We observe a severe under-reporting of the different kinds of errors that Natural Language Generation systems make. This is a problem, because mistakes are an important indicator of where systems should still be improved. If authors only report overall performance metrics, the research community is left in the dark about the specific weaknesses that are exhibited by ‘state-of-the-art’ research. Next to quantifying the extent of error under-reporting, this position paper provides recommendations for error identification, analysis and reporting.
This paper describes an attempt to reproduce an earlier experiment, previously conducted by the author, that compares hedged and non-hedged NLG texts as part of the ReproGen shared challenge. This reproduction effort was only able to partially replicate results from the original study. The analyisis from this reproduction effort suggests that whilst it is possible to replicate the procedural aspects of a previous study, replicating the results can prove more challenging as differences in participant type can have a potential impact.
We introduce GEM, a living benchmark for natural language Generation (NLG), its Evaluation, and Metrics. Measuring progress in NLG relies on a constantly evolving ecosystem of automated metrics, datasets, and human evaluation standards. Due to this moving target, new models often still evaluate on divergent anglo-centric corpora with well-established, but flawed, metrics. This disconnect makes it challenging to identify the limitations of current models and opportunities for progress. Addressing this limitation, GEM provides an environment in which models can easily be applied to a wide set of tasks and in which evaluation strategies can be tested. Regular updates to the benchmark will help NLG research become more multilingual and evolve the challenge alongside models. This paper serves as the description of the data for the 2021 shared task at the associated GEM Workshop.
Common sense is an integral part of human cognition which allows us to make sound decisions, communicate effectively with others and interpret situations and utterances. Endowing AI systems with commonsense knowledge capabilities will help us get closer to creating systems that exhibit human intelligence. Recent efforts in Natural Language Generation (NLG) have focused on incorporating commonsense knowledge through large-scale pre-trained language models or by incorporating external knowledge bases. Such systems exhibit reasoning capabilities without common sense being explicitly encoded in the training set. These systems require careful evaluation, as they incorporate additional resources during training which adds additional sources of errors. Additionally, human evaluation of such systems can have significant variation, making it impossible to compare different systems and define baselines. This paper aims to demystify human evaluations of commonsense-enhanced NLG systems by proposing the Commonsense Evaluation Card (CEC), a set of recommendations for evaluation reporting of commonsense-enhanced NLG systems, underpinned by an extensive analysis of human evaluations reported in the recent literature.
Human assessment remains the most trusted form of evaluation in NLG, but highly diverse approaches and a proliferation of different quality criteria used by researchers make it difficult to compare results and draw conclusions across papers, with adverse implications for meta-evaluation and reproducibility. In this paper, we present (i) our dataset of 165 NLG papers with human evaluations, (ii) the annotation scheme we developed to label the papers for different aspects of evaluations, (iii) quantitative analyses of the annotations, and (iv) a set of recommendations for improving standards in evaluation reporting. We use the annotations as a basis for examining information included in evaluation reports, and levels of consistency in approaches, experimental design and terminology, focusing in particular on the 200+ different terms that have been used for evaluated aspects of quality. We conclude that due to a pervasive lack of clarity in reports and extreme diversity in approaches, human evaluation in NLG presents as extremely confused in 2020, and that the field is in urgent need of standard methods and terminology.
This paper describes the implementation of the Hotel Scribe system. A commercial Natural Language Generation (NLG) system which generates descriptions of hotels from accommodation metadata with a high level of content and linguistic variation in English. It has been deployed live by *Anonymised Company Name* for the purpose of improving coverage of accommodation descriptions and for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). In this paper, we describe the motivation for building this system, the challenges faced when dealing with limited metadata, and the implementation used to generate the highly variate accommodation descriptions. Additionally, we evaluate the uniqueness of the texts generated by our system against comparable human written accommodation description texts.