Faisal Ladhak


2021

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Segmenting Subtitles for Correcting ASR Segmentation Errors
David Wan | Chris Kedzie | Faisal Ladhak | Elsbeth Turcan | Petra Galuscakova | Elena Zotkina | Zhengping Jiang | Peter Bell | Kathleen McKeown
Proceedings of the 16th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Main Volume

Typical ASR systems segment the input audio into utterances using purely acoustic information, which may not resemble the sentence-like units that are expected by conventional machine translation (MT) systems for Spoken Language Translation. In this work, we propose a model for correcting the acoustic segmentation of ASR models for low-resource languages to improve performance on downstream tasks. We propose the use of subtitles as a proxy dataset for correcting ASR acoustic segmentation, creating synthetic acoustic utterances by modeling common error modes. We train a neural tagging model for correcting ASR acoustic segmentation and show that it improves downstream performance on MT and audio-document cross-language information retrieval (CLIR).

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The GEM Benchmark: Natural Language Generation, its Evaluation and Metrics
Sebastian Gehrmann | Tosin Adewumi | Karmanya Aggarwal | Pawan Sasanka Ammanamanchi | Anuoluwapo Aremu | Antoine Bosselut | Khyathi Raghavi Chandu | Miruna-Adriana Clinciu | Dipanjan Das | Kaustubh Dhole | Wanyu Du | Esin Durmus | Ondřej Dušek | Chris Chinenye Emezue | Varun Gangal | Cristina Garbacea | Tatsunori Hashimoto | Yufang Hou | Yacine Jernite | Harsh Jhamtani | Yangfeng Ji | Shailza Jolly | Mihir Kale | Dhruv Kumar | Faisal Ladhak | Aman Madaan | Mounica Maddela | Khyati Mahajan | Saad Mahamood | Bodhisattwa Prasad Majumder | Pedro Henrique Martins | Angelina McMillan-Major | Simon Mille | Emiel van Miltenburg | Moin Nadeem | Shashi Narayan | Vitaly Nikolaev | Andre Niyongabo Rubungo | Salomey Osei | Ankur Parikh | Laura Perez-Beltrachini | Niranjan Ramesh Rao | Vikas Raunak | Juan Diego Rodriguez | Sashank Santhanam | João Sedoc | Thibault Sellam | Samira Shaikh | Anastasia Shimorina | Marco Antonio Sobrevilla Cabezudo | Hendrik Strobelt | Nishant Subramani | Wei Xu | Diyi Yang | Akhila Yerukola | Jiawei Zhou
Proceedings of the 1st Workshop on Natural Language Generation, Evaluation, and Metrics (GEM 2021)

We introduce GEM, a living benchmark for natural language Generation (NLG), its Evaluation, and Metrics. Measuring progress in NLG relies on a constantly evolving ecosystem of automated metrics, datasets, and human evaluation standards. Due to this moving target, new models often still evaluate on divergent anglo-centric corpora with well-established, but flawed, metrics. This disconnect makes it challenging to identify the limitations of current models and opportunities for progress. Addressing this limitation, GEM provides an environment in which models can easily be applied to a wide set of tasks and in which evaluation strategies can be tested. Regular updates to the benchmark will help NLG research become more multilingual and evolve the challenge alongside models. This paper serves as the description of the data for the 2021 shared task at the associated GEM Workshop.

2020

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To BERT or Not to BERT: Comparing Task-specific and Task-agnostic Semi-Supervised Approaches for Sequence Tagging
Kasturi Bhattacharjee | Miguel Ballesteros | Rishita Anubhai | Smaranda Muresan | Jie Ma | Faisal Ladhak | Yaser Al-Onaizan
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

Leveraging large amounts of unlabeled data using Transformer-like architectures, like BERT, has gained popularity in recent times owing to their effectiveness in learning general representations that can then be further fine-tuned for downstream tasks to much success. However, training these models can be costly both from an economic and environmental standpoint. In this work, we investigate how to effectively use unlabeled data: by exploring the task-specific semi-supervised approach, Cross-View Training (CVT) and comparing it with task-agnostic BERT in multiple settings that include domain and task relevant English data. CVT uses a much lighter model architecture and we show that it achieves similar performance to BERT on a set of sequence tagging tasks, with lesser financial and environmental impact.

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Exploring Content Selection in Summarization of Novel Chapters
Faisal Ladhak | Bryan Li | Yaser Al-Onaizan | Kathleen McKeown
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

We present a new summarization task, generating summaries of novel chapters using summary/chapter pairs from online study guides. This is a harder task than the news summarization task, given the chapter length as well as the extreme paraphrasing and generalization found in the summaries. We focus on extractive summarization, which requires the creation of a gold-standard set of extractive summaries. We present a new metric for aligning reference summary sentences with chapter sentences to create gold extracts and also experiment with different alignment methods. Our experiments demonstrate significant improvement over prior alignment approaches for our task as shown through automatic metrics and a crowd-sourced pyramid analysis.

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Incorporating Terminology Constraints in Automatic Post-Editing
David Wan | Chris Kedzie | Faisal Ladhak | Marine Carpuat | Kathleen McKeown
Proceedings of the Fifth Conference on Machine Translation

Users of machine translation (MT) may want to ensure the use of specific lexical terminologies. While there exist techniques for incorporating terminology constraints during inference for MT, current APE approaches cannot ensure that they will appear in the final translation. In this paper, we present both autoregressive and non-autoregressive models for lexically constrained APE, demonstrating that our approach enables preservation of 95% of the terminologies and also improves translation quality on English-German benchmarks. Even when applied to lexically constrained MT output, our approach is able to improve preservation of the terminologies. However, we show that our models do not learn to copy constraints systematically and suggest a simple data augmentation technique that leads to improved performance and robustness.

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WikiLingua: A New Benchmark Dataset for Cross-Lingual Abstractive Summarization
Faisal Ladhak | Esin Durmus | Claire Cardie | Kathleen McKeown
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2020

We introduce WikiLingua, a large-scale, multilingual dataset for the evaluation of cross-lingual abstractive summarization systems. We extract article and summary pairs in 18 languages from WikiHow, a high quality, collaborative resource of how-to guides on a diverse set of topics written by human authors. We create gold-standard article-summary alignments across languages by aligning the images that are used to describe each how-to step in an article. As a set of baselines for further studies, we evaluate the performance of existing cross-lingual abstractive summarization methods on our dataset. We further propose a method for direct cross-lingual summarization (i.e., without requiring translation at inference time) by leveraging synthetic data and Neural Machine Translation as a pre-training step. Our method significantly outperforms the baseline approaches, while being more cost efficient during inference.

2019

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Determining Relative Argument Specificity and Stance for Complex Argumentative Structures
Esin Durmus | Faisal Ladhak | Claire Cardie
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Systems for automatic argument generation and debate require the ability to (1) determine the stance of any claims employed in the argument and (2) assess the specificity of each claim relative to the argument context. Existing work on understanding claim specificity and stance, however, has been limited to the study of argumentative structures that are relatively shallow, most often consisting of a single claim that directly supports or opposes the argument thesis. In this paper, we tackle these tasks in the context of complex arguments on a diverse set of topics. In particular, our dataset consists of manually curated argument trees for 741 controversial topics covering 95,312 unique claims; lines of argument are generally of depth 2 to 6. We find that as the distance between a pair of claims increases along the argument path, determining the relative specificity of a pair of claims becomes easier and determining their relative stance becomes harder.

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The Role of Pragmatic and Discourse Context in Determining Argument Impact
Esin Durmus | Faisal Ladhak | Claire Cardie
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

Research in the social sciences and psychology has shown that the persuasiveness of an argument depends not only the language employed, but also on attributes of the source/communicator, the audience, and the appropriateness and strength of the argument’s claims given the pragmatic and discourse context of the argument. Among these characteristics of persuasive arguments, prior work in NLP does not explicitly investigate the effect of the pragmatic and discourse context when determining argument quality. This paper presents a new dataset to initiate the study of this aspect of argumentation: it consists of a diverse collection of arguments covering 741 controversial topics and comprising over 47,000 claims. We further propose predictive models that incorporate the pragmatic and discourse context of argumentative claims and show that they outperform models that rely only on claim-specific linguistic features for predicting the perceived impact of individual claims within a particular line of argument.

2018

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A neural interlingua for multilingual machine translation
Yichao Lu | Phillip Keung | Faisal Ladhak | Vikas Bhardwaj | Shaonan Zhang | Jason Sun
Proceedings of the Third Conference on Machine Translation: Research Papers

We incorporate an explicit neural interlingua into a multilingual encoder-decoder neural machine translation (NMT) architecture. We demonstrate that our model learns a language-independent representation by performing direct zero-shot translation (without using pivot translation), and by using the source sentence embeddings to create an English Yelp review classifier that, through the mediation of the neural interlingua, can also classify French and German reviews. Furthermore, we show that, despite using a smaller number of parameters than a pairwise collection of bilingual NMT models, our approach produces comparable BLEU scores for each language pair in WMT15.