Evgeniia Razumovskaia


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Natural Language Processing for Multilingual Task-Oriented Dialogue
Evgeniia Razumovskaia | Goran Glavaš | Olga Majewska | Edoardo Ponti | Ivan Vulić
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Tutorial Abstracts

Recent advances in deep learning have also enabled fast progress in the research of task-oriented dialogue (ToD) systems. However, the majority of ToD systems are developed for English and merely a handful of other widely spoken languages, e.g., Chinese and German. This hugely limits the global reach and, consequently, transformative socioeconomic potential of such systems. In this tutorial, we will thus discuss and demonstrate the importance of (building) multilingual ToD systems, and then provide a systematic overview of current research gaps, challenges and initiatives related to multilingual ToD systems, with a particular focus on their connections to current research and challenges in multilingual and low-resource NLP. The tutorial will aim to provide answers or shed new light to the following questions: a) Why are multilingual dialogue systems so hard to build: what makes multilinguality for dialogue more challenging than for other NLP applications and tasks? b) What are the best existing methods and datasets for multilingual and cross-lingual (task-oriented) dialog systems? How are (multilingual) ToD systems usually evaluated? c) What are the promising future directions for multilingual ToD research: where can one draw inspiration from related NLP areas and tasks?

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Data Augmentation and Learned Layer Aggregation for Improved Multilingual Language Understanding in Dialogue
Evgeniia Razumovskaia | Ivan Vulić | Anna Korhonen
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2022

Scaling dialogue systems to a multitude of domains, tasks and languages relies on costly and time-consuming data annotation for different domain-task-language configurations. The annotation efforts might be substantially reduced by the methods that generalise well in zero- and few-shot scenarios, and also effectively leverage external unannotated data sources (e.g., Web-scale corpora). We propose two methods to this aim, offering improved dialogue natural language understanding (NLU) across multiple languages: 1) Multi-SentAugment, and 2) LayerAgg. Multi-SentAugment is a self-training method which augments available (typically few-shot) training data with similar (automatically labelled) in-domain sentences from large monolingual Web-scale corpora. LayerAgg learns to select and combine useful semantic information scattered across different layers of a Transformer model (e.g., mBERT); it is especially suited for zero-shot scenarios as semantically richer representations should strengthen the model’s cross-lingual capabilities. Applying the two methods with state-of-the-art NLU models obtains consistent improvements across two standard multilingual NLU datasets covering 16 diverse languages. The gains are observed in zero-shot, few-shot, and even in full-data scenarios. The results also suggest that the two methods achieve a synergistic effect: the best overall performance in few-shot setups is attained when the methods are used together.


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Pretraining Methods for Dialog Context Representation Learning
Shikib Mehri | Evgeniia Razumovskaia | Tiancheng Zhao | Maxine Eskenazi
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

This paper examines various unsupervised pretraining objectives for learning dialog context representations. Two novel methods of pretraining dialog context encoders are proposed, and a total of four methods are examined. Each pretraining objective is fine-tuned and evaluated on a set of downstream dialog tasks using the MultiWoz dataset and strong performance improvement is observed. Further evaluation shows that our pretraining objectives result in not only better performance, but also better convergence, models that are less data hungry and have better domain generalizability.