Yonatan Belinkov


2021

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Causal Analysis of Syntactic Agreement Mechanisms in Neural Language Models
Matthew Finlayson | Aaron Mueller | Sebastian Gehrmann | Stuart Shieber | Tal Linzen | Yonatan Belinkov
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)

Targeted syntactic evaluations have demonstrated the ability of language models to perform subject-verb agreement given difficult contexts. To elucidate the mechanisms by which the models accomplish this behavior, this study applies causal mediation analysis to pre-trained neural language models. We investigate the magnitude of models’ preferences for grammatical inflections, as well as whether neurons process subject-verb agreement similarly across sentences with different syntactic structures. We uncover similarities and differences across architectures and model sizes—notably, that larger models do not necessarily learn stronger preferences. We also observe two distinct mechanisms for producing subject-verb agreement depending on the syntactic structure of the input sentence. Finally, we find that language models rely on similar sets of neurons when given sentences with similar syntactic structure.

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Probing the Probing Paradigm: Does Probing Accuracy Entail Task Relevance?
Abhilasha Ravichander | Yonatan Belinkov | Eduard Hovy
Proceedings of the 16th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Main Volume

Although neural models have achieved impressive results on several NLP benchmarks, little is understood about the mechanisms they use to perform language tasks. Thus, much recent attention has been devoted to analyzing the sentence representations learned by neural encoders, through the lens of ‘probing’ tasks. However, to what extent was the information encoded in sentence representations, as discovered through a probe, actually used by the model to perform its task? In this work, we examine this probing paradigm through a case study in Natural Language Inference, showing that models can learn to encode linguistic properties even if they are not needed for the task on which the model was trained. We further identify that pretrained word embeddings play a considerable role in encoding these properties rather than the training task itself, highlighting the importance of careful controls when designing probing experiments. Finally, through a set of controlled synthetic tasks, we demonstrate models can encode these properties considerably above chance-level, even when distributed in the data as random noise, calling into question the interpretation of absolute claims on probing tasks.

2020

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Similarity Analysis of Contextual Word Representation Models
John Wu | Yonatan Belinkov | Hassan Sajjad | Nadir Durrani | Fahim Dalvi | James Glass
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

This paper investigates contextual word representation models from the lens of similarity analysis. Given a collection of trained models, we measure the similarity of their internal representations and attention. Critically, these models come from vastly different architectures. We use existing and novel similarity measures that aim to gauge the level of localization of information in the deep models, and facilitate the investigation of which design factors affect model similarity, without requiring any external linguistic annotation. The analysis reveals that models within the same family are more similar to one another, as may be expected. Surprisingly, different architectures have rather similar representations, but different individual neurons. We also observed differences in information localization in lower and higher layers and found that higher layers are more affected by fine-tuning on downstream tasks.

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The Sensitivity of Language Models and Humans to Winograd Schema Perturbations
Mostafa Abdou | Vinit Ravishankar | Maria Barrett | Yonatan Belinkov | Desmond Elliott | Anders Søgaard
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Large-scale pretrained language models are the major driving force behind recent improvements in perfromance on the Winograd Schema Challenge, a widely employed test of commonsense reasoning ability. We show, however, with a new diagnostic dataset, that these models are sensitive to linguistic perturbations of the Winograd examples that minimally affect human understanding. Our results highlight interesting differences between humans and language models: language models are more sensitive to number or gender alternations and synonym replacements than humans, and humans are more stable and consistent in their predictions, maintain a much higher absolute performance, and perform better on non-associative instances than associative ones.

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End-to-End Bias Mitigation by Modelling Biases in Corpora
Rabeeh Karimi Mahabadi | Yonatan Belinkov | James Henderson
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Several recent studies have shown that strong natural language understanding (NLU) models are prone to relying on unwanted dataset biases without learning the underlying task, resulting in models that fail to generalize to out-of-domain datasets and are likely to perform poorly in real-world scenarios. We propose two learning strategies to train neural models, which are more robust to such biases and transfer better to out-of-domain datasets. The biases are specified in terms of one or more bias-only models, which learn to leverage the dataset biases. During training, the bias-only models’ predictions are used to adjust the loss of the base model to reduce its reliance on biases by down-weighting the biased examples and focusing the training on the hard examples. We experiment on large-scale natural language inference and fact verification benchmarks, evaluating on out-of-domain datasets that are specifically designed to assess the robustness of models against known biases in the training data. Results show that our debiasing methods greatly improve robustness in all settings and better transfer to other textual entailment datasets. Our code and data are publicly available in https://github.com/rabeehk/robust-nli.

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Interpretability and Analysis in Neural NLP
Yonatan Belinkov | Sebastian Gehrmann | Ellie Pavlick
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Tutorial Abstracts

While deep learning has transformed the natural language processing (NLP) field and impacted the larger computational linguistics community, the rise of neural networks is stained by their opaque nature: It is challenging to interpret the inner workings of neural network models, and explicate their behavior. Therefore, in the last few years, an increasingly large body of work has been devoted to the analysis and interpretation of neural network models in NLP. This body of work is so far lacking a common framework and methodology. Moreover, approaching the analysis of modern neural networks can be difficult for newcomers to the field. This tutorial aims to fill this gap and introduce the nascent field of interpretability and analysis of neural networks in NLP. The tutorial will cover the main lines of analysis work, such as structural analyses using probing classifiers, behavioral studies and test suites, and interactive visualizations. We will highlight not only the most commonly applied analysis methods, but also the specific limitations and shortcomings of current approaches, in order to inform participants where to focus future efforts.

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On the Linguistic Representational Power of Neural Machine Translation Models
Yonatan Belinkov | Nadir Durrani | Fahim Dalvi | Hassan Sajjad | James Glass
Computational Linguistics, Volume 46, Issue 1 - March 2020

Despite the recent success of deep neural networks in natural language processing and other spheres of artificial intelligence, their interpretability remains a challenge. We analyze the representations learned by neural machine translation (NMT) models at various levels of granularity and evaluate their quality through relevant extrinsic properties. In particular, we seek answers to the following questions: (i) How accurately is word structure captured within the learned representations, which is an important aspect in translating morphologically rich languages? (ii) Do the representations capture long-range dependencies, and effectively handle syntactically divergent languages? (iii) Do the representations capture lexical semantics? We conduct a thorough investigation along several parameters: (i) Which layers in the architecture capture each of these linguistic phenomena; (ii) How does the choice of translation unit (word, character, or subword unit) impact the linguistic properties captured by the underlying representations? (iii) Do the encoder and decoder learn differently and independently? (iv) Do the representations learned by multilingual NMT models capture the same amount of linguistic information as their bilingual counterparts? Our data-driven, quantitative evaluation illuminates important aspects in NMT models and their ability to capture various linguistic phenomena. We show that deep NMT models trained in an end-to-end fashion, without being provided any direct supervision during the training process, learn a non-trivial amount of linguistic information. Notable findings include the following observations: (i) Word morphology and part-of-speech information are captured at the lower layers of the model; (ii) In contrast, lexical semantics or non-local syntactic and semantic dependencies are better represented at the higher layers of the model; (iii) Representations learned using characters are more informed about word-morphology compared to those learned using subword units; and (iv) Representations learned by multilingual models are richer compared to bilingual models.

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Analyzing Individual Neurons in Pre-trained Language Models
Nadir Durrani | Hassan Sajjad | Fahim Dalvi | Yonatan Belinkov
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

While a lot of analysis has been carried to demonstrate linguistic knowledge captured by the representations learned within deep NLP models, very little attention has been paid towards individual neurons.We carry outa neuron-level analysis using core linguistic tasks of predicting morphology, syntax and semantics, on pre-trained language models, with questions like: i) do individual neurons in pre-trained models capture linguistic information? ii) which parts of the network learn more about certain linguistic phenomena? iii) how distributed or focused is the information? and iv) how do various architectures differ in learning these properties? We found small subsets of neurons to predict linguistic tasks, with lower level tasks (such as morphology) localized in fewer neurons, compared to higher level task of predicting syntax. Our study also reveals interesting cross architectural comparisons. For example, we found neurons in XLNet to be more localized and disjoint when predicting properties compared to BERT and others, where they are more distributed and coupled.

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Analyzing Redundancy in Pretrained Transformer Models
Fahim Dalvi | Hassan Sajjad | Nadir Durrani | Yonatan Belinkov
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

Transformer-based deep NLP models are trained using hundreds of millions of parameters, limiting their applicability in computationally constrained environments. In this paper, we study the cause of these limitations by defining a notion of Redundancy, which we categorize into two classes: General Redundancy and Task-specific Redundancy. We dissect two popular pretrained models, BERT and XLNet, studying how much redundancy they exhibit at a representation-level and at a more fine-grained neuron-level. Our analysis reveals interesting insights, such as i) 85% of the neurons across the network are redundant and ii) at least 92% of them can be removed when optimizing towards a downstream task. Based on our analysis, we present an efficient feature-based transfer learning procedure, which maintains 97% performance while using at-most 10% of the original neurons.

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Proceedings of the Third BlackboxNLP Workshop on Analyzing and Interpreting Neural Networks for NLP
Afra Alishahi | Yonatan Belinkov | Grzegorz Chrupała | Dieuwke Hupkes | Yuval Pinter | Hassan Sajjad
Proceedings of the Third BlackboxNLP Workshop on Analyzing and Interpreting Neural Networks for NLP

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Findings of the WMT 2020 Shared Task on Machine Translation Robustness
Lucia Specia | Zhenhao Li | Juan Pino | Vishrav Chaudhary | Francisco Guzmán | Graham Neubig | Nadir Durrani | Yonatan Belinkov | Philipp Koehn | Hassan Sajjad | Paul Michel | Xian Li
Proceedings of the Fifth Conference on Machine Translation

We report the findings of the second edition of the shared task on improving robustness in Machine Translation (MT). The task aims to test current machine translation systems in their ability to handle challenges facing MT models to be deployed in the real world, including domain diversity and non-standard texts common in user generated content, especially in social media. We cover two language pairs – English-German and English-Japanese and provide test sets in zero-shot and few-shot variants. Participating systems are evaluated both automatically and manually, with an additional human evaluation for ”catastrophic errors”. We received 59 submissions by 11 participating teams from a variety of types of institutions.

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Probing Neural Dialog Models for Conversational Understanding
Abdelrhman Saleh | Tovly Deutsch | Stephen Casper | Yonatan Belinkov | Stuart Shieber
Proceedings of the 2nd Workshop on Natural Language Processing for Conversational AI

The predominant approach to open-domain dialog generation relies on end-to-end training of neural models on chat datasets. However, this approach provides little insight as to what these models learn (or do not learn) about engaging in dialog. In this study, we analyze the internal representations learned by neural open-domain dialog systems and evaluate the quality of these representations for learning basic conversational skills. Our results suggest that standard open-domain dialog systems struggle with answering questions, inferring contradiction, and determining the topic of conversation, among other tasks. We also find that the dyadic, turn-taking nature of dialog is not fully leveraged by these models. By exploring these limitations, we highlight the need for additional research into architectures and training methods that can better capture high-level information about dialog.

2019

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On Evaluating the Generalization of LSTM Models in Formal Languages
Mirac Suzgun | Yonatan Belinkov | Stuart M. Shieber
Proceedings of the Society for Computation in Linguistics (SCiL) 2019

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Adversarial Regularization for Visual Question Answering: Strengths, Shortcomings, and Side Effects
Gabriel Grand | Yonatan Belinkov
Proceedings of the Second Workshop on Shortcomings in Vision and Language

Visual question answering (VQA) models have been shown to over-rely on linguistic biases in VQA datasets, answering questions “blindly” without considering visual context. Adversarial regularization (AdvReg) aims to address this issue via an adversary sub-network that encourages the main model to learn a bias-free representation of the question. In this work, we investigate the strengths and shortcomings of AdvReg with the goal of better understanding how it affects inference in VQA models. Despite achieving a new state-of-the-art on VQA-CP, we find that AdvReg yields several undesirable side-effects, including unstable gradients and sharply reduced performance on in-domain examples. We demonstrate that gradual introduction of regularization during training helps to alleviate, but not completely solve, these issues. Through error analyses, we observe that AdvReg improves generalization to binary questions, but impairs performance on questions with heterogeneous answer distributions. Qualitatively, we also find that regularized models tend to over-rely on visual features, while ignoring important linguistic cues in the question. Our results suggest that AdvReg requires further refinement before it can be considered a viable bias mitigation technique for VQA.

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LSTM Networks Can Perform Dynamic Counting
Mirac Suzgun | Yonatan Belinkov | Stuart Shieber | Sebastian Gehrmann
Proceedings of the Workshop on Deep Learning and Formal Languages: Building Bridges

In this paper, we systematically assess the ability of standard recurrent networks to perform dynamic counting and to encode hierarchical representations. All the neural models in our experiments are designed to be small-sized networks both to prevent them from memorizing the training sets and to visualize and interpret their behaviour at test time. Our results demonstrate that the Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) networks can learn to recognize the well-balanced parenthesis language (Dyck-1) and the shuffles of multiple Dyck-1 languages, each defined over different parenthesis-pairs, by emulating simple real-time k-counter machines. To the best of our knowledge, this work is the first study to introduce the shuffle languages to analyze the computational power of neural networks. We also show that a single-layer LSTM with only one hidden unit is practically sufficient for recognizing the Dyck-1 language. However, none of our recurrent networks was able to yield a good performance on the Dyck-2 language learning task, which requires a model to have a stack-like mechanism for recognition.

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Proceedings of the 2019 ACL Workshop BlackboxNLP: Analyzing and Interpreting Neural Networks for NLP
Tal Linzen | Grzegorz Chrupała | Yonatan Belinkov | Dieuwke Hupkes
Proceedings of the 2019 ACL Workshop BlackboxNLP: Analyzing and Interpreting Neural Networks for NLP

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Analyzing the Structure of Attention in a Transformer Language Model
Jesse Vig | Yonatan Belinkov
Proceedings of the 2019 ACL Workshop BlackboxNLP: Analyzing and Interpreting Neural Networks for NLP

The Transformer is a fully attention-based alternative to recurrent networks that has achieved state-of-the-art results across a range of NLP tasks. In this paper, we analyze the structure of attention in a Transformer language model, the GPT-2 small pretrained model. We visualize attention for individual instances and analyze the interaction between attention and syntax over a large corpus. We find that attention targets different parts of speech at different layer depths within the model, and that attention aligns with dependency relations most strongly in the middle layers. We also find that the deepest layers of the model capture the most distant relationships. Finally, we extract exemplar sentences that reveal highly specific patterns targeted by particular attention heads.

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Findings of the First Shared Task on Machine Translation Robustness
Xian Li | Paul Michel | Antonios Anastasopoulos | Yonatan Belinkov | Nadir Durrani | Orhan Firat | Philipp Koehn | Graham Neubig | Juan Pino | Hassan Sajjad
Proceedings of the Fourth Conference on Machine Translation (Volume 2: Shared Task Papers, Day 1)

We share the findings of the first shared task on improving robustness of Machine Translation (MT). The task provides a testbed representing challenges facing MT models deployed in the real world, and facilitates new approaches to improve models’ robustness to noisy input and domain mismatch. We focus on two language pairs (English-French and English-Japanese), and the submitted systems are evaluated on a blind test set consisting of noisy comments on Reddit and professionally sourced translations. As a new task, we received 23 submissions by 11 participating teams from universities, companies, national labs, etc. All submitted systems achieved large improvements over baselines, with the best improvement having +22.33 BLEU. We evaluated submissions by both human judgment and automatic evaluation (BLEU), which shows high correlations (Pearson’s r = 0.94 and 0.95). Furthermore, we conducted a qualitative analysis of the submitted systems using compare-mt, which revealed their salient differences in handling challenges in this task. Such analysis provides additional insights when there is occasional disagreement between human judgment and BLEU, e.g. systems better at producing colloquial expressions received higher score from human judgment.

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Analysis Methods in Neural Language Processing: A Survey
Yonatan Belinkov | James Glass
Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Volume 7

The field of natural language processing has seen impressive progress in recent years, with neural network models replacing many of the traditional systems. A plethora of new models have been proposed, many of which are thought to be opaque compared to their feature-rich counterparts. This has led researchers to analyze, interpret, and evaluate neural networks in novel and more fine-grained ways. In this survey paper, we review analysis methods in neural language processing, categorize them according to prominent research trends, highlight existing limitations, and point to potential directions for future work.

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On Adversarial Removal of Hypothesis-only Bias in Natural Language Inference
Yonatan Belinkov | Adam Poliak | Stuart Shieber | Benjamin Van Durme | Alexander Rush
Proceedings of the Eighth Joint Conference on Lexical and Computational Semantics (*SEM 2019)

Popular Natural Language Inference (NLI) datasets have been shown to be tainted by hypothesis-only biases. Adversarial learning may help models ignore sensitive biases and spurious correlations in data. We evaluate whether adversarial learning can be used in NLI to encourage models to learn representations free of hypothesis-only biases. Our analyses indicate that the representations learned via adversarial learning may be less biased, with only small drops in NLI accuracy.

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Don’t Take the Premise for Granted: Mitigating Artifacts in Natural Language Inference
Yonatan Belinkov | Adam Poliak | Stuart Shieber | Benjamin Van Durme | Alexander Rush
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Natural Language Inference (NLI) datasets often contain hypothesis-only biases—artifacts that allow models to achieve non-trivial performance without learning whether a premise entails a hypothesis. We propose two probabilistic methods to build models that are more robust to such biases and better transfer across datasets. In contrast to standard approaches to NLI, our methods predict the probability of a premise given a hypothesis and NLI label, discouraging models from ignoring the premise. We evaluate our methods on synthetic and existing NLI datasets by training on datasets containing biases and testing on datasets containing no (or different) hypothesis-only biases. Our results indicate that these methods can make NLI models more robust to dataset-specific artifacts, transferring better than a baseline architecture in 9 out of 12 NLI datasets. Additionally, we provide an extensive analysis of the interplay of our methods with known biases in NLI datasets, as well as the effects of encouraging models to ignore biases and fine-tuning on target datasets.

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Improving Neural Language Models by Segmenting, Attending, and Predicting the Future
Hongyin Luo | Lan Jiang | Yonatan Belinkov | James Glass
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Common language models typically predict the next word given the context. In this work, we propose a method that improves language modeling by learning to align the given context and the following phrase. The model does not require any linguistic annotation of phrase segmentation. Instead, we define syntactic heights and phrase segmentation rules, enabling the model to automatically induce phrases, recognize their task-specific heads, and generate phrase embeddings in an unsupervised learning manner. Our method can easily be applied to language models with different network architectures since an independent module is used for phrase induction and context-phrase alignment, and no change is required in the underlying language modeling network. Experiments have shown that our model outperformed several strong baseline models on different data sets. We achieved a new state-of-the-art performance of 17.4 perplexity on the Wikitext-103 dataset. Additionally, visualizing the outputs of the phrase induction module showed that our model is able to learn approximate phrase-level structural knowledge without any annotation.

