Adrian Benton


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Updated Headline Generation: Creating Updated Summaries for Evolving News Stories
Sheena Panthaplackel | Adrian Benton | Mark Dredze
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

We propose the task of updated headline generation, in which a system generates a headline for an updated article, considering both the previous article and headline. The system must identify the novel information in the article update, and modify the existing headline accordingly. We create data for this task using the NewsEdits corpus by automatically identifying contiguous article versions that are likely to require a substantive headline update. We find that models conditioned on the prior headline and body revisions produce headlines judged by humans to be as factual as gold headlines while making fewer unnecessary edits compared to a standard headline generation model. Our experiments establish benchmarks for this new contextual summarization task.

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What Makes Data-to-Text Generation Hard for Pretrained Language Models?
Moniba Keymanesh | Adrian Benton | Mark Dredze
Proceedings of the 2nd Workshop on Natural Language Generation, Evaluation, and Metrics (GEM)

Expressing natural language descriptions of structured facts or relations – data-to-text generation (D2T) – increases the accessibility of structured knowledge repositories. Previous work shows that pre-trained language models (PLMs) perform remarkably well on this task after fine-tuning on a significant amount of task-specific training data. On the other hand, while auto-regressive PLMs can generalize from a few task examples, their efficacy at D2T is largely unexplored. Furthermore, we have an incomplete understanding of the limits of PLMs on D2T. In this work, we conduct an empirical study of both fine-tuned and auto-regressive PLMs on the DART multi-domain D2T dataset. We consider their performance as a function of the amount of task-specific data and how the data is incorporated into the models: zero and few-shot learning, and fine-tuning of model weights. In addition, we probe the limits of PLMs by measuring performance on subsets of the evaluation data: novel predicates and abstractive test examples. To improve the performance on these subsets, we investigate two techniques: providing predicate descriptions in the context and re-ranking generated candidates by information reflected in the source. Finally, we conduct a human evaluation of model errors and show that D2T generation tasks would benefit from datasets with more careful manual curation.

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Weakly Supervised Headline Dependency Parsing
Adrian Benton | Tianze Shi | Ozan İrsoy | Igor Malioutov
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2022

English news headlines form a register with unique syntactic properties that have been documented in linguistics literature since the 1930s. However, headlines have received surprisingly little attention from the NLP syntactic parsing community. We aim to bridge this gap by providing the first news headline corpus of Universal Dependencies annotated syntactic dependency trees, which enables us to evaluate existing state-of-the-art dependency parsers on news headlines. To improve English news headline parsing accuracies, we develop a projection method to bootstrap silver training data from unlabeled news headline-article lead sentence pairs. Models trained on silver headline parses demonstrate significant improvements in performance over models trained solely on gold-annotated long-form texts. Ultimately, we find that, although projected silver training data improves parser performance across different news outlets, the improvement is moderated by constructions idiosyncratic to outlet.


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Diversity-Aware Batch Active Learning for Dependency Parsing
Tianze Shi | Adrian Benton | Igor Malioutov | Ozan İrsoy
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

While the predictive performance of modern statistical dependency parsers relies heavily on the availability of expensive expert-annotated treebank data, not all annotations contribute equally to the training of the parsers. In this paper, we attempt to reduce the number of labeled examples needed to train a strong dependency parser using batch active learning (AL). In particular, we investigate whether enforcing diversity in the sampled batches, using determinantal point processes (DPPs), can improve over their diversity-agnostic counterparts. Simulation experiments on an English newswire corpus show that selecting diverse batches with DPPs is superior to strong selection strategies that do not enforce batch diversity, especially during the initial stages of the learning process. Additionally, our diversity-aware strategy is robust under a corpus duplication setting, where diversity-agnostic sampling strategies exhibit significant degradation.

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Towards Realistic Few-Shot Relation Extraction
Sam Brody | Sichao Wu | Adrian Benton
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

In recent years, few-shot models have been applied successfully to a variety of NLP tasks. Han et al. (2018) introduced a few-shot learning framework for relation classification, and since then, several models have surpassed human performance on this task, leading to the impression that few-shot relation classification is solved. In this paper we take a deeper look at the efficacy of strong few-shot classification models in the more common relation extraction setting, and show that typical few-shot evaluation metrics obscure a wide variability in performance across relations. In particular, we find that state of the art few-shot relation classification models overly rely on entity type information, and propose modifications to the training routine to encourage models to better discriminate between relations involving similar entity types.

