Maged Al-Shaibani

Also published as: Maged Al-shaibani


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Consonant is all you need: a compact representation of English text for efficient NLP
Maged Al-shaibani | Irfan Ahmad
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

In natural language processing (NLP), the representation of text plays a crucial role in various tasks such as language modeling, sentiment analysis, and machine translation. The standard approach is to represent text in the same way as we, as humans, read and write. In this paper, we propose a novel approach to represent text with only consonants which presents a compact representation of English text that offers improved efficiency without sacrificing performance. We exploit the fact that consonants are more discriminative than vowels and by representing text using consonants, we can significantly reduce the overall memory and compute footprint required for storing and processing textual data. We present two alternative representations: ‘consonants-only’, where we completely remove the vowels from the text, and ‘masked-vowels’, where we mask all the vowels into one special symbol. To evaluate our approaches, we conducted experiments on various NLP tasks, including text classification, part-of-speech (POS) tagging, named-entity recognition (NER), and neural machine translation (NMT), in addition to language modeling. Our results demonstrate that the proposed consonant-based representation achieves comparable performance compared to the standard text representation while requiring significantly fewer computational resources. Furthermore, we show that our representation can be seamlessly integrated with existing NLP models and frameworks, providing a practical solution for efficient text processing. Last but not the least, we present a technique to retrieve the vowel information from our processed text representation keeping in mind the need to reproduce text in human readable form in some NLP applications.


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PromptSource: An Integrated Development Environment and Repository for Natural Language Prompts
Stephen Bach | Victor Sanh | Zheng Xin Yong | Albert Webson | Colin Raffel | Nihal V. Nayak | Abheesht Sharma | Taewoon Kim | M Saiful Bari | Thibault Fevry | Zaid Alyafeai | Manan Dey | Andrea Santilli | Zhiqing Sun | Srulik Ben-david | Canwen Xu | Gunjan Chhablani | Han Wang | Jason Fries | Maged Al-shaibani | Shanya Sharma | Urmish Thakker | Khalid Almubarak | Xiangru Tang | Dragomir Radev | Mike Tian-jian Jiang | Alexander Rush
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics: System Demonstrations

PromptSource is a system for creating, sharing, and using natural language prompts. Prompts are functions that map an example from a dataset to a natural language input and target output. Using prompts to train and query language models is an emerging area in NLP that requires new tools that let users develop and refine these prompts collaboratively. PromptSource addresses the emergent challenges in this new setting with (1) a templating language for defining data-linked prompts, (2) an interface that lets users quickly iterate on prompt development by observing outputs of their prompts on many examples, and (3) a community-driven set of guidelines for contributing new prompts to a common pool. Over 2,000 prompts for roughly 170 datasets are already available in PromptSource. PromptSource is available at


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ARBML: Democritizing Arabic Natural Language Processing Tools
Zaid Alyafeai | Maged Al-Shaibani
Proceedings of Second Workshop for NLP Open Source Software (NLP-OSS)

Automating natural language understanding is a lifelong quest addressed for decades. With the help of advances in machine learning and particularly, deep learning, we are able to produce state of the art models that can imitate human interactions with languages. Unfortunately, these advances are controlled by the availability of language resources. Arabic advances in this field , although it has a great potential, are still limited. This is apparent in both research and development. In this paper, we showcase some NLP models we trained for Arabic. We also present our methodology and pipeline to build such models from data collection, data preprocessing, tokenization and model deployment. These tools help in the advancement of the field and provide a systematic approach for extending NLP tools to many languages.