Ramón Fernandez Astudillo

Also published as: Ramon F. Astudillo, Ramon Fernandez Astudillo, Ramón Astudillo, Ramón F. Astudillo


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Laziness Is a Virtue When It Comes to Compositionality in Neural Semantic Parsing
Maxwell Crouse | Pavan Kapanipathi | Subhajit Chaudhury | Tahira Naseem | Ramon Fernandez Astudillo | Achille Fokoue | Tim Klinger
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Nearly all general-purpose neural semantic parsers generate logical forms in a strictly top-down autoregressive fashion. Though such systems have achieved impressive results across a variety of datasets and domains, recent works have called into question whether they are ultimately limited in their ability to compositionally generalize. In this work, we approach semantic parsing from, quite literally, the opposite direction; that is, we introduce a neural semantic parsing generation method that constructs logical forms from the bottom up, beginning from the logical form’s leaves. The system we introduce is lazy in that it incrementally builds up a set of potential semantic parses, but only expands and processes the most promising candidate parses at each generation step. Such a parsimonious expansion scheme allows the system to maintain an arbitrarily large set of parse hypotheses that are never realized and thus incur minimal computational overhead. We evaluate our approach on compositional generalization; specifically, on the challenging CFQ dataset and two other Text-to-SQL datasets where we show that our novel, bottom-up semantic parsing technique outperforms general-purpose semantic parsers while also being competitive with semantic parsers that have been tailored to each task.


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Inducing and Using Alignments for Transition-based AMR Parsing
Andrew Drozdov | Jiawei Zhou | Radu Florian | Andrew McCallum | Tahira Naseem | Yoon Kim | Ramón Astudillo
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Transition-based parsers for Abstract Meaning Representation (AMR) rely on node-to-word alignments. These alignments are learned separately from parser training and require a complex pipeline of rule-based components, pre-processing, and post-processing to satisfy domain-specific constraints. Parsers also train on a point-estimate of the alignment pipeline, neglecting the uncertainty due to the inherent ambiguity of alignment. In this work we explore two avenues for overcoming these limitations. First, we propose a neural aligner for AMR that learns node-to-word alignments without relying on complex pipelines. We subsequently explore a tighter integration of aligner and parser training by considering a distribution over oracle action sequences arising from aligner uncertainty. Empirical results show this approach leads to more accurate alignments and generalization better from the AMR2.0 to AMR3.0 corpora. We attain a new state-of-the art for gold-only trained models, matching silver-trained performance without the need for beam search on AMR3.0.

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DocAMR: Multi-Sentence AMR Representation and Evaluation
Tahira Naseem | Austin Blodgett | Sadhana Kumaravel | Tim O’Gorman | Young-Suk Lee | Jeffrey Flanigan | Ramón Astudillo | Radu Florian | Salim Roukos | Nathan Schneider
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Despite extensive research on parsing of English sentences into Abstract Meaning Representation (AMR) graphs, which are compared to gold graphs via the Smatch metric, full-document parsing into a unified graph representation lacks well-defined representation and evaluation. Taking advantage of a super-sentential level of coreference annotation from previous work, we introduce a simple algorithm for deriving a unified graph representation, avoiding the pitfalls of information loss from over-merging and lack of coherence from under merging. Next, we describe improvements to the Smatch metric to make it tractable for comparing document-level graphs and use it to re-evaluate the best published document-level AMR parser. We also present a pipeline approach combining the top-performing AMR parser and coreference resolution systems, providing a strong baseline for future research.

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Maximum Bayes Smatch Ensemble Distillation for AMR Parsing
Young-Suk Lee | Ramón Astudillo | Hoang Thanh Lam | Tahira Naseem | Radu Florian | Salim Roukos
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

AMR parsing has experienced an unprecendented increase in performance in the last three years, due to a mixture of effects including architecture improvements and transfer learning. Self-learning techniques have also played a role in pushing performance forward. However, for most recent high performant parsers, the effect of self-learning and silver data augmentation seems to be fading. In this paper we propose to overcome this diminishing returns of silver data by combining Smatch-based ensembling techniques with ensemble distillation. In an extensive experimental setup, we push single model English parser performance to a new state-of-the-art, 85.9 (AMR2.0) and 84.3 (AMR3.0), and return to substantial gains from silver data augmentation. We also attain a new state-of-the-art for cross-lingual AMR parsing for Chinese, German, Italian and Spanish. Finally we explore the impact of the proposed technique on domain adaptation, and show that it can produce gains rivaling those of human annotated data for QALD-9 and achieve a new state-of-the-art for BioAMR.

