Rami Aly


2023

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Automated Few-Shot Classification with Instruction-Finetuned Language Models
Rami Aly | Xingjian Shi | Kaixiang Lin | Aston Zhang | Andrew Wilson
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

A particularly successful class of approaches for few-shot learning combines language models with prompts - hand-crafted task descriptions that complement data samples. However, designing prompts by hand for each task commonly requires domain knowledge and substantial guesswork. We observe, in the context of classification tasks, that instruction finetuned language models are remarkably robust towards some dimensions of a prompt’s design. We subsequently propose a simple method to eliminate the need for handcrafted prompts, named AuT-Few. This approach consists of (i) a prompt retrieval module that selects suitable task instructions from the instruction-tuning knowledge base, and (ii) the generation of two distinct, semantically meaningful, class descriptions and a selection mechanism via cross-validation. Over 12 datasets, spanning 8 classification tasks, we show that AuT-Few outperforms current state-of-the-art few-shot learning methods. Moreover, AuT-Few is the best ranking method across datasets on the RAFT few-shot benchmark. Notably, these results are achieved without task-specific handcrafted prompts on unseen tasks.

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Proceedings of the Sixth Fact Extraction and VERification Workshop (FEVER)
Mubashara Akhtar | Rami Aly | Christos Christodoulopoulos | Oana Cocarascu | Zhijiang Guo | Arpit Mittal | Michael Schlichtkrull | James Thorne | Andreas Vlachos
Proceedings of the Sixth Fact Extraction and VERification Workshop (FEVER)

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QA-NatVer: Question Answering for Natural Logic-based Fact Verification
Rami Aly | Marek Strong | Andreas Vlachos
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Fact verification systems assess a claim’s veracity based on evidence. An important consideration in designing them is faithfulness, i.e. generating explanations that accurately reflect the reasoning of the model. Recent works have focused on natural logic, which operates directly on natural language by capturing the semantic relation of spans between an aligned claim with its evidence via set-theoretic operators. However, these approaches rely on substantial resources for training, which are only available for high-resource languages. To this end, we propose to use question answering to predict natural logic operators, taking advantage of the generalization capabilities of instruction-tuned language models. Thus, we obviate the need for annotated training data while still relying on a deterministic inference system. In a few-shot setting on FEVER, our approach outperforms the best baseline by 4.3 accuracy points, including a state-of-the-art pre-trained seq2seq natural logic system, as well as a state-of-the-art prompt-based classifier. Our system demonstrates its robustness and portability, achieving competitive performance on a counterfactual dataset and surpassing all approaches without further annotation on a Danish verification dataset. A human evaluation indicates that our approach produces more plausible proofs with fewer erroneous natural logic operators than previous natural logic-based systems.

2022

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Proceedings of the Fifth Fact Extraction and VERification Workshop (FEVER)
Rami Aly | Christos Christodoulopoulos | Oana Cocarascu | Zhijiang Guo | Arpit Mittal | Michael Schlichtkrull | James Thorne | Andreas Vlachos
Proceedings of the Fifth Fact Extraction and VERification Workshop (FEVER)

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Natural Logic-guided Autoregressive Multi-hop Document Retrieval for Fact Verification
Rami Aly | Andreas Vlachos
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

A key component of fact verification is the evidence retrieval, often from multiple documents. Recent approaches use dense representations and condition the retrieval of each document on the previously retrieved ones. The latter step is performed over all the documents in the collection, requiring storing their dense representations in an index, thus incurring a high memory footprint. An alternative paradigm is retrieve-and-rerank, where documents are retrieved using methods such as BM25, their sentences are reranked, and further documents are retrieved conditioned on these sentences, reducing the memory requirements. However, such approaches can be brittle as they rely on heuristics and assume hyperlinks between documents. We propose a novel retrieve-and-rerank method for multi-hop retrieval, that consists of a retriever that jointly scores documents in the knowledge source and sentences from previously retrieved documents using an autoregressive formulation and is guided by a proof system based on natural logic that dynamically terminates the retrieval process if the evidence is deemed sufficient. This method exceeds or is on par with the current state-of-the-art on FEVER, HoVer and FEVEROUS-S, while using 5 to 10 times less memory than competing systems. Evaluation on an adversarial dataset indicates improved stability of our approach compared to commonly deployed threshold-based methods. Finally, the proof system helps humans predict model decisions correctly more often than using the evidence alone.

