Carlos Aspillaga


2021

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Stress Test Evaluation of Biomedical Word Embeddings
Vladimir Araujo | Andrés Carvallo | Carlos Aspillaga | Camilo Thorne | Denis Parra
Proceedings of the 20th Workshop on Biomedical Language Processing

The success of pretrained word embeddings has motivated their use in the biomedical domain, with contextualized embeddings yielding remarkable results in several biomedical NLP tasks. However, there is a lack of research on quantifying their behavior under severe “stress” scenarios. In this work, we systematically evaluate three language models with adversarial examples – automatically constructed tests that allow us to examine how robust the models are. We propose two types of stress scenarios focused on the biomedical named entity recognition (NER) task, one inspired by spelling errors and another based on the use of synonyms for medical terms. Our experiments with three benchmarks show that the performance of the original models decreases considerably, in addition to revealing their weaknesses and strengths. Finally, we show that adversarial training causes the models to improve their robustness and even to exceed the original performance in some cases.

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Inspecting the concept knowledge graph encoded by modern language models
Carlos Aspillaga | Marcelo Mendoza | Alvaro Soto
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL-IJCNLP 2021

2020

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Stress Test Evaluation of Transformer-based Models in Natural Language Understanding Tasks
Carlos Aspillaga | Andrés Carvallo | Vladimir Araujo
Proceedings of the 12th Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

There has been significant progress in recent years in the field of Natural Language Processing thanks to the introduction of the Transformer architecture. Current state-of-the-art models, via a large number of parameters and pre-training on massive text corpus, have shown impressive results on several downstream tasks. Many researchers have studied previous (non-Transformer) models to understand their actual behavior under different scenarios, showing that these models are taking advantage of clues or failures of datasets and that slight perturbations on the input data can severely reduce their performance. In contrast, recent models have not been systematically tested with adversarial-examples in order to show their robustness under severe stress conditions. For that reason, this work evaluates three Transformer-based models (RoBERTa, XLNet, and BERT) in Natural Language Inference (NLI) and Question Answering (QA) tasks to know if they are more robust or if they have the same flaws as their predecessors. As a result, our experiments reveal that RoBERTa, XLNet and BERT are more robust than recurrent neural network models to stress tests for both NLI and QA tasks. Nevertheless, they are still very fragile and demonstrate various unexpected behaviors, thus revealing that there is still room for future improvement in this field.