Negar Foroutan


2023

pdf bib
Breaking the Language Barrier: Improving Cross-Lingual Reasoning with Structured Self-Attention
Negar Foroutan | Mohammadreza Banaei | Karl Aberer | Antoine Bosselut
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

In this work, we study whether multilingual language models (MultiLMs) can transfer logical reasoning abilities to other languages when they are fine-tuned for reasoning in a different language. We evaluate the cross-lingual reasoning abilities of MultiLMs in two schemes: (1) where the language of the context and the question remain the same in the new languages that are tested (i.e., the reasoning is still monolingual, but the model must transfer the learned reasoning ability across languages), and (2) where the language of the context and the question is different (which we term code-switched reasoning). On two logical reasoning datasets, RuleTaker and LeapOfThought, we demonstrate that although MultiLMs can transfer reasoning ability across languages in a monolingual setting, they struggle to transfer reasoning abilities in a code-switched setting. Following this observation, we propose a novel attention mechanism that uses a dedicated set of parameters to encourage cross-lingual attention in code-switched sequences, which improves the reasoning performance by up to 14% and 4% on the RuleTaker and LeapOfThought datasets, respectively.

2022

pdf bib
Multilingual Text Summarization on Financial Documents
Negar Foroutan | Angelika Romanou | Stéphane Massonnet | Rémi Lebret | Karl Aberer
Proceedings of the 4th Financial Narrative Processing Workshop @LREC2022

This paper proposes a multilingual Automated Text Summarization (ATS) method targeting the Financial Narrative Summarization Task (FNS-2022). We developed two systems; the first uses a pre-trained abstractive summarization model that was fine-tuned on the downstream objective, the second approaches the problem as an extractive approach in which a similarity search is performed on the trained span representations. Both models aim to identify the beginning of the continuous narrative section of the document. The language models were fine-tuned on a financial document collection of three languages (English, Spanish, and Greek) and aim to identify the beginning of the summary narrative part of the document. The proposed systems achieve high performance in the given task, with the sequence-to-sequence variant ranked 1st on ROUGE-2 F1 score on the test set for each of the three languages.

pdf bib
Discovering Language-neutral Sub-networks in Multilingual Language Models
Negar Foroutan | Mohammadreza Banaei | Rémi Lebret | Antoine Bosselut | Karl Aberer
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Multilingual pre-trained language models transfer remarkably well on cross-lingual downstream tasks. However, the extent to which they learn language-neutral representations (i.e., shared representations that encode similar phenomena across languages), and the effect of such representations on cross-lingual transfer performance, remain open questions. In this work, we conceptualize language neutrality of multilingual models as a function of the overlap between language-encoding sub-networks of these models. We employ the lottery ticket hypothesis to discover sub-networks that are individually optimized for various languages and tasks. Our evaluation across three distinct tasks and eleven typologically-diverse languages demonstrates that sub-networks for different languages are topologically similar (i.e., language-neutral), making them effective initializations for cross-lingual transfer with limited performance degradation.