Angela Fan


2022

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MUSS: Multilingual Unsupervised Sentence Simplification by Mining Paraphrases
Louis Martin | Angela Fan | Éric de la Clergerie | Antoine Bordes | Benoît Sagot
Proceedings of the Thirteenth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

Progress in sentence simplification has been hindered by a lack of labeled parallel simplification data, particularly in languages other than English. We introduce MUSS, a Multilingual Unsupervised Sentence Simplification system that does not require labeled simplification data. MUSS uses a novel approach to sentence simplification that trains strong models using sentence-level paraphrase data instead of proper simplification data. These models leverage unsupervised pretraining and controllable generation mechanisms to flexibly adjust attributes such as length and lexical complexity at inference time. We further present a method to mine such paraphrase data in any language from Common Crawl using semantic sentence embeddings, thus removing the need for labeled data. We evaluate our approach on English, French, and Spanish simplification benchmarks and closely match or outperform the previous best supervised results, despite not using any labeled simplification data. We push the state of the art further by incorporating labeled simplification data.

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Proceedings of the Third Workshop on Deep Learning for Low-Resource Natural Language Processing
Colin Cherry | Angela Fan | George Foster | Gholamreza (Reza) Haffari | Shahram Khadivi | Nanyun (Violet) Peng | Xiang Ren | Ehsan Shareghi | Swabha Swayamdipta
Proceedings of the Third Workshop on Deep Learning for Low-Resource Natural Language Processing

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A Few Thousand Translations Go a Long Way! Leveraging Pre-trained Models for African News Translation
David Adelani | Jesujoba Alabi | Angela Fan | Julia Kreutzer | Xiaoyu Shen | Machel Reid | Dana Ruiter | Dietrich Klakow | Peter Nabende | Ernie Chang | Tajuddeen Gwadabe | Freshia Sackey | Bonaventure F. P. Dossou | Chris Emezue | Colin Leong | Michael Beukman | Shamsuddeen Muhammad | Guyo Jarso | Oreen Yousuf | Andre Niyongabo Rubungo | Gilles Hacheme | Eric Peter Wairagala | Muhammad Umair Nasir | Benjamin Ajibade | Tunde Ajayi | Yvonne Gitau | Jade Abbott | Mohamed Ahmed | Millicent Ochieng | Anuoluwapo Aremu | Perez Ogayo | Jonathan Mukiibi | Fatoumata Ouoba Kabore | Godson Kalipe | Derguene Mbaye | Allahsera Auguste Tapo | Victoire Memdjokam Koagne | Edwin Munkoh-Buabeng | Valencia Wagner | Idris Abdulmumin | Ayodele Awokoya | Happy Buzaaba | Blessing Sibanda | Andiswa Bukula | Sam Manthalu
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Recent advances in the pre-training for language models leverage large-scale datasets to create multilingual models. However, low-resource languages are mostly left out in these datasets. This is primarily because many widely spoken languages that are not well represented on the web and therefore excluded from the large-scale crawls for datasets. Furthermore, downstream users of these models are restricted to the selection of languages originally chosen for pre-training. This work investigates how to optimally leverage existing pre-trained models to create low-resource translation systems for 16 African languages. We focus on two questions: 1) How can pre-trained models be used for languages not included in the initial pretraining? and 2) How can the resulting translation models effectively transfer to new domains? To answer these questions, we create a novel African news corpus covering 16 languages, of which eight languages are not part of any existing evaluation dataset. We demonstrate that the most effective strategy for transferring both additional languages and additional domains is to leverage small quantities of high-quality translation data to fine-tune large pre-trained models.

