Patrick Haller


pdf bib
PECC: Problem Extraction and Coding Challenges
Patrick Haller | Jonas Golde | Alan Akbik
Proceedings of the 2024 Joint International Conference on Computational Linguistics, Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC-COLING 2024)

Recent advancements in large language models (LLMs) have showcased their exceptional abilities across various tasks, such as code generation, problem-solving and reasoning. Existing benchmarks evaluate tasks in isolation, yet the extent to which LLMs can understand prose-style tasks, identify the underlying problems, and then generate appropriate code solutions is still unexplored. Addressing this gap, we introduce PECC, a novel benchmark derived from Advent Of Code (AoC) challenges and Project Euler, including 2396 problems. Unlike conventional benchmarks, PECC requires LLMs to interpret narrative-embedded problems, extract requirements, and generate executable code. A key feature of our dataset is the complexity added by natural language prompting in chat-based evaluations, mirroring real-world instruction ambiguities. Results show varying model performance between narrative and neutral problems, with specific challenges in the Euler math-based subset with GPT-3.5-Turbo passing 50% of the AoC challenges and only 8% on the Euler problems. By probing the limits of LLMs’ capabilities, our benchmark provides a framework to monitor and assess the subsequent progress of LLMs as a universal problem solver.


pdf bib
ScanDL: A Diffusion Model for Generating Synthetic Scanpaths on Texts
Lena Bolliger | David Reich | Patrick Haller | Deborah Jakobi | Paul Prasse | Lena Jäger
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Eye movements in reading play a crucial role in psycholinguistic research studying the cognitive mechanisms underlying human language processing. More recently, the tight coupling between eye movements and cognition has also been leveraged for language-related machine learning tasks such as the interpretability, enhancement, and pre-training of language models, as well as the inference of reader- and text-specific properties. However, scarcity of eye movement data and its unavailability at application time poses a major challenge for this line of research. Initially, this problem was tackled by resorting to cognitive models for synthesizing eye movement data. However, for the sole purpose of generating human-like scanpaths, purely data-driven machine-learning-based methods have proven to be more suitable. Following recent advances in adapting diffusion processes to discrete data, we propose ScanDL, a novel discrete sequence-to-sequence diffusion model that generates synthetic scanpaths on texts. By leveraging pre-trained word representations and jointly embedding both the stimulus text and the fixation sequence, our model captures multi-modal interactions between the two inputs. We evaluate ScanDL within- and across-dataset and demonstrate that it significantly outperforms state-of-the-art scanpath generation methods. Finally, we provide an extensive psycholinguistic analysis that underlines the model’s ability to exhibit human-like reading behavior. Our implementation is made available at

pdf bib
Fabricator: An Open Source Toolkit for Generating Labeled Training Data with Teacher LLMs
Jonas Golde | Patrick Haller | Felix Hamborg | Julian Risch | Alan Akbik
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing: System Demonstrations

Most NLP tasks are modeled as supervised learning and thus require labeled training data to train effective models. However, manually producing such data at sufficient quality and quantity is known to be costly and time-intensive. Current research addresses this bottleneck by exploring a novel paradigm called zero-shot learning via dataset generation. Here, a powerful LLM is prompted with a task description to generate labeled data that can be used to train a downstream NLP model. For instance, an LLM might be prompted to “generate 500 movie reviews with positive overall sentiment, and another 500 with negative sentiment.” The generated data could then be used to train a binary sentiment classifier, effectively leveraging an LLM as a teacher to a smaller student model. With this demo, we introduce Fabricator, an open-source Python toolkit for dataset generation. Fabricator implements common dataset generation workflows, supports a wide range of downstream NLP tasks (such as text classification, question answering, and entity recognition), and is integrated with well-known libraries to facilitate quick experimentation. With Fabricator, we aim to support researchers in conducting reproducible dataset generation experiments using LLMs and help practitioners apply this approach to train models for downstream tasks.


pdf bib
Eye-tracking based classification of Mandarin Chinese readers with and without dyslexia using neural sequence models
Patrick Haller | Andreas Säuberli | Sarah Kiener | Jinger Pan | Ming Yan | Lena Jäger
Proceedings of the Workshop on Text Simplification, Accessibility, and Readability (TSAR-2022)

Eye movements are known to reflect cognitive processes in reading, and psychological reading research has shown that eye gaze patterns differ between readers with and without dyslexia. In recent years, researchers have attempted to classify readers with dyslexia based on their eye movements using Support Vector Machines (SVMs). However, these approaches (i) are based on highly aggregated features averaged over all words read by a participant, thus disregarding the sequential nature of the eye movements, and (ii) do not consider the linguistic stimulus and its interaction with the reader’s eye movements. In the present work, we propose two simple sequence models that process eye movements on the entire stimulus without the need of aggregating features across the sentence. Additionally, we incorporate the linguistic stimulus into the model in two ways—contextualized word embeddings and manually extracted linguistic features. The models are evaluated on a Mandarin Chinese dataset containing eye movements from children with and without dyslexia. Our results show that (i) even for a logographic script such as Chinese, sequence models are able to classify dyslexia on eye gaze sequences, reaching state-of-the-art performance, and (ii) incorporating the linguistic stimulus does not help to improve classification performance.


pdf bib
Revisiting the Uniform Information Density Hypothesis
Clara Meister | Tiago Pimentel | Patrick Haller | Lena Jäger | Ryan Cotterell | Roger Levy
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

The uniform information density (UID) hypothesis posits a preference among language users for utterances structured such that information is distributed uniformly across a signal. While its implications on language production have been well explored, the hypothesis potentially makes predictions about language comprehension and linguistic acceptability as well. Further, it is unclear how uniformity in a linguistic signal—or lack thereof—should be measured, and over which linguistic unit, e.g., the sentence or language level, this uniformity should hold. Here we investigate these facets of the UID hypothesis using reading time and acceptability data. While our reading time results are generally consistent with previous work, they are also consistent with a weakly super-linear effect of surprisal, which would be compatible with UID’s predictions. For acceptability judgments, we find clearer evidence that non-uniformity in information density is predictive of lower acceptability. We then explore multiple operationalizations of UID, motivated by different interpretations of the original hypothesis, and analyze the scope over which the pressure towards uniformity is exerted. The explanatory power of a subset of the proposed operationalizations suggests that the strongest trend may be a regression towards a mean surprisal across the language, rather than the phrase, sentence, or document—a finding that supports a typical interpretation of UID, namely that it is the byproduct of language users maximizing the use of a (hypothetical) communication channel.