Richard Sutcliffe


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Enhancing Task-Specific Distillation in Small Data Regimes through Language Generation
Husam Quteineh | Spyridon Samothrakis | Richard Sutcliffe
Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Large-scale pretrained language models have led to significant improvements in Natural Language Processing. Unfortunately, they come at the cost of high computational and storage requirements that complicate their deployment on low-resource devices. This issue can be addressed by distilling knowledge from larger models to smaller ones through pseudo-labels on task-specific datasets. However, this can be difficult for tasks with very limited data. To overcome this challenge, we present a novel approach where knowledge can be distilled from a teacher model to a student model through the generation of synthetic data. For this to be done, we first fine-tune the teacher and student models, as well as a Natural Language Generation (NLG) model, on the target task dataset. We then let both student and teacher work together to condition the NLG model to generate examples that can enhance the performance of the student. We tested our approach on two data generation methods: a) Targeted generation using the Monte Carlo Tree Search (MCTS) algorithm, and b) A Non-Targeted Text Generation (NTTG) method. We evaluate the effectiveness of our approaches against a baseline that uses the BERT model for data augmentation through random word replacement. By testing this approach on the SST-2, MRPC, YELP-2, DBpedia, and TREC-6 datasets, we consistently witnessed considerable improvements over the word-replacement baseline.


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Textual Data Augmentation for Efficient Active Learning on Tiny Datasets
Husam Quteineh | Spyridon Samothrakis | Richard Sutcliffe
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

In this paper we propose a novel data augmentation approach where guided outputs of a language generation model, e.g. GPT-2, when labeled, can improve the performance of text classifiers through an active learning process. We transform the data generation task into an optimization problem which maximizes the usefulness of the generated output, using Monte Carlo Tree Search (MCTS) as the optimization strategy and incorporating entropy as one of the optimization criteria. We test our approach against a Non-Guided Data Generation (NGDG) process that does not optimize for a reward function. Starting with a small set of data, our results show an increased performance with MCTS of 26% on the TREC-6 Questions dataset, and 10% on the Stanford Sentiment Treebank SST-2 dataset. Compared with NGDG, we are able to achieve increases of 3% and 5% on TREC-6 and SST-2.


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Using a Cross-Language Information Retrieval System based on OHSUMED to Evaluate the Moses and KantanMT Statistical Machine Translation Systems
Nikolaos Katris | Richard Sutcliffe | Theodore Kalamboukis
Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC'16)

The objective of this paper was to evaluate the performance of two statistical machine translation (SMT) systems within a cross-language information retrieval (CLIR) architecture and examine if there is a correlation between translation quality and CLIR performance. The SMT systems were KantanMT, a cloud-based machine translation (MT) platform, and Moses, an open-source MT application. First we trained both systems using the same language resources: the EMEA corpus for the translation model and language model and the QTLP corpus for tuning. Then we translated the 63 queries of the OHSUMED test collection from Greek into English using both MT systems. Next, we ran the queries on the document collection using Apache Solr to get a list of the top ten matches. The results were compared to the OHSUMED gold standard. KantanMT achieved higher average precision and F-measure than Moses, while both systems produced the same recall score. We also calculated the BLEU score for each system using the ECDC corpus. Moses achieved a higher BLEU score than KantanMT. Finally, we also tested the IR performance of the original English queries. This work overall showed that CLIR performance can be better even when BLEU score is worse.


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Evaluating Machine Reading Systems through Comprehension Tests
Anselmo Peñas | Eduard Hovy | Pamela Forner | Álvaro Rodrigo | Richard Sutcliffe | Corina Forascu | Caroline Sporleder
Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC'12)

This paper describes a methodology for testing and evaluating the performance of Machine Reading systems through Question Answering and Reading Comprehension Tests. The methodology is being used in QA4MRE (QA for Machine Reading Evaluation), one of the labs of CLEF. The task was to answer a series of multiple choice tests, each based on a single document. This allows complex questions to be asked but makes evaluation simple and completely automatic. The evaluation architecture is completely multilingual: test documents, questions, and their answers are identical in all the supported languages. Background text collections are comparable collections harvested from the web for a set of predefined topics. Each test received an evaluation score between 0 and 1 using c@1. This measure encourages systems to reduce the number of incorrect answers while maintaining the number of correct ones by leaving some questions unanswered. 12 groups participated in the task, submitting 62 runs in 3 different languages (German, English, and Romanian). All runs were monolingual; no team attempted a cross-language task. We report here the conclusions and lessons learned after the first campaign in 2011.


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Evaluating Multilingual Question Answering Systems at CLEF
Pamela Forner | Danilo Giampiccolo | Bernardo Magnini | Anselmo Peñas | Álvaro Rodrigo | Richard Sutcliffe
Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC'10)

The paper offers an overview of the key issues raised during the seven years’ activity of the Multilingual Question Answering Track at the Cross Language Evaluation Forum (CLEF). The general aim of the Multilingual Question Answering Track has been to test both monolingual and cross-language Question Answering (QA) systems that process queries and documents in several European languages, also drawing attention to a number of challenging issues for research in multilingual QA. The paper gives a brief description of how the task has evolved over the years and of the way in which the data sets have been created, presenting also a brief summary of the different types of questions developed. The document collections adopted in the competitions are sketched as well, and some data about the participation are provided. Moreover, the main evaluation measures used to evaluate system performances are explained and an overall analysis of the results achieved is presented.


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The Multilingual Question Answering Track at CLEF
Bernardo Magnini | Danilo Giampiccolo | Lili Aunimo | Christelle Ayache | Petya Osenova | Anselmo Peñas | Maarten de Rijke | Bogdan Sacaleanu | Diana Santos | Richard Sutcliffe
Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC’06)

This paper presents an overview of the Multilingual Question Answering evaluation campaigns which have been organized at CLEF (Cross Language Evaluation Forum) since 2003. Over the years, the competition has registered a steady increment in the number of participants and languages involved. In fact, from the original eight groups which participated in 2003 QA track, the number of competitors in 2005 rose to twenty-four. Also, the performances of the systems have steadily improved, and the average of the best performances in the 2005 saw an increase of 10% with respect to the previous year.