International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (2022)


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Proceedings of the 2nd Conference of the Asia-Pacific Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 12th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 1: Long Papers)

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Proceedings of the 2nd Conference of the Asia-Pacific Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 12th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 1: Long Papers)
Yulan He | Heng Ji | Sujian Li | Yang Liu | Chua-Hui Chang

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Chasing the Tail with Domain Generalization: A Case Study on Frequency-Enriched Datasets
Manoj Kumar | Anna Rumshisky | Rahul Gupta

Natural language understanding (NLU) tasks are typically defined by creating an annotated dataset in which each utterance is encountered once. Such data does not resemble real-world natural language interactions in which certain utterances are encountered frequently, others rarely. For deployed NLU systems this is a vital problem, since the underlying machine learning (ML) models are often fine-tuned on typical NLU data, and then applied to real-world data with a very different distribution. Such systems need to maintain interpretation consistency for both high-frequency utterances and low-frequency utterances. We propose an alternative strategy that explicitly uses utterance frequency in training data to learn models that are more robust to unknown distributions. We present a methodology to simulate utterance usage in two public NLU corpora and create new corpora with head, body and tail segments. We evaluate several methods for joint intent classification and named entity recognition (IC-NER), and use two domain generalization approaches that we adapt to NER. The proposed approaches demonstrate upto 7.02% relative improvement in semantic accuracy over baselines on the tail data. We provide insights as to why the proposed approaches work and show that the reasons for observed improvements do not align with those reported in previous work.

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Double Trouble: How to not Explain a Text Classifier’s Decisions Using Counterfactuals Synthesized by Masked Language Models?
Thang Pham | Trung Bui | Long Mai | Anh Nguyen

A principle behind dozens of attribution methods is to take the prediction difference between before-and-after an input feature (here, a token) is removed as its attribution. A popular Input Marginalization (IM) method (Kim et al., 2020) uses BERT to replace a token, yielding more plausible counterfactuals. While Kim et al., 2020 reported that IM is effective, we find this conclusion not convincing as the Deletion-BERT metric used in their paper is biased towards IM. Importantly, this bias exists in Deletion-based metrics, including Insertion, Sufficiency, and Comprehensiveness. Furthermore, our rigorous evaluation using 6 metrics and 3 datasets finds no evidence that IM is better than a Leave-One-Out (LOO) baseline. We find two reasons why IM is not better than LOO: (1) deleting a single word from the input only marginally reduces a classifier’s accuracy; and (2) a highly predictable word is always given near-zero attribution, regardless of its true importance to the classifier. In contrast, making LIME samples more natural via BERT consistently improves LIME accuracy under several ROAR metrics.

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An Empirical Study on Cross-X Transfer for Legal Judgment Prediction
Joel Niklaus | Matthias Stürmer | Ilias Chalkidis

Cross-lingual transfer learning has proven useful in a variety of Natural Language (NLP) tasks, but it is understudied in the context of legal NLP, and not at all in Legal Judgment Prediction (LJP). We explore transfer learning techniques on LJP using the trilingual Swiss-Judgment-Prediction (SJP) dataset, including cases written in three languages. We find that Cross-Lingual Transfer (CLT) improves the overall results across languages, especially when we use adapter-based fine-tuning. Finally, we further improve the model’s performance by augmenting the training dataset with machine-translated versions of the original documents, using a 3× larger training corpus. Further on, we perform an analysis exploring the effect of cross-domain and cross-regional transfer, i.e., train a model across domains (legal areas), or regions. We find that in both settings (legal areas, origin regions), models trained across all groups perform overall better, while they also have improved results in the worst-case scenarios. Finally, we report improved results when we ambitiously apply cross-jurisdiction transfer, where we further augment our dataset with Indian legal cases.

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CNN for Modeling Sanskrit Originated Bengali and Hindi Language
Chowdhury Rahman | MD. Hasibur Rahman | Mohammad Rafsan | Mohammed Eunus Ali | Samiha Zakir | Rafsanjani Muhammod

Though recent works have focused on modeling high resource languages, the area is still unexplored for low resource languages like Bengali and Hindi. We propose an end to end trainable memory efficient CNN architecture named CoCNN to handle specific characteristics such as high inflection, morphological richness, flexible word order and phonetical spelling errors of Bengali and Hindi. In particular, we introduce two learnable convolutional sub-models at word and at sentence level that are end to end trainable. We show that state-of-the-art (SOTA) Transformer models including pretrained BERT do not necessarily yield the best performance for Bengali and Hindi. CoCNN outperforms pretrained BERT with 16X less parameters and achieves much better performance than SOTA LSTMs on multiple real-world datasets. This is the first study on the effectiveness of different architectures from Convolution, Recurrent, and Transformer neural net paradigm for modeling Bengali and Hindi.

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Leveraging Key Information Modeling to Improve Less-Data Constrained News Headline Generation via Duality Fine-Tuning
Zhuoxuan Jiang | Lingfeng Qiao | Di Yin | Shanshan Feng | Bo Ren

Recent language generative models are mostly trained on large-scale datasets, while in some real scenarios, the training datasets are often expensive to obtain and would be small-scale. In this paper we investigate the challenging task of less-data constrained generation, especially when the generated news headlines are short yet expected by readers to keep readable and informative simultaneously. We highlight the key information modeling task and propose a novel duality fine-tuning method by formally defining the probabilistic duality constraints between key information prediction and headline generation tasks. The proposed method can capture more information from limited data, build connections between separate tasks, and is suitable for less-data constrained generation tasks. Furthermore, the method can leverage various pre-trained generative regimes, e.g., autoregressive and encoder-decoder models. We conduct extensive experiments to demonstrate that our method is effective and efficient to achieve improved performance in terms of language modeling metric and informativeness correctness metric on two public datasets.

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Systematic Evaluation of Predictive Fairness
Xudong Han | Aili Shen | Trevor Cohn | Timothy Baldwin | Lea Frermann

Mitigating bias in training on biased datasets is an important open problem. Several techniques have been proposed, however the typical evaluation regime is very limited, considering very narrow data conditions. For instance, the effect of target class imbalance and stereotyping is under-studied. To address this gap, we examine the performance of various debiasing methods across multiple tasks, spanning binary classification (Twitter sentiment), multi-class classification (profession prediction), and regression (valence prediction). Through extensive experimentation, we find that data conditions have a strong influence on relative model performance, and that general conclusions cannot be drawn about method efficacy when evaluating only on standard datasets, as is current practice in fairness research.

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Graph-augmented Learning to Rank for Querying Large-scale Knowledge Graph
Hanning Gao | Lingfei Wu | Po Hu | Zhihua Wei | Fangli Xu | Bo Long

Knowledge graph question answering (KGQA) based on information retrieval aims to answer a question by retrieving answer from a large-scale knowledge graph. Most existing methods first roughly retrieve the knowledge subgraphs (KSG) that may contain candidate answer, and then search for the exact answer in the KSG. However, the KSG may contain thousands of candidate nodes since the knowledge graph involved in querying is often of large scale, thus decreasing the performance of answer selection. To tackle this problem, we first propose to partition the retrieved KSG to several smaller sub-KSGs via a new subgraph partition algorithm and then present a graph-augmented learning to rank model to select the top-ranked sub-KSGs from them. Our proposed model combines a novel subgraph matching networks to capture global interactions in both question and subgraphs and an Enhanced Bilateral Multi-Perspective Matching model to capture local interactions. Finally, we apply an answer selection model on the full KSG and the top-ranked sub-KSGs respectively to validate the effectiveness of our proposed graph-augmented learning to rank method. The experimental results on multiple benchmark datasets have demonstrated the effectiveness of our approach.

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An Embarrassingly Simple Approach for Intellectual Property Rights Protection on Recurrent Neural Networks
Zhi Qin Tan | Hao Shan Wong | Chee Seng Chan

Capitalise on deep learning models, offering Natural Language Processing (NLP) solutions as a part of the Machine Learning as a Service (MLaaS) has generated handsome revenues. At the same time, it is known that the creation of these lucrative deep models is non-trivial. Therefore, protecting these inventions’ intellectual property rights (IPR) from being abused, stolen and plagiarized is vital. This paper proposes a practical approach for the IPR protection on recurrent neural networks (RNN) without all the bells and whistles of existing IPR solutions. Particularly, we introduce the Gatekeeper concept that resembles the recurrent nature in RNN architecture to embed keys. Also, we design the model training scheme in a way such that the protected RNN model will retain its original performance iff a genuine key is presented. Extensive experiments showed that our protection scheme is robust and effective against ambiguity and removal attacks in both white-box and black-box protection schemes on different RNN variants. Code is available at

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WAX: A New Dataset for Word Association eXplanations
Chunhua Liu | Trevor Cohn | Simon De Deyne | Lea Frermann

Word associations are among the most common paradigms to study the human mental lexicon. While their structure and types of associations have been well studied, surprisingly little attention has been given to the question of why participants produce the observed associations. Answering this question would not only advance understanding of human cognition, but could also aid machines in learning and representing basic commonsense knowledge. This paper introduces a large, crowd-sourced data set of English word associations with explanations, labeled with high-level relation types. We present an analysis of the provided explanations, and design several tasks to probe to what extent current pre-trained language models capture the underlying relations. Our experiments show that models struggle to capture the diversity of human associations, suggesting WAX is a rich benchmark for commonsense modeling and generation.

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Missing Modality meets Meta Sampling (M3S): An Efficient Universal Approach for Multimodal Sentiment Analysis with Missing Modality
Haozhe Chi | Minghua Yang | Junhao Zhu | Guanhong Wang | Gaoang Wang

Multimodal sentiment analysis (MSA) is an important way of observing mental activities with the help of data captured from multiple modalities. However, due to the recording or transmission error, some modalities may include incomplete data. Most existing works that address missing modalities usually assume a particular modality is completely missing and seldom consider a mixture of missing across multiple modalities. In this paper, we propose a simple yet effective meta-sampling approach for multimodal sentiment analysis with missing modalities, namely Missing Modality-based Meta Sampling (M3S). To be specific, M3S formulates a missing modality sampling strategy into the modal agnostic meta-learning (MAML) framework. M3S can be treated as an efficient add-on training component on existing models and significantly improve their performances on multimodal data with a mixture of missing modalities. We conduct experiments on IEMOCAP, SIMS and CMU-MOSI datasets, and superior performance is achieved compared with recent state-of-the-art methods.

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SPARQL-to-Text Question Generation for Knowledge-Based Conversational Applications
Gwénolé Lecorvé | Morgan Veyret | Quentin Brabant | Lina M. Rojas Barahona

This paper focuses on the generation of natural language questions based on SPARQL queries, with an emphasis on conversational use cases (follow-up question-answering). It studies what can be achieved so far based on current deep learning models (namely pretrained T5 and BART models). To do so, 4 knowledge-based QA corpora have been homogenized for the task and a new challenge set is introduced. A first series of experiments analyzes the impact of different training setups, while a second series seeks to understand what is still difficult for these models. The results from automatic metrics and human evaluation show that simple questions and frequent templates of SPARQL queries are usually well processed whereas complex questions and conversational dimensions (coreferences and ellipses) are still difficult to handle. The experimental material is publicly available on .

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S+PAGE: A Speaker and Position-Aware Graph Neural Network Model for Emotion Recognition in Conversation
Chen Liang | Jing Xu | Yangkun Lin | Chong Yang | Yongliang Wang

Emotion recognition in conversation (ERC) has attracted much attention in recent years for its necessity in widespread applications. With the development of graph neural network (GNN), recent state-of-the-art ERC models mostly use GNN to embed the intrinsic structure information of a conversation into the utterance features. In this paper, we propose a novel GNN-based model for ERC, namely S+PAGE, to better capture the speaker and position-aware conversation structure information. Specifically, we add the relative positional encoding and speaker dependency encoding in the representations of edge weights and edge types respectively to acquire a more reasonable aggregation algorithm for ERC. Besides, a two-stream conversational Transformer is presented to extract both the self and inter-speaker contextual features for each utterance. Extensive experiments are conducted on four ERC benchmarks with state-of-the-art models employed as baselines for comparison, whose results demonstrate the superiority of our model.

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Grammatical Error Correction Systems for Automated Assessment: Are They Susceptible to Universal Adversarial Attacks?
Vyas Raina | Yiting Lu | Mark Gales

Grammatical error correction (GEC) systems are a useful tool for assessing a learner’s writing ability. These systems allow the grammatical proficiency of a candidate’s text to be assessed without requiring an examiner or teacher to read the text. A simple summary of a candidate’s ability can be measured by the total number of edits between the input text and the GEC system output: the fewer the edits the better the candidate. With advances in deep learning, GEC systems have become increasingly powerful and accurate. However, deep learning systems are susceptible to adversarial attacks, in which a small change at the input can cause large, undesired changes at the output. In the context of GEC for automated assessment, the aim of an attack can be to deceive the system into not correcting (concealing) grammatical errors to create the perception of higher language ability. An interesting aspect of adversarial attacks in this scenario is that the attack needs to be simple as it must be applied by, for example, a learner of English. The form of realistic attack examined in this work is appending the same phrase to each input sentence: a concatenative universal attack. The candidate only needs to learn a single attack phrase. State-of-the-art GEC systems are found to be susceptible to this form of simple attack, which transfers to different test sets as well as system architectures,

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This Patient Looks Like That Patient: Prototypical Networks for Interpretable Diagnosis Prediction from Clinical Text
Betty van Aken | Jens-Michalis Papaioannou | Marcel Naik | Georgios Eleftheriadis | Wolfgang Nejdl | Felix Gers | Alexander Loeser

The use of deep neural models for diagnosis prediction from clinical text has shown promising results. However, in clinical practice such models must not only be accurate, but provide doctors with interpretable and helpful results. We introduce ProtoPatient, a novel method based on prototypical networks and label-wise attention with both of these abilities. ProtoPatient makes predictions based on parts of the text that are similar to prototypical patients—providing justifications that doctors understand. We evaluate the model on two publicly available clinical datasets and show that it outperforms existing baselines. Quantitative and qualitative evaluations with medical doctors further demonstrate that the model provides valuable explanations for clinical decision support.

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Cross-lingual Similarity of Multilingual Representations Revisited
Maksym Del | Mark Fishel

Related works used indexes like CKA and variants of CCA to measure the similarity of cross-lingual representations in multilingual language models. In this paper, we argue that assumptions of CKA/CCA align poorly with one of the motivating goals of cross-lingual learning analysis, i.e., explaining zero-shot cross-lingual transfer. We highlight what valuable aspects of cross-lingual similarity these indexes fail to capture and provide a motivating case study demonstrating the problem empirically. Then, we introduce Average Neuron-Wise Correlation (ANC) as a straightforward alternative that is exempt from the difficulties of CKA/CCA and is good specifically in a cross-lingual context. Finally, we use ANC to construct evidence that the previously introduced “first align, then predict” pattern takes place not only in masked language models (MLMs) but also in multilingual models with causal language modeling objectives (CLMs). Moreover, we show that the pattern extends to the scaled versions of the MLMs and CLMs (up to 85x original mBERT). Our code is publicly available at

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Arabic Dialect Identification with a Few Labeled Examples Using Generative Adversarial Networks
Mahmoud Yusuf | Marwan Torki | Nagwa El-Makky

Given the challenges and complexities introduced while dealing with Dialect Arabic (DA) variations, Transformer based models, e.g., BERT, outperformed other models in dealing with the DA identification task. However, to fine-tune these models, a large corpus is required. Getting a large number high quality labeled examples for some Dialect Arabic classes is challenging and time-consuming. In this paper, we address the Dialect Arabic Identification task. We extend the transformer-based models, ARBERT and MARBERT, with unlabeled data in a generative adversarial setting using Semi-Supervised Generative Adversarial Networks (SS-GAN). Our model enabled producing high-quality embeddings for the Dialect Arabic examples and aided the model to better generalize for the downstream classification task given few labeled examples. Experimental results showed that our model reached better performance and faster convergence when only a few labeled examples are available.

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Semantic Shift Stability: Efficient Way to Detect Performance Degradation of Word Embeddings and Pre-trained Language Models
Shotaro Ishihara | Hiromu Takahashi | Hono Shirai

Word embeddings and pre-trained language models have become essential technical elements in natural language processing. While the general practice is to use or fine-tune publicly available models, there are significant advantages in creating or pre-training unique models that match the domain. The performance of the models degrades as language changes or evolves continuously, but the high cost of model building inhibits regular re-training, especially for the language models. This study proposes an efficient way to detect time-series performance degradation of word embeddings and pre-trained language models by calculating the degree of semantic shift. Monitoring performance through the proposed method supports decision-making as to whether a model should be re-trained. The experiments demonstrated that the proposed method can identify time-series performance degradation in two datasets, Japanese and English. The source code is available at

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Neural Text Sanitization with Explicit Measures of Privacy Risk
Anthi Papadopoulou | Yunhao Yu | Pierre Lison | Lilja Øvrelid

We present a novel approach for text sanitization, which is the task of editing a document to mask all (direct and indirect) personal identifiers and thereby conceal the identity of the individuals(s) mentioned in the text. In contrast to previous work, the approach relies on explicit measures of privacy risk, making it possible to explicitly control the trade-off between privacy protection and data utility. The approach proceeds in three steps. A neural, privacy-enhanced entity recognizer is first employed to detect and classify potential personal identifiers. We then determine which entities, or combination of entities, are likely to pose a re-identification risk through a range of privacy risk assessment measures. We present three such measures of privacy risk, respectively based on (1) span probabilities derived from a BERT language model, (2) web search queries and (3) a classifier trained on labelled data. Finally, a linear optimization solver decides which entities to mask to minimize the semantic loss while simultaneously ensuring that the estimated privacy risk remains under a given threshold. We evaluate the approach both in the absence and presence of manually annotated data. Our results highlight the potential of the approach, as well as issues specific types of personal data can introduce to the process.

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AGRank: Augmented Graph-based Unsupervised Keyphrase Extraction
Haoran Ding | Xiao Luo

Keywords or keyphrases are often used to highlight a document’s domains or main topics. Unsupervised keyphrase extraction (UKE) has always been highly anticipated because no labeled data is needed to train a model. This paper proposes an augmented graph-based unsupervised model to identify keyphrases from a document by integrating graph and deep learning methods. The proposed model utilizes mutual attention extracted from the pre-trained BERT model to build the candidate graph and augments the graph with global and local context nodes to improve the performance. The proposed model is evaluated on four publicly available datasets against thirteen UKE baselines. The results show that the proposed model is an effective and robust UKE model for long and short documents. Our source code is available on GitHub.

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Towards Unified Representations of Knowledge Graph and Expert Rules for Machine Learning and Reasoning
Zhepei Wei | Yue Wang | Jinnan Li | Zhining Liu | Erxin Yu | Yuan Tian | Xin Wang | Yi Chang

With a knowledge graph and a set of if-then rules, can we reason about the conclusions given a set of observations? In this work, we formalize this question as the cognitive inference problem, and introduce the Cognitive Knowledge Graph (CogKG) that unifies two representations of heterogeneous symbolic knowledge: expert rules and relational facts. We propose a general framework in which the unified knowledge representations can perform both learning and reasoning. Specifically, we implement the above framework in two settings, depending on the availability of labeled data. When no labeled data are available for training, the framework can directly utilize symbolic knowledge as the decision basis and perform reasoning. When labeled data become available, the framework casts symbolic knowledge as a trainable neural architecture and optimizes the connection weights among neurons through gradient descent. Empirical study on two clinical diagnosis benchmarks demonstrates the superiority of the proposed method over time-tested knowledge-driven and data-driven methods, showing the great potential of the proposed method in unifying heterogeneous symbolic knowledge, i.e., expert rules and relational facts, as the substrate of machine learning and reasoning models.

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Who did what to Whom? Language models and humans respond diversely to features affecting argument hierarchy construction
Xiaonan Xu | Haoshuo Chen

Pre-trained transformer-based language models have achieved state-of-the-art performance in many areas of NLP. It is still an open question whether the models are capable of integrating syntax and semantics in language processing like humans. This paper investigates if models and humans construct argument hierarchy similarly with the effects from telicity, agency, and individuation, using the Chinese structure “NP1+BA/BEI+NP2+VP”. We present both humans and six transformer-based models with prepared sentences and analyze their preference between BA (view NP1 as an agent) and BEI (NP2 as an agent). It is found that the models and humans respond to (non-)agentive features in telic context and atelic feature very similarly. However, the models show insufficient sensitivity to both pragmatic function in expressing undesirable events and different individuation degrees represented by human common nouns vs. proper names. By contrast, humans rely heavily on these cues to establish the thematic relation between two arguments NP1 and NP2. Furthermore, the models tend to interpret the subject as an agent, which is not the case for humans who align agents independently of subject position in Mandarin Chinese.

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CrowdChecked: Detecting Previously Fact-Checked Claims in Social Media
Momchil Hardalov | Anton Chernyavskiy | Ivan Koychev | Dmitry Ilvovsky | Preslav Nakov

While there has been substantial progress in developing systems to automate fact-checking, they still lack credibility in the eyes of the users. Thus, an interesting approach has emerged: to perform automatic fact-checking by verifying whether an input claim has been previously fact-checked by professional fact-checkers and to return back an article that explains their decision. This is a sensible approach as people trust manual fact-checking, and as many claims are repeated multiple times. Yet, a major issue when building such systems is the small number of known tweet–verifying article pairs available for training. Here, we aim to bridge this gap by making use of crowd fact-checking, i.e., mining claims in social media for which users have responded with a link to a fact-checking article. In particular, we mine a large-scale collection of 330,000 tweets paired with a corresponding fact-checking article. We further propose an end-to-end framework to learn from this noisy data based on modified self-adaptive training, in a distant supervision scenario. Our experiments on the CLEF’21 CheckThat! test set show improvements over the state of the art by two points absolute. Our code and datasets are available at

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Hate Speech and Offensive Language Detection in Bengali
Mithun Das | Somnath Banerjee | Punyajoy Saha | Animesh Mukherjee

Social media often serves as a breeding ground for various hateful and offensive content. Identifying such content on social media is crucial due to its impact on the race, gender, or religion in an unprejudiced society. However, while there is extensive research in hate speech detection in English, there is a gap in hateful content detection in low-resource languages like Bengali. Besides, a current trend on social media is the use of Romanized Bengali for regular interactions. To overcome the existing research’s limitations, in this study, we develop an annotated dataset of 10K Bengali posts consisting of 5K actual and 5K Romanized Bengali tweets. We implement several baseline models for the classification of such hateful posts. We further explore the interlingual transfer mechanism to boost classification performance. Finally, we perform an in-depth error analysis by looking into the misclassified posts by the models. While training actual and Romanized datasets separately, we observe that XLM-Roberta performs the best. Further, we witness that on joint training and few-shot training, MuRIL outperforms other models by interpreting the semantic expressions better. We make our code and dataset public for others.

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Learning Interpretable Latent Dialogue Actions With Less Supervision
Vojtěch Hudeček | Ondřej Dušek

We present a novel architecture for explainable modeling of task-oriented dialogues with discrete latent variables to represent dialogue actions. Our model is based on variational recurrent neural networks (VRNN) and requires no explicit annotation of semantic information. Unlike previous works, our approach models the system and user turns separately and performs database query modeling, which makes the model applicable to task-oriented dialogues while producing easily interpretable action latent variables. We show that our model outperforms previous approaches with less supervision in terms of perplexity and BLEU on three datasets, and we propose a way to measure dialogue success without the need for expert annotation. Finally, we propose a novel way to explain semantics of the latent variables with respect to system actions.

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Named Entity Recognition in Twitter: A Dataset and Analysis on Short-Term Temporal Shifts
Asahi Ushio | Francesco Barbieri | Vitor Sousa | Leonardo Neves | Jose Camacho-Collados

Recent progress in language model pre-training has led to important improvements in Named Entity Recognition (NER). Nonetheless, this progress has been mainly tested in well-formatted documents such as news, Wikipedia, or scientific articles. In social media the landscape is different, in which it adds another layer of complexity due to its noisy and dynamic nature. In this paper, we focus on NER in Twitter, one of the largest social media platforms, and construct a new NER dataset, TweetNER7, which contains seven entity types annotated over 11,382 tweets from September 2019 to August 2021. The dataset was constructed by carefully distributing the tweets over time and taking representative trends as a basis. Along with the dataset, we provide a set of language model baselines and perform an analysis on the language model performance on the task, especially analyzing the impact of different time periods. In particular, we focus on three important temporal aspects in our analysis: short-term degradation of NER models over time, strategies to fine-tune a language model over different periods, and self-labeling as an alternative to lack of recently-labeled data. TweetNER7 is released publicly ( along with the models fine-tuned on it (NER models have been integrated into TweetNLP and can be found at

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PInKS: Preconditioned Commonsense Inference with Minimal Supervision
Ehsan Qasemi | Piyush Khanna | Qiang Ning | Muhao Chen

Reasoning with preconditions such as “glass can be used for drinking water unless the glass is shattered” remains an open problem for language models. The main challenge lies in the scarcity of preconditions data and the model’s lack of support for such reasoning. We present PInKS , Preconditioned Commonsense Inference with WeaK Supervision, an improved model for reasoning with preconditions through minimum supervision. We show, empirically and theoretically, that PInKS improves the results on benchmarks focused on reasoning with the preconditions of commonsense knowledge (up to 40% Macro-F1 scores). We further investigate PInKS through PAC-Bayesian informativeness analysis, precision measures, and ablation study.

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Cross-Lingual Open-Domain Question Answering with Answer Sentence Generation
Benjamin Muller | Luca Soldaini | Rik Koncel-Kedziorski | Eric Lind | Alessandro Moschitti

Open-Domain Generative Question Answering has achieved impressive performance in English by combining document-level retrieval with answer generation. These approaches, which we refer to as GenQA, can generate complete sentences, effectively answering both factoid and non-factoid questions. In this paper, we extend to the multilingual and cross-lingual settings. For this purpose, we first introduce GenTyDiQA, an extension of the TyDiQA dataset with well-formed and complete answers for Arabic, Bengali, English, Japanese, and Russian. Based on GenTyDiQA, we design a cross-lingual generative model that produces full-sentence answers by exploiting passages written in multiple languages, including languages different from the question. Our cross-lingual generative system outperforms answer sentence selection baselines for all 5 languages and monolingual generative pipelines for three out of five languages studied.

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Discourse Parsing Enhanced by Discourse Dependence Perception
Yuqing Xing | Longyin Zhang | Fang Kong | Guodong Zhou

In recent years, top-down neural models have achieved significant success in text-level discourse parsing. Nevertheless, they still suffer from the top-down error propagation issue, especially when the performance on the upper-level tree nodes is terrible. In this research, we aim to learn from the correlations in between EDUs directly to shorten the hierarchical distance of the RST structure to alleviate the above problem. Specifically, we contribute a joint top-down framework that learns from both discourse dependency and constituency parsing through one shared encoder and two independent decoders. Moreover, we also explore a constituency-to-dependency conversion scheme tailored for the Chinese discourse corpus to ensure the high quality of the joint learning process. Our experimental results on CDTB show that the dependency information we use well heightens the understanding of the rhetorical structure, especially for the upper-level tree layers.

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Prediction of People’s Emotional Response towards Multi-modal News
Ge Gao | Sejin Paik | Carley Reardon | Yanling Zhao | Lei Guo | Prakash Ishwar | Margrit Betke | Derry Tanti Wijaya

We aim to develop methods for understanding how multimedia news exposure can affect people’s emotional responses, and we especially focus on news content related to gun violence, a very important yet polarizing issue in the U.S. We created the dataset NEmo+ by significantly extending the U.S. gun violence news-to-emotions dataset, BU-NEmo, from 320 to 1,297 news headline and lead image pairings and collecting 38,910 annotations in a large crowdsourcing experiment. In curating the NEmo+ dataset, we developed methods to identify news items that will trigger similar versus divergent emotional responses. For news items that trigger similar emotional responses, we compiled them into the NEmo+-Consensus dataset. We benchmark models on this dataset that predict a person’s dominant emotional response toward the target news item (single-label prediction). On the full NEmo+ dataset, containing news items that would lead to both differing and similar emotional responses, we also benchmark models for the novel task of predicting the distribution of evoked emotional responses in humans when presented with multi-modal news content. Our single-label and multi-label prediction models outperform baselines by large margins across several metrics.

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AugCSE: Contrastive Sentence Embedding with Diverse Augmentations
Zilu Tang | Muhammed Yusuf Kocyigit | Derry Tanti Wijaya

Data augmentation techniques have been proven useful in many applications in NLP fields. Most augmentations are task-specific, and cannot be used as a general-purpose tool. In our work, we present AugCSE, a unified framework to utilize diverse sets of data augmentations to achieve a better, general-purpose, sentence embedding model. Building upon the latest sentence embedding models, our approach uses a simple antagonistic discriminator that differentiates the augmentation types. With the finetuning objective borrowed from domain adaptation, we show that diverse augmentations, which often lead to conflicting contrastive signals, can be tamed to produce a better and more robust sentence representation. Our methods achieve state-of-the-art results on downstream transfer tasks and perform competitively on semantic textual similarity tasks, using only unsupervised data.

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Seamlessly Integrating Factual Information and Social Content with Persuasive Dialogue
Maximillian Chen | Weiyan Shi | Feifan Yan | Ryan Hou | Jingwen Zhang | Saurav Sahay | Zhou Yu

Complex conversation settings such as persuasion involve communicating changes in attitude or behavior, so users’ perspectives need to be addressed, even when not directly related to the topic. In this work, we contribute a novel modular dialogue system framework that seamlessly integrates factual information and social content into persuasive dialogue. Our framework is generalizable to any dialogue tasks that have mixed social and task contents. We conducted a study that compared user evaluations of our framework versus a baseline end-to-end generation model. We found our model was evaluated to be more favorable in all dimensions including competence and friendliness compared to the baseline model which does not explicitly handle social content or factual questions.

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Dual-Encoder Transformers with Cross-modal Alignment for Multimodal Aspect-based Sentiment Analysis
Zhewen Yu | Jin Wang | Liang-Chih Yu | Xuejie Zhang

Multimodal aspect-based sentiment analysis (MABSA) aims to extract the aspect terms from text and image pairs, and then analyze their corresponding sentiment. Recent studies typically use either a pipeline method or a unified transformer based on a cross-attention mechanism. However, these methods fail to explicitly and effectively incorporate the alignment between text and image. Supervised finetuning of the universal transformers for MABSA still requires a certain number of aligned image-text pairs. This study proposes a dual-encoder transformer with cross-modal alignment (DTCA). Two auxiliary tasks, including text-only extraction and text-patch alignment are introduced to enhance cross-attention performance. To align text and image, we propose an unsupervised approach which minimizes the Wasserstein distance between both modalities, forcing both encoders to produce more appropriate representations for the final extraction. Experimental results on two benchmarks demonstrate that DTCA consistently outperforms existing methods.

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AVAST: Attentive Variational State Tracker in a Reinforced Navigator
Je-Wei Jang | Mahdin Rohmatillah | Jen-Tzung Chien

Recently, emerging approaches have been proposed to deal with robotic navigation problems, especially vision-and-language navigation task which is one of the most realistic indoor navigation challenge tasks. This task can be modelled as a sequential decision-making problem, which is suitable to be solved by deep reinforcement learning. Unfortunately, the observations provided from the simulator in this task are not fully observable states, which exacerbate the difficulty of implementing reinforcement learning. To deal with this challenge, this paper presents a novel method, called as attentive variational state tracker (AVAST), a variational approach to approximate belief state distribution for the construction of a reinforced navigator. The variational approach is introduced to improve generalization to the unseen environment which barely achieved by traditional deterministic state tracker. In order to stabilize the learning procedure, a fine-tuning process using policy optimization is proposed. From the experimental results, the proposed AVAST does improve the generalization relative to previous works in vision-and-language navigation task. A significant performance is achieved without requiring any additional exploration in the unseen environment.

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Phylogeny-Inspired Adaptation of Multilingual Models to New Languages
Fahim Faisal | Antonios Anastasopoulos

Large pretrained multilingual models, trained on dozens of languages, have delivered promising results due to cross-lingual learning capabilities on a variety of language tasks. Further adapting these models to specific languages, especially ones unseen during pre-training, is an important goal toward expanding the coverage of language technologies. In this study, we show how we can use language phylogenetic information to improve cross-lingual transfer leveraging closely related languages in a structured, linguistically-informed manner. We perform adapter-based training on languages from diverse language families (Germanic, Uralic, Tupian, Uto-Aztecan) and evaluate on both syntactic and semantic tasks, obtaining more than 20% relative performance improvements over strong commonly used baselines, especially on languages unseen during pre-training.

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Transferring Knowledge via Neighborhood-Aware Optimal Transport for Low-Resource Hate Speech Detection
Tulika Bose | Irina Illina | Dominique Fohr

The concerning rise of hateful content on online platforms has increased the attention towards automatic hate speech detection, commonly formulated as a supervised classification task. State-of-the-art deep learning-based approaches usually require a substantial amount of labeled resources for training. However, annotating hate speech resources is expensive, time-consuming, and often harmful to the annotators. This creates a pressing need to transfer knowledge from the existing labeled resources to low-resource hate speech corpora with the goal of improving system performance. For this, neighborhood-based frameworks have been shown to be effective. However, they have limited flexibility. In our paper, we propose a novel training strategy that allows flexible modeling of the relative proximity of neighbors retrieved from a resource-rich corpus to learn the amount of transfer. In particular, we incorporate neighborhood information with Optimal Transport, which permits exploiting the geometry of the data embedding space. By aligning the joint embedding and label distributions of neighbors, we demonstrate substantial improvements over strong baselines, in low-resource scenarios, on different publicly available hate speech corpora.

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Bag-of-Vectors Autoencoders for Unsupervised Conditional Text Generation
Florian Mai | James Henderson

Text autoencoders are often used for unsupervised conditional text generation by applying mappings in the latent space to change attributes to the desired values. Recently, Mai et al. (2020) proposed Emb2Emb, a method to learn these mappings in the embedding space of an autoencoder. However, their method is restricted to autoencoders with a single-vector embedding, which limits how much information can be retained. We address this issue by extending their method to Bag-of-Vectors Autoencoders (BoV-AEs), which encode the text into a variable-size bag of vectors that grows with the size of the text, as in attention-based models. This allows to encode and reconstruct much longer texts than standard autoencoders. Analogous to conventional autoencoders, we propose regularization techniques that facilitate learning meaningful operations in the latent space. Finally, we adapt Emb2Emb for a training scheme that learns to map an input bag to an output bag, including a novel loss function and neural architecture. Our empirical evaluations on unsupervised sentiment transfer show that our method performs substantially better than a standard autoencoder.

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RecInDial: A Unified Framework for Conversational Recommendation with Pretrained Language Models
Lingzhi Wang | Huang Hu | Lei Sha | Can Xu | Daxin Jiang | Kam-Fai Wong

Conversational Recommender System (CRS), which aims to recommend high-quality items to users through interactive conversations, has gained great research interest recently. A CRS is usually composed of a recommendation module and a generation module. In the previous work, these two modules are loosely connected in the model training and are shallowly integrated during inference, where a simple switching or copy mechanism is adopted to incorporate recommended items into generated responses. Moreover, the current end-to-end neural models trained on small crowd-sourcing datasets (e.g., 10K dialogs in the ReDial dataset) tend to overfit and have poor chit-chat ability. In this work, we propose a novel unified framework that integrates recommendation into the dialog (RecInDial) generation by introducing a vocabulary pointer. To tackle the low-resource issue in CRS, we finetune the large-scale pretrained language models to generate fluent and diverse responses, and introduce a knowledge-aware bias learned from an entity-oriented knowledge graph to enhance the recommendation performance. Furthermore, we propose to evaluate the CRS models in an end-to-end manner, which can reflect the overall performance of the entire system rather than the performance of individual modules, compared to the separate evaluations of the two modules used in previous work. Experiments on the benchmark dataset ReDial show our RecInDial model significantly surpasses the state-of-the-art methods. More extensive analyses show the effectiveness of our model.

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SummVD : An efficient approach for unsupervised topic-based text summarization
Gabriel Shenouda | Aurélien Bossard | Oussama Ayoub | Christophe Rodrigues

This paper introduces a new method, SummVD, for automatic unsupervised extractive summarization. This method is based on singular value decomposition, a linear method in the number of words, in order to reduce the dimensionality of word embeddings and propose a representation of words on a small number of dimensions, each representing a hidden topic. It also uses word clustering to reduce the vocabulary size. This representation, specific to one document, reduces the noise brought by several dimensions of the embeddings that are useless in a restricted context. It is followed by a linear sentence extraction heuristic. This makes SummVD an efficient method for text summarization. We evaluate SummVD using several corpora of different nature (news, scientific articles, social network). Our method outperforms in effectiveness recent extractive approaches. Moreover, SummVD requires low resources, in terms of data and computing power. So it can be run on long single documents such as scientific papers as much as large multi-document corpora and is fast enough to be used in live summarization systems.

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Director: Generator-Classifiers For Supervised Language Modeling
Kushal Arora | Kurt Shuster | Sainbayar Sukhbaatar | Jason Weston

Current language models achieve low perplexity but their resulting generations still suffer from toxic responses, repetitiveness, and contradictions. The standard language modeling setup fails to address these issues. In this paper, we introduce a new architecture, Director, that consists of a unified generator-classifier with both a language modeling and a classification head for each output token. Training is conducted jointly using both standard language modeling data, and data labeled with desirable and undesirable sequences. Experiments in several settings show that the model has competitive training and decoding speed compared to standard language models while yielding superior results, avoiding undesirable behaviors while maintaining generation quality. It also outperforms existing model guiding approaches in terms of both accuracy and efficiency. Our code is made publicly available.

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VLStereoSet: A Study of Stereotypical Bias in Pre-trained Vision-Language Models
Kankan Zhou | Eason Lai | Jing Jiang

In this paper we study how to measure stereotypical bias in pre-trained vision-language models. We leverage a recently released text-only dataset, StereoSet, which covers a wide range of stereotypical bias, and extend it into a vision-language probing dataset called VLStereoSet to measure stereotypical bias in vision-language models. We analyze the differences between text and image and propose a probing task that detects bias by evaluating a model’s tendency to pick stereotypical statements as captions for anti-stereotypical images. We further define several metrics to measure both a vision-language model’s overall stereotypical bias and its intra-modal and inter-modal bias. Experiments on six representative pre-trained vision-language models demonstrate that stereotypical biases clearly exist in most of these models and across all four bias categories, with gender bias slightly more evident. Further analysis using gender bias data and two vision-language models also suggest that both intra-modal and inter-modal bias exist.

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Dynamic Context Extraction for Citation Classification
Suchetha Nambanoor Kunnath | David Pride | Petr Knoth

We investigate the effect of varying citation context window sizes on model performance in citation intent classification. Prior studies have been limited to the application of fixed-size contiguous citation contexts or the use of manually curated citation contexts. We introduce a new automated unsupervised approach for the selection of a dynamic-size and potentially non-contiguous citation context, which utilises the transformer-based document representations and embedding similarities. Our experiments show that the addition of non-contiguous citing sentences improves performance beyond previous results. Evalu- ating on the (1) domain-specific (ACL-ARC) and (2) the multi-disciplinary (SDP-ACT) dataset demonstrates that the inclusion of additional context beyond the citing sentence significantly improves the citation classifi- cation model’s performance, irrespective of the dataset’s domain. We release the datasets and the source code used for the experiments at:

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Affective Retrofitted Word Embeddings
Sapan Shah | Sreedhar Reddy | Pushpak Bhattacharyya

Word embeddings learned using the distributional hypothesis (e.g., GloVe, Word2vec) do not capture the affective dimensions of valence, arousal, and dominance, which are present inherently in words. We present a novel retrofitting method for updating embeddings of words for their affective meaning. It learns a non-linear transformation function that maps pre-trained embeddings to an affective vector space, in a representation learning setting. We investigate word embeddings for their capacity to cluster emotion-bearing words. The affective embeddings learned by our method achieve better inter-cluster and intra-cluster distance for words having the same emotions, as evaluated through different cluster quality metrics. For the downstream tasks on sentiment analysis and sarcasm detection, simple classification models, viz. SVM and Attention Net, learned using our affective embeddings perform better than their pre-trained counterparts (more than 1.5% improvement in F1-score) and other benchmarks. Furthermore, the difference in performance is more pronounced in limited data setting.

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Is Encoder-Decoder Redundant for Neural Machine Translation?
Yingbo Gao | Christian Herold | Zijian Yang | Hermann Ney

Encoder-decoder architecture is widely adopted for sequence-to-sequence modeling tasks. For machine translation, despite the evolution from long short-term memory networks to Transformer networks, plus the introduction and development of attention mechanism, encoder-decoder is still the de facto neural network architecture for state-of-the-art models. While the motivation for decoding information from some hidden space is straightforward, the strict separation of the encoding and decoding steps into an encoder and a decoder in the model architecture is not necessarily a must. Compared to the task of autoregressive language modeling in the target language, machine translation simply has an additional source sentence as context. Given the fact that neural language models nowadays can already handle rather long contexts in the target language, it is natural to ask whether simply concatenating the source and target sentences and training a language model to do translation would work. In this work, we investigate the aforementioned concept for machine translation. Specifically, we experiment with bilingual translation, translation with additional target monolingual data, and multilingual translation. In all cases, this alternative approach performs on par with the baseline encoder-decoder Transformer, suggesting that an encoder-decoder architecture might be redundant for neural machine translation.

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SAPGraph: Structure-aware Extractive Summarization for Scientific Papers with Heterogeneous Graph
Siya Qi | Lei Li | Yiyang Li | Jin Jiang | Dingxin Hu | Yuze Li | Yingqi Zhu | Yanquan Zhou | Marina Litvak | Natalia Vanetik

Scientific paper summarization is always challenging in Natural Language Processing (NLP) since it is hard to collect summaries from such long and complicated text. We observe that previous works tend to extract summaries from the head of the paper, resulting in information incompleteness. In this work, we present SAPGraph to utilize paper structure for solving this problem. SAPGraph is a scientific paper extractive summarization framework based on a structure-aware heterogeneous graph, which models the document into a graph with three kinds of nodes and edges based on structure information of facets and knowledge. Additionally, we provide a large-scale dataset of COVID-19-related papers, CORD-SUM. Experiments on CORD-SUM and ArXiv datasets show that SAPGraph generates more comprehensive and valuable summaries compared to previous works.

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Toward Implicit Reference in Dialog: A Survey of Methods and Data
Lindsey Vanderlyn | Talita Anthonio | Daniel Ortega | Michael Roth | Ngoc Thang Vu

Communicating efficiently in natural language requires that we often leave information implicit, especially in spontaneous speech. This frequently results in phenomena of incompleteness, such as omitted references, that pose challenges for language processing. In this survey paper, we review the state of the art in research regarding the automatic processing of such implicit references in dialog scenarios, discuss weaknesses with respect to inconsistencies in task definitions and terminologies, and outline directions for future work. Among others, these include a unification of existing tasks, addressing data scarcity, and taking into account model and annotator uncertainties.

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A Decade of Knowledge Graphs in Natural Language Processing: A Survey
Phillip Schneider | Tim Schopf | Juraj Vladika | Mikhail Galkin | Elena Simperl | Florian Matthes

In pace with developments in the research field of artificial intelligence, knowledge graphs (KGs) have attracted a surge of interest from both academia and industry. As a representation of semantic relations between entities, KGs have proven to be particularly relevant for natural language processing (NLP), experiencing a rapid spread and wide adoption within recent years. Given the increasing amount of research work in this area, several KG-related approaches have been surveyed in the NLP research community. However, a comprehensive study that categorizes established topics and reviews the maturity of individual research streams remains absent to this day. Contributing to closing this gap, we systematically analyzed 507 papers from the literature on KGs in NLP. Our survey encompasses a multifaceted review of tasks, research types, and contributions. As a result, we present a structured overview of the research landscape, provide a taxonomy of tasks, summarize our findings, and highlight directions for future work.

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Multimodal Generation of Radiology Reports using Knowledge-Grounded Extraction of Entities and Relations
Francesco Dalla Serra | William Clackett | Hamish MacKinnon | Chaoyang Wang | Fani Deligianni | Jeff Dalton | Alison Q. O’Neil

Automated reporting has the potential to assist radiologists with the time-consuming procedure of generating text radiology reports. Most existing approaches generate the report directly from the radiology image, however we observe that the resulting reports exhibit realistic style but lack clinical accuracy. Therefore, we propose a two-step pipeline that subdivides the problem into factual triple extraction followed by free-text report generation. The first step comprises supervised extraction of clinically relevant structured information from the image, expressed as triples of the form (entity1, relation, entity2). In the second step, these triples are input to condition the generation of the radiology report. In particular, we focus our work on Chest X-Ray (CXR) radiology report generation. The proposed framework shows state-of-the-art results on the MIMIC-CXR dataset according to most of the standard text generation metrics that we employ (BLEU, METEOR, ROUGE) and to clinical accuracy metrics (recall, precision and F1 assessed using the CheXpert labeler), also giving a 23% reduction in the total number of errors and a 29% reduction in critical clinical errors as assessed by expert human evaluation. In future, this solution can easily integrate more advanced model architectures - to both improve the triple extraction and the report generation - and can be applied to other complex image captioning tasks, such as those found in the medical domain.

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SBERT studies Meaning Representations: Decomposing Sentence Embeddings into Explainable Semantic Features
Juri Opitz | Anette Frank

Models based on large-pretrained language models, such as S(entence)BERT, provide effective and efficient sentence embeddings that show high correlation to human similarity ratings, but lack interpretability. On the other hand, graph metrics for graph-based meaning representations (e.g., Abstract Meaning Representation, AMR) can make explicit the semantic aspects in which two sentences are similar. However, such metrics tend to be slow, rely on parsers, and do not reach state-of-the-art performance when rating sentence similarity. In this work, we aim at the best of both worlds, by learning to induce Semantically Structured Sentence BERT embeddings (S3BERT). Our S3BERT embeddings are composed of explainable sub-embeddings that emphasize various sentence meaning features (e.g., semantic roles, negation, or quantification). We show how to i) learn a decomposition of the sentence embeddings into meaning features, through approximation of a suite of interpretable semantic AMR graph metrics, and how to ii) preserve the overall power of the neural embeddings by controlling the decomposition learning process with a second objective that enforces consistency with the similarity ratings of an SBERT teacher model. In our experimental studies, we show that our approach offers interpretability – while preserving the effectiveness and efficiency of the neural sentence embeddings.

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The Lifecycle of “Facts”: A Survey of Social Bias in Knowledge Graphs
Angelie Kraft | Ricardo Usbeck

Knowledge graphs are increasingly used in a plethora of downstream tasks or in the augmentation of statistical models to improve factuality. However, social biases are engraved in these representations and propagate downstream. We conducted a critical analysis of literature concerning biases at different steps of a knowledge graph lifecycle. We investigated factors introducing bias, as well as the biases that are rendered by knowledge graphs and their embedded versions afterward. Limitations of existing measurement and mitigation strategies are discussed and paths forward are proposed.

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Food Knowledge Representation Learning with Adversarial Substitution
Diya Li | Mohammed J Zaki

Knowledge graph embedding (KGE) has been well-studied in general domains, but has not been examined for food computing. To fill this gap, we perform knowledge representation learning over a food knowledge graph (KG). We employ a pre-trained language model to encode entities and relations, thus emphasizing contextual information in food KGs. The model is trained on two tasks – predicting a masked entity from a given triple from the KG and predicting the plausibility of a triple. Analysis of food substitutions helps in dietary choices for enabling healthier eating behaviors. Previous work in food substitutions mainly focuses on semantic similarity while ignoring the context. It is also hard to evaluate the substitutions due to the lack of an adequate validation set, and further, the evaluation is subjective based on perceived purpose. To tackle this problem, we propose a collection of adversarial sample generation strategies for different food substitutions over our learnt KGE. We propose multiple strategies to generate high quality context-aware recipe and ingredient substitutions and also provide generalized ingredient substitutions to meet different user needs. The effectiveness and efficiency of the proposed knowledge graph learning method and the following attack strategies are verified by extensive evaluations on a large-scale food KG.

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Construction Repetition Reduces Information Rate in Dialogue
Mario Giulianelli | Arabella Sinclair | Raquel Fernández

Speakers repeat constructions frequently in dialogue. Due to their peculiar information-theoretic properties, repetitions can be thought of as a strategy for cost-effective communication. In this study, we focus on the repetition of lexicalised constructions—i.e., recurring multi-word units—in English open-domain spoken dialogues. We hypothesise that speakers use construction repetition to mitigate information rate, leading to an overall decrease in utterance information content over the course of a dialogue. We conduct a quantitative analysis, measuring the information content of constructions and that of their containing utterances, estimating information content with an adaptive neural language model. We observe that construction usage lowers the information content of utterances. This facilitating effect (i) increases throughout dialogues, (ii) is boosted by repetition, (iii) grows as a function of repetition frequency and density, and (iv) is stronger for repetitions of referential constructions.

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Analogy-Guided Evolutionary Pretraining of Binary Word Embeddings
R. Alexander Knipper | Md. Mahadi Hassan | Mehdi Sadi | Shubhra Kanti Karmaker Santu

As we begin to see low-powered computing paradigms (Neuromorphic Computing, Spiking Neural Networks, etc.) becoming more popular, learning binary word embeddings has become increasingly important for supporting NLP applications at the edge. Existing binary word embeddings are mostly derived from pretrained real-valued embeddings through different simple transformations, which often break the semantic consistency and the so-called “arithmetic” properties learned by the original, real-valued embeddings. This paper aims to address this limitation by introducing a new approach to learn binary embeddings from scratch, preserving the semantic relationships between words as well as the arithmetic properties of the embeddings themselves. To achieve this, we propose a novel genetic algorithm to learn the relationships between words from existing word analogy data-sets, carefully making sure that the arithmetic properties of the relationships are preserved. Evaluating our generated 16, 32, and 64-bit binary word embeddings on Mikolov’s word analogy task shows that more than 95% of the time, the best fit for the analogy is ranked in the top 5 most similar words in terms of cosine similarity.

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Contrastive Video-Language Learning with Fine-grained Frame Sampling
Zixu Wang | Yujie Zhong | Yishu Miao | Lin Ma | Lucia Specia

Despite recent progress in video and language representation learning, the weak or sparse correspondence between the two modalities remains a bottleneck in the area. Most video-language models are trained via pair-level loss to predict whether a pair of video and text is aligned. However, even in paired video-text segments, only a subset of the frames are semantically relevant to the corresponding text, with the remainder representing noise; where the ratio of noisy frames is higher for longer videos. We propose FineCo (Fine-grained Contrastive Loss for Frame Sampling), an approach to better learn video and language representations with a fine-grained contrastive objective operating on video frames. It helps distil a video by selecting the frames that are semantically equivalent to the text, improving cross-modal correspondence. Building on the well established VideoCLIP model as a starting point, FineCo achieves state-of-the-art performance on YouCookII, a text-video retrieval benchmark with long videos. FineCo also achieves competitive results on text-video retrieval (MSR-VTT), and video question answering datasets (MSR-VTT QA and MSR-VTT MC) with shorter videos.

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Enhancing Tabular Reasoning with Pattern Exploiting Training
Abhilash Shankarampeta | Vivek Gupta | Shuo Zhang

Recent methods based on pre-trained language models have exhibited superior performance over tabular tasks (e.g., tabular NLI), despite showing inherent problems such as not using the right evidence and inconsistent predictions across inputs while reasoning over the tabular data (Gupta et al., 2021). In this work, we utilize Pattern-Exploiting Training (PET) (i.e., strategic MLM) on pre-trained language models to strengthen these tabular reasoning models’ pre-existing knowledge and reasoning abilities. Our upgraded model exhibits a superior understanding of knowledge facts and tabular reasoning compared to current baselines. Additionally, we demonstrate that such models are more effective for underlying downstream tasks of tabular inference on INFOTABS. Furthermore, we show our model’s robustness against adversarial sets generated through various character and word level perturbations.

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Re-contextualizing Fairness in NLP: The Case of India
Shaily Bhatt | Sunipa Dev | Partha Talukdar | Shachi Dave | Vinodkumar Prabhakaran

Recent research has revealed undesirable biases in NLP data and models. However, these efforts focus of social disparities in West, and are not directly portable to other geo-cultural contexts. In this paper, we focus on NLP fairness in the context of India. We start with a brief account of the prominent axes of social disparities in India. We build resources for fairness evaluation in the Indian context and use them to demonstrate prediction biases along some of the axes. We then delve deeper into social stereotypes for Region and Religion, demonstrating its prevalence in corpora and models. Finally, we outline a holistic research agenda to re-contextualize NLP fairness research for the Indian context, accounting for Indian societal context, bridging technological gaps in NLP capabilities and resources, and adapting to Indian cultural values. While we focus on India, this framework can be generalized to other geo-cultural contexts.

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Low-Resource Multilingual and Zero-Shot Multispeaker TTS
Florian Lux | Julia Koch | Ngoc Thang Vu

While neural methods for text-to-speech (TTS) have shown great advances in modeling multiple speakers, even in zero-shot settings, the amount of data needed for those approaches is generally not feasible for the vast majority of the world’s over 6,000 spoken languages. In this work, we bring together the tasks of zero-shot voice cloning and multilingual low-resource TTS. Using the language agnostic meta learning (LAML) procedure and modifications to a TTS encoder, we show that it is possible for a system to learn speaking a new language using just 5 minutes of training data while retaining the ability to infer the voice of even unseen speakers in the newly learned language. We show the success of our proposed approach in terms of intelligibility, naturalness and similarity to target speaker using objective metrics as well as human studies and provide our code and trained models open source.

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Unsupervised Domain Adaptation for Sparse Retrieval by Filling Vocabulary and Word Frequency Gaps
Hiroki Iida | Naoaki Okazaki

IR models using a pretrained language model significantly outperform lexical approaches like BM25. In particular, SPLADE, which encodes texts to sparse vectors, is an effective model for practical use because it shows robustness to out-of-domain datasets. However, SPLADE still struggles with exact matching of low-frequency words in training data. In addition, domain shifts in vocabulary and word frequencies deteriorate the IR performance of SPLADE. Because supervision data are scarce in the target domain, addressing the domain shifts without supervision data is necessary. This paper proposes an unsupervised domain adaptation method by filling vocabulary and word-frequency gaps. First, we expand a vocabulary and execute continual pretraining with a masked language model on a corpus of the target domain. Then, we multiply SPLADE-encoded sparse vectors by inverse document frequency weights to consider the importance of documents with low-frequency words. We conducted experiments using our method on datasets with a large vocabulary gap from a source domain. We show that our method outperforms the present state-of-the-art domain adaptation method. In addition, our method achieves state-of-the-art results, combined with BM25.

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KESA: A Knowledge Enhanced Approach To Sentiment Analysis
Qinghua Zhao | Shuai Ma | Shuo Ren

Though some recent works focus on injecting sentiment knowledge into pre-trained language models, they usually design mask and reconstruction tasks in the post-training phase. This paper aims to integrate sentiment knowledge in the fine-tuning stage. To achieve this goal, we propose two sentiment-aware auxiliary tasks named sentiment word selection and conditional sentiment prediction and, correspondingly, integrate them into the objective of the downstream task. The first task learns to select the correct sentiment words from the given options. The second task predicts the overall sentiment polarity, with the sentiment polarity of the word given as prior knowledge. In addition, two label combination methods are investigated to unify multiple types of labels in each auxiliary task. Experimental results demonstrate that our approach consistently outperforms baselines (achieving a new state-of-the-art) and is complementary to existing sentiment-enhanced post-trained models.

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Cross-lingual Few-Shot Learning on Unseen Languages
Genta Winata | Shijie Wu | Mayank Kulkarni | Thamar Solorio | Daniel Preotiuc-Pietro

Large pre-trained language models (LMs) have demonstrated the ability to obtain good performance on downstream tasks with limited examples in cross-lingual settings. However, this was mostly studied for relatively resource-rich languages, where at least enough unlabeled data is available to be included in pre-training a multilingual language model. In this paper, we explore the problem of cross-lingual transfer in unseen languages, where no unlabeled data is available for pre-training a model. We use a downstream sentiment analysis task across 12 languages, including 8 unseen languages, to analyze the effectiveness of several few-shot learning strategies across the three major types of model architectures and their learning dynamics. We also compare strategies for selecting languages for transfer and contrast findings across languages seen in pre-training compared to those that are not. Our findings contribute to the body of knowledge on cross-lingual models for low-resource settings that is paramount to increasing coverage, diversity, and equity in access to NLP technology. We show that, in few-shot learning, linguistically similar and geographically similar languages are useful for cross-lingual adaptation, but taking the context from a mixture of random source languages is surprisingly more effective. We also compare different model architectures and show that the encoder-only model, XLM-R, gives the best downstream task performance.

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Domain-aware Self-supervised Pre-training for Label-Efficient Meme Analysis
Shivam Sharma | Mohd Khizir Siddiqui | Md. Shad Akhtar | Tanmoy Chakraborty

Existing self-supervised learning strategies are constrained to either a limited set of objectives or generic downstream tasks that predominantly target uni-modal applications. This has isolated progress for imperative multi-modal applications that are diverse in terms of complexity and domain-affinity, such as meme analysis. Here, we introduce two self-supervised pre-training methods, namely Ext-PIE-Net and MM-SimCLR that (i) employ off-the-shelf multi-modal hate-speech data during pre-training and (ii) perform self-supervised learning by incorporating multiple specialized pretext tasks, effectively catering to the required complex multi-modal representation learning for meme analysis. We experiment with different self-supervision strategies, including potential variants that could help learn rich cross-modality representations and evaluate using popular linear probing on the Hateful Memes task. The proposed solutions strongly compete with the fully supervised baseline via label-efficient training while distinctly outperforming them on all three tasks of the Memotion challenge with 0.18%, 23.64%, and 0.93% performance gain, respectively. Further, we demonstrate the generalizability of the proposed solutions by reporting competitive performance on the HarMeme task. Finally, we empirically establish the quality of the learned representations by analyzing task-specific learning, using fewer labeled training samples, and arguing that the complexity of the self-supervision strategy and downstream task at hand are correlated. Our efforts highlight the requirement of better multi-modal self-supervision methods involving specialized pretext tasks for efficient fine-tuning and generalizable performance.

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A Prompt Array Keeps the Bias Away: Debiasing Vision-Language Models with Adversarial Learning
Hugo Berg | Siobhan Hall | Yash Bhalgat | Hannah Kirk | Aleksandar Shtedritski | Max Bain

Vision-language models can encode societal biases and stereotypes, but there are challenges to measuring and mitigating these multimodal harms due to lacking measurement robustness and feature degradation. To address these challenges, we investigate bias measures and apply ranking metrics for image-text representations. We then investigate debiasing methods and show that prepending learned embeddings to text queries that are jointly trained with adversarial debiasing and a contrastive loss, reduces various bias measures with minimal degradation to the image-text representation.

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Some Languages are More Equal than Others: Probing Deeper into the Linguistic Disparity in the NLP World
Surangika Ranathunga | Nisansa de Silva

Linguistic disparity in the NLP world is a problem that has been widely acknowledged recently. However, different facets of this problem, or the reasons behind this disparity are seldom discussed within the NLP community. This paper provides a comprehensive analysis of the disparity that exists within the languages of the world. We show that simply categorising languages considering data availability may not be always correct. Using an existing language categorisation based on speaker population and vitality, we analyse the distribution of language data resources, amount of NLP/CL research, inclusion in multilingual web-based platforms and the inclusion in pre-trained multilingual models. We show that many languages do not get covered in these resources or platforms, and even within the languages belonging to the same language group, there is wide disparity. We analyse the impact of family, geographical location, GDP and the speaker population of languages and provide possible reasons for this disparity, along with some suggestions to overcome the same.

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Neural Readability Pairwise Ranking for Sentences in Italian Administrative Language
Martina Miliani | Serena Auriemma | Fernando Alva-Manchego | Alessandro Lenci

Automatic Readability Assessment aims at assigning a complexity level to a given text, which could help improve the accessibility to information in specific domains, such as the administrative one. In this paper, we investigate the behavior of a Neural Pairwise Ranking Model (NPRM) for sentence-level readability assessment of Italian administrative texts. To deal with data scarcity, we experiment with cross-lingual, cross- and in-domain approaches, and test our models on Admin-It, a new parallel corpus in the Italian administrative language, containing sentences simplified using three different rewriting strategies. We show that NPRMs are effective in zero-shot scenarios (~0.78 ranking accuracy), especially with ranking pairs containing simplifications produced by overall rewriting at the sentence-level, and that the best results are obtained by adding in-domain data (achieving perfect performance for such sentence pairs). Finally, we investigate where NPRMs failed, showing that the characteristics of the training data, rather than its size, have a bigger effect on a model’s performance.

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Delivering Fairness in Human Resources AI: Mutual Information to the Rescue
Leo Hemamou | William Coleman

Automatic language processing is used frequently in the Human Resources (HR) sector for automated candidate sourcing and evaluation of resumes. These models often use pre-trained language models where it is difficult to know if possible biases exist. Recently, Mutual Information (MI) methods have demonstrated notable performance in obtaining representations agnostic to sensitive variables such as gender or ethnicity. However, accessing these variables can sometimes be challenging, and their use is prohibited in some jurisdictions. These factors can make detecting and mitigating biases challenging. In this context, we propose to minimize the MI between a candidate’s name and a latent representation of their CV or short biography. This method may mitigate bias from sensitive variables without requiring the collection of these variables. We evaluate this methodology by first projecting the name representation into a smaller space to prevent potential MI minimization problems in high dimensions.

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Not another Negation Benchmark: The NaN-NLI Test Suite for Sub-clausal Negation
Thinh Hung Truong | Yulia Otmakhova | Timothy Baldwin | Trevor Cohn | Jey Han Lau | Karin Verspoor

Negation is poorly captured by current language models, although the extent of this problem is not widely understood. We introduce a natural language inference (NLI) test suite to enable probing the capabilities of NLP methods, with the aim of understanding sub-clausal negation. The test suite contains premise–hypothesis pairs where the premise contains sub-clausal negation and the hypothesis is constructed by making minimal modifications to the premise in order to reflect different possible interpretations. Aside from adopting standard NLI labels, our test suite is systematically constructed under a rigorous linguistic framework. It includes annotation of negation types and constructions grounded in linguistic theory, as well as the operations used to construct hypotheses. This facilitates fine-grained analysis of model performance. We conduct experiments using pre-trained language models to demonstrate that our test suite is more challenging than existing benchmarks focused on negation, and show how our annotation supports a deeper understanding of the current NLI capabilities in terms of negation and quantification.

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HaRiM+: Evaluating Summary Quality with Hallucination Risk
Seonil (Simon) Son | Junsoo Park | Jeong-in Hwang | Junghwa Lee | Hyungjong Noh | Yeonsoo Lee

One of the challenges of developing a summarization model arises from the difficulty in measuring the factual inconsistency of the generated text. In this study, we reinterpret the decoder overconfidence-regularizing objective suggested in (Miao et al., 2021) as a hallucination risk measurement to better estimate the quality of generated summaries. We propose a reference-free metric, HaRiM+, which only requires an off-the-shelf summarization model to compute the hallucination risk based on token likelihoods. Deploying it requires no additional training of models or ad-hoc modules, which usually need alignment to human judgments. For summary-quality estimation, HaRiM+ records state-of-the-art correlation to human judgment on three summary-quality annotation sets: FRANK, QAGS, and SummEval. We hope that our work, which merits the use of summarization models, facilitates the progress of both automated evaluation and generation of summary.

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The lack of theory is painful: Modeling Harshness in Peer Review Comments
Rajeev Verma | Rajarshi Roychoudhury | Tirthankar Ghosal

The peer-review system has primarily remained the central process of all science communications. However, research has shown that the process manifests a power-imbalance scenario where the reviewer enjoys a position where their comments can be overly critical and wilfully obtuse without being held accountable. This brings into question the sanctity of the peer-review process, turning it into a fraught and traumatic experience for authors. A little more effort to still remain critical but be constructive in the feedback would help foster a progressive outcome from the peer-review process. In this paper, we argue to intervene at the step where this power imbalance actually begins in the system. To this end, we develop the first dataset of peer-review comments with their real-valued harshness scores. We build our dataset by using the popular Best-Worst-Scaling mechanism. We show the utility of our dataset for text moderation in peer reviews to make review reports less hurtful and more welcoming. We release our dataset and associated codes in Our research is one step towards helping create constructive peer-review reports.

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Dual Mechanism Priming Effects in Hindi Word Order
Sidharth Ranjan | Marten van Schijndel | Sumeet Agarwal | Rajakrishnan Rajkumar

Word order choices during sentence production can be primed by preceding sentences. In this work, we test the DUAL MECHANISM hypothesis that priming is driven by multiple different sources. Using a Hindi corpus of text productions, we model lexical priming with an n-gram cache model, and we capture more abstract syntactic priming with an adaptive neural language model. We permute the preverbal constituents of corpus sentences and then use a logistic regression model to predict which sentences actually occurred in the corpus against artificially generated meaning-equivalent variants. Our results indicate that lexical priming and lexically-independent syntactic priming affect complementary sets of verb classes. By showing that different priming influences are separable from one another, our results support the hypothesis that multiple different cognitive mechanisms underlie priming.

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Unsupervised Single Document Abstractive Summarization using Semantic Units
Jhen-Yi Wu | Ying-Jia Lin | Hung-Yu Kao

In this work, we study the importance of content frequency on abstractive summarization, where we define the content as “semantic units.” We propose a two-stage training framework to let the model automatically learn the frequency of each semantic unit in the source text. Our model is trained in an unsupervised manner since the frequency information can be inferred from source text only. During inference, our model identifies sentences with high-frequency semantic units and utilizes frequency information to generate summaries from the filtered sentences. Our model performance on the CNN/Daily Mail summarization task outperforms the other unsupervised methods under the same settings. Furthermore, we achieve competitive ROUGE scores with far fewer model parameters compared to several large-scale pre-trained models. Our model can be trained under low-resource language settings and thus can serve as a potential solution for real-world applications where pre-trained models are not applicable.

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Detecting Incongruent News Articles Using Multi-head Attention Dual Summarization
Sujit Kumar | Gaurav Kumar | Sanasam Ranbir Singh

With the increasing use of influencing incongruent news headlines for spreading fake news, detecting incongruent news articles has become an important research challenge. Most of the earlier studies on incongruity detection focus on estimating the similarity between the headline and the encoding of the body or its summary. However, most of these methods fail to handle incongruent news articles created with embedded noise. Motivated by the above issue, this paper proposes a Multi-head Attention Dual Summary (MADS) based method which generates two types of summaries that capture the congruent and incongruent parts in the body separately. From various experimental setups over three publicly available datasets, it is evident that the proposed model outperforms the state-of-the-art baseline counterparts.

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Meta-Learning based Deferred Optimisation for Sentiment and Emotion aware Multi-modal Dialogue Act Classification
Tulika Saha | Aditya Prakash Patra | Sriparna Saha | Pushpak Bhattacharyya

Dialogue Act Classification (DAC) that determines the communicative intention of an utterance has been investigated widely over the years as a standalone task. But the emotional state of the speaker has a considerable effect on its pragmatic content. Sentiment as a human behavior is also closely related to emotion and one aids in the better understanding of the other. Thus, their role in identification of DAs needs to be explored. As a first step, we extend the newly released multi-modal EMOTyDA dataset to enclose sentiment tags for each utterance. In order to incorporate these multiple aspects, we propose a Dual Attention Mechanism (DAM) based multi-modal, multi-tasking conversational framework. The DAM module encompasses intra-modal and interactive inter-modal attentions with multiple loss optimization at various hierarchies to fuse multiple modalities efficiently and learn generalized features across all the tasks. Additionally, to counter the class-imbalance issue in dialogues, we introduce a 2-step Deferred Optimisation Schedule (DOS) that involves Meta-Net (MN) learning and deferred re-weighting where the former helps to learn an explicit weighting function from data automatically and the latter deploys a re-weighted multi-task loss with a smaller learning rate. Empirically, we establish that the joint optimisation of multi-modal DAC, SA and ER tasks along with the incorporation of 2-step DOS and MN learning produces better results compared to its different counterparts and outperforms state-of-the-art model.

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Enhancing Financial Table and Text Question Answering with Tabular Graph and Numerical Reasoning
Rungsiman Nararatwong | Natthawut Kertkeidkachorn | Ryutaro Ichise

Typical financial documents consist of tables, texts, and numbers. Given sufficient training data, large language models (LM) can learn the tabular structures and perform numerical reasoning well in question answering (QA). However, their performances fall significantly when data and computational resources are limited. This study improves this performance drop by infusing explicit tabular structures through a graph neural network (GNN). We proposed a model developed from the baseline of a financial QA dataset named TAT-QA. The baseline model, TagOp, consists of answer span (evidence) extraction and numerical reasoning modules. As our main contributions, we introduced two components to the model: a GNN-based evidence extraction module for tables and an improved numerical reasoning module. The latter provides a solution to TagOp’s arithmetic calculation problem specific to operations requiring number ordering, such as subtraction and division, which account for a large portion of numerical reasoning. Our evaluation shows that the graph module has the advantage in low-resource settings, while the improved numerical reasoning significantly outperforms the baseline model.

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Fine-grained Contrastive Learning for Definition Generation
Hengyuan Zhang | Dawei Li | Shiping Yang | Yanran Li

Recently, pre-trained transformer-based models have achieved great success in the task of definition generation (DG). However, previous encoder-decoder models lack effective representation learning to contain full semantic components of the given word, which leads to generating under-specific definitions. To address this problem, we propose a novel contrastive learning method, encouraging the model to capture more detailed semantic representations from the definition sequence encoding. According to both automatic and manual evaluation, the experimental results on three mainstream benchmarks demonstrate that the proposed method could generate more specific and high-quality definitions compared with several state-of-the-art models.

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Hengam: An Adversarially Trained Transformer for Persian Temporal Tagging
Sajad Mirzababaei | Amir Hossein Kargaran | Hinrich Schütze | Ehsaneddin Asgari

Many NLP main tasks benefit from an accurate understanding of temporal expressions, e.g., text summarization, question answering, and information retrieval. This paper introduces Hengam, an adversarially trained transformer for Persian temporal tagging outperforming state-of-the-art approaches on a diverse and manually created dataset. We create Hengam in the following concrete steps: (1) we develop HengamTagger, an extensible rule-based tool that can extract temporal expressions from a set of diverse language-specific patterns for any language of interest. (2) We apply HengamTagger to annotate temporal tags in a large and diverse Persian text collection (covering both formal and informal contexts) to be used as weakly labeled data. (3) We introduce an adversarially trained transformer model on HengamCorpus that can generalize over the HengamTagger’s rules. We create HengamGold, the first high-quality gold standard for Persian temporal tagging. Our trained adversarial HengamTransformer not only achieves the best performance in terms of the F1-score (a type F1-Score of 95.42 and a partial F1-Score of 91.60) but also successfully deals with language ambiguities and incorrect spellings. Our code, data, and models are publicly available at

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What’s Different between Visual Question Answering for Machine “Understanding” Versus for Accessibility?
Yang Trista Cao | Kyle Seelman | Kyungjun Lee | Hal Daumé III

In visual question answering (VQA), a machine must answer a question given an associated image. Recently, accessibility researchers have explored whether VQA can be deployed in a real-world setting where users with visual impairments learn about their environment by capturing their visual surroundings and asking questions. However, most of the existing benchmarking datasets for VQA focus on machine “understanding” and it remains unclear how progress on those datasets corresponds to improvements in this real-world use case. We aim to answer this question by evaluating discrepancies between machine “understanding” datasets (VQA-v2) and accessibility datasets (VizWiz) by evaluating a variety of VQA models. Based on our findings, we discuss opportunities and challenges in VQA for accessibility and suggest directions for future work.

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Persona or Context? Towards Building Context adaptive Personalized Persuasive Virtual Sales Assistant
Abhisek Tiwari | Sriparna Saha | Shubhashis Sengupta | Anutosh Maitra | Roshni Ramnani | Pushpak Bhattacharyya

Task-oriented conversational agents are gaining immense popularity and success in a wide range of tasks, from flight ticket booking to online shopping. However, the existing systems presume that end-users will always have a pre-determined and servable task goal, which results in dialogue failure in hostile scenarios, such as goal unavailability. On the other hand, human agents accomplish users’ tasks even in a large number of goal unavailability scenarios by persuading them towards a very similar and servable goal. Motivated by the limitation, we propose and build a novel end-to-end multi-modal persuasive dialogue system incorporated with a personalized persuasive module aided goal controller and goal persuader. The goal controller recognizes goal conflicting/unavailability scenarios and formulates a new goal, while the goal persuader persuades users using a personalized persuasive strategy identified through dialogue context. We also present a novel automatic evaluation metric called Persuasiveness Measurement Rate (PMeR) for quantifying the persuasive capability of a conversational agent. The obtained improvements (both quantitative and qualitative) firmly establish the superiority and need of the proposed context-guided, personalized persuasive virtual agent over existing traditional task-oriented virtual agents. Furthermore, we also curated a multi-modal persuasive conversational dialogue corpus annotated with intent, slot, sentiment, and dialogue act for e-commerce domain.

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Legal Case Document Summarization: Extractive and Abstractive Methods and their Evaluation
Abhay Shukla | Paheli Bhattacharya | Soham Poddar | Rajdeep Mukherjee | Kripabandhu Ghosh | Pawan Goyal | Saptarshi Ghosh

Summarization of legal case judgement documents is a challenging problem in Legal NLP. However, not much analyses exist on how different families of summarization models (e.g., extractive vs. abstractive) perform when applied to legal case documents. This question is particularly important since many recent transformer-based abstractive summarization models have restrictions on the number of input tokens, and legal documents are known to be very long. Also, it is an open question on how best to evaluate legal case document summarization systems. In this paper, we carry out extensive experiments with several extractive and abstractive summarization methods (both supervised and unsupervised) over three legal summarization datasets that we have developed. Our analyses, that includes evaluation by law practitioners, lead to several interesting insights on legal summarization in specific and long document summarization in general.

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FPC: Fine-tuning with Prompt Curriculum for Relation Extraction
Sicheng Yang | Dandan Song

The current classification methods for relation extraction (RE) generally utilize pre-trained language models (PLMs) and have achieved superior results. However, such methods directly treat relation labels as class numbers, therefore they ignore the semantics of relation labels. Recently, prompt-based fine-tuning has been proposed and attracted much attention. This kind of methods insert templates into the input and convert the classification task to a (masked) language modeling problem. With this inspiration, we propose a novel method Fine-tuning with Prompt Curriculum (FPC) for RE, with two distinctive characteristics: the relation prompt learning, introducing an auxiliary prompt-based fine-tuning task to make the model capture the semantics of relation labels; the prompt learning curriculum, a fine-tuning procedure including an increasingly difficult task to adapt the model to the difficult multi-task setting. We have conducted extensive experiments on four widely used RE benchmarks under fully supervised and low-resource settings. The experimental results show that FPC can significantly outperform the existing methods and obtain the new state-of-the-art results.

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Dead or Murdered? Predicting Responsibility Perception in Femicide News Reports
Gosse Minnema | Sara Gemelli | Chiara Zanchi | Tommaso Caselli | Malvina Nissim

Different linguistic expressions can conceptualize the same event from different viewpoints by emphasizing certain participants over others. Here, we investigate a case where this has social consequences: how do linguistic expressions of gender-based violence (GBV) influence who we perceive as responsible? We build on previous psycholinguistic research in this area and conduct a large-scale perception survey of GBV descriptions automatically extracted from a corpus of Italian newspapers. We then train regression models that predict the salience of GBV participants with respect to different dimensions of perceived responsibility. Our best model (fine-tuned BERT) shows solid overall performance, with large differences between dimensions and participants: salient _focus_ is more predictable than salient _blame_, and perpetrators’ salience is more predictable than victims’ salience. Experiments with ridge regression models using different representations show that features based on linguistic theory similarly to word-based features. Overall, we show that different linguistic choices do trigger different perceptions of responsibility, and that such perceptions can be modelled automatically. This work can be a core instrument to raise awareness of the consequences of different perspectivizations in the general public and in news producers alike.

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PESE: Event Structure Extraction using Pointer Network based Encoder-Decoder Architecture
Alapan Kuila | Sudeshna Sarkar

The task of event extraction (EE) aims to find the events and event-related argument information from the text and represent them in a structured format. Most previous works try to solve the problem by separately identifying multiple substructures and aggregating them to get the complete event structure. The problem with the methods is that it fails to identify all the interdependencies among the event participants (event-triggers, arguments, and roles). In this paper, we represent each event record in a unique tuple format that contains trigger phrase, trigger type, argument phrase, and corresponding role information. Our proposed pointer network-based encoder-decoder model generates an event tuple in each time step by exploiting the interactions among event participants and presenting a truly end-to-end solution to the EE task. We evaluate our model on the ACE2005 dataset, and experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness of our model by achieving competitive performance compared to the state-of-the-art methods.

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How do we get there? Evaluating transformer neural networks as cognitive models for English past tense inflection
Xiaomeng Ma | Lingyu Gao

There is an ongoing debate of whether neural network can grasp the quasi-regularities in languages like humans. In a typical quasi-regularity task, English past tense inflections, the neural network model has long been criticized that it learns only to generalize the most frequent pattern, but not the regular pattern, thus can not learn the abstract categories of regular and irregular and is dissimilar to human performance. In this work, we train a set of transformer models with different settings to examine their behavior on this task. The models achieved high accuracy on unseen regular verbs and some accuracy on unseen irregular verbs. The models’ performance on the regulars are heavily affected by type frequency and ratio but not token frequency and ratio, and vice versa for the irregulars. The different behaviors on the regulars and irregulars suggest that the models have some degree of symbolic learning on the regularity of the verbs. In addition, the models are weakly correlated with human behavior on nonce verbs. Although the transformer model exhibits some level of learning on the abstract category of verb regularity, its performance does not fit human data well suggesting that it might not be a good cognitive model.

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Characterizing and addressing the issue of oversmoothing in neural autoregressive sequence modeling
Ilia Kulikov | Maksim Eremeev | Kyunghyun Cho

Neural autoregressive sequence models smear the probability among many possible sequences including degenerate ones, such as empty or repetitive sequences. In this work, we tackle one specific case where the model assigns a high probability to unreasonably short sequences. We define the oversmoothing rate to quantify this issue. After confirming the high degree of oversmoothing in neural machine translation, we propose to explicitly minimize the oversmoothing rate during training. We conduct a set of experiments to study the effect of the proposed regularization on both model distribution and decoding performance. We use a neural machine translation task as the testbed and consider three different datasets of varying size. Our experiments reveal three major findings. First, we can control the oversmoothing rate of the model by tuning the strength of the regularization. Second, by enhancing the oversmoothing loss contribution, the probability and the rank of eos token decrease heavily at positions where it is not supposed to be. Third, the proposed regularization impacts the outcome of beam search especially when a large beam is used. The degradation of translation quality (measured in BLEU) with a large beam significantly lessens with lower oversmoothing rate, but the degradation compared to smaller beam sizes remains to exist. From these observations, we conclude that the high degree of oversmoothing is the main reason behind the degenerate case of overly probable short sequences in a neural autoregressive model.

