With the success of contextualized language models, much research explores what these models really learn and in which cases they still fail. Most of this work focuses on specific NLP tasks and on the learning outcome. Little research has attempted to decouple the models’ weaknesses from specific tasks and focus on the embeddings per se and their mode of learning. In this paper, we take up this research opportunity: based on theoretical linguistic insights, we explore whether the semantic constraints of function words are learned and how the surrounding context impacts their embeddings. We create suitable datasets, provide new insights into the inner workings of LMs vis-a-vis function words and implement an assisting visual web interface for qualitative analysis.
Despite the success of contextualized language models on various NLP tasks, it is still unclear what these models really learn. In this paper, we contribute to the current efforts of explaining such models by exploring the continuum between function and content words with respect to contextualization in BERT, based on linguistically-informed insights. In particular, we utilize scoring and visual analytics techniques: we use an existing similarity-based score to measure contextualization and integrate it into a novel visual analytics technique, presenting the model’s layers simultaneously and highlighting intra-layer properties and inter-layer differences. We show that contextualization is neither driven by polysemy nor by pure context variation. We also provide insights on why BERT fails to model words in the middle of the functionality continuum.
This paper describes the submission of the team KonTra to the CMCL 2021 Shared Task on eye-tracking prediction. Our system combines the embeddings extracted from a fine-tuned BERT model with surface, linguistic and behavioral features, resulting in an average mean absolute error of 4.22 across all 5 eye-tracking measures. We show that word length and features representing the expectedness of a word are consistently the strongest predictors across all 5 eye-tracking measures.
Research in NLP has mainly focused on factoid questions, with the goal of finding quick and reliable ways of matching a query to an answer. However, human discourse involves more than that: it contains non-canonical questions deployed to achieve specific communicative goals. In this paper, we investigate this under-studied aspect of NLP by introducing a targeted task, creating an appropriate corpus for the task and providing baseline models of diverse nature. With this, we are also able to generate useful insights on the task and open the way for future research in this direction.
Despite the advances in Natural Language Inference through the training of massive deep models, recent work has revealed the generalization difficulties of such models, which fail to perform on adversarial datasets with challenging linguistic phenomena. Such phenomena, however, can be handled well by symbolic systems. Thus, we propose Hy-NLI, a hybrid system that learns to identify an NLI pair as linguistically challenging or not. Based on that, it uses its symbolic or deep learning component, respectively, to make the final inference decision. We show how linguistically less complex cases are best solved by robust state-of-the-art models, like BERT and XLNet, while hard linguistic phenomena are best handled by our implemented symbolic engine. Our thorough evaluation shows that our hybrid system achieves state-of-the-art performance across mainstream and adversarial datasets and opens the way for further research into the hybrid direction.
Advances in Natural Language Inference (NLI) have helped us understand what state-of-the-art models really learn and what their generalization power is. Recent research has revealed some heuristics and biases of these models. However, to date, there is no systematic effort to capitalize on those insights through a system that uses these to explain the NLI decisions. To this end, we propose XplaiNLI, an eXplainable, interactive, visualization interface that computes NLI with different methods and provides explanations for the decisions made by the different approaches.
Three broad approaches have been attempted to combine distributional and structural/symbolic aspects to construct meaning representations: a) injecting linguistic features into distributional representations, b) injecting distributional features into symbolic representations or c) combining structural and distributional features in the final representation. This work focuses on an example of the third and less studied approach: it extends the Graphical Knowledge Representation (GKR) to include distributional features and proposes a division of semantic labour between the distributional and structural/symbolic features. We propose two extensions of GKR that clearly show this division and empirically test one of the proposals on an NLI dataset with hard compositional pairs.
The vast amount of research introducing new corpora and techniques for semi-automatically annotating corpora shows the important role that datasets play in today’s research, especially in the machine learning community. This rapid development raises concerns about the quality of the datasets created and consequently of the models trained, as recently discussed with respect to the Natural Language Inference (NLI) task. In this work we conduct an annotation experiment based on a small subset of the SICK corpus. The experiment reveals several problems in the annotation guidelines, and various challenges of the NLI task itself. Our quantitative evaluation of the experiment allows us to assign our empirical observations to specific linguistic phenomena and leads us to recommendations for future annotation tasks, for NLI and possibly for other tasks.
Vector representations of words have seen an increasing success over the past years in a variety of NLP tasks. While there seems to be a consensus about the usefulness of word embeddings and how to learn them, it is still unclear which representations can capture the meaning of phrases or even whole sentences. Recent work has shown that simple operations outperform more complex deep architectures. In this work, we propose two novel constraints for computing noun phrase vector representations. First, we propose that the semantic and not the syntactic contribution of each component of a noun phrase should be considered, so that the resulting composed vectors express more of the phrase meaning. Second, the composition process of the two phrase vectors should apply suitable dimensions’ selection in a way that specific semantic features captured by the phrase’s meaning become more salient. Our proposed methods are compared to 11 other approaches, including popular baselines and a neural net architecture, and are evaluated across 6 tasks and 2 datasets. Our results show that these constraints lead to more expressive phrase representations and can be applied to other state-of-the-art methods to improve their performance.
The study of language change through parallel corpora can be advantageous for the analysis of complex interactions between time, text domain and language. Often, those advantages cannot be fully exploited due to the sparse but high-dimensional nature of such historical data. To tackle this challenge, we introduce ParHistVis: a novel, free, easy-to-use, interactive visualization tool for parallel, multilingual, diachronic and synchronic linguistic data. We illustrate the suitability of the components of the tool based on a use case of word order change in Romance wh-interrogatives.
A position paper arguing that purely graphical representations for natural language semantics lack a fundamental degree of expressiveness, and cannot deal with even basic Boolean operations like negation or disjunction. Moving from graphs to named graphs leads to representations that stand some chance of having sufficient expressive power. Named ℱℒ0 graphs are of particular interest.
This paper describes the first version of an open-source semantic parser that creates graphical representations of sentences to be used for further semantic processing, e.g. for natural language inference, reasoning and semantic similarity. The Graphical Knowledge Representation which is output by the parser is inspired by the Abstract Knowledge Representation, which separates out conceptual and contextual levels of representation that deal respectively with the subject matter of a sentence and its existential commitments. Our representation is a layered graph with each sub-graph holding different kinds of information, including one sub-graph for concepts and one for contexts. Our first evaluation of the system shows an F-score of 85% in accurately representing sentences as semantic graphs.