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Linguistic Knowledge and Transferability of Contextual Representations
Nelson F. Liu | Matt Gardner | Yonatan Belinkov | Matthew E. Peters | Noah A. Smith
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 1 (Long and Short Papers)

Contextual word representations derived from large-scale neural language models are successful across a diverse set of NLP tasks, suggesting that they encode useful and transferable features of language. To shed light on the linguistic knowledge they capture, we study the representations produced by several recent pretrained contextualizers (variants of ELMo, the OpenAI transformer language model, and BERT) with a suite of sixteen diverse probing tasks. We find that linear models trained on top of frozen contextual representations are competitive with state-of-the-art task-specific models in many cases, but fail on tasks requiring fine-grained linguistic knowledge (e.g., conjunct identification). To investigate the transferability of contextual word representations, we quantify differences in the transferability of individual layers within contextualizers, especially between recurrent neural networks (RNNs) and transformers. For instance, higher layers of RNNs are more task-specific, while transformer layers do not exhibit the same monotonic trend. In addition, to better understand what makes contextual word representations transferable, we compare language model pretraining with eleven supervised pretraining tasks. For any given task, pretraining on a closely related task yields better performance than language model pretraining (which is better on average) when the pretraining dataset is fixed. However, language model pretraining on more data gives the best results.

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One Size Does Not Fit All: Comparing NMT Representations of Different Granularities
Nadir Durrani | Fahim Dalvi | Hassan Sajjad | Yonatan Belinkov | Preslav Nakov
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 1 (Long and Short Papers)

Recent work has shown that contextualized word representations derived from neural machine translation are a viable alternative to such from simple word predictions tasks. This is because the internal understanding that needs to be built in order to be able to translate from one language to another is much more comprehensive. Unfortunately, computational and memory limitations as of present prevent NMT models from using large word vocabularies, and thus alternatives such as subword units (BPE and morphological segmentations) and characters have been used. Here we study the impact of using different kinds of units on the quality of the resulting representations when used to model morphology, syntax, and semantics. We found that while representations derived from subwords are slightly better for modeling syntax, character-based representations are superior for modeling morphology and are also more robust to noisy input.

2018

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On the Evaluation of Semantic Phenomena in Neural Machine Translation Using Natural Language Inference
Adam Poliak | Yonatan Belinkov | James Glass | Benjamin Van Durme
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 2 (Short Papers)

We propose a process for investigating the extent to which sentence representations arising from neural machine translation (NMT) systems encode distinct semantic phenomena. We use these representations as features to train a natural language inference (NLI) classifier based on datasets recast from existing semantic annotations. In applying this process to a representative NMT system, we find its encoder appears most suited to supporting inferences at the syntax-semantics interface, as compared to anaphora resolution requiring world knowledge. We conclude with a discussion on the merits and potential deficiencies of the existing process, and how it may be improved and extended as a broader framework for evaluating semantic coverage

2017

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What do Neural Machine Translation Models Learn about Morphology?
Yonatan Belinkov | Nadir Durrani | Fahim Dalvi | Hassan Sajjad | James Glass
Proceedings of the 55th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Neural machine translation (MT) models obtain state-of-the-art performance while maintaining a simple, end-to-end architecture. However, little is known about what these models learn about source and target languages during the training process. In this work, we analyze the representations learned by neural MT models at various levels of granularity and empirically evaluate the quality of the representations for learning morphology through extrinsic part-of-speech and morphological tagging tasks. We conduct a thorough investigation along several parameters: word-based vs. character-based representations, depth of the encoding layer, the identity of the target language, and encoder vs. decoder representations. Our data-driven, quantitative evaluation sheds light on important aspects in the neural MT system and its ability to capture word structure.

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Challenging Language-Dependent Segmentation for Arabic: An Application to Machine Translation and Part-of-Speech Tagging
Hassan Sajjad | Fahim Dalvi | Nadir Durrani | Ahmed Abdelali | Yonatan Belinkov | Stephan Vogel
Proceedings of the 55th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 2: Short Papers)

Word segmentation plays a pivotal role in improving any Arabic NLP application. Therefore, a lot of research has been spent in improving its accuracy. Off-the-shelf tools, however, are: i) complicated to use and ii) domain/dialect dependent. We explore three language-independent alternatives to morphological segmentation using: i) data-driven sub-word units, ii) characters as a unit of learning, and iii) word embeddings learned using a character CNN (Convolution Neural Network). On the tasks of Machine Translation and POS tagging, we found these methods to achieve close to, and occasionally surpass state-of-the-art performance. In our analysis, we show that a neural machine translation system is sensitive to the ratio of source and target tokens, and a ratio close to 1 or greater, gives optimal performance.

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Evaluating Layers of Representation in Neural Machine Translation on Part-of-Speech and Semantic Tagging Tasks
Yonatan Belinkov | Lluís Màrquez | Hassan Sajjad | Nadir Durrani | Fahim Dalvi | James Glass
Proceedings of the Eighth International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 1: Long Papers)

While neural machine translation (NMT) models provide improved translation quality in an elegant framework, it is less clear what they learn about language. Recent work has started evaluating the quality of vector representations learned by NMT models on morphological and syntactic tasks. In this paper, we investigate the representations learned at different layers of NMT encoders. We train NMT systems on parallel data and use the models to extract features for training a classifier on two tasks: part-of-speech and semantic tagging. We then measure the performance of the classifier as a proxy to the quality of the original NMT model for the given task. Our quantitative analysis yields interesting insights regarding representation learning in NMT models. For instance, we find that higher layers are better at learning semantics while lower layers tend to be better for part-of-speech tagging. We also observe little effect of the target language on source-side representations, especially in higher quality models.

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Understanding and Improving Morphological Learning in the Neural Machine Translation Decoder
Fahim Dalvi | Nadir Durrani | Hassan Sajjad | Yonatan Belinkov | Stephan Vogel
Proceedings of the Eighth International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 1: Long Papers)

End-to-end training makes the neural machine translation (NMT) architecture simpler, yet elegant compared to traditional statistical machine translation (SMT). However, little is known about linguistic patterns of morphology, syntax and semantics learned during the training of NMT systems, and more importantly, which parts of the architecture are responsible for learning each of these phenomenon. In this paper we i) analyze how much morphology an NMT decoder learns, and ii) investigate whether injecting target morphology in the decoder helps it to produce better translations. To this end we present three methods: i) simultaneous translation, ii) joint-data learning, and iii) multi-task learning. Our results show that explicit morphological information helps the decoder learn target language morphology and improves the translation quality by 0.2–0.6 BLEU points.

2016

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Improving Sequence to Sequence Learning for Morphological Inflection Generation: The BIU-MIT Systems for the SIGMORPHON 2016 Shared Task for Morphological Reinflection
Roee Aharoni | Yoav Goldberg | Yonatan Belinkov
Proceedings of the 14th SIGMORPHON Workshop on Computational Research in Phonetics, Phonology, and Morphology

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Shamela: A Large-Scale Historical Arabic Corpus
Yonatan Belinkov | Alexander Magidow | Maxim Romanov | Avi Shmidman | Moshe Koppel
Proceedings of the Workshop on Language Technology Resources and Tools for Digital Humanities (LT4DH)

Arabic is a widely-spoken language with a rich and long history spanning more than fourteen centuries. Yet existing Arabic corpora largely focus on the modern period or lack sufficient diachronic information. We develop a large-scale, historical corpus of Arabic of about 1 billion words from diverse periods of time. We clean this corpus, process it with a morphological analyzer, and enhance it by detecting parallel passages and automatically dating undated texts. We demonstrate its utility with selected case-studies in which we show its application to the digital humanities.

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A Character-level Convolutional Neural Network for Distinguishing Similar Languages and Dialects
Yonatan Belinkov | James Glass
Proceedings of the Third Workshop on NLP for Similar Languages, Varieties and Dialects (VarDial3)

Discriminating between closely-related language varieties is considered a challenging and important task. This paper describes our submission to the DSL 2016 shared-task, which included two sub-tasks: one on discriminating similar languages and one on identifying Arabic dialects. We developed a character-level neural network for this task. Given a sequence of characters, our model embeds each character in vector space, runs the sequence through multiple convolutions with different filter widths, and pools the convolutional representations to obtain a hidden vector representation of the text that is used for predicting the language or dialect. We primarily focused on the Arabic dialect identification task and obtained an F1 score of 0.4834, ranking 6th out of 18 participants. We also analyze errors made by our system on the Arabic data in some detail, and point to challenges such an approach is faced with.

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SLS at SemEval-2016 Task 3: Neural-based Approaches for Ranking in Community Question Answering
Mitra Mohtarami | Yonatan Belinkov | Wei-Ning Hsu | Yu Zhang | Tao Lei | Kfir Bar | Scott Cyphers | Jim Glass
Proceedings of the 10th International Workshop on Semantic Evaluation (SemEval-2016)

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Neural Attention for Learning to Rank Questions in Community Question Answering
Salvatore Romeo | Giovanni Da San Martino | Alberto Barrón-Cedeño | Alessandro Moschitti | Yonatan Belinkov | Wei-Ning Hsu | Yu Zhang | Mitra Mohtarami | James Glass
Proceedings of COLING 2016, the 26th International Conference on Computational Linguistics: Technical Papers

In real-world data, e.g., from Web forums, text is often contaminated with redundant or irrelevant content, which leads to introducing noise in machine learning algorithms. In this paper, we apply Long Short-Term Memory networks with an attention mechanism, which can select important parts of text for the task of similar question retrieval from community Question Answering (cQA) forums. In particular, we use the attention weights for both selecting entire sentences and their subparts, i.e., word/chunk, from shallow syntactic trees. More interestingly, we apply tree kernels to the filtered text representations, thus exploiting the implicit features of the subtree space for learning question reranking. Our results show that the attention-based pruning allows for achieving the top position in the cQA challenge of SemEval 2016, with a relatively large gap from the other participants while greatly decreasing running time.

2015

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Answer Selection in Arabic Community Question Answering: A Feature-Rich Approach
Yonatan Belinkov | Alberto Barrón-Cedeño | Hamdy Mubarak
Proceedings of the Second Workshop on Arabic Natural Language Processing

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Arabic Diacritization with Recurrent Neural Networks
Yonatan Belinkov | James Glass
Proceedings of the 2015 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

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VectorSLU: A Continuous Word Vector Approach to Answer Selection in Community Question Answering Systems
Yonatan Belinkov | Mitra Mohtarami | Scott Cyphers | James Glass
Proceedings of the 9th International Workshop on Semantic Evaluation (SemEval 2015)

2014

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Exploring Compositional Architectures and Word Vector Representations for Prepositional Phrase Attachment
Yonatan Belinkov | Tao Lei | Regina Barzilay | Amir Globerson
Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Volume 2

Prepositional phrase (PP) attachment disambiguation is a known challenge in syntactic parsing. The lexical sparsity associated with PP attachments motivates research in word representations that can capture pertinent syntactic and semantic features of the word. One promising solution is to use word vectors induced from large amounts of raw text. However, state-of-the-art systems that employ such representations yield modest gains in PP attachment accuracy. In this paper, we show that word vector representations can yield significant PP attachment performance gains. This is achieved via a non-linear architecture that is discriminatively trained to maximize PP attachment accuracy. The architecture is initialized with word vectors trained from unlabeled data, and relearns those to maximize attachment accuracy. We obtain additional performance gains with alternative representations such as dependency-based word vectors. When tested on both English and Arabic datasets, our method outperforms both a strong SVM classifier and state-of-the-art parsers. For instance, we achieve 82.6% PP attachment accuracy on Arabic, while the Turbo and Charniak self-trained parsers obtain 76.7% and 80.8% respectively.

2013

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Translating Dialectal Arabic to English
Hassan Sajjad | Kareem Darwish | Yonatan Belinkov
Proceedings of the 51st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 2: Short Papers)