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Tricks for Training Sparse Translation Models
Dheeru Dua | Shruti Bhosale | Vedanuj Goswami | James Cross | Mike Lewis | Angela Fan
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Multi-task learning with an unbalanced data distribution skews model learning towards high resource tasks, especially when model capacity is fixed and fully shared across all tasks. Sparse scaling architectures, such as BASELayers, provide flexible mechanisms for different tasks to have a variable number of parameters, which can be useful to counterbalance skewed data distributions. We find that that sparse architectures for multilingual machine translation can perform poorly out of the box and propose two straightforward techniques to mitigate this — a temperature heating mechanism and dense pre-training. Overall, these methods improve performance on two multilingual translation benchmarks compared to standard BASELayers and Dense scaling baselines, and in combination, more than 2x model convergence speed.

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Proceedings of BigScience Episode #5 -- Workshop on Challenges & Perspectives in Creating Large Language Models
Angela Fan | Suzana Ilic | Thomas Wolf | Matthias Gallé
Proceedings of BigScience Episode #5 -- Workshop on Challenges & Perspectives in Creating Large Language Models

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The Flores-101 Evaluation Benchmark for Low-Resource and Multilingual Machine Translation
Naman Goyal | Cynthia Gao | Vishrav Chaudhary | Peng-Jen Chen | Guillaume Wenzek | Da Ju | Sanjana Krishnan | Marc’Aurelio Ranzato | Francisco Guzmán | Angela Fan
Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Volume 10

One of the biggest challenges hindering progress in low-resource and multilingual machine translation is the lack of good evaluation benchmarks. Current evaluation benchmarks either lack good coverage of low-resource languages, consider only restricted domains, or are low quality because they are constructed using semi-automatic procedures. In this work, we introduce the Flores-101 evaluation benchmark, consisting of 3001 sentences extracted from English Wikipedia and covering a variety of different topics and domains. These sentences have been translated in 101 languages by professional translators through a carefully controlled process. The resulting dataset enables better assessment of model quality on the long tail of low-resource languages, including the evaluation of many-to-many multilingual translation systems, as all translations are fully aligned. By publicly releasing such a high-quality and high-coverage dataset, we hope to foster progress in the machine translation community and beyond.

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Alternative Input Signals Ease Transfer in Multilingual Machine Translation
Simeng Sun | Angela Fan | James Cross | Vishrav Chaudhary | Chau Tran | Philipp Koehn | Francisco Guzmán
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Recent work in multilingual machine translation (MMT) has focused on the potential of positive transfer between languages, particularly cases where higher-resourced languages can benefit lower-resourced ones. While training an MMT model, the supervision signals learned from one language pair can be transferred to the other via the tokens shared by multiple source languages. However, the transfer is inhibited when the token overlap among source languages is small, which manifests naturally when languages use different writing systems. In this paper, we tackle inhibited transfer by augmenting the training data with alternative signals that unify different writing systems, such as phonetic, romanized, and transliterated input. We test these signals on Indic and Turkic languages, two language families where the writing systems differ but languages still share common features. Our results indicate that a straightforward multi-source self-ensemble – training a model on a mixture of various signals and ensembling the outputs of the same model fed with different signals during inference, outperforms strong ensemble baselines by 1.3 BLEU points on both language families. Further, we find that incorporating alternative inputs via self-ensemble can be particularly effective when training set is small, leading to +5 BLEU when only 5% of the total training data is accessible. Finally, our analysis demonstrates that including alternative signals yields more consistency and translates named entities more accurately, which is crucial for increased factuality of automated systems.

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AmericasNLI: Evaluating Zero-shot Natural Language Understanding of Pretrained Multilingual Models in Truly Low-resource Languages
Abteen Ebrahimi | Manuel Mager | Arturo Oncevay | Vishrav Chaudhary | Luis Chiruzzo | Angela Fan | John Ortega | Ricardo Ramos | Annette Rios | Ivan Vladimir Meza Ruiz | Gustavo Giménez-Lugo | Elisabeth Mager | Graham Neubig | Alexis Palmer | Rolando Coto-Solano | Thang Vu | Katharina Kann
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Pretrained multilingual models are able to perform cross-lingual transfer in a zero-shot setting, even for languages unseen during pretraining. However, prior work evaluating performance on unseen languages has largely been limited to low-level, syntactic tasks, and it remains unclear if zero-shot learning of high-level, semantic tasks is possible for unseen languages. To explore this question, we present AmericasNLI, an extension of XNLI (Conneau et al., 2018) to 10 Indigenous languages of the Americas. We conduct experiments with XLM-R, testing multiple zero-shot and translation-based approaches. Additionally, we explore model adaptation via continued pretraining and provide an analysis of the dataset by considering hypothesis-only models. We find that XLM-R’s zero-shot performance is poor for all 10 languages, with an average performance of 38.48%. Continued pretraining offers improvements, with an average accuracy of 43.85%. Surprisingly, training on poorly translated data by far outperforms all other methods with an accuracy of 49.12%.

