Task-oriented parsing (TOP) aims to convert natural language into machine-readable representations of specific tasks, such as setting an alarm. A popular approach to TOP is to apply seq2seq models to generate linearized parse trees. A more recent line of work argues that pretrained seq2seq2 models are better at generating outputs that are themselves natural language, so they replace linearized parse trees with canonical natural-language paraphrases that can then be easily translated into parse trees, resulting in so-called naturalized parsers. In this work we continue to explore naturalized semantic parsing by presenting a general reduction of TOP to abstractive question answering that overcomes some limitations of canonical paraphrasing. Experimental results show that our QA-based technique outperforms state-of-the-art methods in full-data settings while achieving dramatic improvements in few-shot settings.
We present the BeSt corpus, which records cognitive state: who believes what (i.e., factuality), and who has what sentiment towards what. This corpus is inspired by similar source-and-target corpora, specifically MPQA and FactBank. The corpus comprises two genres, newswire and discussion forums, in three languages, Chinese (Mandarin), English, and Spanish. The corpus is distributed through the LDC.
Despite recent progress in abstractive summarization, systems still suffer from faithfulness errors. While prior work has proposed models that improve faithfulness, it is unclear whether the improvement comes from an increased level of extractiveness of the model outputs as one naive way to improve faithfulness is to make summarization models more extractive. In this work, we present a framework for evaluating the effective faithfulness of summarization systems, by generating a faithfulness-abstractiveness trade-off curve that serves as a control at different operating points on the abstractiveness spectrum. We then show that the Maximum Likelihood Estimation (MLE) baseline as well as recently proposed methods for improving faithfulness, fail to consistently improve over the control at the same level of abstractiveness. Finally, we learn a selector to identify the most faithful and abstractive summary for a given document, and show that this system can attain higher faithfulness scores in human evaluations while being more abstractive than the baseline system on two datasets. Moreover, we show that our system is able to achieve a better faithfulness-abstractiveness trade-off than the control at the same level of abstractiveness.
Document-level information extraction (IE) tasks have recently begun to be revisited in earnest using the end-to-end neural network techniques that have been successful on their sentence-level IE counterparts. Evaluation of the approaches, however, has been limited in a number of dimensions. In particular, the precision/recall/F1 scores typically reported provide few insights on the range of errors the models make. We build on the work of Kummerfeld and Klein (2013) to propose a transformation-based framework for automating error analysis in document-level event and (N-ary) relation extraction. We employ our framework to compare two state-of-the-art document-level template-filling approaches on datasets from three domains; and then, to gauge progress in IE since its inception 30 years ago, vs. four systems from the MUC-4 (1992) evaluation.
To perform well on a machine reading comprehension (MRC) task, machine readers usually require commonsense knowledge that is not explicitly mentioned in the given documents. This paper aims to extract a new kind of structured knowledge from scripts and use it to improve MRC. We focus on scripts as they contain rich verbal and nonverbal messages, and two relevant messages originally conveyed by different modalities during a short time period may serve as arguments of a piece of commonsense knowledge as they function together in daily communications. To save human efforts to name relations, we propose to represent relations implicitly by situating such an argument pair in a context and call it contextualized knowledge. To use the extracted knowledge to improve MRC, we compare several fine-tuning strategies to use the weakly-labeled MRC data constructed based on contextualized knowledge and further design a teacher-student paradigm with multiple teachers to facilitate the transfer of knowledge in weakly-labeled MRC data. Experimental results show that our paradigm outperforms other methods that use weakly-labeled data and improves a state-of-the-art baseline by 4.3% in accuracy on a Chinese multiple-choice MRC dataset C3, wherein most of the questions require unstated prior knowledge. We also seek to transfer the knowledge to other tasks by simply adapting the resulting student reader, yielding a 2.9% improvement in F1 on a relation extraction dataset DialogRE, demonstrating the potential usefulness of the knowledge for non-MRC tasks that require document comprehension.
We revisit the classic problem of document-level role-filler entity extraction (REE) for template filling. We argue that sentence-level approaches are ill-suited to the task and introduce a generative transformer-based encoder-decoder framework (GRIT) that is designed to model context at the document level: it can make extraction decisions across sentence boundaries; is implicitly aware of noun phrase coreference structure, and has the capacity to respect cross-role dependencies in the template structure. We evaluate our approach on the MUC-4 dataset, and show that our model performs substantially better than prior work. We also show that our modeling choices contribute to model performance, e.g., by implicitly capturing linguistic knowledge such as recognizing coreferent entity mentions.
Despite considerable progress, most machine reading comprehension (MRC) tasks still lack sufficient training data to fully exploit powerful deep neural network models with millions of parameters, and it is laborious, expensive, and time-consuming to create large-scale, high-quality MRC data through crowdsourcing. This paper focuses on generating more training data for MRC tasks by leveraging existing question-answering (QA) data. We first collect a large-scale multi-subject multiple-choice QA dataset for Chinese, ExamQA. We next use incomplete, yet relevant snippets returned by a web search engine as the context for each QA instance to convert it into a weakly-labeled MRC instance. To better use the weakly-labeled data to improve a target MRC task, we evaluate and compare several methods and further propose a self-teaching paradigm. Experimental results show that, upon state-of-the-art MRC baselines, we can obtain +5.1% in accuracy on a multiple-choice Chinese MRC dataset, Cˆ3, and +3.8% in exact match on an extractive Chinese MRC dataset, CMRC 2018, demonstrating the usefulness of the generated QA-based weakly-labeled data for different types of MRC tasks as well as the effectiveness of self-teaching. ExamQA will be available at https://dataset.org/examqa/.
We introduce Classification with Alternating Normalization (CAN), a non-parametric post-processing step for classification. CAN improves classification accuracy for challenging examples by re-adjusting their predicted class probability distribution using the predicted class distributions of high-confidence validation examples. CAN is easily applicable to any probabilistic classifier, with minimal computation overhead. We analyze the properties of CAN using simulated experiments, and empirically demonstrate its effectiveness across a diverse set of classification tasks.
Template filling is generally tackled by a pipeline of two separate supervised systems – one for role-filler extraction and another for template/event recognition. Since pipelines consider events in isolation, they can suffer from error propagation. We introduce a framework based on end-to-end generative transformers for this task (i.e., GTT). It naturally models the dependence between entities both within a single event and across the multiple events described in a document. Experiments demonstrate that this framework substantially outperforms pipeline-based approaches, and other neural end-to-end baselines that do not model between-event dependencies. We further show that our framework specifically improves performance on documents containing multiple events.
Existing dialogue corpora and models are typically designed under two disjoint motives: while task-oriented systems focus on achieving functional goals (e.g., booking hotels), open-domain chatbots aim at making socially engaging conversations. In this work, we propose to integrate both types of systems by Adding Chit-Chat to ENhance Task-ORiented dialogues (ACCENTOR), with the goal of making virtual assistant conversations more engaging and interactive. Specifically, we propose a Human <-> AI collaborative data collection approach for generating diverse chit-chat responses to augment task-oriented dialogues with minimal annotation effort. We then present our new chit-chat-based annotations to 23.8K dialogues from two popular task-oriented datasets (Schema-Guided Dialogue and MultiWOZ 2.1) and demonstrate their advantage over the originals via human evaluation. Lastly, we propose three new models for adding chit-chat to task-oriented dialogues, explicitly trained to predict user goals and to generate contextually relevant chit-chat responses. Automatic and human evaluations show that, compared with the state-of-the-art task-oriented baseline, our models can code-switch between task and chit-chat to be more engaging, interesting, knowledgeable, and humanlike, while maintaining competitive task performance.
End-to-end models in NLP rarely encode external world knowledge about length of time. We introduce two effective models for duration prediction, which incorporate external knowledge by reading temporal-related news sentences (time-aware pre-training). Specifically, one model predicts the range/unit where the duration value falls in (R-PRED); and the other predicts the exact duration value (E-PRED). Our best model – E-PRED, substantially outperforms previous work, and captures duration information more accurately than R-PRED. We also demonstrate our models are capable of duration prediction in the unsupervised setting, outperforming the baselines.
We introduce WikiLingua, a large-scale, multilingual dataset for the evaluation of cross-lingual abstractive summarization systems. We extract article and summary pairs in 18 languages from WikiHow, a high quality, collaborative resource of how-to guides on a diverse set of topics written by human authors. We create gold-standard article-summary alignments across languages by aligning the images that are used to describe each how-to step in an article. As a set of baselines for further studies, we evaluate the performance of existing cross-lingual abstractive summarization methods on our dataset. We further propose a method for direct cross-lingual summarization (i.e., without requiring translation at inference time) by leveraging synthetic data and Neural Machine Translation as a pre-training step. Our method significantly outperforms the baseline approaches, while being more cost efficient during inference.
