Aitor Ormazabal


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CombLM: Adapting Black-Box Language Models through Small Fine-Tuned Models
Aitor Ormazabal | Mikel Artetxe | Eneko Agirre
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Methods for adapting language models (LMs) to new tasks and domains have traditionally assumed white-box access to the model, and work by modifying its parameters. However, this is incompatible with a recent trend in the field, where the highest quality models are only available as black-boxes through inference APIs. Even when the model weights are available, the computational cost of fine-tuning large LMs can be prohibitive for most practitioners. In this work, we present a lightweight method for adapting large LMs to new domains and tasks, assuming no access to their weights or intermediate activations. Our approach fine-tunes a small white-box LM and combines it with the large black-box LM at the probability level through a small network, learned on a small validation set. We validate our approach by adapting a large LM (OPT-30B) to several domains and a downstream task (machine translation), observing improved performance in all cases, of up to 9%, while using a domain expert 23x smaller.


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PoeLM: A Meter- and Rhyme-Controllable Language Model for Unsupervised Poetry Generation
Aitor Ormazabal | Mikel Artetxe | Manex Agirrezabal | Aitor Soroa | Eneko Agirre
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2022

Formal verse poetry imposes strict constraints on the meter and rhyme scheme of poems. Most prior work on generating this type of poetry uses existing poems for supervision, which are difficult to obtain for most languages and poetic forms. In this work, we propose an unsupervised approach to generate poems that follow any given meter and rhyme scheme, without requiring any poetic text for training. Our method works by splitting a regular, non-poetic corpus into phrases, prepending control codes that describe the length and end rhyme of each phrase, and training a transformer language model in the augmented corpus. The transformer learns to link the structure descriptor with the control codes to the number of lines, their length and their end rhyme. During inference, we build control codes for the desired meter and rhyme scheme, and condition our language model on them to generate formal verse poetry. Experiments in Spanish and Basque show that our approach is able to generate valid poems, which are often comparable in quality to those written by humans.

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Principled Paraphrase Generation with Parallel Corpora
Aitor Ormazabal | Mikel Artetxe | Aitor Soroa | Gorka Labaka | Eneko Agirre
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Round-trip Machine Translation (MT) is a popular choice for paraphrase generation, which leverages readily available parallel corpora for supervision. In this paper, we formalize the implicit similarity function induced by this approach, and show that it is susceptible to non-paraphrase pairs sharing a single ambiguous translation. Based on these insights, we design an alternative similarity metric that mitigates this issue by requiring the entire translation distribution to match, and implement a relaxation of it through the Information Bottleneck method. Our approach incorporates an adversarial term into MT training in order to learn representations that encode as much information about the reference translation as possible, while keeping as little information about the input as possible. Paraphrases can be generated by decoding back to the source from this representation, without having to generate pivot translations. In addition to being more principled and efficient than round-trip MT, our approach offers an adjustable parameter to control the fidelity-diversity trade-off, and obtains better results in our experiments.


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Beyond Offline Mapping: Learning Cross-lingual Word Embeddings through Context Anchoring
Aitor Ormazabal | Mikel Artetxe | Aitor Soroa | Gorka Labaka | Eneko Agirre
Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Recent research on cross-lingual word embeddings has been dominated by unsupervised mapping approaches that align monolingual embeddings. Such methods critically rely on those embeddings having a similar structure, but it was recently shown that the separate training in different languages causes departures from this assumption. In this paper, we propose an alternative approach that does not have this limitation, while requiring a weak seed dictionary (e.g., a list of identical words) as the only form of supervision. Rather than aligning two fixed embedding spaces, our method works by fixing the target language embeddings, and learning a new set of embeddings for the source language that are aligned with them. To that end, we use an extension of skip-gram that leverages translated context words as anchor points, and incorporates self-learning and iterative restarts to reduce the dependency on the initial dictionary. Our approach outperforms conventional mapping methods on bilingual lexicon induction, and obtains competitive results in the downstream XNLI task.


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Analyzing the Limitations of Cross-lingual Word Embedding Mappings
Aitor Ormazabal | Mikel Artetxe | Gorka Labaka | Aitor Soroa | Eneko Agirre
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Recent research in cross-lingual word embeddings has almost exclusively focused on offline methods, which independently train word embeddings in different languages and map them to a shared space through linear transformations. While several authors have questioned the underlying isomorphism assumption, which states that word embeddings in different languages have approximately the same structure, it is not clear whether this is an inherent limitation of mapping approaches or a more general issue when learning cross-lingual embeddings. So as to answer this question, we experiment with parallel corpora, which allows us to compare offline mapping to an extension of skip-gram that jointly learns both embedding spaces. We observe that, under these ideal conditions, joint learning yields to more isomorphic embeddings, is less sensitive to hubness, and obtains stronger results in bilingual lexicon induction. We thus conclude that current mapping methods do have strong limitations, calling for further research to jointly learn cross-lingual embeddings with a weaker cross-lingual signal.