The construct of linguistic complexity has been widely used in language learning research. Several text analysis tools have been created to automatically analyze linguistic complexity. However, the indexes supported by several existing Chinese text analysis tools are limited and different because of different research purposes. CTAP is an open-source linguistic complexity measurement extraction tool, which prompts any research purposes. Although it was originally developed for English, the Unstructured Information Management (UIMA) framework it used allows the integration of other languages. In this study, we integrated the Chinese component into CTAP, describing the index sets it incorporated and comparing it with three linguistic complexity tools for Chinese. The index set includes four levels of 196 linguistic complexity indexes: character level, word level, sentence level, and discourse level. So far, CTAP has implemented automatic calculation of complexity characteristics for four languages, aiming to help linguists without NLP background study language complexity.
The definition generation task can help language learners by providing explanations for unfamiliar words. This task has attracted much attention in recent years. We propose a novel task of Simple Definition Generation (SDG) to help language learners and low literacy readers. A significant challenge of this task is the lack of learner’s dictionaries in many languages, and therefore the lack of data for supervised training. We explore this task and propose a multitasking framework SimpDefiner that only requires a standard dictionary with complex definitions and a corpus containing arbitrary simple texts. We disentangle the complexity factors from the text by carefully designing a parameter sharing scheme between two decoders. By jointly training these components, the framework can generate both complex and simple definitions simultaneously. We demonstrate that the framework can generate relevant, simple definitions for the target words through automatic and manual evaluations on English and Chinese datasets. Our method outperforms the baseline model by a 1.77 SARI score on the English dataset, and raises the proportion of the low level (HSK level 1-3) words in Chinese definitions by 3.87%.
This paper describes the BLCU-ICALL system used in the SemEval-2022 Task 1 Comparing Dictionaries and Word Embeddings, the Definition Modeling subtrack, achieving 1st on Italian, 2nd on Spanish and Russian, and 3rd on English and French. We propose a transformer-based multitasking framework to explore the task. The framework integrates multiple embedding architectures through the cross-attention mechanism, and captures the structure of glosses through a masking language model objective. Additionally, we also investigate a simple but effective model ensembling strategy to further improve the robustness. The evaluation results show the effectiveness of our solution. We release our code at: https://github.com/blcuicall/SemEval2022-Task1-DM.
Grammatical Error Correction (GEC) aims to correct writing errors and help language learners improve their writing skills. However, existing GEC models tend to produce spurious corrections or fail to detect lots of errors. The quality estimation model is necessary to ensure learners get accurate GEC results and avoid misleading from poorly corrected sentences. Well-trained GEC models can generate several high-quality hypotheses through decoding, such as beam search, which provide valuable GEC evidence and can be used to evaluate GEC quality. However, existing models neglect the possible GEC evidence from different hypotheses. This paper presents the Neural Verification Network (VERNet) for GEC quality estimation with multiple hypotheses. VERNet establishes interactions among hypotheses with a reasoning graph and conducts two kinds of attention mechanisms to propagate GEC evidence to verify the quality of generated hypotheses. Our experiments on four GEC datasets show that VERNet achieves state-of-the-art grammatical error detection performance, achieves the best quality estimation results, and significantly improves GEC performance by reranking hypotheses. All data and source codes are available at https://github.com/thunlp/VERNet.
This paper describes the BLCU Group submissions to the Building Educational Applications (BEA) 2019 Shared Task on Grammatical Error Correction (GEC). The task is to detect and correct grammatical errors that occurred in essays. We participate in 2 tracks including the Restricted Track and the Unrestricted Track. Our system is based on a Transformer model architecture. We integrate many effective methods proposed in recent years. Such as, Byte Pair Encoding, model ensemble, checkpoints average and spell checker. We also corrupt the public monolingual data to further improve the performance of the model. On the test data of the BEA 2019 Shared Task, our system yields F0.5 = 58.62 and 59.50, ranking twelfth and fourth respectively.
Recently, topic modeling has been widely applied in data mining due to its powerful ability. A common, major challenge in applying such topic models to other tasks is to accurately interpret the meaning of each topic. Topic labeling, as a major interpreting method, has attracted significant attention recently. However, most of previous works only focus on the effectiveness of topic labeling, and less attention has been paid to quickly creating good topic descriptors; meanwhile, it’s hard to assign labels for new emerging topics by using most of existing methods. To solve the problems above, in this paper, we propose a novel fast topic labeling framework that casts the labeling problem as a k-nearest neighbor (KNN) search problem in a probability vector set. Our experimental results show that the proposed sequential interleaving method based on locality sensitive hashing (LSH) technology is efficient in boosting the comparison speed among probability distributions, and the proposed framework can generate meaningful labels to interpret topics, including new emerging topics.