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Generating Biographies on Wikipedia: The Impact of Gender Bias on the Retrieval-Based Generation of Women Biographies
Angela Fan | Claire Gardent
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Generating factual, long-form text such as Wikipedia articles raises three key challenges: how to gather relevant evidence, how to structure information into well-formed text, and how to ensure that the generated text is factually correct. We address these by developing a model for English text that uses a retrieval mechanism to identify relevant supporting information on the web and a cache-based pre-trained encoder-decoder to generate long-form biographies section by section, including citation information. To assess the impact of available web evidence on the output text, we compare the performance of our approach when generating biographies about women (for which less information is available on the web) vs. biographies generally. To this end, we curate a dataset of 1,500 biographies about women. We analyze our generated text to understand how differences in available web evidence data affect generation. We evaluate the factuality, fluency, and quality of the generated texts using automatic metrics and human evaluation. We hope that these techniques can be used as a starting point for human writers, to aid in reducing the complexity inherent in the creation of long-form, factual text.

2021

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Findings of the 2021 Conference on Machine Translation (WMT21)
Farhad Akhbardeh | Arkady Arkhangorodsky | Magdalena Biesialska | Ondřej Bojar | Rajen Chatterjee | Vishrav Chaudhary | Marta R. Costa-jussa | Cristina España-Bonet | Angela Fan | Christian Federmann | Markus Freitag | Yvette Graham | Roman Grundkiewicz | Barry Haddow | Leonie Harter | Kenneth Heafield | Christopher Homan | Matthias Huck | Kwabena Amponsah-Kaakyire | Jungo Kasai | Daniel Khashabi | Kevin Knight | Tom Kocmi | Philipp Koehn | Nicholas Lourie | Christof Monz | Makoto Morishita | Masaaki Nagata | Ajay Nagesh | Toshiaki Nakazawa | Matteo Negri | Santanu Pal | Allahsera Auguste Tapo | Marco Turchi | Valentin Vydrin | Marcos Zampieri
Proceedings of the Sixth Conference on Machine Translation

This paper presents the results of the newstranslation task, the multilingual low-resourcetranslation for Indo-European languages, thetriangular translation task, and the automaticpost-editing task organised as part of the Con-ference on Machine Translation (WMT) 2021.In the news task, participants were asked tobuild machine translation systems for any of10 language pairs, to be evaluated on test setsconsisting mainly of news stories. The taskwas also opened up to additional test suites toprobe specific aspects of translation.

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Findings of the WMT 2021 Shared Task on Large-Scale Multilingual Machine Translation
Guillaume Wenzek | Vishrav Chaudhary | Angela Fan | Sahir Gomez | Naman Goyal | Somya Jain | Douwe Kiela | Tristan Thrush | Francisco Guzmán
Proceedings of the Sixth Conference on Machine Translation

We present the results of the first task on Large-Scale Multilingual Machine Translation. The task consists on the many-to-many evaluation of a single model across a variety of source and target languages. This year, the task consisted on three different settings: (i) SMALL-TASK1 (Central/South-Eastern European Languages), (ii) the SMALL-TASK2 (South-East Asian Languages), and (iii) FULL-TASK (all 101 x 100 language pairs). All the tasks used the FLORES-101 dataset as the evaluation benchmark. To ensure the longevity of the dataset, the test sets were not publicly released and the models were evaluated in a controlled environment on Dynabench. There were a total of 10 participating teams for the tasks, with a total of 151 intermediate model submissions and 13 final models. This year’s result show a significant improvement over the known base-lines with +17.8 BLEU for SMALL-TASK2, +10.6 for FULL-TASK and +3.6 for SMALL-TASK1.

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Facebook AI’s WMT21 News Translation Task Submission
Chau Tran | Shruti Bhosale | James Cross | Philipp Koehn | Sergey Edunov | Angela Fan
Proceedings of the Sixth Conference on Machine Translation

We describe Facebook’s multilingual model submission to the WMT2021 shared task on news translation. We participate in 14 language directions: English to and from Czech, German, Hausa, Icelandic, Japanese, Russian, and Chinese. To develop systems covering all these directions, we focus on multilingual models. We utilize data from all available sources — WMT, large-scale data mining, and in-domain backtranslation — to create high quality bilingual and multilingual baselines. Subsequently, we investigate strategies for scaling multilingual model size, such that one system has sufficient capacity for high quality representations of all eight languages. Our final submission is an ensemble of dense and sparse Mixture-of-Expert multilingual translation models, followed by finetuning on in-domain news data and noisy channel reranking. Compared to previous year’s winning submissions, our multilingual system improved the translation quality on all language directions, with an average improvement of 2.0 BLEU. In the WMT2021 task, our system ranks first in 10 directions based on automatic evaluation.

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Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Natural Language Generation
Anya Belz | Angela Fan | Ehud Reiter | Yaji Sripada
Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Natural Language Generation

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Proceedings of the Second Workshop on Simple and Efficient Natural Language Processing
Nafise Sadat Moosavi | Iryna Gurevych | Angela Fan | Thomas Wolf | Yufang Hou | Ana Marasović | Sujith Ravi
Proceedings of the Second Workshop on Simple and Efficient Natural Language Processing

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Findings of the AmericasNLP 2021 Shared Task on Open Machine Translation for Indigenous Languages of the Americas
Manuel Mager | Arturo Oncevay | Abteen Ebrahimi | John Ortega | Annette Rios | Angela Fan | Ximena Gutierrez-Vasques | Luis Chiruzzo | Gustavo Giménez-Lugo | Ricardo Ramos | Ivan Vladimir Meza Ruiz | Rolando Coto-Solano | Alexis Palmer | Elisabeth Mager-Hois | Vishrav Chaudhary | Graham Neubig | Ngoc Thang Vu | Katharina Kann
Proceedings of the First Workshop on Natural Language Processing for Indigenous Languages of the Americas

This paper presents the results of the 2021 Shared Task on Open Machine Translation for Indigenous Languages of the Americas. The shared task featured two independent tracks, and participants submitted machine translation systems for up to 10 indigenous languages. Overall, 8 teams participated with a total of 214 submissions. We provided training sets consisting of data collected from various sources, as well as manually translated sentences for the development and test sets. An official baseline trained on this data was also provided. Team submissions featured a variety of architectures, including both statistical and neural models, and for the majority of languages, many teams were able to considerably improve over the baseline. The best performing systems achieved 12.97 ChrF higher than baseline, when averaged across languages.

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Do Explanations Help Users Detect Errors in Open-Domain QA? An Evaluation of Spoken vs. Visual Explanations
Ana Valeria González | Gagan Bansal | Angela Fan | Yashar Mehdad | Robin Jia | Srinivasan Iyer
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL-IJCNLP 2021

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Multilingual Translation from Denoising Pre-Training
Yuqing Tang | Chau Tran | Xian Li | Peng-Jen Chen | Naman Goyal | Vishrav Chaudhary | Jiatao Gu | Angela Fan
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL-IJCNLP 2021

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Augmenting Transformers with KNN-Based Composite Memory for Dialog
Angela Fan | Claire Gardent | Chloé Braud | Antoine Bordes
Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Volume 9

Various machine learning tasks can benefit from access to external information of different modalities, such as text and images. Recent work has focused on learning architectures with large memories capable of storing this knowledge. We propose augmenting generative Transformer neural networks with KNN-based Information Fetching (KIF) modules. Each KIF module learns a read operation to access fixed external knowledge. We apply these modules to generative dialog modeling, a challenging task where information must be flexibly retrieved and incorporated to maintain the topic and flow of conversation. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach by identifying relevant knowledge required for knowledgeable but engaging dialog from Wikipedia, images, and human-written dialog utterances, and show that leveraging this retrieved information improves model performance, measured by automatic and human evaluation.

