Bashar Alhafni


2022

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User-Centric Gender Rewriting
Bashar Alhafni | Nizar Habash | Houda Bouamor
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

In this paper, we define the task of gender rewriting in contexts involving two users (I and/or You) – first and second grammatical persons with independent grammatical gender preferences. We focus on Arabic, a gender-marking morphologically rich language. We develop a multi-step system that combines the positive aspects of both rule-based and neural rewriting models. Our results successfully demonstrate the viability of this approach on a recently created corpus for Arabic gender rewriting, achieving 88.42 M2 F0.5 on a blind test set. Our proposed system improves over previous work on the first-person-only version of this task, by 3.05 absolute increase in M2 F0.5. We demonstrate a use case of our gender rewriting system by using it to post-edit the output of a commercial MT system to provide personalized outputs based on the users’ grammatical gender preferences. We make our code, data, and pretrained models publicly available.

2021

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The Interplay of Variant, Size, and Task Type in Arabic Pre-trained Language Models
Go Inoue | Bashar Alhafni | Nurpeiis Baimukan | Houda Bouamor | Nizar Habash
Proceedings of the Sixth Arabic Natural Language Processing Workshop

In this paper, we explore the effects of language variants, data sizes, and fine-tuning task types in Arabic pre-trained language models. To do so, we build three pre-trained language models across three variants of Arabic: Modern Standard Arabic (MSA), dialectal Arabic, and classical Arabic, in addition to a fourth language model which is pre-trained on a mix of the three. We also examine the importance of pre-training data size by building additional models that are pre-trained on a scaled-down set of the MSA variant. We compare our different models to each other, as well as to eight publicly available models by fine-tuning them on five NLP tasks spanning 12 datasets. Our results suggest that the variant proximity of pre-training data to fine-tuning data is more important than the pre-training data size. We exploit this insight in defining an optimized system selection model for the studied tasks.

2020

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Gender-Aware Reinflection using Linguistically Enhanced Neural Models
Bashar Alhafni | Nizar Habash | Houda Bouamor
Proceedings of the Second Workshop on Gender Bias in Natural Language Processing

In this paper, we present an approach for sentence-level gender reinflection using linguistically enhanced sequence-to-sequence models. Our system takes an Arabic sentence and a given target gender as input and generates a gender-reinflected sentence based on the target gender. We formulate the problem as a user-aware grammatical error correction task and build an encoder-decoder architecture to jointly model reinflection for both masculine and feminine grammatical genders. We also show that adding linguistic features to our model leads to better reinflection results. The results on a blind test set using our best system show improvements over previous work, with a 3.6% absolute increase in M2 F0.5.

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CAMeL Tools: An Open Source Python Toolkit for Arabic Natural Language Processing
Ossama Obeid | Nasser Zalmout | Salam Khalifa | Dima Taji | Mai Oudah | Bashar Alhafni | Go Inoue | Fadhl Eryani | Alexander Erdmann | Nizar Habash
Proceedings of the 12th Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

We present CAMeL Tools, a collection of open-source tools for Arabic natural language processing in Python. CAMeL Tools currently provides utilities for pre-processing, morphological modeling, Dialect Identification, Named Entity Recognition and Sentiment Analysis. In this paper, we describe the design of CAMeL Tools and the functionalities it provides.