Jump to Content
Chen-Yu Lee

Chen-Yu Lee

Chen-Yu Lee is a research scientist at Google, where he works on machine learning and its real-world applications across various tasks and modalities. Previously, he spent two years at Apple, where he published the Technology Development Group's inaugural research paper at CVPR and launched several key features in ARKit (now Vision Pro). He received his PhD from UC San Diego, advised by Prof. Zhuowen Tu.
Authored Publications
Google Publications
Other Publications
Sort By
  • Title
  • Title, desc
  • Year
  • Year, desc
    Preview abstract Table-based reasoning with large language models (LLMs) is a promising direction to tackle many table understanding tasks, such as table-based question answering and fact verification. Compared with generic reasoning, table-based reasoning requires the extraction of underlying semantics from both free-form questions and semi-structured tabular data. Chain-of-Thought and its similar approaches incorporate the reasoning chain in the form of textual context, but it is still an open question how to effectively leverage tabular data in the reasoning chain. We propose the Chain-of-Table framework, where tabular data is explicitly used in the reasoning chain as a proxy for intermediate thoughts. Specifically, we guide LLMs using in-context learning to iteratively generate operations and update the table to represent a tabular reasoning chain. LLMs can therefore dynamically plan the next operation based on the results of the previous ones. This continuous evolution of the table forms a chain, showing the reasoning process for a given tabular problem. The chain carries structured information of the intermediate results, enabling more accurate and reliable predictions. Chain-of-Table achieves new state-of-the-art performance on WikiTQ, FeTaQA, and TabFact benchmarks across multiple LLM choices. View details
    VRDU: A Benchmark for Visually-rich Document Understanding
    Zilong Wang
    Wei Wei
    2023 ACM SIGKDD International Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining
    Preview abstract Understanding visually-rich business documents to extract structured data and automate business workflows has been receiving attention both in academia and industry. Although recent multi-modal language models have achieved impressive results, we argue that existing benchmarks do not reflect the complexity of real documents seen in industry, and therefore not suitable for measuring progress in practical settings. In this work, we identify the desiderata for a more comprehensive benchmark and propose one we call VRDU for Visually Rich Document Understanding. VRDU contains two datasets that represent several challenges: rich schema including diverse data types as well as nested entities, complex templates including tables and multi-column layouts and diversity of different layouts within a single document type. We design few-shot and conventional experiment settings along with a carefully designed matching algorithm to evaluate extraction results. We report the performance of strong baselines and observe three conclusions: (1) generalizing to new templates from a document type is still very challenging, (2) few-shot performance continues to have a lot of headroom, and (3) models struggle with nested repeated fields such as line-items in an invoice. We plan to open source the benchmark and the evaluation toolkit. We hope that it helps inspire and guide future research in this challenging area. View details
    Preview abstract While remarkable progress has been made in imbalanced supervised learning, less attention has been given to the setting of imbalanced semi-supervised learning (SSL) where not only are few labeled data provided, but the underlying data distribution can be severely imbalanced. Recent work requires both complicated sampling strategies of pseudo-labeled unlabeled data and distribution alignment of the pseudo-label distribution to accommodate this imbalance. We present a novel approach that relies only on a form of a distribution alignment but no sampling strategy where rather than aligning the pseudo-labels during inference, we move the distribution alignment component into the respective cross entropy loss computations for both the supervised and unsupervised losses. This alignment compensates for both imbalance in the data and the eventual distributional shift present during evaluation. Altogether, this provides a unified strategy that offers both significantly reduced training requirements and improved performance across both low and richly labeled regimes and over varying degrees of imbalance. In experiments, we validate the efficacy of our method on SSL variants of CIFAR10-LT, CIFAR100-LT, and ImageNet-127. On ImageNet-127, our method shows 1.6% accuracy improvement over CReST with an 80% training time reduction and is competitive with other SOTA methods. View details
    Preview abstract The recent advent of self-supervised pre-training techniques has led to a surge in the use of multimodal learning in form document understanding. However, existing approaches that extend the mask language modeling to other modalities require careful multi-task tuning, complex reconstruction target designs, or additional pre-training data. In FormNetV2, we introduce a centralized multimodal graph contrastive learning strategy to unify self-supervised pre-training for all modalities in one loss. The graph contrastive objective maximizes the agreement of multimodal representations, providing a natural interplay for all modalities without special customization. In addition, we extract image features within the bounding box that joins a pair of tokens connected by a graph edge, capturing more targeted visual cues without loading a sophisticated and separately pre-trained image embedder. FormNetV2 establishes new state-of-the-art performance on FUNSD, CORD, SROIE and Payment benchmarks with a more compact model size. View details
    Preview abstract Vision-language contrastive learning suggests a new learning paradigm by leveraging a large amount of image-caption-pair data. The caption supervision excels at providing wide coverage in vocabulary that enables strong zero-shot image recognition performance. On the other hand, label supervision offers to learn more targeted visual representations that are label-oriented and can cover rare categories. To gain the complementary advantages of both kinds of supervision for contrastive image-caption pre-training, recent works have proposed to convert class labels into a sentence with pre-defined templates called prompts. However, a naive unification of the real caption and the prompt sentences could lead to a complication in learning, as the distribution shift in text may not be handled properly in the language encoder. In this work, we propose a simple yet effective approach to unify these two types of supervision using prefix tokens that inform a language encoder of the type of the input sentence (e.g., caption or prompt) at training time. Our method is generic and can be easily integrated into existing VL pre-training objectives such as CLIP or UniCL. In experiments, we show that this simple technique dramatically improves the performance in zero-shot image recognition accuracy of the pre-trained model. View details
    Preview abstract In this paper, we tackle two challenges in multimodal learning for visual recognition: 1) when missing-modality occurs either during training or testing in real-world situations; and 2) when the computation resources are not available to finetune on heavy transformer models. To this end, we propose to utilize prompt learning and mitigate the above two challenges together. Specifically, our modality-missing-aware prompts can be plugged into multimodal transformers to handle general missing-modality cases, while only requiring less than $1\%$ learnable parameters compared to training the entire model. We further explore the effect of different prompt configurations and analyze the robustness to missing modality. Extensive experiments are conducted to show the effectiveness of our prompt learning framework that improves the performance under various missing-modality cases, while alleviating the requirement of heavy model re-training View details
    Tool Documentation Enables Zero-Shot Tool-Usage with Large Language Models
    Cheng-Yu Hsieh
    Si-An Chen
    Chun-Liang Li
    Alexander Ratner
    Ranjay Krishna
    arXiv preprint arXiv:2308.00675 (2023)
    Preview abstract Today, large language models (LLMs) are taught to use new tools by providing a few demonstrations of the tool's usage. Unfortunately, demonstrations are hard to acquire, and can result in undesirable biased usage if the wrong demonstration is chosen. Even in the rare scenario that demonstrations are readily available, there is no principled selection protocol to determine how many and which ones to provide. As tasks grow more complex, the selection search grows combinatorially and invariably becomes intractable. Our work provides an alternative to demonstrations: tool documentation. We advocate the use of tool documentation, descriptions for the individual tool usage, over demonstrations. We substantiate our claim through three main empirical findings on 6 tasks across both vision and language modalities. First, on existing benchmarks, zero-shot prompts with only tool documentation are sufficient for eliciting proper tool usage, achieving performance on par with few-shot prompts. Second, on a newly collected realistic tool-use dataset with hundreds of available tool APIs, we show that tool documentation is significantly more valuable than demonstrations, with zero-shot documentation significantly outperforming few-shot without documentation. Third, we highlight the benefits of tool documentations by tackling image generation and video tracking using just-released unseen state-of-the-art models as tools. Finally, we highlight the possibility of using tool documentation to automatically enable new applications: by using nothing more than the documentation of GroundingDino, Stable Diffusion, XMem, and SAM, LLMs can re-invent the functionalities of the just-released Grounded-SAM and Track Anything models. View details
    Preview abstract We study anomaly clustering, grouping data into coherent clusters of anomaly types. This is different from anomaly detection that aims to divide anomalies from normal data.Unlike object-centered image clustering, anomaly clustering is particularly challenging as anomalous patterns are subtle and local. We present a simple yet effective clustering framework using a patch-based pretrained deep embeddings and off-the-shelf clustering methods. We define a distance function between images, each of which is represented as a bag of embeddings, by the Euclidean distance between weighted averaged embeddings. The weight defines the importance of instances (i.e., patch embeddings) in the bag, which may highlight defective regions. We compute weights in an unsupervised way or in a semi-supervised way when labeled normal data is available. Extensive experimental studies show the effectiveness of the proposed clustering framework along with a novel distance function upon existing multiple instance or deep clustering frameworks. Overall, our framework achieves 0.451 and 0.674 normalized mutual information scores on MVTec object and texture categories and further improve with a few labeled normal data(0.577, 0.669), far exceeding the baselines (0.244, 0.273)or state-of-the-art deep clustering methods (0.176, 0.277). View details
