Bishal Santra


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Hierarchical Transformer for Task Oriented Dialog Systems
Bishal Santra | Potnuru Anusha | Pawan Goyal
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Generative models for dialog systems have gained much interest because of the recent success of RNN and Transformer based models in tasks like question answering and summarization. Although the task of dialog response generation is generally seen as a sequence to sequence (Seq2Seq) problem, researchers in the past have found it challenging to train dialog systems using the standard Seq2Seq models. Therefore, to help the model learn meaningful utterance and conversation level features, Sordoni et al. (2015b), Serban et al. (2016) proposed Hierarchical RNN architecture, which was later adopted by several other RNN based dialog systems. With the transformer-based models dominating the seq2seq problems lately, the natural question to ask is the applicability of the notion of hierarchy in transformer-based dialog systems. In this paper, we propose a generalized framework for Hierarchical Transformer Encoders and show how a standard transformer can be morphed into any hierarchical encoder, including HRED and HIBERT like models, by using specially designed attention masks and positional encodings. We demonstrate that Hierarchical Encoding helps achieve better natural language understanding of the contexts in transformer-based models for task-oriented dialog systems through a wide range of experiments.


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A Graph-Based Framework for Structured Prediction Tasks in Sanskrit
Amrith Krishna | Bishal Santra | Ashim Gupta | Pavankumar Satuluri | Pawan Goyal
Computational Linguistics, Volume 46, Issue 4 - December 2020

We propose a framework using energy-based models for multiple structured prediction tasks in Sanskrit. Ours is an arc-factored model, similar to the graph-based parsing approaches, and we consider the tasks of word segmentation, morphological parsing, dependency parsing, syntactic linearization, and prosodification, a “prosody-level” task we introduce in this work. Ours is a search-based structured prediction framework, which expects a graph as input, where relevant linguistic information is encoded in the nodes, and the edges are then used to indicate the association between these nodes. Typically, the state-of-the-art models for morphosyntactic tasks in morphologically rich languages still rely on hand-crafted features for their performance. But here, we automate the learning of the feature function. The feature function so learned, along with the search space we construct, encode relevant linguistic information for the tasks we consider. This enables us to substantially reduce the training data requirements to as low as 10%, as compared to the data requirements for the neural state-of-the-art models. Our experiments in Czech and Sanskrit show the language-agnostic nature of the framework, where we train highly competitive models for both the languages. Moreover, our framework enables us to incorporate language-specific constraints to prune the search space and to filter the candidates during inference. We obtain significant improvements in morphosyntactic tasks for Sanskrit by incorporating language-specific constraints into the model. In all the tasks we discuss for Sanskrit, we either achieve state-of-the-art results or ours is the only data-driven solution for those tasks.


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Incorporating Domain Knowledge into Medical NLI using Knowledge Graphs
Soumya Sharma | Bishal Santra | Abhik Jana | Santosh Tokala | Niloy Ganguly | Pawan Goyal
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

Recently, biomedical version of embeddings obtained from language models such as BioELMo have shown state-of-the-art results for the textual inference task in the medical domain. In this paper, we explore how to incorporate structured domain knowledge, available in the form of a knowledge graph (UMLS), for the Medical NLI task. Specifically, we experiment with fusing embeddings obtained from knowledge graph with the state-of-the-art approaches for NLI task (ESIM model). We also experiment with fusing the domain-specific sentiment information for the task. Experiments conducted on MedNLI dataset clearly show that this strategy improves the baseline BioELMo architecture for the Medical NLI task.

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Poetry to Prose Conversion in Sanskrit as a Linearisation Task: A Case for Low-Resource Languages
Amrith Krishna | Vishnu Sharma | Bishal Santra | Aishik Chakraborty | Pavankumar Satuluri | Pawan Goyal
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

The word ordering in a Sanskrit verse is often not aligned with its corresponding prose order. Conversion of the verse to its corresponding prose helps in better comprehension of the construction. Owing to the resource constraints, we formulate this task as a word ordering (linearisation) task. In doing so, we completely ignore the word arrangement at the verse side. kāvya guru, the approach we propose, essentially consists of a pipeline of two pretraining steps followed by a seq2seq model. The first pretraining step learns task-specific token embeddings from pretrained embeddings. In the next step, we generate multiple possible hypotheses for possible word arrangements of the input %using another pretraining step. We then use them as inputs to a neural seq2seq model for the final prediction. We empirically show that the hypotheses generated by our pretraining step result in predictions that consistently outperform predictions based on the original order in the verse. Overall, kāvya guru outperforms current state of the art models in linearisation for the poetry to prose conversion task in Sanskrit.


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Free as in Free Word Order: An Energy Based Model for Word Segmentation and Morphological Tagging in Sanskrit
Amrith Krishna | Bishal Santra | Sasi Prasanth Bandaru | Gaurav Sahu | Vishnu Dutt Sharma | Pavankumar Satuluri | Pawan Goyal
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

The configurational information in sentences of a free word order language such as Sanskrit is of limited use. Thus, the context of the entire sentence will be desirable even for basic processing tasks such as word segmentation. We propose a structured prediction framework that jointly solves the word segmentation and morphological tagging tasks in Sanskrit. We build an energy based model where we adopt approaches generally employed in graph based parsing techniques (McDonald et al., 2005a; Carreras, 2007). Our model outperforms the state of the art with an F-Score of 96.92 (percentage improvement of 7.06%) while using less than one tenth of the task-specific training data. We find that the use of a graph based approach instead of a traditional lattice-based sequential labelling approach leads to a percentage gain of 12.6% in F-Score for the segmentation task.


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Word Segmentation in Sanskrit Using Path Constrained Random Walks
Amrith Krishna | Bishal Santra | Pavankumar Satuluri | Sasi Prasanth Bandaru | Bhumi Faldu | Yajuvendra Singh | Pawan Goyal
Proceedings of COLING 2016, the 26th International Conference on Computational Linguistics: Technical Papers

In Sanskrit, the phonemes at the word boundaries undergo changes to form new phonemes through a process called as sandhi. A fused sentence can be segmented into multiple possible segmentations. We propose a word segmentation approach that predicts the most semantically valid segmentation for a given sentence. We treat the problem as a query expansion problem and use the path-constrained random walks framework to predict the correct segments.