Mennatallah El-Assady


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A Diachronic Perspective on User Trust in AI under Uncertainty
Shehzaad Dhuliawala | Vilém Zouhar | Mennatallah El-Assady | Mrinmaya Sachan
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

In human-AI collaboration, users typically form a mental model of the AI system, which captures the user’s beliefs about when the system performs well and when it does not. The construction of this mental model is guided by both the system’s veracity as well as the system output presented to the user e.g., the system’s confidence and an explanation for the prediction. However, modern NLP systems are seldom calibrated and are often confidently incorrect about their predictions, which violates users’ mental model and erodes their trust. In this work, we design a study where users bet on the correctness of an NLP system, and use it to study the evolution of user trust as a response to these trust-eroding events and how the user trust is rebuilt as a function of time after these events. We find that even a few highly inaccurate confidence estimation instances are enough to damage users’ trust in the system and performance, which does not easily recover over time. We further find that users are more forgiving to the NLP system if it is unconfidently correct rather than confidently incorrect, even though, from a game-theoretic perspective, their payoff is equivalent. Finally, we find that each user can entertain multiple mental models of the system based on the type of the question. These results highlight the importance of confidence calibration in developing user-centered NLP applications to avoid damaging user trust and compromising the collaboration performance.

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Which Spurious Correlations Impact Reasoning in NLI Models? A Visual Interactive Diagnosis through Data-Constrained Counterfactuals
Robin Chan | Afra Amini | Mennatallah El-Assady
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 3: System Demonstrations)

We present a human-in-the-loop dashboard tailored to diagnosing potential spurious features that NLI models rely on for predictions. The dashboard enables users to generate diverse and challenging examples by drawing inspiration from GPT-3 suggestions. Additionally, users can receive feedback from a trained NLI model on how challenging the newly created example is and make refinements based on the feedback. Through our investigation, we discover several categories of spurious correlations that impact the reasoning of NLI models, which we group into three categories: Semantic Relevance, Logical Fallacies, and Bias. Based on our findings, we identify and describe various research opportunities, including diversifying training data and assessing NLI models’ robustness by creating adversarial test suites.


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Automatic Generation of Socratic Subquestions for Teaching Math Word Problems
Kumar Shridhar | Jakub Macina | Mennatallah El-Assady | Tanmay Sinha | Manu Kapur | Mrinmaya Sachan
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Socratic questioning is an educational method that allows students to discover answers to complex problems by asking them a series of thoughtful questions. Generation of didactically sound questions is challenging, requiring understanding of the reasoning process involved in the problem. We hypothesize that such questioning strategy can not only enhance the human performance, but also assist the math word problem (MWP) solvers. In this work, we explore the ability of large language models (LMs) in generating sequential questions for guiding math word problem-solving. We propose various guided question generation schemes based on input conditioning and reinforcement learning. On both automatic and human quality evaluations, we find that LMs constrained with desirable question properties generate superior questions and improve the overall performance of a math word problem solver. We conduct a preliminary user study to examine the potential value of such question generation models in the education domain. Results suggest that the difficulty level of problems plays an important role in determining whether questioning improves or hinders human performance. We discuss the future of using such questioning strategies in education.


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Explaining Contextualization in Language Models using Visual Analytics
Rita Sevastjanova | Aikaterini-Lida Kalouli | Christin Beck | Hanna Schäfer | Mennatallah El-Assady
Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Despite the success of contextualized language models on various NLP tasks, it is still unclear what these models really learn. In this paper, we contribute to the current efforts of explaining such models by exploring the continuum between function and content words with respect to contextualization in BERT, based on linguistically-informed insights. In particular, we utilize scoring and visual analytics techniques: we use an existing similarity-based score to measure contextualization and integrate it into a novel visual analytics technique, presenting the model’s layers simultaneously and highlighting intra-layer properties and inter-layer differences. We show that contextualization is neither driven by polysemy nor by pure context variation. We also provide insights on why BERT fails to model words in the middle of the functionality continuum.


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Representation Problems in Linguistic Annotations: Ambiguity, Variation, Uncertainty, Error and Bias
Christin Beck | Hannah Booth | Mennatallah El-Assady | Miriam Butt
Proceedings of the 14th Linguistic Annotation Workshop

The development of linguistic corpora is fraught with various problems of annotation and representation. These constitute a very real challenge for the development and use of annotated corpora, but as yet not much literature exists on how to address the underlying problems. In this paper, we identify and discuss five sources of representation problems, which are independent though interrelated: ambiguity, variation, uncertainty, error and bias. We outline and characterize these sources, discussing how their improper treatment can have stark consequences for research outcomes. Finally, we discuss how an adequate treatment can inform corpus-related linguistic research, both computational and theoretical, improving the reliability of research results and NLP models, as well as informing the more general reproducibility issue.

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XplaiNLI: Explainable Natural Language Inference through Visual Analytics
Aikaterini-Lida Kalouli | Rita Sevastjanova | Valeria de Paiva | Richard Crouch | Mennatallah El-Assady
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics: System Demonstrations

Advances in Natural Language Inference (NLI) have helped us understand what state-of-the-art models really learn and what their generalization power is. Recent research has revealed some heuristics and biases of these models. However, to date, there is no systematic effort to capitalize on those insights through a system that uses these to explain the NLI decisions. To this end, we propose XplaiNLI, an eXplainable, interactive, visualization interface that computes NLI with different methods and provides explanations for the decisions made by the different approaches.


pdf bib - A Linguistic Visual Analytics Framework
Mennatallah El-Assady | Wolfgang Jentner | Fabian Sperrle | Rita Sevastjanova | Annette Hautli-Janisz | Miriam Butt | Daniel Keim
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics: System Demonstrations

We present a modular framework for the rapid-prototyping of linguistic, web-based, visual analytics applications. Our framework gives developers access to a rich set of machine learning and natural language processing steps, through encapsulating them into micro-services and combining them into a computational pipeline. This processing pipeline is auto-configured based on the requirements of the visualization front-end, making the linguistic processing and visualization design, detached independent development tasks. This paper describes the constellation and modality of our framework, which continues to support the efficient development of various human-in-the-loop, linguistic visual analytics research techniques and applications.


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Interactive Visual Analysis of Transcribed Multi-Party Discourse
Mennatallah El-Assady | Annette Hautli-Janisz | Valentin Gold | Miriam Butt | Katharina Holzinger | Daniel Keim
Proceedings of ACL 2017, System Demonstrations