2021

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Proceedings of the Fourth Workshop on Fact Extraction and VERification (FEVER)
Rami Aly | Christos Christodoulopoulos | Oana Cocarascu | Zhijiang Guo | Arpit Mittal | Michael Schlichtkrull | James Thorne | Andreas Vlachos
Proceedings of the Fourth Workshop on Fact Extraction and VERification (FEVER)

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The Fact Extraction and VERification Over Unstructured and Structured information (FEVEROUS) Shared Task
Rami Aly | Zhijiang Guo | Michael Sejr Schlichtkrull | James Thorne | Andreas Vlachos | Christos Christodoulopoulos | Oana Cocarascu | Arpit Mittal
Proceedings of the Fourth Workshop on Fact Extraction and VERification (FEVER)

The Fact Extraction and VERification Over Unstructured and Structured information (FEVEROUS) shared task, asks participating systems to determine whether human-authored claims are Supported or Refuted based on evidence retrieved from Wikipedia (or NotEnoughInfo if the claim cannot be verified). Compared to the FEVER 2018 shared task, the main challenge is the addition of structured data (tables and lists) as a source of evidence. The claims in the FEVEROUS dataset can be verified using only structured evidence, only unstructured evidence, or a mixture of both. Submissions are evaluated using the FEVEROUS score that combines label accuracy and evidence retrieval. Unlike FEVER 2018, FEVEROUS requires partial evidence to be returned for NotEnoughInfo claims, and the claims are longer and thus more complex. The shared task received 13 entries, six of which were able to beat the baseline system. The winning team was “Bust a move!”, achieving a FEVEROUS score of 27% (+9% compared to the baseline). In this paper we describe the shared task, present the full results and highlight commonalities and innovations among the participating systems.

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Efficient Unsupervised NMT for Related Languages with Cross-Lingual Language Models and Fidelity Objectives
Rami Aly | Andrew Caines | Paula Buttery
Proceedings of the Eighth Workshop on NLP for Similar Languages, Varieties and Dialects

The most successful approach to Neural Machine Translation (NMT) when only monolingual training data is available, called unsupervised machine translation, is based on back-translation where noisy translations are generated to turn the task into a supervised one. However, back-translation is computationally very expensive and inefficient. This work explores a novel, efficient approach to unsupervised NMT. A transformer, initialized with cross-lingual language model weights, is fine-tuned exclusively on monolingual data of the target language by jointly learning on a paraphrasing and denoising autoencoder objective. Experiments are conducted on WMT datasets for German-English, French-English, and Romanian-English. Results are competitive to strong baseline unsupervised NMT models, especially for closely related source languages (German) compared to more distant ones (Romanian, French), while requiring about a magnitude less training time.

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Leveraging Type Descriptions for Zero-shot Named Entity Recognition and Classification
Rami Aly | Andreas Vlachos | Ryan McDonald
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)

A common issue in real-world applications of named entity recognition and classification (NERC) is the absence of annotated data for the target entity classes during training. Zero-shot learning approaches address this issue by learning models from classes with training data that can predict classes without it. This paper presents the first approach for zero-shot NERC, introducing novel architectures that leverage the fact that textual descriptions for many entity classes occur naturally. We address the zero-shot NERC specific challenge that the not-an-entity class is not well defined as different entity classes are considered in training and testing. For evaluation, we adapt two datasets, OntoNotes and MedMentions, emulating the difficulty of real-world zero-shot learning by testing models on the rarest entity classes. Our proposed approach outperforms baselines adapted from machine reading comprehension and zero-shot text classification. Furthermore, we assess the effect of different class descriptions for this task.

2019

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Every Child Should Have Parents: A Taxonomy Refinement Algorithm Based on Hyperbolic Term Embeddings
Rami Aly | Shantanu Acharya | Alexander Ossa | Arne Köhn | Chris Biemann | Alexander Panchenko
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

We introduce the use of Poincaré embeddings to improve existing state-of-the-art approaches to domain-specific taxonomy induction from text as a signal for both relocating wrong hyponym terms within a (pre-induced) taxonomy as well as for attaching disconnected terms in a taxonomy. This method substantially improves previous state-of-the-art results on the SemEval-2016 Task 13 on taxonomy extraction. We demonstrate the superiority of Poincaré embeddings over distributional semantic representations, supporting the hypothesis that they can better capture hierarchical lexical-semantic relationships than embeddings in the Euclidean space.

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Hierarchical Multi-label Classification of Text with Capsule Networks
Rami Aly | Steffen Remus | Chris Biemann
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Student Research Workshop

Capsule networks have been shown to demonstrate good performance on structured data in the area of visual inference. In this paper we apply and compare simple shallow capsule networks for hierarchical multi-label text classification and show that they can perform superior to other neural networks, such as CNNs and LSTMs, and non-neural network architectures such as SVMs. For our experiments, we use the established Web of Science (WOS) dataset and introduce a new real-world scenario dataset, the BlurbGenreCollection (BGC). Our results confirm the hypothesis that capsule networks are especially advantageous for rare events and structurally diverse categories, which we attribute to their ability to combine latent encoded information.