Sweta Agrawal


2022

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Controlling Translation Formality Using Pre-trained Multilingual Language Models
Elijah Rippeth | Sweta Agrawal | Marine Carpuat
Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Spoken Language Translation (IWSLT 2022)

This paper describes the University of Maryland’s submission to the Special Task on Formality Control for Spoken Language Translation at IWSLT, which evaluates translation from English into 6 languages with diverse grammatical formality markers. We investigate to what extent this problem can be addressed with a single multilingual model, simultaneously controlling its output for target language and formality. Results show that this strategy can approach the translation quality and formality control achieved by dedicated translation models. However, the nature of the underlying pre-trained language model and of the finetuning samples greatly impact results.

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Quality at a Glance: An Audit of Web-Crawled Multilingual Datasets
Julia Kreutzer | Isaac Caswell | Lisa Wang | Ahsan Wahab | Daan van Esch | Nasanbayar Ulzii-Orshikh | Allahsera Tapo | Nishant Subramani | Artem Sokolov | Claytone Sikasote | Monang Setyawan | Supheakmungkol Sarin | Sokhar Samb | Benoît Sagot | Clara Rivera | Annette Rios | Isabel Papadimitriou | Salomey Osei | Pedro Ortiz Suarez | Iroro Orife | Kelechi Ogueji | Andre Niyongabo Rubungo | Toan Q. Nguyen | Mathias Müller | André Müller | Shamsuddeen Hassan Muhammad | Nanda Muhammad | Ayanda Mnyakeni | Jamshidbek Mirzakhalov | Tapiwanashe Matangira | Colin Leong | Nze Lawson | Sneha Kudugunta | Yacine Jernite | Mathias Jenny | Orhan Firat | Bonaventure F. P. Dossou | Sakhile Dlamini | Nisansa de Silva | Sakine Çabuk Ballı | Stella Biderman | Alessia Battisti | Ahmed Baruwa | Ankur Bapna | Pallavi Baljekar | Israel Abebe Azime | Ayodele Awokoya | Duygu Ataman | Orevaoghene Ahia | Oghenefego Ahia | Sweta Agrawal | Mofetoluwa Adeyemi
Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Volume 10

With the success of large-scale pre-training and multilingual modeling in Natural Language Processing (NLP), recent years have seen a proliferation of large, Web-mined text datasets covering hundreds of languages. We manually audit the quality of 205 language-specific corpora released with five major public datasets (CCAligned, ParaCrawl, WikiMatrix, OSCAR, mC4). Lower-resource corpora have systematic issues: At least 15 corpora have no usable text, and a significant fraction contains less than 50% sentences of acceptable quality. In addition, many are mislabeled or use nonstandard/ambiguous language codes. We demonstrate that these issues are easy to detect even for non-proficient speakers, and supplement the human audit with automatic analyses. Finally, we recommend techniques to evaluate and improve multilingual corpora and discuss potential risks that come with low-quality data releases.

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An Imitation Learning Curriculum for Text Editing with Non-Autoregressive Models
Sweta Agrawal | Marine Carpuat
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

We propose a framework for training non-autoregressive sequence-to-sequence models for editing tasks, where the original input sequence is iteratively edited to produce the output. We show that the imitation learning algorithms designed to train such models for machine translation introduces mismatches between training and inference that lead to undertraining and poor generalization in editing scenarios. We address this issue with two complementary strategies: 1) a roll-in policy that exposes the model to intermediate training sequences that it is more likely to encounter during inference, 2) a curriculum that presents easy-to-learn edit operations first, gradually increasing the difficulty of training samples as the model becomes competent. We show the efficacy of these strategies on two challenging English editing tasks: controllable text simplification and abstractive summarization. Our approach significantly improves output quality on both tasks and controls output complexity better on the simplification task.

2021

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Evaluating the Evaluation Metrics for Style Transfer: A Case Study in Multilingual Formality Transfer
Eleftheria Briakou | Sweta Agrawal | Joel Tetreault | Marine Carpuat
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

While the field of style transfer (ST) has been growing rapidly, it has been hampered by a lack of standardized practices for automatic evaluation. In this paper, we evaluate leading automatic metrics on the oft-researched task of formality style transfer. Unlike previous evaluations, which focus solely on English, we expand our focus to Brazilian-Portuguese, French, and Italian, making this work the first multilingual evaluation of metrics in ST. We outline best practices for automatic evaluation in (formality) style transfer and identify several models that correlate well with human judgments and are robust across languages. We hope that this work will help accelerate development in ST, where human evaluation is often challenging to collect.

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A Non-Autoregressive Edit-Based Approach to Controllable Text Simplification
Sweta Agrawal | Weijia Xu | Marine Carpuat
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL-IJCNLP 2021

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Assessing Reference-Free Peer Evaluation for Machine Translation
Sweta Agrawal | George Foster | Markus Freitag | Colin Cherry
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Reference-free evaluation has the potential to make machine translation evaluation substantially more scalable, allowing us to pivot easily to new languages or domains. It has been recently shown that the probabilities given by a large, multilingual model can achieve state of the art results when used as a reference-free metric. We experiment with various modifications to this model, and demonstrate that by scaling it up we can match the performance of BLEU. We analyze various potential weaknesses of the approach, and find that it is surprisingly robust and likely to offer reasonable performance across a broad spectrum of domains and different system qualities.

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A Review of Human Evaluation for Style Transfer
Eleftheria Briakou | Sweta Agrawal | Ke Zhang | Joel Tetreault | Marine Carpuat
Proceedings of the 1st Workshop on Natural Language Generation, Evaluation, and Metrics (GEM 2021)

This paper reviews and summarizes human evaluation practices described in 97 style transfer papers with respect to three main evaluation aspects: style transfer, meaning preservation, and fluency. In principle, evaluations by human raters should be the most reliable. However, in style transfer papers, we find that protocols for human evaluations are often underspecified and not standardized, which hampers the reproducibility of research in this field and progress toward better human and automatic evaluation methods.

2020

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Generating Diverse Translations via Weighted Fine-tuning and Hypotheses Filtering for the Duolingo STAPLE Task
Sweta Agrawal | Marine Carpuat
Proceedings of the Fourth Workshop on Neural Generation and Translation

This paper describes the University of Maryland’s submission to the Duolingo Shared Task on Simultaneous Translation And Paraphrase for Language Education (STAPLE). Unlike the standard machine translation task, STAPLE requires generating a set of outputs for a given input sequence, aiming to cover the space of translations produced by language learners. We adapt neural machine translation models to this requirement by (a) generating n-best translation hypotheses from a model fine-tuned on learner translations, oversampled to reflect the distribution of learner responses, and (b) filtering hypotheses using a feature-rich binary classifier that directly optimizes a close approximation of the official evaluation metric. Combination of systems that use these two strategies achieves F1 scores of 53.9% and 52.5% on Vietnamese and Portuguese, respectively ranking 2nd and 4th on the leaderboard.

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Multitask Models for Controlling the Complexity of Neural Machine Translation
Sweta Agrawal | Marine Carpuat
Proceedings of the The Fourth Widening Natural Language Processing Workshop

We introduce a machine translation task where the output is aimed at audiences of different levels of target language proficiency. We collect a novel dataset of news articles available in English and Spanish and written for diverse reading grade levels. We leverage this dataset to train multitask sequence to sequence models that translate Spanish into English targeted at an easier reading grade level than the original Spanish. We show that multitask models outperform pipeline approaches that translate and simplify text independently.

2019

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Controlling Text Complexity in Neural Machine Translation
Sweta Agrawal | Marine Carpuat
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

This work introduces a machine translation task where the output is aimed at audiences of different levels of target language proficiency. We collect a high quality dataset of news articles available in English and Spanish, written for diverse grade levels and propose a method to align segments across comparable bilingual articles. The resulting dataset makes it possible to train multi-task sequence to sequence models that can translate and simplify text jointly. We show that these multi-task models outperform pipeline approaches that translate and simplify text independently.