Srini Iyer


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AnswerSumm: A Manually-Curated Dataset and Pipeline for Answer Summarization
Alexander Fabbri | Xiaojian Wu | Srini Iyer | Haoran Li | Mona Diab
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Community Question Answering (CQA) fora such as Stack Overflow and Yahoo! Answers contain a rich resource of answers to a wide range of community-based questions. Each question thread can receive a large number of answers with different perspectives. One goal of answer summarization is to produce a summary that reflects the range of answer perspectives. A major obstacle for this task is the absence of a dataset to provide supervision for producing such summaries. Recent works propose heuristics to create such data, but these are often noisy and do not cover all answer perspectives present. This work introduces a novel dataset of 4,631 CQA threads for answer summarization curated by professional linguists. Our pipeline gathers annotations for all subtasks of answer summarization, including relevant answer sentence selection, grouping these sentences based on perspectives, summarizing each perspective, and producing an overall summary. We analyze and benchmark state-of-the-art models on these subtasks and introduce a novel unsupervised approach for multi-perspective data augmentation that boosts summarization performance according to automatic evaluation. Finally, we propose reinforcement learning rewards to improve factual consistency and answer coverage and analyze areas for improvement.

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Improving In-Context Few-Shot Learning via Self-Supervised Training
Mingda Chen | Jingfei Du | Ramakanth Pasunuru | Todor Mihaylov | Srini Iyer | Veselin Stoyanov | Zornitsa Kozareva
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Self-supervised pretraining has made few-shot learning possible for many NLP tasks. But the pretraining objectives are not typically adapted specifically for in-context few-shot learning. In this paper, we propose to use self-supervision in an intermediate training stage between pretraining and downstream few-shot usage with the goal to teach the model to perform in-context few shot learning. We propose and evaluate four self-supervised objectives on two benchmarks. We find that the intermediate self-supervision stage produces models that outperform strong baselines. Ablation study shows that several factors affect the downstream performance, such as the amount of training data and the diversity of the self-supervised objectives. Human-annotated cross-task supervision and self-supervision are complementary. Qualitative analysis suggests that the self-supervised-trained models are better at following task requirements.


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FiD-Ex: Improving Sequence-to-Sequence Models for Extractive Rationale Generation
Kushal Lakhotia | Bhargavi Paranjape | Asish Ghoshal | Scott Yih | Yashar Mehdad | Srini Iyer
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Natural language (NL) explanations of model predictions are gaining popularity as a means to understand and verify decisions made by large black-box pre-trained models, for tasks such as Question Answering (QA) and Fact Verification. Recently, pre-trained sequence to sequence (seq2seq) models have proven to be very effective in jointly making predictions, as well as generating NL explanations. However, these models have many shortcomings; they can fabricate explanations even for incorrect predictions, they are difficult to adapt to long input documents, and their training requires a large amount of labeled data. In this paper, we develop FiD-Ex, which addresses these shortcomings for seq2seq models by: 1) introducing sentence markers to eliminate explanation fabrication by encouraging extractive generation, 2) using the fusion-in-decoder architecture to handle long input contexts, and 3) intermediate fine-tuning on re-structured open domain QA datasets to improve few-shot performance. FiD-Ex significantly improves over prior work in terms of explanation metrics and task accuracy on five tasks from the ERASER explainability benchmark in both fully supervised and few-shot settings.