Vidhisha Balachandran


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Simple and Efficient ways to Improve REALM
Vidhisha Balachandran | Ashish Vaswani | Yulia Tsvetkov | Niki Parmar
Proceedings of the 3rd Workshop on Machine Reading for Question Answering

Dense retrieval has been shown to be effective for Open Domain Question Answering, surpassing sparse retrieval methods like BM25. One such model, REALM, (Guu et al., 2020) is an end-to-end dense retrieval system that uses MLM based pretraining for improved downstream QA performance. However, the current REALM setup uses limited resources and is not comparable in scale to more recent systems, contributing to its lower performance. Additionally, it relies on noisy supervision for retrieval during fine-tuning. We propose REALM++, where we improve upon the training and inference setups and introduce better supervision signal for improving performance, without any architectural changes. REALM++ achieves ~5.5% absolute accuracy gains over the baseline while being faster to train. It also matches the performance of large models which have 3x more parameters demonstrating the efficiency of our setup.

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Investigating the Effect of Background Knowledge on Natural Questions
Vidhisha Balachandran | Bhuwan Dhingra | Haitian Sun | Michael Collins | William Cohen
Proceedings of Deep Learning Inside Out (DeeLIO): The 2nd Workshop on Knowledge Extraction and Integration for Deep Learning Architectures

Existing work shows the benefits of integrating KBs with textual evidence for QA only on questions that are answerable by KBs alone (Sun et al., 2019). In contrast, real world QA systems often have to deal with questions that might not be directly answerable by KBs. Here, we investigate the effect of integrating background knowledge from KBs for the Natural Questions (NQ) task. We create a subset of the NQ data, Factual Questions (FQ), where the questions have evidence in the KB in the form of paths that link question entities to answer entities but still must be answered using text, to facilitate further research into KB integration methods. We propose and analyze a simple, model-agnostic approach for incorporating KB paths into text-based QA systems and establish a strong upper bound on FQ for our method using an oracle retriever. We show that several variants of Personalized PageRank based fact retrievers lead to a low recall of answer entities and consequently fail to improve QA performance. Our results suggest that fact retrieval is a bottleneck for integrating KBs into real world QA datasets

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SELFEXPLAIN: A Self-Explaining Architecture for Neural Text Classifiers
Dheeraj Rajagopal | Vidhisha Balachandran | Eduard H Hovy | Yulia Tsvetkov
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

We introduce SelfExplain, a novel self-explaining model that explains a text classifier’s predictions using phrase-based concepts. SelfExplain augments existing neural classifiers by adding (1) a globally interpretable layer that identifies the most influential concepts in the training set for a given sample and (2) a locally interpretable layer that quantifies the contribution of each local input concept by computing a relevance score relative to the predicted label. Experiments across five text-classification datasets show that SelfExplain facilitates interpretability without sacrificing performance. Most importantly, explanations from SelfExplain show sufficiency for model predictions and are perceived as adequate, trustworthy and understandable by human judges compared to existing widely-used baselines.

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Understanding Factuality in Abstractive Summarization with FRANK: A Benchmark for Factuality Metrics
Artidoro Pagnoni | Vidhisha Balachandran | Yulia Tsvetkov
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Modern summarization models generate highly fluent but often factually unreliable outputs. This motivated a surge of metrics attempting to measure the factuality of automatically generated summaries. Due to the lack of common benchmarks, these metrics cannot be compared. Moreover, all these methods treat factuality as a binary concept and fail to provide deeper insights on the kinds of inconsistencies made by different systems. To address these limitations, we devise a typology of factual errors and use it to collect human annotations of generated summaries from state-of-the-art summarization systems for the CNN/DM and XSum datasets. Through these annotations we identify the proportion of different categories of factual errors and benchmark factuality metrics, showing their correlation with human judgement as well as their specific strengths and weaknesses.

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StructSum: Summarization via Structured Representations
Vidhisha Balachandran | Artidoro Pagnoni | Jay Yoon Lee | Dheeraj Rajagopal | Jaime Carbonell | Yulia Tsvetkov
Proceedings of the 16th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Main Volume

Abstractive text summarization aims at compressing the information of a long source document into a rephrased, condensed summary. Despite advances in modeling techniques, abstractive summarization models still suffer from several key challenges: (i) layout bias: they overfit to the style of training corpora; (ii) limited abstractiveness: they are optimized to copying n-grams from the source rather than generating novel abstractive summaries; (iii) lack of transparency: they are not interpretable. In this work, we propose a framework based on document-level structure induction for summarization to address these challenges. To this end, we propose incorporating latent and explicit dependencies across sentences in the source document into end-to-end single-document summarization models. Our framework complements standard encoder-decoder summarization models by augmenting them with rich structure-aware document representations based on implicitly learned (latent) structures and externally-derived linguistic (explicit) structures. We show that our summarization framework, trained on the CNN/DM dataset, improves the coverage of content in the source documents, generates more abstractive summaries by generating more novel n-grams, and incorporates interpretable sentence-level structures, while performing on par with standard baselines.


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“A Little Birdie Told Me ... ” - Inductive Biases for Rumour Stance Detection on Social Media
Karthik Radhakrishnan | Tushar Kanakagiri | Sharanya Chakravarthy | Vidhisha Balachandran
Proceedings of the Sixth Workshop on Noisy User-generated Text (W-NUT 2020)

The rise in the usage of social media has placed it in a central position for news dissemination and consumption. This greatly increases the potential for proliferation of rumours and misinformation. In an effort to mitigate the spread of rumours, we tackle the related task of identifying the stance (Support, Deny, Query, Comment) of a social media post. Unlike previous works, we impose inductive biases that capture platform specific user behavior. These biases, coupled with social media fine-tuning of BERT allow for better language understanding, thus yielding an F1 score of 58.7 on the SemEval 2019 task on rumour stance detection.


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Learning to Define Terms in the Software Domain
Vidhisha Balachandran | Dheeraj Rajagopal | Rose Catherine Kanjirathinkal | William Cohen
Proceedings of the 2018 EMNLP Workshop W-NUT: The 4th Workshop on Noisy User-generated Text

One way to test a person’s knowledge of a domain is to ask them to define domain-specific terms. Here, we investigate the task of automatically generating definitions of technical terms by reading text from the technical domain. Specifically, we learn definitions of software entities from a large corpus built from the user forum Stack Overflow. To model definitions, we train a language model and incorporate additional domain-specific information like word co-occurrence, and ontological category information. Our approach improves previous baselines by 2 BLEU points for the definition generation task. Our experiments also show the additional challenges associated with the task and the short-comings of language-model based architectures for definition generation.