Kourosh Meshgi


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What is the Real Intention behind this Question? Dataset Collection and Intention Classification
Maryam Sadat Mirzaei | Kourosh Meshgi | Satoshi Sekine
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Asking and answering questions are inseparable parts of human social life. The primary purposes of asking questions are to gain knowledge or request help which has been the subject of question-answering studies. However, questions can also reflect negative intentions and include implicit offenses, such as highlighting one’s lack of knowledge or bolstering an alleged superior knowledge, which can lead to conflict in conversations; yet has been scarcely researched. This paper is the first study to introduce a dataset (Question Intention Dataset) that includes questions with positive/neutral and negative intentions and the underlying intention categories within each group. We further conduct a meta-analysis to highlight tacit and apparent intents. We also propose a classification method using Transformers augmented by TF-IDF-based features and report the results of several models for classifying the main intention categories. We aim to highlight the importance of taking intentions into account, especially implicit and negative ones, to gain insight into conflict-evoking questions and better understand human-human communication on the web for NLP applications.


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Uncertainty Regularized Multi-Task Learning
Kourosh Meshgi | Maryam Sadat Mirzaei | Satoshi Sekine
Proceedings of the 12th Workshop on Computational Approaches to Subjectivity, Sentiment & Social Media Analysis

By sharing parameters and providing task-independent shared features, multi-task deep neural networks are considered one of the most interesting ways for parallel learning from different tasks and domains. However, fine-tuning on one task may compromise the performance of other tasks or restrict the generalization of the shared learned features. To address this issue, we propose to use task uncertainty to gauge the effect of the shared feature changes on other tasks and prevent the model from overfitting or over-generalizing. We conducted an experiment on 16 text classification tasks, and findings showed that the proposed method consistently improves the performance of the baseline, facilitates the knowledge transfer of learned features to unseen data, and provides explicit control over the generalization of the shared model.

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Q-Learning Scheduler for Multi Task Learning Through the use of Histogram of Task Uncertainty
Kourosh Meshgi | Maryam Sadat Mirzaei | Satoshi Sekine
Proceedings of the 7th Workshop on Representation Learning for NLP

Simultaneous training of a multi-task learning network on different domains or tasks is not always straightforward. It could lead to inferior performance or generalization compared to the corresponding single-task networks. An effective training scheduling method is deemed necessary to maximize the benefits of multi-task learning. Traditional schedulers follow a heuristic or prefixed strategy, ignoring the relation of the tasks, their sample complexities, and the state of the emergent shared features. We proposed a deep Q-Learning Scheduler (QLS) that monitors the state of the tasks and the shared features using a novel histogram of task uncertainty, and through trial-and-error, learns an optimal policy for task scheduling. Extensive experiments on multi-domain and multi-task settings with various task difficulty profiles have been conducted, the proposed method is benchmarked against other schedulers, its superior performance has been demonstrated, and results are discussed.


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Automatic Speech Recognition Errors as a Predictor of L2 Listening Difficulties
Maryam Sadat Mirzaei | Kourosh Meshgi | Tatsuya Kawahara
Proceedings of the Workshop on Computational Linguistics for Linguistic Complexity (CL4LC)

This paper investigates the use of automatic speech recognition (ASR) errors as indicators of the second language (L2) learners’ listening difficulties and in doing so strives to overcome the shortcomings of Partial and Synchronized Caption (PSC) system. PSC is a system that generates a partial caption including difficult words detected based on high speech rate, low frequency, and specificity. To improve the choice of words in this system, and explore a better method to detect speech challenges, ASR errors were investigated as a model of the L2 listener, hypothesizing that some of these errors are similar to those of language learners’ when transcribing the videos. To investigate this hypothesis, ASR errors in transcription of several TED talks were analyzed and compared with PSC’s selected words. Both the overlapping and mismatching cases were analyzed to investigate possible improvement for the PSC system. Those ASR errors that were not detected by PSC as cases of learners’ difficulties were further analyzed and classified into four categories: homophones, minimal pairs, breached boundaries and negatives. These errors were embedded into the baseline PSC to make the enhanced version and were evaluated in an experiment with L2 learners. The results indicated that the enhanced version, which encompasses the ASR errors addresses most of the L2 learners’ difficulties and better assists them in comprehending challenging video segments as compared with the baseline.


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Meta-level Statistical Machine Translation
Sajad Ebrahimi | Kourosh Meshgi | Shahram Khadivi | Mohammad Ebrahim Shiri Ahmad Abady
Proceedings of the Sixth International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing