Olga Majewska


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Natural Language Processing for Multilingual Task-Oriented Dialogue
Evgeniia Razumovskaia | Goran Glavaš | Olga Majewska | Edoardo Ponti | Ivan Vulić
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Tutorial Abstracts

Recent advances in deep learning have also enabled fast progress in the research of task-oriented dialogue (ToD) systems. However, the majority of ToD systems are developed for English and merely a handful of other widely spoken languages, e.g., Chinese and German. This hugely limits the global reach and, consequently, transformative socioeconomic potential of such systems. In this tutorial, we will thus discuss and demonstrate the importance of (building) multilingual ToD systems, and then provide a systematic overview of current research gaps, challenges and initiatives related to multilingual ToD systems, with a particular focus on their connections to current research and challenges in multilingual and low-resource NLP. The tutorial will aim to provide answers or shed new light to the following questions: a) Why are multilingual dialogue systems so hard to build: what makes multilinguality for dialogue more challenging than for other NLP applications and tasks? b) What are the best existing methods and datasets for multilingual and cross-lingual (task-oriented) dialog systems? How are (multilingual) ToD systems usually evaluated? c) What are the promising future directions for multilingual ToD research: where can one draw inspiration from related NLP areas and tasks?


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Semantic Data Set Construction from Human Clustering and Spatial Arrangement
Olga Majewska | Diana McCarthy | Jasper J. F. van den Bosch | Nikolaus Kriegeskorte | Ivan Vulić | Anna Korhonen
Computational Linguistics, Volume 47, Issue 1 - March 2021

Abstract Research into representation learning models of lexical semantics usually utilizes some form of intrinsic evaluation to ensure that the learned representations reflect human semantic judgments. Lexical semantic similarity estimation is a widely used evaluation method, but efforts have typically focused on pairwise judgments of words in isolation, or are limited to specific contexts and lexical stimuli. There are limitations with these approaches that either do not provide any context for judgments, and thereby ignore ambiguity, or provide very specific sentential contexts that cannot then be used to generate a larger lexical resource. Furthermore, similarity between more than two items is not considered. We provide a full description and analysis of our recently proposed methodology for large-scale data set construction that produces a semantic classification of a large sample of verbs in the first phase, as well as multi-way similarity judgments made within the resultant semantic classes in the second phase. The methodology uses a spatial multi-arrangement approach proposed in the field of cognitive neuroscience for capturing multi-way similarity judgments of visual stimuli. We have adapted this method to handle polysemous linguistic stimuli and much larger samples than previous work. We specifically target verbs, but the method can equally be applied to other parts of speech. We perform cluster analysis on the data from the first phase and demonstrate how this might be useful in the construction of a comprehensive verb resource. We also analyze the semantic information captured by the second phase and discuss the potential of the spatially induced similarity judgments to better reflect human notions of word similarity. We demonstrate how the resultant data set can be used for fine-grained analyses and evaluation of representation learning models on the intrinsic tasks of semantic clustering and semantic similarity. In particular, we find that stronger static word embedding methods still outperform lexical representations emerging from more recent pre-training methods, both on word-level similarity and clustering. Moreover, thanks to the data set’s vast coverage, we are able to compare the benefits of specializing vector representations for a particular type of external knowledge by evaluating FrameNet- and VerbNet-retrofitted models on specific semantic domains such as “Heat” or “Motion.”