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CCMatrix: Mining Billions of High-Quality Parallel Sentences on the Web
Holger Schwenk | Guillaume Wenzek | Sergey Edunov | Edouard Grave | Armand Joulin | Angela Fan
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)

We show that margin-based bitext mining in a multilingual sentence space can be successfully scaled to operate on monolingual corpora of billions of sentences. We use 32 snapshots of a curated common crawl corpus (Wenzel et al, 2019) totaling 71 billion unique sentences. Using one unified approach for 90 languages, we were able to mine 10.8 billion parallel sentences, out of which only 2.9 billions are aligned with English. We illustrate the capability of our scalable mining system to create high quality training sets from one language to any other by training hundreds of different machine translation models and evaluating them on the many-to-many TED benchmark. Further, we evaluate on competitive translation benchmarks such as WMT and WAT. Using only mined bitext, we set a new state of the art for a single system on the WMT’19 test set for English-German/Russian/Chinese. In particular, our English/German and English/Russian systems outperform the best single ones by over 4 BLEU points and are on par with best WMT’19 systems, which train on the WMT training data and augment it with backtranslation. We also achieve excellent results for distant languages pairs like Russian/Japanese, outperforming the best submission at the 2020 WAT workshop. All of the mined bitext will be freely available.

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KILT: a Benchmark for Knowledge Intensive Language Tasks
Fabio Petroni | Aleksandra Piktus | Angela Fan | Patrick Lewis | Majid Yazdani | Nicola De Cao | James Thorne | Yacine Jernite | Vladimir Karpukhin | Jean Maillard | Vassilis Plachouras | Tim Rocktäschel | Sebastian Riedel
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Challenging problems such as open-domain question answering, fact checking, slot filling and entity linking require access to large, external knowledge sources. While some models do well on individual tasks, developing general models is difficult as each task might require computationally expensive indexing of custom knowledge sources, in addition to dedicated infrastructure. To catalyze research on models that condition on specific information in large textual resources, we present a benchmark for knowledge-intensive language tasks (KILT). All tasks in KILT are grounded in the same snapshot of Wikipedia, reducing engineering turnaround through the re-use of components, as well as accelerating research into task-agnostic memory architectures. We test both task-specific and general baselines, evaluating downstream performance in addition to the ability of the models to provide provenance. We find that a shared dense vector index coupled with a seq2seq model is a strong baseline, outperforming more tailor-made approaches for fact checking, open-domain question answering and dialogue, and yielding competitive results on entity linking and slot filling, by generating disambiguated text. KILT data and code are available at https://github.com/facebookresearch/KILT.

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Non-Autoregressive Semantic Parsing for Compositional Task-Oriented Dialog
Arun Babu | Akshat Shrivastava | Armen Aghajanyan | Ahmed Aly | Angela Fan | Marjan Ghazvininejad
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Semantic parsing using sequence-to-sequence models allows parsing of deeper representations compared to traditional word tagging based models. In spite of these advantages, widespread adoption of these models for real-time conversational use cases has been stymied by higher compute requirements and thus higher latency. In this work, we propose a non-autoregressive approach to predict semantic parse trees with an efficient seq2seq model architecture. By combining non-autoregressive prediction with convolutional neural networks, we achieve significant latency gains and parameter size reduction compared to traditional RNN models. Our novel architecture achieves up to an 81% reduction in latency on TOP dataset and retains competitive performance to non-pretrained models on three different semantic parsing datasets.

2020

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Proceedings of SustaiNLP: Workshop on Simple and Efficient Natural Language Processing
Nafise Sadat Moosavi | Angela Fan | Vered Shwartz | Goran Glavaš | Shafiq Joty | Alex Wang | Thomas Wolf
Proceedings of SustaiNLP: Workshop on Simple and Efficient Natural Language Processing

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Multi-Dimensional Gender Bias Classification
Emily Dinan | Angela Fan | Ledell Wu | Jason Weston | Douwe Kiela | Adina Williams
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

Machine learning models are trained to find patterns in data. NLP models can inadvertently learn socially undesirable patterns when training on gender biased text. In this work, we propose a novel, general framework that decomposes gender bias in text along several pragmatic and semantic dimensions: bias from the gender of the person being spoken about, bias from the gender of the person being spoken to, and bias from the gender of the speaker. Using this fine-grained framework, we automatically annotate eight large scale datasets with gender information. In addition, we collect a new, crowdsourced evaluation benchmark. Distinguishing between gender bias along multiple dimensions enables us to train better and more fine-grained gender bias classifiers. We show our classifiers are valuable for a variety of applications, like controlling for gender bias in generative models, detecting gender bias in arbitrary text, and classifying text as offensive based on its genderedness.

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Multilingual AMR-to-Text Generation
Angela Fan | Claire Gardent
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

Generating text from structured data is challenging because it requires bridging the gap between (i) structure and natural language (NL) and (ii) semantically underspecified input and fully specified NL output. Multilingual generation brings in an additional challenge: that of generating into languages with varied word order and morphological properties. In this work, we focus on Abstract Meaning Representations (AMRs) as structured input, where previous research has overwhelmingly focused on generating only into English. We leverage advances in cross-lingual embeddings, pretraining, and multilingual models to create multilingual AMR-to-text models that generate in twenty one different languages. Our multilingual models surpass baselines that generate into one language in eighteen languages, based on automatic metrics. We analyze the ability of our multilingual models to accurately capture morphology and word order using human evaluation, and find that native speakers judge our generations to be fluent.

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Generating Fact Checking Briefs
Angela Fan | Aleksandra Piktus | Fabio Petroni | Guillaume Wenzek | Marzieh Saeidi | Andreas Vlachos | Antoine Bordes | Sebastian Riedel
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

Fact checking at scale is difficult—while the number of active fact checking websites is growing, it remains too small for the needs of the contemporary media ecosystem. However, despite good intentions, contributions from volunteers are often error-prone, and thus in practice restricted to claim detection. We investigate how to increase the accuracy and efficiency of fact checking by providing information about the claim before performing the check, in the form of natural language briefs. We investigate passage-based briefs, containing a relevant passage from Wikipedia, entity-centric ones consisting of Wikipedia pages of mentioned entities, and Question-Answering Briefs, with questions decomposing the claim, and their answers. To produce QABriefs, we develop QABriefer, a model that generates a set of questions conditioned on the claim, searches the web for evidence, and generates answers. To train its components, we introduce QABriefDataset We show that fact checking with briefs — in particular QABriefs — increases the accuracy of crowdworkers by 10% while slightly decreasing the time taken. For volunteer (unpaid) fact checkers, QABriefs slightly increase accuracy and reduce the time required by around 20%.

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Queens are Powerful too: Mitigating Gender Bias in Dialogue Generation
Emily Dinan | Angela Fan | Adina Williams | Jack Urbanek | Douwe Kiela | Jason Weston
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

Social biases present in data are often directly reflected in the predictions of models trained on that data. We analyze gender bias in dialogue data, and examine how this bias is not only replicated, but is also amplified in subsequent generative chit-chat dialogue models. We measure gender bias in six existing dialogue datasets before selecting the most biased one, the multi-player text-based fantasy adventure dataset LIGHT, as a testbed for bias mitigation techniques. We consider three techniques to mitigate gender bias: counterfactual data augmentation, targeted data collection, and bias controlled training. We show that our proposed techniques mitigate gender bias by balancing the genderedness of generated dialogue utterances, and find that they are particularly effective in combination. We evaluate model performance with a variety of quantitative methods—including the quantity of gendered words, a dialogue safety classifier, and human assessments—all of which show that our models generate less gendered, but equally engaging chit-chat responses.

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Facebook AI’s WMT20 News Translation Task Submission
Peng-Jen Chen | Ann Lee | Changhan Wang | Naman Goyal | Angela Fan | Mary Williamson | Jiatao Gu
Proceedings of the Fifth Conference on Machine Translation

This paper describes Facebook AI’s submission to WMT20 shared news translation task. We focus on the low resource setting and participate in two language pairs, Tamil <-> English and Inuktitut <-> English, where there are limited out-of-domain bitext and monolingual data. We approach the low resource problem using two main strategies, leveraging all available data and adapting the system to the target news domain. We explore techniques that leverage bitext and monolingual data from all languages, such as self-supervised model pretraining, multilingual models, data augmentation, and reranking. To better adapt the translation system to the test domain, we explore dataset tagging and fine-tuning on in-domain data. We observe that different techniques provide varied improvements based on the available data of the language pair. Based on the finding, we integrate these techniques into one training pipeline. For En->Ta, we explore an unconstrained setup with additional Tamil bitext and monolingual data and show that further improvement can be obtained. On the test set, our best submitted systems achieve 21.5 and 13.7 BLEU for Ta->En and En->Ta respectively, and 27.9 and 13.0 for Iu->En and En->Iu respectively.

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Improving Text-to-Text Pre-trained Models for the Graph-to-Text Task
Zixiaofan Yang | Arash Einolghozati | Hakan Inan | Keith Diedrick | Angela Fan | Pinar Donmez | Sonal Gupta
Proceedings of the 3rd International Workshop on Natural Language Generation from the Semantic Web (WebNLG+)

Converting a knowledge graph or sub-graph to natural text is useful when answering questions based on a knowledge base. High-capacity language models pre-trained on large-scale text corpora have recently been shown to be powerful when fine-tuned for the knowledge-graph-to-text (KG-to-text) task. In this paper, we propose two classes of methods to improve such pre-trained models for this task. First, we improve the structure awareness of the model by organizing the input as well as learning optimal ordering via multitask learning. Second, we bridge the domain gap between text-to-text and KG-to-text tasks via a second-phase KG-to-text pre-training on similar datasets and extra lexicalization supervision to make the input more similar to natural text. We demonstrate the efficacy of our methods on the popular WebNLG dataset. Our best model achieves an almost 3 point BLEU improvement on a strong baseline while lowering the relative slot-error-rate by around 35%. We also validate our results via human evaluation.

2019

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Learning to Speak and Act in a Fantasy Text Adventure Game
Jack Urbanek | Angela Fan | Siddharth Karamcheti | Saachi Jain | Samuel Humeau | Emily Dinan | Tim Rocktäschel | Douwe Kiela | Arthur Szlam | Jason Weston
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

We introduce a large-scale crowdsourced text adventure game as a research platform for studying grounded dialogue. In it, agents can perceive, emote, and act whilst conducting dialogue with other agents. Models and humans can both act as characters within the game. We describe the results of training state-of-the-art generative and retrieval models in this setting. We show that in addition to using past dialogue, these models are able to effectively use the state of the underlying world to condition their predictions. In particular, we show that grounding on the details of the local environment, including location descriptions, and the objects (and their affordances) and characters (and their previous actions) present within it allows better predictions of agent behavior and dialogue. We analyze the ingredients necessary for successful grounding in this setting, and how each of these factors relate to agents that can talk and act successfully.

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Using Local Knowledge Graph Construction to Scale Seq2Seq Models to Multi-Document Inputs
Angela Fan | Claire Gardent | Chloé Braud | Antoine Bordes
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

Query-based open-domain NLP tasks require information synthesis from long and diverse web results. Current approaches extractively select portions of web text as input to Sequence-to-Sequence models using methods such as TF-IDF ranking. We propose constructing a local graph structured knowledge base for each query, which compresses the web search information and reduces redundancy. We show that by linearizing the graph into a structured input sequence, models can encode the graph representations within a standard Sequence-to-Sequence setting. For two generative tasks with very long text input, long-form question answering and multi-document summarization, feeding graph representations as input can achieve better performance than using retrieved text portions.

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fairseq: A Fast, Extensible Toolkit for Sequence Modeling
Myle Ott | Sergey Edunov | Alexei Baevski | Angela Fan | Sam Gross | Nathan Ng | David Grangier | Michael Auli
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Demonstrations)

fairseq is an open-source sequence modeling toolkit that allows researchers and developers to train custom models for translation, summarization, language modeling, and other text generation tasks. The toolkit is based on PyTorch and supports distributed training across multiple GPUs and machines. We also support fast mixed-precision training and inference on modern GPUs. A demo video can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtgDdWtHvto

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Strategies for Structuring Story Generation
Angela Fan | Mike Lewis | Yann Dauphin
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Writers often rely on plans or sketches to write long stories, but most current language models generate word by word from left to right. We explore coarse-to-fine models for creating narrative texts of several hundred words, and introduce new models which decompose stories by abstracting over actions and entities. The model first generates the predicate-argument structure of the text, where different mentions of the same entity are marked with placeholder tokens. It then generates a surface realization of the predicate-argument structure, and finally replaces the entity placeholders with context-sensitive names and references. Human judges prefer the stories from our models to a wide range of previous approaches to hierarchical text generation. Extensive analysis shows that our methods can help improve the diversity and coherence of events and entities in generated stories.

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ELI5: Long Form Question Answering
Angela Fan | Yacine Jernite | Ethan Perez | David Grangier | Jason Weston | Michael Auli
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

We introduce the first large-scale corpus for long form question answering, a task requiring elaborate and in-depth answers to open-ended questions. The dataset comprises 270K threads from the Reddit forum “Explain Like I’m Five” (ELI5) where an online community provides answers to questions which are comprehensible by five year olds. Compared to existing datasets, ELI5 comprises diverse questions requiring multi-sentence answers. We provide a large set of web documents to help answer the question. Automatic and human evaluations show that an abstractive model trained with a multi-task objective outperforms conventional Seq2Seq, language modeling, as well as a strong extractive baseline.However, our best model is still far from human performance since raters prefer gold responses in over 86% of cases, leaving ample opportunity for future improvement.

2018

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Controllable Abstractive Summarization
Angela Fan | David Grangier | Michael Auli
Proceedings of the 2nd Workshop on Neural Machine Translation and Generation

Current models for document summarization disregard user preferences such as the desired length, style, the entities that the user might be interested in, or how much of the document the user has already read. We present a neural summarization model with a simple but effective mechanism to enable users to specify these high level attributes in order to control the shape of the final summaries to better suit their needs. With user input, our system can produce high quality summaries that follow user preferences. Without user input, we set the control variables automatically – on the full text CNN-Dailymail dataset, we outperform state of the art abstractive systems (both in terms of F1-ROUGE1 40.38 vs. 39.53 F1-ROUGE and human evaluation.

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Hierarchical Neural Story Generation
Angela Fan | Mike Lewis | Yann Dauphin
Proceedings of the 56th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

We explore story generation: creative systems that can build coherent and fluent passages of text about a topic. We collect a large dataset of 300K human-written stories paired with writing prompts from an online forum. Our dataset enables hierarchical story generation, where the model first generates a premise, and then transforms it into a passage of text. We gain further improvements with a novel form of model fusion that improves the relevance of the story to the prompt, and adding a new gated multi-scale self-attention mechanism to model long-range context. Experiments show large improvements over strong baselines on both automated and human evaluations. Human judges prefer stories generated by our approach to those from a strong non-hierarchical model by a factor of two to one.
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