Chris Develder


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Towards Consistent Document-level Entity Linking: Joint Models for Entity Linking and Coreference Resolution
Klim Zaporojets | Johannes Deleu | Yiwei Jiang | Thomas Demeester | Chris Develder
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 2: Short Papers)

We consider the task of document-level entity linking (EL), where it is important to make consistent decisions for entity mentions over the full document jointly. We aim to leverage explicit “connections” among mentions within the document itself: we propose to join EL and coreference resolution (coref) in a single structured prediction task over directed trees and use a globally normalized model to solve it. This contrasts with related works where two separate models are trained for each of the tasks and additional logic is required to merge the outputs. Experimental results on two datasets show a boost of up to +5% F1-score on both coref and EL tasks, compared to their standalone counterparts. For a subset of hard cases, with individual mentions lacking the correct EL in their candidate entity list, we obtain a +50% increase in accuracy.

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UGent-T2K at the 2nd DialDoc Shared Task: A Retrieval-Focused Dialog System Grounded in Multiple Documents
Yiwei Jiang | Amir Hadifar | Johannes Deleu | Thomas Demeester | Chris Develder
Proceedings of the Second DialDoc Workshop on Document-grounded Dialogue and Conversational Question Answering

This work presents the contribution from the Text-to-Knowledge team of Ghent University (UGent-T2K) to the MultiDoc2Dial shared task on modeling dialogs grounded in multiple documents. We propose a pipeline system, comprising (1) document retrieval, (2) passage retrieval, and (3) response generation. We engineered these individual components mainly by, for (1)-(2), combining multiple ranking models and adding a final LambdaMART reranker, and, for (3), by adopting a Fusion-in-Decoder (FiD) model. We thus significantly boost the baseline system’s performance (over +10 points for both F1 and SacreBLEU). Further, error analysis reveals two major failure cases, to be addressed in future work: (i) in case of topic shift within the dialog, retrieval often fails to select the correct grounding document(s), and (ii) generation sometimes fails to use the correctly retrieved grounding passage. Our code is released at this link.


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Lazy Low-Resource Coreference Resolution: a Study on Leveraging Black-Box Translation Tools
Semere Kiros Bitew | Johannes Deleu | Chris Develder | Thomas Demeester
Proceedings of the Fourth Workshop on Computational Models of Reference, Anaphora and Coreference

Large annotated corpora for coreference resolution are available for few languages. For machine translation, however, strong black-box systems exist for many languages. We empirically explore the appealing idea of leveraging such translation tools for bootstrapping coreference resolution in languages with limited resources. Two scenarios are analyzed, in which a large coreference corpus in a high-resource language is used for coreference predictions in a smaller language, i.e., by machine translating either the training corpus or the test data. In our empirical evaluation of coreference resolution using the two scenarios on several medium-resource languages, we find no improvement over monolingual baseline models. Our analysis of the various sources of error inherent to the studied scenarios, reveals that in fact the quality of contemporary machine translation tools is the main limiting factor.

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A Simple Geometric Method for Cross-Lingual Linguistic Transformations with Pre-trained Autoencoders
Maarten De Raedt | Fréderic Godin | Pieter Buteneers | Chris Develder | Thomas Demeester
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Powerful sentence encoders trained for multiple languages are on the rise. These systems are capable of embedding a wide range of linguistic properties into vector representations. While explicit probing tasks can be used to verify the presence of specific linguistic properties, it is unclear whether the vector representations can be manipulated to indirectly steer such properties. For efficient learning, we investigate the use of a geometric mapping in embedding space to transform linguistic properties, without any tuning of the pre-trained sentence encoder or decoder. We validate our approach on three linguistic properties using a pre-trained multilingual autoencoder and analyze the results in both monolingual and cross-lingual settings.