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Identifying Weaknesses in Machine Translation Metrics Through Minimum Bayes Risk Decoding: A Case Study for COMET
Chantal Amrhein | Rico Sennrich

Neural metrics have achieved impressive correlation with human judgements in the evaluation of machine translation systems, but before we can safely optimise towards such metrics, we should be aware of (and ideally eliminate) biases toward bad translations that receive high scores. Our experiments show that sample-based Minimum Bayes Risk decoding can be used to explore and quantify such weaknesses. When applying this strategy to COMET for en-de and de-en, we find that COMET models are not sensitive enough to discrepancies in numbers and named entities. We further show that these biases are hard to fully remove by simply training on additional synthetic data and release our code and data for facilitating further experiments.

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Whodunit? Learning to Contrast for Authorship Attribution
Bo Ai | Yuchen Wang | Yugin Tan | Samson Tan

Authorship attribution is the task of identifying the author of a given text. The key is finding representations that can differentiate between authors. Existing approaches typically use manually designed features that capture a dataset’s content and style, but these approaches are dataset-dependent and yield inconsistent performance across corpora. In this work, we propose to learn author-specific representations by fine-tuning pre-trained generic language representations with a contrastive objective (Contra-X). We show that Contra-X learns representations that form highly separable clusters for different authors. It advances the state-of-the-art on multiple human and machine authorship attribution benchmarks, enabling improvements of up to 6.8% over cross-entropy fine-tuning. However, we find that Contra-X improves overall accuracy at the cost of sacrificing performance for some authors. Resolving this tension will be an important direction for future work. To the best of our knowledge, we are the first to integrate contrastive learning with pre-trained language model fine-tuning for authorship attribution.

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Higher-Order Dependency Parsing for Arc-Polynomial Score Functions via Gradient-Based Methods and Genetic Algorithm
Xudong Zhang | Joseph Le Roux | Thierry Charnois

We present a novel method for higher-order dependency parsing which takes advantage of the general form of score functions written as arc-polynomials, a general framework which encompasses common higher-order score functions, and includes new ones. This method is based on non-linear optimization techniques, namely coordinate ascent and genetic search where we iteratively update a candidate parse. Updates are formulated as gradient-based operations, and are efficiently computed by auto-differentiation libraries. Experiments show that this method obtains results matching the recent state-of-the-art second order parsers on three standard datasets.

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Underspecification in Scene Description-to-Depiction Tasks
Ben Hutchinson | Jason Baldridge | Vinodkumar Prabhakaran

Questions regarding implicitness, ambiguity and underspecification are crucial for understanding the task validity and ethical concerns of multimodal image+text systems, yet have received little attention to date. This position paper maps out a conceptual framework to address this gap, focusing on systems which generate images depicting scenes from scene descriptions. In doing so, we account for how texts and images convey meaning differently. We outline a set of core challenges concerning textual and visual ambiguity, as well as risks that may be amplified by ambiguous and underspecified elements. We propose and discuss strategies for addressing these challenges, including generating visually ambiguous images, and generating a set of diverse images.

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COFAR: Commonsense and Factual Reasoning in Image Search
Prajwal Gatti | Abhirama Subramanyam Penamakuri | Revant Teotia | Anand Mishra | Shubhashis Sengupta | Roshni Ramnani

One characteristic that makes humans superior to modern artificially intelligent models is the ability to interpret images beyond what is visually apparent. Consider the following two natural language search queries – (i) “a queue of customers patiently waiting to buy ice cream” and (ii) “a queue of tourists going to see a famous Mughal architecture in India”. Interpreting these queries requires one to reason with (i) Commonsense such as interpreting people as customers or tourists, actions as waiting to buy or going to see; and (ii) Fact or world knowledge associated with named visual entities, for example, whether the store in the image sells ice cream or whether the landmark in the image is a Mughal architecture located in India. Such reasoning goes beyond just visual recognition. To enable both commonsense and factual reasoning in the image search, we present a unified framework namely Knowledge Retrieval-Augmented Multimodal Transformer (KRAMT) that treats the named visual entities in an image as a gateway to encyclopedic knowledge and leverages them along with natural language query to ground relevant knowledge. Further, KRAMT seamlessly integrates visual content and grounded knowledge to learn alignment between images and search queries. This unified framework is then used to perform image search requiring commonsense and factual reasoning. The retrieval performance of KRAMT is evaluated and compared with related approaches on a new dataset we introduce – namely COFAR.


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Proceedings of the 2nd Conference of the Asia-Pacific Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 12th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 2: Short Papers)

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Proceedings of the 2nd Conference of the Asia-Pacific Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 12th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 2: Short Papers)
Yulan He | Heng Ji | Sujian Li | Yang Liu | Chua-Hui Chang

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Transfer Learning for Humor Detection by Twin Masked Yellow Muppets
Aseem Arora | Gaël Dias | Adam Jatowt | Asif Ekbal

Humorous texts can be of different forms such as punchlines, puns, or funny stories. Existing humor classification systems have been dealing with such diverse forms by treating them independently. In this paper, we argue that different forms of humor share a common background either in terms of vocabulary or constructs. As a consequence, it is likely that classification performance can be improved by jointly tackling different humor types. Hence, we design a shared-private multitask architecture following a transfer learning paradigm and perform experiments over four gold standard datasets. Empirical results steadily confirm our hypothesis by demonstrating statistically-significant improvements over baselines and accounting for new state-of-the-art figures for two datasets.

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A Unified Model for Reverse Dictionary and Definition Modelling
Pinzhen Chen | Zheng Zhao

We build a dual-way neural dictionary to retrieve words given definitions, and produce definitions for queried words. The model learns the two tasks simultaneously and handles unknown words via embeddings. It casts a word or a definition to the same representation space through a shared layer, then generates the other form in a multi-task fashion. Our method achieves promising automatic scores on previous benchmarks without extra resources. Human annotators prefer the model’s outputs in both reference-less and reference-based evaluation, indicating its practicality. Analysis suggests that multiple objectives benefit learning.

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Benchmarking the Covariate Shift Robustness of Open-world Intent Classification Approaches
Sopan Khosla | Rashmi Gangadharaiah

Task-oriented dialog systems deployed in real-world applications are often challenged by out-of-distribution queries. These systems should not only reliably detect utterances with unsupported intents (semantic shift), but also generalize to covariate shift (supported intents from unseen distributions). However, none of the existing benchmarks for open-world intent classification focus on the second aspect, thus only performing a partial evaluation of intent detection techniques. In this work, we propose two new datasets ( and ) that include utterances useful for evaluating the robustness of open-world models to covariate shift. Along with the i.i.d. test set, both datasets contain a new cov-test set that, along with out-of-scope utterances, contains in-scope utterances sampled from different distributions not seen during training. This setting better mimics the challenges faced in real-world applications. Evaluating several open-world classifiers on the new datasets reveals that models that perform well on the test set struggle to generalize to the cov-test. Our datasets fill an important gap in the field, offering a more realistic evaluation scenario for intent classification in task-oriented dialog systems.

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Number Theory Meets Linguistics: Modelling Noun Pluralisation Across 1497 Languages Using 2-adic Metrics
Gregory Baker | Diego Molla

A simple machine learning model of pluralisation as a linear regression problem minimising a p-adic metric substantially outperforms even the most robust of Euclidean-space regressors on languages in the Indo-European, Austronesian, Trans New-Guinea, Sino-Tibetan, Nilo-Saharan, Oto-Meanguean and Atlantic-Congo language families. There is insufficient evidence to support modelling distinct noun declensions as a p-adic neighbourhood even in Indo-European languages.

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CLIP4IDC: CLIP for Image Difference Captioning
Zixin Guo | Tzu-Jui Wang | Jorma Laaksonen

Image Difference Captioning (IDC) aims at generating sentences to describe differences between two similar-looking images. Conventional approaches learn an IDC model with a pre-trained and usually frozen visual feature extractor. Accordingly, two major issues may arise: (1) a large domain gap usually exists between the pre-training datasets used for training such a visual encoder and that of the downstream IDC task, and (2) the visual feature extractor, when separately encoding two images, often does not effectively encode the visual changes between two images. Due to the excellent zero-shot performance of the recently proposed CLIP, we thus propose CLIP4IDC to transfer a CLIP model for the IDC task to address those issues. Different from directly fine-tuning CLIP to generate sentences, we introduce an adaptation training process to adapt CLIP’s visual encoder to capture and align differences in image pairs based on the textual descriptions. Experiments on three IDC benchmark datasets, CLEVR-Change, Spot-the-Diff, and Image-Editing-Request, demonstrate the effectiveness of CLIP4IDC.

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Towards Modeling Role-Aware Centrality for Dialogue Summarization
Xinnian Liang | Chao Bian | Shuangzhi Wu | Zhoujun Li

Role-oriented dialogue summarization generates summaries for different roles in dialogue (e.g. doctor and patient). Existing methods consider roles separately where interactions among different roles are not fully explored. In this paper, we propose a novel Role-Aware Centrality (RAC) model to capture role interactions, which can be easily applied to any seq2seq models. The RAC assigns each role a specific sentence-level centrality score by involving role prompts to control what kind of summary to generate. The RAC measures both the importance of utterances and the relevance between roles and utterances. Then we use RAC to re-weight context representations, which are used by the decoder to generate role summaries. We verify RAC on two public benchmark datasets, CSDS and MC. Experimental results show that the proposed method achieves new state-of-the-art results on the two datasets. Extensive analyses have demonstrated that the role-aware centrality helps generate summaries more precisely.

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Robust Hate Speech Detection via Mitigating Spurious Correlations
Kshitiz Tiwari | Shuhan Yuan | Lu Zhang

We develop a novel robust hate speech detection model that can defend against both word- and character-level adversarial attacks. We identify the essential factor that vanilla detection models are vulnerable to adversarial attacks is the spurious correlation between certain target words in the text and the prediction label. To mitigate such spurious correlation, we describe the process of hate speech detection by a causal graph. Then, we employ the causal strength to quantify the spurious correlation and formulate a regularized entropy loss function. We show that our method generalizes the backdoor adjustment technique in causal inference. Finally, the empirical evaluation shows the efficacy of our method.

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FAD-X: Fusing Adapters for Cross-lingual Transfer to Low-Resource Languages
Jaeseong Lee | Seung-won Hwang | Taesup Kim

Adapter-based tuning, by adding light-weight adapters to multilingual pretrained language models (mPLMs), selectively updates language-specific parameters to adapt to a new language, instead of finetuning all shared weights. This paper explores an effective way to leverage a public pool of pretrained language adapters, to overcome resource imbalances for low-resource languages (LRLs). Specifically, our research questions are, whether pretrained adapters can be composed, to complement or replace LRL adapters. While composing adapters for multi-task learning setting has been studied, the same question for LRLs has remained largely unanswered. To answer this question, we study how to fuse adapters across languages and tasks, then validate how our proposed fusion adapter, namely FAD-X, can enhance a cross-lingual transfer from pretrained adapters, for well-known named entity recognition and classification benchmarks.

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Combining Argumentation Structure and Language Model for Generating Natural Argumentative Dialogue
Koh Mitsuda | Ryuichiro Higashinaka | Kuniko Saito

Argumentative dialogue is an important process where speakers discuss a specific theme for consensus building or decision making. In previous studies for generating consistent argumentative dialogue, retrieval-based methods with hand-crafted argumentation structures have been used. In this study, we propose a method to generate natural argumentative dialogues by combining an argumentation structure and language model. We trained the language model to rewrite a proposition of an argumentation structure on the basis of its information, such as keywords and stance, into the next utterance while considering its context, and we used the model to rewrite propositions in the argumentation structure. We manually evaluated the generated dialogues and found that the proposed method significantly improved the naturalness of dialogues without losing consistency of argumentation.

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Every word counts: A multilingual analysis of individual human alignment with model attention
Stephanie Brandl | Nora Hollenstein

Human fixation patterns have been shown to correlate strongly with Transformer-based attention. Those correlation analyses are usually carried out without taking into account individual differences between participants and are mostly done on monolingual datasets making it difficult to generalise findings. In this paper, we analyse eye-tracking data from speakers of 13 different languages reading both in their native language (L1) and in English as language learners (L2). We find considerable differences between languages but also that individual reading behaviour such as skipping rate, total reading time and vocabulary knowledge (LexTALE) influence the alignment between humans and models to an extent that should be considered in future studies.

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Analyzing Biases to Spurious Correlations in Text Classification Tasks
Adian Liusie | Vatsal Raina | Vyas Raina | Mark Gales

Machine learning systems have shown impressive performance across a range of natural language tasks. However, it has been hypothesized that these systems are prone to learning spurious correlations that may be present in the training data. Though these correlations will not impact in-domain performance, they are unlikely to generalize well to out-of-domain data, limiting the applicability of systems. This work examines this phenomenon on text classification tasks. Rather than artificially injecting features into the data, we demonstrate that real spurious correlations can be exploited by current state-of-the-art deep-learning systems. Specifically, we show that even when only ‘stop’ words are available at the input stage, it is possible to predict the class significantly better than random. Though it is shown that these stop words are not required for good in-domain performance, they can degrade the ability of the system to generalize well to out-of-domain data.

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BERTSeg: BERT Based Unsupervised Subword Segmentation for Neural Machine Translation
Haiyue Song | Raj Dabre | Zhuoyuan Mao | Chenhui Chu | Sadao Kurohashi

Existing subword segmenters are either 1) frequency-based without semantics information or 2) neural-based but trained on parallel corpora. To address this, we present BERTSeg, an unsupervised neural subword segmenter for neural machine translation, which utilizes the contextualized semantic embeddings of words from characterBERT and maximizes the generation probability of subword segmentations. Furthermore, we propose a generation probability-based regularization method that enables BERTSeg to produce multiple segmentations for one word to improve the robustness of neural machine translation. Experimental results show that BERTSeg with regularization achieves up to 8 BLEU points improvement in 9 translation directions on ALT, IWSLT15 Vi->En, WMT16 Ro->En, and WMT15 Fi->En datasets compared with BPE. In addition, BERTSeg is efficient, needing up to 5 minutes for training.

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NERDz: A Preliminary Dataset of Named Entities for Algerian
Samia Touileb

This paper introduces a first step towards creating the NERDz dataset. A manually annotated dataset of named entities for the Algerian vernacular dialect. The annotations are built on top of a recent extension to the Algerian NArabizi Treebank, comprizing NArabizi sentences with manual transliterations into Arabic and code-switched scripts. NERDz is therefore not only the first dataset of named entities for Algerian, but it also comprises parallel entities written in Latin, Arabic, and code-switched scripts. We present a detailed overview of our annotations, inter-annotator agreement measures, and define two preliminary baselines using a neural sequence labeling approach and an Algerian BERT model. We also make the annotation guidelines and the annotations available for future work

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An Effective Post-training Embedding Binarization Approach for Fast Online Top-K Passage Matching
Yankai Chen | Yifei Zhang | Huifeng Guo | Ruiming Tang | Irwin King

With the rapid development of Natural Language Understanding for information retrieval, fine-tuned deep language models, e.g., BERT-based, perform remarkably effective in passage searching tasks. To lower the architecture complexity, the recent state-of-the-art model ColBERT employs Contextualized Late Interaction paradigm to independently learn fine-grained query-passage representations. Apart from the architecture simplification, embedding binarization, as another promising branch in model compression, further specializes in the reduction of memory and computation overheads. In this concise paper, we propose an effective post-training embedding binarization approach over ColBERT, achieving both architecture-level and embedding-level optimization for online inference. The empirical results demonstrate the efficaciousness of our proposed approach, empowering it to perform online query-passage matching acceleration.

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Addressing Segmentation Ambiguity in Neural Linguistic Steganography
Jumon Nozaki | Yugo Murawaki

Previous studies on neural linguistic steganography, except Ueoka et al. (2021), overlook the fact that the sender must detokenize cover texts to avoid arousing the eavesdropper’s suspicion. In this paper, we demonstrate that segmentation ambiguity indeed causes occasional decoding failures at the receiver’s side. With the near-ubiquity of subwords, this problem now affects any language. We propose simple tricks to overcome this problem, which are even applicable to languages without explicit word boundaries.

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Parsing linearizations appreciate PoS tags - but some are fussy about errors
Alberto Muñoz-Ortiz | Mark Anderson | David Vilares | Carlos Gómez-Rodríguez

PoS tags, once taken for granted as a useful resource for syntactic parsing, have become more situational with the popularization of deep learning. Recent work on the impact of PoS tags on graph- and transition-based parsers suggests that they are only useful when tagging accuracy is prohibitively high, or in low-resource scenarios. However, such an analysis is lacking for the emerging sequence labeling parsing paradigm, where it is especially relevant as some models explicitly use PoS tags for encoding and decoding. We undertake a study and uncover some trends. Among them, PoS tags are generally more useful for sequence labeling parsers than for other paradigms, but the impact of their accuracy is highly encoding-dependent, with the PoS-based head-selection encoding being best only when both tagging accuracy and resource availability are high.

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EmoNoBa: A Dataset for Analyzing Fine-Grained Emotions on Noisy Bangla Texts
Khondoker Ittehadul Islam | Tanvir Yuvraz | Md Saiful Islam | Enamul Hassan

For low-resourced Bangla language, works on detecting emotions on textual data suffer from size and cross-domain adaptability. In our paper, we propose a manually annotated dataset of 22,698 Bangla public comments from social media sites covering 12 different domains such as Personal, Politics, and Health, labeled for 6 fine-grained emotion categories of the Junto Emotion Wheel. We invest efforts in the data preparation to 1) preserve the linguistic richness and 2) challenge any classification model. Our experiments to develop a benchmark classification system show that random baselines perform better than neural networks and pre-trained language models as hand-crafted features provide superior performance.

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Exploring Universal Sentence Encoders for Zero-shot Text Classification
Souvika Sarkar | Dongji Feng | Shubhra Kanti Karmaker Santu

Universal Sentence Encoder (USE) has gained much popularity recently as a general-purpose sentence encoding technique. As the name suggests, USE is designed to be fairly general and has indeed been shown to achieve superior performances for many downstream NLP tasks. In this paper, we present an interesting “negative” result on USE in the context of zero-shot text classification, a challenging task, which has recently gained much attraction. More specifically, we found some interesting cases of zero-shot text classification, where topic based inference outperformed USE-based inference in terms of F1 score. Further investigation revealed that USE struggles to perform well on data-sets with a large number of labels with high semantic overlaps, while topic-based classification works well for the same.

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The Effects of Language Token Prefixing for Multilingual Machine Translation
Rachel Wicks | Kevin Duh

Machine translation traditionally refers to translating from a single source language into a single target language. In recent years, the field has moved towards large neural models either translating from or into many languages. The model must be correctly cued to translate into the correct target language. This is typically done by prefixing language tokens onto the source or target sequence. The location and content of the prefix can vary and many use different approaches without much justification towards one approach or another. As a guidance to future researchers and directions for future work, we present a series of experiments that show how the positioning and type of a target language prefix token effects translation performance. We show that source side prefixes improve performance. Further, we find that the best language information to denote via tokens depends on the supported language set.

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How Relevant is Selective Memory Population in Lifelong Language Learning?
Vladimir Araujo | Helena Balabin | Julio Hurtado | Alvaro Soto | Marie-Francine Moens

Lifelong language learning seeks to have models continuously learn multiple tasks in a sequential order without suffering from catastrophic forgetting. State-of-the-art approaches rely on sparse experience replay as the primary approach to prevent forgetting. Experience replay usually adopts sampling methods for the memory population; however, the effect of the chosen sampling strategy on model performance has not yet been studied. In this paper, we investigate how relevant the selective memory population is in the lifelong learning process of text classification and question-answering tasks. We found that methods that randomly store a uniform number of samples from the entire data stream lead to high performances, especially for low memory size, which is consistent with computer vision studies.

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An Improved Baseline for Sentence-level Relation Extraction
Wenxuan Zhou | Muhao Chen

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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Multi-Type Conversational Question-Answer Generation with Closed-ended and Unanswerable Questions
Seonjeong Hwang | Yunsu Kim | Gary Geunbae Lee

Conversational question answering (CQA) facilitates an incremental and interactive understanding of a given context, but building a CQA system is difficult for many domains due to the problem of data scarcity. In this paper, we introduce a novel method to synthesize data for CQA with various question types, including open-ended, closed-ended, and unanswerable questions. We design a different generation flow for each question type and effectively combine them in a single, shared framework. Moreover, we devise a hierarchical answerability classification (hierarchical AC) module that improves quality of the synthetic data while acquiring unanswerable questions. Manual inspections show that synthetic data generated with our framework have characteristics very similar to those of human-generated conversations. Across four domains, CQA systems trained on our synthetic data indeed show good performance close to the systems trained on human-annotated data.

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Improving Chinese Story Generation via Awareness of Syntactic Dependencies and Semantics
Henglin Huang | Chen Tang | Tyler Loakman | Frank Guerin | Chenghua Lin

Story generation aims to generate a long narrative conditioned on a given input. In spite of the success of prior works with the application of pre-trained models, current neural models for Chinese stories still struggle to generate high-quality long text narratives. We hypothesise that this stems from ambiguity in syntactically parsing the Chinese language, which does not have explicit delimiters for word segmentation. Consequently, neural models suffer from the inefficient capturing of features in Chinese narratives. In this paper, we present a new generation framework that enhances the feature capturing mechanism by informing the generation model of dependencies between words and additionally augmenting the semantic representation learning through synonym denoising training. We conduct a range of experiments, and the results demonstrate that our framework outperforms the state-of-the-art Chinese generation models on all evaluation metrics, demonstrating the benefits of enhanced dependency and semantic representation learning.

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NGEP: A Graph-based Event Planning Framework for Story Generation
Chen Tang | Zhihao Zhang | Tyler Loakman | Chenghua Lin | Frank Guerin

To improve the performance of long text generation, recent studies have leveraged automatically planned event structures (i.e. storylines) to guide story generation. Such prior works mostly employ end-to-end neural generation models to predict event sequences for a story. However, such generation models struggle to guarantee the narrative coherence of separate events due to the hallucination problem, and additionally the generated event sequences are often hard to control due to the end-to-end nature of the models. To address these challenges, we propose NGEP, an novel event planning framework which generates an event sequence by performing inference on an automatically constructed event graph and enhances generalisation ability through a neural event advisor. We conduct a range of experiments on multiple criteria, and the results demonstrate that our graph-based neural framework outperforms the state-of-the-art (SOTA) event planning approaches, considering both the performance of event sequence generation and the effectiveness on the downstream task of story generation.

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A Simple Yet Effective Hybrid Pre-trained Language Model for Unsupervised Sentence Acceptability Prediction
Yang Zhao | Issei Yoshida

Sentence acceptability judgment assesses to what degree a sentence is acceptable to native speakers of the language. Most unsupervised prediction approaches rely on a language model to obtain the likelihood of a sentence that reflects acceptability. However, two problems exist: first, low-frequency words would have a significant negative impact on the sentence likelihood derived from the language model; second, when it comes to multiple domains, the language model needs to be trained on domain-specific text for domain adaptation. To address both problems, we propose a simple method that substitutes Part-of-Speech (POS) tags for low-frequency words in sentences used for continual training of masked language models. Experimental results show that our word-tag-hybrid BERT model brings improvement on both a sentence acceptability benchmark and a cross-domain sentence acceptability evaluation corpus. Furthermore, our annotated cross-domain sentence acceptability evaluation corpus would benefit future research.

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Post-Training with Interrogative Sentences for Enhancing BART-based Korean Question Generator
Gyu-Min Park | Seong-Eun Hong | Seong-Bae Park

The pre-trained language models such as KoBART often fail in generating perfect interrogative sentences when they are applied to Korean question generation. This is mainly due to the fact that the language models are much experienced with declarative sentences, but not with interrogative sentences. Therefore, this paper proposes a novel post-training of KoBART to enhance it for Korean question generation. The enhancement of KoBART is accomplished in three ways: (i) introduction of question infilling objective to KoBART to enforce it to focus more on the structure of interrogative sentences, (ii) augmentation of training data for question generation with another data set to cope with the lack of training instances for post-training, (iii) introduction of Korean spacing objective to make KoBART understand the linguistic features of Korean. Since there is no standard data set for Korean question generation, this paper also proposes KorQuAD-QG, a new data set for this task, to verify the performance of the proposed post-training. Our code are publicly available at

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Do ever larger octopi still amplify reporting biases? Evidence from judgments of typical colour
Fangyu Liu | Julian Eisenschlos | Jeremy Cole | Nigel Collier

Language models (LMs) trained on raw texts have no direct access to the physical world. Gordon and Van Durme (2013) point out that LMs can thus suffer from reporting bias: texts rarely report on common facts, instead focusing on the unusual aspects of a situation. If LMs are only trained on text corpora and naively memorise local co-occurrence statistics, they thus naturally would learn a biased view of the physical world. While prior studies have repeatedly verified that LMs of smaller scales (e.g., RoBERTa, GPT-2) amplify reporting bias, it remains unknown whether such trends continue when models are scaled up. We investigate reporting bias from the perspective of colour in larger language models (LLMs) such as PaLM and GPT-3. Specifically, we query LLMs for the typical colour of objects, which is one simple type of perceptually grounded physical common sense. Surprisingly, we find that LLMs significantly outperform smaller LMs in determining an object’s typical colour and more closely track human judgments, instead of overfitting to surface patterns stored in texts. This suggests that very large models of language alone are able to overcome certain types of reporting bias that are characterized by local co-occurrences.

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Adversarially Improving NMT Robustness to ASR Errors with Confusion Sets
Shuaibo Wang | Yufeng Chen | Songming Zhang | Deyi Xiong | Jinan Xu

Neural machine translation (NMT) models are known to be fragile to noisy inputs from automatic speech recognition (ASR) systems. Existing methods are usually tailored for robustness against only homophone errors which account for a small portion of realistic ASR errors. In this paper, we propose an adversarial example generation method based on confusion sets that contain words easily confusable with a target word by ASR to conduct adversarial training for NMT models. Specifically, an adversarial example is generated from the perspective of acoustic relations instead of the traditional uniform or unigram sampling from the confusion sets. Experiments on different test sets with hand-crafted and real-world noise demonstrate the effectiveness of our method over previous methods. Moreover, our approach can achieve improvements on the clean test set.

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Improving Graph-Based Text Representations with Character and Word Level N-grams
Wenzhe Li | Nikolaos Aletras

Graph-based text representation focuses on how text documents are represented as graphs for exploiting dependency information between tokens and documents within a corpus. Despite the increasing interest in graph representation learning, there is limited research in exploring new ways for graph-based text representation, which is important in downstream natural language processing tasks. In this paper, we first propose a new heterogeneous word-character text graph that combines word and character n-gram nodes together with document nodes, allowing us to better learn dependencies among these entities. Additionally, we propose two new graph-based neural models, WCTextGCN and WCTextGAT, for modeling our proposed text graph. Extensive experiments in text classification and automatic text summarization benchmarks demonstrate that our proposed models consistently outperform competitive baselines and state-of-the-art graph-based models.

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Risk-graded Safety for Handling Medical Queries in Conversational AI
Gavin Abercrombie | Verena Rieser

Conversational AI systems can engage in unsafe behaviour when handling users’ medical queries that may have severe consequences and could even lead to deaths. Systems therefore need to be capable of both recognising the seriousness of medical inputs and producing responses with appropriate levels of risk. We create a corpus of human written English language medical queries and the responses of different types of systems. We label these with both crowdsourced and expert annotations. While individual crowdworkers may be unreliable at grading the seriousness of the prompts, their aggregated labels tend to agree with professional opinion to a greater extent on identifying the medical queries and recognising the risk types posed by the responses. Results of classification experiments suggest that, while these tasks can be automated, caution should be exercised, as errors can potentially be very serious.

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Performance-Efficiency Trade-Offs in Adapting Language Models to Text Classification Tasks
Laura Aina | Nikos Voskarides | Roi Blanco

Pre-trained language models (LMs) obtain state-of-the-art performance when adapted to text classification tasks. However, when using such models in real world applications, efficiency considerations are paramount. In this paper, we study how different training procedures that adapt LMs to text classification perform, as we vary model and train set size. More specifically, we compare standard fine-tuning, prompting, and knowledge distillation (KD) when the teacher was trained with either fine-tuning or prompting. Our findings suggest that even though fine-tuning and prompting work well to train large LMs on large train sets, there are more efficient alternatives that can reduce compute or data cost. Interestingly, we find that prompting combined with KD can reduce compute and data cost at the same time.

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Seeking Diverse Reasoning Logic: Controlled Equation Expression Generation for Solving Math Word Problems
Yibin Shen | Qianying Liu | Zhuoyuan Mao | Zhen Wan | Fei Cheng | Sadao Kurohashi

To solve Math Word Problems, human students leverage diverse reasoning logic that reaches different possible equation solutions. However, the mainstream sequence-to-sequence approach of automatic solvers aims to decode a fixed solution equation supervised by human annotation. In this paper, we propose a controlled equation generation solver by leveraging a set of control codes to guide the model to consider certain reasoning logic and decode the corresponding equations expressions transformed from the human reference. The empirical results suggest that our method universally improves the performance on single-unknown (Math23K) and multiple-unknown (DRAW1K, HMWP) benchmarks, with substantial improvements up to 13.2% accuracy on the challenging multiple-unknown datasets.

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BanglaParaphrase: A High-Quality Bangla Paraphrase Dataset
Ajwad Akil | Najrin Sultana | Abhik Bhattacharjee | Rifat Shahriyar

In this work, we present BanglaParaphrase, a high-quality synthetic Bangla Paraphrase dataset curated by a novel filtering pipeline. We aim to take a step towards alleviating the low resource status of the Bangla language in the NLP domain through the introduction of BanglaParaphrase, which ensures quality by preserving both semantics and diversity, making it particularly useful to enhance other Bangla datasets. We show a detailed comparative analysis between our dataset and models trained on it with other existing works to establish the viability of our synthetic paraphrase data generation pipeline. We are making the dataset and models publicly available at to further the state of Bangla NLP.

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NepBERTa: Nepali Language Model Trained in a Large Corpus
Sulav Timilsina | Milan Gautam | Binod Bhattarai

Nepali is a low-resource language with more than 40 million speakers worldwide. It is written in Devnagari script and has rich semantics and complex grammatical structure. To this date, multilingual models such as Multilingual BERT, XLM and XLM-RoBERTa haven’t been able to achieve promising results in Nepali NLP tasks, and there does not exist any such a large-scale monolingual corpus. This study presents NepBERTa, a BERT-based Natural Language Understanding (NLU) model trained on the most extensive monolingual Nepali corpus ever. We collected a dataset of 0.8B words from 36 different popular news sites in Nepal and introduced the model. This data set is 3 folds times larger than the previous publicly available corpus. We evaluated the performance of NepBERTa in multiple Nepali-specific NLP tasks, including Named-Entity Recognition, Content Classification, POS Tagging, and Sequence Pair Similarity. We also introduce two different datasets for two new downstream tasks and benchmark four diverse NLU tasks altogether. We bring all these four tasks under the first-ever Nepali Language Understanding Evaluation (Nep-gLUE) benchmark. We will make Nep-gLUE along with the pre-trained model and data sets publicly available for research.

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Local Structure Matters Most in Most Languages
Louis Clouatre | Prasanna Parthasarathi | Amal Zouaq | Sarath Chandar

Many recent perturbation studies have found unintuitive results on what does and does not matter when performing Natural Language Understanding (NLU) tasks in English. Coding properties, such as the order of words, can often be removed through shuffling without impacting downstream performances. Such insight may be used to direct future research into English NLP models. As many improvements in multilingual settings consist of wholesale adaptation of English approaches, it is important to verify whether those studies replicate or not in multilingual settings. In this work, we replicate a study on the importance of local structure, and the relative unimportance of global structure, in a multilingual setting. We find that the phenomenon observed on the English language broadly translates to over 120 languages, with a few caveats.

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Transformer-based Localization from Embodied Dialog with Large-scale Pre-training
Meera Hahn | James M. Rehg

We address the challenging task of Localization via Embodied Dialog (LED). Given a dialog from two agents, an Observer navigating through an unknown environment and a Locator who is attempting to identify the Observer’s location, the goal is to predict the Observer’s final location in a map. We develop a novel LED-Bert architecture and present an effective pretraining strategy. We show that a graph-based scene representation is more effective than the top-down 2D maps used in prior works. Our approach outperforms previous baselines.

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CSS: Combining Self-training and Self-supervised Learning for Few-shot Dialogue State Tracking
Haoning Zhang | Junwei Bao | Haipeng Sun | Huaishao Luo | Wenye Li | Shuguang Cui

Few-shot dialogue state tracking (DST) is a realistic problem that trains the DST model with limited labeled data. Existing few-shot methods mainly transfer knowledge learned from external labeled dialogue data (e.g., from question answering, dialogue summarization, machine reading comprehension tasks, etc.) into DST, whereas collecting a large amount of external labeled data is laborious, and the external data may not effectively contribute to the DST-specific task. In this paper, we propose a few-shot DST framework called CSS, which Combines Self-training and Self-supervised learning methods. The unlabeled data of the DST task is incorporated into the self-training iterations, where the pseudo labels are predicted by a DST model trained on limited labeled data in advance. Besides, a contrastive self-supervised method is used to learn better representations, where the data is augmented by the dropout operation to train the model. Experimental results on the MultiWOZ dataset show that our proposed CSS achieves competitive performance in several few-shot scenarios.

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Demographic-Aware Language Model Fine-tuning as a Bias Mitigation Technique
Aparna Garimella | Rada Mihalcea | Akhash Amarnath

BERT-like language models (LMs), when exposed to large unstructured datasets, are known to learn and sometimes even amplify the biases present in such data. These biases generally reflect social stereotypes with respect to gender, race, age, and others. In this paper, we analyze the variations in gender and racial biases in BERT, a large pre-trained LM, when exposed to different demographic groups. Specifically, we investigate the effect of fine-tuning BERT on text authored by historically disadvantaged demographic groups in comparison to that by advantaged groups. We show that simply by fine-tuning BERT-like LMs on text authored by certain demographic groups can result in the mitigation of social biases in these LMs against various target groups.

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Towards Simple and Efficient Task-Adaptive Pre-training for Text Classification
Arnav Ladkat | Aamir Miyajiwala | Samiksha Jagadale | Rekha A. Kulkarni | Raviraj Joshi

Language models are pre-trained using large corpora of generic data like book corpus, com- mon crawl and Wikipedia, which is essential for the model to understand the linguistic characteristics of the language. New studies suggest using Domain Adaptive Pre-training (DAPT) and Task-Adaptive Pre-training (TAPT) as an intermediate step before the final finetuning task. This step helps cover the target domain vocabulary and improves the model performance on the downstream task. In this work, we study the impact of training only the embedding layer on the model’s performance during TAPT and task-specific finetuning. Based on our study, we propose a simple approach to make the in- termediate step of TAPT for BERT-based mod- els more efficient by performing selective pre-training of BERT layers. We show that training only the BERT embedding layer during TAPT is sufficient to adapt to the vocabulary of the target domain and achieve comparable performance. Our approach is computationally efficient, with 78% fewer parameters trained during TAPT. The proposed embedding layer finetuning approach can also be an efficient domain adaptation technique.

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Extractive Entity-Centric Summarization as Sentence Selection using Bi-Encoders
Ella Hofmann-Coyle | Mayank Kulkarni | Lingjue Xie | Mounica Maddela | Daniel Preotiuc-Pietro

Entity-centric summarization is a type of controllable summarization that aims to produce a summary of a document that is specific to a given target entity. Extractive summaries possess multiple advantages over abstractive ones such as preserving factuality and can be directly used in downstream tasks like target-based sentiment analysis or incorporated into search applications. In this paper, we explore methods to solve this task by recasting it as a sentence selection task, as supported by the EntSUM data set. We use methods inspired by information retrieval, where the input to the model is a pair representing a sentence from the original document and the target entity, in place of the query. We explore different architecture variants and loss functions in this framework with results showing an up to 5.8 F1 improvement over past state-of-the-art and outperforming the competitive entity-centric Lead 3 heuristic by 1.1 F1. In addition, we also demonstrate similarly strong results on the related task of salient sentence selection for an entity.

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Towards Unsupervised Morphological Analysis of Polysynthetic Languages
Sujay Khandagale | Yoann Léveillé | Samuel Miller | Derek Pham | Ramy Eskander | Cass Lowry | Richard Compton | Judith Klavans | Maria Polinsky | Smaranda Muresan

Polysynthetic languages present a challenge for morphological analysis due to the complexity of their words and the lack of high-quality annotated datasets needed to build and/or evaluate computational models. The contribution of this work is twofold. First, using linguists’ help, we generate and contribute high-quality annotated data for two low-resource polysynthetic languages for two tasks: morphological segmentation and part-of-speech (POS) tagging. Second, we present the results of state-of-the-art unsupervised approaches for these two tasks on Adyghe and Inuktitut. Our findings show that for these polysynthetic languages, using linguistic priors helps the task of morphological segmentation and that using stems rather than words as the core unit of abstraction leads to superior performance on POS tagging.

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Self-Repetition in Abstractive Neural Summarizers
Nikita Salkar | Thomas Trikalinos | Byron Wallace | Ani Nenkova

We provide a quantitative and qualitative analysis of self-repetition in the output of neural summarizers. We measure self-repetition as the number of n-grams of length four or longer that appear in multiple outputs of the same system. We analyze the behavior of three popular architectures (BART, T5, and Pegasus), fine-tuned on five datasets. In a regression analysis, we find that the three architectures have different propensities for repeating content across output summaries for inputs, with BART being particularly prone to self-repetition. Fine-tuning on more abstractive data, and on data featuring formulaic language is associated with a higher rate of self-repetition. In qualitative analysis, we find systems produce artefacts such as ads and disclaimers unrelated to the content being summarized, as well as formulaic phrases common in the fine-tuning domain. Our approach to corpus-level analysis of self-repetition may help practitioners clean up training data for summarizers and ultimately support methods for minimizing the amount of self-repetition.

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Domain Specific Sub-network for Multi-Domain Neural Machine Translation
Amr Hendy | Mohamed Abdelghaffar | Mohamed Afify | Ahmed Y. Tawfik

This paper presents Domain-Specific Sub-network (DoSS). It uses a set of masks obtained through pruning to define a sub-network for each domain and finetunes the sub-network parameters on domain data. This performs very closely and drastically reduces the number of parameters compared to finetuning the whole network on each domain. Also a method to make masks unique per domain is proposed and shown to greatly improve the generalization to unseen domains. In our experiments on German to English machine translation the proposed method outperforms the strong baseline of continue training on multi-domain (medical, tech and religion) data by 1.47 BLEU points. Also continue training DoSS on new domain (legal) outperforms the multi-domain (medical, tech, religion, legal) baseline by 1.52 BLEU points.

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Modeling Document-level Temporal Structures for Building Temporal Dependency Graphs
Prafulla Kumar Choubey | Ruihong Huang

We propose to leverage news discourse profiling to model document-level temporal structures for building temporal dependency graphs. Our key observation is that the functional roles of sentences used for profiling news discourse signify different time frames relevant to a news story and can, therefore, help to recover the global temporal structure of a document. Our analyses and experiments with the widely used knowledge distillation technique show that discourse profiling effectively identifies distant inter-sentence event and (or) time expression pairs that are temporally related and otherwise difficult to locate.

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Evaluating Pre-Trained Sentence-BERT with Class Embeddings in Active Learning for Multi-Label Text Classification
Lukas Wertz | Jasmina Bogojeska | Katsiaryna Mirylenka | Jonas Kuhn

The Transformer Language Model is a powerful tool that has been shown to excel at various NLP tasks and has become the de-facto standard solution thanks to its versatility. In this study, we employ pre-trained document embeddings in an Active Learning task to group samples with the same labels in the embedding space on a legal document corpus. We find that the calculated class embeddings are not close to the respective samples and consequently do not partition the embedding space in a meaningful way. In addition, we explore using the class embeddings as an Active Learning strategy with dramatically reduced results compared to all baselines.

