Shreya Pathak


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Improving Pretraining Techniques for Code-Switched NLP
Richeek Das | Sahasra Ranjan | Shreya Pathak | Preethi Jyothi
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Pretrained models are a mainstay in modern NLP applications. Pretraining requires access to large volumes of unlabeled text. While monolingual text is readily available for many of the world’s languages, access to large quantities of code-switched text (i.e., text with tokens of multiple languages interspersed within a sentence) is much more scarce. Given this resource constraint, the question of how pretraining using limited amounts of code-switched text could be altered to improve performance for code-switched NLP becomes important to tackle. In this paper, we explore different masked language modeling (MLM) pretraining techniques for code-switched text that are cognizant of language boundaries prior to masking. The language identity of the tokens can either come from human annotators, trained language classifiers, or simple relative frequency-based estimates. We also present an MLM variant by introducing a residual connection from an earlier layer in the pretrained model that uniformly boosts performance on downstream tasks. Experiments on two downstream tasks, Question Answering (QA) and Sentiment Analysis (SA), involving four code-switched language pairs (Hindi-English, Spanish-English, Tamil-English, Malayalam-English) yield relative improvements of up to 5.8 and 2.7 F1 scores on QA (Hindi-English) and SA (Tamil-English), respectively, compared to standard pretraining techniques. To understand our task improvements better, we use a series of probes to study what additional information is encoded by our pretraining techniques and also introduce an auxiliary loss function that explicitly models language identification to further aid the residual MLM variants.


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CoCoa: An Encoder-Decoder Model for Controllable Code-switched Generation
Sneha Mondal | Ritika . | Shreya Pathak | Preethi Jyothi | Aravindan Raghuveer
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Code-switching has seen growing interest in recent years as an important multilingual NLP phenomenon. Generating code-switched text for data augmentation has been sufficiently well-explored. However, there is no prior work on generating code-switched text with fine-grained control on the degree of code-switching and the lexical choices used to convey formality. We present CoCoa, an encoder-decoder translation model that converts monolingual Hindi text to Hindi-English code-switched text with both encoder-side and decoder-side interventions to achieve fine-grained controllable generation. CoCoa can be invoked at test-time to synthesize code-switched text that is simultaneously faithful to syntactic and lexical attributes relevant to code-switching. CoCoa outputs were subjected to rigorous subjective and objective evaluations. Human evaluations establish that our outputs are of superior quality while being faithful to desired attributes. We show significantly improved BLEU scores when compared with human-generated code-switched references. Compared to competitive baselines, we show 10% reduction in perplexity on a language modeling task and also demonstrate clear improvements on a downstream code-switched sentiment analysis task.


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The Effectiveness of Intermediate-Task Training for Code-Switched Natural Language Understanding
Archiki Prasad | Mohammad Ali Rehan | Shreya Pathak | Preethi Jyothi
Proceedings of the 1st Workshop on Multilingual Representation Learning

While recent benchmarks have spurred a lot of new work on improving the generalization of pretrained multilingual language models on multilingual tasks, techniques to improve code-switched natural language understanding tasks have been far less explored. In this work, we propose the use of bilingual intermediate pretraining as a reliable technique to derive large and consistent performance gains using code-switched text on three different NLP tasks: Natural Language Inference (NLI), Question Answering (QA) and Sentiment Analysis (SA). We show consistent performance gains on four different code-switched language-pairs (Hindi-English, Spanish-English, Tamil-English and Malayalam-English) for SA and on Hindi-English for NLI and QA. We also present a code-switched masked language modeling (MLM) pretraining technique that consistently benefits SA compared to standard MLM pretraining using real code-switched text.