This paper describes the SUMSUM systems submitted to the Financial Narrative Summarization Shared Task (FNS-2020). We explore a section-based extractive summarization method tailored to the structure of financial reports: our best system parses the report Table of Contents (ToC), splits the report into narrative sections based on the ToC, and applies a BERT-based classifier to each section to determine whether it should be included in the summary. Our best system ranks 4<sup>th</sup>, 1<sup>st</sup>, 2<sup>nd</sup> and 17<sup>th</sup> on the Rouge-1, Rouge-2, Rouge-SU4, and Rouge-L official metrics, respectively. We also report results on the validation set using an alternative set of Rouge-based metrics that measure performance with respect to the best-matching of the available gold summaries.
We show that leveraging metadata information from web pages can improve the performance of models for answer passage selection/reranking. We propose a neural passage selection model that leverages metadata information with a fine-grained encoding strategy, which learns the representation for metadata predicates in a hierarchical way. The models are evaluated on the MS MARCO (Nguyen et al., 2016) and Recipe-MARCO datasets. Results show that our models significantly outperform baseline models, which do not incorporate metadata. We also show that the fine-grained encoding’s advantage over other strategies for encoding the metadata.
Machine reading comprehension tasks require a machine reader to answer questions relevant to the given document. In this paper, we present the first free-form multiple-Choice Chinese machine reading Comprehension dataset (C3), containing 13,369 documents (dialogues or more formally written mixed-genre texts) and their associated 19,577 multiple-choice free-form questions collected from Chinese-as-a-second-language examinations. We present a comprehensive analysis of the prior knowledge (i.e., linguistic, domain-specific, and general world knowledge) needed for these real-world problems. We implement rule-based and popular neural methods and find that there is still a significant performance gap between the best performing model (68.5%) and human readers (96.0%), especiallyon problems that require prior knowledge. We further study the effects of distractor plausibility and data augmentation based on translated relevant datasets for English on model performance. We expect C3 to present great challenges to existing systems as answering 86.8% of questions requires both knowledge within and beyond the accompanying document, and we hope that C3 can serve as a platform to study how to leverage various kinds of prior knowledge to better understand a given written or orally oriented text. C3 is available at https://dataset.org/c3/.
Contextualized representations (e.g. ELMo, BERT) have become the default pretrained representations for downstream NLP applications. In some settings, this transition has rendered their static embedding predecessors (e.g. Word2Vec, GloVe) obsolete. As a side-effect, we observe that older interpretability methods for static embeddings — while more diverse and mature than those available for their dynamic counterparts — are underutilized in studying newer contextualized representations. Consequently, we introduce simple and fully general methods for converting from contextualized representations to static lookup-table embeddings which we apply to 5 popular pretrained models and 9 sets of pretrained weights. Our analysis of the resulting static embeddings notably reveals that pooling over many contexts significantly improves representational quality under intrinsic evaluation. Complementary to analyzing representational quality, we consider social biases encoded in pretrained representations with respect to gender, race/ethnicity, and religion and find that bias is encoded disparately across pretrained models and internal layers even for models with the same training data. Concerningly, we find dramatic inconsistencies between social bias estimators for word embeddings.
We present the first human-annotated dialogue-based relation extraction (RE) dataset DialogRE, aiming to support the prediction of relation(s) between two arguments that appear in a dialogue. We further offer DialogRE as a platform for studying cross-sentence RE as most facts span multiple sentences. We argue that speaker-related information plays a critical role in the proposed task, based on an analysis of similarities and differences between dialogue-based and traditional RE tasks. Considering the timeliness of communication in a dialogue, we design a new metric to evaluate the performance of RE methods in a conversational setting and investigate the performance of several representative RE methods on DialogRE. Experimental results demonstrate that a speaker-aware extension on the best-performing model leads to gains in both the standard and conversational evaluation settings. DialogRE is available at https://dataset.org/dialogre/.