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X-FACTOR: A Cross-metric Evaluation of Factual Correctness in Abstractive Summarization
Subhajit Chaudhury | Sarathkrishna Swaminathan | Chulaka Gunasekara | Maxwell Crouse | Srinivas Ravishankar | Daiki Kimura | Keerthiram Murugesan | Ramón Fernandez Astudillo | Tahira Naseem | Pavan Kapanipathi | Alexander Gray
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Abstractive summarization models often produce factually inconsistent summaries that are not supported by the original article. Recently, a number of fact-consistent evaluation techniques have been proposed to address this issue; however, a detailed analysis of how these metrics agree with one another has yet to be conducted. In this paper, we present X-FACTOR, a cross-evaluation of three high-performing fact-aware abstractive summarization methods. First, we show that summarization models are often fine-tuned on datasets that contain factually inconsistent summaries and propose a fact-aware filtering mechanism that improves the quality of training data and, consequently, the factuality of these models. Second, we propose a corrector module that can be used to improve the factual consistency of generated summaries. Third, we present a re-ranking technique that samples summary instances from the output distribution of a summarization model and re-ranks the sampled instances based on their factuality. Finally, we provide a detailed cross-metric agreement analysis that shows how tuning a model to output summaries based on a particular factuality metric influences factuality as determined by the other metrics. Our goal in this work is to facilitate research that improves the factuality and faithfulness of abstractive summarization models.


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Leveraging Abstract Meaning Representation for Knowledge Base Question Answering
Pavan Kapanipathi | Ibrahim Abdelaziz | Srinivas Ravishankar | Salim Roukos | Alexander Gray | Ramón Fernandez Astudillo | Maria Chang | Cristina Cornelio | Saswati Dana | Achille Fokoue | Dinesh Garg | Alfio Gliozzo | Sairam Gurajada | Hima Karanam | Naweed Khan | Dinesh Khandelwal | Young-Suk Lee | Yunyao Li | Francois Luus | Ndivhuwo Makondo | Nandana Mihindukulasooriya | Tahira Naseem | Sumit Neelam | Lucian Popa | Revanth Gangi Reddy | Ryan Riegel | Gaetano Rossiello | Udit Sharma | G P Shrivatsa Bhargav | Mo Yu
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL-IJCNLP 2021

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Bootstrapping Multilingual AMR with Contextual Word Alignments
Janaki Sheth | Young-Suk Lee | Ramón Fernandez Astudillo | Tahira Naseem | Radu Florian | Salim Roukos | Todd Ward
Proceedings of the 16th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Main Volume

We develop high performance multilingual Abstract Meaning Representation (AMR) systems by projecting English AMR annotations to other languages with weak supervision. We achieve this goal by bootstrapping transformer-based multilingual word embeddings, in particular those from cross-lingual RoBERTa (XLM-R large). We develop a novel technique for foreign-text-to-English AMR alignment, using the contextual word alignment between English and foreign language tokens. This word alignment is weakly supervised and relies on the contextualized XLM-R word embeddings. We achieve a highly competitive performance that surpasses the best published results for German, Italian, Spanish and Chinese.

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Structural Guidance for Transformer Language Models
Peng Qian | Tahira Naseem | Roger Levy | Ramón Fernandez Astudillo
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)

Transformer-based language models pre-trained on large amounts of text data have proven remarkably successful in learning generic transferable linguistic representations. Here we study whether structural guidance leads to more human-like systematic linguistic generalization in Transformer language models without resorting to pre-training on very large amounts of data. We explore two general ideas. The “Generative Parsing” idea jointly models the incremental parse and word sequence as part of the same sequence modeling task. The “Structural Scaffold” idea guides the language model’s representation via additional structure loss that separately predicts the incremental constituency parse. We train the proposed models along with a vanilla Transformer language model baseline on a 14 million-token and a 46 million-token subset of the BLLIP dataset, and evaluate models’ syntactic generalization performances on SG Test Suites and sized BLiMP. Experiment results across two benchmarks suggest converging evidence that generative structural supervisions can induce more robust and humanlike linguistic generalization in Transformer language models without the need for data intensive pre-training.

