Ayush Kaushal


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What do tokens know about their characters and how do they know it?
Ayush Kaushal | Kyle Mahowald
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Pre-trained language models (PLMs) that use subword tokenization schemes can succeed at a variety of language tasks that require character-level information, despite lacking explicit access to the character composition of tokens. Here, studying a range of models (e.g., GPT- J, BERT, RoBERTa, GloVe), we probe what word pieces encode about character-level information by training classifiers to predict the presence or absence of a particular alphabetical character in a token, based on its embedding (e.g., probing whether the model embedding for “cat” encodes that it contains the character “a”). We find that these models robustly encode character-level information and, in general, larger models perform better at the task. We show that these results generalize to characters from non-Latin alphabets (Arabic, Devanagari, and Cyrillic). Then, through a series of experiments and analyses, we investigate the mechanisms through which PLMs acquire English-language character information during training and argue that this knowledge is acquired through multiple phenomena, including a systematic relationship between particular characters and particular parts of speech, as well as natural variability in the tokenization of related strings.


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Causal Direction of Data Collection Matters: Implications of Causal and Anticausal Learning for NLP
Zhijing Jin | Julius von Kügelgen | Jingwei Ni | Tejas Vaidhya | Ayush Kaushal | Mrinmaya Sachan | Bernhard Schoelkopf
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

The principle of independent causal mechanisms (ICM) states that generative processes of real world data consist of independent modules which do not influence or inform each other. While this idea has led to fruitful developments in the field of causal inference, it is not widely-known in the NLP community. In this work, we argue that the causal direction of the data collection process bears nontrivial implications that can explain a number of published NLP findings, such as differences in semi-supervised learning (SSL) and domain adaptation (DA) performance across different settings. We categorize common NLP tasks according to their causal direction and empirically assay the validity of the ICM principle for text data using minimum description length. We conduct an extensive meta-analysis of over 100 published SSL and 30 DA studies, and find that the results are consistent with our expectations based on causal insights. This work presents the first attempt to analyze the ICM principle in NLP, and provides constructive suggestions for future modeling choices.

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KGP at SemEval-2021 Task 8: Leveraging Multi-Staged Language Models for Extracting Measurements, their Attributes and Relations
Neel Karia | Ayush Kaushal | Faraaz Mallick
Proceedings of the 15th International Workshop on Semantic Evaluation (SemEval-2021)

SemEval-2021 Task 8: MeasEval aims at improving the machine understanding of measurements in scientific texts through a set of entity and semantic relation extraction sub-tasks on identifying quantity spans along with various attributes and relationships. This paper describes our system, consisting of a three-stage pipeline, that leverages pre-trained language models to extract the quantity spans in the text, followed by intelligent templates to identify units and modifiers. Finally, it identifies the quantity attributes and their relations using language models boosted with a feature re-using hierarchical architecture and multi-task learning. Our submission significantly outperforms the baseline, with the best model from the post-evaluation phase delivering more than 100% increase on F1 (Overall) from the baseline.

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tWTWT: A Dataset to Assert the Role of Target Entities for Detecting Stance of Tweets
Ayush Kaushal | Avirup Saha | Niloy Ganguly
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

The stance detection task aims at detecting the stance of a tweet or a text for a target. These targets can be named entities or free-form sentences (claims). Though the task involves reasoning of the tweet with respect to a target, we find that it is possible to achieve high accuracy on several publicly available Twitter stance detection datasets without looking at the target sentence. Specifically, a simple tweet classification model achieved human-level performance on the WT–WT dataset and more than two-third accuracy on various other datasets. We investigate the existence of biases in such datasets to find the potential spurious correlations of sentiment-stance relations and lexical choice associated with the stance category. Furthermore, we propose a new large dataset free of such biases and demonstrate its aptness on the existing stance detection systems. Our empirical findings show much scope for research on the stance detection task and proposes several considerations for creating future stance detection datasets.


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IITKGP at W-NUT 2020 Shared Task-1: Domain specific BERT representation for Named Entity Recognition of lab protocol
Tejas Vaidhya | Ayush Kaushal
Proceedings of the Sixth Workshop on Noisy User-generated Text (W-NUT 2020)

Supervised models trained to predict properties from representations have been achieving high accuracy on a variety of tasks.For in-stance, the BERT family seems to work exceptionally well on the downstream task from NER tagging to the range of other linguistictasks. But the vocabulary used in the medical field contains a lot of different tokens used only in the medical industry such as the name of different diseases, devices, organisms,medicines, etc. that makes it difficult for traditional BERT model to create contextualized embedding. In this paper, we are going to illustrate the System for Named Entity Tagging based on Bio-Bert. Experimental results show that our model gives substantial improvements over the baseline and stood the fourth runner up in terms of F1 score, and first runner up in terms of Recall with just 2.21 F1 score behind the best one.

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Winners at W-NUT 2020 Shared Task-3: Leveraging Event Specific and Chunk Span information for Extracting COVID Entities from Tweets
Ayush Kaushal | Tejas Vaidhya
Proceedings of the Sixth Workshop on Noisy User-generated Text (W-NUT 2020)

Twitter has acted as an important source of information during disasters and pandemic, especially during the times of COVID-19. In this paper, we describe our system entry for WNUT 2020 Shared Task-3. The task was aimed at automating the extraction of a variety of COVID-19 related events from Twitter, such as individuals who recently contracted the virus, someone with symptoms who were denied testing and believed remedies against the infection. The system consists of separate multi-task models for slot-filling subtasks and sentence-classification subtasks, while leveraging the useful sentence-level information for the corresponding event. The system uses COVID-Twitter-BERT with attention-weighted pooling of candidate slot-chunk features to capture the useful information chunks. The system ranks 1st at the leaderboard with F1 of 0.6598, without using any ensembles or additional datasets.