Although screen readers enable visually impaired people to read written text via speech, the ambiguities in pronunciations of heteronyms cause wrong reading, which has a serious impact on the text understanding. Especially in Japanese, there are many common heteronyms expressed by logograms (Chinese characters or kanji) that have totally different pronunciations (and meanings). In this study, to improve the accuracy of pronunciation prediction, we construct two large-scale Japanese corpora that annotate kanji characters with their pronunciations. Using existing language resources on i) book titles compiled by the National Diet Library and ii) the books in a Japanese digital library called Aozora Bunko and their Braille translations, we develop two large-scale pronunciation-annotated corpora for training pronunciation prediction models. We first extract sentence-level alignments between the Aozora Bunko text and its pronunciation converted from the Braille data. We then perform dictionary-based pattern matching based on morphological dictionaries to find word-level pronunciation alignments. We have ultimately obtained the Book Title corpus with 336M characters (16.4M book titles) and the Aozora Bunko corpus with 52M characters (1.6M sentences). We analyzed pronunciation distributions for 203 common heteronyms, and trained a BERT-based pronunciation prediction model for 93 heteronyms, which achieved an average accuracy of 0.939.
A key challenge in attribute value extraction (AVE) from e-commerce sites is how to handle a large number of attributes for diverse products. Although this challenge is partially addressed by a question answering (QA) approach which finds a value in product data for a given query (attribute), it does not work effectively for rare and ambiguous queries. We thus propose simple knowledge-driven query expansion based on possible answers (values) of a query (attribute) for QA-based AVE. We retrieve values of a query (attribute) from the training data to expand the query. We train a model with two tricks, knowledge dropout and knowledge token mixing, which mimic the imperfection of the value knowledge in testing. Experimental results on our cleaned version of AliExpress dataset show that our method improves the performance of AVE (+6.08 macro F1), especially for rare and ambiguous attributes (+7.82 and +6.86 macro F1, respectively).
Entity disambiguation (ED) is typically solved by learning to classify a given mention into one of the entities in the model’s entity vocabulary by referring to their embeddings. However, this approach cannot address mentions of entities that are not covered by the entity vocabulary. Aiming to enhance the applicability of ED models, we propose a method of extending a state-of-the-art ED model by dynamically computing embeddings of out-of-vocabulary entities. Specifically, our method computes embeddings from entity descriptions and mention contexts. Experiments with standard benchmark datasets show that the extended model performs comparable to or better than existing models whose entity embeddings are trained for all candidate entities as well as embedding-free models. We release our source code and model checkpoints at https://github.com/studio-ousia/steel.
Probing classifiers have been extensively used to inspect whether a model component captures specific linguistic phenomena. This top-down approach is, however, costly when we have no probable hypothesis on the association between the target model component and phenomena. In this study, aiming to provide a flexible, exploratory analysis of a neural model at various levels ranging from individual neurons to the model as a whole, we present a bottom-up approach to inspect the target neural model by using neuron representations obtained from a massive corpus of text. We first feed massive amount of text to the target model and collect sentences that strongly activate each neuron. We then abstract the collected sentences to obtain neuron representations that help us interpret the corresponding neurons; we augment the sentences with linguistic annotations (e.g., part-of-speech tags) and various metadata (e.g., topic and sentiment), and apply pattern mining and clustering techniques to the augmented sentences. We demonstrate the utility of our method by inspecting the pre-trained BERT. Our exploratory analysis reveals that i) specific phrases and domains of text are captured by individual neurons in BERT, ii) a group of neurons simultaneously capture the same linguistic phenomena, and iii) deeper-level layers capture more specific linguistic phenomena.
Analyzing microblogs where we post what we experience enables us to perform various applications such as social-trend analysis and entity recommendation. To track emerging trends in a variety of areas, we want to categorize information on emerging entities (e.g., Avatar 2) in microblog posts according to their types (e.g., Film). We thus introduce a new entity typing task that assigns a fine-grained type to each emerging entity when a burst of posts containing that entity is first observed in a microblog. The challenge is to perform typing from noisy microblog posts without relying on prior knowledge of the target entity. To tackle this task, we build large-scale Twitter datasets for English and Japanese using time-sensitive distant supervision. We then propose a modular neural typing model that encodes not only the entity and its contexts but also meta information in multiple posts. To type ‘homographic’ emerging entities (e.g., ‘Go’ means an emerging programming language and a classic board game), which contexts are noisy, we devise a context selector that finds related contexts of the target entity. Experiments on the Twitter datasets confirm the effectiveness of our typing model and the context selector.
Variational autoencoders have been studied as a promising approach to model one-to-many mappings from context to response in chat response generation. However, they often fail to learn proper mappings. One of the reasons for this failure is the discrepancy between a response and a latent variable sampled from an approximated distribution in training. Inappropriately sampled latent variables hinder models from constructing a modulated latent space. As a result, the models stop handling uncertainty in conversations. To resolve that, we propose speculative sampling of latent variables. Our method chooses the most probable one from redundantly sampled latent variables for tying up the variable with a given response. We confirm the efficacy of our method in response generation with massive dialogue data constructed from Twitter posts.
