In this paper, we propose a generation challenge called Feedback comment generation for language learners. It is a task where given a text and a span, a system generates, for the span, an explanatory note that helps the writer (language learner) improve their writing skills. The motivations for this challenge are: (i) practically, it will be beneficial for both language learners and teachers if a computer-assisted language learning system can provide feedback comments just as human teachers do; (ii) theoretically, feedback comment generation for language learners has a mixed aspect of other generation tasks together with its unique features and it will be interesting to explore what kind of generation technique is effective against what kind of writing rule. To this end, we have created a dataset and developed baseline systems to estimate baseline performance. With these preparations, we propose a generation challenge of feedback comment generation.
Readability or difficulty estimation of words and documents has been investigated independently in the literature, often assuming the existence of extensive annotated resources for the other. Motivated by our analysis showing that there is a recursive relationship between word and document difficulty, we propose to jointly estimate word and document difficulty through a graph convolutional network (GCN) in a semi-supervised fashion. Our experimental results reveal that the GCN-based method can achieve higher accuracy than strong baselines, and stays robust even with a smaller amount of labeled data.
This paper describes Octanove Labs’ submission to the IWSLT 2020 open domain translation challenge. In order to build a high-quality Japanese-Chinese neural machine translation (NMT) system, we use a combination of 1) parallel corpus filtering and 2) back-translation. We have shown that, by using heuristic rules and learned classifiers, the size of the parallel data can be reduced by 70% to 90% without much impact on the final MT performance. We have also shown that including the artificially generated parallel data through back-translation further boosts the metric by 17% to 27%, while self-training contributes little. Aside from a small number of parallel sentences annotated for filtering, no external resources have been used to build our system.
We describe a method for rapidly creating language proficiency assessments, and provide experimental evidence that such tests can be valid, reliable, and secure. Our approach is the first to use machine learning and natural language processing to induce proficiency scales based on a given standard, and then use linguistic models to estimate item difficulty directly for computer-adaptive testing. This alleviates the need for expensive pilot testing with human subjects. We used these methods to develop an online proficiency exam called the Duolingo English Test, and demonstrate that its scores align significantly with other high-stakes English assessments. Furthermore, our approach produces test scores that are highly reliable, while generating item banks large enough to satisfy security requirements.
The lack of large-scale datasets has been a major hindrance to the development of NLP tasks such as spelling correction and grammatical error correction (GEC). As a complementary new resource for these tasks, we present the GitHub Typo Corpus, a large-scale, multilingual dataset of misspellings and grammatical errors along with their corrections harvested from GitHub, a large and popular platform for hosting and sharing git repositories. The dataset, which we have made publicly available, contains more than 350k edits and 65M characters in more than 15 languages, making it the largest dataset of misspellings to date. We also describe our process for filtering true typo edits based on learned classifiers on a small annotated subset, and demonstrate that typo edits can be identified with F1 0.9 using a very simple classifier with only three features. The detailed analyses of the dataset show that existing spelling correctors merely achieve an F-measure of approx. 0.5, suggesting that the dataset serves as a new, rich source of spelling errors that complement existing datasets.
The writing process consists of several stages such as drafting, revising, editing, and proofreading. Studies on writing assistance, such as grammatical error correction (GEC), have mainly focused on sentence editing and proofreading, where surface-level issues such as typographical errors, spelling errors, or grammatical errors should be corrected. We broaden this focus to include the earlier revising stage, where sentences require adjustment to the information included or major rewriting and propose Sentence-level Revision (SentRev) as a new writing assistance task. Well-performing systems in this task can help inexperienced authors by producing fluent, complete sentences given their rough, incomplete drafts. We build a new freely available crowdsourced evaluation dataset consisting of incomplete sentences authored by non-native writers paired with their final versions extracted from published academic papers for developing and evaluating SentRev models. We also establish baseline performance on SentRev using our newly built evaluation dataset.
Language technologies play a key role in assisting people with their writing. Although there has been steady progress in e.g., grammatical error correction (GEC), human writers are yet to benefit from this progress due to the high development cost of integrating with writing software. We propose TEASPN, a protocol and an open-source framework for achieving integrated writing assistance environments. The protocol standardizes the way writing software communicates with servers that implement such technologies, allowing developers and researchers to integrate the latest developments in natural language processing (NLP) with low cost. As a result, users can enjoy the integrated experience in their favorite writing software. The results from experiments with human participants show that users use a wide range of technologies and rate their writing experience favorably, allowing them to write more fluent text.
We present the task of second language acquisition (SLA) modeling. Given a history of errors made by learners of a second language, the task is to predict errors that they are likely to make at arbitrary points in the future. We describe a large corpus of more than 7M words produced by more than 6k learners of English, Spanish, and French using Duolingo, a popular online language-learning app. Then we report on the results of a shared task challenge aimed studying the SLA task via this corpus, which attracted 15 teams and synthesized work from various fields including cognitive science, linguistics, and machine learning.
Word Segmentation is usually considered an essential step for many Chinese and Japanese Natural Language Processing tasks, such as name tagging. This paper presents several new observations and analysis on the impact of word segmentation on name tagging; (1). Due to the limitation of current state-of-the-art Chinese word segmentation performance, a character-based name tagger can outperform its word-based counterparts for Chinese but not for Japanese; (2). It is crucial to keep segmentation settings (e.g. definitions, specifications, methods) consistent between training and testing for name tagging; (3). As long as (2) is ensured, the performance of word segmentation does not have appreciable impact on Chinese and Japanese name tagging.