Simon Baker


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Keep the Primary, Rewrite the Secondary: A Two-Stage Approach for Paraphrase Generation
Yixuan Su | David Vandyke | Simon Baker | Yan Wang | Nigel Collier
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL-IJCNLP 2021

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Few-Shot Table-to-Text Generation with Prototype Memory
Yixuan Su | Zaiqiao Meng | Simon Baker | Nigel Collier
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2021

Neural table-to-text generation models have achieved remarkable progress on an array of tasks. However, due to the data-hungry nature of neural models, their performances strongly rely on large-scale training examples, limiting their applicability in real-world applications. To address this, we propose a new framework: Prototype-to-Generate (P2G), for table-to-text generation under the few-shot scenario. The proposed framework utilizes the retrieved prototypes, which are jointly selected by an IR system and a novel prototype selector to help the model bridging the structural gap between tables and texts. Experimental results on three benchmark datasets with three state-of-the-art models demonstrate that the proposed framework significantly improves the model performance across various evaluation metrics.

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Non-Autoregressive Text Generation with Pre-trained Language Models
Yixuan Su | Deng Cai | Yan Wang | David Vandyke | Simon Baker | Piji Li | Nigel Collier
Proceedings of the 16th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Main Volume

Non-autoregressive generation (NAG) has recently attracted great attention due to its fast inference speed. However, the generation quality of existing NAG models still lags behind their autoregressive counterparts. In this work, we show that BERT can be employed as the backbone of a NAG model for a greatly improved performance. Additionally, we devise two mechanisms to alleviate the two common problems of vanilla NAG models: the inflexibility of prefixed output length and the conditional independence of individual token predictions. To further strengthen the speed advantage of the proposed model, we propose a new decoding strategy, ratio-first, for applications where the output lengths can be approximately estimated beforehand. For a comprehensive evaluation, we test the proposed model on three text generation tasks, including text summarization, sentence compression and machine translation. Experimental results show that our model significantly outperforms existing non-autoregressive baselines and achieves competitive performance with many strong autoregressive models. In addition, we also conduct extensive analysis experiments to reveal the effect of each proposed component.

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Dialogue Response Selection with Hierarchical Curriculum Learning
Yixuan Su | Deng Cai | Qingyu Zhou | Zibo Lin | Simon Baker | Yunbo Cao | Shuming Shi | Nigel Collier | Yan Wang
Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 1: Long Papers)

We study the learning of a matching model for dialogue response selection. Motivated by the recent finding that models trained with random negative samples are not ideal in real-world scenarios, we propose a hierarchical curriculum learning framework that trains the matching model in an “easy-to-difficult” scheme. Our learning framework consists of two complementary curricula: (1) corpus-level curriculum (CC); and (2) instance-level curriculum (IC). In CC, the model gradually increases its ability in finding the matching clues between the dialogue context and a response candidate. As for IC, it progressively strengthens the model’s ability in identifying the mismatching information between the dialogue context and a response candidate. Empirical studies on three benchmark datasets with three state-of-the-art matching models demonstrate that the proposed learning framework significantly improves the model performance across various evaluation metrics.


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Multi-SimLex: A Large-Scale Evaluation of Multilingual and Crosslingual Lexical Semantic Similarity
Ivan Vulić | Simon Baker | Edoardo Maria Ponti | Ulla Petti | Ira Leviant | Kelly Wing | Olga Majewska | Eden Bar | Matt Malone | Thierry Poibeau | Roi Reichart | Anna Korhonen
Computational Linguistics, Volume 46, Issue 4 - December 2020

We introduce Multi-SimLex, a large-scale lexical resource and evaluation benchmark covering data sets for 12 typologically diverse languages, including major languages (e.g., Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, Russian) as well as less-resourced ones (e.g., Welsh, Kiswahili). Each language data set is annotated for the lexical relation of semantic similarity and contains 1,888 semantically aligned concept pairs, providing a representative coverage of word classes (nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs), frequency ranks, similarity intervals, lexical fields, and concreteness levels. Additionally, owing to the alignment of concepts across languages, we provide a suite of 66 crosslingual semantic similarity data sets. Because of its extensive size and language coverage, Multi-SimLex provides entirely novel opportunities for experimental evaluation and analysis. On its monolingual and crosslingual benchmarks, we evaluate and analyze a wide array of recent state-of-the-art monolingual and crosslingual representation models, including static and contextualized word embeddings (such as fastText, monolingual and multilingual BERT, XLM), externally informed lexical representations, as well as fully unsupervised and (weakly) supervised crosslingual word embeddings. We also present a step-by-step data set creation protocol for creating consistent, Multi-Simlex–style resources for additional languages. We make these contributions—the public release of Multi-SimLex data sets, their creation protocol, strong baseline results, and in-depth analyses which can be helpful in guiding future developments in multilingual lexical semantics and representation learning—available via a Web site that will encourage community effort in further expansion of Multi-Simlex to many more languages. Such a large-scale semantic resource could inspire significant further advances in NLP across languages.