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Cross-Register Projection for Headline Part of Speech Tagging
Adrian Benton | Hanyang Li | Igor Malioutov
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Part of speech (POS) tagging is a familiar NLP task. State of the art taggers routinely achieve token-level accuracies of over 97% on news body text, evidence that the problem is well understood. However, the register of English news headlines, “headlinese”, is very different from the register of long-form text, causing POS tagging models to underperform on headlines. In this work, we automatically annotate news headlines with POS tags by projecting predicted tags from corresponding sentences in news bodies. We train a multi-domain POS tagger on both long-form and headline text and show that joint training on both registers improves over training on just one or naïvely concatenating training sets. We evaluate on a newly-annotated corpus of over 5,248 English news headlines from the Google sentence compression corpus, and show that our model yields a 23% relative error reduction per token and 19% per headline. In addition, we demonstrate that better headline POS tags can improve the performance of a syntax-based open information extraction system. We make POSH, the POS-tagged Headline corpus, available to encourage research in improved NLP models for news headlines.

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Corrected CBOW Performs as well as Skip-gram
Ozan İrsoy | Adrian Benton | Karl Stratos
Proceedings of the Second Workshop on Insights from Negative Results in NLP

Mikolov et al. (2013a) observed that continuous bag-of-words (CBOW) word embeddings tend to underperform Skip-gram (SG) embeddings, and this finding has been reported in subsequent works. We find that these observations are driven not by fundamental differences in their training objectives, but more likely on faulty negative sampling CBOW implementations in popular libraries such as the official implementation, word2vec.c, and Gensim. We show that after correcting a bug in the CBOW gradient update, one can learn CBOW word embeddings that are fully competitive with SG on various intrinsic and extrinsic tasks, while being many times faster to train.

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Comparing Euclidean and Hyperbolic Embeddings on the WordNet Nouns Hypernymy Graph
Sameer Bansal | Adrian Benton
Proceedings of the Second Workshop on Insights from Negative Results in NLP

Nickel and Kiela (2017) present a new method for embedding tree nodes in the Poincare ball, and suggest that these hyperbolic embeddings are far more effective than Euclidean embeddings at embedding nodes in large, hierarchically structured graphs like the WordNet nouns hypernymy tree. This is especially true in low dimensions (Nickel and Kiela, 2017, Table 1). In this work, we seek to reproduce their experiments on embedding and reconstructing the WordNet nouns hypernymy graph. Counter to what they report, we find that Euclidean embeddings are able to represent this tree at least as well as Poincare embeddings, when allowed at least 50 dimensions. We note that this does not diminish the significance of their work given the impressive performance of hyperbolic embeddings in very low-dimensional settings. However, given the wide influence of their work, our aim here is to present an updated and more accurate comparison between the Euclidean and hyperbolic embeddings.


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Deep Generalized Canonical Correlation Analysis
Adrian Benton | Huda Khayrallah | Biman Gujral | Dee Ann Reisinger | Sheng Zhang | Raman Arora
Proceedings of the 4th Workshop on Representation Learning for NLP (RepL4NLP-2019)

We present Deep Generalized Canonical Correlation Analysis (DGCCA) – a method for learning nonlinear transformations of arbitrarily many views of data, such that the resulting transformations are maximally informative of each other. While methods for nonlinear two view representation learning (Deep CCA, (Andrew et al., 2013)) and linear many-view representation learning (Generalized CCA (Horst, 1961)) exist, DGCCA combines the flexibility of nonlinear (deep) representation learning with the statistical power of incorporating information from many sources, or views. We present the DGCCA formulation as well as an efficient stochastic optimization algorithm for solving it. We learn and evaluate DGCCA representations for three downstream tasks: phonetic transcription from acoustic & articulatory measurements, recommending hashtags and recommending friends on a dataset of Twitter users.

