Tristan Thrush


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Dynabench: Rethinking Benchmarking in NLP
Douwe Kiela | Max Bartolo | Yixin Nie | Divyansh Kaushik | Atticus Geiger | Zhengxuan Wu | Bertie Vidgen | Grusha Prasad | Amanpreet Singh | Pratik Ringshia | Zhiyi Ma | Tristan Thrush | Sebastian Riedel | Zeerak Waseem | Pontus Stenetorp | Robin Jia | Mohit Bansal | Christopher Potts | Adina Williams
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

We introduce Dynabench, an open-source platform for dynamic dataset creation and model benchmarking. Dynabench runs in a web browser and supports human-and-model-in-the-loop dataset creation: annotators seek to create examples that a target model will misclassify, but that another person will not. In this paper, we argue that Dynabench addresses a critical need in our community: contemporary models quickly achieve outstanding performance on benchmark tasks but nonetheless fail on simple challenge examples and falter in real-world scenarios. With Dynabench, dataset creation, model development, and model assessment can directly inform each other, leading to more robust and informative benchmarks. We report on four initial NLP tasks, illustrating these concepts and highlighting the promise of the platform, and address potential objections to dynamic benchmarking as a new standard for the field.

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Findings of the WMT 2021 Shared Task on Large-Scale Multilingual Machine Translation
Guillaume Wenzek | Vishrav Chaudhary | Angela Fan | Sahir Gomez | Naman Goyal | Somya Jain | Douwe Kiela | Tristan Thrush | Francisco Guzmán
Proceedings of the Sixth Conference on Machine Translation

We present the results of the first task on Large-Scale Multilingual Machine Translation. The task consists on the many-to-many evaluation of a single model across a variety of source and target languages. This year, the task consisted on three different settings: (i) SMALL-TASK1 (Central/South-Eastern European Languages), (ii) the SMALL-TASK2 (South-East Asian Languages), and (iii) FULL-TASK (all 101 x 100 language pairs). All the tasks used the FLORES-101 dataset as the evaluation benchmark. To ensure the longevity of the dataset, the test sets were not publicly released and the models were evaluated in a controlled environment on Dynabench. There were a total of 10 participating teams for the tasks, with a total of 151 intermediate model submissions and 13 final models. This year’s result show a significant improvement over the known base-lines with +17.8 BLEU for SMALL-TASK2, +10.6 for FULL-TASK and +3.6 for SMALL-TASK1.

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Learning from the Worst: Dynamically Generated Datasets to Improve Online Hate Detection
Bertie Vidgen | Tristan Thrush | Zeerak Waseem | Douwe Kiela
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 present a human-and-model-in-the-loop process for dynamically generating datasets and training better performing and more robust hate detection models. We provide a new dataset of 40,000 entries, generated and labelled by trained annotators over four rounds of dynamic data creation. It includes 15,000 challenging perturbations and each hateful entry has fine-grained labels for the type and target of hate. Hateful entries make up 54% of the dataset, which is substantially higher than comparable datasets. We show that model performance is substantially improved using this approach. Models trained on later rounds of data collection perform better on test sets and are harder for annotators to trick. They also have better performance on HateCheck, a suite of functional tests for online hate detection. We provide the code, dataset and annotation guidelines for other researchers to use.

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Improving Question Answering Model Robustness with Synthetic Adversarial Data Generation
Max Bartolo | Tristan Thrush | Robin Jia | Sebastian Riedel | Pontus Stenetorp | Douwe Kiela
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Despite recent progress, state-of-the-art question answering models remain vulnerable to a variety of adversarial attacks. While dynamic adversarial data collection, in which a human annotator tries to write examples that fool a model-in-the-loop, can improve model robustness, this process is expensive which limits the scale of the collected data. In this work, we are the first to use synthetic adversarial data generation to make question answering models more robust to human adversaries. We develop a data generation pipeline that selects source passages, identifies candidate answers, generates questions, then finally filters or re-labels them to improve quality. Using this approach, we amplify a smaller human-written adversarial dataset to a much larger set of synthetic question-answer pairs. By incorporating our synthetic data, we improve the state-of-the-art on the AdversarialQA dataset by 3.7F1 and improve model generalisation on nine of the twelve MRQA datasets. We further conduct a novel human-in-the-loop evaluation and show that our models are considerably more robust to new human-written adversarial examples: crowdworkers can fool our model only 8.8% of the time on average, compared to 17.6% for a model trained without synthetic data.


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Investigating Novel Verb Learning in BERT: Selectional Preference Classes and Alternation-Based Syntactic Generalization
Tristan Thrush | Ethan Wilcox | Roger Levy
Proceedings of the Third BlackboxNLP Workshop on Analyzing and Interpreting Neural Networks for NLP

Previous studies investigating the syntactic abilities of deep learning models have not targeted the relationship between the strength of the grammatical generalization and the amount of evidence to which the model is exposed during training. We address this issue by deploying a novel word-learning paradigm to test BERT’s few-shot learning capabilities for two aspects of English verbs: alternations and classes of selectional preferences. For the former, we fine-tune BERT on a single frame in a verbal-alternation pair and ask whether the model expects the novel verb to occur in its sister frame. For the latter, we fine-tune BERT on an incomplete selectional network of verbal objects and ask whether it expects unattested but plausible verb/object pairs. We find that BERT makes robust grammatical generalizations after just one or two instances of a novel word in fine-tuning. For the verbal alternation tests, we find that the model displays behavior that is consistent with a transitivity bias: verbs seen few times are expected to take direct objects, but verbs seen with direct objects are not expected to occur intransitively.