You can use markdown like any other post.