Happy Buzaaba


2023

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MasakhaPOS: Part-of-Speech Tagging for Typologically Diverse African languages
Cheikh M. Bamba Dione | David Ifeoluwa Adelani | Peter Nabende | Jesujoba Alabi | Thapelo Sindane | Happy Buzaaba | Shamsuddeen Hassan Muhammad | Chris Chinenye Emezue | Perez Ogayo | Anuoluwapo Aremu | Catherine Gitau | Derguene Mbaye | Jonathan Mukiibi | Blessing Sibanda | Bonaventure F. P. Dossou | Andiswa Bukula | Rooweither Mabuya | Allahsera Auguste Tapo | Edwin Munkoh-Buabeng | Victoire Memdjokam Koagne | Fatoumata Ouoba Kabore | Amelia Taylor | Godson Kalipe | Tebogo Macucwa | Vukosi Marivate | Tajuddeen Gwadabe | Mboning Tchiaze Elvis | Ikechukwu Onyenwe | Gratien Atindogbe | Tolulope Adelani | Idris Akinade | Olanrewaju Samuel | Marien Nahimana | Théogène Musabeyezu | Emile Niyomutabazi | Ester Chimhenga | Kudzai Gotosa | Patrick Mizha | Apelete Agbolo | Seydou Traore | Chinedu Uchechukwu | Aliyu Yusuf | Muhammad Abdullahi | Dietrich Klakow
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

In this paper, we present AfricaPOS, the largest part-of-speech (POS) dataset for 20 typologically diverse African languages. We discuss the challenges in annotating POS for these languages using the universal dependencies (UD) guidelines. We conducted extensive POS baseline experiments using both conditional random field and several multilingual pre-trained language models. We applied various cross-lingual transfer models trained with data available in the UD. Evaluating on the AfricaPOS dataset, we show that choosing the best transfer language(s) in both single-source and multi-source setups greatly improves the POS tagging performance of the target languages, in particular when combined with parameter-fine-tuning methods. Crucially, transferring knowledge from a language that matches the language family and morphosyntactic properties seems to be more effective for POS tagging in unseen languages.

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Cross-lingual Open-Retrieval Question Answering for African Languages
Odunayo Ogundepo | Tajuddeen Gwadabe | Clara Rivera | Jonathan Clark | Sebastian Ruder | David Adelani | Bonaventure Dossou | Abdou Diop | Claytone Sikasote | Gilles Hacheme | Happy Buzaaba | Ignatius Ezeani | Rooweither Mabuya | Salomey Osei | Chris Emezue | Albert Kahira | Shamsuddeen Muhammad | Akintunde Oladipo | Abraham Owodunni | Atnafu Tonja | Iyanuoluwa Shode | Akari Asai | Anuoluwapo Aremu | Ayodele Awokoya | Bernard Opoku | Chiamaka Chukwuneke | Christine Mwase | Clemencia Siro | Stephen Arthur | Tunde Ajayi | Verrah Otiende | Andre Rubungo | Boyd Sinkala | Daniel Ajisafe | Emeka Onwuegbuzia | Falalu Lawan | Ibrahim Ahmad | Jesujoba Alabi | Chinedu Mbonu | Mofetoluwa Adeyemi | Mofya Phiri | Orevaoghene Ahia | Ruqayya Iro | Sonia Adhiambo
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

African languages have far less in-language content available digitally, making it challenging for question answering systems to satisfy the information needs of users. Cross-lingual open-retrieval question answering (XOR QA) systems – those that retrieve answer content from other languages while serving people in their native language—offer a means of filling this gap. To this end, we create Our Dataset, the first cross-lingual QA dataset with a focus on African languages. Our Dataset includes 12,000+ XOR QA examples across 10 African languages. While previous datasets have focused primarily on languages where cross-lingual QA augments coverage from the target language, Our Dataset focuses on languages where cross-lingual answer content is the only high-coverage source of answer content. Because of this, we argue that African languages are one of the most important and realistic use cases for XOR QA. Our experiments demonstrate the poor performance of automatic translation and multilingual retrieval methods. Overall, Our Dataset proves challenging for state-of-the-art QA models. We hope that the dataset enables the development of more equitable QA technology.

2022

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MasakhaNER 2.0: Africa-centric Transfer Learning for Named Entity Recognition
David Adelani | Graham Neubig | Sebastian Ruder | Shruti Rijhwani | Michael Beukman | Chester Palen-Michel | Constantine Lignos | Jesujoba Alabi | Shamsuddeen Muhammad | Peter Nabende | Cheikh M. Bamba Dione | Andiswa Bukula | Rooweither Mabuya | Bonaventure F. P. Dossou | Blessing Sibanda | Happy Buzaaba | Jonathan Mukiibi | Godson Kalipe | Derguene Mbaye | Amelia Taylor | Fatoumata Kabore | Chris Chinenye Emezue | Anuoluwapo Aremu | Perez Ogayo | Catherine Gitau | Edwin Munkoh-Buabeng | Victoire Memdjokam Koagne | Allahsera Auguste Tapo | Tebogo Macucwa | Vukosi Marivate | Mboning Tchiaze Elvis | Tajuddeen Gwadabe | Tosin Adewumi | Orevaoghene Ahia | Joyce Nakatumba-Nabende
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

African languages are spoken by over a billion people, but they are under-represented in NLP research and development. Multiple challenges exist, including the limited availability of annotated training and evaluation datasets as well as the lack of understanding of which settings, languages, and recently proposed methods like cross-lingual transfer will be effective. In this paper, we aim to move towards solutions for these challenges, focusing on the task of named entity recognition (NER). We present the creation of the largest to-date human-annotated NER dataset for 20 African languages. We study the behaviour of state-of-the-art cross-lingual transfer methods in an Africa-centric setting, empirically demonstrating that the choice of source transfer language significantly affects performance. While much previous work defaults to using English as the source language, our results show that choosing the best transfer language improves zero-shot F1 scores by an average of 14% over 20 languages as compared to using English.

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A Few Thousand Translations Go a Long Way! Leveraging Pre-trained Models for African News Translation
David Adelani | Jesujoba Alabi | Angela Fan | Julia Kreutzer | Xiaoyu Shen | Machel Reid | Dana Ruiter | Dietrich Klakow | Peter Nabende | Ernie Chang | Tajuddeen Gwadabe | Freshia Sackey | Bonaventure F. P. Dossou | Chris Emezue | Colin Leong | Michael Beukman | Shamsuddeen Muhammad | Guyo Jarso | Oreen Yousuf | Andre Niyongabo Rubungo | Gilles Hacheme | Eric Peter Wairagala | Muhammad Umair Nasir | Benjamin Ajibade | Tunde Ajayi | Yvonne Gitau | Jade Abbott | Mohamed Ahmed | Millicent Ochieng | Anuoluwapo Aremu | Perez Ogayo | Jonathan Mukiibi | Fatoumata Ouoba Kabore | Godson Kalipe | Derguene Mbaye | Allahsera Auguste Tapo | Victoire Memdjokam Koagne | Edwin Munkoh-Buabeng | Valencia Wagner | Idris Abdulmumin | Ayodele Awokoya | Happy Buzaaba | Blessing Sibanda | Andiswa Bukula | Sam Manthalu
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Recent advances in the pre-training for language models leverage large-scale datasets to create multilingual models. However, low-resource languages are mostly left out in these datasets. This is primarily because many widely spoken languages that are not well represented on the web and therefore excluded from the large-scale crawls for datasets. Furthermore, downstream users of these models are restricted to the selection of languages originally chosen for pre-training. This work investigates how to optimally leverage existing pre-trained models to create low-resource translation systems for 16 African languages. We focus on two questions: 1) How can pre-trained models be used for languages not included in the initial pretraining? and 2) How can the resulting translation models effectively transfer to new domains? To answer these questions, we create a novel African news corpus covering 16 languages, of which eight languages are not part of any existing evaluation dataset. We demonstrate that the most effective strategy for transferring both additional languages and additional domains is to leverage small quantities of high-quality translation data to fine-tune large pre-trained models.

2021

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MasakhaNER: Named Entity Recognition for African Languages
David Ifeoluwa Adelani | Jade Abbott | Graham Neubig | Daniel D’souza | Julia Kreutzer | Constantine Lignos | Chester Palen-Michel | Happy Buzaaba | Shruti Rijhwani | Sebastian Ruder | Stephen Mayhew | Israel Abebe Azime | Shamsuddeen H. Muhammad | Chris Chinenye Emezue | Joyce Nakatumba-Nabende | Perez Ogayo | Aremu Anuoluwapo | Catherine Gitau | Derguene Mbaye | Jesujoba Alabi | Seid Muhie Yimam | Tajuddeen Rabiu Gwadabe | Ignatius Ezeani | Rubungo Andre Niyongabo | Jonathan Mukiibi | Verrah Otiende | Iroro Orife | Davis David | Samba Ngom | Tosin Adewumi | Paul Rayson | Mofetoluwa Adeyemi | Gerald Muriuki | Emmanuel Anebi | Chiamaka Chukwuneke | Nkiruka Odu | Eric Peter Wairagala | Samuel Oyerinde | Clemencia Siro | Tobius Saul Bateesa | Temilola Oloyede | Yvonne Wambui | Victor Akinode | Deborah Nabagereka | Maurice Katusiime | Ayodele Awokoya | Mouhamadane MBOUP | Dibora Gebreyohannes | Henok Tilaye | Kelechi Nwaike | Degaga Wolde | Abdoulaye Faye | Blessing Sibanda | Orevaoghene Ahia | Bonaventure F. P. Dossou | Kelechi Ogueji | Thierno Ibrahima DIOP | Abdoulaye Diallo | Adewale Akinfaderin | Tendai Marengereke | Salomey Osei
Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Volume 9

We take a step towards addressing the under- representation of the African continent in NLP research by bringing together different stakeholders to create the first large, publicly available, high-quality dataset for named entity recognition (NER) in ten African languages. We detail the characteristics of these languages to help researchers and practitioners better understand the challenges they pose for NER tasks. We analyze our datasets and conduct an extensive empirical evaluation of state- of-the-art methods across both supervised and transfer learning settings. Finally, we release the data, code, and models to inspire future research on African NLP.1
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