Deepak Venugopal


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Question Modifiers in Visual Question Answering
William Britton | Somdeb Sarkhel | Deepak Venugopal
Proceedings of the Thirteenth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

Visual Question Answering (VQA) is a challenge problem that can advance AI by integrating several important sub-disciplines including natural language understanding and computer vision. Large VQA datasets that are publicly available for training and evaluation have driven the growth of VQA models that have obtained increasingly larger accuracy scores. However, it is also important to understand how much a model understands the details that are provided in a question. For example, studies in psychology have shown that syntactic complexity places a larger cognitive load on humans. Analogously, we want to understand if models have the perceptual capability to handle modifications to questions. Therefore, we develop a new dataset using Amazon Mechanical Turk where we asked workers to add modifiers to questions based on object properties and spatial relationships. We evaluate this data on LXMERT which is a state-of-the-art model in VQA that focuses more extensively on language processing. Our conclusions indicate that there is a significant negative impact on the performance of the model when the questions are modified to include more detailed information.


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Joint Inference for Mode Identification in Tutorial Dialogues
Deepak Venugopal | Vasile Rus
Proceedings of COLING 2016, the 26th International Conference on Computational Linguistics: Technical Papers

Identifying dialogue acts and dialogue modes during tutorial interactions is an extremely crucial sub-step in understanding patterns of effective tutor-tutee interactions. In this work, we develop a novel joint inference method that labels each utterance in a tutoring dialogue session with a dialogue act and a specific mode from a set of pre-defined dialogue acts and modes, respectively. Specifically, we develop our joint model using Markov Logic Networks (MLNs), a framework that combines first-order logic with probabilities, and is thus capable of representing complex, uncertain knowledge. We define first-order formulas in our MLN that encode the inter-dependencies between dialogue modes and more fine-grained dialogue actions. We then use a joint inference to jointly label the modes as well as the dialogue acts in an utterance. We compare our system against a pipeline system based on SVMs on a real-world dataset with tutoring sessions of over 500 students. Our results show that the joint inference system is far more effective than the pipeline system in mode detection, and improves over the performance of the pipeline system by about 6 points in F1 score. The joint inference system also performs much better than the pipeline system in the context of labeling modes that highlight important pedagogical steps in tutoring.

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Joint Inference for Event Coreference Resolution
Jing Lu | Deepak Venugopal | Vibhav Gogate | Vincent Ng
Proceedings of COLING 2016, the 26th International Conference on Computational Linguistics: Technical Papers

Event coreference resolution is a challenging problem since it relies on several components of the information extraction pipeline that typically yield noisy outputs. We hypothesize that exploiting the inter-dependencies between these components can significantly improve the performance of an event coreference resolver, and subsequently propose a novel joint inference based event coreference resolver using Markov Logic Networks (MLNs). However, the rich features that are important for this task are typically very hard to explicitly encode as MLN formulas since they significantly increase the size of the MLN, thereby making joint inference and learning infeasible. To address this problem, we propose a novel solution where we implicitly encode rich features into our model by augmenting the MLN distribution with low dimensional unit clauses. Our approach achieves state-of-the-art results on two standard evaluation corpora.

Advanced Markov Logic Techniques for Scalable Joint Inference in NLP
Deepak Venugopal | Vibhav Gogate | Vincent Ng
Proceedings of the 2016 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing: Tutorial Abstracts

In the early days of the statistical NLP era, many language processing tasks were tackled using the so-called pipeline architecture: the given task is broken into a series of sub-tasks such that the output of one sub-task is an input to the next sub-task in the sequence. The pipeline architecture is appealing for various reasons, including modularity, modeling convenience, and manageable computational complexity. However, it suffers from the error propagation problem: errors made in one sub-task are propagated to the next sub-task in the sequence, leading to poor accuracy on that sub-task, which in turn leads to more errors downstream. Another disadvantage associated with it is lack of feedback: errors made in a sub-task are often not corrected using knowledge uncovered while solving another sub-task down the pipeline.Realizing these weaknesses, researchers have turned to joint inference approaches in recent years. One such approach involves the use of Markov logic, which is defined as a set of weighted first-order logic formulas and, at a high level, unifies first-order logic with probabilistic graphical models. It is an ideal modeling language (knowledge representation) for compactly representing relational and uncertain knowledge in NLP. In a typical use case of MLNs in NLP, the application designer describes the background knowledge using a few first-order logic sentences and then uses software packages such as Alchemy, Tuffy, and Markov the beast to perform learning and inference (prediction) over the MLN. However, despite its obvious advantages, over the years, researchers and practitioners have found it difficult to use MLNs effectively in many NLP applications. The main reason for this is that it is hard to scale inference and learning algorithms for MLNs to large datasets and complex models, that are typical in NLP.In this tutorial, we will introduce the audience to recent advances in scaling up inference and learning in MLNs as well as new approaches to make MLNs a "black-box" for NLP applications (with only minor tuning required on the part of the user). Specifically, we will introduce attendees to a key idea that has emerged in the MLN research community over the last few years, lifted inference , which refers to inference techniques that take advantage of symmetries (e.g., synonyms), both exact and approximate, in the MLN . We will describe how these next-generation inference techniques can be used to perform effective joint inference. We will also present our new software package for inference and learning in MLNs, Alchemy 2.0, which is based on lifted inference, focusing primarily on how it can be used to scale up inference and learning in large models and datasets for applications such as semantic similarity determination, information extraction and question answering.


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Relieving the Computational Bottleneck: Joint Inference for Event Extraction with High-Dimensional Features
Deepak Venugopal | Chen Chen | Vibhav Gogate | Vincent Ng
Proceedings of the 2014 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)