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Roll Call Vote Prediction with Knowledge Augmented Models
Pallavi Patil | Kriti Myer | Ronak Zala | Arpit Singh | Sheshera Mysore | Andrew McCallum | Adrian Benton | Amanda Stent
Proceedings of the 23rd Conference on Computational Natural Language Learning (CoNLL)

The official voting records of United States congresspeople are preserved as roll call votes. Prediction of voting behavior of politicians for whom no voting record exists, such as individuals running for office, is important for forecasting key political decisions. Prior work has relied on past votes cast to predict future votes, and thus fails to predict voting patterns for politicians without voting records. We address this by augmenting a prior state of the art model with multiple sources of external knowledge so as to enable prediction on unseen politicians. The sources of knowledge we use are news text and Freebase, a manually curated knowledge base. We propose augmentations based on unigram features for news text, and a knowledge base embedding method followed by a neural network composition for relations from Freebase. Empirical evaluation of these approaches indicate that the proposed models outperform the prior system for politicians with complete historical voting records by 1.0% point of accuracy (8.7% error reduction) and for politicians without voting records by 33.4% points of accuracy (66.7% error reduction). We also show that the knowledge base augmented approach outperforms the news text augmented approach by 4.2% points of accuracy.


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Using Author Embeddings to Improve Tweet Stance Classification
Adrian Benton | Mark Dredze
Proceedings of the 2018 EMNLP Workshop W-NUT: The 4th Workshop on Noisy User-generated Text

Many social media classification tasks analyze the content of a message, but do not consider the context of the message. For example, in tweet stance classification – where a tweet is categorized according to a viewpoint it espouses – the expressed viewpoint depends on latent beliefs held by the user. In this paper we investigate whether incorporating knowledge about the author can improve tweet stance classification. Furthermore, since author information and embeddings are often unavailable for labeled training examples, we propose a semi-supervised pretraining method to predict user embeddings. Although the neural stance classifiers we learn are often outperformed by a baseline SVM, author embedding pre-training yields improvements over a non-pre-trained neural network on four out of five domains in the SemEval 2016 6A tweet stance classification task. In a tweet gun control stance classification dataset, improvements from pre-training are only apparent when training data is limited.

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Deep Dirichlet Multinomial Regression
Adrian Benton | Mark Dredze
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 1 (Long Papers)

Dirichlet Multinomial Regression (DMR) and other supervised topic models can incorporate arbitrary document-level features to inform topic priors. However, their ability to model corpora are limited by the representation and selection of these features – a choice the topic modeler must make. Instead, we seek models that can learn the feature representations upon which to condition topic selection. We present deep Dirichlet Multinomial Regression (dDMR), a generative topic model that simultaneously learns document feature representations and topics. We evaluate dDMR on three datasets: New York Times articles with fine-grained tags, Amazon product reviews with product images, and Reddit posts with subreddit identity. dDMR learns representations that outperform DMR and LDA according to heldout perplexity and are more effective at downstream predictive tasks as the number of topics grows. Additionally, human subjects judge dDMR topics as being more representative of associated document features. Finally, we find that supervision leads to faster convergence as compared to an LDA baseline and that dDMR’s model fit is less sensitive to training parameters than DMR.


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Multitask Learning for Mental Health Conditions with Limited Social Media Data
Adrian Benton | Margaret Mitchell | Dirk Hovy
Proceedings of the 15th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Volume 1, Long Papers

Language contains information about the author’s demographic attributes as well as their mental state, and has been successfully leveraged in NLP to predict either one alone. However, demographic attributes and mental states also interact with each other, and we are the first to demonstrate how to use them jointly to improve the prediction of mental health conditions across the board. We model the different conditions as tasks in a multitask learning (MTL) framework, and establish for the first time the potential of deep learning in the prediction of mental health from online user-generated text. The framework we propose significantly improves over all baselines and single-task models for predicting mental health conditions, with particularly significant gains for conditions with limited data. In addition, our best MTL model can predict the presence of conditions (neuroatypicality) more generally, further reducing the error of the strong feed-forward baseline.

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Ethical Research Protocols for Social Media Health Research
Adrian Benton | Glen Coppersmith | Mark Dredze
Proceedings of the First ACL Workshop on Ethics in Natural Language Processing

Social media have transformed data-driven research in political science, the social sciences, health, and medicine. Since health research often touches on sensitive topics that relate to ethics of treatment and patient privacy, similar ethical considerations should be acknowledged when using social media data in health research. While much has been said regarding the ethical considerations of social media research, health research leads to an additional set of concerns. We provide practical suggestions in the form of guidelines for researchers working with social media data in health research. These guidelines can inform an IRB proposal for researchers new to social media health research.


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Learning Multiview Embeddings of Twitter Users
Adrian Benton | Raman Arora | Mark Dredze
Proceedings of the 54th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 2: Short Papers)


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Entity Linking for Spoken Language
Adrian Benton | Mark Dredze
Proceedings of the 2015 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies