Nikita Bhutani


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Low-resource Entity Set Expansion: A Comprehensive Study on User-generated Text
Yutong Shao | Nikita Bhutani | Sajjadur Rahman | Estevam Hruschka
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: NAACL 2022

Entity set expansion (ESE) aims at obtaining a more complete set of entities given a textual corpus and a seed set of entities of a concept. Although it is a critical task in many NLP applications, existing benchmarks are limited to well-formed text (e.g., Wikipedia) and well-defined concepts (e.g., countries and diseases). Furthermore, only a small number of predictions are evaluated compared to the actual size of an entity set. A rigorous assessment of ESE methods warrants more comprehensive benchmarks and evaluation. In this paper, we consider user-generated text to understand the generalizability of ESE methods. We develop new benchmarks and propose more rigorous evaluation metrics for assessing the performance of ESE methods. Additionally, we identify phenomena such as non-named entities, multifaceted entities, vague concepts that are more prevalent in user-generated text than well-formed text, and use them to profile ESE methods. We observe that the strong performance of state-of-the-art ESE methods does not generalize well to user-generated text. We conduct comprehensive empirical analysis and draw insights from the findings.

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Can Edge Probing Tests Reveal Linguistic Knowledge in QA Models?
Sagnik Ray Choudhury | Nikita Bhutani | Isabelle Augenstein
Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

There have been many efforts to try to understand what grammatical knowledge (e.g., ability to understand the part of speech of a token) is encoded in large pre-trained language models (LM). This is done through ‘Edge Probing’ (EP) tests: supervised classification tasks to predict the grammatical properties of a span (whether it has a particular part of speech) using only the token representations coming from the LM encoder. However, most NLP applications fine-tune these LM encoders for specific tasks. Here, we ask: if an LM is fine-tuned, does the encoding of linguistic information in it change, as measured by EP tests? Specifically, we focus on the task of Question Answering (QA) and conduct experiments on multiple datasets. We find that EP test results do not change significantly when the fine-tuned model performs well or in adversarial situations where the model is forced to learn wrong correlations. From a similar finding, some recent papers conclude that fine-tuning does not change linguistic knowledge in encoders but they do not provide an explanation. We find that EP models are susceptible to exploiting spurious correlations in the EP datasets. When this dataset bias is corrected, we do see an improvement in the EP test results as expected.

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Proceedings of the 2nd Workshop on Deriving Insights from User-Generated Text
Estevam Hruschka | Tom Mitchell | Dunja Mladenic | Marko Grobelnik | Nikita Bhutani
Proceedings of the 2nd Workshop on Deriving Insights from User-Generated Text

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CompactIE: Compact Facts in Open Information Extraction
Farima Fatahi Bayat | Nikita Bhutani | H. Jagadish
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

A major drawback of modern neural OpenIE systems and benchmarks is that they prioritize high coverage of information in extractions over compactness of their constituents. This severely limits the usefulness of OpenIE extractions in many downstream tasks. The utility of extractions can be improved if extractions are compact and share constituents. To this end, we study the problem of identifying compact extractions with neural-based methods. We propose CompactIE, an OpenIE system that uses a novel pipelined approach to produce compact extractions with overlapping constituents. It first detects constituents of the extractions and then links them to build extractions. We train our system on compact extractions obtained by processing existing benchmarks. Our experiments on CaRB and Wire57 datasets indicate that CompactIE finds 1.5x-2x more compact extractions than previous systems, with high precision, establishing a new state-of-the-art performance in OpenIE.

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Distilling Salient Reviews with Zero Labels
Chieh-Yang Huang | Jinfeng Li | Nikita Bhutani | Alexander Whedon | Estevam Hruschka | Yoshi Suhara
Proceedings of the Fifth Fact Extraction and VERification Workshop (FEVER)

Many people read online reviews to learn about real-world entities of their interest. However, majority of reviews only describes general experiences and opinions of the customers, and may not reveal facts that are specific to the entity being reviewed. In this work, we focus on a novel task of mining from a review corpus sentences that are unique for each entity. We refer to this task as Salient Fact Extraction. Salient facts are extremely scarce due to their very nature. Consequently, collecting labeled examples for training supervised models is tedious and cost-prohibitive. To alleviate this scarcity problem, we develop an unsupervised method, ZL-Distiller, which leverages contextual language representations of the reviews and their distributional patterns to identify salient sentences about entities. Our experiments on multiple domains (hotels, products, and restaurants) show that ZL-Distiller achieves state-of-the-art performance and further boosts the performance of other supervised/unsupervised algorithms for the task. Furthermore, we show that salient sentences mined by ZL-Distiller provide unique and detailed information about entities, which benefit downstream NLP applications including question answering and summarization.


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SubjQA: A Dataset for Subjectivity and Review Comprehension
Johannes Bjerva | Nikita Bhutani | Behzad Golshan | Wang-Chiew Tan | Isabelle Augenstein
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

Subjectivity is the expression of internal opinions or beliefs which cannot be objectively observed or verified, and has been shown to be important for sentiment analysis and word-sense disambiguation. Furthermore, subjectivity is an important aspect of user-generated data. In spite of this, subjectivity has not been investigated in contexts where such data is widespread, such as in question answering (QA). We develop a new dataset which allows us to investigate this relationship. We find that subjectivity is an important feature in the case of QA, albeit with more intricate interactions between subjectivity and QA performance than found in previous work on sentiment analysis. For instance, a subjective question may or may not be associated with a subjective answer. We release an English QA dataset (SubjQA) based on customer reviews, containing subjectivity annotations for questions and answer spans across 6 domains.

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Answering Complex Questions by Combining Information from Curated and Extracted Knowledge Bases
Nikita Bhutani | Xinyi Zheng | Kun Qian | Yunyao Li | H. Jagadish
Proceedings of the First Workshop on Natural Language Interfaces

Knowledge-based question answering (KB_QA) has long focused on simple questions that can be answered from a single knowledge source, a manually curated or an automatically extracted KB. In this work, we look at answering complex questions which often require combining information from multiple sources. We present a novel KB-QA system, Multique, which can map a complex question to a complex query pattern using a sequence of simple queries each targeted at a specific KB. It finds simple queries using a neural-network based model capable of collective inference over textual relations in extracted KB and ontological relations in curated KB. Experiments show that our proposed system outperforms previous KB-QA systems on benchmark datasets, ComplexWebQuestions and WebQuestionsSP.


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Open Information Extraction from Question-Answer Pairs
Nikita Bhutani | Yoshihiko Suhara | Wang-Chiew Tan | Alon Halevy | H. V. Jagadish
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 1 (Long and Short Papers)

Open Information Extraction (OpenIE) extracts meaningful structured tuples from free-form text. Most previous work on OpenIE considers extracting data from one sentence at a time. We describe NeurON, a system for extracting tuples from question-answer pairs. One of the main motivations for NeurON is to be able to extend knowledge bases in a way that considers precisely the information that users care about. NeurON addresses several challenges. First, an answer text is often hard to understand without knowing the question, and second, relevant information can span multiple sentences. To address these, NeurON formulates extraction as a multi-source sequence-to-sequence learning task, wherein it combines distributed representations of a question and an answer to generate knowledge facts. We describe experiments on two real-world datasets that demonstrate that NeurON can find a significant number of new and interesting facts to extend a knowledge base compared to state-of-the-art OpenIE methods.


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Exploiting Structure in Representation of Named Entities using Active Learning
Nikita Bhutani | Kun Qian | Yunyao Li | H. V. Jagadish | Mauricio Hernandez | Mitesh Vasa
Proceedings of the 27th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Fundamental to several knowledge-centric applications is the need to identify named entities from their textual mentions. However, entities lack a unique representation and their mentions can differ greatly. These variations arise in complex ways that cannot be captured using textual similarity metrics. However, entities have underlying structures, typically shared by entities of the same entity type, that can help reason over their name variations. Discovering, learning and manipulating these structures typically requires high manual effort in the form of large amounts of labeled training data and handwritten transformation programs. In this work, we propose an active-learning based framework that drastically reduces the labeled data required to learn the structures of entities. We show that programs for mapping entity mentions to their structures can be automatically generated using human-comprehensible labels. Our experiments show that our framework consistently outperforms both handwritten programs and supervised learning models. We also demonstrate the utility of our framework in relation extraction and entity resolution tasks.


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Nested Propositions in Open Information Extraction
Nikita Bhutani | H. V. Jagadish | Dragomir Radev
Proceedings of the 2016 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing