Jan Milan Deriu

Also published as: Jan Deriu


2023

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STT4SG-350: A Speech Corpus for All Swiss German Dialect Regions
Michel Plüss | Jan Deriu | Yanick Schraner | Claudio Paonessa | Julia Hartmann | Larissa Schmidt | Christian Scheller | Manuela Hürlimann | Tanja Samardžić | Manfred Vogel | Mark Cieliebak
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 2: Short Papers)

We present STT4SG-350, a corpus of Swiss German speech, annotated with Standard German text at the sentence level. The data is collected using a web app in which the speakers are shown Standard German sentences, which they translate to Swiss German and record. We make the corpus publicly available. It contains 343 hours of speech from all dialect regions and is the largest public speech corpus for Swiss German to date. Application areas include automatic speech recognition (ASR), text-to-speech, dialect identification, and speaker recognition. Dialect information, age group, and gender of the 316 speakers are provided. Genders are equally represented and the corpus includes speakers of all ages. Roughly the same amount of speech is provided per dialect region, which makes the corpus ideally suited for experiments with speech technology for different dialects. We provide training, validation, and test splits of the data. The test set consists of the same spoken sentences for each dialect region and allows a fair evaluation of the quality of speech technologies in different dialects. We train an ASR model on the training set and achieve an average BLEU score of 74.7 on the test set. The model beats the best published BLEU scores on 2 other Swiss German ASR test sets, demonstrating the quality of the corpus.

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Correction of Errors in Preference Ratings from Automated Metrics for Text Generation
Jan Deriu | Pius von Däniken | Don Tuggener | Mark Cieliebak
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2023

A major challenge in the field of Text Generation is evaluation: Human evaluations are cost-intensive, and automated metrics often display considerable disagreements with human judgments. In this paper, we propose to apply automated metrics for Text Generation in a preference-based evaluation protocol. The protocol features a statistical model that incorporates various levels of uncertainty to account for the error-proneness of the metrics. We show that existing metrics are generally over-confident in assigning significant differences between systems. As a remedy, the model allows to combine human ratings with automated ratings. We show that it can reduce the required amounts of human ratings to arrive at robust and statistically significant results by more than 50%, while yielding the same evaluation outcome as the pure human evaluation in 95% of cases. We showcase the benefits of the evaluation protocol for three text generation tasks: dialogue systems, machine translation, and text summarization.

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Dialect Transfer for Swiss German Speech Translation
Claudio Paonessa | Yanick Schraner | Jan Deriu | Manuela Hürlimann | Manfred Vogel | Mark Cieliebak
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

This paper investigates the challenges in building Swiss German speech translation systems, specifically focusing on the impact of dialect diversity and differences between Swiss German and Standard German. Swiss German is a spoken language with no formal writing system, it comprises many diverse dialects and is a low-resource language with only around 5 million speakers. The study is guided by two key research questions: how does the inclusion and exclusion of dialects during the training of speech translation models for Swiss German impact the performance on specific dialects, and how do the differences between Swiss German and Standard German impact the performance of the systems? We show that dialect diversity and linguistic differences pose significant challenges to Swiss German speech translation, which is in line with linguistic hypotheses derived from empirical investigations.

2022

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Improving NL-to-Query Systems through Re-ranking of Semantic Hypothesis
Pius von Däniken | Jan Deriu | Eneko Agirre | Ursin Brunner | Mark Cieliebak | Kurt Stockinger
Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Natural Language and Speech Processing (ICNLSP 2022)

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Probing the Robustness of Trained Metrics for Conversational Dialogue Systems
Jan Deriu | Don Tuggener | Pius Von Däniken | Mark Cieliebak
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 2: Short Papers)

This paper introduces an adversarial method to stress-test trained metrics for the evaluation of conversational dialogue systems. The method leverages Reinforcement Learning to find response strategies that elicit optimal scores from the trained metrics. We apply our method to test recently proposed trained metrics. We find that they all are susceptible to giving high scores to responses generated by rather simple and obviously flawed strategies that our method converges on. For instance, simply copying parts of the conversation context to form a response yields competitive scores or even outperforms responses written by humans.

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On the Effectiveness of Automated Metrics for Text Generation Systems
Pius von Däniken | Jan Deriu | Don Tuggener | Mark Cieliebak
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2022

A major challenge in the field of Text Generation is evaluation, because we lack a sound theory that can be leveraged to extract guidelines for evaluation campaigns. In this work, we propose a first step towards such a theory that incorporates different sources of uncertainty, such as imperfect automated metrics and insufficiently sized test sets. The theory has practical applications, such as determining the number of samples needed to reliably distinguish the performance of a set of Text Generation systems in a given setting. We showcase the application of the theory on the WMT 21 and Spot-The-Bot evaluation data and outline how it can be leveraged to improve the evaluation protocol regarding the reliability, robustness, and significance of the evaluation outcome.

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SDS-200: A Swiss German Speech to Standard German Text Corpus
Michel Plüss | Manuela Hürlimann | Marc Cuny | Alla Stöckli | Nikolaos Kapotis | Julia Hartmann | Malgorzata Anna Ulasik | Christian Scheller | Yanick Schraner | Amit Jain | Jan Deriu | Mark Cieliebak | Manfred Vogel
Proceedings of the Thirteenth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

We present SDS-200, a corpus of Swiss German dialectal speech with Standard German text translations, annotated with dialect, age, and gender information of the speakers. The dataset allows for training speech translation, dialect recognition, and speech synthesis systems, among others. The data was collected using a web recording tool that is open to the public. Each participant was given a text in Standard German and asked to translate it to their Swiss German dialect before recording it. To increase the corpus quality, recordings were validated by other participants. The data consists of 200 hours of speech by around 4000 different speakers and covers a large part of the Swiss German dialect landscape. We release SDS-200 alongside a baseline speech translation model, which achieves a word error rate (WER) of 30.3 and a BLEU score of 53.1 on the SDS-200 test set. Furthermore, we use SDS-200 to fine-tune a pre-trained XLS-R model, achieving 21.6 WER and 64.0 BLEU.

2021

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Are We Summarizing the Right Way? A Survey of Dialogue Summarization Data Sets
Don Tuggener | Margot Mieskes | Jan Deriu | Mark Cieliebak
Proceedings of the Third Workshop on New Frontiers in Summarization

Dialogue summarization is a long-standing task in the field of NLP, and several data sets with dialogues and associated human-written summaries of different styles exist. However, it is unclear for which type of dialogue which type of summary is most appropriate. For this reason, we apply a linguistic model of dialogue types to derive matching summary items and NLP tasks. This allows us to map existing dialogue summarization data sets into this model and identify gaps and potential directions for future work. As part of this process, we also provide an extensive overview of existing dialogue summarization data sets.

2020

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Spot The Bot: A Robust and Efficient Framework for the Evaluation of Conversational Dialogue Systems
Jan Deriu | Don Tuggener | Pius von Däniken | Jon Ander Campos | Alvaro Rodrigo | Thiziri Belkacem | Aitor Soroa | Eneko Agirre | Mark Cieliebak
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

The lack of time efficient and reliable evalu-ation methods is hampering the development of conversational dialogue systems (chat bots). Evaluations that require humans to converse with chat bots are time and cost intensive, put high cognitive demands on the human judges, and tend to yield low quality results. In this work, we introduce Spot The Bot, a cost-efficient and robust evaluation framework that replaces human-bot conversations with conversations between bots. Human judges then only annotate for each entity in a conversation whether they think it is human or not (assuming there are humans participants in these conversations). These annotations then allow us to rank chat bots regarding their ability to mimic conversational behaviour of humans. Since we expect that all bots are eventually recognized as such, we incorporate a metric that measures which chat bot is able to uphold human-like be-havior the longest, i.e.Survival Analysis. This metric has the ability to correlate a bot’s performance to certain of its characteristics (e.g.fluency or sensibleness), yielding interpretable results. The comparably low cost of our frame-work allows for frequent evaluations of chatbots during their evaluation cycle. We empirically validate our claims by applying Spot The Bot to three domains, evaluating several state-of-the-art chat bots, and drawing comparisonsto related work. The framework is released asa ready-to-use tool.

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A Methodology for Creating Question Answering Corpora Using Inverse Data Annotation
Jan Deriu | Katsiaryna Mlynchyk | Philippe Schläpfer | Alvaro Rodrigo | Dirk von Grünigen | Nicolas Kaiser | Kurt Stockinger | Eneko Agirre | Mark Cieliebak
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

In this paper, we introduce a novel methodology to efficiently construct a corpus for question answering over structured data. For this, we introduce an intermediate representation that is based on the logical query plan in a database, called Operation Trees (OT). This representation allows us to invert the annotation process without loosing flexibility in the types of queries that we generate. Furthermore, it allows for fine-grained alignment of the tokens to the operations. Thus, we randomly generate OTs from a context free grammar and annotators just have to write the appropriate question and assign the tokens. We compare our corpus OTTA (Operation Trees and Token Assignment), a large semantic parsing corpus for evaluating natural language interfaces to databases, to Spider and LC-QuaD 2.0 and show that our methodology more than triples the annotation speed while maintaining the complexity of the queries. Finally, we train a state-of-the-art semantic parsing model on our data and show that our dataset is a challenging dataset and that the token alignment can be leveraged to significantly increase the performance.

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DoQA - Accessing Domain-Specific FAQs via Conversational QA
Jon Ander Campos | Arantxa Otegi | Aitor Soroa | Jan Deriu | Mark Cieliebak | Eneko Agirre
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

The goal of this work is to build conversational Question Answering (QA) interfaces for the large body of domain-specific information available in FAQ sites. We present DoQA, a dataset with 2,437 dialogues and 10,917 QA pairs. The dialogues are collected from three Stack Exchange sites using the Wizard of Oz method with crowdsourcing. Compared to previous work, DoQA comprises well-defined information needs, leading to more coherent and natural conversations with less factoid questions and is multi-domain. In addition, we introduce a more realistic information retrieval (IR) scenario where the system needs to find the answer in any of the FAQ documents. The results of an existing, strong, system show that, thanks to transfer learning from a Wikipedia QA dataset and fine tuning on a single FAQ domain, it is possible to build high quality conversational QA systems for FAQs without in-domain training data. The good results carry over into the more challenging IR scenario. In both cases, there is still ample room for improvement, as indicated by the higher human upperbound.

2019

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Towards a Metric for Automated Conversational Dialogue System Evaluation and Improvement
Jan Milan Deriu | Mark Cieliebak
Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Natural Language Generation

We present “AutoJudge”, an automated evaluation method for conversational dialogue systems. The method works by first generating dialogues based on self-talk, i.e. dialogue systems talking to itself. Then, it uses human ratings on these dialogues to train an automated judgement model. Our experiments show that AutoJudge correlates well with the human ratings and can be used to automatically evaluate dialogue systems, even in deployed systems. In a second part, we attempt to apply AutoJudge to improve existing systems. This works well for re-ranking a set of candidate utterances. However, our experiments show that AutoJudge cannot be applied as reward for reinforcement learning, although the metric can distinguish good from bad dialogues. We discuss potential reasons, but state here already that this is still an open question for further research.

2018

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Twist Bytes - German Dialect Identification with Data Mining Optimization
Fernando Benites | Ralf Grubenmann | Pius von Däniken | Dirk von Grünigen | Jan Deriu | Mark Cieliebak
Proceedings of the Fifth Workshop on NLP for Similar Languages, Varieties and Dialects (VarDial 2018)

We describe our approaches used in the German Dialect Identification (GDI) task at the VarDial Evaluation Campaign 2018. The goal was to identify to which out of four dialects spoken in German speaking part of Switzerland a sentence belonged to. We adopted two different meta classifier approaches and used some data mining insights to improve the preprocessing and the meta classifier parameters. Especially, we focused on using different feature extraction methods and how to combine them, since they influenced very differently the performance of the system. Our system achieved second place out of 8 teams, with a macro averaged F-1 of 64.6%.

