Yao Dou


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LENS: A Learnable Evaluation Metric for Text Simplification
Mounica Maddela | Yao Dou | David Heineman | Wei Xu
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Training learnable metrics using modern language models has recently emerged as a promising method for the automatic evaluation of machine translation. However, existing human evaluation datasets for text simplification have limited annotations that are based on unitary or outdated models, making them unsuitable for this approach. To address these issues, we introduce the SimpEval corpus that contains: SimpEval_past, comprising 12K human ratings on 2.4K simplifications of 24 past systems, and SimpEval_2022, a challenging simplification benchmark consisting of over 1K human ratings of 360 simplifications including GPT-3.5 generated text. Training on SimpEval, we present LENS, a Learnable Evaluation Metric for Text Simplification. Extensive empirical results show that LENS correlates much better with human judgment than existing metrics, paving the way for future progress in the evaluation of text simplification. We also introduce Rank & Rate, a human evaluation framework that rates simplifications from several models in a list-wise manner using an interactive interface, which ensures both consistency and accuracy in the evaluation process and is used to create the SimpEval datasets.

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Dancing Between Success and Failure: Edit-level Simplification Evaluation using SALSA
David Heineman | Yao Dou | Mounica Maddela | Wei Xu
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Large language models (e.g., GPT-4) are uniquely capable of producing highly rated text simplification, yet current human evaluation methods fail to provide a clear understanding of systems’ specific strengths and weaknesses. To address this limitation, we introduce SALSA, an edit-based human annotation framework that enables holistic and fine-grained text simplification evaluation. We develop twenty one linguistically grounded edit types, covering the full spectrum of success and failure across dimensions of conceptual, syntactic and lexical simplicity. Using SALSA, we collect 19K edit annotations on 840 simplifications, revealing discrepancies in the distribution of simplification strategies performed by fine-tuned models, prompted LLMs and humans, and find GPT-3.5 performs more quality edits than humans, but still exhibits frequent errors. Using our fine-grained annotations, we develop LENS-SALSA, a reference-free automatic simplification metric, trained to predict sentence- and word-level quality simultaneously. Additionally, we introduce word-level quality estimation for simplification and report promising baseline results. Our data, new metric, and annotation toolkit are available at https://salsa-eval.com.

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Thresh: A Unified, Customizable and Deployable Platform for Fine-Grained Text Evaluation
David Heineman | Yao Dou | Wei Xu
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing: System Demonstrations

Fine-grained, span-level human evaluation has emerged as a reliable and robust method for evaluating text generation tasks such as summarization, simplification, machine translation and news generation, and the derived annotations have been useful for training automatic metrics and improving language models. However, existing annotation tools implemented for these evaluation frameworks lack the adaptability to be extended to different domains or languages, or modify annotation settings according to user needs; and, the absence of a unified annotated data format inhibits the research in multi-task learning. In this paper, we introduce Thresh, a unified, customizable and deployable platform for fine-grained evaluation. With a single YAML configuration file, users can build and test an annotation interface for any framework within minutes – all in one web browser window. To facilitate collaboration and sharing, Thresh provides a community hub that hosts a collection of fine-grained frameworks and corresponding annotations made and collected by the community, covering a wide range of NLP tasks. For deployment, Thresh offers multiple options for any scale of annotation projects from small manual inspections to large crowdsourcing ones. Additionally, we introduce a Python library to streamline the entire process from typology design and deployment to annotation processing. Thresh is publicly accessible at https://thresh.tools.


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Improving Large-scale Paraphrase Acquisition and Generation
Yao Dou | Chao Jiang | Wei Xu
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

This paper addresses the quality issues in existing Twitter-based paraphrase datasets, and discusses the necessity of using two separate definitions of paraphrase for identification and generation tasks. We present a new Multi-Topic Paraphrase in Twitter (MultiPIT) corpus that consists of a total of 130k sentence pairs with crowdsoursing (MultiPIT_crowd) and expert (MultiPIT_expert) annotations using two different paraphrase definitions for paraphrase identification, in addition to a multi-reference test set (MultiPIT_NMR) and a large automatically constructed training set (MultiPIT_Auto) for paraphrase generation. With improved data annotation quality and task-specific paraphrase definition, the best pre-trained language model fine-tuned on our dataset achieves the state-of-the-art performance of 84.2 F1 for automatic paraphrase identification. Furthermore, our empirical results also demonstrate that the paraphrase generation models trained on MultiPIT_Auto generate more diverse and high-quality paraphrases compared to their counterparts fine-tuned on other corpora such as Quora, MSCOCO, and ParaNMT.

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Is GPT-3 Text Indistinguishable from Human Text? Scarecrow: A Framework for Scrutinizing Machine Text
Yao Dou | Maxwell Forbes | Rik Koncel-Kedziorski | Noah A. Smith | Yejin Choi
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Modern neural language models can produce remarkably fluent and grammatical text. So much, in fact, that recent work by Clark et al. (2021) has reported that conventional crowdsourcing can no longer reliably distinguish between machine-authored (GPT-3) and human-authored writing. As errors in machine generations become ever subtler and harder to spot, it poses a new challenge to the research community for robust machine text evaluation. We propose a new framework called Scarecrow for scrutinizing machine text via crowd annotation. To support the broad range of real machine errors that can be identified by laypeople, the ten error categories of Scarecrow—such as redundancy, commonsense errors, and incoherence—are identified through several rounds of crowd annotation experiments without a predefined ontology. We then use Scarecrow to collect over 41k error spans in human-written and machine-generated paragraphs of English language news text. We isolate factors for detailed analysis, including parameter count, training data, and various decoding-time configurations. Our approach successfully quantifies measurable gaps between human authored text and generations from models of several sizes, including fourteen configurations of GPT-3. In addition, our analysis unveils new insights, with detailed rationales provided by laypeople, e.g., that the commonsense capabilities have been improving with larger models while math capabilities have not, and that the choices of simple decoding hyperparameters can make remarkable differences on the perceived quality of machine text. We release our training material, annotation toolkit and dataset at https://yao-dou.github.io/scarecrow/.