Donato Crisostomi


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AVEN-GR: Attribute Value Extraction and Normalization using product GRaphs
Thomas Ricatte | Donato Crisostomi
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 5: Industry Track)

Getting a good understanding of the user intent is vital for e-commerce applications to surface the right product to a given customer query. Query Understanding (QU) systems are essential for this purpose, and many e-commerce providers are working on complex solutions that need to be data efficient and able to capture early emerging market trends. Query Attribute Understanding (QAU) is a sub-component of QU that involves extracting named attributes from user queries and linking them to existing e-commerce entities such as brand, material, color, etc. While extracting named entities from text has been extensively explored in the literature, QAU requires specific attention due to the nature of the queries, which are often short, noisy, ambiguous, and constantly evolving. This paper makes three contributions to QAU. First, we propose a novel end-to-end approach that jointly solves Named Entity Recognition (NER) and Entity Linking (NEL) and enables open-world reasoning for QAU. Second, we introduce a novel method for utilizing product graphs to enhance the representation of query entities. Finally, we present a new dataset constructed from public sources that can be used to evaluate the performance of future QAU systems.

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Mitigating the Burden of Redundant Datasets via Batch-Wise Unique Samples and Frequency-Aware Losses
Donato Crisostomi | Andrea Caciolai | Alessandro Pedrani | Kay Rottmann | Alessandro Manzotti | Enrico Palumbo | Davide Bernardi
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 5: Industry Track)

Datasets used to train deep learning models in industrial settings often exhibit skewed distributions with some samples repeated a large number of times. This paper presents a simple yet effective solution to reduce the increased burden of repeated computation on redundant datasets. Our approach eliminates duplicates at the batch level, without altering the data distribution observed by the model, making it model-agnostic and easy to implement as a plug-and-play module. We also provide a mathematical expression to estimate the reduction in training time that our approach provides. Through empirical evidence, we show that our approach significantly reduces training times on various models across datasets with varying redundancy factors, without impacting their performance on the Named Entity Recognition task, both on publicly available datasets and in real industrial settings. In the latter, the approach speeds training by up to 87%, and by 46% on average, with a drop in model performance of 0.2% relative at worst. We finally release a modular and reusable codebase to further advance research in this area.


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Play música alegre: A Large-Scale Empirical Analysis of Cross-Lingual Phenomena in Voice Assistant Interactions
Donato Crisostomi | Alessandro Manzotti | Enrico Palumbo | Davide Bernardi | Sarah Campbell | Shubham Garg
Proceedings of the Massively Multilingual Natural Language Understanding Workshop (MMNLU-22)

Cross-lingual phenomena are quite common in informal contexts like social media, where users are likely to mix their native language with English or other languages. However, few studies have focused so far on analyzing cross-lingual interactions in voice-assistant data, which present peculiar features in terms of sentence length, named entities, and use of spoken language. Also, little attention has been posed to European countries, where English is frequently used as a second language. In this paper, we present a large-scale empirical analysis of cross-lingual phenomena (code-mixing, linguistic borrowing, foreign named entities) in the interactions with a large-scale voice assistant in European countries. To do this, we first introduce a general, highly-scalable technique to generate synthetic mixed training data annotated with token-level language labels and we train two neural network models to predict them. We evaluate the models both on the synthetic dataset and on a real dataset of code-switched utterances, showing that the best performance is obtained by a character convolution based model. The results of the analysis highlight different behaviors between countries, having Italy with the highest ratio of cross-lingual utterances and Spain with a marked preference in keeping Spanish words. Our research, paired to the increase of the cross-lingual phenomena in time, motivates further research in developing multilingual Natural Language Understanding (NLU) models, which can naturally deal with cross-lingual interactions.