Richard Shin


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Few-Shot Semantic Parsing with Language Models Trained on Code
Richard Shin | Benjamin Van Durme
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Large language models can perform semantic parsing with little training data, when prompted with in-context examples. It has been shown that this can be improved by formulating the problem as paraphrasing into canonical utterances, which casts the underlying meaning representation into a controlled natural language-like representation. Intuitively, such models can more easily output canonical utterances as they are closer to the natural language used for pre-training. Recently, models also pre-trained on code, like OpenAI Codex, have risen in prominence. For semantic parsing tasks where we map natural language into code, such models may prove more adept at it. In this paper, we test this hypothesis and find that Codex performs better on such tasks than equivalent GPT-3 models. We evaluate on Overnight and SMCalFlow and find that unlike GPT-3, Codex performs similarly when targeting meaning representations directly, perhaps because meaning representations are structured similar to code in these datasets.

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Guided K-best Selection for Semantic Parsing Annotation
Anton Belyy | Chieh-yang Huang | Jacob Andreas | Emmanouil Antonios Platanios | Sam Thomson | Richard Shin | Subhro Roy | Aleksandr Nisnevich | Charles Chen | Benjamin Van Durme
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics: System Demonstrations

Collecting data for conversational semantic parsing is a time-consuming and demanding process. In this paper we consider, given an incomplete dataset with only a small amount of data, how to build an AI-powered human-in-the-loop process to enable efficient data collection. A guided K-best selection process is proposed, which (i) generates a set of possible valid candidates; (ii) allows users to quickly traverse the set and filter incorrect parses; and (iii) asks users to select the correct parse, with minimal modification when necessary. We investigate how to best support users in efficiently traversing the candidate set and locating the correct parse, in terms of speed and accuracy. In our user study, consisting of five annotators labeling 300 instances each, we find that combining keyword searching, where keywords can be used to query relevant candidates, and keyword suggestion, where representative keywords are automatically generated, enables fast and accurate annotation.

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Addressing Resource and Privacy Constraints in Semantic Parsing Through Data Augmentation
Kevin Yang | Olivia Deng | Charles Chen | Richard Shin | Subhro Roy | Benjamin Van Durme
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2022

We introduce a novel setup for low-resource task-oriented semantic parsing which incorporates several constraints that may arise in real-world scenarios: (1) lack of similar datasets/models from a related domain, (2) inability to sample useful logical forms directly from a grammar, and (3) privacy requirements for unlabeled natural utterances. Our goal is to improve a low-resource semantic parser using utterances collected through user interactions. In this highly challenging but realistic setting, we investigate data augmentation approaches involving generating a set of structured canonical utterances corresponding to logical forms, before simulating corresponding natural language and filtering the resulting pairs. We find that such approaches are effective despite our restrictive setup: in a low-resource setting on the complex SMCalFlow calendaring dataset (Andreas et al. 2020), we observe 33% relative improvement over a non-data-augmented baseline in top-1 match.


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Constrained Language Models Yield Few-Shot Semantic Parsers
Richard Shin | Christopher Lin | Sam Thomson | Charles Chen | Subhro Roy | Emmanouil Antonios Platanios | Adam Pauls | Dan Klein | Jason Eisner | Benjamin Van Durme
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

We explore the use of large pretrained language models as few-shot semantic parsers. The goal in semantic parsing is to generate a structured meaning representation given a natural language input. However, language models are trained to generate natural language. To bridge the gap, we use language models to paraphrase inputs into a controlled sublanguage resembling English that can be automatically mapped to a target meaning representation. Our results demonstrate that with only a small amount of data and very little code to convert into English-like representations, our blueprint for rapidly bootstrapping semantic parsers leads to surprisingly effective performance on multiple community tasks, greatly exceeding baseline methods also trained on the same limited data.


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RAT-SQL: Relation-Aware Schema Encoding and Linking for Text-to-SQL Parsers
Bailin Wang | Richard Shin | Xiaodong Liu | Oleksandr Polozov | Matthew Richardson
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

When translating natural language questions into SQL queries to answer questions from a database, contemporary semantic parsing models struggle to generalize to unseen database schemas. The generalization challenge lies in (a) encoding the database relations in an accessible way for the semantic parser, and (b) modeling alignment between database columns and their mentions in a given query. We present a unified framework, based on the relation-aware self-attention mechanism, to address schema encoding, schema linking, and feature representation within a text-to-SQL encoder. On the challenging Spider dataset this framework boosts the exact match accuracy to 57.2%, surpassing its best counterparts by 8.7% absolute improvement. Further augmented with BERT, it achieves the new state-of-the-art performance of 65.6% on the Spider leaderboard. In addition, we observe qualitative improvements in the model’s understanding of schema linking and alignment. Our implementation will be open-sourced at