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Injecting Knowledge Base Information into End-to-End Joint Entity and Relation Extraction and Coreference Resolution
Severine Verlinden | Klim Zaporojets | Johannes Deleu | Thomas Demeester | Chris Develder
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL-IJCNLP 2021

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A Million Tweets Are Worth a Few Points: Tuning Transformers for Customer Service Tasks
Amir Hadifar | Sofie Labat | Veronique Hoste | Chris Develder | Thomas Demeester
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

In online domain-specific customer service applications, many companies struggle to deploy advanced NLP models successfully, due to the limited availability of and noise in their datasets. While prior research demonstrated the potential of migrating large open-domain pretrained models for domain-specific tasks, the appropriate (pre)training strategies have not yet been rigorously evaluated in such social media customer service settings, especially under multilingual conditions. We address this gap by collecting a multilingual social media corpus containing customer service conversations (865k tweets), comparing various pipelines of pretraining and finetuning approaches, applying them on 5 different end tasks. We show that pretraining a generic multilingual transformer model on our in-domain dataset, before finetuning on specific end tasks, consistently boosts performance, especially in non-English settings.


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Recipe Instruction Semantics Corpus (RISeC): Resolving Semantic Structure and Zero Anaphora in Recipes
Yiwei Jiang | Klim Zaporojets | Johannes Deleu | Thomas Demeester | Chris Develder
Proceedings of the 1st Conference of the Asia-Pacific Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 10th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing

We propose a newly annotated dataset for information extraction on recipes. Unlike previous approaches to machine comprehension of procedural texts, we avoid a priori pre-defining domain-specific predicates to recognize (e.g., the primitive instructionsin MILK) and focus on basic understanding of the expressed semantics rather than directly reduce them to a simplified state representation (e.g., ProPara). We thus frame the semantic comprehension of procedural text such as recipes, as fairly generic NLP subtasks, covering (i) entity recognition (ingredients, tools and actions), (ii) relation extraction (what ingredients and tools are involved in the actions), and (iii) zero anaphora resolution (link actions to implicit arguments, e.g., results from previous recipe steps). Further, our Recipe Instruction Semantic Corpus (RISeC) dataset includes textual descriptions for the zero anaphora, to facilitate language generation thereof. Besides the dataset itself, we contribute a pipeline neural architecture that addresses entity and relation extractionas well an identification of zero anaphora. These basic building blocks can facilitate more advanced downstream applications (e.g., question answering, conversational agents).


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Predicting Suicide Risk from Online Postings in Reddit The UGent-IDLab submission to the CLPysch 2019 Shared Task A
Semere Kiros Bitew | Giannis Bekoulis | Johannes Deleu | Lucas Sterckx | Klim Zaporojets | Thomas Demeester | Chris Develder
Proceedings of the Sixth Workshop on Computational Linguistics and Clinical Psychology

This paper describes IDLab’s text classification systems submitted to Task A as part of the CLPsych 2019 shared task. The aim of this shared task was to develop automated systems that predict the degree of suicide risk of people based on their posts on Reddit. Bag-of-words features, emotion features and post level predictions are used to derive user-level predictions. Linear models and ensembles of these models are used to predict final scores. We find that predicting fine-grained risk levels is much more difficult than flagging potentially at-risk users. Furthermore, we do not find clear added value from building richer ensembles compared to simple baselines, given the available training data and the nature of the prediction task.

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A Self-Training Approach for Short Text Clustering
Amir Hadifar | Lucas Sterckx | Thomas Demeester | Chris Develder
Proceedings of the 4th Workshop on Representation Learning for NLP (RepL4NLP-2019)

Short text clustering is a challenging problem when adopting traditional bag-of-words or TF-IDF representations, since these lead to sparse vector representations of the short texts. Low-dimensional continuous representations or embeddings can counter that sparseness problem: their high representational power is exploited in deep clustering algorithms. While deep clustering has been studied extensively in computer vision, relatively little work has focused on NLP. The method we propose, learns discriminative features from both an autoencoder and a sentence embedding, then uses assignments from a clustering algorithm as supervision to update weights of the encoder network. Experiments on three short text datasets empirically validate the effectiveness of our method.

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Sub-event detection from twitter streams as a sequence labeling problem
Giannis Bekoulis | Johannes Deleu | Thomas Demeester | Chris Develder
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 1 (Long and Short Papers)

This paper introduces improved methods for sub-event detection in social media streams, by applying neural sequence models not only on the level of individual posts, but also directly on the stream level. Current approaches to identify sub-events within a given event, such as a goal during a soccer match, essentially do not exploit the sequential nature of social media streams. We address this shortcoming by framing the sub-event detection problem in social media streams as a sequence labeling task and adopt a neural sequence architecture that explicitly accounts for the chronological order of posts. Specifically, we (i) establish a neural baseline that outperforms a graph-based state-of-the-art method for binary sub-event detection (2.7% micro-F1 improvement), as well as (ii) demonstrate superiority of a recurrent neural network model on the posts sequence level for labeled sub-events (2.4% bin-level F1 improvement over non-sequential models).


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Predefined Sparseness in Recurrent Sequence Models
Thomas Demeester | Johannes Deleu | Fréderic Godin | Chris Develder
Proceedings of the 22nd Conference on Computational Natural Language Learning

Inducing sparseness while training neural networks has been shown to yield models with a lower memory footprint but similar effectiveness to dense models. However, sparseness is typically induced starting from a dense model, and thus this advantage does not hold during training. We propose techniques to enforce sparseness upfront in recurrent sequence models for NLP applications, to also benefit training. First, in language modeling, we show how to increase hidden state sizes in recurrent layers without increasing the number of parameters, leading to more expressive models. Second, for sequence labeling, we show that word embeddings with predefined sparseness lead to similar performance as dense embeddings, at a fraction of the number of trainable parameters.

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Predicting Psychological Health from Childhood Essays. The UGent-IDLab CLPsych 2018 Shared Task System.
Klim Zaporojets | Lucas Sterckx | Johannes Deleu | Thomas Demeester | Chris Develder
Proceedings of the Fifth Workshop on Computational Linguistics and Clinical Psychology: From Keyboard to Clinic

This paper describes the IDLab system submitted to Task A of the CLPsych 2018 shared task. The goal of this task is predicting psychological health of children based on language used in hand-written essays and socio-demographic control variables. Our entry uses word- and character-based features as well as lexicon-based features and features derived from the essays such as the quality of the language. We apply linear models, gradient boosting as well as neural-network based regressors (feed-forward, CNNs and RNNs) to predict scores. We then make ensembles of our best performing models using a weighted average.

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Adversarial training for multi-context joint entity and relation extraction
Giannis Bekoulis | Johannes Deleu | Thomas Demeester | Chris Develder
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Adversarial training (AT) is a regularization method that can be used to improve the robustness of neural network methods by adding small perturbations in the training data. We show how to use AT for the tasks of entity recognition and relation extraction. In particular, we demonstrate that applying AT to a general purpose baseline model for jointly extracting entities and relations, allows improving the state-of-the-art effectiveness on several datasets in different contexts (i.e., news, biomedical, and real estate data) and for different languages (English and Dutch).


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Break it Down for Me: A Study in Automated Lyric Annotation
Lucas Sterckx | Jason Naradowsky | Bill Byrne | Thomas Demeester | Chris Develder
Proceedings of the 2017 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Comprehending lyrics, as found in songs and poems, can pose a challenge to human and machine readers alike. This motivates the need for systems that can understand the ambiguity and jargon found in such creative texts, and provide commentary to aid readers in reaching the correct interpretation. We introduce the task of automated lyric annotation (ALA). Like text simplification, a goal of ALA is to rephrase the original text in a more easily understandable manner. However, in ALA the system must often include additional information to clarify niche terminology and abstract concepts. To stimulate research on this task, we release a large collection of crowdsourced annotations for song lyrics. We analyze the performance of translation and retrieval models on this task, measuring performance with both automated and human evaluation. We find that each model captures a unique type of information important to the task.

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Reconstructing the house from the ad: Structured prediction on real estate classifieds
Giannis Bekoulis | Johannes Deleu | Thomas Demeester | Chris Develder
Proceedings of the 15th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Volume 2, Short Papers

In this paper, we address the (to the best of our knowledge) new problem of extracting a structured description of real estate properties from their natural language descriptions in classifieds. We survey and present several models to (a) identify important entities of a property (e.g.,rooms) from classifieds and (b) structure them into a tree format, with the entities as nodes and edges representing a part-of relation. Experiments show that a graph-based system deriving the tree from an initially fully connected entity graph, outperforms a transition-based system starting from only the entity nodes, since it better reconstructs the tree.


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Supervised Keyphrase Extraction as Positive Unlabeled Learning
Lucas Sterckx | Cornelia Caragea | Thomas Demeester | Chris Develder
Proceedings of the 2016 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing