Reno Kriz


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Did that happen? Predicting Social Media Posts that are Indicative of what happened in a scene: A case study of a TV show
Anietie Andy | Reno Kriz | Sharath Chandra Guntuku | Derry Tanti Wijaya | Chris Callison-Burch
Proceedings of the Thirteenth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

While popular Television (TV) shows are airing, some users interested in these shows publish social media posts about the show. Analyzing social media posts related to a TV show can be beneficial for gaining insights about what happened during scenes of the show. This is a challenging task partly because a significant number of social media posts associated with a TV show or event may not clearly describe what happened during the event. In this work, we propose a method to predict social media posts (associated with scenes of a TV show) that are indicative of what transpired during the scenes of the show. We evaluate our method on social media (Twitter) posts associated with an episode of a popular TV show, Game of Thrones. We show that for each of the identified scenes, with high AUC’s, our method can predict posts that are indicative of what happened in a scene from those that are not-indicative. Based on Twitters policy, we will make the Tweeter ID’s of the Twitter posts used for this work publicly available.


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BiSECT: Learning to Split and Rephrase Sentences with Bitexts
Joongwon Kim | Mounica Maddela | Reno Kriz | Wei Xu | Chris Callison-Burch
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

An important task in NLP applications such as sentence simplification is the ability to take a long, complex sentence and split it into shorter sentences, rephrasing as necessary. We introduce a novel dataset and a new model for this ‘split and rephrase’ task. Our BiSECT training data consists of 1 million long English sentences paired with shorter, meaning-equivalent English sentences. We obtain these by extracting 1-2 sentence alignments in bilingual parallel corpora and then using machine translation to convert both sides of the corpus into the same language. BiSECT contains higher quality training examples than the previous Split and Rephrase corpora, with sentence splits that require more significant modifications. We categorize examples in our corpus and use these categories in a novel model that allows us to target specific regions of the input sentence to be split and edited. Moreover, we show that models trained on BiSECT can perform a wider variety of split operations and improve upon previous state-of-the-art approaches in automatic and human evaluations.

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TopGuNN: Fast NLP Training Data Augmentation using Large Corpora
Rebecca Iglesias-Flores | Megha Mishra | Ajay Patel | Akanksha Malhotra | Reno Kriz | Martha Palmer | Chris Callison-Burch
Proceedings of the Second Workshop on Data Science with Human in the Loop: Language Advances

Acquiring training data for natural language processing systems can be expensive and time-consuming. Given a few training examples crafted by experts, large corpora can be mined for thousands of semantically similar examples that provide useful variability to improve model generalization. We present TopGuNN, a fast contextualized k-NN retrieval system that can efficiently index and search over contextual embeddings generated from large corpora. TopGuNN is demonstrated for a training data augmentation use case over the Gigaword corpus. Using approximate k-NN and an efficient architecture, TopGuNN performs queries over an embedding space of 4.63TB (approximately 1.5B embeddings) in less than a day.


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Complexity-Weighted Loss and Diverse Reranking for Sentence Simplification
Reno Kriz | João Sedoc | Marianna Apidianaki | Carolina Zheng | Gaurav Kumar | Eleni Miltsakaki | Chris Callison-Burch
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 1 (Long and Short Papers)

Sentence simplification is the task of rewriting texts so they are easier to understand. Recent research has applied sequence-to-sequence (Seq2Seq) models to this task, focusing largely on training-time improvements via reinforcement learning and memory augmentation. One of the main problems with applying generic Seq2Seq models for simplification is that these models tend to copy directly from the original sentence, resulting in outputs that are relatively long and complex. We aim to alleviate this issue through the use of two main techniques. First, we incorporate content word complexities, as predicted with a leveled word complexity model, into our loss function during training. Second, we generate a large set of diverse candidate simplifications at test time, and rerank these to promote fluency, adequacy, and simplicity. Here, we measure simplicity through a novel sentence complexity model. These extensions allow our models to perform competitively with state-of-the-art systems while generating simpler sentences. We report standard automatic and human evaluation metrics.

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Comparison of Diverse Decoding Methods from Conditional Language Models
Daphne Ippolito | Reno Kriz | João Sedoc | Maria Kustikova | Chris Callison-Burch
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

While conditional language models have greatly improved in their ability to output high quality natural language, many NLP applications benefit from being able to generate a diverse set of candidate sequences. Diverse decoding strategies aim to, within a given-sized candidate list, cover as much of the space of high-quality outputs as possible, leading to improvements for tasks that rerank and combine candidate outputs. Standard decoding methods, such as beam search, optimize for generating high likelihood sequences rather than diverse ones, though recent work has focused on increasing diversity in these methods. In this work, we perform an extensive survey of decoding-time strategies for generating diverse outputs from a conditional language model. In addition, we present a novel method where we over-sample candidates, then use clustering to remove similar sequences, thus achieving high diversity without sacrificing quality.


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Learning Translations via Images with a Massively Multilingual Image Dataset
John Hewitt | Daphne Ippolito | Brendan Callahan | Reno Kriz | Derry Tanti Wijaya | Chris Callison-Burch
Proceedings of the 56th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

We conduct the most comprehensive study to date into translating words via images. To facilitate research on the task, we introduce a large-scale multilingual corpus of images, each labeled with the word it represents. Past datasets have been limited to only a few high-resource languages and unrealistically easy translation settings. In contrast, we have collected by far the largest available dataset for this task, with images for approximately 10,000 words in each of 100 languages. We run experiments on a dozen high resource languages and 20 low resources languages, demonstrating the effect of word concreteness and part-of-speech on translation quality. %We find that while image features work best for concrete nouns, they are sometimes effective on other parts of speech. To improve image-based translation, we introduce a novel method of predicting word concreteness from images, which improves on a previous state-of-the-art unsupervised technique. This allows us to predict when image-based translation may be effective, enabling consistent improvements to a state-of-the-art text-based word translation system. Our code and the Massively Multilingual Image Dataset (MMID) are available at

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Simplification Using Paraphrases and Context-Based Lexical Substitution
Reno Kriz | Eleni Miltsakaki | Marianna Apidianaki | Chris Callison-Burch
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 1 (Long Papers)

Lexical simplification involves identifying complex words or phrases that need to be simplified, and recommending simpler meaning-preserving substitutes that can be more easily understood. We propose a complex word identification (CWI) model that exploits both lexical and contextual features, and a simplification mechanism which relies on a word-embedding lexical substitution model to replace the detected complex words with simpler paraphrases. We compare our CWI and lexical simplification models to several baselines, and evaluate the performance of our simplification system against human judgments. The results show that our models are able to detect complex words with higher accuracy than other commonly used methods, and propose good simplification substitutes in context. They also highlight the limited contribution of context features for CWI, which nonetheless improve simplification compared to context-unaware models.