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Structure-aware Fine-tuning of Sequence-to-sequence Transformers for Transition-based AMR Parsing
Jiawei Zhou | Tahira Naseem | Ramón Fernandez Astudillo | Young-Suk Lee | Radu Florian | Salim Roukos
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Predicting linearized Abstract Meaning Representation (AMR) graphs using pre-trained sequence-to-sequence Transformer models has recently led to large improvements on AMR parsing benchmarks. These parsers are simple and avoid explicit modeling of structure but lack desirable properties such as graph well-formedness guarantees or built-in graph-sentence alignments. In this work we explore the integration of general pre-trained sequence-to-sequence language models and a structure-aware transition-based approach. We depart from a pointer-based transition system and propose a simplified transition set, designed to better exploit pre-trained language models for structured fine-tuning. We also explore modeling the parser state within the pre-trained encoder-decoder architecture and different vocabulary strategies for the same purpose. We provide a detailed comparison with recent progress in AMR parsing and show that the proposed parser retains the desirable properties of previous transition-based approaches, while being simpler and reaching the new parsing state of the art for AMR 2.0, without the need for graph re-categorization.

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AMR Parsing with Action-Pointer Transformer
Jiawei Zhou | Tahira Naseem | Ramón Fernandez Astudillo | Radu Florian
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Abstract Meaning Representation parsing is a sentence-to-graph prediction task where target nodes are not explicitly aligned to sentence tokens. However, since graph nodes are semantically based on one or more sentence tokens, implicit alignments can be derived. Transition-based parsers operate over the sentence from left to right, capturing this inductive bias via alignments at the cost of limited expressiveness. In this work, we propose a transition-based system that combines hard-attention over sentences with a target-side action pointer mechanism to decouple source tokens from node representations and address alignments. We model the transitions as well as the pointer mechanism through straightforward modifications within a single Transformer architecture. Parser state and graph structure information are efficiently encoded using attention heads. We show that our action-pointer approach leads to increased expressiveness and attains large gains (+1.6 points) against the best transition-based AMR parser in very similar conditions. While using no graph re-categorization, our single model yields the second best Smatch score on AMR 2.0 (81.8), which is further improved to 83.4 with silver data and ensemble decoding.


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GPT-too: A Language-Model-First Approach for AMR-to-Text Generation
Manuel Mager | Ramón Fernandez Astudillo | Tahira Naseem | Md Arafat Sultan | Young-Suk Lee | Radu Florian | Salim Roukos
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Abstract Meaning Representations (AMRs) are broad-coverage sentence-level semantic graphs. Existing approaches to generating text from AMR have focused on training sequence-to-sequence or graph-to-sequence models on AMR annotated data only. In this paper, we propose an alternative approach that combines a strong pre-trained language model with cycle consistency-based re-scoring. Despite the simplicity of the approach, our experimental results show these models outperform all previous techniques on the English LDC2017T10 dataset, including the recent use of transformer architectures. In addition to the standard evaluation metrics, we provide human evaluation experiments that further substantiate the strength of our approach.

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On the Importance of Diversity in Question Generation for QA
Md Arafat Sultan | Shubham Chandel | Ramón Fernandez Astudillo | Vittorio Castelli
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Automatic question generation (QG) has shown promise as a source of synthetic training data for question answering (QA). In this paper we ask: Is textual diversity in QG beneficial for downstream QA? Using top-p nucleus sampling to derive samples from a transformer-based question generator, we show that diversity-promoting QG indeed provides better QA training than likelihood maximization approaches such as beam search. We also show that standard QG evaluation metrics such as BLEU, ROUGE and METEOR are inversely correlated with diversity, and propose a diversity-aware intrinsic measure of overall QG quality that correlates well with extrinsic evaluation on QA.

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Transition-based Parsing with Stack-Transformers
Ramón Fernandez Astudillo | Miguel Ballesteros | Tahira Naseem | Austin Blodgett | Radu Florian
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2020

Modeling the parser state is key to good performance in transition-based parsing. Recurrent Neural Networks considerably improved the performance of transition-based systems by modelling the global state, e.g. stack-LSTM parsers, or local state modeling of contextualized features, e.g. Bi-LSTM parsers. Given the success of Transformer architectures in recent parsing systems, this work explores modifications of the sequence-to-sequence Transformer architecture to model either global or local parser states in transition-based parsing. We show that modifications of the cross attention mechanism of the Transformer considerably strengthen performance both on dependency and Abstract Meaning Representation (AMR) parsing tasks, particularly for smaller models or limited training data.

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Pushing the Limits of AMR Parsing with Self-Learning
Young-Suk Lee | Ramón Fernandez Astudillo | Tahira Naseem | Revanth Gangi Reddy | Radu Florian | Salim Roukos
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2020

Abstract Meaning Representation (AMR) parsing has experienced a notable growth in performance in the last two years, due both to the impact of transfer learning and the development of novel architectures specific to AMR. At the same time, self-learning techniques have helped push the performance boundaries of other natural language processing applications, such as machine translation or question answering. In this paper, we explore different ways in which trained models can be applied to improve AMR parsing performance, including generation of synthetic text and AMR annotations as well as refinement of actions oracle. We show that, without any additional human annotations, these techniques improve an already performant parser and achieve state-of-the-art results on AMR 1.0 and AMR 2.0.


