Implicit discourse relations can convey more than one relation sense, but much of the research on discourse relations has focused on single relation senses. Recently, DiscoGeM, a novel multi-domain corpus, which contains 10 crowd-sourced labels per relational instance, has become available. In this paper, we analyse the co-occurrences of relations in DiscoGem and show that they are systematic and characteristic of text genre. We then test whether information on multi-label distributions in the data can help implicit relation classifiers. Our results show that incorporating multiple labels in parser training can improve its performance, and yield label distributions which are more similar to human label distributions, compared to a parser that is trained on just a single most frequent label per instance.
Obtaining linguistic annotation from novice crowdworkers is far from trivial. A case in point is the annotation of discourse relations, which is a complicated task. Recent methods have obtained promising results by extracting relation labels from either discourse connectives (DCs) or question-answer (QA) pairs that participants provide. The current contribution studies the effect of worker selection and training on the agreement on implicit relation labels between workers and gold labels, for both the DC and the QA method. In Study 1, workers were not specifically selected or trained, and the results show that there is much room for improvement. Study 2 shows that a combination of selection and training does lead to improved results, but the method is cost- and time-intensive. Study 3 shows that a selection-only approach is a viable alternative; it results in annotations of comparable quality compared to annotations from trained participants. The results generalized over both the DC and QA method and therefore indicate that a selection-only approach could also be effective for other crowdsourced discourse annotation tasks.
We present DiscoGeM, a crowdsourced corpus of 6,505 implicit discourse relations from three genres: political speech, literature, and encyclopedic texts. Each instance was annotated by 10 crowd workers. Various label aggregation methods were explored to evaluate how to obtain a label that best captures the meaning inferred by the crowd annotators. The results show that a significant proportion of discourse relations in DiscoGeM are ambiguous and can express multiple relation senses. Probability distribution labels better capture these interpretations than single labels. Further, the results emphasize that text genre crucially affects the distribution of discourse relations, suggesting that genre should be included as a factor in automatic relation classification. We make available the newly created DiscoGeM corpus, as well as the dataset with all annotator-level labels. Both the corpus and the dataset can facilitate a multitude of applications and research purposes, for example to function as training data to improve the performance of automatic discourse relation parsers, as well as facilitate research into non-connective signals of discourse relations.
We present Barch, a new English dataset of human-written summaries describing bar charts. This dataset contains 47 charts based on a selection of 18 topics. Each chart is associated with one of the four intended messages expressed in the chart title. Using crowdsourcing, we collected around 20 summaries per chart, or one thousand in total. The text of the summaries is aligned with the chart data as well as with analytical inferences about the data drawn by humans. Our datasets is one of the first to explore the effect of intended messages on the data descriptions in chart summaries. Additionally, it lends itself well to the task of training data-driven systems for chart-to-text generation. We provide results on the performance of state-of-the-art neural generation models trained on this dataset and discuss the strengths and shortcomings of different models.
Natural language generation in real-time settings with raw sensor data is a challenging task. We find that formulating the task as an end-to-end problem leads to two major challenges in content selection – the sensor data is both redundant and diverse across environments, thereby making it hard for the encoders to select and reason on the data. We here present a new corpus for a specific domain that instantiates these properties. It includes handover utterances that an assistant for a semi-autonomous drone uses to communicate with humans during the drone flight. The corpus consists of sensor data records and utterances in 8 different environments. As a structured intermediary representation between data records and text, we explore the use of description logic (DL). We also propose a neural generation model that can alert the human pilot of the system state and environment in preparation of the handover of control.
The Creative Summarization Shared Task at COLING 2022 aspires to generate summaries given long-form texts from creative writing. This paper presents the system architecture and the results of our participation in the Scriptbase track that focuses on generating movie plots given movie scripts. The core innovation in our model employs a two-stage hierarchical architecture for movie script summarization. In the first stage, a heuristic extraction method is applied to extract actions and essential dialogues, which reduces the average length of input movie scripts by 66% from about 24K to 8K tokens. In the second stage, a state-of-the-art encoder-decoder model, Longformer-Encoder-Decoder (LED), is trained with effective fine-tuning methods, BitFit and NoisyTune. Evaluations on the unseen test set indicate that our system outperforms both zero-shot LED baselines as well as other participants on various automatic metrics and ranks 1st in the Scriptbase track.
Neural natural language generation (NLG) and understanding (NLU) models are costly and require massive amounts of annotated data to be competitive. Recent data programming frameworks address this bottleneck by allowing human supervision to be provided as a set of labeling functions to construct generative models that synthesize weak labels at scale. However, these labeling functions are difficult to build from scratch for NLG/NLU models, as they often require complex rule sets to be specified. To this end, we propose a novel data programming framework that can jointly construct labeled data for language generation and understanding tasks – by allowing the annotators to modify an automatically-inferred alignment rule set between sequence labels and text, instead of writing rules from scratch. Further, to mitigate the effect of poor quality labels, we propose a dually-regularized denoising mechanism for optimizing the NLU and NLG models. On two benchmarks we show that the framework can generate high-quality data that comes within a 1.48 BLEU and 6.42 slot F1 of the 100% human-labeled data (42k instances) with just 100 labeled data samples – outperforming benchmark annotation frameworks and other semi-supervised approaches.
In many linguistic fields requiring annotated data, multiple interpretations of a single item are possible. Multi-label annotations more accurately reflect this possibility. However, allowing for multi-label annotations also affects the chance that two coders agree with each other. Calculating inter-coder agreement for multi-label datasets is therefore not trivial. In the current contribution, we evaluate different metrics for calculating agreement on multi-label annotations: agreement on the intersection of annotated labels, an augmented version of Cohen’s Kappa, and precision, recall and F1. We propose a bootstrapping method to obtain chance agreement for each measure, which allows us to obtain an adjusted agreement coefficient that is more interpretable. We demonstrate how various measures affect estimates of agreement on simulated datasets and present a case study of discourse relation annotations. We also show how the proportion of double labels, and the entropy of the label distribution, influences the measures outlined above and how a bootstrapped adjusted agreement can make agreement measures more comparable across datasets in multi-label scenarios.
Script knowledge is useful to a variety of NLP tasks. However, existing resources only cover a small number of activities, limiting its practical usefulness. In this work, we propose a zero-shot learning approach to script parsing, the task of tagging texts with scenario-specific event and participant types, which enables us to acquire script knowledge without domain-specific annotations. We (1) learn representations of potential event and participant mentions by promoting cluster consistency according to the annotated data; (2) perform clustering on the event / participant candidates from unannotated texts that belongs to an unseen scenario. The model achieves 68.1/74.4 average F1 for event / participant parsing, respectively, outperforming a previous CRF model that, in contrast, has access to scenario-specific supervision. We also evaluate the model by testing on a different corpus, where it achieved 55.5/54.0 average F1 for event / participant parsing.
The surging demand for multilingual dialogue systems often requires a costly labeling process for each language addition. For low resource languages, human annotators are continuously tasked with the adaptation of resource-rich language utterances for each new domain. However, this prohibitive and impractical process can often be a bottleneck for low resource languages that are still without proper translation systems nor parallel corpus. In particular, it is difficult to obtain task-specific low resource language annotations for the English-derived creoles (e.g. Nigerian and Cameroonian Pidgin). To address this issue, we utilize the pretrained language models i.e. BART which has shown great potential in language generation/understanding – we propose to finetune the BART model to generate utterances in Pidgin by leveraging the proximity of the source and target languages, and utilizing positive and negative examples in constrastive training objectives. We collected and released the first parallel Pidgin-English conversation corpus in two dialogue domains and showed that this simple and effective technique is suffice to yield impressive results for English-to-Pidgin generation, which are two closely-related languages.
The demand for multilingual dialogue systems often requires a costly labeling process, where human translators derive utterances in low resource languages from resource rich language annotation. To this end, we explore leveraging the inductive biases for target languages learned by numerous pretrained teacher models by transferring them to student models via sequence-level knowledge distillation. By assuming no target language text, the both the teacher and student models need to learn from the target distribution in a few/zero-shot manner. On the MultiATIS++ benchmark, we explore the effectiveness of our proposed technique to derive the multilingual text for 6 languages, using only the monolingual English data and the pretrained models. We show that training on the synthetic multilingual generation outputs yields close performance to training on human annotations in both slot F1 and intent accuracy; the synthetic text also scores high in naturalness and correctness based on human evaluation.
