Ahmed Masry


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UniChart: A Universal Vision-language Pretrained Model for Chart Comprehension and Reasoning
Ahmed Masry | Parsa Kavehzadeh | Xuan Long Do | Enamul Hoque | Shafiq Joty
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Charts are widely used for data analysis, providing visual representations and insights into complex data. To facilitate chart-based data analysis using natural language, several downstream tasks have been introduced recently such as chart question answering and chart summarization. However, existing methods for these tasks often rely on pretraining on language or vision-language tasks, neglecting the explicit modeling of chart structures (e.g., how chart elements are related to each other). To address this, we first build a large corpus of charts covering diverse topics and visual styles. We then present UniChart, a pretrained model for chart comprehension and reasoning. UniChart encodes the relevant text, data, and visual elements of charts and then uses a chart-grounded text decoder for text generation. We propose several chart-specific pretraining tasks that include: (i) low-level tasks to extract the visual elements (e.g., bars, lines) and data from charts, and (ii) high-level tasks to acquire chart understanding and reasoning skills. Our experiments demonstrate that pretraining UniChart on a large corpus with chart-specific objectives, followed by fine-tuning, yields state-of-the-art performance on four downstream tasks. Moreover, our model exhibits superior generalizability to unseen chart corpus, surpassing previous approaches that lack chart-specific objectives and utilize limited chart resources.


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Chart-to-Text: A Large-Scale Benchmark for Chart Summarization
Shankar Kantharaj | Rixie Tiffany Leong | Xiang Lin | Ahmed Masry | Megh Thakkar | Enamul Hoque | Shafiq Joty
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Charts are commonly used for exploring data and communicating insights. Generating natural language summaries from charts can be very helpful for people in inferring key insights that would otherwise require a lot of cognitive and perceptual efforts. We present Chart-to-text, a large-scale benchmark with two datasets and a total of 44,096 charts covering a wide range of topics and chart types. We explain the dataset construction process and analyze the datasets. We also introduce a number of state-of-the-art neural models as baselines that utilize image captioning and data-to-text generation techniques to tackle two problem variations: one assumes the underlying data table of the chart is available while the other needs to extract data from chart images. Our analysis with automatic and human evaluation shows that while our best models usually generate fluent summaries and yield reasonable BLEU scores, they also suffer from hallucinations and factual errors as well as difficulties in correctly explaining complex patterns and trends in charts.

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ChartQA: A Benchmark for Question Answering about Charts with Visual and Logical Reasoning
Ahmed Masry | Xuan Long Do | Jia Qing Tan | Shafiq Joty | Enamul Hoque
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2022

Charts are very popular for analyzing data. When exploring charts, people often ask a variety of complex reasoning questions that involve several logical and arithmetic operations. They also commonly refer to visual features of a chart in their questions. However, most existing datasets do not focus on such complex reasoning questions as their questions are template-based and answers come from a fixed-vocabulary. In this work, we present a large-scale benchmark covering 9.6K human-written questions as well as 23.1K questions generated from human-written chart summaries. To address the unique challenges in our benchmark involving visual and logical reasoning over charts, we present two transformer-based models that combine visual features and the data table of the chart in a unified way to answer questions. While our models achieve the state-of-the-art results on the previous datasets as well as on our benchmark, the evaluation also reveals several challenges in answering complex reasoning questions.