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Proceedings of the AMTA 2018 Workshop on Translation Quality Estimation and Automatic Post-Editing
Ramón Astudillo | João Graça | André Martins
Proceedings of the AMTA 2018 Workshop on Translation Quality Estimation and Automatic Post-Editing

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Findings of the WMT 2018 Shared Task on Quality Estimation
Lucia Specia | Frédéric Blain | Varvara Logacheva | Ramón F. Astudillo | André F. T. Martins
Proceedings of the Third Conference on Machine Translation: Shared Task Papers

We report the results of the WMT18 shared task on Quality Estimation, i.e. the task of predicting the quality of the output of machine translation systems at various granularity levels: word, phrase, sentence and document. This year we include four language pairs, three text domains, and translations produced by both statistical and neural machine translation systems. Participating teams from ten institutions submitted a variety of systems to different task variants and language pairs.


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Pushing the Limits of Translation Quality Estimation
André F. T. Martins | Marcin Junczys-Dowmunt | Fabio N. Kepler | Ramón Astudillo | Chris Hokamp | Roman Grundkiewicz
Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Volume 5

Translation quality estimation is a task of growing importance in NLP, due to its potential to reduce post-editing human effort in disruptive ways. However, this potential is currently limited by the relatively low accuracy of existing systems. In this paper, we achieve remarkable improvements by exploiting synergies between the related tasks of word-level quality estimation and automatic post-editing. First, we stack a new, carefully engineered, neural model into a rich feature-based word-level quality estimation system. Then, we use the output of an automatic post-editing system as an extra feature, obtaining striking results on WMT16: a word-level FMULT1 score of 57.47% (an absolute gain of +7.95% over the current state of the art), and a Pearson correlation score of 65.56% for sentence-level HTER prediction (an absolute gain of +13.36%).

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Fusion of Simple Models for Native Language Identification
Fabio Kepler | Ramon F. Astudillo | Alberto Abad
Proceedings of the 12th Workshop on Innovative Use of NLP for Building Educational Applications

In this paper we describe the approaches we explored for the 2017 Native Language Identification shared task. We focused on simple word and sub-word units avoiding heavy use of hand-crafted features. Following recent trends, we explored linear and neural networks models to attempt to compensate for the lack of rich feature use. Initial efforts yielded f1-scores of 82.39% and 83.77% in the development and test sets of the fusion track, and were officially submitted to the task as team L2F. After the task was closed, we carried on further experiments and relied on a late fusion strategy for combining our simple proposed approaches with modifications of the baselines provided by the task. As expected, the i-vectors based sub-system dominates the performance of the system combinations, and results in the major contributor to our achieved scores. Our best combined system achieves 90.1% and 90.2% f1-score in the development and test sets of the fusion track, respectively.


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INESC-ID at SemEval-2016 Task 4-A: Reducing the Problem of Out-of-Embedding Words
Silvio Amir | Ramon F. Astudillo | Wang Ling | Mário J. Silva | Isabel Trancoso
Proceedings of the 10th International Workshop on Semantic Evaluation (SemEval-2016)

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Unbabel’s Participation in the WMT16 Word-Level Translation Quality Estimation Shared Task
André F. T. Martins | Ramón Astudillo | Chris Hokamp | Fabio Kepler
Proceedings of the First Conference on Machine Translation: Volume 2, Shared Task Papers


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Learning Word Representations from Scarce and Noisy Data with Embedding Subspaces
Ramon F. Astudillo | Silvio Amir | Wang Ling | Mário Silva | Isabel Trancoso
Proceedings of the 53rd Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 7th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 1: Long Papers)

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INESC-ID: A Regression Model for Large Scale Twitter Sentiment Lexicon Induction
Silvio Amir | Ramon F. Astudillo | Wang Ling | Bruno Martins | Mario J. Silva | Isabel Trancoso
Proceedings of the 9th International Workshop on Semantic Evaluation (SemEval 2015)

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INESC-ID: Sentiment Analysis without Hand-Coded Features or Linguistic Resources using Embedding Subspaces
Ramon F. Astudillo | Silvio Amir | Wang Ling | Bruno Martins | Mario J. Silva | Isabel Trancoso
Proceedings of the 9th International Workshop on Semantic Evaluation (SemEval 2015)