Gili Baumer


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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Testing Statistical Significance in Natural Language Processing
Rotem Dror | Gili Baumer | Segev Shlomov | Roi Reichart
Proceedings of the 56th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Statistical significance testing is a standard statistical tool designed to ensure that experimental results are not coincidental. In this opinion/ theoretical paper we discuss the role of statistical significance testing in Natural Language Processing (NLP) research. We establish the fundamental concepts of significance testing and discuss the specific aspects of NLP tasks, experimental setups and evaluation measures that affect the choice of significance tests in NLP research. Based on this discussion we propose a simple practical protocol for statistical significance test selection in NLP setups and accompany this protocol with a brief survey of the most relevant tests. We then survey recent empirical papers published in ACL and TACL during 2017 and show that while our community assigns great value to experimental results, statistical significance testing is often ignored or misused. We conclude with a brief discussion of open issues that should be properly addressed so that this important tool can be applied. in NLP research in a statistically sound manner.


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Replicability Analysis for Natural Language Processing: Testing Significance with Multiple Datasets
Rotem Dror | Gili Baumer | Marina Bogomolov | Roi Reichart
Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Volume 5

With the ever growing amount of textual data from a large variety of languages, domains, and genres, it has become standard to evaluate NLP algorithms on multiple datasets in order to ensure a consistent performance across heterogeneous setups. However, such multiple comparisons pose significant challenges to traditional statistical analysis methods in NLP and can lead to erroneous conclusions. In this paper we propose a Replicability Analysis framework for a statistically sound analysis of multiple comparisons between algorithms for NLP tasks. We discuss the theoretical advantages of this framework over the current, statistically unjustified, practice in the NLP literature, and demonstrate its empirical value across four applications: multi-domain dependency parsing, multilingual POS tagging, cross-domain sentiment classification and word similarity prediction.