Nikesh Garera


2023

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Reference Free Domain Adaptation for Translation of Noisy Questions with Question Specific Rewards
Baban Gain | Ramakrishna Appicharla | Soumya Chennabasavaraj | Nikesh Garera | Asif Ekbal | Muthusamy Chelliah
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

Community Question-Answering (CQA) portals serve as a valuable tool for helping users within an organization. However, making them accessible to non-English-speaking users continues to be a challenge. Translating questions can broaden the community’s reach, benefiting individuals with similar inquiries in various languages. Translating questions using Neural Machine Translation (NMT) poses more challenges, especially in noisy environments, where the grammatical correctness of the questions is not monitored. These questions may be phrased as statements by non-native speakers, with incorrect subject-verb order and sometimes even missing question marks. Creating a synthetic parallel corpus from such data is also difficult due to its noisy nature. To address this issue, we propose a training methodology that fine-tunes the NMT system only using source-side data. Our approach balances adequacy and fluency by utilizing a loss function that combines BERTScore and Masked Language Model (MLM) Score. Our method surpasses the conventional Maximum Likelihood Estimation (MLE) based fine-tuning approach, which relies on synthetic target data, by achieving a 1.9 BLEU score improvement. Our model exhibits robustness while we add noise to our baseline, and still achieve 1.1 BLEU improvement and large improvements on TER and BLEURT metrics. Our proposed methodology is model-agnostic and is only necessary during the training phase. We make the codes and datasets publicly available at https://www.iitp.ac.in/~ai-nlp-ml/resources.html#DomainAdapt for facilitating further research.

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Synthesize, if you do not have: Effective Synthetic Dataset Creation Strategies for Self-Supervised Opinion Summarization in E-commerce
Tejpalsingh Siledar | Suman Banerjee | Amey Patil | Sudhanshu Singh | Muthusamy Chelliah | Nikesh Garera | Pushpak Bhattacharyya
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

In e-commerce, opinion summarization is the process of condensing the opinions presented in product reviews. However, the absence of large amounts of supervised datasets presents challenges in generating both aspect-specific and general opinion summaries. Existing approaches have attempted to address these challenges through synthetic dataset creation (SDC). However, general opinion summarization models struggle to generate summaries faithful to the input reviews whereas aspect-specific opinion summarization models are limited due to their reliance on human-specified aspects and seed words. To address this, we propose SDC strategies tailored for general and aspect-specific opinion summarization. We experimented on three e-commerce test sets: Oposum+, Amazon, and Flipkart. For general opinion summarization, pre-trained language model (PLM) fine-tuned on our general synthetic dataset surpass the SOTA on average by 2.3 R1 points. Faithfulness evaluation metrics and human evaluations indicate that our model-generated summaries are more faithful to the input compared to others. For aspect-specific opinion summarization, PLM fine-tuned on our aspect-specific synthetic dataset surpass SOTA by ~ 1 R1 point without the aid of any human-specified aspects or seed words.

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Rapid Speaker Adaptation in Low Resource Text to Speech Systems using Synthetic Data and Transfer learning
Raviraj Joshi | Nikesh Garera
Proceedings of the 37th Pacific Asia Conference on Language, Information and Computation

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Domain-specific transformer models for query translation
Mandar Kulkarni | Nikesh Garera | Anusua Trivedi
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 5: Industry Track)

Due to the democratization of e-commerce, many product companies are listing their goods for online shopping. For periodic buying within a domain such as Grocery, consumers are generally inclined to buy certain brands of products. Due to a large non-English speaking population in India, we observe a significant percentage of code-mix Hinglish search queries e.g., sasta atta. An intuitive approach to dealing with code-mix queries is to train an encoder-decoder model to translate the query to English to perform the search. However, the problem becomes non-trivial when the brand names themselves have Hinglish names and possibly have a literal English translation. In such queries, only the context (non-brand name) Hinglish words needs to be translated. In this paper, we propose a simple yet effective modification to the transformer training to preserve/correct Grocery brand names in the output while selectively translating the context words. To achieve this, we use an additional dataset of popular Grocery brand names. Brand names are added as tokens to the model vocabulary, and the token embeddings are randomly initialized. Further, we introduce a Brand loss in training the translation model. Brand loss is a cross entropy loss computed using a denoising auto-encoder objective with brand name data. We warm-start the training from a public pre-trained checkpoint (such as BART/T5) and further adapt it for query translation using the domain data. The proposed model is generic and can be used with English as well as code-mix Hinglish queries alleviating the need for language detection. To reduce the latency of the model for the production deployment, we use knowledge distillation and quantization. Experimental evaluation indicates that the proposed approach improves translation results by preserving/correcting English/Hinglish brand names. After positive results with A/B testing, the model is currently deployed in production.

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Label efficient semi-supervised conversational intent classification
Mandar Kulkarni | Kyung Kim | Nikesh Garera | Anusua Trivedi
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 5: Industry Track)

To provide a convenient shopping experience and to answer user queries at scale, conversational platforms are essential for e-commerce. The user queries can be pre-purchase questions, such as product specifications and delivery time related, or post-purchase queries, such as exchange and return. A chatbot should be able to understand and answer a variety of such queries to help users with relevant information. One of the important modules in the chatbot is automated intent identification, i.e., understanding the user’s intention from the query text. Due to non-English speaking users interacting with the chatbot, we often get a significant percentage of code mix queries and queries with grammatical errors, which makes the problem more challenging. This paper proposes a simple yet competent Semi-Supervised Learning (SSL) approach for label-efficient intent classification. We use a small labeled corpus and relatively larger unlabeled query data to train a transformer model. For training the model with labeled data, we explore supervised MixUp data augmentation. To train with unlabeled data, we explore label consistency with dropout noise. We experiment with different pre-trained transformer architectures, such as BERT and sentence-BERT. Experimental results demonstrate that the proposed approach significantly improves over the supervised baseline, even with a limited labeled set. A variant of the model is currently deployed in production.

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Building Accurate Low Latency ASR for Streaming Voice Search in E-commerce
Abhinav Goyal | Nikesh Garera
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 5: Industry Track)

Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) is essential for any voice-based application. The streaming capability of ASR becomes necessary to provide immediate feedback to the user in applications like Voice Search. LSTM/RNN and CTC based ASR systems are very simple to train and deploy for low latency streaming applications but have lower accuracy when compared to the state-of-the-art models. In this work, we build accurate LSTM, attention and CTC based streaming ASR models for large-scale Hinglish (blend of Hindi and English) Voice Search. We evaluate how various modifications in vanilla LSTM training improve the system’s accuracy while preserving the streaming capabilities. We also discuss a simple integration of end-of-speech (EOS) detection with CTC models, which helps reduce the overall search latency. Our model achieves a word error rate (WER) of 3.69% without EOS and 4.78% with EOS, with ~1300 ms (~46.64%) reduction in latency.

2022

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Investigating Effectiveness of Multi-Encoder for Conversational Neural Machine Translation
Baban Gain | Ramakrishna Appicharla | Soumya Chennabasavaraj | Nikesh Garera | Asif Ekbal | Muthusamy Chelliah
Proceedings of the Seventh Conference on Machine Translation (WMT)

Multilingual chatbots are the need of the hour for modern business. There is increasing demand for such systems all over the world. A multilingual chatbot can help to connect distant parts of the world together, without sharing a common language. We participated in WMT22 Chat Translation Shared Task. In this paper, we report descriptions of methodologies used for participation. We submit outputs from multi-encoder based transformer model, where one encoder is for context and another for source utterance. We consider one previous utterance as context. We obtain COMET scores of 0.768 and 0.907 on English-to-German and German-to-English directions, respectively. We submitted outputs without using context at all, which generated worse results in English-to-German direction. While for German-to-English, the model achieved a lower COMET score but slightly higher chrF and BLEU scores. Further, to understand the effectiveness of the context encoder, we submitted a run after removing the context encoder during testing and we obtain similar results.

