Talks and presentations

Here are some of my recent talks.

Structured Prediction for Semantic Parsing

December 04, 2017

Invited talk, University of Washington, Seattle, WA

Mapping unstructured text to structured meaning representations, semantic parsing covers a wide variety of problems in the domain of natural language understanding and interaction. Common applications include translating human commands to executable programs, as well as question answering when using databases or semi-structured tables as the information source. Settings of real-world semantic parsing problems, such as the large space of legitimate semantic parses, weak or mixed supervision signals, and complex semantic/syntactic constraints, pose interesting and yet difficult structured prediction challenges. In this talk, I will give an overview on these technical challenges and present a case study on sequential question answering, answering sequences of simple but inter-related questions using semi-structured tables from Wikipedia. In particular, I will describe our dynamic neural semantic parsing framework trained using a weakly supervised reward-guided search, which effectively leverages the sequential context to outperform state-of-the-art QA systems that are designed to answer highly complex questions. The talk will be concluded with discussion on the open problems and promising directions for future research.

Continuous Representations for Natural Language Understanding

July 19, 2017

Tutorial, International Summer School on Deep Learning 2017, Bilbao, Spain

Understanding human language has been one of the long-standing research goals since the dawn of AI. In this lecture, we will discuss how recently developed methods, mostly deep neural network models, advance the state of the art. The lecture starts from the broad introduction of the research of natural language processing, analyzing why understanding language remains difficult. We will introduce several representative NLP tasks and discuss the role of machine leaning in the data-driven approaches. Historical and modern paradigms of problem formulations and models will also be briefly surveyed in this part.