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Enhancing biomedical word embeddings by retrofitting to verb clusters
Billy Chiu | Simon Baker | Martha Palmer | Anna Korhonen
Proceedings of the 18th BioNLP Workshop and Shared Task

Verbs play a fundamental role in many biomed-ical tasks and applications such as relation and event extraction. We hypothesize that performance on many downstream tasks can be improved by aligning the input pretrained embeddings according to semantic verb classes.In this work, we show that by using semantic clusters for verbs, a large lexicon of verbclasses derived from biomedical literature, weare able to improve the performance of common pretrained embeddings in downstream tasks by retrofitting them to verb classes. We present a simple and computationally efficient approach using a widely-available “off-the-shelf” retrofitting algorithm to align pretrained embeddings according to semantic verb clusters. We achieve state-of-the-art results on text classification and relation extraction tasks.


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Variable Typing: Assigning Meaning to Variables in Mathematical Text
Yiannos Stathopoulos | Simon Baker | Marek Rei | Simone Teufel
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 1 (Long Papers)

Information about the meaning of mathematical variables in text is useful in NLP/IR tasks such as symbol disambiguation, topic modeling and mathematical information retrieval (MIR). We introduce variable typing, the task of assigning one mathematical type (multi-word technical terms referring to mathematical concepts) to each variable in a sentence of mathematical text. As part of this work, we also introduce a new annotated data set composed of 33,524 data points extracted from scientific documents published on arXiv. Our intrinsic evaluation demonstrates that our data set is sufficient to successfully train and evaluate current classifiers from three different model architectures. The best performing model is evaluated on an extrinsic task: MIR, by producing a typed formula index. Our results show that the best performing MIR models make use of our typed index, compared to a formula index only containing raw symbols, thereby demonstrating the usefulness of variable typing.


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Initializing neural networks for hierarchical multi-label text classification
Simon Baker | Anna Korhonen
BioNLP 2017

Many tasks in the biomedical domain require the assignment of one or more predefined labels to input text, where the labels are a part of a hierarchical structure (such as a taxonomy). The conventional approach is to use a one-vs.-rest (OVR) classification setup, where a binary classifier is trained for each label in the taxonomy or ontology where all instances not belonging to the class are considered negative examples. The main drawbacks to this approach are that dependencies between classes are not leveraged in the training and classification process, and the additional computational cost of training parallel classifiers. In this paper, we apply a new method for hierarchical multi-label text classification that initializes a neural network model final hidden layer such that it leverages label co-occurrence relations such as hypernymy. This approach elegantly lends itself to hierarchical classification. We evaluated this approach using two hierarchical multi-label text classification tasks in the biomedical domain using both sentence- and document-level classification. Our evaluation shows promising results for this approach.


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Cancer Hallmark Text Classification Using Convolutional Neural Networks
Simon Baker | Anna Korhonen | Sampo Pyysalo
Proceedings of the Fifth Workshop on Building and Evaluating Resources for Biomedical Text Mining (BioTxtM2016)

Methods based on deep learning approaches have recently achieved state-of-the-art performance in a range of machine learning tasks and are increasingly applied to natural language processing (NLP). Despite strong results in various established NLP tasks involving general domain texts, there is only limited work applying these models to biomedical NLP. In this paper, we consider a Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) approach to biomedical text classification. Evaluation using a recently introduced cancer domain dataset involving the categorization of documents according to the well-established hallmarks of cancer shows that a basic CNN model can achieve a level of performance competitive with a Support Vector Machine (SVM) trained using complex manually engineered features optimized to the task. We further show that simple modifications to the CNN hyperparameters, initialization, and training process allow the model to notably outperform the SVM, establishing a new state of the art result at this task. We make all of the resources and tools introduced in this study available under open licenses from

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Robust Text Classification for Sparsely Labelled Data Using Multi-level Embeddings
Simon Baker | Douwe Kiela | Anna Korhonen
Proceedings of COLING 2016, the 26th International Conference on Computational Linguistics: Technical Papers

The conventional solution for handling sparsely labelled data is extensive feature engineering. This is time consuming and task and domain specific. We present a novel approach for learning embedded features that aims to alleviate this problem. Our approach jointly learns embeddings at different levels of granularity (word, sentence and document) along with the class labels. The intuition is that topic semantics represented by embeddings at multiple levels results in better classification. We evaluate this approach in unsupervised and semi-supervised settings on two sparsely labelled classification tasks, outperforming the handcrafted models and several embedding baselines.


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An Unsupervised Model for Instance Level Subcategorization Acquisition
Simon Baker | Roi Reichart | Anna Korhonen
Proceedings of the 2014 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)