Phillip Howard


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NeuroCounterfactuals: Beyond Minimal-Edit Counterfactuals for Richer Data Augmentation
Phillip Howard | Gadi Singer | Vasudev Lal | Yejin Choi | Swabha Swayamdipta
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2022

While counterfactual data augmentation offers a promising step towards robust generalization in natural language processing, producing a set of counterfactuals that offer valuable inductive bias for models remains a challenge. Most existing approaches for producing counterfactuals, manual or automated, rely on small perturbations via minimal edits, resulting in simplistic changes. We introduce NeuroCounterfactuals, designed as loose counterfactuals, allowing for larger edits which result in naturalistic generations containing linguistic diversity, while still bearing similarity to the original document. Our novel generative approach bridges the benefits of constrained decoding, with those of language model adaptation for sentiment steering. Training data augmentation with our generations results in both in-domain and out-of-domain improvements for sentiment classification, outperforming even manually curated counterfactuals, under select settings. We further present detailed analyses to show the advantages of NeuroCounterfactuals over approaches involving simple, minimal edits.


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InterpreT: An Interactive Visualization Tool for Interpreting Transformers
Vasudev Lal | Arden Ma | Estelle Aflalo | Phillip Howard | Ana Simoes | Daniel Korat | Oren Pereg | Gadi Singer | Moshe Wasserblat
Proceedings of the 16th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: System Demonstrations

With the increasingly widespread use of Transformer-based models for NLU/NLP tasks, there is growing interest in understanding the inner workings of these models, why they are so effective at a wide range of tasks, and how they can be further tuned and improved. To contribute towards this goal of enhanced explainability and comprehension, we present InterpreT, an interactive visualization tool for interpreting Transformer-based models. In addition to providing various mechanisms for investigating general model behaviours, novel contributions made in InterpreT include the ability to track and visualize token embeddings through each layer of a Transformer, highlight distances between certain token embeddings through illustrative plots, and identify task-related functions of attention heads by using new metrics. InterpreT is a task agnostic tool, and its functionalities are demonstrated through the analysis of model behaviours for two disparate tasks: Aspect Based Sentiment Analysis (ABSA) and the Winograd Schema Challenge (WSC).