Tahira Naseem


2023

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Laziness Is a Virtue When It Comes to Compositionality in Neural Semantic Parsing
Maxwell Crouse | Pavan Kapanipathi | Subhajit Chaudhury | Tahira Naseem | Ramon Fernandez Astudillo | Achille Fokoue | Tim Klinger
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Nearly all general-purpose neural semantic parsers generate logical forms in a strictly top-down autoregressive fashion. Though such systems have achieved impressive results across a variety of datasets and domains, recent works have called into question whether they are ultimately limited in their ability to compositionally generalize. In this work, we approach semantic parsing from, quite literally, the opposite direction; that is, we introduce a neural semantic parsing generation method that constructs logical forms from the bottom up, beginning from the logical form’s leaves. The system we introduce is lazy in that it incrementally builds up a set of potential semantic parses, but only expands and processes the most promising candidate parses at each generation step. Such a parsimonious expansion scheme allows the system to maintain an arbitrarily large set of parse hypotheses that are never realized and thus incur minimal computational overhead. We evaluate our approach on compositional generalization; specifically, on the challenging CFQ dataset and two other Text-to-SQL datasets where we show that our novel, bottom-up semantic parsing technique outperforms general-purpose semantic parsers while also being competitive with semantic parsers that have been tailored to each task.

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Ensemble-Instruct: Instruction Tuning Data Generation with a Heterogeneous Mixture of LMs
Young-Suk Lee | Md Sultan | Yousef El-Kurdi | Tahira Naseem | Asim Munawar | Radu Florian | Salim Roukos | Ramón Astudillo
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

Using in-context learning (ICL) for data generation, techniques such as Self-Instruct (Wang et al., 2023) or the follow-up Alpaca (Taori et al., 2023) can train strong conversational agents with only a small amount of human supervision. One limitation of these approaches is that they resort to very large language models (around 175B parameters) that are also proprietary and non-public. Here we explore the application of such techniques to language models that are much smaller (around 10B–40B parameters) and have permissive licenses. We find the Self-Instruct approach to be less effective at these sizes and propose new ICL methods that draw on two main ideas: (a) categorization and simplification of the ICL templates to make prompt learning easier for the LM, and (b) ensembling over multiple LM outputs to help select high-quality synthetic examples. Our algorithm leverages the 175 Self-Instruct seed tasks and employs separate pipelines for instructions that require an input and instructions that do not. Empirical investigations with different LMs show that: (1) Our proposed method yields higher-quality instruction tuning data than Self-Instruct, (2) It improves performances of both vanilla and instruction-tuned LMs by significant margins, and (3) Smaller instruction-tuned LMs generate more useful examples than their larger un-tuned counterparts.

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Alignment via Mutual Information
Shinjini Ghosh | Yoon Kim | Ramon Fernandez Astudillo | Tahira Naseem | Jacob Andreas
Proceedings of the 27th Conference on Computational Natural Language Learning (CoNLL)

Many language learning tasks require learners to infer correspondences between data in two modalities. Often, these alignments are many-to-many and context-sensitive. For example, translating into morphologically rich languages requires learning not just how words, but morphemes, should be translated; words and morphemes may have different meanings (or groundings) depending on the context in which they are used. We describe an information-theoretic approach to context-sensitive, many-to-many alignment. Our approach first trains a masked sequence model to place distributions over missing spans in (source, target) sequences. Next, it uses this model to compute pointwise mutual information between source and target spans conditional on context. Finally, it aligns spans with high mutual information. We apply this approach to two learning problems: character-based word translation (using alignments for joint morphological segmentation and lexicon learning) and visually grounded reference resolution (using alignments to jointly localize referents and learn word meanings). In both cases, our proposed approach outperforms both structured and neural baselines, showing that conditional mutual information offers an effective framework for formalizing alignment problems in general domains.

2022

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X-FACTOR: A Cross-metric Evaluation of Factual Correctness in Abstractive Summarization
Subhajit Chaudhury | Sarathkrishna Swaminathan | Chulaka Gunasekara | Maxwell Crouse | Srinivas Ravishankar | Daiki Kimura | Keerthiram Murugesan | Ramón Fernandez Astudillo | Tahira Naseem | Pavan Kapanipathi | Alexander Gray
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Abstractive summarization models often produce factually inconsistent summaries that are not supported by the original article. Recently, a number of fact-consistent evaluation techniques have been proposed to address this issue; however, a detailed analysis of how these metrics agree with one another has yet to be conducted. In this paper, we present X-FACTOR, a cross-evaluation of three high-performing fact-aware abstractive summarization methods. First, we show that summarization models are often fine-tuned on datasets that contain factually inconsistent summaries and propose a fact-aware filtering mechanism that improves the quality of training data and, consequently, the factuality of these models. Second, we propose a corrector module that can be used to improve the factual consistency of generated summaries. Third, we present a re-ranking technique that samples summary instances from the output distribution of a summarization model and re-ranks the sampled instances based on their factuality. Finally, we provide a detailed cross-metric agreement analysis that shows how tuning a model to output summaries based on a particular factuality metric influences factuality as determined by the other metrics. Our goal in this work is to facilitate research that improves the factuality and faithfulness of abstractive summarization models.

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A Two-Stage Approach towards Generalization in Knowledge Base Question Answering
Srinivas Ravishankar | Dung Thai | Ibrahim Abdelaziz | Nandana Mihindukulasooriya | Tahira Naseem | Pavan Kapanipathi | Gaetano Rossiello | Achille Fokoue
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2022

Most existing approaches for Knowledge Base Question Answering (KBQA) focus on a specific underlying knowledge base either because of inherent assumptions in the approach, or because evaluating it on a different knowledge base requires non-trivial changes. However, many popular knowledge bases share similarities in their underlying schemas that can be leveraged to facilitate generalization across knowledge bases. To achieve this generalization, we introduce a KBQA framework based on a 2-stage architecture that explicitly separates semantic parsing from the knowledge base interaction, facilitating transfer learning across datasets and knowledge graphs. We show that pretraining on datasets with a different underlying knowledge base can nevertheless provide significant performance gains and reduce sample complexity. Our approach achieves comparable or state-of-the-art performance for LC-QuAD (DBpedia), WebQSP (Freebase), SimpleQuestions (Wikidata) and MetaQA (Wikimovies-KG).

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Inducing and Using Alignments for Transition-based AMR Parsing
Andrew Drozdov | Jiawei Zhou | Radu Florian | Andrew McCallum | Tahira Naseem | Yoon Kim | Ramón Astudillo
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Transition-based parsers for Abstract Meaning Representation (AMR) rely on node-to-word alignments. These alignments are learned separately from parser training and require a complex pipeline of rule-based components, pre-processing, and post-processing to satisfy domain-specific constraints. Parsers also train on a point-estimate of the alignment pipeline, neglecting the uncertainty due to the inherent ambiguity of alignment. In this work we explore two avenues for overcoming these limitations. First, we propose a neural aligner for AMR that learns node-to-word alignments without relying on complex pipelines. We subsequently explore a tighter integration of aligner and parser training by considering a distribution over oracle action sequences arising from aligner uncertainty. Empirical results show this approach leads to more accurate alignments and generalization better from the AMR2.0 to AMR3.0 corpora. We attain a new state-of-the art for gold-only trained models, matching silver-trained performance without the need for beam search on AMR3.0.

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DocAMR: Multi-Sentence AMR Representation and Evaluation
Tahira Naseem | Austin Blodgett | Sadhana Kumaravel | Tim O’Gorman | Young-Suk Lee | Jeffrey Flanigan | Ramón Astudillo | Radu Florian | Salim Roukos | Nathan Schneider
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Despite extensive research on parsing of English sentences into Abstract Meaning Representation (AMR) graphs, which are compared to gold graphs via the Smatch metric, full-document parsing into a unified graph representation lacks well-defined representation and evaluation. Taking advantage of a super-sentential level of coreference annotation from previous work, we introduce a simple algorithm for deriving a unified graph representation, avoiding the pitfalls of information loss from over-merging and lack of coherence from under merging. Next, we describe improvements to the Smatch metric to make it tractable for comparing document-level graphs and use it to re-evaluate the best published document-level AMR parser. We also present a pipeline approach combining the top-performing AMR parser and coreference resolution systems, providing a strong baseline for future research.

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Maximum Bayes Smatch Ensemble Distillation for AMR Parsing
Young-Suk Lee | Ramón Astudillo | Hoang Thanh Lam | Tahira Naseem | Radu Florian | Salim Roukos
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

AMR parsing has experienced an unprecendented increase in performance in the last three years, due to a mixture of effects including architecture improvements and transfer learning. Self-learning techniques have also played a role in pushing performance forward. However, for most recent high performant parsers, the effect of self-learning and silver data augmentation seems to be fading. In this paper we propose to overcome this diminishing returns of silver data by combining Smatch-based ensembling techniques with ensemble distillation. In an extensive experimental setup, we push single model English parser performance to a new state-of-the-art, 85.9 (AMR2.0) and 84.3 (AMR3.0), and return to substantial gains from silver data augmentation. We also attain a new state-of-the-art for cross-lingual AMR parsing for Chinese, German, Italian and Spanish. Finally we explore the impact of the proposed technique on domain adaptation, and show that it can produce gains rivaling those of human annotated data for QALD-9 and achieve a new state-of-the-art for BioAMR.

2021

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Bootstrapping Multilingual AMR with Contextual Word Alignments
Janaki Sheth | Young-Suk Lee | Ramón Fernandez Astudillo | Tahira Naseem | Radu Florian | Salim Roukos | Todd Ward
Proceedings of the 16th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Main Volume

We develop high performance multilingual Abstract Meaning Representation (AMR) systems by projecting English AMR annotations to other languages with weak supervision. We achieve this goal by bootstrapping transformer-based multilingual word embeddings, in particular those from cross-lingual RoBERTa (XLM-R large). We develop a novel technique for foreign-text-to-English AMR alignment, using the contextual word alignment between English and foreign language tokens. This word alignment is weakly supervised and relies on the contextualized XLM-R word embeddings. We achieve a highly competitive performance that surpasses the best published results for German, Italian, Spanish and Chinese.

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Structural Guidance for Transformer Language Models
Peng Qian | Tahira Naseem | Roger Levy | Ramón Fernandez Astudillo
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)

Transformer-based language models pre-trained on large amounts of text data have proven remarkably successful in learning generic transferable linguistic representations. Here we study whether structural guidance leads to more human-like systematic linguistic generalization in Transformer language models without resorting to pre-training on very large amounts of data. We explore two general ideas. The “Generative Parsing” idea jointly models the incremental parse and word sequence as part of the same sequence modeling task. The “Structural Scaffold” idea guides the language model’s representation via additional structure loss that separately predicts the incremental constituency parse. We train the proposed models along with a vanilla Transformer language model baseline on a 14 million-token and a 46 million-token subset of the BLLIP dataset, and evaluate models’ syntactic generalization performances on SG Test Suites and sized BLiMP. Experiment results across two benchmarks suggest converging evidence that generative structural supervisions can induce more robust and humanlike linguistic generalization in Transformer language models without the need for data intensive pre-training.

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A Semantics-aware Transformer Model of Relation Linking for Knowledge Base Question Answering
Tahira Naseem | Srinivas Ravishankar | Nandana Mihindukulasooriya | Ibrahim Abdelaziz | Young-Suk Lee | Pavan Kapanipathi | Salim Roukos | Alfio Gliozzo | Alexander Gray
Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 2: Short Papers)

Relation linking is a crucial component of Knowledge Base Question Answering systems. Existing systems use a wide variety of heuristics, or ensembles of multiple systems, heavily relying on the surface question text. However, the explicit semantic parse of the question is a rich source of relation information that is not taken advantage of. We propose a simple transformer-based neural model for relation linking that leverages the AMR semantic parse of a sentence. Our system significantly outperforms the state-of-the-art on 4 popular benchmark datasets. These are based on either DBpedia or Wikidata, demonstrating that our approach is effective across KGs.

