Kabir Ahuja


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MAFIA: Multi-Adapter Fused Inclusive Language Models
Prachi Jain | Ashutosh Sathe | Varun Gumma | Kabir Ahuja | Sunayana Sitaram
Proceedings of the 18th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Pretrained Language Models (PLMs) are widely used in NLP for various tasks. Recent studies have identified various biases that such models exhibit and have proposed methods to correct these biases. However, most of the works address a limited set of bias dimensions independently such as gender, race, or religion. Moreover, the methods typically involve finetuning the full model in order to maintain the performance on the downstream task. In this work, we aim to modularly debias a pre-trained language model across multiple dimensions. Previous works extensively explored debiasing PLMs by using limited US-centric counterfactual data augmentation (CDA). We use structured knowledge and a large generative model to build a diverse CDA across multiple bias dimensions in a semi-automated way. We highlight how existing debiasing methods do not consider interactions between multiple societal biases and propose a debiasing model that exploits the synergy amongst various societal biases and enables multi-bias debiasing simultaneously. An extensive evaluation on multiple tasks and languages demonstrates the efficacy of the approach.


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On Evaluating and Mitigating Gender Biases in Multilingual Settings
Aniket Vashishtha | Kabir Ahuja | Sunayana Sitaram
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2023

While understanding and removing gender biases in language models has been a long-standing problem in Natural Language Processing, prior research work has primarily been limited to English. In this work, we investigate some of the challenges with evaluating and mitigating biases in multilingual settings which stem from a lack of existing benchmarks and resources for bias evaluation beyond English especially for non-western context. In this paper, we first create a benchmark for evaluating gender biases in pre-trained masked language models by extending DisCo to different Indian languages using human annotations. We extend various debiasing methods to work beyond English and evaluate their effectiveness for SOTA massively multilingual models on our proposed metric. Overall, our work highlights the challenges that arise while studying social biases in multilingual settings and provides resources as well as mitigation techniques to take a step toward scaling to more languages.

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MEGA: Multilingual Evaluation of Generative AI
Kabir Ahuja | Harshita Diddee | Rishav Hada | Millicent Ochieng | Krithika Ramesh | Prachi Jain | Akshay Nambi | Tanuja Ganu | Sameer Segal | Mohamed Ahmed | Kalika Bali | Sunayana Sitaram
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Generative AI models have shown impressive performance on many Natural Language Processing tasks such as language understanding, reasoning, and language generation. An important question being asked by the AI community today is about the capabilities and limits of these models, and it is clear that evaluating generative AI is very challenging. Most studies on generative LLMs have been restricted to English and it is unclear how capable these models are at understanding and generating text in other languages. We present the first comprehensive benchmarking of generative LLMs - MEGA, which evaluates models on standard NLP benchmarks, covering 16 NLP datasets across 70 typologically diverse languages. We compare the performance of generative LLMs including Chat-GPT and GPT-4 to State of the Art (SOTA) non-autoregressive models on these tasks to determine how well generative models perform compared to the previous generation of LLMs. We present a thorough analysis of the performance of models across languages and tasks and discuss challenges in improving the performance of generative LLMs on low-resource languages. We create a framework for evaluating generative LLMs in the multilingual setting and provide directions for future progress in the field.

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Everything you need to know about Multilingual LLMs: Towards fair, performant and reliable models for languages of the world
Sunayana Sitaram | Monojit Choudhury | Barun Patra | Vishrav Chaudhary | Kabir Ahuja | Kalika Bali
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 6: Tutorial Abstracts)

This tutorial will describe various aspects of scaling up language technologies to many of the world’s languages by describing the latest research in Massively Multilingual Language Models (MMLMs). We will cover topics such as data collection, training and fine-tuning of models, Responsible AI issues such as fairness, bias and toxicity, linguistic diversity and evaluation in the context of MMLMs, specifically focusing on issues in non-English and low-resource languages. Further, we will also talk about some of the real-world challenges in deploying these models in language communities in the field. With the performance of MMLMs improving in the zero-shot setting for many languages, it is now becoming feasible to use them for building language technologies in many languages of the world, and this tutorial will provide the computational linguistics community with unique insights from the latest research in multilingual models.


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Multi Task Learning For Zero Shot Performance Prediction of Multilingual Models
Kabir Ahuja | Shanu Kumar | Sandipan Dandapat | Monojit Choudhury
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Massively Multilingual Transformer based Language Models have been observed to be surprisingly effective on zero-shot transfer across languages, though the performance varies from language to language depending on the pivot language(s) used for fine-tuning. In this work, we build upon some of the existing techniques for predicting the zero-shot performance on a task, by modeling it as a multi-task learning problem. We jointly train predictive models for different tasks which helps us build more accurate predictors for tasks where we have test data in very few languages to measure the actual performance of the model. Our approach also lends us the ability to perform a much more robust feature selection, and identify a common set of features that influence zero-shot performance across a variety of tasks.

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Proceedings of the First Workshop on Scaling Up Multilingual Evaluation
Kabir Ahuja | Antonios Anastasopoulos | Barun Patra | Graham Neubig | Monojit Choudhury | Sandipan Dandapat | Sunayana Sitaram | Vishrav Chaudhary
Proceedings of the First Workshop on Scaling Up Multilingual Evaluation

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The SUMEval 2022 Shared Task on Performance Prediction of Multilingual Pre-trained Language Models
Kabir Ahuja | Antonios Anastasopoulos | Barun Patra | Graham Neubig | Monojit Choudhury | Sandipan Dandapat | Sunayana Sitaram | Vishrav Chaudhary
Proceedings of the First Workshop on Scaling Up Multilingual Evaluation

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On the Economics of Multilingual Few-shot Learning: Modeling the Cost-Performance Trade-offs of Machine Translated and Manual Data
Kabir Ahuja | Monojit Choudhury | Sandipan Dandapat
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Borrowing ideas from Production functions in micro-economics, in this paper we introduce a framework to systematically evaluate the performance and cost trade-offs between machine-translated and manually-created labelled data for task-specific fine-tuning of massively multilingual language models. We illustrate the effectiveness of our framework through a case-study on the TyDIQA-GoldP dataset. One of the interesting conclusion of the study is that if the cost of machine translation is greater than zero, the optimal performance at least cost is always achieved with at least some or only manually-created data. To our knowledge, this is the first attempt towards extending the concept of production functions to study data collection strategies for training multilingual models, and can serve as a valuable tool for other similar cost vs data trade-offs in NLP.

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On the Calibration of Massively Multilingual Language Models
Kabir Ahuja | Sunayana Sitaram | Sandipan Dandapat | Monojit Choudhury
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Massively Multilingual Language Models (MMLMs) have recently gained popularity due to their surprising effectiveness in cross-lingual transfer. While there has been much work in evaluating these models for their performance on a variety of tasks and languages, little attention has been paid on how well calibrated these models are with respect to the confidence in their predictions. We first investigate the calibration of MMLMs in the zero-shot setting and observe a clear case of miscalibration in low-resource languages or those which are typologically diverse from English. Next, we empirically show that calibration methods like temperature scaling and label smoothing do reasonably well in improving calibration in the zero-shot scenario. We also find that few-shot examples in the language can further help reduce calibration errors, often substantially. Overall, our work contributes towards building more reliable multilingual models by highlighting the issue of their miscalibration, understanding what language and model-specific factors influence it, and pointing out the strategies to improve the same.

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Global Readiness of Language Technology for Healthcare: What Would It Take to Combat the Next Pandemic?
Ishani Mondal | Kabir Ahuja | Mohit Jain | Jacki O’Neill | Kalika Bali | Monojit Choudhury
Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought out both the best and worst of language technology (LT). On one hand, conversational agents for information dissemination and basic diagnosis have seen widespread use, and arguably, had an important role in fighting against the pandemic. On the other hand, it has also become clear that such technologies are readily available for a handful of languages, and the vast majority of the global south is completely bereft of these benefits. What is the state of LT, especially conversational agents, for healthcare across the world’s languages? And, what would it take to ensure global readiness of LT before the next pandemic? In this paper, we try to answer these questions through survey of existing literature and resources, as well as through a rapid chatbot building exercise for 15 Asian and African languages with varying amount of resource-availability. The study confirms the pitiful state of LT even for languages with large speaker bases, such as Sinhala and Hausa, and identifies the gaps that could help us prioritize research and investment strategies in LT for healthcare.

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Beyond Static models and test sets: Benchmarking the potential of pre-trained models across tasks and languages
Kabir Ahuja | Sandipan Dandapat | Sunayana Sitaram | Monojit Choudhury
Proceedings of NLP Power! The First Workshop on Efficient Benchmarking in NLP

Although recent Massively Multilingual Language Models (MMLMs) like mBERT and XLMR support around 100 languages, most existing multilingual NLP benchmarks provide evaluation data in only a handful of these languages with little linguistic diversity. We argue that this makes the existing practices in multilingual evaluation unreliable and does not provide a full picture of the performance of MMLMs across the linguistic landscape. We propose that the recent work done in Performance Prediction for NLP tasks can serve as a potential solution in fixing benchmarking in Multilingual NLP by utilizing features related to data and language typology to estimate the performance of an MMLM on different languages. We compare performance prediction with translating test data with a case study on four different multilingual datasets, and observe that these methods can provide reliable estimates of the performance that are often on-par with the translation based approaches, without the need for any additional translation as well as evaluation costs.


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Syntax-Guided Controlled Generation of Paraphrases
Ashutosh Kumar | Kabir Ahuja | Raghuram Vadapalli | Partha Talukdar
Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Volume 8

Given a sentence (e.g., “I like mangoes”) and a constraint (e.g., sentiment flip), the goal of controlled text generation is to produce a sentence that adapts the input sentence to meet the requirements of the constraint (e.g., “I hate mangoes”). Going beyond such simple constraints, recent work has started exploring the incorporation of complex syntactic-guidance as constraints in the task of controlled paraphrase generation. In these methods, syntactic-guidance is sourced from a separate exemplar sentence. However, this prior work has only utilized limited syntactic information available in the parse tree of the exemplar sentence. We address this limitation in the paper and propose Syntax Guided Controlled Paraphraser (SGCP), an end-to-end framework for syntactic paraphrase generation. We find that Sgcp can generate syntax-conforming sentences while not compromising on relevance. We perform extensive automated and human evaluations over multiple real-world English language datasets to demonstrate the efficacy of Sgcp over state-of-the-art baselines. To drive future research, we have made Sgcp’s source code available.1

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On the Practical Ability of Recurrent Neural Networks to Recognize Hierarchical Languages
Satwik Bhattamishra | Kabir Ahuja | Navin Goyal
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

While recurrent models have been effective in NLP tasks, their performance on context-free languages (CFLs) has been found to be quite weak. Given that CFLs are believed to capture important phenomena such as hierarchical structure in natural languages, this discrepancy in performance calls for an explanation. We study the performance of recurrent models on Dyck-n languages, a particularly important and well-studied class of CFLs. We find that while recurrent models generalize nearly perfectly if the lengths of the training and test strings are from the same range, they perform poorly if the test strings are longer. At the same time, we observe that RNNs are expressive enough to recognize Dyck words of arbitrary lengths in finite precision if their depths are bounded. Hence, we evaluate our models on samples generated from Dyck languages with bounded depth and find that they are indeed able to generalize to much higher lengths. Since natural language datasets have nested dependencies of bounded depth, this may help explain why they perform well in modeling hierarchical dependencies in natural language data despite prior works indicating poor generalization performance on Dyck languages. We perform probing studies to support our results and provide comparisons with Transformers.

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On the Ability and Limitations of Transformers to Recognize Formal Languages
Satwik Bhattamishra | Kabir Ahuja | Navin Goyal
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

Transformers have supplanted recurrent models in a large number of NLP tasks. However, the differences in their abilities to model different syntactic properties remain largely unknown. Past works suggest that LSTMs generalize very well on regular languages and have close connections with counter languages. In this work, we systematically study the ability of Transformers to model such languages as well as the role of its individual components in doing so. We first provide a construction of Transformers for a subclass of counter languages, including well-studied languages such as n-ary Boolean Expressions, Dyck-1, and its generalizations. In experiments, we find that Transformers do well on this subclass, and their learned mechanism strongly correlates with our construction. Perhaps surprisingly, in contrast to LSTMs, Transformers do well only on a subset of regular languages with degrading performance as we make languages more complex according to a well-known measure of complexity. Our analysis also provides insights on the role of self-attention mechanism in modeling certain behaviors and the influence of positional encoding schemes on the learning and generalization abilities of the model.