With the success of contextualized language models, much research explores what these models really learn and in which cases they still fail. Most of this work focuses on specific NLP tasks and on the learning outcome. Little research has attempted to decouple the models’ weaknesses from specific tasks and focus on the embeddings per se and their mode of learning. In this paper, we take up this research opportunity: based on theoretical linguistic insights, we explore whether the semantic constraints of function words are learned and how the surrounding context impacts their embeddings. We create suitable datasets, provide new insights into the inner workings of LMs vis-a-vis function words and implement an assisting visual web interface for qualitative analysis.
Despite the success of contextualized language models on various NLP tasks, it is still unclear what these models really learn. In this paper, we contribute to the current efforts of explaining such models by exploring the continuum between function and content words with respect to contextualization in BERT, based on linguistically-informed insights. In particular, we utilize scoring and visual analytics techniques: we use an existing similarity-based score to measure contextualization and integrate it into a novel visual analytics technique, presenting the model’s layers simultaneously and highlighting intra-layer properties and inter-layer differences. We show that contextualization is neither driven by polysemy nor by pure context variation. We also provide insights on why BERT fails to model words in the middle of the functionality continuum.
Research in NLP has mainly focused on factoid questions, with the goal of finding quick and reliable ways of matching a query to an answer. However, human discourse involves more than that: it contains non-canonical questions deployed to achieve specific communicative goals. In this paper, we investigate this under-studied aspect of NLP by introducing a targeted task, creating an appropriate corpus for the task and providing baseline models of diverse nature. With this, we are also able to generate useful insights on the task and open the way for future research in this direction.
Advances in Natural Language Inference (NLI) have helped us understand what state-of-the-art models really learn and what their generalization power is. Recent research has revealed some heuristics and biases of these models. However, to date, there is no systematic effort to capitalize on those insights through a system that uses these to explain the NLI decisions. To this end, we propose XplaiNLI, an eXplainable, interactive, visualization interface that computes NLI with different methods and provides explanations for the decisions made by the different approaches.
The study of language change through parallel corpora can be advantageous for the analysis of complex interactions between time, text domain and language. Often, those advantages cannot be fully exploited due to the sparse but high-dimensional nature of such historical data. To tackle this challenge, we introduce ParHistVis: a novel, free, easy-to-use, interactive visualization tool for parallel, multilingual, diachronic and synchronic linguistic data. We illustrate the suitability of the components of the tool based on a use case of word order change in Romance wh-interrogatives.
We present a modular framework for the rapid-prototyping of linguistic, web-based, visual analytics applications. Our framework gives developers access to a rich set of machine learning and natural language processing steps, through encapsulating them into micro-services and combining them into a computational pipeline. This processing pipeline is auto-configured based on the requirements of the visualization front-end, making the linguistic processing and visualization design, detached independent development tasks. This paper describes the constellation and modality of our framework, which continues to support the efficient development of various human-in-the-loop, linguistic visual analytics research techniques and applications.