Austin Blodgett


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Use Defines Possibilities: Reasoning about Object Function to Interpret and Execute Robot Instructions
Mollie Shichman | Claire Bonial | Austin Blodgett | Taylor Hudson | Francis Ferraro | Rachel Rudinger
Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Computational Semantics

Language models have shown great promise in common-sense related tasks. However, it remains unseen how they would perform in the context of physically situated human-robot interactions, particularly in disaster-relief sce- narios. In this paper, we develop a language model evaluation dataset with more than 800 cloze sentences, written to probe for the func- tion of over 200 objects. The sentences are divided into two tasks: an “easy” task where the language model has to choose between vo- cabulary with different functions (Task 1), and a “challenge” where it has to choose between vocabulary with the same function, yet only one vocabulary item is appropriate given real world constraints on functionality (Task 2). Dis- tilBERT performs with about 80% accuracy for both tasks. To investigate how annotator variability affected those results, we developed a follow-on experiment where we compared our original results with wrong answers chosen based on embedding vector distances. Those results showed increased precision across docu- ments but a 15% decrease in accuracy. We con- clude that language models do have a strong knowledge basis for object reasoning, but will require creative fine-tuning strategies in order to be successfully deployed.


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Xposition: An Online Multilingual Database of Adpositional Semantics
Luke Gessler | Austin Blodgett | Joseph C. Ledford | Nathan Schneider
Proceedings of the Thirteenth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

We present Xposition, an online platform for documenting adpositional semantics across languages in terms of supersenses (Schneider et al., 2018). More than just a lexical database, Xposition houses annotation guidelines, structured lexicographic documentation, and annotated corpora. Guidelines and documentation are stored as wiki pages for ease of editing, and described elements (supersenses, adpositions, etc.) are hyperlinked for ease of browsing. We describe how the platform structures information; its current contents across several languages; and aspects of the design of the web application that supports it, with special attention to how it supports datasets and standards that evolve over time.

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The Search for Agreement on Logical Fallacy Annotation of an Infodemic
Claire Bonial | Austin Blodgett | Taylor Hudson | Stephanie M. Lukin | Jeffrey Micher | Douglas Summers-Stay | Peter Sutor | Clare Voss
Proceedings of the Thirteenth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

We evaluate an annotation schema for labeling logical fallacy types, originally developed for a crowd-sourcing annotation paradigm, now using an annotation paradigm of two trained linguist annotators. We apply the schema to a variety of different genres of text relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our linguist (as opposed to crowd-sourced) annotation of logical fallacies allows us to evaluate whether the annotation schema category labels are sufficiently clear and non-overlapping for both manual and, later, system assignment. We report inter-annotator agreement results over two annotation phases as well as a preliminary assessment of the corpus for training and testing a machine learning algorithm (Pattern-Exploiting Training) for fallacy detection and recognition. The agreement results and system performance underscore the challenging nature of this annotation task and suggest that the annotation schema and paradigm must be iteratively evaluated and refined in order to arrive at a set of annotation labels that can be reproduced by human annotators and, in turn, provide reliable training data for automatic detection and recognition systems.

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DocAMR: Multi-Sentence AMR Representation and Evaluation
Tahira Naseem | Austin Blodgett | Sadhana Kumaravel | Tim O’Gorman | Young-Suk Lee | Jeffrey Flanigan | Ramón Astudillo | Radu Florian | Salim Roukos | Nathan Schneider
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Despite extensive research on parsing of English sentences into Abstract Meaning Representation (AMR) graphs, which are compared to gold graphs via the Smatch metric, full-document parsing into a unified graph representation lacks well-defined representation and evaluation. Taking advantage of a super-sentential level of coreference annotation from previous work, we introduce a simple algorithm for deriving a unified graph representation, avoiding the pitfalls of information loss from over-merging and lack of coherence from under merging. Next, we describe improvements to the Smatch metric to make it tractable for comparing document-level graphs and use it to re-evaluate the best published document-level AMR parser. We also present a pipeline approach combining the top-performing AMR parser and coreference resolution systems, providing a strong baseline for future research.


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Probabilistic, Structure-Aware Algorithms for Improved Variety, Accuracy, and Coverage of AMR Alignments
Austin Blodgett | Nathan Schneider
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 present algorithms for aligning components of Abstract Meaning Representation (AMR) graphs to spans in English sentences. We leverage unsupervised learning in combination with heuristics, taking the best of both worlds from previous AMR aligners. Our unsupervised models, however, are more sensitive to graph substructures, without requiring a separate syntactic parse. Our approach covers a wider variety of AMR substructures than previously considered, achieves higher coverage of nodes and edges, and does so with higher accuracy. We will release our LEAMR datasets and aligner for use in research on AMR parsing, generation, and evaluation.


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A Corpus of Adpositional Supersenses for Mandarin Chinese
Siyao Peng | Yang Liu | Yilun Zhu | Austin Blodgett | Yushi Zhao | Nathan Schneider
Proceedings of the Twelfth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

Adpositions are frequent markers of semantic relations, but they are highly ambiguous and vary significantly from language to language. Moreover, there is a dearth of annotated corpora for investigating the cross-linguistic variation of adposition semantics, or for building multilingual disambiguation systems. This paper presents a corpus in which all adpositions have been semantically annotated in Mandarin Chinese; to the best of our knowledge, this is the first Chinese corpus to be broadly annotated with adposition semantics. Our approach adapts a framework that defined a general set of supersenses according to ostensibly language-independent semantic criteria, though its development focused primarily on English prepositions (Schneider et al., 2018). We find that the supersense categories are well-suited to Chinese adpositions despite syntactic differences from English. On a Mandarin translation of The Little Prince, we achieve high inter-annotator agreement and analyze semantic correspondences of adposition tokens in bitext.

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Transition-based Parsing with Stack-Transformers
Ramón Fernandez Astudillo | Miguel Ballesteros | Tahira Naseem | Austin Blodgett | Radu Florian
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2020

Modeling the parser state is key to good performance in transition-based parsing. Recurrent Neural Networks considerably improved the performance of transition-based systems by modelling the global state, e.g. stack-LSTM parsers, or local state modeling of contextualized features, e.g. Bi-LSTM parsers. Given the success of Transformer architectures in recent parsing systems, this work explores modifications of the sequence-to-sequence Transformer architecture to model either global or local parser states in transition-based parsing. We show that modifications of the cross attention mechanism of the Transformer considerably strengthen performance both on dependency and Abstract Meaning Representation (AMR) parsing tasks, particularly for smaller models or limited training data.


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An Improved Approach for Semantic Graph Composition with CCG
Austin Blodgett | Nathan Schneider
Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Computational Semantics - Long Papers

This paper builds on previous work using Combinatory Categorial Grammar (CCG) to derive a transparent syntax-semantics interface for Abstract Meaning Representation (AMR) parsing. We define new semantics for the CCG combinators that is better suited to deriving AMR graphs. In particular, we define relation-wise alternatives for the application and composition combinators: these require that the two constituents being combined overlap in one AMR relation. We also provide a new semantics for type raising, which is necessary for certain constructions. Using these mechanisms, we suggest an analysis of eventive nouns, which present a challenge for deriving AMR graphs. Our theoretical analysis will facilitate future work on robust and transparent AMR parsing using CCG.


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Comprehensive Supersense Disambiguation of English Prepositions and Possessives
Nathan Schneider | Jena D. Hwang | Vivek Srikumar | Jakob Prange | Austin Blodgett | Sarah R. Moeller | Aviram Stern | Adi Bitan | Omri Abend
Proceedings of the 56th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Semantic relations are often signaled with prepositional or possessive marking—but extreme polysemy bedevils their analysis and automatic interpretation. We introduce a new annotation scheme, corpus, and task for the disambiguation of prepositions and possessives in English. Unlike previous approaches, our annotations are comprehensive with respect to types and tokens of these markers; use broadly applicable supersense classes rather than fine-grained dictionary definitions; unite prepositions and possessives under the same class inventory; and distinguish between a marker’s lexical contribution and the role it marks in the context of a predicate or scene. Strong interannotator agreement rates, as well as encouraging disambiguation results with established supervised methods, speak to the viability of the scheme and task.

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Semantic Supersenses for English Possessives
Austin Blodgett | Nathan Schneider
Proceedings of the Eleventh International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC 2018)