Yanran Chen


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Reproducibility Issues for BERT-based Evaluation Metrics
Yanran Chen | Jonas Belouadi | Steffen Eger
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Reproducibility is of utmost concern in machine learning and natural language processing (NLP). In the field of natural language generation (especially machine translation), the seminal paper of Post (2018) has pointed out problems of reproducibility of the dominant metric, BLEU, at the time of publication. Nowadays, BERT-based evaluation metrics considerably outperform BLEU. In this paper, we ask whether results and claims from four recent BERT-based metrics can be reproduced. We find that reproduction of claims and results often fails because of (i) heavy undocumented preprocessing involved in the metrics, (ii) missing code and (iii) reporting weaker results for the baseline metrics. (iv) In one case, the problem stems from correlating not to human scores but to a wrong column in the csv file, inflating scores by 5 points. Motivated by the impact of preprocessing, we then conduct a second study where we examine its effects more closely (for one of the metrics). We find that preprocessing can have large effects, especially for highly inflectional languages. In this case, the effect of preprocessing may be larger than the effect of the aggregation mechanism (e.g., greedy alignment vs. Word Mover Distance).


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TUDA-Reproducibility @ ReproGen: Replicability of Human Evaluation of Text-to-Text and Concept-to-Text Generation
Christian Richter | Yanran Chen | Steffen Eger
Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Natural Language Generation

This paper describes our contribution to the Shared Task ReproGen by Belz et al. (2021), which investigates the reproducibility of human evaluations in the context of Natural Language Generation. We selected the paper “Generation of Company descriptions using concept-to-text and text-to-text deep models: data set collection and systems evaluation” (Qader et al., 2018) and aimed to replicate, as closely to the original as possible, the human evaluation and the subsequent comparison between the human judgements and the automatic evaluation metrics. Here, we first outline the text generation task of the paper of Qader et al. (2018). Then, we document how we approached our replication of the paper’s human evaluation. We also discuss the difficulties we encountered and which information was missing. Our replication has medium to strong correlation (0.66 Spearman overall) with the original results of Qader et al. (2018), but due to the missing information about how Qader et al. (2018) compared the human judgements with the metric scores, we have refrained from reproducing this comparison.