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AMR Parsing with Action-Pointer Transformer
Jiawei Zhou | Tahira Naseem | Ramón Fernandez Astudillo | Radu Florian
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Abstract Meaning Representation parsing is a sentence-to-graph prediction task where target nodes are not explicitly aligned to sentence tokens. However, since graph nodes are semantically based on one or more sentence tokens, implicit alignments can be derived. Transition-based parsers operate over the sentence from left to right, capturing this inductive bias via alignments at the cost of limited expressiveness. In this work, we propose a transition-based system that combines hard-attention over sentences with a target-side action pointer mechanism to decouple source tokens from node representations and address alignments. We model the transitions as well as the pointer mechanism through straightforward modifications within a single Transformer architecture. Parser state and graph structure information are efficiently encoded using attention heads. We show that our action-pointer approach leads to increased expressiveness and attains large gains (+1.6 points) against the best transition-based AMR parser in very similar conditions. While using no graph re-categorization, our single model yields the second best Smatch score on AMR 2.0 (81.8), which is further improved to 83.4 with silver data and ensemble decoding.

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Structure-aware Fine-tuning of Sequence-to-sequence Transformers for Transition-based AMR Parsing
Jiawei Zhou | Tahira Naseem | Ramón Fernandez Astudillo | Young-Suk Lee | Radu Florian | Salim Roukos
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Predicting linearized Abstract Meaning Representation (AMR) graphs using pre-trained sequence-to-sequence Transformer models has recently led to large improvements on AMR parsing benchmarks. These parsers are simple and avoid explicit modeling of structure but lack desirable properties such as graph well-formedness guarantees or built-in graph-sentence alignments. In this work we explore the integration of general pre-trained sequence-to-sequence language models and a structure-aware transition-based approach. We depart from a pointer-based transition system and propose a simplified transition set, designed to better exploit pre-trained language models for structured fine-tuning. We also explore modeling the parser state within the pre-trained encoder-decoder architecture and different vocabulary strategies for the same purpose. We provide a detailed comparison with recent progress in AMR parsing and show that the proposed parser retains the desirable properties of previous transition-based approaches, while being simpler and reaching the new parsing state of the art for AMR 2.0, without the need for graph re-categorization.

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Leveraging Abstract Meaning Representation for Knowledge Base Question Answering
Pavan Kapanipathi | Ibrahim Abdelaziz | Srinivas Ravishankar | Salim Roukos | Alexander Gray | Ramón Fernandez Astudillo | Maria Chang | Cristina Cornelio | Saswati Dana | Achille Fokoue | Dinesh Garg | Alfio Gliozzo | Sairam Gurajada | Hima Karanam | Naweed Khan | Dinesh Khandelwal | Young-Suk Lee | Yunyao Li | Francois Luus | Ndivhuwo Makondo | Nandana Mihindukulasooriya | Tahira Naseem | Sumit Neelam | Lucian Popa | Revanth Gangi Reddy | Ryan Riegel | Gaetano Rossiello | Udit Sharma | G P Shrivatsa Bhargav | Mo Yu
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL-IJCNLP 2021

2020

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GPT-too: A Language-Model-First Approach for AMR-to-Text Generation
Manuel Mager | Ramón Fernandez Astudillo | Tahira Naseem | Md Arafat Sultan | Young-Suk Lee | Radu Florian | Salim Roukos
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Abstract Meaning Representations (AMRs) are broad-coverage sentence-level semantic graphs. Existing approaches to generating text from AMR have focused on training sequence-to-sequence or graph-to-sequence models on AMR annotated data only. In this paper, we propose an alternative approach that combines a strong pre-trained language model with cycle consistency-based re-scoring. Despite the simplicity of the approach, our experimental results show these models outperform all previous techniques on the English LDC2017T10 dataset, including the recent use of transformer architectures. In addition to the standard evaluation metrics, we provide human evaluation experiments that further substantiate the strength of our approach.

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Transition-based Parsing with Stack-Transformers
Ramón Fernandez Astudillo | Miguel Ballesteros | Tahira Naseem | Austin Blodgett | Radu Florian
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2020

Modeling the parser state is key to good performance in transition-based parsing. Recurrent Neural Networks considerably improved the performance of transition-based systems by modelling the global state, e.g. stack-LSTM parsers, or local state modeling of contextualized features, e.g. Bi-LSTM parsers. Given the success of Transformer architectures in recent parsing systems, this work explores modifications of the sequence-to-sequence Transformer architecture to model either global or local parser states in transition-based parsing. We show that modifications of the cross attention mechanism of the Transformer considerably strengthen performance both on dependency and Abstract Meaning Representation (AMR) parsing tasks, particularly for smaller models or limited training data.