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Verb Knowledge Injection for Multilingual Event Processing
Olga Majewska | Ivan Vulić | Goran Glavaš | Edoardo Maria Ponti | Anna Korhonen
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)

Linguistic probing of pretrained Transformer-based language models (LMs) revealed that they encode a range of syntactic and semantic properties of a language. However, they are still prone to fall back on superficial cues and simple heuristics to solve downstream tasks, rather than leverage deeper linguistic information. In this paper, we target a specific facet of linguistic knowledge, the interplay between verb meaning and argument structure. We investigate whether injecting explicit information on verbs’ semantic-syntactic behaviour improves the performance of pretrained LMs in event extraction tasks, where accurate verb processing is paramount. Concretely, we impart the verb knowledge from curated lexical resources into dedicated adapter modules (verb adapters), allowing it to complement, in downstream tasks, the language knowledge obtained during LM-pretraining. We first demonstrate that injecting verb knowledge leads to performance gains in English event extraction. We then explore the utility of verb adapters for event extraction in other languages: we investigate 1) zero-shot language transfer with multilingual Transformers and 2) transfer via (noisy automatic) translation of English verb-based lexical knowledge. Our results show that the benefits of verb knowledge injection indeed extend to other languages, even when relying on noisily translated lexical knowledge.


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Multi-SimLex: A Large-Scale Evaluation of Multilingual and Crosslingual Lexical Semantic Similarity
Ivan Vulić | Simon Baker | Edoardo Maria Ponti | Ulla Petti | Ira Leviant | Kelly Wing | Olga Majewska | Eden Bar | Matt Malone | Thierry Poibeau | Roi Reichart | Anna Korhonen
Computational Linguistics, Volume 46, Issue 4 - December 2020

We introduce Multi-SimLex, a large-scale lexical resource and evaluation benchmark covering data sets for 12 typologically diverse languages, including major languages (e.g., Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, Russian) as well as less-resourced ones (e.g., Welsh, Kiswahili). Each language data set is annotated for the lexical relation of semantic similarity and contains 1,888 semantically aligned concept pairs, providing a representative coverage of word classes (nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs), frequency ranks, similarity intervals, lexical fields, and concreteness levels. Additionally, owing to the alignment of concepts across languages, we provide a suite of 66 crosslingual semantic similarity data sets. Because of its extensive size and language coverage, Multi-SimLex provides entirely novel opportunities for experimental evaluation and analysis. On its monolingual and crosslingual benchmarks, we evaluate and analyze a wide array of recent state-of-the-art monolingual and crosslingual representation models, including static and contextualized word embeddings (such as fastText, monolingual and multilingual BERT, XLM), externally informed lexical representations, as well as fully unsupervised and (weakly) supervised crosslingual word embeddings. We also present a step-by-step data set creation protocol for creating consistent, Multi-Simlex–style resources for additional languages. We make these contributions—the public release of Multi-SimLex data sets, their creation protocol, strong baseline results, and in-depth analyses which can be helpful in guiding future developments in multilingual lexical semantics and representation learning—available via a Web site that will encourage community effort in further expansion of Multi-Simlex to many more languages. Such a large-scale semantic resource could inspire significant further advances in NLP across languages.

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Manual Clustering and Spatial Arrangement of Verbs for Multilingual Evaluation and Typology Analysis
Olga Majewska | Ivan Vulić | Diana McCarthy | Anna Korhonen
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

We present the first evaluation of the applicability of a spatial arrangement method (SpAM) to a typologically diverse language sample, and its potential to produce semantic evaluation resources to support multilingual NLP, with a focus on verb semantics. We demonstrate SpAM’s utility in allowing for quick bottom-up creation of large-scale evaluation datasets that balance cross-lingual alignment with language specificity. Starting from a shared sample of 825 English verbs, translated into Chinese, Japanese, Finnish, Polish, and Italian, we apply a two-phase annotation process which produces (i) semantic verb classes and (ii) fine-grained similarity scores for nearly 130 thousand verb pairs. We use the two types of verb data to (a) examine cross-lingual similarities and variation, and (b) evaluate the capacity of static and contextualised representation models to accurately reflect verb semantics, contrasting the performance of large language specific pretraining models with their multilingual equivalent on semantic clustering and lexical similarity, across different domains of verb meaning. We release the data from both phases as a large-scale multilingual resource, comprising 85 verb classes and nearly 130k pairwise similarity scores, offering a wealth of possibilities for further evaluation and research on multilingual verb semantics.

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XCOPA: A Multilingual Dataset for Causal Commonsense Reasoning
Edoardo Maria Ponti | Goran Glavaš | Olga Majewska | Qianchu Liu | Ivan Vulić | Anna Korhonen
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

In order to simulate human language capacity, natural language processing systems must be able to reason about the dynamics of everyday situations, including their possible causes and effects. Moreover, they should be able to generalise the acquired world knowledge to new languages, modulo cultural differences. Advances in machine reasoning and cross-lingual transfer depend on the availability of challenging evaluation benchmarks. Motivated by both demands, we introduce Cross-lingual Choice of Plausible Alternatives (XCOPA), a typologically diverse multilingual dataset for causal commonsense reasoning in 11 languages, which includes resource-poor languages like Eastern Apurímac Quechua and Haitian Creole. We evaluate a range of state-of-the-art models on this novel dataset, revealing that the performance of current methods based on multilingual pretraining and zero-shot fine-tuning falls short compared to translation-based transfer. Finally, we propose strategies to adapt multilingual models to out-of-sample resource-lean languages where only a small corpus or a bilingual dictionary is available, and report substantial improvements over the random baseline. The XCOPA dataset is freely available at github.com/cambridgeltl/xcopa.

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Common Sense or World Knowledge? Investigating Adapter-Based Knowledge Injection into Pretrained Transformers
Anne Lauscher | Olga Majewska | Leonardo F. R. Ribeiro | Iryna Gurevych | Nikolai Rozanov | Goran Glavaš
Proceedings of Deep Learning Inside Out (DeeLIO): The First Workshop on Knowledge Extraction and Integration for Deep Learning Architectures

Following the major success of neural language models (LMs) such as BERT or GPT-2 on a variety of language understanding tasks, recent work focused on injecting (structured) knowledge from external resources into these models. While on the one hand, joint pre-training (i.e., training from scratch, adding objectives based on external knowledge to the primary LM objective) may be prohibitively computationally expensive, post-hoc fine-tuning on external knowledge, on the other hand, may lead to the catastrophic forgetting of distributional knowledge. In this work, we investigate models for complementing the distributional knowledge of BERT with conceptual knowledge from ConceptNet and its corresponding Open Mind Common Sense (OMCS) corpus, respectively, using adapter training. While overall results on the GLUE benchmark paint an inconclusive picture, a deeper analysis reveals that our adapter-based models substantially outperform BERT (up to 15-20 performance points) on inference tasks that require the type of conceptual knowledge explicitly present in ConceptNet and OMCS. We also open source all our experiments and relevant code under: https://github.com/wluper/retrograph.

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Spatial Multi-Arrangement for Clustering and Multi-way Similarity Dataset Construction
Olga Majewska | Diana McCarthy | Jasper van den Bosch | Nikolaus Kriegeskorte | Ivan Vulić | Anna Korhonen
Proceedings of the 12th Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

We present a novel methodology for fast bottom-up creation of large-scale semantic similarity resources to support development and evaluation of NLP systems. Our work targets verb similarity, but the methodology is equally applicable to other parts of speech. Our approach circumvents the bottleneck of slow and expensive manual development of lexical resources by leveraging semantic intuitions of native speakers and adapting a spatial multi-arrangement approach from cognitive neuroscience, used before only with visual stimuli, to lexical stimuli. Our approach critically obtains judgments of word similarity in the context of a set of related words, rather than of word pairs in isolation. We also handle lexical ambiguity as a natural consequence of a two-phase process where verbs are placed in broad semantic classes prior to the fine-grained spatial similarity judgments. Our proposed design produces a large-scale verb resource comprising 17 relatedness-based classes and a verb similarity dataset containing similarity scores for 29,721 unique verb pairs and 825 target verbs, which we release with this paper.


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Acquiring Verb Classes Through Bottom-Up Semantic Verb Clustering
Olga Majewska | Diana McCarthy | Ivan Vulić | Anna Korhonen
Proceedings of the Eleventh International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC 2018)