We propose a shared task on training instance selection for few-shot neural text generation. Large-scale pretrained language models have led to dramatic improvements in few-shot text generation. Nonetheless, almost all previous work simply applies random sampling to select the few-shot training instances. Little to no attention has been paid to the selection strategies and how they would affect model performance. Studying the selection strategy can help us (1) make the most use of our annotation budget in downstream tasks and (2) better benchmark few-shot text generative models. We welcome submissions that present their selection strategies and the effects on the generation quality.
Recent advancements in data-to-text generation largely take on the form of neural end-to-end systems. Efforts have been dedicated to improving text generation systems by changing the order of training samples in a process known as curriculum learning. Past research on sequence-to-sequence learning showed that curriculum learning helps to improve both the performance and convergence speed. In this work, we delve into the same idea surrounding the training samples consisting of structured data and text pairs, where at each update, the curriculum framework selects training samples based on the model’s competence. Specifically, we experiment with various difficulty metrics and put forward a soft edit distance metric for ranking training samples. On our benchmarks, it shows faster convergence speed where training time is reduced by 38.7% and performance is boosted by 4.84 BLEU.
For many new application domains for data-to-text generation, the main obstacle in training neural models consists of a lack of training data. While usually large numbers of instances are available on the data side, often only very few text samples are available. To address this problem, we here propose a novel few-shot approach for this setting. Our approach automatically augments the data available for training by (i) generating new text samples based on replacing specific values by alternative ones from the same category, (ii) generating new text samples based on GPT-2, and (iii) proposing an automatic method for pairing the new text samples with data samples. As the text augmentation can introduce noise to the training data, we use cycle consistency as an objective, in order to make sure that a given data sample can be correctly reconstructed after having been formulated as text (and that text samples can be reconstructed from data). On both the E2E and WebNLG benchmarks, we show that this weakly supervised training paradigm is able to outperform fully supervised sequence-to-sequence models with less than 10% of the training set. By utilizing all annotated data, our model can boost the performance of a standard sequence-to-sequence model by over 5 BLEU points, establishing a new state-of-the-art on both datasets.
Neural natural language generation (NLG) and understanding (NLU) models are data-hungry and require massive amounts of annotated data to be competitive. Recent frameworks address this bottleneck with generative models that synthesize weak labels at scale, where a small amount of training labels are expert-curated and the rest of the data is automatically annotated. We follow that approach, by automatically constructing a large-scale weakly-labeled data with a fine-tuned GPT-2, and employ a semi-supervised framework to jointly train the NLG and NLU models. The proposed framework adapts the parameter updates to the models according to the estimated label-quality. On both the E2E and Weather benchmarks, we show that this weakly supervised training paradigm is an effective approach under low resource scenarios with as little as 10 data instances, and outperforming benchmark systems on both datasets when 100% of the training data is used.
In data-driven natural language generation, we typically know what relation should be expressed and need to select a connective to lexicalize it. In the current contribution, we analyse whether a sophisticated connective generation module is necessary to select a connective, or whether this can be solved with simple methods (such as random choice between connectives that are known to express a given relation, or usage of a generic language model). Comparing these methods to the distributions of connective choices from a human connective insertion task, we find mixed results: for some relations, it is acceptable to lexicalize them using any of the connectives that mark this relation. However, for other relations (temporals, concessives) either a more detailed relation distinction needs to be introduced, or a more sophisticated connective choice module would be necessary.
Cross-linguistic research on discourse structure and coherence marking requires discourse-annotated corpora and connective lexicons in a large number of languages. However, the availability of such resources is limited, especially for languages for which linguistic resources are scarce in general, such as Nigerian Pidgin. In this study, we demonstrate how a semi-automatic approach can be used to source connectives and their relation senses and develop a discourse-annotated corpus in a low-resource language. Connectives and their relation senses were extracted from a parallel corpus combining automatic (PDTB end-to-end parser) and manual annotations. This resulted in Naija-Lex, a lexicon of discourse connectives in Nigerian Pidgin with English translations. The lexicon shows that the majority of Nigerian Pidgin connectives are borrowed from its English lexifier, but that there are also some connectives that are unique to Nigerian Pidgin.
Existing parse methods use varying approaches to identify explicit discourse connectives, but their performance has not been consistently evaluated in comparison to each other, nor have they been evaluated consistently on text other than newspaper articles. We here assess the performance on explicit connective identification of three parse methods (PDTB e2e, Lin et al., 2014; the winner of CONLL2015, Wang et al., 2015; and DisSent, Nie et al., 2019), along with a simple heuristic. We also examine how well these systems generalize to different datasets, namely written newspaper text (PDTB), written scientific text (BioDRB), prepared spoken text (TED-MDB) and spontaneous spoken text (Disco-SPICE). The results show that the e2e parser outperforms the other parse methods in all datasets. However, performance drops significantly from the PDTB to all other datasets. We provide a more fine-grained analysis of domain differences and connectives that prove difficult to parse, in order to highlight the areas where gains can be made.
Large-scale pretrained language models have led to dramatic improvements in text generation. Impressive performance can be achieved by finetuning only on a small number of instances (few-shot setting). Nonetheless, almost all previous work simply applies random sampling to select the few-shot training instances. Little to no attention has been paid to the selection strategies and how they would affect model performance. In this work, we present a study on training instance selection in few-shot neural text generation. The selection decision is made based only on the unlabeled data so as to identify the most worthwhile data points that should be annotated under some budget of labeling cost. Based on the intuition that the few-shot training instances should be diverse and representative of the entire data distribution, we propose a simple selection strategy with K-means clustering. We show that even with the naive clustering-based approach, the generation models consistently outperform random sampling on three text generation tasks: data-to-text generation, document summarization and question generation. The code and training data are made available. We hope that this work will call for more attention on this largely unexplored area.
Implicit discourse relation classification is a challenging task, in particular when the text domain is different from the standard Penn Discourse Treebank (PDTB; Prasad et al., 2008) training corpus domain (Wall Street Journal in 1990s). We here tackle the task of implicit discourse relation classification on the biomedical domain, for which the Biomedical Discourse Relation Bank (BioDRB; Prasad et al., 2011) is available. We show that entity information can be used to improve discourse relational argument representation. In a first step, we show that explicitly marked instances that are content-wise similar to the target relations can be used to achieve good performance in the cross-domain setting using a simple unsupervised voting pipeline. As a further step, we show that with the linked entity information from the first step, a transformer which is augmented with entity-related information (KBERT; Liu et al., 2020) sets the new state of the art performance on the dataset, outperforming the large pre-trained BioBERT (Lee et al., 2020) model by 2% points.
In this paper, we aim to address the challenges surrounding the translation of ancient Chinese text: (1) The linguistic gap due to the difference in eras results in translations that are poor in quality, and (2) most translations are missing the contextual information that is often very crucial to understanding the text. To this end, we improve upon past translation techniques by proposing the following: We reframe the task as a multi-label prediction task where the model predicts both the translation and its particular era. We observe that this helps to bridge the linguistic gap as chronological context is also used as auxiliary information. We validate our framework on a parallel corpus annotated with chronology information and show experimentally its efficacy in producing quality translation outputs. We release both the code and the data for future research.
A problem in automatically generated stories for image sequences is that they use overly generic vocabulary and phrase structure and fail to match the distributional characteristics of human-generated text. We address this problem by introducing explicit representations for objects and their relations by extracting scene graphs from the images. Utilizing an embedding of this scene graph enables our model to more explicitly reason over objects and their relations during story generation, compared to the global features from an object classifier used in previous work. We apply metrics that account for the diversity of words and phrases of generated stories as well as for reference to narratively-salient image features and show that our approach outperforms previous systems. Our experiments also indicate that our models obtain competitive results on reference-based metrics.
Automatically generated stories need to be not only coherent, but also interesting. Apart from realizing a story line, the text also needs to include rich details to engage the readers. We propose a model that features two different generation components: an outliner, which proceeds the main story line to realize global coherence; a detailer, which supplies relevant details to the story in a locally coherent manner. Human evaluations show our model substantially improves the informativeness of generated text while retaining its coherence, outperforming various baselines.
We present a lightweight annotation tool, the Data AnnotatoR Tool (DART), for the general task of labeling structured data with textual descriptions. The tool is implemented as an interactive application that reduces human efforts in annotating large quantities of structured data, e.g. in the format of a table or tree structure. By using a backend sequence-to-sequence model, our system iteratively analyzes the annotated labels in order to better sample unlabeled data. In a simulation experiment performed on annotating large quantities of structured data, DART has been shown to reduce the total number of annotations needed with active learning and automatically suggesting relevant labels.
Implicit discourse relation classification is one of the most difficult steps in discourse parsing. The difficulty stems from the fact that the coherence relation must be inferred based on the content of the discourse relational arguments. Therefore, an effective encoding of the relational arguments is of crucial importance. We here propose a new model for implicit discourse relation classification, which consists of a classifier, and a sequence-to-sequence model which is trained to generate a representation of the discourse relational arguments by trying to predict the relational arguments including a suitable implicit connective. Training is possible because such implicit connectives have been annotated as part of the PDTB corpus. Along with a memory network, our model could generate more refined representations for the task. And on the now standard 11-way classification, our method outperforms the previous state of the art systems on the PDTB benchmark on multiple settings including cross validation.
Implicit discourse relation classification is one of the most challenging and important tasks in discourse parsing, due to the lack of connectives as strong linguistic cues. A principle bottleneck to further improvement is the shortage of training data (ca. 18k instances in the Penn Discourse Treebank (PDTB)). Shi et al. (2017) proposed to acquire additional data by exploiting connectives in translation: human translators mark discourse relations which are implicit in the source language explicitly in the translation. Using back-translations of such explicitated connectives improves discourse relation parsing performance. This paper addresses the open question of whether the choice of the translation language matters, and whether multiple translations into different languages can be effectively used to improve the quality of the additional data.
Sentences like “Every child climbed a tree” have at least two interpretations depending on the precedence order of the universal quantifier and the indefinite. Previous experimental work explores the role that different mechanisms such as semantic reanalysis and world knowledge may have in enabling each interpretation. This paper discusses a web-based task that uses the verb-second characteristic of German main clauses to estimate the influence of word order variation over world knowledge.
Automatically generating globally coherent stories is a challenging problem. Neural text generation models have been shown to perform well at generating fluent sentences from data, but they usually fail to keep track of the overall coherence of the story after a couple of sentences. Existing work that incorporates a text planning module succeeded in generating recipes and dialogues, but appears quite data-demanding. We propose a novel story generation approach that generates globally coherent stories from a fairly small corpus. The model exploits a symbolic text planning module to produce text plans, thus reducing the demand of data; a neural surface realization module then generates fluent text conditioned on the text plan. Human evaluation showed that our model outperforms various baselines by a wide margin and generates stories which are fluent as well as globally coherent.
The perspective of being able to crowd-source coherence relations bears the promise of acquiring annotations for new texts quickly, which could then increase the size and variety of discourse-annotated corpora. It would also open the avenue to answering new research questions: Collecting annotations from a larger number of individuals per instance would allow to investigate the distribution of inferred relations, and to study individual differences in coherence relation interpretation. However, annotating coherence relations with untrained workers is not trivial. We here propose a novel two-step annotation procedure, which extends an earlier method by Scholman and Demberg (2017a). In our approach, coherence relation labels are inferred from connectives that workers insert into the text. We show that the proposed method leads to replicable coherence annotations, and analyse the agreement between the obtained relation labels and annotations from PDTB and RSTDT on the same texts.
Implicit discourse relation classification is one of the most difficult tasks in discourse parsing. Previous studies have generally focused on extracting better representations of the relational arguments. In order to solve the task, it is however additionally necessary to capture what events are expected to cause or follow each other. Current discourse relation classifiers fall short in this respect. We here show that this shortcoming can be effectively addressed by using the bidirectional encoder representation from transformers (BERT) proposed by Devlin et al. (2019), which were trained on a next-sentence prediction task, and thus encode a representation of likely next sentences. The BERT-based model outperforms the current state of the art in 11-way classification by 8% points on the standard PDTB dataset. Our experiments also demonstrate that the model can be successfully ported to other domains: on the BioDRB dataset, the model outperforms the state of the art system around 15% points.
