Koustuv Sinha


pdf bib
Towards Reproducible Machine Learning Research in Natural Language Processing
Ana Lucic | Maurits Bleeker | Samarth Bhargav | Jessica Forde | Koustuv Sinha | Jesse Dodge | Sasha Luccioni | Robert Stojnic
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Tutorial Abstracts

While recent progress in the field of ML has been significant, the reproducibility of these cutting-edge results is often lacking, with many submissions lacking the necessary information in order to ensure subsequent reproducibility. Despite proposals such as the Reproducibility Checklist and reproducibility criteria at several major conferences, the reflex for carrying out research with reproducibility in mind is lacking in the broader ML community. We propose this tutorial as a gentle introduction to ensuring reproducible research in ML, with a specific emphasis on computational linguistics and NLP. We also provide a framework for using reproducibility as a teaching tool in university-level computer science programs.


pdf bib
Masked Language Modeling and the Distributional Hypothesis: Order Word Matters Pre-training for Little
Koustuv Sinha | Robin Jia | Dieuwke Hupkes | Joelle Pineau | Adina Williams | Douwe Kiela
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

A possible explanation for the impressive performance of masked language model (MLM) pre-training is that such models have learned to represent the syntactic structures prevalent in classical NLP pipelines. In this paper, we propose a different explanation: MLMs succeed on downstream tasks almost entirely due to their ability to model higher-order word co-occurrence statistics. To demonstrate this, we pre-train MLMs on sentences with randomly shuffled word order, and show that these models still achieve high accuracy after fine-tuning on many downstream tasks—including tasks specifically designed to be challenging for models that ignore word order. Our models perform surprisingly well according to some parametric syntactic probes, indicating possible deficiencies in how we test representations for syntactic information. Overall, our results show that purely distributional information largely explains the success of pre-training, and underscore the importance of curating challenging evaluation datasets that require deeper linguistic knowledge.

pdf bib
Sometimes We Want Ungrammatical Translations
Prasanna Parthasarathi | Koustuv Sinha | Joelle Pineau | Adina Williams
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2021

Rapid progress in Neural Machine Translation (NMT) systems over the last few years has focused primarily on improving translation quality, and as a secondary focus, improving robustness to perturbations (e.g. spelling). While performance and robustness are important objectives, by over-focusing on these, we risk overlooking other important properties. In this paper, we draw attention to the fact that for some applications, faithfulness to the original (input) text is important to preserve, even if it means introducing unusual language patterns in the (output) translation. We propose a simple, novel way to quantify whether an NMT system exhibits robustness or faithfulness, by focusing on the case of word-order perturbations. We explore a suite of functions to perturb the word order of source sentences without deleting or injecting tokens, and measure their effects on the target side. Across several experimental conditions, we observe a strong tendency towards robustness rather than faithfulness. These results allow us to better understand the trade-off between faithfulness and robustness in NMT, and opens up the possibility of developing systems where users have more autonomy and control in selecting which property is best suited for their use case.

pdf bib
UnNatural Language Inference
Koustuv Sinha | Prasanna Parthasarathi | Joelle Pineau | Adina Williams
Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Recent investigations into the inner-workings of state-of-the-art large-scale pre-trained Transformer-based Natural Language Understanding (NLU) models indicate that they appear to understand human-like syntax, at least to some extent. We provide novel evidence that complicates this claim: we find that state-of-the-art Natural Language Inference (NLI) models assign the same labels to permuted examples as they do to the original, i.e. they are invariant to random word-order permutations. This behavior notably differs from that of humans; we struggle to understand the meaning of ungrammatical sentences. To measure the severity of this issue, we propose a suite of metrics and investigate which properties of particular permutations lead models to be word order invariant. For example, in MNLI dataset we find almost all (98.7%) examples contain at least one permutation which elicits the gold label. Models are even able to assign gold labels to permutations that they originally failed to predict correctly. We provide a comprehensive empirical evaluation of this phenomenon, and further show that this issue exists in pre-Transformer RNN / ConvNet based encoders, as well as across multiple languages (English and Chinese). Our code and data are available at https://github.com/facebookresearch/unlu.


pdf bib
Probing Linguistic Systematicity
Emily Goodwin | Koustuv Sinha | Timothy J. O’Donnell
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Recently, there has been much interest in the question of whether deep natural language understanding (NLU) models exhibit systematicity, generalizing such that units like words make consistent contributions to the meaning of the sentences in which they appear. There is accumulating evidence that neural models do not learn systematically. We examine the notion of systematicity from a linguistic perspective, defining a set of probing tasks and a set of metrics to measure systematic behaviour. We also identify ways in which network architectures can generalize non-systematically, and discuss why such forms of generalization may be unsatisfying. As a case study, we perform a series of experiments in the setting of natural language inference (NLI). We provide evidence that current state-of-the-art NLU systems do not generalize systematically, despite overall high performance.

pdf bib
Learning an Unreferenced Metric for Online Dialogue Evaluation
Koustuv Sinha | Prasanna Parthasarathi | Jasmine Wang | Ryan Lowe | William L. Hamilton | Joelle Pineau
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Evaluating the quality of a dialogue interaction between two agents is a difficult task, especially in open-domain chit-chat style dialogue. There have been recent efforts to develop automatic dialogue evaluation metrics, but most of them do not generalize to unseen datasets and/or need a human-generated reference response during inference, making it infeasible for online evaluation. Here, we propose an unreferenced automated evaluation metric that uses large pre-trained language models to extract latent representations of utterances, and leverages the temporal transitions that exist between them. We show that our model achieves higher correlation with human annotations in an online setting, while not requiring true responses for comparison during inference.


pdf bib
CLUTRR: A Diagnostic Benchmark for Inductive Reasoning from Text
Koustuv Sinha | Shagun Sodhani | Jin Dong | Joelle Pineau | William L. Hamilton
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

The recent success of natural language understanding (NLU) systems has been troubled by results highlighting the failure of these models to generalize in a systematic and robust way. In this work, we introduce a diagnostic benchmark suite, named CLUTRR, to clarify some key issues related to the robustness and systematicity of NLU systems. Motivated by the classic work on inductive logic programming, CLUTRR requires that an NLU system infer kinship relations between characters in short stories. Successful performance on this task requires both extracting relationships between entities, as well as inferring the logical rules governing these relationships. CLUTRR allows us to precisely measure a model’s ability for systematic generalization by evaluating on held-out combinations of logical rules, and allows us to evaluate a model’s robustness by adding curated noise facts. Our empirical results highlight a substantial performance gap between state-of-the-art NLU models (e.g., BERT and MAC) and a graph neural network model that works directly with symbolic inputs—with the graph-based model exhibiting both stronger generalization and greater robustness.


pdf bib
A Hierarchical Neural Attention-based Text Classifier
Koustuv Sinha | Yue Dong | Jackie Chi Kit Cheung | Derek Ruths
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Deep neural networks have been displaying superior performance over traditional supervised classifiers in text classification. They learn to extract useful features automatically when sufficient amount of data is presented. However, along with the growth in the number of documents comes the increase in the number of categories, which often results in poor performance of the multiclass classifiers. In this work, we use external knowledge in the form of topic category taxonomies to aide the classification by introducing a deep hierarchical neural attention-based classifier. Our model performs better than or comparable to state-of-the-art hierarchical models at significantly lower computational cost while maintaining high interpretability.