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Pre-training Synthetic Cross-lingual Decoder for Multilingual Samples Adaptation in E-Commerce Neural Machine Translation
Kamal Kumar Gupta | Soumya Chennabasavraj | Nikesh Garera | Asif Ekbal
Proceedings of the 23rd Annual Conference of the European Association for Machine Translation

Availability of the user reviews in vernacular languages is helpful for the users to get information regarding the products. Since most of the e-commerce websites allow the reviews in English language only, it is important to provide the translated versions of the reviews to the non-English speaking users. Translation of the user reviews from English to vernacular languages is a challenging task, predominantly due to the lack of sufficient in-domain datasets. In this paper, we present a pre-training based efficient technique which is used to adapt and improve the single multilingual neural machine translation (NMT) model for the low-resource language pairs. The pre-trained model contains a special synthetic cross-lingual decoder. The decoder for the pre-training is trained over the cross-lingual target samples where the phrases are replaced with their translated counterparts. After pre-training, the model is adapted to multiple samples of the low-resource language pairs using incremental learning that does not require full training from the very scratch. We perform the experiments over eight low-resource and three high resource language pairs from the generic domain, and two language pairs from the product review domains. Through our synthetic multilingual decoder based pre-training, we achieve improvements of upto 4.35 BLEU points compared to the baseline and 2.13 BLEU points compared to the previous code-switched pre-trained models. The review domain outputs from the proposed model are evaluated in real time by human evaluators in the e-commerce company Flipkart.

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Low Resource Chat Translation: A Benchmark for Hindi–English Language Pair
Baban Gain | Ramakrishna Appicharla | Soumya Chennabasavaraj | Nikesh Garera | Asif Ekbal | Muthusamy Chelliah
Proceedings of the 15th biennial conference of the Association for Machine Translation in the Americas (Volume 1: Research Track)

Chatbots or conversational systems are used in various sectors such as banking, healthcare, e-commerce, customer support, etc. These chatbots are mainly available for resource-rich languages like English, often limiting their widespread usage to multilingual users. Therefore, making these services or agents available in non-English languages has become essential for their broader applicability. Machine Translation (MT) could be an effective way to develop multilingual chatbots. Further, to help users be confident about a product, feedback and recommendation from the end-user community are essential. However, these question-answers (QnA) can be in a different language than the users. The use of MT systems can reduce these issues to a large extent. In this paper, we provide a benchmark setup for Chat and QnA translation for English-Hindi, a relatively low-resource language pair. We first create the English-Hindi parallel corpus comprising of synthetic and gold standard parallel sentences. Thereafter, we develop several sentence-level and context-level neural machine translation (NMT) models, and measure their effectiveness on the newly created datasets. We achieve a BLEU score of 58.7 and 62.6 on the English-Hindi and Hindi-English subset of the gold-standard version of the WMT20 Chat dataset. Further, we achieve BLEU scores of 52.9 and 76.9 on the gold-standard Multi-modal Dialogue Dataset (MMD) English-Hindi and Hindi-English datasets. For QnA, we achieve a BLEU score of 49.9. Further, we achieve BLEU scores of 50.3 and 50.4 on question and answers subsets, respectively. We also perform thorough qualitative analysis of the outputs by the real users.

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Deploying Unified BERT Moderation Model for E-Commerce Reviews
Ravindra Nayak | Nikesh Garera
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing: Industry Track

Moderation of user-generated e-commerce content has become crucial due to the large and diverse user base on the platforms. Product reviews and ratings have become an integral part of the shopping experience to build trust among users. Due to the high volume of reviews generated on a vast catalog of products, manual moderation is infeasible, making machine moderation a necessity. In this work, we described our deployed system and models for automated moderation of user-generated content. At the heart of our approach, we outline several rejection reasons for review & rating moderation and explore a unified BERT model to moderate them. We convey the importance of product vertical embeddings for the relevancy of the review for a given product and highlight the advantages of pre-training the BERT models with monolingual data to cope with the domain gap in the absence of huge labelled datasets. We observe a 4.78% F1 increase with less labelled data and a 2.57% increase in F1 score on the review data compared to the publicly available BERT-based models. Our best model In-House-BERT-vertical sends only 5.89% of total reviews to manual moderation and has been deployed in production serving live traffic for millions of users.

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End-to-End Speech to Intent Prediction to improve E-commerce Customer Support Voicebot in Hindi and English
Abhinav Goyal | Anupam Singh | Nikesh Garera
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing: Industry Track

Automation of on-call customer support relies heavily on accurate and efficient speech-to-intent (S2I) systems. Building such systems using multi-component pipelines can pose various challenges because they require large annotated datasets, have higher latency, and have complex deployment. These pipelines are also prone to compounding errors. To overcome these challenges, we discuss an end-to-end (E2E) S2I model for customer support voicebot task in a bilingual setting. We show how we can solve E2E intent classification by leveraging a pre-trained automatic speech recognition (ASR) model with slight modification and fine-tuning on small annotated datasets. Experimental results show that our best E2E model outperforms a conventional pipeline by a relative ~27% on the F1 score.

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Large-scale Machine Translation for Indian Languages in E-commerce under Low Resource Constraints
Amey Patil | Nikesh Garera
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing: Industry Track

The democratization of e-commerce platforms has moved an increasingly diversified Indian user base to shop online. We have deployed reliable and precise large-scale Machine Translation systems for several Indian regional languages in this work. Building such systems is a challenge because of the low-resource nature of the Indian languages. We develop a structured model development pipeline as a closed feedback loop with external manual feedback through an Active Learning component. We show strong synthetic parallel data generation capability and consistent improvements to the model over iterations. Starting with 1.2M parallel pairs for English-Hindi we have compiled a corpus with 400M+ synthetic high quality parallel pairs across different domains. Further, we need colloquial translations to preserve the intent and friendliness of English content in regional languages, and make it easier to understand for our users. We perform robust and effective domain adaptation steps to achieve colloquial such translations. Over iterations, we show 9.02 BLEU points improvement for English to Hindi translation model. Along with Hindi, we show that the overall approach and best practices extends well to other Indian languages, resulting in deployment of our models across 7 Indian Languages.

2021

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Sentiment Preservation in Review Translation using Curriculum-based Re-inforcement Framework
Divya Kumari | Soumya Chennabasavaraj | Nikesh Garera | Asif Ekbal
Proceedings of Machine Translation Summit XVIII: Research Track

Machine Translation (MT) systems often fail to preserve different stylistic and pragmatic properties of the source text (e.g. sentiment and emotion and gender traits and etc.) to the target and especially in a low-resource scenario. Such loss can affect the performance of any downstream Natural Language Processing (NLP) task and such as sentiment analysis and that heavily relies on the output of the MT systems. The susceptibility to sentiment polarity loss becomes even more severe when an MT system is employed for translating a source content that lacks a legitimate language structure (e.g. review text). Therefore and we must find ways to minimize the undesirable effects of sentiment loss in translation without compromising with the adequacy. In our current work and we present a deep re-inforcement learning (RL) framework in conjunction with the curriculum learning (as per difficulties of the reward) to fine-tune the parameters of a pre-trained neural MT system so that the generated translation successfully encodes the underlying sentiment of the source without compromising the adequacy unlike previous methods. We evaluate our proposed method on the English–Hindi (product domain) and French–English (restaurant domain) review datasets and and found that our method brings a significant improvement over several baselines in the machine translation and and sentiment classification tasks.

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Product Review Translation using Phrase Replacement and Attention Guided Noise Augmentation
Kamal Gupta | Soumya Chennabasavaraj | Nikesh Garera | Asif Ekbal
Proceedings of Machine Translation Summit XVIII: Research Track

Product reviews provide valuable feedback of the customers and however and they are available today only in English on most of the e-commerce platforms. The nature of reviews provided by customers in any multilingual country poses unique challenges for machine translation such as code-mixing and ungrammatical sentences and presence of colloquial terms and lack of e-commerce parallel corpus etc. Given that 44% of Indian population speaks and operates in Hindi language and we address the above challenges by presenting an English–to–Hindi neural machine translation (NMT) system to translate the product reviews available on e-commerce websites by creating an in-domain parallel corpora and handling various types of noise in reviews via two data augmentation techniques and viz. (i). a novel phrase augmentation technique (PhrRep) where the syntactic noun phrases in sentences are replaced by the other noun phrases carrying different meanings but in similar context; and (ii). a novel attention guided noise augmentation (AttnNoise) technique to make our NMT model robust towards various noise. Evaluation shows that using the proposed augmentation techniques we achieve a 6.67 BLEU score improvement over the baseline model. In order to show that our proposed approach is not language-specific and we also perform experiments for two other language pairs and viz. En-Fr (MTNT18 corpus) and En-De (IWSLT17) that yield the improvements of 2.55 and 0.91 BLEU points and respectively and over the baselines.

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Product Review Translation: Parallel Corpus Creation and Robustness towards User-generated Noisy Text
Kamal Kumar Gupta | Soumya Chennabasavaraj | Nikesh Garera | Asif Ekbal
Proceedings of the 4th Workshop on e-Commerce and NLP

Reviews written by the users for a particular product or service play an influencing role for the customers to make an informative decision. Although online e-commerce portals have immensely impacted our lives, available contents predominantly are in English language- often limiting its widespread usage. There is an exponential growth in the number of e-commerce users who are not proficient in English. Hence, there is a necessity to make these services available in non-English languages, especially in a multilingual country like India. This can be achieved by an in-domain robust machine translation (MT) system. However, the reviews written by the users pose unique challenges to MT, such as misspelled words, ungrammatical constructions, presence of colloquial terms, lack of resources such as in-domain parallel corpus etc. We address the above challenges by presenting an English–Hindi review domain parallel corpus. We train an English–to–Hindi neural machine translation (NMT) system to translate the product reviews available on e-commerce websites. By training the Transformer based NMT model over the generated data, we achieve a score of 33.26 BLEU points for English–to–Hindi translation. In order to make our NMT model robust enough to handle the noisy tokens in the reviews, we integrate a character based language model to generate word vectors and map the noisy tokens with their correct forms. Experiments on four language pairs, viz. English-Hindi, English-German, English-French, and English-Czech show the BLUE scores of 35.09, 28.91, 34.68 and 14.52 which are the improvements of 1.61, 1.05, 1.63 and 1.94, respectively, over the baseline.

2009

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Improving Translation Lexicon Induction from Monolingual Corpora via Dependency Contexts and Part-of-Speech Equivalences
Nikesh Garera | Chris Callison-Burch | David Yarowsky
Proceedings of the Thirteenth Conference on Computational Natural Language Learning (CoNLL-2009)

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Modeling Latent Biographic Attributes in Conversational Genres
Nikesh Garera | David Yarowsky
Proceedings of the Joint Conference of the 47th Annual Meeting of the ACL and the 4th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing of the AFNLP

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Arabic Cross-Document Coreference Resolution
Asad Sayeed | Tamer Elsayed | Nikesh Garera | David Alexander | Tan Xu | Doug Oard | David Yarowsky | Christine Piatko
Proceedings of the ACL-IJCNLP 2009 Conference Short Papers

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Structural, Transitive and Latent Models for Biographic Fact Extraction
Nikesh Garera | David Yarowsky
Proceedings of the 12th Conference of the European Chapter of the ACL (EACL 2009)

2008

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Translating Compounds by Learning Component Gloss Translation Models via Multiple Languages
Nikesh Garera | David Yarowsky
Proceedings of the Third International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing: Volume-I

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Minimally Supervised Multilingual Taxonomy and Translation Lexicon Induction
Nikesh Garera | David Yarowsky
Proceedings of the Third International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing: Volume-I

2007

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JHU1 : An Unsupervised Approach to Person Name Disambiguation using Web Snippets
Delip Rao | Nikesh Garera | David Yarowsky
Proceedings of the Fourth International Workshop on Semantic Evaluations (SemEval-2007)

2006

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Resolving and Generating Definite Anaphora by Modeling Hypernymy using Unlabeled Corpora
Nikesh Garera | David Yarowsky
Proceedings of the Tenth Conference on Computational Natural Language Learning (CoNLL-X)