The Multilingual Surface Realization Shared Task 2019 focuses on generating sentences from lemmatized sets of universal dependency parses with rich features. This paper describes the results of our participation in the deep track. The core innovation in our approach is to use a graph convolutional network to encode the dependency trees given as input. Upon adding morphological features, our system achieves the third rank without using data augmentation techniques or additional components (such as a re-ranker).
Human world knowledge contains information about prototypical events and their participants and locations. In this paper, we train the first models using multi-task learning that can both predict missing event participants and also perform semantic role classification based on semantic plausibility. Our best-performing model is an improvement over the previous state-of-the-art on thematic fit modelling tasks. The event embeddings learned by the model can additionally be used effectively in an event similarity task, also outperforming the state-of-the-art.
A number of different discourse connectives can be used to mark the same discourse relation, but it is unclear what factors affect connective choice. One recent account is the Rational Speech Acts theory, which predicts that speakers try to maximize the informativeness of an utterance such that the listener can interpret the intended meaning correctly. Existing prior work uses referential language games to test the rational account of speakers’ production of concrete meanings, such as identification of objects within a picture. Building on the same paradigm, we design a novel Discourse Continuation Game to investigate speakers’ production of abstract discourse relations. Experimental results reveal that speakers significantly prefer a more informative connective, in line with predictions of the RSA model.
We evaluate corpus-based measures of linguistic complexity obtained using Universal Dependencies (UD) treebanks. We propose a method of estimating robustness of the complexity values obtained using a given measure and a given treebank. The results indicate that measures of syntactic complexity might be on average less robust than those of morphological complexity. We also estimate the validity of complexity measures by comparing the results for very similar languages and checking for unexpected differences. We show that some of those differences that arise can be diminished by using parallel treebanks and, more importantly from the practical point of view, by harmonizing the language-specific solutions in the UD annotation.
Developing conventional natural language generation systems requires extensive attention from human experts in order to craft complex sets of sentence planning rules. We propose a Bayesian nonparametric approach to learn sentence planning rules by inducing synchronous tree substitution grammars for pairs of text plans and morphosyntactically-specified dependency trees. Our system is able to learn rules which can be used to generate novel texts after training on small datasets.
Recent research in psycholinguistics has provided increasing evidence that humans predict upcoming content. Prediction also affects perception and might be a key to robustness in human language processing. In this paper, we investigate the factors that affect human prediction by building a computational model that can predict upcoming discourse referents based on linguistic knowledge alone vs. linguistic knowledge jointly with common-sense knowledge in the form of scripts. We find that script knowledge significantly improves model estimates of human predictions. In a second study, we test the highly controversial hypothesis that predictability influences referring expression type but do not find evidence for such an effect.
Implicit discourse relation recognition is an extremely challenging task due to the lack of indicative connectives. Various neural network architectures have been proposed for this task recently, but most of them suffer from the shortage of labeled data. In this paper, we address this problem by procuring additional training data from parallel corpora: When humans translate a text, they sometimes add connectives (a process known as explicitation). We automatically back-translate it into an English connective and use it to infer a label with high confidence. We show that a training set several times larger than the original training set can be generated this way. With the extra labeled instances, we show that even a simple bidirectional Long Short-Term Memory Network can outperform the current state-of-the-art.
Traditional discourse annotation tasks are considered costly and time-consuming, and the reliability and validity of these tasks is in question. In this paper, we investigate whether crowdsourcing can be used to obtain reliable discourse relation annotations. We also examine the influence of context on the reliability of the data. The results of a crowdsourced connective insertion task showed that the method can be used to obtain reliable annotations: The majority of the inserted connectives converged with the original label. Further, the method is sensitive to the fact that multiple senses can often be inferred for a single relation. Regarding the presence of context, the results show no significant difference in distributions of insertions between conditions overall. However, a by-item comparison revealed several characteristics of segments that determine whether the presence of context makes a difference in annotations. The findings discussed in this paper can be taken as evidence that crowdsourcing can be used as a valuable method to obtain insights into the sense(s) of relations.
Corpora of referring expressions elicited from human participants in a controlled environment are an important resource for research on automatic referring expression generation. We here present G-TUNA, a new corpus of referring expressions for German. Using the furniture stimuli set developed for the TUNA and D-TUNA corpora, our corpus extends on these corpora by providing data collected in a simulated driving dual-task setting, and additionally provides exact duration annotations for the spoken referring expressions. This corpus will hence allow researchers to analyze the interaction between referring expression length and speech rate, under conditions where the listener is under high vs. low cognitive load.
Inferring implicit discourse relations in natural language text is the most difficult subtask in discourse parsing. Many neural network models have been proposed to tackle this problem. However, the comparison for this task is not unified, so we could hardly draw clear conclusions about the effectiveness of various architectures. Here, we propose neural network models that are based on feedforward and long-short term memory architecture and systematically study the effects of varying structures. To our surprise, the best-configured feedforward architecture outperforms LSTM-based model in most cases despite thorough tuning. Further, we compare our best feedforward system with competitive convolutional and recurrent networks and find that feedforward can actually be more effective. For the first time for this task, we compile and publish outputs from previous neural and non-neural systems to establish the standard for further comparison.
While previous research on readability has typically focused on document-level measures, recent work in areas such as natural language generation has pointed out the need of sentence-level readability measures. Much of psycholinguistics has focused for many years on processing measures that provide difficulty estimates on a word-by-word basis. However, these psycholinguistic measures have not yet been tested on sentence readability ranking tasks. In this paper, we use four psycholinguistic measures: idea density, surprisal, integration cost, and embedding depth to test whether these features are predictive of readability levels. We find that psycholinguistic features significantly improve performance by up to 3 percentage points over a standard document-level readability metric baseline.
The task of implicit discourse relation classification has received increased attention in recent years, including two CoNNL shared tasks on the topic. Existing machine learning models for the task train on sections 2-21 of the PDTB and test on section 23, which includes a total of 761 implicit discourse relations. In this paper, we’d like to make a methodological point, arguing that the standard test set is too small to draw conclusions about whether the inclusion of certain features constitute a genuine improvement, or whether one got lucky with some properties of the test set, and argue for the adoption of cross validation for the discourse relation classification task by the community.
In discourse relation annotation, there is currently a variety of different frameworks being used, and most of them have been developed and employed mostly on written data. This raises a number of questions regarding interoperability of discourse relation annotation schemes, as well as regarding differences in discourse annotation for written vs. spoken domains. In this paper, we describe ouron annotating two spoken domains from the SPICE Ireland corpus (telephone conversations and broadcast interviews) according todifferent discourse annotation schemes, PDTB 3.0 and CCR. We show that annotations in the two schemes can largely be mappedone another, and discuss differences in operationalisations of discourse relation schemes which present a challenge to automatic mapping. We also observe systematic differences in the prevalence of implicit discourse relations in spoken data compared to written texts,find that there are also differences in the types of causal relations between the domains. Finally, we find that PDTB 3.0 addresses many shortcomings of PDTB 2.0 wrt. the annotation of spoken discourse, and suggest further extensions. The new corpus has roughly theof the CoNLL 2015 Shared Task test set, and we hence hope that it will be a valuable resource for the evaluation of automatic discourse relation labellers.
The search space in grammar-based natural language generation tasks can get very large, which is particularly problematic when generating long utterances or paragraphs. Using surface realization with OpenCCG as an example, we show that we can effectively detect partial solutions (edges) which cannot ultimately be part of a complete sentence because of their syntactic category. Formulating the completion of an edge into a sentence as finding a solution path in a large state-transition system, we demonstrate a connection to AI Planning which is concerned with this kind of problem. We design a compilation from OpenCCG into AI Planning allowing the detection of infeasible edges via AI Planning dead-end detection methods (proving the absence of a solution to the compilation). Our experiments show that this can filter out large fractions of infeasible edges in, and thus benefit the performance of, complex realization processes.
We present a treebank and lexicon for German and English, which have been developed for PLTAG parsing. PLTAG is a psycholinguistically motivated, incremental version of tree-adjoining grammar (TAG). The resources are however also applicable to parsing with other variants of TAG. The German PLTAG resources are based on the TIGER corpus and, to the best of our knowledge, constitute the first scalable German TAG grammar. The English PLTAG resources go beyond existing resources in that they include the NP annotation by (Vadas and Curran, 2007), and include the prediction lexicon necessary for PLTAG.