Few works in the literature of event extraction have gone beyond individual sentences to make extraction decisions. This is problematic when the information needed to recognize an event argument is spread across multiple sentences. We argue that document-level event extraction is a difficult task since it requires a view of a larger context to determine which spans of text correspond to event role fillers. We first investigate how end-to-end neural sequence models (with pre-trained language model representations) perform on document-level role filler extraction, as well as how the length of context captured affects the models’ performance. To dynamically aggregate information captured by neural representations learned at different levels of granularity (e.g., the sentence- and paragraph-level), we propose a novel multi-granularity reader. We evaluate our models on the MUC-4 event extraction dataset, and show that our best system performs substantially better than prior work. We also report findings on the relationship between context length and neural model performance on the task.
The problem of event extraction requires detecting the event trigger and extracting its corresponding arguments. Existing work in event argument extraction typically relies heavily on entity recognition as a preprocessing/concurrent step, causing the well-known problem of error propagation. To avoid this issue, we introduce a new paradigm for event extraction by formulating it as a question answering (QA) task that extracts the event arguments in an end-to-end manner. Empirical results demonstrate that our framework outperforms prior methods substantially; in addition, it is capable of extracting event arguments for roles not seen at training time (i.e., in a zero-shot learning setting).
High quality data forms the bedrock for building meaningful statistical models in NLP. Consequently, data quality must be evaluated either during dataset construction or *post hoc*. Almost all popular summarization datasets are drawn from natural sources and do not come with inherent quality assurance guarantees. In spite of this, data quality has gone largely unquestioned for many of these recent datasets. We perform the first large-scale evaluation of summarization datasets by introducing 5 intrinsic metrics and applying them to 10 popular datasets. We find that data usage in recent summarization research is sometimes inconsistent with the underlying properties of the data. Further, we discover that our metrics can serve the additional purpose of being inexpensive heuristics for detecting generically low quality examples.
Online debate forums provide users a platform to express their opinions on controversial topics while being exposed to opinions from diverse set of viewpoints. Existing work in Natural Language Processing (NLP) has shown that linguistic features extracted from the debate text and features encoding the characteristics of the audience are both critical in persuasion studies. In this paper, we aim to further investigate the role of discourse structure of the arguments from online debates in their persuasiveness. In particular, we use the factor graph model to obtain features for the argument structure of debates from an online debating platform and incorporate these features to an LSTM-based model to predict the debater that makes the most convincing arguments. We find that incorporating argument structure features play an essential role in achieving the best predictive performance in assessing the persuasiveness of the arguments on online debates.
Our goal is procedural text comprehension, namely tracking how the properties of entities (e.g., their location) change with time given a procedural text (e.g., a paragraph about photosynthesis, a recipe). This task is challenging as the world is changing throughout the text, and despite recent advances, current systems still struggle with this task. Our approach is to leverage the fact that, for many procedural texts, multiple independent descriptions are readily available, and that predictions from them should be consistent (label consistency). We present a new learning framework that leverages label consistency during training, allowing consistency bias to be built into the model. Evaluation on a standard benchmark dataset for procedural text, ProPara (Dalvi et al., 2018), shows that our approach significantly improves prediction performance (F1) over prior state-of-the-art systems.
Reading strategies have been shown to improve comprehension levels, especially for readers lacking adequate prior knowledge. Just as the process of knowledge accumulation is time-consuming for human readers, it is resource-demanding to impart rich general domain knowledge into a deep language model via pre-training. Inspired by reading strategies identified in cognitive science, and given limited computational resources - just a pre-trained model and a fixed number of training instances - we propose three general strategies aimed to improve non-extractive machine reading comprehension (MRC): (i) BACK AND FORTH READING that considers both the original and reverse order of an input sequence, (ii) HIGHLIGHTING, which adds a trainable embedding to the text embedding of tokens that are relevant to the question and candidate answers, and (iii) SELF-ASSESSMENT that generates practice questions and candidate answers directly from the text in an unsupervised manner. By fine-tuning a pre-trained language model (Radford et al., 2018) with our proposed strategies on the largest general domain multiple-choice MRC dataset RACE, we obtain a 5.8% absolute increase in accuracy over the previous best result achieved by the same pre-trained model fine-tuned on RACE without the use of strategies. We further fine-tune the resulting model on a target MRC task, leading to an absolute improvement of 6.2% in average accuracy over previous state-of-the-art approaches on six representative non-extractive MRC datasets from different domains (i.e., ARC, OpenBookQA, MCTest, SemEval-2018 Task 11, ROCStories, and MultiRC). These results demonstrate the effectiveness of our proposed strategies and the versatility and general applicability of our fine-tuned models that incorporate these strategies. Core code is available at https://github.com/nlpdata/strategy/.
We present DREAM, the first dialogue-based multiple-choice reading comprehension data set. Collected from English as a Foreign Language examinations designed by human experts to evaluate the comprehension level of Chinese learners of English, our data set contains 10,197 multiple-choice questions for 6,444 dialogues. In contrast to existing reading comprehension data sets, DREAM is the first to focus on in-depth multi-turn multi-party dialogue understanding. DREAM is likely to present significant challenges for existing reading comprehension systems: 84% of answers are non-extractive, 85% of questions require reasoning beyond a single sentence, and 34% of questions also involve commonsense knowledge. We apply several popular neural reading comprehension models that primarily exploit surface information within the text and find them to, at best, just barely outperform a rule-based approach. We next investigate the effects of incorporating dialogue structure and different kinds of general world knowledge into both rule-based and (neural and non-neural) machine learning-based reading comprehension models. Experimental results on the DREAM data set show the effectiveness of dialogue structure and general world knowledge. DREAM is available at https://dataset.org/dream/.
We propose structured encoding as a novel approach to learning representations for relations and events in neural structured prediction. Our approach explicitly leverages the structure of available relation and event metadata to generate these representations, which are parameterized by both the attribute structure of the metadata as well as the learned representation of the arguments of the relations and events. We consider affine, biaffine, and recurrent operators for building hierarchical representations and modelling underlying features. We apply our approach to the second-order structured prediction task studied in the 2016/2017 Belief and Sentiment analysis evaluations (BeSt): given a document and its entities, relations, and events (including metadata and mentions), determine the sentiment of each entity towards every relation and event in the document. Without task-specific knowledge sources or domain engineering, we significantly improve over systems and baselines that neglect the available metadata or its hierarchical structure. We observe across-the-board improvements on the BeSt 2016/2017 sentiment analysis task of at least 2.3 (absolute) and 10.6% (relative) F-measure over the previous state-of-the-art.
This paper examines the factors that govern persuasion for a priori UNDECIDED versus DECIDED audience members in the context of on-line debates. We separately study two types of influences: linguistic factors — features of the language of the debate itself; and audience factors — features of an audience member encoding demographic information, prior beliefs, and debate platform behavior. In a study of users of a popular debate platform, we find first that different combinations of linguistic features are critical for predicting persuasion outcomes for UNDECIDED versus DECIDED members of the audience. We additionally find that audience factors have more influence on predicting the side (PRO/CON) that persuaded UNDECIDED users than for DECIDED users that flip their stance to the opposing side. Our results emphasize the importance of considering the undecided and decided audiences separately when studying linguistic factors of persuasion.
Existing argumentation datasets have succeeded in allowing researchers to develop computational methods for analyzing the content, structure and linguistic features of argumentative text. They have been much less successful in fostering studies of the effect of “user” traits — characteristics and beliefs of the participants — on the debate/argument outcome as this type of user information is generally not available. This paper presents a dataset of 78,376 debates generated over a 10-year period along with surprisingly comprehensive participant profiles. We also complete an example study using the dataset to analyze the effect of selected user traits on the debate outcome in comparison to the linguistic features typically employed in studies of this kind.
Modern NLP applications have enjoyed a great boost utilizing neural networks models. Such deep neural models, however, are not applicable to most human languages due to the lack of annotated training data for various NLP tasks. Cross-lingual transfer learning (CLTL) is a viable method for building NLP models for a low-resource target language by leveraging labeled data from other (source) languages. In this work, we focus on the multilingual transfer setting where training data in multiple source languages is leveraged to further boost target language performance. Unlike most existing methods that rely only on language-invariant features for CLTL, our approach coherently utilizes both language-invariant and language-specific features at instance level. Our model leverages adversarial networks to learn language-invariant features, and mixture-of-experts models to dynamically exploit the similarity between the target language and each individual source language. This enables our model to learn effectively what to share between various languages in the multilingual setup. Moreover, when coupled with unsupervised multilingual embeddings, our model can operate in a zero-resource setting where neither target language training data nor cross-lingual resources are available. Our model achieves significant performance gains over prior art, as shown in an extensive set of experiments over multiple text classification and sequence tagging tasks including a large-scale industry dataset.
We introduce the Scratchpad Mechanism, a novel addition to the sequence-to-sequence (seq2seq) neural network architecture and demonstrate its effectiveness in improving the overall fluency of seq2seq models for natural language generation tasks. By enabling the decoder at each time step to write to all of the encoder output layers, Scratchpad can employ the encoder as a “scratchpad” memory to keep track of what has been generated so far and thereby guide future generation. We evaluate Scratchpad in the context of three well-studied natural language generation tasks — Machine Translation, Question Generation, and Text Summarization — and obtain state-of-the-art or comparable performance on standard datasets for each task. Qualitative assessments in the form of human judgements (question generation), attention visualization (MT), and sample output (summarization) provide further evidence of the ability of Scratchpad to generate fluent and expressive output.
Systems for automatic argument generation and debate require the ability to (1) determine the stance of any claims employed in the argument and (2) assess the specificity of each claim relative to the argument context. Existing work on understanding claim specificity and stance, however, has been limited to the study of argumentative structures that are relatively shallow, most often consisting of a single claim that directly supports or opposes the argument thesis. In this paper, we tackle these tasks in the context of complex arguments on a diverse set of topics. In particular, our dataset consists of manually curated argument trees for 741 controversial topics covering 95,312 unique claims; lines of argument are generally of depth 2 to 6. We find that as the distance between a pair of claims increases along the argument path, determining the relative specificity of a pair of claims becomes easier and determining their relative stance becomes harder.
Research in the social sciences and psychology has shown that the persuasiveness of an argument depends not only the language employed, but also on attributes of the source/communicator, the audience, and the appropriateness and strength of the argument’s claims given the pragmatic and discourse context of the argument. Among these characteristics of persuasive arguments, prior work in NLP does not explicitly investigate the effect of the pragmatic and discourse context when determining argument quality. This paper presents a new dataset to initiate the study of this aspect of argumentation: it consists of a diverse collection of arguments covering 741 controversial topics and comprising over 47,000 claims. We further propose predictive models that incorporate the pragmatic and discourse context of argumentative claims and show that they outperform models that rely only on claim-specific linguistic features for predicting the perceived impact of individual claims within a particular line of argument.
We focus on multiple-choice question answering (QA) tasks in subject areas such as science, where we require both broad background knowledge and the facts from the given subject-area reference corpus. In this work, we explore simple yet effective methods for exploiting two sources of external knowledge for subject-area QA. The first enriches the original subject-area reference corpus with relevant text snippets extracted from an open-domain resource (i.e., Wikipedia) that cover potentially ambiguous concepts in the question and answer options. As in other QA research, the second method simply increases the amount of training data by appending additional in-domain subject-area instances. Experiments on three challenging multiple-choice science QA tasks (i.e., ARC-Easy, ARC-Challenge, and OpenBookQA) demonstrate the effectiveness of our methods: in comparison to the previous state-of-the-art, we obtain absolute gains in accuracy of up to 8.1%, 13.0%, and 12.8%, respectively. While we observe consistent gains when we introduce knowledge from Wikipedia, we find that employing additional QA training instances is not uniformly helpful: performance degrades when the added instances exhibit a higher level of difficulty than the original training data. As one of the first studies on exploiting unstructured external knowledge for subject-area QA, we hope our methods, observations, and discussion of the exposed limitations may shed light on further developments in the area.
In recent years great success has been achieved in sentiment classification for English, thanks in part to the availability of copious annotated resources. Unfortunately, most languages do not enjoy such an abundance of labeled data. To tackle the sentiment classification problem in low-resource languages without adequate annotated data, we propose an Adversarial Deep Averaging Network (ADAN1) to transfer the knowledge learned from labeled data on a resource-rich source language to low-resource languages where only unlabeled data exist. ADAN has two discriminative branches: a sentiment classifier and an adversarial language discriminator. Both branches take input from a shared feature extractor to learn hidden representations that are simultaneously indicative for the classification task and invariant across languages. Experiments on Chinese and Arabic sentiment classification demonstrate that ADAN significantly outperforms state-of-the-art systems.
Multilingual Word Embeddings (MWEs) represent words from multiple languages in a single distributional vector space. Unsupervised MWE (UMWE) methods acquire multilingual embeddings without cross-lingual supervision, which is a significant advantage over traditional supervised approaches and opens many new possibilities for low-resource languages. Prior art for learning UMWEs, however, merely relies on a number of independently trained Unsupervised Bilingual Word Embeddings (UBWEs) to obtain multilingual embeddings. These methods fail to leverage the interdependencies that exist among many languages. To address this shortcoming, we propose a fully unsupervised framework for learning MWEs that directly exploits the relations between all language pairs. Our model substantially outperforms previous approaches in the experiments on multilingual word translation and cross-lingual word similarity. In addition, our model even beats supervised approaches trained with cross-lingual resources.
Deep NLP models benefit from underlying structures in the data—e.g., parse trees—typically extracted using off-the-shelf parsers. Recent attempts to jointly learn the latent structure encounter a tradeoff: either make factorization assumptions that limit expressiveness, or sacrifice end-to-end differentiability. Using the recently proposed SparseMAP inference, which retrieves a sparse distribution over latent structures, we propose a novel approach for end-to-end learning of latent structure predictors jointly with a downstream predictor. To the best of our knowledge, our method is the first to enable unrestricted dynamic computation graph construction from the global latent structure, while maintaining differentiability.
We propose a novel recurrent neural network-based approach to simultaneously handle nested named entity recognition and nested entity mention detection. The model learns a hypergraph representation for nested entities using features extracted from a recurrent neural network. In evaluations on three standard data sets, we show that our approach significantly outperforms existing state-of-the-art methods, which are feature-based. The approach is also efficient: it operates linearly in the number of tokens and the number of possible output labels at any token. Finally, we present an extension of our model that jointly learns the head of each entity mention.
Public debate forums provide a common platform for exchanging opinions on a topic of interest. While recent studies in natural language processing (NLP) have provided empirical evidence that the language of the debaters and their patterns of interaction play a key role in changing the mind of a reader, research in psychology has shown that prior beliefs can affect our interpretation of an argument and could therefore constitute a competing alternative explanation for resistance to changing one’s stance. To study the actual effect of language use vs. prior beliefs on persuasion, we provide a new dataset and propose a controlled setting that takes into consideration two reader-level factors: political and religious ideology. We find that prior beliefs affected by these reader-level factors play a more important role than language use effects and argue that it is important to account for them in NLP studies of persuasion.
Many text classification tasks are known to be highly domain-dependent. Unfortunately, the availability of training data can vary drastically across domains. Worse still, for some domains there may not be any annotated data at all. In this work, we propose a multinomial adversarial network (MAN) to tackle this real-world problem of multi-domain text classification (MDTC) in which labeled data may exist for multiple domains, but in insufficient amounts to train effective classifiers for one or more of the domains. We provide theoretical justifications for the MAN framework, proving that different instances of MANs are essentially minimizers of various f-divergence metrics (Ali and Silvey, 1966) among multiple probability distributions. MANs are thus a theoretically sound generalization of traditional adversarial networks that discriminate over two distributions. More specifically, for the MDTC task, MAN learns features that are invariant across multiple domains by resorting to its ability to reduce the divergence among the feature distributions of each domain. We present experimental results showing that MANs significantly outperform the prior art on the MDTC task. We also show that MANs achieve state-of-the-art performance for domains with no labeled data.
In this paper, we focus on understanding linguistic differences across groups with different self-identified gender and stance in expressing opinions about ABORTION. We provide a new dataset consisting of users’ gender, stance on ABORTION as well as the debates in ABORTION drawn from debate.org. We use the gender and stance information to identify significant linguistic differences across individuals with different gender and stance. We show the importance of considering the stance information along with the gender since we observe significant linguistic differences across individuals with different stance even within the same gender group.
We study the task of generating from Wikipedia articles question-answer pairs that cover content beyond a single sentence. We propose a neural network approach that incorporates coreference knowledge via a novel gating mechanism. As compared to models that only take into account sentence-level information (Heilman and Smith, 2010; Du et al., 2017; Zhou et al., 2017), we find that the linguistic knowledge introduced by the coreference representation aids question generation significantly, producing models that outperform the current state-of-the-art. We apply our system (composed of an answer span extraction system and the passage-level QG system) to the 10,000 top ranking Wikipedia articles and create a corpus of over one million question-answer pairs. We provide qualitative analysis for the this large-scale generated corpus from Wikipedia.
We present a novel attention-based recurrent neural network for joint extraction of entity mentions and relations. We show that attention along with long short term memory (LSTM) network can extract semantic relations between entity mentions without having access to dependency trees. Experiments on Automatic Content Extraction (ACE) corpora show that our model significantly outperforms feature-based joint model by Li and Ji (2014). We also compare our model with an end-to-end tree-based LSTM model (SPTree) by Miwa and Bansal (2016) and show that our model performs within 1% on entity mentions and 2% on relations. Our fine-grained analysis also shows that our model performs significantly better on Agent-Artifact relations, while SPTree performs better on Physical and Part-Whole relations.
We propose a novel factor graph model for argument mining, designed for settings in which the argumentative relations in a document do not necessarily form a tree structure. (This is the case in over 20% of the web comments dataset we release.) Our model jointly learns elementary unit type classification and argumentative relation prediction. Moreover, our model supports SVM and RNN parametrizations, can enforce structure constraints (e.g., transitivity), and can express dependencies between adjacent relations and propositions. Our approaches outperform unstructured baselines in both web comments and argumentative essay datasets.
We study automatic question generation for sentences from text passages in reading comprehension. We introduce an attention-based sequence learning model for the task and investigate the effect of encoding sentence- vs. paragraph-level information. In contrast to all previous work, our model does not rely on hand-crafted rules or a sophisticated NLP pipeline; it is instead trainable end-to-end via sequence-to-sequence learning. Automatic evaluation results show that our system significantly outperforms the state-of-the-art rule-based system. In human evaluations, questions generated by our system are also rated as being more natural (i.e.,, grammaticality, fluency) and as more difficult to answer (in terms of syntactic and lexical divergence from the original text and reasoning needed to answer).
A first step in the task of automatically generating questions for testing reading comprehension is to identify question-worthy sentences, i.e. sentences in a text passage that humans find it worthwhile to ask questions about. We propose a hierarchical neural sentence-level sequence tagging model for this task, which existing approaches to question generation have ignored. The approach is fully data-driven — with no sophisticated NLP pipelines or any hand-crafted rules/features — and compares favorably to a number of baselines when evaluated on the SQuAD data set. When incorporated into an existing neural question generation system, the resulting end-to-end system achieves state-of-the-art performance for paragraph-level question generation for reading comprehension.
We present a novel hierarchical distance-dependent Bayesian model for event coreference resolution. While existing generative models for event coreference resolution are completely unsupervised, our model allows for the incorporation of pairwise distances between event mentions — information that is widely used in supervised coreference models to guide the generative clustering processing for better event clustering both within and across documents. We model the distances between event mentions using a feature-rich learnable distance function and encode them as Bayesian priors for nonparametric clustering. Experiments on the ECB+ corpus show that our model outperforms state-of-the-art methods for both within- and cross-document event coreference resolution.
In this paper, we study the problems of opinion expression extraction and expression-level polarity and intensity classification. Traditional fine-grained opinion analysis systems address these problems in isolation and thus cannot capture interactions among the textual spans of opinion expressions and their opinion-related properties. We present two types of joint approaches that can account for such interactions during 1) both learning and inference or 2) only during inference. Extensive experiments on a standard dataset demonstrate that our approaches provide substantial improvements over previously published results. By analyzing the results, we gain some insight into the advantages of different joint models.
Fine-grained subjectivity analysis has been the subject of much recent research attention. As a result, the field has gained a number of working definitions, technical approaches and manually annotated corpora that cover many facets of subjectivity. Little work has been done, however, on one aspect of fine-grained opinions - the specification and identification of opinion topics. In particular, due to the difficulty of manual opinion topic annotation, no general-purpose opinion corpus with information about topics of fine-grained opinions currently exists. In this paper, we propose a methodology for the manual annotation of opinion topics and use it to annotate a portion of an existing general-purpose opinion corpus with opinion topic information. Inter-annotator agreement results according to a number of metrics suggest that the annotations are reliable.
We describe the creation of a corpus that supports a real-world hierarchical text categorization task in the domain of electronic rulemaking (eRulemaking). Features of the task and of the eRulemaking domain engender both a non-traditional text categorization corpus and a correspondingly difficult machine learning task. Interannotator agreement results are presented for a group of six annotators. We also briefly describe the results of experiments that apply standard and hierarchical text categorization techniques to the eRulemaking data sets. The corpus is the first in a series of related sentence-level text categorization corpora to be developed in the eRulemaking domain.