Marco Valentino


2022

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To be or not to be an Integer? Encoding Variables for Mathematical Text
Deborah Ferreira | Mokanarangan Thayaparan | Marco Valentino | Julia Rozanova | Andre Freitas
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2022

The application of Natural Language Inference (NLI) methods over large textual corpora can facilitate scientific discovery, reducing the gap between current research and the available large-scale scientific knowledge. However, contemporary NLI models are still limited in interpreting mathematical knowledge written in Natural Language, even though mathematics is an integral part of scientific argumentation for many disciplines. One of the fundamental requirements towards mathematical language understanding, is the creation of models able to meaningfully represent variables. This problem is particularly challenging since the meaning of a variable should be assigned exclusively from its defining type, i.e., the representation of a variable should come from its context. Recent research has formalised the variable typing task, a benchmark for the understanding of abstract mathematical types and variables in a sentence. In this work, we propose VarSlot, a Variable Slot-based approach, which not only delivers state-of-the-art results in the task of variable typing, but is also able to create context-based representations for variables.

2021

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TextGraphs 2021 Shared Task on Multi-Hop Inference for Explanation Regeneration
Mokanarangan Thayaparan | Marco Valentino | Peter Jansen | Dmitry Ustalov
Proceedings of the Fifteenth Workshop on Graph-Based Methods for Natural Language Processing (TextGraphs-15)

The Shared Task on Multi-Hop Inference for Explanation Regeneration asks participants to compose large multi-hop explanations to questions by assembling large chains of facts from a supporting knowledge base. While previous editions of this shared task aimed to evaluate explanatory completeness – finding a set of facts that form a complete inference chain, without gaps, to arrive from question to correct answer, this 2021 instantiation concentrates on the subtask of determining relevance in large multi-hop explanations. To this end, this edition of the shared task makes use of a large set of approximately 250k manual explanatory relevancy ratings that augment the 2020 shared task data. In this summary paper, we describe the details of the explanation regeneration task, the evaluation data, and the participating systems. Additionally, we perform a detailed analysis of participating systems, evaluating various aspects involved in the multi-hop inference process. The best performing system achieved an NDCG of 0.82 on this challenging task, substantially increasing performance over baseline methods by 32%, while also leaving significant room for future improvement.

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Encoding Explanatory Knowledge for Zero-shot Science Question Answering
Zili Zhou | Marco Valentino | Donal Landers | André Freitas
Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Computational Semantics (IWCS)

This paper describes N-XKT (Neural encoding based on eXplanatory Knowledge Transfer), a novel method for the automatic transfer of explanatory knowledge through neural encoding mechanisms. We demonstrate that N-XKT is able to improve accuracy and generalization on science Question Answering (QA). Specifically, by leveraging facts from background explanatory knowledge corpora, the N-XKT model shows a clear improvement on zero-shot QA. Furthermore, we show that N-XKT can be fine-tuned on a target QA dataset, enabling faster convergence and more accurate results. A systematic analysis is conducted to quantitatively analyze the performance of the N-XKT model and the impact of different categories of knowledge on the zero-shot generalization task.

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Do Natural Language Explanations Represent Valid Logical Arguments? Verifying Entailment in Explainable NLI Gold Standards
Marco Valentino | Ian Pratt-Hartmann | André Freitas
Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Computational Semantics (IWCS)

An emerging line of research in Explainable NLP is the creation of datasets enriched with human-annotated explanations and rationales, used to build and evaluate models with step-wise inference and explanation generation capabilities. While human-annotated explanations are used as ground-truth for the inference, there is a lack of systematic assessment of their consistency and rigour. In an attempt to provide a critical quality assessment of Explanation Gold Standards (XGSs) for NLI, we propose a systematic annotation methodology, named Explanation Entailment Verification (EEV), to quantify the logical validity of human-annotated explanations. The application of EEV on three mainstream datasets reveals the surprising conclusion that a majority of the explanations, while appearing coherent on the surface, represent logically invalid arguments, ranging from being incomplete to containing clearly identifiable logical errors. This conclusion confirms that the inferential properties of explanations are still poorly formalised and understood, and that additional work on this line of research is necessary to improve the way Explanation Gold Standards are constructed.

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Supporting Context Monotonicity Abstractions in Neural NLI Models
Julia Rozanova | Deborah Ferreira | Mokanarangan Thayaparan | Marco Valentino | André Freitas
Proceedings of the 1st and 2nd Workshops on Natural Logic Meets Machine Learning (NALOMA)

Natural language contexts display logical regularities with respect to substitutions of related concepts: these are captured in a functional order-theoretic property called monotonicity. For a certain class of NLI problems where the resulting entailment label depends only on the context monotonicity and the relation between the substituted concepts, we build on previous techniques that aim to improve the performance of NLI models for these problems, as consistent performance across both upward and downward monotone contexts still seems difficult to attain even for state of the art models. To this end, we reframe the problem of context monotonicity classification to make it compatible with transformer-based pre-trained NLI models and add this task to the training pipeline. Furthermore, we introduce a sound and complete simplified monotonicity logic formalism which describes our treatment of contexts as abstract units. Using the notions in our formalism, we adapt targeted challenge sets to investigate whether an intermediate context monotonicity classification task can aid NLI models’ performance on examples exhibiting monotonicity reasoning.