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Syntactic Manipulation for Generating more Diverse and Interesting Texts
Jan Milan Deriu | Mark Cieliebak
Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Natural Language Generation

Natural Language Generation plays an important role in the domain of dialogue systems as it determines how users perceive the system. Recently, deep-learning based systems have been proposed to tackle this task, as they generalize better and require less amounts of manual effort to implement them for new domains. However, deep learning systems usually adapt a very homogeneous sounding writing style which expresses little variation. In this work, we present our system for Natural Language Generation where we control various aspects of the surface realization in order to increase the lexical variability of the utterances, such that they sound more diverse and interesting. For this, we use a Semantically Controlled Long Short-term Memory Network (SC-LSTM), and apply its specialized cell to control various syntactic features of the generated texts. We present an in-depth human evaluation where we show the effects of these surface manipulation on the perception of potential users.

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SB-CH: A Swiss German Corpus with Sentiment Annotations
Ralf Grubenmann | Don Tuggener | Pius von Däniken | Jan Deriu | Mark Cieliebak
Proceedings of the Eleventh International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC 2018)

2017

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Potential and Limitations of Cross-Domain Sentiment Classification
Jan Milan Deriu | Martin Weilenmann | Dirk Von Gruenigen | Mark Cieliebak
Proceedings of the Fifth International Workshop on Natural Language Processing for Social Media

In this paper we investigate the cross-domain performance of a current state-of-the-art sentiment analysis systems. For this purpose we train a convolutional neural network (CNN) on data from different domains and evaluate its performance on other domains. Furthermore, we evaluate the usefulness of combining a large amount of different smaller annotated corpora to a large corpus. Our results show that more sophisticated approaches are required to train a system that works equally well on various domains.

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A Twitter Corpus and Benchmark Resources for German Sentiment Analysis
Mark Cieliebak | Jan Milan Deriu | Dominic Egger | Fatih Uzdilli
Proceedings of the Fifth International Workshop on Natural Language Processing for Social Media

In this paper we present SB10k, a new corpus for sentiment analysis with approx. 10,000 German tweets. We use this new corpus and two existing corpora to provide state-of-the-art benchmarks for sentiment analysis in German: we implemented a CNN (based on the winning system of SemEval-2016) and a feature-based SVM and compare their performance on all three corpora. For the CNN, we also created German word embeddings trained on 300M tweets. These word embeddings were then optimized for sentiment analysis using distant-supervised learning. The new corpus, the German word embeddings (plain and optimized), and source code to re-run the benchmarks are publicly available.

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SwissAlps at SemEval-2017 Task 3: Attention-based Convolutional Neural Network for Community Question Answering
Jan Milan Deriu | Mark Cieliebak
Proceedings of the 11th International Workshop on Semantic Evaluation (SemEval-2017)

In this paper we propose a system for reranking answers for a given question. Our method builds on a siamese CNN architecture which is extended by two attention mechanisms. The approach was evaluated on the datasets of the SemEval-2017 competition for Community Question Answering (cQA), where it achieved 7th place obtaining a MAP score of 86:24 points on the Question-Comment Similarity subtask.

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TopicThunder at SemEval-2017 Task 4: Sentiment Classification Using a Convolutional Neural Network with Distant Supervision
Simon Müller | Tobias Huonder | Jan Deriu | Mark Cieliebak
Proceedings of the 11th International Workshop on Semantic Evaluation (SemEval-2017)

In this paper, we propose a classifier for predicting topic-specific sentiments of English Twitter messages. Our method is based on a 2-layer CNN.With a distant supervised phase we leverage a large amount of weakly-labelled training data. Our system was evaluated on the data provided by the SemEval-2017 competition in the Topic-Based Message Polarity Classification subtask, where it ranked 4th place.

2016

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SwissCheese at SemEval-2016 Task 4: Sentiment Classification Using an Ensemble of Convolutional Neural Networks with Distant Supervision
Jan Deriu | Maurice Gonzenbach | Fatih Uzdilli | Aurelien Lucchi | Valeria De Luca | Martin Jaggi
Proceedings of the 10th International Workshop on Semantic Evaluation (SemEval-2016)