Although many end-to-end context-aware neural machine translation models have been proposed to incorporate inter-sentential contexts in translation, these models can be trained only in domains where parallel documents with sentential alignments exist. We therefore present a simple method to perform context-aware decoding with any pre-trained sentence-level translation model by using a document-level language model. Our context-aware decoder is built upon sentence-level parallel data and target-side document-level monolingual data. From a theoretical viewpoint, our core contribution is the novel representation of contextual information using point-wise mutual information between context and the current sentence. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our method on English to Russian translation, by evaluating with BLEU and contrastive tests for context-aware translation.
Neural network methods exhibit strong performance only in a few resource-rich domains. Practitioners therefore employ domain adaptation from resource-rich domains that are, in most cases, distant from the target domain. Domain adaptation between distant domains (e.g., movie subtitles and research papers), however, cannot be performed effectively due to mismatches in vocabulary; it will encounter many domain-specific words (e.g., “angstrom”) and words whose meanings shift across domains (e.g., “conductor”). In this study, aiming to solve these vocabulary mismatches in domain adaptation for neural machine translation (NMT), we propose vocabulary adaptation, a simple method for effective fine-tuning that adapts embedding layers in a given pretrained NMT model to the target domain. Prior to fine-tuning, our method replaces the embedding layers of the NMT model by projecting general word embeddings induced from monolingual data in a target domain onto a source-domain embedding space. Experimental results indicate that our method improves the performance of conventional fine-tuning by 3.86 and 3.28 BLEU points in En-Ja and De-En translation, respectively.
Out-of-vocabulary (oov) words cause serious troubles in solving natural language tasks with a neural network. Existing approaches to this problem resort to using subwords, which are shorter and more ambiguous units than words, in order to represent oov words with a bag of subwords. In this study, inspired by the processes for creating words from known words, we propose a robust method of estimating oov word embeddings by referring to pre-trained word embeddings for known words with similar surfaces to target oov words. We collect known words by segmenting oov words and by approximate string matching, and we then aggregate their pre-trained embeddings. Experimental results show that the obtained oov word embeddings improve not only word similarity tasks but also downstream tasks in Twitter and biomedical domains where oov words often appear, even when the computed oov embeddings are integrated into a bert-based strong baseline.
Because open-domain dialogues allow diverse responses, basic reference-based metrics such as BLEU do not work well unless we prepare a massive reference set of high-quality responses for input utterances. To reduce this burden, a human-aided, uncertainty-aware metric, ΔBLEU, has been proposed; it embeds human judgment on the quality of reference outputs into the computation of multiple-reference BLEU. In this study, we instead propose a fully automatic, uncertainty-aware evaluation method for open-domain dialogue systems, υBLEU. This method first collects diverse reference responses from massive dialogue data and then annotates their quality judgments by using a neural network trained on automatically collected training data. Experimental results on massive Twitter data confirmed that υBLEU is comparable to ΔBLEU in terms of its correlation with human judgment and that the state of the art automatic evaluation method, RUBER, is improved by integrating υBLEU.
There exist biases in individual’s language use; the same word (e.g., cool) is used for expressing different meanings (e.g., temperature range) or different words (e.g., cloudy, hazy) are used for describing the same meaning. In this study, we propose a method of modeling such personal biases in word meanings (hereafter, semantic variations) with personalized word embeddings obtained by solving a task on subjective text while regarding words used by different individuals as different words. To prevent personalized word embeddings from being contaminated by other irrelevant biases, we solve a task of identifying a review-target (objective output) from a given review. To stabilize the training of this extreme multi-class classification, we perform a multi-task learning with metadata identification. Experimental results with reviews retrieved from RateBeer confirmed that the obtained personalized word embeddings improved the accuracy of sentiment analysis as well as the target task. Analysis of the obtained personalized word embeddings revealed trends in semantic variations related to frequent and adjective words.
When reading a text, it is common to become stuck on unfamiliar words and phrases, such as polysemous words with novel senses, rarely used idioms, internet slang, or emerging entities. If we humans cannot figure out the meaning of those expressions from the immediate local context, we consult dictionaries for definitions or search documents or the web to find other global context to help in interpretation. Can machines help us do this work? Which type of context is more important for machines to solve the problem? To answer these questions, we undertake a task of describing a given phrase in natural language based on its local and global contexts. To solve this task, we propose a neural description model that consists of two context encoders and a description decoder. In contrast to the existing methods for non-standard English explanation [Ni+ 2017] and definition generation [Noraset+ 2017; Gadetsky+ 2018], our model appropriately takes important clues from both local and global contexts. Experimental results on three existing datasets (including WordNet, Oxford and Urban Dictionaries) and a dataset newly created from Wikipedia demonstrate the effectiveness of our method over previous work.
We present a method for applying a neural network trained on one (resource-rich) language for a given task to other (resource-poor) languages. We accomplish this by inducing a mapping from pre-trained cross-lingual word embeddings to the embedding layer of the neural network trained on the resource-rich language. To perform element-wise cross-task embedding projection, we invent locally linear mapping which assumes and preserves the local topology across the semantic spaces before and after the projection. Experimental results on topic classification task and sentiment analysis task showed that the fully task-specific multilingual model obtained using our method outperformed the existing multilingual models with embedding layers fixed to pre-trained cross-lingual word embeddings.
Long sentences have been one of the major challenges in neural machine translation (NMT). Although some approaches such as the attention mechanism have partially remedied the problem, we found that the current standard NMT model, Transformer, has difficulty in translating long sentences compared to the former standard, Recurrent Neural Network (RNN)-based model. One of the key differences of these NMT models is how the model handles position information which is essential to process sequential data. In this study, we focus on the position information type of NMT models, and hypothesize that relative position is better than absolute position. To examine the hypothesis, we propose RNN-Transformer which replaces positional encoding layer of Transformer by RNN, and then compare RNN-based model and four variants of Transformer. Experiments on ASPEC English-to-Japanese and WMT2014 English-to-German translation tasks demonstrate that relative position helps translating sentences longer than those in the training data. Further experiments on length-controlled training data reveal that absolute position actually causes overfitting to the sentence length.
A single sentence does not always convey information that is enough to translate it into other languages. Some target languages need to add or specialize words that are omitted or ambiguous in the source languages (e.g, zero pronouns in translating Japanese to English or epicene pronouns in translating English to French). To translate such ambiguous sentences, we need contexts beyond a single sentence, and have so far explored context-aware neural machine translation (NMT). However, a large amount of parallel corpora is not easily available to train accurate context-aware NMT models. In this study, we first obtain large-scale pseudo parallel corpora by back-translating monolingual data, and then investigate its impact on the translation accuracy of context-aware NMT models. We evaluated context-aware NMT models trained with small parallel corpora and the large-scale pseudo parallel corpora on English-Japanese and English-French datasets to demonstrate the large impact of the data augmentation for context-aware NMT models.
In this paper, we describe the team UT-IIS’s system and results for the WAT 2017 translation tasks. We further investigated several tricks including a novel technique for initializing embedding layers using only the parallel corpus, which increased the BLEU score by 1.28, found a practical large batch size of 256, and gained insights regarding hyperparameter settings. Ultimately, our system obtained a better result than the state-of-the-art system of WAT 2016. Our code is available on https://github.com/nem6ishi/wat17.
Chunks (or phrases) once played a pivotal role in machine translation. By using a chunk rather than a word as the basic translation unit, local (intra-chunk) and global (inter-chunk) word orders and dependencies can be easily modeled. The chunk structure, despite its importance, has not been considered in the decoders used for neural machine translation (NMT). In this paper, we propose chunk-based decoders for (NMT), each of which consists of a chunk-level decoder and a word-level decoder. The chunk-level decoder models global dependencies while the word-level decoder decides the local word order in a chunk. To output a target sentence, the chunk-level decoder generates a chunk representation containing global information, which the word-level decoder then uses as a basis to predict the words inside the chunk. Experimental results show that our proposed decoders can significantly improve translation performance in a WAT ‘16 English-to-Japanese translation task.
Kotonush, a system that clarifies people’s values on various concepts on the basis of what they write about on social media, is presented. The values are represented by ordering sets of concepts (e.g., London, Berlin, and Rome) in accordance with a common attribute intensity expressed by an adjective (e.g., entertaining). We exploit social media text written by different demographics and at different times in order to induce specific orderings for comparison. The system combines a text-to-ordering module with an interactive querying interface enabled by massive hyponymy relations and provides mechanisms to compare the induced orderings from various viewpoints. We empirically evaluate Kotonush and present some case studies, featuring real-world concept orderings with different domains on Twitter, to demonstrate the usefulness of our system.
This paper proposes an extension of Sumida and Torisawas method of acquiring hyponymy relations from hierachical layouts in Wikipedia (Sumida and Torisawa, 2008). We extract hyponymy relation candidates (HRCs) from the hierachical layouts in Wikipedia by regarding all subordinate items of an item x in the hierachical layouts as xs hyponym candidates, while Sumida and Torisawa (2008) extracted only direct subordinate items of an item x as xs hyponym candidates. We then select plausible hyponymy relations from the acquired HRCs by running a filter based on machine learning with novel features, which even improve the precision of the resulting hyponymy relations. Experimental results show that we acquired more than 1.34 million hyponymy relations with a precision of 90.1%.