Dheeru Dua


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To Adapt or to Annotate: Challenges and Interventions for Domain Adaptation in Open-Domain Question Answering
Dheeru Dua | Emma Strubell | Sameer Singh | Pat Verga
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Recent advances in open-domain question answering (ODQA) have demonstrated impressive accuracy on general-purpose domains like Wikipedia. While some work has been investigating how well ODQA models perform when tested for out-of-domain (OOD) generalization, these studies have been conducted only under conservative shifts in data distribution and typically focus on a single component (i.e., retriever or reader) rather than an end-to-end system. This work proposes a more realistic end-to-end domain shift evaluation setting covering five diverse domains. We not only find that end-to-end models fail to generalize but that high retrieval scores often still yield poor answer prediction accuracy. To address these failures, we investigate several interventions, in the form of data augmentations, for improving model adaption and use our evaluation set to elucidate the relationship between the efficacy of an intervention scheme and the particular type of dataset shifts we consider. We propose a generalizability test that estimates the type of shift in a target dataset without training a model in the target domain and that the type of shift is predictive of which data augmentation schemes will be effective for domain adaption. Overall, we find that these interventions increase end-to-end performance by up to ~24 points.


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Successive Prompting for Decomposing Complex Questions
Dheeru Dua | Shivanshu Gupta | Sameer Singh | Matt Gardner
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Answering complex questions that require making latent decisions is a challenging task, especially when limited supervision is available. Recent works leverage the capabilities of large language models (LMs) to perform complex question answering in a few-shot setting by demonstrating how to output intermediate rationalizations while solving the complex question in a single pass. We introduce “Successive Prompting” where, we iteratively break down a complex task into a simple task, solve it, and then repeat the process until we get the final solution. Successive prompting decouples the supervision for decomposing complex questions from the supervision for answering simple questions, allowing us to (1) have multiple opportunities to query in-context examples at each reasoning step (2) learn question decomposition separately from question answering, including using synthetic data, and (3) use bespoke (fine-tuned) components for reasoning steps where a large LM does not perform well. The intermediate supervision is typically manually written, which can be expensive to collect. We introduce a way to generate synthetic dataset which can be used to bootstrap model’s ability to decompose and answer intermediate questions. Our best model (with successive prompting) achieves an improvement in F1 of ~5% when compared with a state-of-the-art model with synthetic augmentations and few-shot version of the DROP dataset.

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Tricks for Training Sparse Translation Models
Dheeru Dua | Shruti Bhosale | Vedanuj Goswami | James Cross | Mike Lewis | Angela Fan
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Multi-task learning with an unbalanced data distribution skews model learning towards high resource tasks, especially when model capacity is fixed and fully shared across all tasks. Sparse scaling architectures, such as BASELayers, provide flexible mechanisms for different tasks to have a variable number of parameters, which can be useful to counterbalance skewed data distributions. We find that that sparse architectures for multilingual machine translation can perform poorly out of the box and propose two straightforward techniques to mitigate this — a temperature heating mechanism and dense pre-training. Overall, these methods improve performance on two multilingual translation benchmarks compared to standard BASELayers and Dense scaling baselines, and in combination, more than 2x model convergence speed.


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Generative Context Pair Selection for Multi-hop Question Answering
Dheeru Dua | Cicero Nogueira dos Santos | Patrick Ng | Ben Athiwaratkun | Bing Xiang | Matt Gardner | Sameer Singh
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Compositional reasoning tasks such as multi-hop question answering require models to learn how to make latent decisions using only weak supervision from the final answer. Crowdsourced datasets gathered for these tasks, however, often contain only a slice of the underlying task distribution, which can induce unanticipated biases such as shallow word overlap between the question and context. Recent works have shown that discriminative training results in models that exploit these underlying biases to achieve a better held-out performance, without learning the right way to reason. We propose a generative context selection model for multi-hop QA that reasons about how the given question could have been generated given a context pair and not just independent contexts. We show that on HotpotQA, while being comparable to the state-of-the-art answering performance, our proposed generative passage selection model has a better performance (4.9% higher than baseline) on adversarial held-out set which tests robustness of model’s multi-hop reasoning capabilities.

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Learning with Instance Bundles for Reading Comprehension
Dheeru Dua | Pradeep Dasigi | Sameer Singh | Matt Gardner
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

When training most modern reading comprehension models, all the questions associated with a context are treated as being independent from each other. However, closely related questions and their corresponding answers are not independent, and leveraging these relationships could provide a strong supervision signal to a model. Drawing on ideas from contrastive estimation, we introduce several new supervision losses that compare question-answer scores across multiple related instances. Specifically, we normalize these scores across various neighborhoods of closely contrasting questions and/or answers, adding a cross entropy loss term in addition to traditional maximum likelihood estimation. Our techniques require bundles of related question-answer pairs, which we either mine from within existing data or create using automated heuristics. We empirically demonstrate the effectiveness of training with instance bundles on two datasets—HotpotQA and ROPES—showing up to 9% absolute gains in accuracy.


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Easy, Reproducible and Quality-Controlled Data Collection with CROWDAQ
Qiang Ning | Hao Wu | Pradeep Dasigi | Dheeru Dua | Matt Gardner | Robert L. Logan IV | Ana Marasović | Zhen Nie
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing: System Demonstrations

High-quality and large-scale data are key to success for AI systems. However, large-scale data annotation efforts are often confronted with a set of common challenges: (1) designing a user-friendly annotation interface; (2) training enough annotators efficiently; and (3) reproducibility. To address these problems, we introduce CROWDAQ, an open-source platform that standardizes the data collection pipeline with customizable user-interface components, automated annotator qualification, and saved pipelines in a re-usable format. We show that CROWDAQ simplifies data annotation significantly on a diverse set of data collection use cases and we hope it will be a convenient tool for the community.

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Dynamic Sampling Strategies for Multi-Task Reading Comprehension
Ananth Gottumukkala | Dheeru Dua | Sameer Singh | Matt Gardner
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Building general reading comprehension systems, capable of solving multiple datasets at the same time, is a recent aspirational goal in the research community. Prior work has focused on model architecture or generalization to held out datasets, and largely passed over the particulars of the multi-task learning set up. We show that a simple dynamic sampling strategy, selecting instances for training proportional to the multi-task model’s current performance on a dataset relative to its single task performance, gives substantive gains over prior multi-task sampling strategies, mitigating the catastrophic forgetting that is common in multi-task learning. We also demonstrate that allowing instances of different tasks to be interleaved as much as possible between each epoch and batch has a clear benefit in multitask performance over forcing task homogeneity at the epoch or batch level. Our final model shows greatly increased performance over the best model on ORB, a recently-released multitask reading comprehension benchmark.

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Benefits of Intermediate Annotations in Reading Comprehension
Dheeru Dua | Sameer Singh | Matt Gardner
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Complex compositional reading comprehension datasets require performing latent sequential decisions that are learned via supervision from the final answer. A large combinatorial space of possible decision paths that result in the same answer, compounded by the lack of intermediate supervision to help choose the right path, makes the learning particularly hard for this task. In this work, we study the benefits of collecting intermediate reasoning supervision along with the answer during data collection. We find that these intermediate annotations can provide two-fold benefits. First, we observe that for any collection budget, spending a fraction of it on intermediate annotations results in improved model performance, for two complex compositional datasets: DROP and Quoref. Second, these annotations encourage the model to learn the correct latent reasoning steps, helping combat some of the biases introduced during the data collection process.

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Evaluating Models’ Local Decision Boundaries via Contrast Sets
Matt Gardner | Yoav Artzi | Victoria Basmov | Jonathan Berant | Ben Bogin | Sihao Chen | Pradeep Dasigi | Dheeru Dua | Yanai Elazar | Ananth Gottumukkala | Nitish Gupta | Hannaneh Hajishirzi | Gabriel Ilharco | Daniel Khashabi | Kevin Lin | Jiangming Liu | Nelson F. Liu | Phoebe Mulcaire | Qiang Ning | Sameer Singh | Noah A. Smith | Sanjay Subramanian | Reut Tsarfaty | Eric Wallace | Ally Zhang | Ben Zhou
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2020

Standard test sets for supervised learning evaluate in-distribution generalization. Unfortunately, when a dataset has systematic gaps (e.g., annotation artifacts), these evaluations are misleading: a model can learn simple decision rules that perform well on the test set but do not capture the abilities a dataset is intended to test. We propose a more rigorous annotation paradigm for NLP that helps to close systematic gaps in the test data. In particular, after a dataset is constructed, we recommend that the dataset authors manually perturb the test instances in small but meaningful ways that (typically) change the gold label, creating contrast sets. Contrast sets provide a local view of a model’s decision boundary, which can be used to more accurately evaluate a model’s true linguistic capabilities. We demonstrate the efficacy of contrast sets by creating them for 10 diverse NLP datasets (e.g., DROP reading comprehension, UD parsing, and IMDb sentiment analysis). Although our contrast sets are not explicitly adversarial, model performance is significantly lower on them than on the original test sets—up to 25% in some cases. We release our contrast sets as new evaluation benchmarks and encourage future dataset construction efforts to follow similar annotation processes.


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Comprehensive Multi-Dataset Evaluation of Reading Comprehension
Dheeru Dua | Ananth Gottumukkala | Alon Talmor | Sameer Singh | Matt Gardner
Proceedings of the 2nd Workshop on Machine Reading for Question Answering

Reading comprehension is one of the crucial tasks for furthering research in natural language understanding. A lot of diverse reading comprehension datasets have recently been introduced to study various phenomena in natural language, ranging from simple paraphrase matching and entity typing to entity tracking and understanding the implications of the context. Given the availability of many such datasets, comprehensive and reliable evaluation is tedious and time-consuming for researchers working on this problem. We present an evaluation server, ORB, that reports performance on seven diverse reading comprehension datasets, encouraging and facilitating testing a single model’s capability in understanding a wide variety of reading phenomena. The evaluation server places no restrictions on how models are trained, so it is a suitable test bed for exploring training paradigms and representation learning for general reading facility. As more suitable datasets are released, they will be added to the evaluation server. We also collect and include synthetic augmentations for these datasets, testing how well models can handle out-of-domain questions.

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PoMo: Generating Entity-Specific Post-Modifiers in Context
Jun Seok Kang | Robert Logan | Zewei Chu | Yang Chen | Dheeru Dua | Kevin Gimpel | Sameer Singh | Niranjan Balasubramanian
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)

We introduce entity post-modifier generation as an instance of a collaborative writing task. Given a sentence about a target entity, the task is to automatically generate a post-modifier phrase that provides contextually relevant information about the entity. For example, for the sentence, “Barack Obama, _______, supported the #MeToo movement.”, the phrase “a father of two girls” is a contextually relevant post-modifier. To this end, we build PoMo, a post-modifier dataset created automatically from news articles reflecting a journalistic need for incorporating entity information that is relevant to a particular news event. PoMo consists of more than 231K sentences with post-modifiers and associated facts extracted from Wikidata for around 57K unique entities. We use crowdsourcing to show that modeling contextual relevance is necessary for accurate post-modifier generation. We adapt a number of existing generation approaches as baselines for this dataset. Our results show there is large room for improvement in terms of both identifying relevant facts to include (knowing which claims are relevant gives a >20% improvement in BLEU score), and generating appropriate post-modifier text for the context (providing relevant claims is not sufficient for accurate generation). We conduct an error analysis that suggests promising directions for future research.

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DROP: A Reading Comprehension Benchmark Requiring Discrete Reasoning Over Paragraphs
Dheeru Dua | Yizhong Wang | Pradeep Dasigi | Gabriel Stanovsky | Sameer Singh | Matt Gardner
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)

Reading comprehension has recently seen rapid progress, with systems matching humans on the most popular datasets for the task. However, a large body of work has highlighted the brittleness of these systems, showing that there is much work left to be done. We introduce a new reading comprehension benchmark, DROP, which requires Discrete Reasoning Over the content of Paragraphs. In this crowdsourced, adversarially-created, 55k-question benchmark, a system must resolve references in a question, perhaps to multiple input positions, and perform discrete operations over them (such as addition, counting, or sorting). These operations require a much more comprehensive understanding of the content of paragraphs, as they remove the paraphrase-and-entity-typing shortcuts available in prior datasets. We apply state-of-the-art methods from both the reading comprehension and semantic parsing literatures on this dataset and show that the best systems only achieve 38.4% F1 on our generalized accuracy metric, while expert human performance is 96%. We additionally present a new model that combines reading comprehension methods with simple numerical reasoning to achieve 51% F1.