Mark Anderson


2022

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Assessing the Limits of the Distributional Hypothesis in Semantic Spaces: Trait-based Relational Knowledge and the Impact of Co-occurrences
Mark Anderson | Jose Camacho-collados
Proceedings of the 11th Joint Conference on Lexical and Computational Semantics

The increase in performance in NLP due to the prevalence of distributional models and deep learning has brought with it a reciprocal decrease in interpretability. This has spurred a focus on what neural networks learn about natural language with less of a focus on how. Some work has focused on the data used to develop data-driven models, but typically this line of work aims to highlight issues with the data, e.g. highlighting and offsetting harmful biases. This work contributes to the relatively untrodden path of what is required in data for models to capture meaningful representations of natural language. This is entails evaluating how well English and Spanish semantic spaces capture a particular type of relational knowledge, namely the traits associated with concepts (e.g. bananas-yellow), and exploring the role of co-occurrences in this context.

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The Impact of Edge Displacement Vaserstein Distance on UD Parsing Performance
Mark Anderson | Carlos Gómez-Rodríguez
Computational Linguistics, Volume 48, Issue 3 - September 2022

We contribute to the discussion on parsing performance in NLP by introducing a measurement that evaluates the differences between the distributions of edge displacement (the directed distance of edges) seen in training and test data. We hypothesize that this measurement will be related to differences observed in parsing performance across treebanks. We motivate this by building upon previous work and then attempt to falsify this hypothesis by using a number of statistical methods. We establish that there is a statistical correlation between this measurement and parsing performance even when controlling for potential covariants. We then use this to establish a sampling technique that gives us an adversarial and complementary split. This gives an idea of the lower and upper bounds of parsing systems for a given treebank in lieu of freshly sampled data. In a broader sense, the methodology presented here can act as a reference for future correlation-based exploratory work in NLP.

2021

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A Falta de Pan, Buenas Son Tortas: The Efficacy of Predicted UPOS Tags for Low Resource UD Parsing
Mark Anderson | Mathieu Dehouck | Carlos Gómez-Rodríguez
Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Parsing Technologies and the IWPT 2021 Shared Task on Parsing into Enhanced Universal Dependencies (IWPT 2021)

We evaluate the efficacy of predicted UPOS tags as input features for dependency parsers in lower resource settings to evaluate how treebank size affects the impact tagging accuracy has on parsing performance. We do this for real low resource universal dependency treebanks, artificially low resource data with varying treebank sizes, and for very small treebanks with varying amounts of augmented data. We find that predicted UPOS tags are somewhat helpful for low resource treebanks, especially when fewer fully-annotated trees are available. We also find that this positive impact diminishes as the amount of data increases.

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A Modest Pareto Optimisation Analysis of Dependency Parsers in 2021
Mark Anderson | Carlos Gómez-Rodríguez
Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Parsing Technologies and the IWPT 2021 Shared Task on Parsing into Enhanced Universal Dependencies (IWPT 2021)

We evaluate three leading dependency parser systems from different paradigms on a small yet diverse subset of languages in terms of their accuracy-efficiency Pareto front. As we are interested in efficiency, we evaluate core parsers without pretrained language models (as these are typically huge networks and would constitute most of the compute time) or other augmentations that can be transversally applied to any of them. Biaffine parsing emerges as a well-balanced default choice, with sequence-labelling parsing being preferable if inference speed (but not training energy cost) is the priority.

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Splitting EUD Graphs into Trees: A Quick and Clatty Approach
Mark Anderson | Carlos Gómez-Rodríguez
Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Parsing Technologies and the IWPT 2021 Shared Task on Parsing into Enhanced Universal Dependencies (IWPT 2021)

We present the system submission from the FASTPARSE team for the EUD Shared Task at IWPT 2021. We engaged in the task last year by focusing on efficiency. This year we have focused on experimenting with new ideas on a limited time budget. Our system is based on splitting the EUD graph into several trees, based on linguistic criteria. We predict these trees using a sequence-labelling parser and combine them into an EUD graph. The results were relatively poor, although not a total disaster and could probably be improved with some polishing of the system’s rough edges.

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What Taggers Fail to Learn, Parsers Need the Most
Mark Anderson | Carlos Gómez-Rodríguez
Proceedings of the 23rd Nordic Conference on Computational Linguistics (NoDaLiDa)

We present an error analysis of neural UPOS taggers to evaluate why using gold tags has such a large positive contribution to parsing performance while using predicted UPOS either harms performance or offers a negligible improvement. We also evaluate what neural dependency parsers implicitly learn about word types and how this relates to the errors taggers make, to explain the minimal impact using predicted tags has on parsers. We then mask UPOS tags based on errors made by taggers to tease away the contribution of UPOS tags that taggers succeed and fail to classify correctly and the impact of tagging errors.

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Replicating and Extending “Because Their Treebanks Leak”: Graph Isomorphism, Covariants, and Parser Performance
Mark Anderson | Anders Søgaard | Carlos Gómez-Rodríguez
Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 2: Short Papers)

Søgaard (2020) obtained results suggesting the fraction of trees occurring in the test data isomorphic to trees in the training set accounts for a non-trivial variation in parser performance. Similar to other statistical analyses in NLP, the results were based on evaluating linear regressions. However, the study had methodological issues and was undertaken using a small sample size leading to unreliable results. We present a replication study in which we also bin sentences by length and find that only a small subset of sentences vary in performance with respect to graph isomorphism. Further, the correlation observed between parser performance and graph isomorphism in the wild disappears when controlling for covariants. However, in a controlled experiment, where covariants are kept fixed, we do observe a correlation. We suggest that conclusions drawn from statistical analyses like this need to be tempered and that controlled experiments can complement them by more readily teasing factors apart.

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John praised Mary because _he_? Implicit Causality Bias and Its Interaction with Explicit Cues in LMs
Yova Kementchedjhieva | Mark Anderson | Anders Søgaard
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL-IJCNLP 2021

2020

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Inherent Dependency Displacement Bias of Transition-Based Algorithms
Mark Anderson | Carlos Gómez-Rodríguez
Proceedings of the Twelfth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

A wide variety of transition-based algorithms are currently used for dependency parsers. Empirical studies have shown that performance varies across different treebanks in such a way that one algorithm outperforms another on one treebank and the reverse is true for a different treebank. There is often no discernible reason for what causes one algorithm to be more suitable for a certain treebank and less so for another. In this paper we shed some light on this by introducing the concept of an algorithm’s inherent dependency displacement distribution. This characterises the bias of the algorithm in terms of dependency displacement, which quantify both distance and direction of syntactic relations. We show that the similarity of an algorithm’s inherent distribution to a treebank’s displacement distribution is clearly correlated to the algorithm’s parsing performance on that treebank, specificially with highly significant and substantial correlations for the predominant sentence lengths in Universal Dependency treebanks. We also obtain results which show a more discrete analysis of dependency displacement does not result in any meaningful correlations.

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On the Frailty of Universal POS Tags for Neural UD Parsers
Mark Anderson | Carlos Gómez-Rodríguez
Proceedings of the 24th Conference on Computational Natural Language Learning

We present an analysis on the effect UPOS accuracy has on parsing performance. Results suggest that leveraging UPOS tags as fea-tures for neural parsers requires a prohibitively high tagging accuracy and that the use of gold tags offers a non-linear increase in performance, suggesting some sort of exceptionality. We also investigate what aspects of predicted UPOS tags impact parsing accuracy the most, highlighting some potentially meaningful linguistic facets of the problem.

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Distilling Neural Networks for Greener and Faster Dependency Parsing
Mark Anderson | Carlos Gómez-Rodríguez
Proceedings of the 16th International Conference on Parsing Technologies and the IWPT 2020 Shared Task on Parsing into Enhanced Universal Dependencies

The carbon footprint of natural language processing research has been increasing in recent years due to its reliance on large and inefficient neural network implementations. Distillation is a network compression technique which attempts to impart knowledge from a large model to a smaller one. We use teacher-student distillation to improve the efficiency of the Biaffine dependency parser which obtains state-of-the-art performance with respect to accuracy and parsing speed (Dozat and Manning, 2017). When distilling to 20% of the original model’s trainable parameters, we only observe an average decrease of ∼1 point for both UAS and LAS across a number of diverse Universal Dependency treebanks while being 2.30x (1.19x) faster than the baseline model on CPU (GPU) at inference time. We also observe a small increase in performance when compressing to 80% for some treebanks. Finally, through distillation we attain a parser which is not only faster but also more accurate than the fastest modern parser on the Penn Treebank.

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Efficient EUD Parsing
Mathieu Dehouck | Mark Anderson | Carlos Gómez-Rodríguez
Proceedings of the 16th International Conference on Parsing Technologies and the IWPT 2020 Shared Task on Parsing into Enhanced Universal Dependencies

We present the system submission from the FASTPARSE team for the EUD Shared Task at IWPT 2020. We engaged with the task by focusing on efficiency. For this we considered training costs and inference efficiency. Our models are a combination of distilled neural dependency parsers and a rule-based system that projects UD trees into EUD graphs. We obtained an average ELAS of 74.04 for our official submission, ranking 4th overall.

2019

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Artificially Evolved Chunks for Morphosyntactic Analysis
Mark Anderson | David Vilares | Carlos Gómez-Rodríguez
Proceedings of the 18th International Workshop on Treebanks and Linguistic Theories (TLT, SyntaxFest 2019)