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MiQA: A Benchmark for Inference on Metaphorical Questions
Iulia Comșa | Julian Eisenschlos | Srini Narayanan

We propose a benchmark to assess the capability of large language models to reason with conventional metaphors. Our benchmark combines the previously isolated topics of metaphor detection and commonsense reasoning into a single task that requires a model to make inferences by accurately selecting between the literal and metaphorical register. We examine the performance of state-of-the-art pre-trained models on binary-choice tasks and find a large discrepancy between the performance of small and very large models, going from chance to near-human level. We also analyse the largest model in a generative setting and find that although human performance is approached, careful multiple-shot prompting is required.

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GCDT: A Chinese RST Treebank for Multigenre and Multilingual Discourse Parsing
Siyao Peng | Yang Janet Liu | Amir Zeldes

A lack of large-scale human-annotated data has hampered the hierarchical discourse parsing of Chinese. In this paper, we present GCDT, the largest hierarchical discourse treebank for Mandarin Chinese in the framework of Rhetorical Structure Theory (RST). GCDT covers over 60K tokens across five genres of freely available text, using the same relation inventory as contemporary RST treebanks for English. We also report on this dataset’s parsing experiments, including state-of-the-art (SOTA) scores for Chinese RST parsing and RST parsing on the English GUM dataset, using cross-lingual training in Chinese and English with multilingual embeddings.

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Assessing Combinational Generalization of Language Models in Biased Scenarios
Yanbo Fang | Zuohui Fu | Xin Dong | Yongfeng Zhang | Gerard de Melo

In light of the prominence of Pre-trained Language Models (PLMs) across numerous downstream tasks, shedding light on what they learn is an important endeavor. Whereas previous work focuses on assessing in-domain knowledge, we evaluate the generalization ability in biased scenarios through component combinations where it could be easy for the PLMs to learn shortcuts from the training corpus. This would lead to poor performance on the testing corpus, which is combinationally reconstructed from the training components. The results show that PLMs are able to overcome such distribution shifts for specific tasks and with sufficient data. We further find that overfitting can lead the models to depend more on biases for prediction, thus hurting the combinational generalization ability of PLMs.

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Controllable Text Simplification with Deep Reinforcement Learning
Daiki Yanamoto | Tomoki Ikawa | Tomoyuki Kajiwara | Takashi Ninomiya | Satoru Uchida | Yuki Arase

We propose a method for controlling the difficulty of a sentence based on deep reinforcement learning. Although existing models are trained based on the word-level difficulty, the sentence-level difficulty has not been taken into account in the loss function. Our proposed method generates sentences of appropriate difficulty for the target audience through reinforcement learning using a reward calculated based on the difference between the difficulty of the output sentence and the target difficulty. Experimental results of English text simplification show that the proposed method achieves a higher performance than existing approaches. Compared to previous studies, the proposed method can generate sentences whose grade-levels are closer to those of human references estimated using a fine-tuned pre-trained model.

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Vector Space Interpolation for Query Expansion
Deepanway Ghosal | Somak Aditya | Sandipan Dandapat | Monojit Choudhury

Topic-sensitive query set expansion is an important area of research that aims to improve search results for information retrieval. It is particularly crucial for queries related to sensitive and emerging topics. In this work, we describe a method for query set expansion about emerging topics using vector space interpolation. We use a transformer model called OPTIMUS, which is suitable for vector space manipulation due to its variational autoencoder nature. One of our proposed methods – Dirichlet interpolation shows promising results for query expansion. Our methods effectively generate new queries about the sensitive topic by incorporating set-level diversity, which is not captured by traditional sentence-level augmentation methods such as paraphrasing or back-translation.

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SchAman: Spell-Checking Resources and Benchmark for Endangered Languages from Amazonia
Arturo Oncevay | Gerardo Cardoso | Carlo Alva | César Lara Ávila | Jovita Vásquez Balarezo | Saúl Escobar Rodríguez | Delio Siticonatzi Camaiteri | Esaú Zumaeta Rojas | Didier López Francis | Juan López Bautista | Nimia Acho Rios | Remigio Zapata Cesareo | Héctor Erasmo Gómez Montoya | Roberto Zariquiey

Spell-checkers are core applications in language learning and normalisation, which may enormously contribute to language revitalisation and language teaching in the context of indigenous communities. Spell-checking as a generation task, however, requires large amount of data, which is not feasible for endangered languages, such as the languages spoken in Peruvian Amazonia. We propose here augmentation methods for various misspelling types as a strategy to train neural spell-checking models and we create an evaluation resource for four indigenous languages of Peru: Shipibo-Konibo, Asháninka, Yánesha, Yine. We focus on special errors that are significant for learning these languages, such as phoneme-to-grapheme ambiguity, grammatical errors (gender, tense, number, among others), accentuation, punctuation and normalisation in contexts where two or more writing traditions co-exist. We found that an ensemble model, trained with augmented data from various types of error achieves overall better scores in most of the error types and languages. Finally, we released our spell-checkers as a web service to be used by indigenous communities and organisations to develop future language materials.

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CoFE: A New Dataset of Intra-Multilingual Multi-target Stance Classification from an Online European Participatory Democracy Platform
Valentin Barriere | Guillaume Guillaume Jacquet | Leo Hemamou

Stance Recognition over proposals is the task of automatically detecting whether a comment on a specific proposal is in favor of this proposal, against this proposal or that neither inference is likely. The dataset that we propose to use is an online debating platform inaugurated in 2021, where users can submit proposals and comment over proposals or over other comments. It contains 4.2k proposals and 20k comments focused on various topics. Every comment and proposal can come written in another language, with more than 40% of the proposal/comment pairs containing at least two languages, creating a unique intra-multilingual setting. A portion of the data (more than 7k comment/proposal pairs, in 26 languages) was annotated by the writers with a self-tag assessing whether they are in favor or against the proposal. Another part of the data (without self-tag) has been manually annotated: 1206 comments in 6 morphologically different languages (fr, de, en, el, it, hu) were tagged, leading to a Krippendorff’s α of 0.69. This setting allows defining an intra-multilingual and multi-target stance classification task over online debates.

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Exploring the Effects of Negation and Grammatical Tense on Bias Probes
Samia Touileb

We investigate in this paper how correlations between occupations and gendered-pronouns can be affected and changed by adding negation in bias probes, or changing the grammatical tense of the verbs in the probes. We use a set of simple bias probes in Norwegian and English, and perform 16 different probing analysis, using four Norwegian and four English pre-trained language models. We show that adding negation to probes does not have a considerable effect on the correlations between gendered-pronouns and occupations, supporting other works on negation in language models. We also show that altering the grammatical tense of verbs in bias probes do have some interesting effects on models’ behaviours and correlations. We argue that we should take grammatical tense into account when choosing bias probes, and aggregating results across tenses might be a better representation of the existing correlations.

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Promoting Pre-trained LM with Linguistic Features on Automatic Readability Assessment
Shudi Hou | Simin Rao | Yu Xia | Sujian Li

Automatic readability assessment (ARA) aims at classifying the readability level of a passage automatically. In the past, manually selected linguistic features are used to classify the passages. However, as the use of deep neural network surges, there is less work focusing on these linguistic features. Recently, many works integrate linguistic features with pre-trained language model (PLM) to make up for the information that PLMs are not good at capturing. Despite their initial success, insufficient analysis of the long passage characteristic of ARA has been done before. To further investigate the promotion of linguistic features on PLMs in ARA from the perspective of passage length, with commonly used linguistic features and abundant experiments, we find that: (1) Linguistic features promote PLMs in ARA mainly on long passages. (2) The promotion of the features on PLMs becomes less significant when the dataset size exceeds 750 passages. (3) By analyzing commonly used ARA datasets, we find Newsela is actually not suitable for ARA. Our code is available at

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An Empirical Study of Pipeline vs. Joint approaches to Entity and Relation Extraction
Zhaohui Yan | Zixia Jia | Kewei Tu

The Entity and Relation Extraction (ERE) task includes two basic sub-tasks: Named Entity Recognition and Relation Extraction. In the last several years, much work focused on joint approaches for the common perception that the pipeline approach suffers from the error propagation problem. Recent work reconsiders the pipeline scheme and shows that it can produce comparable results. To systematically study the pros and cons of these two schemes. We design and test eight pipeline and joint approaches to the ERE task. We find that with the same span representation methods, the best joint approach still outperforms the best pipeline model, but improperly designed joint approaches may have poor performance. We hope our work could shed some light on the pipeline-vs-joint debate of the ERE task and inspire further research.

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CLASP: Few-Shot Cross-Lingual Data Augmentation for Semantic Parsing
Andy Rosenbaum | Saleh Soltan | Wael Hamza | Marco Damonte | Isabel Groves | Amir Saffari

A bottleneck to developing Semantic Parsing (SP) models is the need for a large volume of human-labeled training data. Given the complexity and cost of human annotation for SP, labeled data is often scarce, particularly in multilingual settings. Large Language Models (LLMs) excel at SP given only a few examples, however LLMs are unsuitable for runtime systems which require low latency. In this work, we propose CLASP, a simple method to improve low-resource SP for moderate-sized models: we generate synthetic data from AlexaTM 20B to augment the training set for a model 40x smaller (500M parameters). We evaluate on two datasets in low-resource settings: English PIZZA, containing either 348 or 16 real examples, and mTOP cross-lingual zero-shot, where training data is available only in English, and the model must generalize to four new languages. On both datasets, we show significant improvements over strong baseline methods.

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Plug and Play Knowledge Distillation for kNN-LM with External Logits
Xuyang Jin | Tao Ge | Furu Wei

Despite the promising evaluation results by knowledge distillation (KD) in natural language understanding (NLU) and sequence-to-sequence (seq2seq) tasks, KD for causal language modeling (LM) remains a challenge. In this paper, we present a novel perspective of knowledge distillation by proposing plug and play knowledge distillation (PP-KD) to improve a (student) kNN-LM that is the state-of-the-art in causal language modeling by leveraging external logits from either a powerful or a heterogeneous (teacher) LM. Unlike conventional logit-based KD where the teacher’s knowledge is built-in during training, PP-KD is plug and play: it stores the teacher’s knowledge (i.e., logits) externally and uses the teacher’s logits of the retrieved k-nearest neighbors during kNN-LM inference at test time. In contrast to marginal perplexity improvement by logit-based KD in conventional neural (causal) LM, PP-KD achieves a significant improvement, enhancing the kNN-LMs in multiple language modeling datasets, showing a novel and promising perspective for causal LM distillation.

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How Well Do Multi-hop Reading Comprehension Models Understand Date Information?
Xanh Ho | Saku Sugawara | Akiko Aizawa

Several multi-hop reading comprehension datasets have been proposed to resolve the issue of reasoning shortcuts by which questions can be answered without performing multi-hop reasoning. However, the ability of multi-hop models to perform step-by-step reasoning when finding an answer to a comparison question remains unclear. It is also unclear how questions about the internal reasoning process are useful for training and evaluating question-answering (QA) systems. To evaluate the model precisely in a hierarchical manner, we first propose a dataset, HieraDate, with three probing tasks in addition to the main question: extraction, reasoning, and robustness. Our dataset is created by enhancing two previous multi-hop datasets, HotpotQA and 2WikiMultiHopQA, focusing on multi-hop questions on date information that involve both comparison and numerical reasoning. We then evaluate the ability of existing models to understand date information. Our experimental results reveal that the multi-hop models do not have the ability to subtract two dates even when they perform well in date comparison and number subtraction tasks. Other results reveal that our probing questions can help to improve the performance of the models (e.g., by +10.3 F1) on the main QA task and our dataset can be used for data augmentation to improve the robustness of the models.

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Dodging the Data Bottleneck: Automatic Subtitling with Automatically Segmented ST Corpora
Sara Papi | Alina Karakanta | Matteo Negri | Marco Turchi

Speech translation for subtitling (SubST) is the task of automatically translating speech data into well-formed subtitles by inserting subtitle breaks compliant to specific displaying guidelines. Similar to speech translation (ST), model training requires parallel data comprising audio inputs paired with their textual translations. In SubST, however, the text has to be also annotated with subtitle breaks. So far, this requirement has represented a bottleneck for system development, as confirmed by the dearth of publicly available SubST corpora. To fill this gap, we propose a method to convert existing ST corpora into SubST resources without human intervention. We build a segmenter model that automatically segments texts into proper subtitles by exploiting audio and text in a multimodal fashion, achieving high segmentation quality in zero-shot conditions. Comparative experiments with SubST systems respectively trained on manual and automatic segmentations result in similar performance, showing the effectiveness of our approach.

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How to tackle an emerging topic? Combining strong and weak labels for Covid news NER
Aleksander Ficek | Fangyu Liu | Nigel Collier

Being able to train Named Entity Recognition (NER) models for emerging topics is crucial for many real-world applications especially in the medical domain where new topics are continuously evolving out of the scope of existing models and datasets. For a realistic evaluation setup, we introduce a novel COVID-19 news NER dataset (COVIDNEWS-NER) and release 3000 entries of hand annotated strongly labelled sentences and 13000 auto-generated weakly labelled sentences. Besides the dataset, we propose CONTROSTER, a recipe to strategically combine weak and strong labels in improving NER in an emerging topic through transfer learning. We show the effectiveness of CONTROSTER on COVIDNEWS-NER while providing analysis on combining weak and strong labels for training. Our key findings are: (1) Using weak data to formulate an initial backbone before tuning on strong data outperforms methods trained on only strong or weak data. (2) A combination of out-of-domain and in-domain weak label training is crucial and can overcome saturation when being training on weak labels from a single source.


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Proceedings of the 2nd Conference of the Asia-Pacific Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 12th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing: Student Research Workshop

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Proceedings of the 2nd Conference of the Asia-Pacific Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 12th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing: Student Research Workshop
Yan Hanqi | Yang Zonghan | Sebastian Ruder | Wan Xiaojun

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Emotional Intensity Estimation based on Writer’s Personality
Haruya Suzuki | Sora Tarumoto | Tomoyuki Kajiwara | Takashi Ninomiya | Yuta Nakashima | Hajime Nagahara

We propose a method for personalized emotional intensity estimation based on a writer’s personality test for Japanese SNS posts. Existing emotion analysis models are difficult to accurately estimate the writer’s subjective emotions behind the text. We personalize the emotion analysis using not only the text but also the writer’s personality information. Experimental results show that personality information improves the performance of emotional intensity estimation. Furthermore, a hybrid model combining the existing personalized method with ours achieved state-of-the-art performance.

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Bipartite-play Dialogue Collection for Practical Automatic Evaluation of Dialogue Systems
Shiki Sato | Yosuke Kishinami | Hiroaki Sugiyama | Reina Akama | Ryoko Tokuhisa | Jun Suzuki

Automation of dialogue system evaluation is a driving force for the efficient development of dialogue systems. This paper introduces the bipartite-play method, a dialogue collection method for automating dialogue system evaluation. It addresses the limitations of existing dialogue collection methods: (i) inability to compare with systems that are not publicly available, and (ii) vulnerability to cheating by intentionally selecting systems to be compared. Experimental results show that the automatic evaluation using the bipartite-play method mitigates these two drawbacks and correlates as strongly with human subjectivity as existing methods.

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Toward Building a Language Model for Understanding Temporal Commonsense
Mayuko Kimura | Lis Kanashiro Pereira | Ichiro Kobayashi

The ability to capture temporal commonsense relationships for time-related events expressed in text is a very important task in natural language understanding. On the other hand, pre-trained language models such as BERT, which have recently achieved great success in a wide range of natural language processing tasks, are still considered to have poor performance in temporal reasoning. In this paper, we focus on the development of language models for temporal commonsense inference over several pre-trained language models. Our model relies on multi-step fine-tuning using multiple corpora, and masked language modeling to predict masked temporal indicators that are crucial for temporal commonsense reasoning. We also experimented with multi-task learning and build a language model that can improve performance on multiple time-related tasks. In our experiments, multi-step fine-tuning using the general commonsense reading task as auxiliary task produced the best results. This result showed a significant improvement in accuracy over standard fine-tuning in the temporal commonsense inference task.

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Optimal Summaries for Enabling a Smooth Handover in Chat-Oriented Dialogue
Sanae Yamashita | Ryuichiro Higashinaka

In dialogue systems, one option for creating a better dialogue experience for the user is to have a human operator take over the dialogue when the system runs into trouble communicating with the user. In this type of handover situation (we call it intervention), it is useful for the operator to have access to the dialogue summary. However, it is not clear exactly what type of summary would be the most useful for a smooth handover. In this study, we investigated the optimal type of summary through experiments in which interlocutors were presented with various summary types during interventions in order to examine their effects. Our findings showed that the best summaries were an abstractive summary plus one utterance immediately before the handover and an extractive summary consisting of five utterances immediately before the handover. From the viewpoint of computational cost, we recommend that extractive summaries consisting of the last five utterances be used.

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MUTE: A Multimodal Dataset for Detecting Hateful Memes
Eftekhar Hossain | Omar Sharif | Mohammed Moshiul Hoque

The exponential surge of social media has enabled information propagation at an unprecedented rate. However, it also led to the generation of a vast amount of malign content, such as hateful memes. To eradicate the detrimental impact of this content, over the last few years hateful memes detection problem has grabbed the attention of researchers. However, most past studies were conducted primarily for English memes, while memes on resource constraint languages (i.e., Bengali) are under-studied. Moreover, current research considers memes with a caption written in monolingual (either English or Bengali) form. However, memes might have code-mixed captions (English+Bangla), and the existing models can not provide accurate inference in such cases. Therefore, to facilitate research in this arena, this paper introduces a multimodal hate speech dataset (named MUTE) consisting of 4158 memes having Bengali and code-mixed captions. A detailed annotation guideline is provided to aid the dataset creation in other resource constraint languages. Additionally, extensive experiments have been carried out on MUTE, considering the only visual, only textual, and both modalities. The result demonstrates that joint evaluation of visual and textual features significantly improves (≈ 3%) the hateful memes classification compared to the unimodal evaluation.

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A Simple and Fast Strategy for Handling Rare Words in Neural Machine Translation
Nguyen-Hoang Minh-Cong | Vinh Thi Ngo | Van Vinh Nguyen

Neural Machine Translation (NMT) has currently obtained state-of-the-art in machine translation systems. However, dealing with rare words is still a big challenge in translation systems. The rare words are often translated using a manual dictionary or copied from the source to the target with original words. In this paper, we propose a simple and fast strategy for integrating constraints during the training and decoding process to improve the translation of rare words. The effectiveness of our proposal is demonstrated in both high and low-resource translation tasks, including the language pairs: English → Vietnamese, Chinese → Vietnamese, Khmer → Vietnamese, and Lao → Vietnamese. We show the improvements of up to +1.8 BLEU scores over the baseline systems.

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C3PO: A Lightweight Copying Mechanism for Translating Pseudocode to Code
Vishruth Veerendranath | Vibha Masti | Prajwal Anagani | Mamatha Hr

Writing computer programs is a skill that remains inaccessible to most due to the barrier of programming language (PL) syntax. While large language models (LLMs) have been proposed to translate natural language pseudocode to PL code, they are costly in terms of data and compute. We propose a lightweight alternative to LLMs that exploits the property of code wherein most tokens can be simply copied from the pseudocode. We divide the problem into three phases: Copy, Generate, and Combine. In the Copy Phase, a binary classifier is employed to determine and mask the pseudocode tokens that can be directly copied into the code. In the Generate Phase, a Sequence-to-Sequence model is used to generate the masked PL code equivalent. In the Combine Phase, the generated sequence is combined with the tokens that the Copy Phase had masked. We show that our C3PO models achieve similar performance to non-C3PO models while reducing the computational cost of training as well as the vocabulary sizes.

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Outlier-Aware Training for Improving Group Accuracy Disparities
Li-Kuang Chen | Canasai Kruengkrai | Junichi Yamagishi

Methods addressing spurious correlations such as Just Train Twice (JTT, Liu et al. 2021) involve reweighting a subset of the training set to maximize the worst-group accuracy. However, the reweighted set of examples may potentially contain unlearnable examples that hamper the model’s learning. We propose mitigating this by detecting outliers to the training set and removing them before reweighting. Our experiments show that our method achieves competitive or better accuracy compared with JTT and can detect and remove annotation errors in the subset being reweighted in JTT.

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An Empirical Study on Topic Preservation in Multi-Document Summarization
Mong Yuan Sim | Wei Emma Zhang | Congbo Ma

Multi-document summarization (MDS) is a process of generating an informative and concise summary from multiple topic-related documents. Many studies have analyzed the quality of MDS dataset or models, however no work has been done from the perspective of topic preservation. In this work, we fill the gap by performing an empirical analysis on two MDS datasets and study topic preservation on generated summaries from 8 MDS models. Our key findings include i) Multi-News dataset has better gold summaries compared to Multi-XScience in terms of its topic distribution consistency and ii) Extractive approaches perform better than abstractive approaches in preserving topic information from source documents. We hope our findings could help develop a summarization model that can generate topic-focused summary and also give inspiration to researchers in creating dataset for such challenging task.

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Detecting Urgency in Multilingual Medical SMS in Kenya
Narshion Ngao | Zeyu Wang | Lawrence Nderu | Tobias Mwalili | Tal August | Keshet Ronen

Access to mobile phones in many low- and middle-income countries has increased exponentially over the last 20 years, providing an opportunity to connect patients with healthcare interventions through mobile phones (known as mobile health). A barrier to large-scale implementation of interactive mobile health interventions is the human effort needed to manage participant messages. In this study, we explore the use of natural language processing to improve healthcare workers’ management of messages from pregnant and postpartum women in Kenya. Using multilingual, low-resource language text messages from the Mobile solutions for Women and Children’s health (Mobile WACh NEO) study, we developed models to assess urgency of incoming messages. We evaluated models using a novel approach that focuses on clinical usefulness in either triaging or prioritizing messages. Our best-performing models did not reach the threshold for clinical usefulness we set, but have the potential to improve nurse workflow and responsiveness to urgent messages.

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Language over Labels: Contrastive Language Supervision Exceeds Purely Label-Supervised Classification Performance on Chest X-Rays
Anton Wiehe | Florian Schneider | Sebastian Blank | Xintong Wang | Hans-Peter Zorn | Christian Biemann

The multi-modal foundation model CLIP computes representations from texts and images that achieved unprecedented performance on tasks such as zero-shot image classification. However, CLIP was pretrained on public internet data. Thus it lacks highly domain-specific knowledge. We investigate the adaptation of CLIP-based models to the chest radiography domain using the MIMIC-CXR dataset. We show that the features of the pretrained CLIP models do not transfer to this domain. We adapt CLIP to the chest radiography domain using contrastive language supervision and show that this approach yields a model that outperforms supervised learning on labels on the MIMIC-CXR dataset while also generalizing to the CheXpert and RSNA Pneumonia datasets. Furthermore, we do a detailed ablation study of the batch and dataset size. Finally, we show that language supervision allows for better explainability by using the multi-modal model to generate images from texts such that experts can inspect what the model has learned.

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Dynamic Topic Modeling by Clustering Embeddings from Pretrained Language Models: A Research Proposal
Anton Eklund | Mona Forsman | Frank Drewes

A new trend in topic modeling research is to do Neural Topic Modeling by Clustering document Embeddings (NTM-CE) created with a pretrained language model. Studies have evaluated static NTM-CE models and found them performing comparably to, or even better than other topic models. An important extension of static topic modeling is making the models dynamic, allowing the study of topic evolution over time, as well as detecting emerging and disappearing topics. In this research proposal, we present two research questions to understand dynamic topic modeling with NTM-CE theoretically and practically. To answer these, we propose four phases with the aim of establishing evaluation methods for dynamic topic modeling, finding NTM-CE-specific properties, and creating a framework for dynamic NTM-CE. For evaluation, we propose to use both quantitative measurements of coherence and human evaluation supported by our recently developed tool.

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Concreteness vs. Abstractness: A Selectional Preference Perspective
Tarun Tater | Diego Frassinelli | Sabine Schulte im Walde

Concrete words refer to concepts that are strongly experienced through human senses (banana, chair, salt, etc.), whereas abstract concepts are less perceptually salient (idea, glory, justice, etc.). A clear definition of abstractness is crucial for the understanding of human cognitive processes and for the development of natural language applications such as figurative language detection. In this study, we investigate selectional preferences as a criterion to distinguish between concrete and abstract concepts and words: we hypothesise that abstract and concrete verbs and nouns differ regarding the semantic classes of their arguments. Our study uses a collection of 5,438 nouns and 1,275 verbs to exploit selectional preferences as a salient characteristic in classifying English abstract vs. concrete words, and in predicting their concreteness scores. We achieve an f1-score of 0.84 for nouns and 0.71 for verbs in classification, and Spearman’s ρ correlation of 0.86 for nouns and 0.59 for verbs.


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Proceedings of the 2nd Conference of the Asia-Pacific Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 12th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing: System Demonstrations

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Proceedings of the 2nd Conference of the Asia-Pacific Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 12th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing: System Demonstrations
Wray Buntine | Maria Liakata

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VScript: Controllable Script Generation with Visual Presentation
Ziwei Ji | Yan Xu | I-Tsun Cheng | Samuel Cahyawijaya | Rita Frieske | Etsuko Ishii | Min Zeng | Andrea Madotto | Pascale Fung

In order to offer a customized script tool and inspire professional scriptwriters, we present VScript. It is a controllable pipeline that generates complete scripts, including dialogues and scene descriptions, as well as presents visually using video retrieval. With an interactive interface, our system allows users to select genres and input starting words that control the theme and development of the generated script. We adopt a hierarchical structure, which first generates the plot, then the script and its visual presentation. A novel approach is also introduced to plot-guided dialogue generation by treating it as an inverse dialogue summarization. The experiment results show that our approach outperforms the baselines on both automatic and human evaluations, especially in genre control.

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TexPrax: A Messaging Application for Ethical, Real-time Data Collection and Annotation
Lorenz Stangier | Ji-Ung Lee | Yuxi Wang | Marvin Müller | Nicholas Frick | Joachim Metternich | Iryna Gurevych

Collecting and annotating task-oriented dialog data is difficult, especially for highly specific domains that require expert knowledge. At the same time, informal communication channels such as instant messengers are increasingly being used at work. This has led to a lot of work-relevant information that is disseminated through those channels and needs to be post-processed manually by the employees. To alleviate this problem, we present TexPrax, a messaging system to collect and annotate _problems_, _causes_, and _solutions_ that occur in work-related chats. TexPrax uses a chatbot to directly engage the employees to provide lightweight annotations on their conversation and ease their documentation work. To comply with data privacy and security regulations, we use an end-to-end message encryption and give our users full control over their data which has various advantages over conventional annotation tools. We evaluate TexPrax in a user-study with German factory employees who ask their colleagues for solutions on problems that arise during their daily work. Overall, we collect 202 task-oriented German dialogues containing 1,027 sentences with sentence-level expert annotations. Our data analysis also reveals that real-world conversations frequently contain instances with code-switching, varying abbreviations for the same entity, and dialects which NLP systems should be able to handle.

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PicTalky: Augmentative and Alternative Communication for Language Developmental Disabilities
Chanjun Park | Yoonna Jang | Seolhwa Lee | Jaehyung Seo | Kisu Yang | Heuiseok Lim

Children with language disabilities face communication difficulties in daily life. They are often deprived of the opportunity to participate in social activities due to their difficulty in understanding or using natural language. In this regard, Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) can be a practical means of communication for children with language disabilities. In this study, we propose PicTalky, which is an AI-based AAC system that helps children with language developmental disabilities to improve their communication skills and language comprehension abilities. PicTalky can process both text and pictograms more accurately by connecting a series of neural-based NLP modules. Additionally, we perform quantitative and qualitative analyses on the modules of PicTalky. By using this service, it is expected that those suffering from language problems will be able to express their intentions or desires more easily and improve their quality of life. We have made the models freely available alongside a demonstration of the web interface. Furthermore, we implemented robotics AAC for the first time by applying PicTalky to the NAO robot.

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UKP-SQuARE v2: Explainability and Adversarial Attacks for Trustworthy QA
Rachneet Sachdeva | Haritz Puerto | Tim Baumgärtner | Sewin Tariverdian | Hao Zhang | Kexin Wang | Hossain Shaikh Saadi | Leonardo F. R. Ribeiro | Iryna Gurevych

Question Answering (QA) systems are increasingly deployed in applications where they support real-world decisions. However, state-of-the-art models rely on deep neural networks, which are difficult to interpret by humans. Inherently interpretable models or post hoc explainability methods can help users to comprehend how a model arrives at its prediction and, if successful, increase their trust in the system. Furthermore, researchers can leverage these insights to develop new methods that are more accurate and less biased. In this paper, we introduce SQuARE v2, the new version of SQuARE, to provide an explainability infrastructure for comparing models based on methods such as saliency maps and graph-based explanations. While saliency maps are useful to inspect the importance of each input token for the model’s prediction, graph-based explanations from external Knowledge Graphs enable the users to verify the reasoning behind the model prediction. In addition, we provide multiple adversarial attacks to compare the robustness of QA models. With these explainability methods and adversarial attacks, we aim to ease the research on trustworthy QA models. SQuARE is available on

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TaxFree: a Visualization Tool for Candidate-free Taxonomy Enrichment
Irina Nikishina | Ivan Andrianov | Alsu Vakhitova | Alexander Panchenko

Taxonomies are widely used in a various number of downstream NLP tasks and, therefore, should be kept up-to-date. In this paper, we present TaxFree, an open source system for taxonomy visualisation and automatic Taxonomy Enrichment without pre-defined candidates on the example of WordNet-3.0. As oppose to the traditional task formulation (where the list of new words is provided beforehand), we provide an approach for automatic extension of a taxonomy using a large pre-trained language model. As an advantage to the existing visualisation tools of WordNet, TaxFree also integrates graphic representations of synsets from ImageNet. Such visualisation tool can be used for both updating taxonomies and inspecting them for the required modifications.

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F-coref: Fast, Accurate and Easy to Use Coreference Resolution
Shon Otmazgin | Arie Cattan | Yoav Goldberg

We introduce fastcoref, a python package for fast, accurate, and easy-to-use English coreference resolution. The package is pip-installable, and allows two modes: an accurate mode based on the LingMess architecture, providing state-of-the-art coreference accuracy, and a substantially faster model, F-coref, which is the focus of this work. F-coref allows to process 2.8K OntoNotes documents in 25 seconds on a V100 GPU (compared to 6 minutes for the LingMess model, and to 12 minutes of the popular AllenNLP coreference model) with only a modest drop in accuracy. The fast speed is achieved through a combination of distillation of a compact model from the LingMess model, and an efficient batching implementation using a technique we call leftover batching.

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PIEKM: ML-based Procedural Information Extraction and Knowledge Management System for Materials Science Literature
Huichen Yang | Carlos Aguirre | William Hsu

The published materials science literature contains abundant description information about synthesis procedures that can help discover new material areas, deepen the study of materials synthesis, and accelerate its automated planning. Nevertheless, this information is expressed in unstructured text, and manually processing and assimilating useful information is expensive and time-consuming for researchers. To address this challenge, we develop a Machine Learning-based procedural information extraction and knowledge management system (PIEKM) that extracts procedural information recipe steps, figures, and tables from materials science articles, and provides information retrieval capability and the statistics visualization functionality. Our system aims to help researchers to gain insights and quickly understand the connections among massive data. Moreover, we demonstrate that the machine learning-based system performs well in low-resource scenarios (i.e., limited annotated data) for domain adaption.

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BiomedCurator: Data Curation for Biomedical Literature
Mohammad Golam Sohrab | Khoa N.A. Duong | Ikeda Masami | Goran Topić | Yayoi Natsume-Kitatani | Masakata Kuroda | Mari Nogami Itoh | Hiroya Takamura

We present BiomedCurator1, a web application that extracts the structured data from scientific articles in PubMed and BiomedCurator uses state-of-the-art natural language processing techniques to fill the fields pre-selected by domain experts in the relevant biomedical area. The BiomedCurator web application includes: text generation based model for relation extraction, entity detection and recognition, text classification model for extracting several fields, information retrieval from external knowledge base to retrieve IDs, and a pattern-based extraction approach that can extract several fields using regular expressions over the PubMed and datasets. Evaluation results show that different approaches of BiomedCurator web application system are effective for automatic data curation in the biomedical domain.

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Text Characterization Toolkit (TCT)
Daniel Simig | Tianlu Wang | Verna Dankers | Peter Henderson | Khuyagbaatar Batsuren | Dieuwke Hupkes | Mona Diab

We present a tool, Text Characterization Toolkit (TCT), that researchers can use to study characteristics of large datasets. Furthermore, such properties can lead to understanding the influence of such attributes on models’ behaviour. Traditionally, in most NLP research, models are usually evaluated by reporting single-number performance scores on a number of readily available benchmarks, without much deeper analysis. Here, we argue that – especially given the well-known fact that benchmarks often contain biases, artefacts, and spurious correlations – deeper results analysis should become the de-facto standard when presenting new models or benchmarks. TCT aims at filling this gap by facilitating such deeper analysis for datasets at scale, where datasets can be for training/development/evaluation. TCT includes both an easy-to-use tool, as well as off-the-shelf scripts that can be used for specific analyses. We also present use-cases from several different domains. TCT is used to predict difficult examples for given well-known trained models; TCT is also used to identify (potentially harmful) biases present in a dataset.

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Meeting Decision Tracker: Making Meeting Minutes with De-Contextualized Utterances
Shumpei Inoue | Hy Nguyen | Hoang Pham | Tsungwei Liu | Minh-Tien Nguyen

Meetings are a universal process to make decisions in business and project collaboration. The capability to automatically itemize the decisions in daily meetings allows for extensive tracking of past discussions. To that end, we developed Meeting Decision Tracker, a prototype system to construct decision items comprising decision utterance detector (DUD) and decision utterance rewriter (DUR). We show that DUR makes a sizable contribution to improving the user experience by dealing with utterance collapse in natural conversation. An introduction video of our system is also available at


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Proceedings of the 2nd Conference of the Asia-Pacific Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 12th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing: Tutorial Abstracts

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Proceedings of the 2nd Conference of the Asia-Pacific Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 12th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing: Tutorial Abstracts
Miguel A. Alonso | Zhongyu Wei

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Efficient and Robust Knowledge Graph Construction
Ningyu Zhang | Tao Gui | Guoshun Nan

Knowledge graph construction which aims to extract knowledge from the text corpus, has appealed to the NLP community researchers. Previous decades have witnessed the remarkable progress of knowledge graph construction on the basis of neural models; however, those models often cost massive computation or labeled data resources and suffer from unstable inference accounting for biased or adversarial samples. Recently, numerous approaches have been explored to mitigate the efficiency and robustness issues for knowledge graph construction, such as prompt learning and adversarial training. In this tutorial, we aim to bring interested NLP researchers up to speed on the recent and ongoing techniques for efficient and robust knowledge graph construction. Additionally, our goal is to provide a systematic and up-to-date overview of these methods and reveal new research opportunities to the audience.

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Recent Advances in Pre-trained Language Models: Why Do They Work and How Do They Work
Cheng-Han Chiang | Yung-Sung Chuang | Hung-yi Lee

Pre-trained language models (PLMs) are language models that are pre-trained on large-scaled corpora in a self-supervised fashion. These PLMs have fundamentally changed the natural language processing community in the past few years. In this tutorial, we aim to provide a broad and comprehensive introduction from two perspectives: why those PLMs work, and how to use them in NLP tasks. The first part of the tutorial shows some insightful analysis on PLMs that partially explain their exceptional downstream performance. The second part first focuses on emerging pre-training methods that enable PLMs to perform diverse downstream tasks and then illustrates how one can apply those PLMs to downstream tasks under different circumstances. These circumstances include fine-tuning PLMs when under data scarcity, and using PLMs with parameter efficiency. We believe that attendees of different backgrounds would find this tutorial informative and useful.

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When Cantonese NLP Meets Pre-training: Progress and Challenges
Rong Xiang | Hanzhuo Tan | Jing Li | Mingyu Wan | Kam-Fai Wong

Cantonese is an influential Chinese variant with a large population of speakers worldwide. However, it is under-resourced in terms of the data scale and diversity, excluding Cantonese Natural Language Processing (NLP) from the stateof-the-art (SOTA) “pre-training and fine-tuning” paradigm. This tutorial will start with a substantially review of the linguistics and NLP progress for shaping language specificity, resources, and methodologies. It will be followed by an introduction to the trendy transformerbased pre-training methods, which have been largely advancing the SOTA performance of a wide range of downstream NLP tasks in numerous majority languages (e.g., English and Chinese). Based on the above, we will present the main challenges for Cantonese NLP in relation to Cantonese language idiosyncrasies of colloquialism and multilingualism, followed by the future directions to line NLP for Cantonese and other low-resource languages up to the cutting-edge pre-training practice.

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Grounding Meaning Representation for Situated Reasoning
Nikhil Krishnaswamy | James Pustejovsky

As natural language technology becomes ever-present in everyday life, people will expect artificial agents to understand language use as humans do. Nevertheless, most advanced neural AI systems fail at some types of interactions that are trivial for humans (e.g., ask a smart system “What am I pointing at?”). One critical aspect of human language understanding is situated reasoning, where inferences make reference to the local context, perceptual surroundings, and contextual groundings from the interaction. In this cutting-edge tutorial, we bring to the NLP/CL community a synthesis of multimodal grounding and meaning representation techniques with formal and computational models of embodied reasoning. We will discuss existing approaches to multimodal language grounding and meaning representations, discuss the kind of information each method captures and their relative suitability to situated reasoning tasks, and demon- strate how to construct agents that conduct situated reasoning by embodying a simulated environment. In doing so, these agents also represent their human interlocutor(s) within the simulation, and are represented through their virtual embodiment in the real world, enabling true bidirectional communication with a computer using multiple modalities.

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The Battlefront of Combating Misinformation and Coping with Media Bias
Yi Fung | Kung-Hsiang Huang | Preslav Nakov | Heng Ji

Misinformation is a pressing issue in modern society. It arouses a mixture of anger, distrust, confusion, and anxiety that cause damage on our daily life judgments and public policy decisions. While recent studies have explored various fake news detection and media bias detection techniques in attempts to tackle the problem, there remain many ongoing challenges yet to be addressed, as can be witnessed from the plethora of untrue and harmful content present during the COVID-19 pandemic and the international crises of late. In this tutorial, we provide researchers and practitioners with a systematic overview of the frontier in fighting misinformation. Specifically, we dive into the important research questions of how to (i) develop a robust fake news detection system, which not only fact-check information pieces provable by background knowledge but also reason about the consistency and the reliability of subtle details for emerging events; (ii) uncover the bias and agenda of news sources to better characterize misinformation; as well as (iii) correct false information and mitigate news bias, while allowing diverse opinions to be expressed. Moreover, we discuss the remaining challenges, future research directions, and exciting opportunities to help make this world a better place, with safer and more harmonic information sharing.

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A Tour of Explicit Multilingual Semantics: Word Sense Disambiguation, Semantic Role Labeling and Semantic Parsing
Roberto Navigli | Edoardo Barba | Simone Conia | Rexhina Blloshmi

The recent advent of modern pretrained language models has sparked a revolution in Natural Language Processing (NLP), especially in multilingual and cross-lingual applications. Today, such language models have become the de facto standard for providing rich input representations to neural systems, achieving unprecedented results in an increasing range of benchmarks. However, questions that often arise are: firstly, whether current language models are, indeed, able to capture explicit, symbolic meaning; secondly, if they are, to what extent; thirdly, and perhaps more importantly, whether current approaches are capable of scaling across languages. In this cutting-edge tutorial, we will review recent efforts that have aimed at shedding light on meaning in NLP, with a focus on three key open problems in lexical and sentence-level semantics: Word Sense Disambiguation, Semantic Role Labeling, and Semantic Parsing. After a brief introduction, we will spotlight how state-of-the-art models tackle these tasks in multiple languages, showing where they excel and where they fail. We hope that this tutorial will broaden the audience interested in multilingual semantics and inspire researchers to further advance the field.