Aarne Talman


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How Does Data Corruption Affect Natural Language Understanding Models? A Study on GLUE datasets
Aarne Talman | Marianna Apidianaki | Stergios Chatzikyriakidis | Jörg Tiedemann
Proceedings of the 11th Joint Conference on Lexical and Computational Semantics

A central question in natural language understanding (NLU) research is whether high performance demonstrates the models’ strong reasoning capabilities. We present an extensive series of controlled experiments where pre-trained language models are exposed to data that have undergone specific corruption transformations. These involve removing instances of specific word classes and often lead to non-sensical sentences. Our results show that performance remains high on most GLUE tasks when the models are fine-tuned or tested on corrupted data, suggesting that they leverage other cues for prediction even in non-sensical contexts. Our proposed data transformations can be used to assess the extent to which a specific dataset constitutes a proper testbed for evaluating models’ language understanding capabilities.


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NLI Data Sanity Check: Assessing the Effect of Data Corruption on Model Performance
Aarne Talman | Marianna Apidianaki | Stergios Chatzikyriakidis | Jörg Tiedemann
Proceedings of the 23rd Nordic Conference on Computational Linguistics (NoDaLiDa)

Pre-trained neural language models give high performance on natural language inference (NLI) tasks. But whether they actually understand the meaning of the processed sequences is still unclear. We propose a new diagnostics test suite which allows to assess whether a dataset constitutes a good testbed for evaluating the models’ meaning understanding capabilities. We specifically apply controlled corruption transformations to widely used benchmarks (MNLI and ANLI), which involve removing entire word classes and often lead to non-sensical sentence pairs. If model accuracy on the corrupted data remains high, then the dataset is likely to contain statistical biases and artefacts that guide prediction. Inversely, a large decrease in model accuracy indicates that the original dataset provides a proper challenge to the models’ reasoning capabilities. Hence, our proposed controls can serve as a crash test for developing high quality data for NLI tasks.


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Testing the Generalization Power of Neural Network Models across NLI Benchmarks
Aarne Talman | Stergios Chatzikyriakidis
Proceedings of the 2019 ACL Workshop BlackboxNLP: Analyzing and Interpreting Neural Networks for NLP

Neural network models have been very successful in natural language inference, with the best models reaching 90% accuracy in some benchmarks. However, the success of these models turns out to be largely benchmark specific. We show that models trained on a natural language inference dataset drawn from one benchmark fail to perform well in others, even if the notion of inference assumed in these benchmarks is the same or similar. We train six high performing neural network models on different datasets and show that each one of these has problems of generalizing when we replace the original test set with a test set taken from another corpus designed for the same task. In light of these results, we argue that most of the current neural network models are not able to generalize well in the task of natural language inference. We find that using large pre-trained language models helps with transfer learning when the datasets are similar enough. Our results also highlight that the current NLI datasets do not cover the different nuances of inference extensively enough.

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The University of Helsinki Submissions to the WMT19 News Translation Task
Aarne Talman | Umut Sulubacak | Raúl Vázquez | Yves Scherrer | Sami Virpioja | Alessandro Raganato | Arvi Hurskainen | Jörg Tiedemann
Proceedings of the Fourth Conference on Machine Translation (Volume 2: Shared Task Papers, Day 1)

In this paper we present the University of Helsinki submissions to the WMT 2019 shared news translation task in three language pairs: English-German, English-Finnish and Finnish-English. This year we focused first on cleaning and filtering the training data using multiple data-filtering approaches, resulting in much smaller and cleaner training sets. For English-German we trained both sentence-level transformer models as well as compared different document-level translation approaches. For Finnish-English and English-Finnish we focused on different segmentation approaches and we also included a rule-based system for English-Finnish.

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Predicting Prosodic Prominence from Text with Pre-trained Contextualized Word Representations
Aarne Talman | Antti Suni | Hande Celikkanat | Sofoklis Kakouros | Jörg Tiedemann | Martti Vainio
Proceedings of the 22nd Nordic Conference on Computational Linguistics

In this paper we introduce a new natural language processing dataset and benchmark for predicting prosodic prominence from written text. To our knowledge this will be the largest publicly available dataset with prosodic labels. We describe the dataset construction and the resulting benchmark dataset in detail and train a number of different models ranging from feature-based classifiers to neural network systems for the prediction of discretized prosodic prominence. We show that pre-trained contextualized word representations from BERT outperform the other models even with less than 10% of the training data. Finally we discuss the dataset in light of the results and point to future research and plans for further improving both the dataset and methods of predicting prosodic prominence from text. The dataset and the code for the models will be made publicly available.