Pre-trained models (PTMs) have lead to great improvements in natural language generation (NLG). However, it is still unclear how much commonsense knowledge they possess. With the goal of evaluating commonsense knowledge of NLG models, recent work has proposed the problem of generative commonsense reasoning, e.g., to compose a logical sentence given a set of unordered concepts. Existing approaches to this problem hypothesize that PTMs lack sufficient parametric knowledge for this task, which can be overcome by introducing external knowledge or task-specific pre-training objectives. Different from this trend, we argue that PTM’s inherent ability for generative commonsense reasoning is underestimated due to the order-agnostic property of its input. In particular, we hypothesize that the order of the input concepts can affect the PTM’s ability to utilize its commonsense knowledge. To this end, we propose a pre-ordering approach to elaborately manipulate the order of the given concepts before generation. Experiments show that our approach can outperform the more sophisticated models that have access to a lot of external data and resources.
Narrative summarization aims to produce a distilled version of a narrative to describe its most salient events and characters. Writing a summary for a narrative is challenging as it requires an understanding of event causality and character behaviors. To encourage research in this direction, we propose NarraSum, a large-scale narrative summarization dataset. It contains 122K narratives, which are collected from the synopses of movies and TV episodes with diverse genres, and their corresponding abstractive summaries. Experiments show that there is a large performance gap between humans and the state-of-the-art summarization models on NarraSum. We hope that this dataset will promote future research in summarization, as well as broader studies of natural language understanding and generation. The dataset is available at https://github.com/zhaochaocs/narrasum.
Large pre-trained language models have recently enabled open-ended generation frameworks (e.g., prompt-to-text NLG) to tackle a variety of tasks going beyond the traditional data-to-text generation. While this framework is more general, it is under-specified and often leads to a lack of controllability restricting their real-world usage. We propose a new grounded keys-to-text generation task: the task is to generate a factual description about an entity given a set of guiding keys, and grounding passages. To address this task, we introduce a new dataset, called EntDeGen. Inspired by recent QA-based evaluation measures, we propose an automatic metric, MAFE, for factual correctness of generated descriptions. Our EntDescriptor model is equipped with strong rankers to fetch helpful passages and generate entity descriptions. Experimental result shows a good correlation (60.14) between our proposed metric and human judgments of factuality. Our rankers significantly improved the factual correctness of generated descriptions (15.95% and 34.51% relative gains in recall and precision). Finally, our ablation study highlights the benefit of combining keys and groundings.
Pre-trained language models (LMs) struggle with consistent reasoning; recently, prompting LMs to generate explanations that self-guide the inference has emerged as a promising direction to amend this. However, these approaches are fundamentally bounded by the correctness of explanations, which themselves are often noisy and inconsistent. In this work, we develop Maieutic Prompting, which aims to infer a correct answer to a question even from the unreliable generations of LM. Maieutic Prompting induces a tree of explanations abductively (e.g. X is true, because ...) and recursively, then frames the inference as a satisfiability problem over these explanations and their logical relations. We test Maieutic Prompting for true/false QA on three challenging benchmarks that require complex commonsense reasoning. Maieutic Prompting achieves up to 20% better accuracy than state-of-the-art prompting methods, and as a fully unsupervised approach, performs competitively with supervised models. We also show that Maieutic Prompting improves robustness in inference while providing interpretable rationales.
In this paper, we introduce the task of modeling interpersonal relationships for story generation. For addressing this task, we propose Relationships as Latent Variables for Story Generation, (ReLiSt). ReLiSt generates stories sentence by sentence and has two major components - a relationship selector and a story continuer. The relationship selector specifies a latent variable to pick the relationship to exhibit in the next sentence and the story continuer generates the next sentence while expressing the selected relationship in a coherent way. Our automatic and human evaluations demonstrate that ReLiSt is able to generate stories with relationships that are more faithful to desired relationships while maintaining the content quality. The relationship assignments to sentences during inference brings interpretability to ReLiSt.