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Pushing the Limits of AMR Parsing with Self-Learning
Young-Suk Lee | Ramón Fernandez Astudillo | Tahira Naseem | Revanth Gangi Reddy | Radu Florian | Salim Roukos
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2020

Abstract Meaning Representation (AMR) parsing has experienced a notable growth in performance in the last two years, due both to the impact of transfer learning and the development of novel architectures specific to AMR. At the same time, self-learning techniques have helped push the performance boundaries of other natural language processing applications, such as machine translation or question answering. In this paper, we explore different ways in which trained models can be applied to improve AMR parsing performance, including generation of synthetic text and AMR annotations as well as refinement of actions oracle. We show that, without any additional human annotations, these techniques improve an already performant parser and achieve state-of-the-art results on AMR 1.0 and AMR 2.0.

2019

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Rewarding Smatch: Transition-Based AMR Parsing with Reinforcement Learning
Tahira Naseem | Abhishek Shah | Hui Wan | Radu Florian | Salim Roukos | Miguel Ballesteros
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Our work involves enriching the Stack-LSTM transition-based AMR parser (Ballesteros and Al-Onaizan, 2017) by augmenting training with Policy Learning and rewarding the Smatch score of sampled graphs. In addition, we also combined several AMR-to-text alignments with an attention mechanism and we supplemented the parser with pre-processed concept identification, named entities and contextualized embeddings. We achieve a highly competitive performance that is comparable to the best published results. We show an in-depth study ablating each of the new components of the parser.

2018

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IBM Research at the CoNLL 2018 Shared Task on Multilingual Parsing
Hui Wan | Tahira Naseem | Young-Suk Lee | Vittorio Castelli | Miguel Ballesteros
Proceedings of the CoNLL 2018 Shared Task: Multilingual Parsing from Raw Text to Universal Dependencies

This paper presents the IBM Research AI submission to the CoNLL 2018 Shared Task on Parsing Universal Dependencies. Our system implements a new joint transition-based parser, based on the Stack-LSTM framework and the Arc-Standard algorithm, that handles tokenization, part-of-speech tagging, morphological tagging and dependency parsing in one single model. By leveraging a combination of character-based modeling of words and recursive composition of partially built linguistic structures we qualified 13th overall and 7th in low resource. We also present a new sentence segmentation neural architecture based on Stack-LSTMs that was the 4th best overall.

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Proceedings of the Workshop on the Relevance of Linguistic Structure in Neural Architectures for NLP
Georgiana Dinu | Miguel Ballesteros | Avirup Sil | Sam Bowman | Wael Hamza | Anders Sogaard | Tahira Naseem | Yoav Goldberg
Proceedings of the Workshop on the Relevance of Linguistic Structure in Neural Architectures for NLP

2012

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Selective Sharing for Multilingual Dependency Parsing
Tahira Naseem | Regina Barzilay | Amir Globerson
Proceedings of the 50th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

2011

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In-domain Relation Discovery with Meta-constraints via Posterior Regularization
Harr Chen | Edward Benson | Tahira Naseem | Regina Barzilay
Proceedings of the 49th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

2010

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Using Universal Linguistic Knowledge to Guide Grammar Induction
Tahira Naseem | Harr Chen | Regina Barzilay | Mark Johnson
Proceedings of the 2010 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

2009

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Adding More Languages Improves Unsupervised Multilingual Part-of-Speech Tagging: a Bayesian Non-Parametric Approach
Benjamin Snyder | Tahira Naseem | Jacob Eisenstein | Regina Barzilay
Proceedings of Human Language Technologies: The 2009 Annual Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics

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Unsupervised Multilingual Grammar Induction
Benjamin Snyder | Tahira Naseem | Regina Barzilay
Proceedings of the Joint Conference of the 47th Annual Meeting of the ACL and the 4th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing of the AFNLP

2008

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Unsupervised Multilingual Learning for POS Tagging
Benjamin Snyder | Tahira Naseem | Jacob Eisenstein | Regina Barzilay
Proceedings of the 2008 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing