Manuela Huerlimann

Also published as: Manuela Huerliman, Manuela Hürlimann


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Reproducing a Comparative Evaluation of German Text-to-Speech Systems
Manuela Hürlimann | Mark Cieliebak
Proceedings of the 3rd Workshop on Human Evaluation of NLP Systems

This paper describes the reproduction of a human evaluation in Language-Agnostic Meta- Learning for Low-Resource Text-to-Speech with Articulatory Features reported in Lux and Vu (2022). It is a contribution to the ReproNLP 2023 Shared Task on Reproducibility of Evaluations in NLP. The original evaluation assessed the naturalness of audio generated by different Text-to-Speech (TTS) systems for German, and our goal was to repeat the experiment with a different set of evaluators. We reproduced the evaluation based on data and instructions provided by the original authors, with some uncertainty concerning the randomisation of question order. Evaluators were recruited via email to relevant mailing lists and we received 157 responses over the course of three weeks. Our initial results show low reproducibility, but when we assume that the systems of the original and repeat evaluation experiment have been transposed, the reproducibility assessment improves markedly. We do not know if and at what point such a transposition happened; however, an initial analysis of our audio and video files provides some evidence that the system assignment in our repeat experiment is correct.

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Dialect Transfer for Swiss German Speech Translation
Claudio Paonessa | Yanick Schraner | Jan Deriu | Manuela Hürlimann | Manfred Vogel | Mark Cieliebak
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

This paper investigates the challenges in building Swiss German speech translation systems, specifically focusing on the impact of dialect diversity and differences between Swiss German and Standard German. Swiss German is a spoken language with no formal writing system, it comprises many diverse dialects and is a low-resource language with only around 5 million speakers. The study is guided by two key research questions: how does the inclusion and exclusion of dialects during the training of speech translation models for Swiss German impact the performance on specific dialects, and how do the differences between Swiss German and Standard German impact the performance of the systems? We show that dialect diversity and linguistic differences pose significant challenges to Swiss German speech translation, which is in line with linguistic hypotheses derived from empirical investigations.

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Proceedings of the 8th edition of the Swiss Text Analytics Conference
Hatem Ghorbel | Maria Sokhn | Mark Cieliebak | Manuela Hürlimann | Emmanuel de Salis | Jonathan Guerne
Proceedings of the 8th edition of the Swiss Text Analytics Conference

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STT4SG-350: A Speech Corpus for All Swiss German Dialect Regions
Michel Plüss | Jan Deriu | Yanick Schraner | Claudio Paonessa | Julia Hartmann | Larissa Schmidt | Christian Scheller | Manuela Hürlimann | Tanja Samardžić | Manfred Vogel | Mark Cieliebak
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 2: Short Papers)

We present STT4SG-350, a corpus of Swiss German speech, annotated with Standard German text at the sentence level. The data is collected using a web app in which the speakers are shown Standard German sentences, which they translate to Swiss German and record. We make the corpus publicly available. It contains 343 hours of speech from all dialect regions and is the largest public speech corpus for Swiss German to date. Application areas include automatic speech recognition (ASR), text-to-speech, dialect identification, and speaker recognition. Dialect information, age group, and gender of the 316 speakers are provided. Genders are equally represented and the corpus includes speakers of all ages. Roughly the same amount of speech is provided per dialect region, which makes the corpus ideally suited for experiments with speech technology for different dialects. We provide training, validation, and test splits of the data. The test set consists of the same spoken sentences for each dialect region and allows a fair evaluation of the quality of speech technologies in different dialects. We train an ASR model on the training set and achieve an average BLEU score of 74.7 on the test set. The model beats the best published BLEU scores on 2 other Swiss German ASR test sets, demonstrating the quality of the corpus.

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Missing Information, Unresponsive Authors, Experimental Flaws: The Impossibility of Assessing the Reproducibility of Previous Human Evaluations in NLP
Anya Belz | Craig Thomson | Ehud Reiter | Gavin Abercrombie | Jose M. Alonso-Moral | Mohammad Arvan | Anouck Braggaar | Mark Cieliebak | Elizabeth Clark | Kees van Deemter | Tanvi Dinkar | Ondřej Dušek | Steffen Eger | Qixiang Fang | Mingqi Gao | Albert Gatt | Dimitra Gkatzia | Javier González-Corbelle | Dirk Hovy | Manuela Hürlimann | Takumi Ito | John D. Kelleher | Filip Klubicka | Emiel Krahmer | Huiyuan Lai | Chris van der Lee | Yiru Li | Saad Mahamood | Margot Mieskes | Emiel van Miltenburg | Pablo Mosteiro | Malvina Nissim | Natalie Parde | Ondřej Plátek | Verena Rieser | Jie Ruan | Joel Tetreault | Antonio Toral | Xiaojun Wan | Leo Wanner | Lewis Watson | Diyi Yang
Proceedings of the Fourth Workshop on Insights from Negative Results in NLP

We report our efforts in identifying a set of previous human evaluations in NLP that would be suitable for a coordinated study examining what makes human evaluations in NLP more/less reproducible. We present our results and findings, which include that just 13% of papers had (i) sufficiently low barriers to reproduction, and (ii) enough obtainable information, to be considered for reproduction, and that all but one of the experiments we selected for reproduction was discovered to have flaws that made the meaningfulness of conducting a reproduction questionable. As a result, we had to change our coordinated study design from a reproduce approach to a standardise-then-reproduce-twice approach. Our overall (negative) finding that the great majority of human evaluations in NLP is not repeatable and/or not reproducible and/or too flawed to justify reproduction, paints a dire picture, but presents an opportunity for a rethink about how to design and report human evaluations in NLP.


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SDS-200: A Swiss German Speech to Standard German Text Corpus
Michel Plüss | Manuela Hürlimann | Marc Cuny | Alla Stöckli | Nikolaos Kapotis | Julia Hartmann | Malgorzata Anna Ulasik | Christian Scheller | Yanick Schraner | Amit Jain | Jan Deriu | Mark Cieliebak | Manfred Vogel
Proceedings of the Thirteenth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

We present SDS-200, a corpus of Swiss German dialectal speech with Standard German text translations, annotated with dialect, age, and gender information of the speakers. The dataset allows for training speech translation, dialect recognition, and speech synthesis systems, among others. The data was collected using a web recording tool that is open to the public. Each participant was given a text in Standard German and asked to translate it to their Swiss German dialect before recording it. To increase the corpus quality, recordings were validated by other participants. The data consists of 200 hours of speech by around 4000 different speakers and covers a large part of the Swiss German dialect landscape. We release SDS-200 alongside a baseline speech translation model, which achieves a word error rate (WER) of 30.3 and a BLEU score of 53.1 on the SDS-200 test set. Furthermore, we use SDS-200 to fine-tune a pre-trained XLS-R model, achieving 21.6 WER and 64.0 BLEU.


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CEASR: A Corpus for Evaluating Automatic Speech Recognition
Malgorzata Anna Ulasik | Manuela Hürlimann | Fabian Germann | Esin Gedik | Fernando Benites | Mark Cieliebak
Proceedings of the Twelfth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

In this paper, we present CEASR, a Corpus for Evaluating the quality of Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR). It is a data set based on public speech corpora, containing metadata along with transcripts generated by several modern state-of-the-art ASR systems. CEASR provides this data in a unified structure, consistent across all corpora and systems, with normalised transcript texts and metadata. We use CEASR to evaluate the quality of ASR systems by calculating an average Word Error Rate (WER) per corpus, per system and per corpus-system pair. Our experiments show a substantial difference in accuracy between commercial versus open-source ASR tools as well as differences up to a factor ten for single systems on different corpora. Using CEASR allowed us to very efficiently and easily obtain these results. Our corpus enables researchers to perform ASR-related evaluations and various in-depth analyses with noticeably reduced effort, i.e. without the need to collect, process and transcribe the speech data themselves.

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ZHAW-InIT - Social Media Geolocation at VarDial 2020
Fernando Benites | Manuela Hürlimann | Pius von Däniken | Mark Cieliebak
Proceedings of the 7th Workshop on NLP for Similar Languages, Varieties and Dialects

We describe our approaches for the Social Media Geolocation (SMG) task at the VarDial Evaluation Campaign 2020. The goal was to predict geographical location (latitudes and longitudes) given an input text. There were three subtasks corresponding to German-speaking Switzerland (CH), Germany and Austria (DE-AT), and Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia (BCMS). We submitted solutions to all subtasks but focused our development efforts on the CH subtask, where we achieved third place out of 16 submissions with a median distance of 15.93 km and had the best result of 14 unconstrained systems. In the DE-AT subtask, we ranked sixth out of ten submissions (fourth of 8 unconstrained systems) and for BCMS we achieved fourth place out of 13 submissions (second of 11 unconstrained systems).


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SemEval-2017 Task 5: Fine-Grained Sentiment Analysis on Financial Microblogs and News
Keith Cortis | André Freitas | Tobias Daudert | Manuela Huerlimann | Manel Zarrouk | Siegfried Handschuh | Brian Davis
Proceedings of the 11th International Workshop on Semantic Evaluation (SemEval-2017)

This paper discusses the “Fine-Grained Sentiment Analysis on Financial Microblogs and News” task as part of SemEval-2017, specifically under the “Detecting sentiment, humour, and truth” theme. This task contains two tracks, where the first one concerns Microblog messages and the second one covers News Statements and Headlines. The main goal behind both tracks was to predict the sentiment score for each of the mentioned companies/stocks. The sentiment scores for each text instance adopted floating point values in the range of -1 (very negative/bearish) to 1 (very positive/bullish), with 0 designating neutral sentiment. This task attracted a total of 32 participants, with 25 participating in Track 1 and 29 in Track 2.


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Combining Lexical and Spatial Knowledge to Predict Spatial Relations between Objects in Images
Manuela Hürlimann | Johan Bos
Proceedings of the 5th Workshop on Vision and Language

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Semantic Relation Classification: Task Formalisation and Refinement
Vivian Santos | Manuela Huerliman | Brian Davis | Siegfried Handschuh | André Freitas
Proceedings of the 5th Workshop on Cognitive Aspects of the Lexicon (CogALex - V)

The identification of semantic relations between terms within texts is a fundamental task in Natural Language Processing which can support applications requiring a lightweight semantic interpretation model. Currently, semantic relation classification concentrates on relations which are evaluated over open-domain data. This work provides a critique on the set of abstract relations used for semantic relation classification with regard to their ability to express relationships between terms which are found in a domain-specific corpora. Based on this analysis, this work proposes an alternative semantic relation model based on reusing and extending the set of abstract relations present in the DOLCE ontology. The resulting set of relations is well grounded, allows to capture a wide range of relations and could thus be used as a foundation for automatic classification of semantic relations.