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Explainable Inference Over Grounding-Abstract Chains for Science Questions
Mokanarangan Thayaparan | Marco Valentino | André Freitas
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL-IJCNLP 2021

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Unification-based Reconstruction of Multi-hop Explanations for Science Questions
Marco Valentino | Mokanarangan Thayaparan | André Freitas
Proceedings of the 16th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Main Volume

This paper presents a novel framework for reconstructing multi-hop explanations in science Question Answering (QA). While existing approaches for multi-hop reasoning build explanations considering each question in isolation, we propose a method to leverage explanatory patterns emerging in a corpus of scientific explanations. Specifically, the framework ranks a set of atomic facts by integrating lexical relevance with the notion of unification power, estimated analysing explanations for similar questions in the corpus. An extensive evaluation is performed on the Worldtree corpus, integrating k-NN clustering and Information Retrieval (IR) techniques. We present the following conclusions: (1) The proposed method achieves results competitive with Transformers, yet being orders of magnitude faster, a feature that makes it scalable to large explanatory corpora (2) The unification-based mechanism has a key role in reducing semantic drift, contributing to the reconstruction of many hops explanations (6 or more facts) and the ranking of complex inference facts (+12.0 Mean Average Precision) (3) Crucially, the constructed explanations can support downstream QA models, improving the accuracy of BERT by up to 10% overall.

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Does My Representation Capture X? Probe-Ably
Deborah Ferreira | Julia Rozanova | Mokanarangan Thayaparan | Marco Valentino | André Freitas
Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing: System Demonstrations

Probing (or diagnostic classification) has become a popular strategy for investigating whether a given set of intermediate features is present in the representations of neural models. Naive probing studies may have misleading results, but various recent works have suggested more reliable methodologies that compensate for the possible pitfalls of probing. However, these best practices are numerous and fast-evolving. To simplify the process of running a set of probing experiments in line with suggested methodologies, we introduce Probe-Ably: an extendable probing framework which supports and automates the application of probing methods to the user’s inputs.

2020

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A Framework for Evaluation of Machine Reading Comprehension Gold Standards
Viktor Schlegel | Marco Valentino | Andre Freitas | Goran Nenadic | Riza Batista-Navarro
Proceedings of the 12th Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

Machine Reading Comprehension (MRC) is the task of answering a question over a paragraph of text. While neural MRC systems gain popularity and achieve noticeable performance, issues are being raised with the methodology used to establish their performance, particularly concerning the data design of gold standards that are used to evaluate them. There is but a limited understanding of the challenges present in this data, which makes it hard to draw comparisons and formulate reliable hypotheses. As a first step towards alleviating the problem, this paper proposes a unifying framework to systematically investigate the present linguistic features, required reasoning and background knowledge and factual correctness on one hand, and the presence of lexical cues as a lower bound for the requirement of understanding on the other hand. We propose a qualitative annotation schema for the first and a set of approximative metrics for the latter. In a first application of the framework, we analyse modern MRC gold standards and present our findings: the absence of features that contribute towards lexical ambiguity, the varying factual correctness of the expected answers and the presence of lexical cues, all of which potentially lower the reading comprehension complexity and quality of the evaluation data.

2019

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Identifying Supporting Facts for Multi-hop Question Answering with Document Graph Networks
Mokanarangan Thayaparan | Marco Valentino | Viktor Schlegel | André Freitas
Proceedings of the Thirteenth Workshop on Graph-Based Methods for Natural Language Processing (TextGraphs-13)

Recent advances in reading comprehension have resulted in models that surpass human performance when the answer is contained in a single, continuous passage of text. However, complex Question Answering (QA) typically requires multi-hop reasoning - i.e. the integration of supporting facts from different sources, to infer the correct answer. This paper proposes Document Graph Network (DGN), a message passing architecture for the identification of supporting facts over a graph-structured representation of text. The evaluation on HotpotQA shows that DGN obtains competitive results when compared to a reading comprehension baseline operating on raw text, confirming the relevance of structured representations for supporting multi-hop reasoning.

2017

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Graph Databases for Designing High-Performance Speech Recognition Grammars
Maria Di Maro | Marco Valentino | Anna Riccio | Antonio Origlia
IWCS 2017 — 12th International Conference on Computational Semantics — Short papers