The task of organizing a shuffled set of sentences into a coherent text has been used to evaluate a machine’s understanding of causal and temporal relations. We formulate the sentence ordering task as a conditional text-to-marker generation problem. We present Reorder-BART (Re-BART) that leverages a pre-trained Transformer-based model to identify a coherent order for a given set of shuffled sentences. The model takes a set of shuffled sentences with sentence-specific markers as input and generates a sequence of position markers of the sentences in the ordered text. Re-BART achieves the state-of-the-art performance across 7 datasets in Perfect Match Ratio (PMR) and Kendall’s tau. We perform evaluations in a zero-shot setting, showcasing that our model is able to generalize well across other datasets. We additionally perform several experiments to understand the functioning and limitations of our framework.
Abstract Despite the progress made in recent years in addressing natural language understanding (NLU) challenges, the majority of this progress remains to be concentrated on resource-rich languages like English. This work focuses on Persian language, one of the widely spoken languages in the world, and yet there are few NLU datasets available for this language. The availability of high-quality evaluation datasets is a necessity for reliable assessment of the progress on different NLU tasks and domains. We introduce ParsiNLU, the first benchmark in Persian language that includes a range of language understanding tasks—reading comprehension, textual entailment, and so on. These datasets are collected in a multitude of ways, often involving manual annotations by native speakers. This results in over 14.5k new instances across 6 distinct NLU tasks. Additionally, we present the first results on state-of-the-art monolingual and multilingual pre-trained language models on this benchmark and compare them with human performance, which provides valuable insights into our ability to tackle natural language understanding challenges in Persian. We hope ParsiNLU fosters further research and advances in Persian language understanding.1
When reading a literary piece, readers often make inferences about various characters’ roles, personalities, relationships, intents, actions, etc. While humans can readily draw upon their past experiences to build such a character-centric view of the narrative, understanding characters in narratives can be a challenging task for machines. To encourage research in this field of character-centric narrative understanding, we present LiSCU – a new dataset of literary pieces and their summaries paired with descriptions of characters that appear in them. We also introduce two new tasks on LiSCU: Character Identification and Character Description Generation. Our experiments with several pre-trained language models adapted for these tasks demonstrate that there is a need for better models of narrative comprehension.
Pre-trained language models learn socially harmful biases from their training corpora, and may repeat these biases when used for generation. We study gender biases associated with the protagonist in model-generated stories. Such biases may be expressed either explicitly (“women can’t park”) or implicitly (e.g. an unsolicited male character guides her into a parking space). We focus on implicit biases, and use a commonsense reasoning engine to uncover them. Specifically, we infer and analyze the protagonist’s motivations, attributes, mental states, and implications on others. Our findings regarding implicit biases are in line with prior work that studied explicit biases, for example showing that female characters’ portrayal is centered around appearance, while male figures’ focus on intellect.
Automatically generating stories is a challenging problem that requires producing causally related and logical sequences of events about a topic. Previous approaches in this domain have focused largely on one-shot generation, where a language model outputs a complete story based on limited initial input from a user. Here, we instead focus on the task of interactive story generation, where the user provides the model mid-level sentence abstractions in the form of cue phrases during the generation process. This provides an interface for human users to guide the story generation. We present two content-inducing approaches to effectively incorporate this additional information. Experimental results from both automatic and human evaluations show that these methods produce more topically coherent and personalized stories compared to baseline methods.
Emotions and their evolution play a central role in creating a captivating story. In this paper, we present the first study on modeling the emotional trajectory of the protagonist in neural storytelling. We design methods that generate stories that adhere to given story titles and desired emotion arcs for the protagonist. Our models include Emotion Supervision (EmoSup) and two Emotion-Reinforced (EmoRL) models. The EmoRL models use special rewards designed to regularize the story generation process through reinforcement learning. Our automatic and manual evaluations demonstrate that these models are significantly better at generating stories that follow the desired emotion arcs compared to baseline methods, without sacrificing story quality.