Julius Steen


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AMR4NLI: Interpretable and robust NLI measures from semantic graph
Juri Opitz | Shira Wein | Julius Steen | Anette Frank | Nathan Schneider
Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Computational Semantics

The task of natural language inference (NLI) asks whether a given premise (expressed in NL) entails a given NL hypothesis. NLI benchmarks contain human ratings of entailment, but the meaning relationships driving these ratings are not formalized. Can the underlying sentence pair relationships be made more explicit in an interpretable yet robust fashion? We compare semantic structures to represent premise and hypothesis, including sets of *contextualized embeddings* and *semantic graphs* (Abstract Meaning Representations), and measure whether the hypothesis is a semantic substructure of the premise, utilizing interpretable metrics. Our evaluation on three English benchmarks finds value in both contextualized embeddings and semantic graphs; moreover, they provide complementary signals, and can be leveraged together in a hybrid model.

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With a Little Push, NLI Models can Robustly and Efficiently Predict Faithfulness
Julius Steen | Juri Opitz | Anette Frank | Katja Markert
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 2: Short Papers)

Conditional language models still generate unfaithful output that is not supported by their input. These unfaithful generations jeopardize trust in real-world applications such as summarization or human-machine interaction, motivating a need for automatic faithfulness metrics. To implement such metrics, NLI models seem attractive, since they solve a strongly related task that comes with a wealth of prior research and data. But recent research suggests that NLI models require costly additional machinery to perform reliably across datasets, e.g., by running inference on a cartesian product of input and generated sentences, or supporting them with a question-generation/answering step. In this work we show that pure NLI models _can_ outperform more complex metrics when combining task-adaptive data augmentation with robust inference procedures. We propose: (1) Augmenting NLI training data toadapt NL inferences to the specificities of faithfulness prediction in dialogue;(2) Making use of both entailment and contradiction probabilities in NLI, and(3) Using Monte-Carlo dropout during inference. Applied to the TRUE benchmark, which combines faithfulness datasets across diverse domains and tasks, our approach strongly improves a vanilla NLI model and significantly outperforms previous work, while showing favourable computational cost.


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How to Find Strong Summary Coherence Measures? A Toolbox and a Comparative Study for Summary Coherence Measure Evaluation
Julius Steen | Katja Markert
Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Automatically evaluating the coherence of summaries is of great significance both to enable cost-efficient summarizer evaluation and as a tool for improving coherence by selecting high-scoring candidate summaries. While many different approaches have been suggested to model summary coherence, they are often evaluated using disparate datasets and metrics. This makes it difficult to understand their relative performance and identify ways forward towards better summary coherence modelling. In this work, we conduct a large-scale investigation of various methods for summary coherence modelling on an even playing field. Additionally, we introduce two novel analysis measures, _intra-system correlation_ and _bias matrices_, that help identify biases in coherence measures and provide robustness against system-level confounders. While none of the currently available automatic coherence measures are able to assign reliable coherence scores to system summaries across all evaluation metrics, large-scale language models fine-tuned on self-supervised tasks show promising results, as long as fine-tuning takes into account that they need to generalize across different summary lengths.


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How to Evaluate a Summarizer: Study Design and Statistical Analysis for Manual Linguistic Quality Evaluation
Julius Steen | Katja Markert
Proceedings of the 16th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Main Volume

Manual evaluation is essential to judge progress on automatic text summarization. However, we conduct a survey on recent summarization system papers that reveals little agreement on how to perform such evaluation studies. We conduct two evaluation experiments on two aspects of summaries’ linguistic quality (coherence and repetitiveness) to compare Likert-type and ranking annotations and show that best choice of evaluation method can vary from one aspect to another. In our survey, we also find that study parameters such as the overall number of annotators and distribution of annotators to annotation items are often not fully reported and that subsequent statistical analysis ignores grouping factors arising from one annotator judging multiple summaries. Using our evaluation experiments, we show that the total number of annotators can have a strong impact on study power and that current statistical analysis methods can inflate type I error rates up to eight-fold. In addition, we highlight that for the purpose of system comparison the current practice of eliciting multiple judgements per summary leads to less powerful and reliable annotations given a fixed study budget.


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Abstractive Timeline Summarization
Julius Steen | Katja Markert
Proceedings of the 2nd Workshop on New Frontiers in Summarization

Timeline summarization (TLS) automatically identifies key dates of major events and provides short descriptions of what happened on these dates. Previous approaches to TLS have focused on extractive methods. In contrast, we suggest an abstractive timeline summarization system. Our system is entirely unsupervised, which makes it especially suited to TLS where there are very few gold summaries available for training of supervised systems. In addition, we present the first abstractive oracle experiments for TLS. Our system outperforms extractive competitors in terms of ROUGE when the number of input documents is high and the output requires strong compression. In these cases, our oracle experiments confirm that our approach also has a higher upper bound for ROUGE scores than extractive methods. A study with human judges shows that our abstractive system also produces output that is easy to read and understand.


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Universal Dependencies are Hard to Parse – or are They?
Ines Rehbein | Julius Steen | Bich-Ngoc Do | Anette Frank
Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Dependency Linguistics (Depling 2017)


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Detecting Annotation Scheme Variation in Out-of-Domain Treebanks
Yannick Versley | Julius Steen
Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC'16)

To ensure portability of NLP systems across multiple domains, existing treebanks are often extended by adding trees from interesting domains that were not part of the initial annotation effort. In this paper, we will argue that it is both useful from an application viewpoint and enlightening from a linguistic viewpoint to detect and reduce divergence in annotation schemes between extant and new parts in a set of treebanks that is to be used in evaluation experiments. The results of our correction and harmonization efforts will be made available to the public as a test suite for the evaluation of constituent parsing.