Adam Faulkner


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Error-Sensitive Evaluation for Ordinal Target Variables
David Chen | Maury Courtland | Adam Faulkner | Aysu Ezen-Can
Proceedings of the 2nd Workshop on Evaluation and Comparison of NLP Systems

Product reviews and satisfaction surveys seek customer feedback in the form of ranked scales. In these settings, widely used evaluation metrics including F1 and accuracy ignore the rank in the responses (e.g., ‘very likely’ is closer to ‘likely’ than ‘not at all’). In this paper, we hypothesize that the order of class values is important for evaluating classifiers on ordinal target variables and should not be disregarded. To test this hypothesis, we compared Multi-class Classification (MC) and Ordinal Regression (OR) by applying OR and MC to benchmark tasks involving ordinal target variables using the same underlying model architecture. Experimental results show that while MC outperformed OR for some datasets in accuracy and F1, OR is significantly better than MC for minimizing the error between prediction and target for all benchmarks, as revealed by error-sensitive metrics, e.g. mean-squared error (MSE) and Spearman correlation. Our findings motivate the need to establish consistent, error-sensitive metrics for evaluating benchmarks with ordinal target variables, and we hope that it stimulates interest in exploring alternative losses for ordinal problems.


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Efficient Automatic Punctuation Restoration Using Bidirectional Transformers with Robust Inference
Maury Courtland | Adam Faulkner | Gayle McElvain
Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Spoken Language Translation

Though people rarely speak in complete sentences, punctuation confers many benefits to the readers of transcribed speech. Unfortunately, most ASR systems do not produce punctuated output. To address this, we propose a solution for automatic punctuation that is both cost efficient and easy to train. Our solution benefits from the recent trend in fine-tuning transformer-based language models. We also modify the typical framing of this task by predicting punctuation for sequences rather than individual tokens, which makes for more efficient training and inference. Finally, we find that aggregating predictions across multiple context windows improves accuracy even further. Our best model achieves a new state of the art on benchmark data (TED Talks) with a combined F1 of 83.9, representing a 48.7% relative improvement (15.3 absolute) over the previous state of the art.


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Toward Cross-Domain Engagement Analysis in Medical Notes
Sara Rosenthal | Adam Faulkner
Proceedings of the BioNLP 2018 workshop

We present a novel annotation task evaluating a patient’s engagement with their health care regimen. The concept of engagement supplements the traditional concept of adherence with a focus on the patient’s affect, lifestyle choices, and health goal status. We describe an engagement annotation task across two patient note domains: traditional clinical notes and a novel domain, care manager notes, where we find engagement to be more common. The annotation task resulted in a kappa of .53, suggesting strong annotator intuitions regarding engagement-bearing language. In addition, we report the results of a series of preliminary engagement classification experiments using domain adaptation.