Our commonsense knowledge about objects includes their typical visual attributes; we know that bananas are typically yellow or green, and not purple. Text and image corpora, being subject to reporting bias, represent this world-knowledge to varying degrees of faithfulness. In this paper, we investigate to what degree unimodal (language-only) and multimodal (image and language) models capture a broad range of visually salient attributes. To that end, we create the Visual Commonsense Tests (ViComTe) dataset covering 5 property types (color, shape, material, size, and visual co-occurrence) for over 5000 subjects. We validate this dataset by showing that our grounded color data correlates much better than ungrounded text-only data with crowdsourced color judgments provided by Paik et al. (2021). We then use our dataset to evaluate pretrained unimodal models and multimodal models. Our results indicate that multimodal models better reconstruct attribute distributions, but are still subject to reporting bias. Moreover, increasing model size does not enhance performance, suggesting that the key to visual commonsense lies in the data.
Children acquiring English make systematic errors on subject control sentences even after they have reached near-adult competence (Chomsky, 1969), possibly due to heuristics based on semantic roles (Maratsos, 1974).Given the advanced fluency of large generative language models, we ask whether model outputs are consistent with these heuristics, and to what degree different models are consistent with each other. We find that models can be categorized by behavior into three separate groups, with broad differences between the groups. The outputs of models in the largest group are consistent with positional heuristics that succeed on subject control but fail on object control. This result is surprising, given that object control is orders of magnitude more frequent in the text data used to train such models. We examine to what degree the models are sensitive to prompting with agent-patient information, finding that raising the salience of agent and patient relations results in significant changes in the outputs of most models. Based on this observation, we leverage an existing dataset of semantic proto-role annotations (White et al. 2020) to explore the connections between control and labeling event participants with properties typically associated with agents and patients.
In natural language understanding (NLU) production systems, users’ evolving needs necessitate the addition of new features over time, indexed by new symbols added to the meaning representation space. This requires additional training data and results in ever-growing datasets. We present the first systematic investigation into this incremental symbol learning scenario. Our analysis reveals a troubling quirk in building broad-coverage NLU systems: as the training dataset grows, performance on a small set of new symbols often decreases. We show that this trend holds for multiple mainstream models on two common NLU tasks: intent recognition and semantic parsing. Rejecting class imbalance as the sole culprit, we reveal that the trend is closely associated with an effect we call source signal dilution, where strong lexical cues for the new symbol become diluted as the training dataset grows. Selectively dropping training examples to prevent dilution often reverses the trend, showing the over-reliance of mainstream neural NLU models on simple lexical cues.
While aggregate performance metrics can generate valuable insights at a large scale, their dominance means more complex and nuanced language phenomena, such as vagueness, may be overlooked. Focusing on vague terms (e.g. sunny, cloudy, young, etc.) we inspect the behavior of visually grounded and text-only models, finding systematic divergences from human judgments even when a model’s overall performance is high. To help explain this disparity, we identify two assumptions made by the datasets and models examined and, guided by the philosophy of vagueness, isolate cases where they do not hold.
Abstract We introduce a novel paraphrastic augmentation strategy based on sentence-level lexically constrained paraphrasing and discriminative span alignment. Our approach allows for the large-scale expansion of existing datasets or the rapid creation of new datasets using a small, manually produced seed corpus. We demonstrate our approach with experiments on the Berkeley FrameNet Project, a large-scale language understanding effort spanning more than two decades of human labor. With four days of training data collection for a span alignment model and one day of parallel compute, we automatically generate and release to the community 495,300 unique (Frame,Trigger) pairs in diverse sentential contexts, a roughly 50-fold expansion atop FrameNet v1.7. The resulting dataset is intrinsically and extrinsically evaluated in detail, showing positive results on a downstream task.
While numerous attempts have been made to jointly parse syntax and semantics, high performance in one domain typically comes at the price of performance in the other. This trade-off contradicts the large body of research focusing on the rich interactions at the syntax–semantics interface. We explore multiple model architectures that allow us to exploit the rich syntactic and semantic annotations contained in the Universal Decompositional Semantics (UDS) dataset, jointly parsing Universal Dependencies and UDS to obtain state-of-the-art results in both formalisms. We analyze the behavior of a joint model of syntax and semantics, finding patterns supported by linguistic theory at the syntax–semantics interface. We then investigate to what degree joint modeling generalizes to a multilingual setting, where we find similar trends across 8 languages.
We introduce a transductive model for parsing into Universal Decompositional Semantics (UDS) representations, which jointly learns to map natural language utterances into UDS graph structures and annotate the graph with decompositional semantic attribute scores. We also introduce a strong pipeline model for parsing into the UDS graph structure, and show that our transductive parser performs comparably while additionally performing attribute prediction. By analyzing the attribute prediction errors, we find the model captures natural relationships between attribute groups.
We present the Universal Decompositional Semantics (UDS) dataset (v1.0), which is bundled with the Decomp toolkit (v0.1). UDS1.0 unifies five high-quality, decompositional semantics-aligned annotation sets within a single semantic graph specification—with graph structures defined by the predicative patterns produced by the PredPatt tool and real-valued node and edge attributes constructed using sophisticated normalization procedures. The Decomp toolkit provides a suite of Python 3 tools for querying UDS graphs using SPARQL. Both UDS1.0 and Decomp0.1 are publicly available at http://decomp.io.
We introduce a novel discriminative word alignment model, which we integrate into a Transformer-based machine translation model. In experiments based on a small number of labeled examples (∼1.7K–5K sentences) we evaluate its performance intrinsically on both English-Chinese and English-Arabic alignment, where we achieve major improvements over unsupervised baselines (11–27 F1). We evaluate the model extrinsically on data projection for Chinese NER, showing that our alignments lead to higher performance when used to project NER tags from English to Chinese. Finally, we perform an ablation analysis and an annotation experiment that jointly support the utility and feasibility of future manual alignment elicitation.