    Preview abstract Zero-shot transfer learning for document understanding is a crucial yet under-investigated scenario to help reduce the high cost involved in annotating document entities. We present a novel query-based framework, QueryForm, that extracts entity values from form-like documents in a zero-shot fashion. QueryForm contains a dual prompting mechanism that composes both the document schema and a specific entity type into a query, which is used to prompt a Transformer model to perform a single entity extraction task. Furthermore, we propose to leverage large-scale query-entity pairs generated from form-like webpages with weak HTML annotations to pre-train QueryForm. By unifying pre-training and fine-tuning into the same query-based framework, QueryForm enables models to learn from structured documents containing various entities and layouts, leading to better generalization to target document types without the need for target-specific training data. QueryForm sets new state-of-the-art average F1 score on both the XFUND (+4.6%~10.1%) and the Payment (+3.2%~9.5%) zero-shot benchmark, with a smaller model size and no additional image input. View details
    Preview abstract In Composed Image Retrieval (CIR), a user combines a query image with text to describe their intended target. Existing methods rely on supervised learning of CIR models using labeled triplets consisting of the query image, text specification, and the target image. Labeling such triplets is expensive and hinders broad applicability of CIR. In this work, we propose to study an important task, Zero-Shot Composed Image Retrieval (ZS-CIR), whose goal is to build a CIR model without requiring labeled triplets for training. To this end, we propose a novel method, called Pic2Word, that requires only weakly labeled image-caption pairs and unlabeled image datasets to train. Unlike existing supervised CIR models, our model trained on weakly labeled or unlabeled datasets shows strong generalization across diverse ZS-CIR tasks, e.g., attribute editing, object composition, and domain conversion. Our approach outperforms several supervised CIR methods on the common CIR benchmark, CIRR and Fashion-IQ. View details
    Preview abstract Deploying large language models (LLMs) is challenging because they are memory inefficient and compute-intensive for practical applications. In reaction, researchers train smaller task-specific models by either finetuning with human labels or distilling using LLM-generated labels. However, finetuning and distillation require large amounts of training data to achieve comparable performance to LLMs. We introduce Distilling step-by-step, a new mechanism that (a) trains smaller models that outperform LLMs, and (b) achieves so by leveraging less training data needed by finetuning or distillation. Our method extracts LLM rationales as additional supervision for small models within a multi-task training framework. We present three findings across 4 NLP benchmarks: First, compared to both finetuning and distillation, our mechanism achieves better performance with much fewer labeled/unlabeled training examples. Second, compared to LLMs, we achieve better performance using substantially smaller model sizes. Third, we reduce both the model size and the amount of data required to outperform LLMs; our 770M T5 model outperforms the 540B PaLM model using only 80% of available data on a benchmark task. View details
    Preview abstract Accurate estimation of output quantiles is crucial in many use cases, where it is desired to model the range of possibility. Modeling target distribution at arbitrary quantile levels and at arbitrary input attribute levels are important to offer a comprehensive picture of the data, and requires the quantile function to be expressive enough. The quantile function describing the target distribution using quantile levels is critical for quantile regression. Althought various parametric forms for the distributions (that the quantile function specifies) can be adopted, an everlasting problem is selecting the most appropriate one that can properly approximate the data distributions. In this paper, we propose a non-parametric and data-driven approach, Neural Spline Search (NSS), to represent the observed data distribution without parametric assumptions. NSS is flexible and expressive for modeling data distributions by transforming the inputs with a series of monotonic spline regressions guided by symbolic operators. We demonstrate that NSS outperforms previous methods on synthetic, real-world regression and time-series forecasting tasks. View details
    Preview abstract Continual learning aims to enable a single model to learn a sequence of tasks without catastrophic forgetting. Top-performing methods usually require a rehearsal buffer to store past pristine examples for experience replay, which, however, limits their practical value due to privacy and memory constraints. In this work, we present a simple yet effective framework, DualPrompt, which learns a tiny set of parameters, called prompts, to properly instruct a pre-trained model to learn tasks arriving sequentially without buffering past examples. DualPrompt presents a novel approach to attach complementary prompts to the pre-trained backbone, and then formulates the objective as learning task-invariant and task-specific "instructions". With extensive experimental validation, DualPrompt consistently sets state-of-the-art performance under the challenging class-incremental setting. In particular, DualPrompt outperforms recent advanced continual learning methods with relatively large buffer sizes. We also introduce a more challenging benchmark, Split ImageNet-R, to help generalize rehearsal-free continual learning research. Source code is available at https://github.com/google-research/l2p. View details
    Preview abstract The mainstream paradigm behind continual learning has been to adapt the model parameters to non-stationary data distributions, where catastrophic forgetting is the central challenge. Typical methods rely on a rehearsal buffer or known task identity at test time to retrieve learned knowledge and address forgetting, while this work presents a new paradigm for continual learning that aims to train a more succinct memory system without accessing task identity at test time. Our method learns to dynamically prompt (L2P) a pre-trained model to learn tasks sequentially under different task transitions. In our proposed framework, prompts are small learnable parameters, which are maintained in a memory space. The objective is to optimize prompts to instruct the model prediction and explicitly manage task-invariant and task-specific knowledge while maintaining model plasticity. We conduct comprehensive experiments under popular image classification benchmarks with different challenging continual learning settings, where L2P consistently outperforms prior state-ofthe-art methods. Surprisingly, L2P achieves competitive results against rehearsal-based methods even without a rehearsal buffer and is directly applicable to challenging taskagnostic continual learning. Source code is available at https://github.com/google-research/l2p. View details
    Preview abstract Sequence modeling has demonstrated state-of-the-art performance on natural language and document understanding tasks. However, it is challenging to correctly serialize tokens in form-like documents in practice due to their variety of layout patterns. We propose FormNet, a structure-aware sequence model to mitigate the suboptimal serialization of forms. First, we design Rich Attention that leverages the spatial relationship between tokens in a form for more precise attention score calculation. Second, we construct Super-Tokens for each word by embedding representations from their neighboring tokens through graph convolutions. FormNet therefore explicitly recovers local syntactic information that may have been lost during serialization. In experiments, FormNet outperforms existing methods with a more compact model size and less pre-training data, establishing new state-of-the-art performance on CORD, FUNSD and Payment benchmarks. View details
    Preview abstract Learning visual knowledge from massive weakly-labeled web videos has attracted growing research interests thanks to the large corpus of easily accessible video data on the Internet. However, for video action recognition, the action of interest might only exist in arbitrary clips of untrimmed web videos, resulting in high label noises in the temporal space. To address this issue, we introduce a new method for pretraining video action recognition models using queried web videos. Instead of trying to filter out, we propose to convert the potential noises in these queried videos to useful supervision signals by defining the concept of Sub-Pseudo Label (SPL). Specifically, SPL spans out a new set of meaningful “middle ground” label space constructed by extrapolating the original weak labels during video querying and the prior knowledge distilled from a teacher model. Consequently, SPL provides enriched supervision for video models to learn better representations. SPL is fairly simple and orthogonal to popular teacher-student self-training frameworks without extra training cost. We validate the effectiveness of our method on four video action recognition datasets and a weakly-labeled image dataset to study the generalization ability. Experiments show that SPL outperforms several existing pre-training strategies using pseudolabels and the learned representations lead to competitive results when fine-tuning on HMDB-51 and UCF-101 compared with recent pre-training methods View details
    Preview abstract Anomaly detection (AD), separating anomalies from normal data, has many applications across domains, from security to healthcare. While most previous works were shown to be effective for cases with fully or partially labeled data, that setting is in practice less common due to labeling being particularly tedious for this task. In this paper, we focus on fully unsupervised AD, in which the entire training dataset, containing both normal and anomalous samples, is unlabeled. To tackle this problem effectively, we propose to improve the robustness of one-class classification trained on self-supervised representations using a data refinement process. Our proposed data refinement approach is based on an ensemble of one-class classifiers (OCCs), each of which is trained on a disjoint subset of training data. Representations learned by self-supervised learning on the refined data are iteratively updated as the data refinement improves. We demonstrate our method on various unsupervised AD tasks with image and tabular data. With a 10% anomaly ratio on CIFAR-10 image data / 2.5% anomaly ratio on Thyroid tabular data, the proposed method outperforms the state-of-the-art one-class classifier by 6.3 AUC and 12.5 average precision / 22.9 F1-score. View details
    Preview abstract Natural reading orders of words are crucial for information extraction from form-like documents. Despite recent advances in Graph Convolutional Networks (GCNs) on modeling spatial layout patterns of documents, they have limited ability to capture reading orders of given word-level node representations in a graph. We propose Reading Order Equivariant Positional Encoding (ROPE), a new positional encoding technique designed to apprehend the sequential presentation of words in documents. ROPE generates unique reading order codes for neighboring words relative to the target word given a word-level graph connectivity. We study two fundamental document entity extraction tasks including word labeling and word grouping on the public FUNSD dataset and a large-scale payment dataset. We show that ROPE consistently improves existing GCNs with a margin up to 8.4% F1-score. View details
    No Results Found