Kevin Small


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PLAtE: A Large-scale Dataset for List Page Web Extraction
Aidan San | Yuan Zhuang | Jan Bakus | Colin Lockard | David Ciemiewicz | Sandeep Atluri | Kevin Small | Yangfeng Ji | Heba Elfardy
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 5: Industry Track)

Recently, neural models have been leveraged to significantly improve the performance of information extraction from semi-structured websites. However, a barrier for continued progress is the small number of datasets large enough to train these models. In this work, we introduce the PLAtE (Pages of Lists Attribute Extraction) benchmark dataset as a challenging new web extraction task. PLAtE focuses on shopping data, specifically extractions from product review pages with multiple items encompassing the tasks of: (1) finding product list segmentation boundaries and (2) extracting attributes for each product. PLAtE is composed of 52,898 items collected from 6,694 pages and 156,014 attributes, making it the first large-scale list page web extraction dataset. We use a multi-stage approach to collect and annotate the dataset and adapt three state-of-the-art web extraction models to the two tasks comparing their strengths and weaknesses both quantitatively and qualitatively.

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Enhancing Multi-Document Summarization with Cross-Document Graph-based Information Extraction
Zixuan Zhang | Heba Elfardy | Markus Dreyer | Kevin Small | Heng Ji | Mohit Bansal
Proceedings of the 17th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Information extraction (IE) and summarization are closely related, both tasked with presenting a subset of the information contained in a natural language text. However, while IE extracts structural representations, summarization aims to abstract the most salient information into a generated text summary – thus potentially encountering the technical limitations of current text generation methods (e.g., hallucination). To mitigate this risk, this work uses structured IE graphs to enhance the abstractive summarization task. Specifically, we focus on improving Multi-Document Summarization (MDS) performance by using cross-document IE output, incorporating two novel components: (1) the use of auxiliary entity and event recognition systems to focus the summary generation model; (2) incorporating an alignment loss between IE nodes and their text spans to reduce inconsistencies between the IE graphs and text representations. Operationally, both the IE nodes and corresponding text spans are projected into the same embedding space and pairwise distance is minimized. Experimental results on multiple MDS benchmarks show that summaries generated by our model are more factually consistent with the source documents than baseline models while maintaining the same level of abstractiveness.


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A Zero-Shot Claim Detection Framework Using Question Answering
Revanth Gangi Reddy | Sai Chetan Chinthakindi | Yi R. Fung | Kevin Small | Heng Ji
Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in claim detection as an important building block for misinformation detection. This involves detecting more fine-grained attributes relating to the claim, such as the claimer, claim topic, claim object pertaining to the topic, etc. Yet, a notable bottleneck of existing claim detection approaches is their portability to emerging events and low-resource training data settings. In this regard, we propose a fine-grained claim detection framework that leverages zero-shot Question Answering (QA) using directed questions to solve a diverse set of sub-tasks such as topic filtering, claim object detection, and claimer detection. We show that our approach significantly outperforms various zero-shot, few-shot and task-specific baselines on the NewsClaims benchmark (Reddy et al., 2021).

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NewsClaims: A New Benchmark for Claim Detection from News with Attribute Knowledge
Revanth Gangi Reddy | Sai Chetan Chinthakindi | Zhenhailong Wang | Yi Fung | Kathryn Conger | Ahmed ELsayed | Martha Palmer | Preslav Nakov | Eduard Hovy | Kevin Small | Heng Ji
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Claim detection and verification are crucial for news understanding and have emerged as promising technologies for mitigating misinformation and disinformation in the news. However, most existing work has focused on claim sentence analysis while overlooking additional crucial attributes (e.g., the claimer and the main object associated with the claim).In this work, we present NewsClaims, a new benchmark for attribute-aware claim detection in the news domain. We extend the claim detection problem to include extraction of additional attributes related to each claim and release 889 claims annotated over 143 news articles. NewsClaims aims to benchmark claim detection systems in emerging scenarios, comprising unseen topics with little or no training data. To this end, we see that zero-shot and prompt-based baselines show promising performance on this benchmark, while still considerably behind human performance.

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Answer Consolidation: Formulation and Benchmarking
Wenxuan Zhou | Qiang Ning | Heba Elfardy | Kevin Small | Muhao Chen
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Current question answering (QA) systems primarily consider the single-answer scenario, where each question is assumed to be paired with one correct answer. However, in many real-world QA applications, multiple answer scenarios arise where consolidating answers into a comprehensive and non-redundant set of answers is a more efficient user interface. In this paper, we formulate the problem of answer consolidation, where answers are partitioned into multiple groups, each representing different aspects of the answer set. Then, given this partitioning, a comprehensive and non-redundant set of answers can be constructed by picking one answer from each group. To initiate research on answer consolidation, we construct a dataset consisting of 4,699 questions and 24,006 sentences and evaluate multiple models. Despite a promising performance achieved by the best-performing supervised models, we still believe this task has room for further improvements.

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Building a Dataset for Automatically Learning to Detect Questions Requiring Clarification
Ivano Lauriola | Kevin Small | Alessandro Moschitti
Proceedings of the Thirteenth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

Question Answering (QA) systems aim to return correct and concise answers in response to user questions. QA research generally assumes all questions are intelligible and unambiguous, which is unrealistic in practice as questions frequently encountered by virtual assistants are ambiguous or noisy. In this work, we propose to make QA systems more robust via the following two-step process: (1) classify if the input question is intelligible and (2) for such questions with contextual ambiguity, return a clarification question. We describe a new open-domain clarification corpus containing user questions sampled from Quora, which is useful for building machine learning approaches to solving these tasks.


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Summary-Oriented Question Generation for Informational Queries
Xusen Yin | Li Zhou | Kevin Small | Jonathan May
Proceedings of the 1st Workshop on Document-grounded Dialogue and Conversational Question Answering (DialDoc 2021)

Users frequently ask simple factoid questions for question answering (QA) systems, attenuating the impact of myriad recent works that support more complex questions. Prompting users with automatically generated suggested questions (SQs) can improve user understanding of QA system capabilities and thus facilitate more effective use. We aim to produce self-explanatory questions that focus on main document topics and are answerable with variable length passages as appropriate. We satisfy these requirements by using a BERT-based Pointer-Generator Network trained on the Natural Questions (NQ) dataset. Our model shows SOTA performance of SQ generation on the NQ dataset (20.1 BLEU-4). We further apply our model on out-of-domain news articles, evaluating with a QA system due to the lack of gold questions and demonstrate that our model produces better SQs for news articles – with further confirmation via a human evaluation.

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Generating Self-Contained and Summary-Centric Question Answer Pairs via Differentiable Reward Imitation Learning
Li Zhou | Kevin Small | Yong Zhang | Sandeep Atluri
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Motivated by suggested question generation in conversational news recommendation systems, we propose a model for generating question-answer pairs (QA pairs) with self-contained, summary-centric questions and length-constrained, article-summarizing answers. We begin by collecting a new dataset of news articles with questions as titles and pairing them with summaries of varying length. This dataset is used to learn a QA pair generation model producing summaries as answers that balance brevity with sufficiency jointly with their corresponding questions. We then reinforce the QA pair generation process with a differentiable reward function to mitigate exposure bias, a common problem in natural language generation. Both automatic metrics and human evaluation demonstrate these QA pairs successfully capture the central gists of the articles and achieve high answer accuracy.


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Fluent Response Generation for Conversational Question Answering
Ashutosh Baheti | Alan Ritter | Kevin Small
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Question answering (QA) is an important aspect of open-domain conversational agents, garnering specific research focus in the conversational QA (ConvQA) subtask. One notable limitation of recent ConvQA efforts is the response being answer span extraction from the target corpus, thus ignoring the natural language generation (NLG) aspect of high-quality conversational agents. In this work, we propose a method for situating QA responses within a SEQ2SEQ NLG approach to generate fluent grammatical answer responses while maintaining correctness. From a technical perspective, we use data augmentation to generate training data for an end-to-end system. Specifically, we develop Syntactic Transformations (STs) to produce question-specific candidate answer responses and rank them using a BERT-based classifier (Devlin et al., 2019). Human evaluation on SQuAD 2.0 data (Rajpurkar et al., 2018) demonstrate that the proposed model outperforms baseline CoQA and QuAC models in generating conversational responses. We further show our model’s scalability by conducting tests on the CoQA dataset. The code and data are available at


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Proceedings of the NAACL HLT 2010 Workshop on Active Learning for Natural Language Processing
Burr Settles | Kevin Small | Katrin Tomanek
Proceedings of the NAACL HLT 2010 Workshop on Active Learning for Natural Language Processing

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Object Search: Supporting Structured Queries in Web Search Engines
Kim Pham | Nicholas Rizzolo | Kevin Small | Kevin Chen-Chuan Chang | Dan Roth
Proceedings of the NAACL HLT 2010 Workshop on Semantic Search


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Interactive Feature Space Construction using Semantic Information
Dan Roth | Kevin Small
Proceedings of the Thirteenth Conference on Computational Natural Language Learning (CoNLL-2009)


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All links are not the same: evaluating word alignments for statistical machine translation
Paul C. Davis | Zhuli Xie | Kevin Small
Proceedings of Machine Translation Summit XI: Papers