Yuval Pinter


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Emptying the Ocean with a Spoon: Should We Edit Models?
Yuval Pinter | Michael Elhadad
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

We call into question the recently popularized method of direct model editing as a means of correcting factual errors in LLM generations. We contrast model editing with three similar but distinct approaches that pursue better defined objectives: (1) retrieval-based architectures, which decouple factual memory from inference and linguistic capabilities embodied in LLMs; (2) concept erasure methods, which aim at preventing systemic bias in generated text; and (3) attribution methods, which aim at grounding generations into identified textual sources. We argue that direct model editing cannot be trusted as a systematic remedy for the disadvantages inherent to LLMs, and while it has proven potential in improving model explainability, it opens risks by reinforcing the notion that models can be trusted for factuality. We call for cautious promotion and application of model editing as part of the LLM deployment process, and for responsibly limiting the use cases of LLMs to those not relying on editing as a critical component.

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Analyzing Cognitive Plausibility of Subword Tokenization
Lisa Beinborn | Yuval Pinter
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Subword tokenization has become the de-facto standard for tokenization although comparative evaluations of their quality across languages are scarce. Existing evaluation studies focus on the effect of a tokenization algorithm on the performance in downstream tasks, or on engineering criteria such as the compression rate. We present a new evaluation paradigm that focuses on the cognitive plausibility of subword tokenization. We analyze the correlation of the tokenizer output with the reading time and accuracy of human responses on a lexical decision task. We compare three tokenization algorithms across several languages and vocabulary sizes. Our results indicate that the Unigram algorithm yields less cognitively plausible tokenization behavior and a worse coverage of derivational morphemes, in contrast with prior work.

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The BGU-MeLeL System for the SIGMORPHON 2023 Shared Task on Morphological Inflection
Gal Astrach | Yuval Pinter
Proceedings of the 20th SIGMORPHON workshop on Computational Research in Phonetics, Phonology, and Morphology

This paper presents the submission by the MeLeL team to the SIGMORPHON–UniMorph Shared Task on Typologically Diverse and Acquisition-Inspired Morphological Inflection Generation Part 3: Models of Acquisition of Inflectional Noun Morphology in Polish, Estonian, and Finnish. This task requires us to produce the word form given a lemma and a grammatical case, while trying to produce the same error-rate as in children. We approach this task with a reduced-size character-based transformer model, multilingual training and an upsampling method to introduce bias.

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Incorporating Context into Subword Vocabularies
Shaked Yehezkel | Yuval Pinter
Proceedings of the 17th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Most current popular subword tokenizers are trained based on word frequency statistics over a corpus, without considering information about co-occurrence or context. Nevertheless, the resulting vocabularies are used in language models’ highly contextualized settings. We present SaGe, a tokenizer that tailors subwords for their downstream use by baking in the contextualized signal at the vocabulary creation phase. We show that SaGe does a better job than current widespread tokenizers in keeping token contexts cohesive, while not incurring a large price in terms of encoding efficiency or domain robustness. SaGe improves performance on English GLUE classification tasks as well as on NER, and on Inference and NER in Turkish, demonstrating its robustness to language properties such as morphological exponence and agglutination.


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Restoring Hebrew Diacritics Without a Dictionary
Elazar Gershuni | Yuval Pinter
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: NAACL 2022

We demonstrate that it is feasible to accurately diacritize Hebrew script without any human-curated resources other than plain diacritized text. We present Nakdimon, a two-layer character-level LSTM, that performs on par with much more complicated curation-dependent systems, across a diverse array of modern Hebrew sources. The model is accompanied by a training set and a test set, collected from diverse sources.

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UniMorph 4.0: Universal Morphology
Khuyagbaatar Batsuren | Omer Goldman | Salam Khalifa | Nizar Habash | Witold Kieraś | Gábor Bella | Brian Leonard | Garrett Nicolai | Kyle Gorman | Yustinus Ghanggo Ate | Maria Ryskina | Sabrina Mielke | Elena Budianskaya | Charbel El-Khaissi | Tiago Pimentel | Michael Gasser | William Abbott Lane | Mohit Raj | Matt Coler | Jaime Rafael Montoya Samame | Delio Siticonatzi Camaiteri | Esaú Zumaeta Rojas | Didier López Francis | Arturo Oncevay | Juan López Bautista | Gema Celeste Silva Villegas | Lucas Torroba Hennigen | Adam Ek | David Guriel | Peter Dirix | Jean-Philippe Bernardy | Andrey Scherbakov | Aziyana Bayyr-ool | Antonios Anastasopoulos | Roberto Zariquiey | Karina Sheifer | Sofya Ganieva | Hilaria Cruz | Ritván Karahóǧa | Stella Markantonatou | George Pavlidis | Matvey Plugaryov | Elena Klyachko | Ali Salehi | Candy Angulo | Jatayu Baxi | Andrew Krizhanovsky | Natalia Krizhanovskaya | Elizabeth Salesky | Clara Vania | Sardana Ivanova | Jennifer White | Rowan Hall Maudslay | Josef Valvoda | Ran Zmigrod | Paula Czarnowska | Irene Nikkarinen | Aelita Salchak | Brijesh Bhatt | Christopher Straughn | Zoey Liu | Jonathan North Washington | Yuval Pinter | Duygu Ataman | Marcin Wolinski | Totok Suhardijanto | Anna Yablonskaya | Niklas Stoehr | Hossep Dolatian | Zahroh Nuriah | Shyam Ratan | Francis M. Tyers | Edoardo M. Ponti | Grant Aiton | Aryaman Arora | Richard J. Hatcher | Ritesh Kumar | Jeremiah Young | Daria Rodionova | Anastasia Yemelina | Taras Andrushko | Igor Marchenko | Polina Mashkovtseva | Alexandra Serova | Emily Prud’hommeaux | Maria Nepomniashchaya | Fausto Giunchiglia | Eleanor Chodroff | Mans Hulden | Miikka Silfverberg | Arya D. McCarthy | David Yarowsky | Ryan Cotterell | Reut Tsarfaty | Ekaterina Vylomova
Proceedings of the Thirteenth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

The Universal Morphology (UniMorph) project is a collaborative effort providing broad-coverage instantiated normalized morphological inflection tables for hundreds of diverse world languages. The project comprises two major thrusts: a language-independent feature schema for rich morphological annotation, and a type-level resource of annotated data in diverse languages realizing that schema. This paper presents the expansions and improvements on several fronts that were made in the last couple of years (since McCarthy et al. (2020)). Collaborative efforts by numerous linguists have added 66 new languages, including 24 endangered languages. We have implemented several improvements to the extraction pipeline to tackle some issues, e.g., missing gender and macrons information. We have amended the schema to use a hierarchical structure that is needed for morphological phenomena like multiple-argument agreement and case stacking, while adding some missing morphological features to make the schema more inclusive. In light of the last UniMorph release, we also augmented the database with morpheme segmentation for 16 languages. Lastly, this new release makes a push towards inclusion of derivational morphology in UniMorph by enriching the data and annotation schema with instances representing derivational processes from MorphyNet.

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CIAug: Equipping Interpolative Augmentation with Curriculum Learning
Ramit Sawhney | Ritesh Soun | Shrey Pandit | Megh Thakkar | Sarvagya Malaviya | Yuval Pinter
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Interpolative data augmentation has proven to be effective for NLP tasks. Despite its merits, the sample selection process in mixup is random, which might make it difficult for the model to generalize better and converge faster. We propose CIAug, a novel curriculum-based learning method that builds upon mixup. It leverages the relative position of samples in hyperbolic embedding space as a complexity measure to gradually mix up increasingly difficult and diverse samples along training. CIAug achieves state-of-the-art results over existing interpolative augmentation methods on 10 benchmark datasets across 4 languages in text classification and named-entity recognition tasks. It also converges and achieves benchmark F1 scores 3 times faster. We empirically analyze the various components of CIAug, and evaluate its robustness against adversarial attacks.


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Proceedings of the Fourth BlackboxNLP Workshop on Analyzing and Interpreting Neural Networks for NLP
Jasmijn Bastings | Yonatan Belinkov | Emmanuel Dupoux | Mario Giulianelli | Dieuwke Hupkes | Yuval Pinter | Hassan Sajjad
Proceedings of the Fourth BlackboxNLP Workshop on Analyzing and Interpreting Neural Networks for NLP

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Will it Unblend?
Yuval Pinter | Cassandra L. Jacobs | Jacob Eisenstein
Proceedings of the Society for Computation in Linguistics 2021


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Learning to Faithfully Rationalize by Construction
Sarthak Jain | Sarah Wiegreffe | Yuval Pinter | Byron C. Wallace
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

In many settings it is important for one to be able to understand why a model made a particular prediction. In NLP this often entails extracting snippets of an input text ‘responsible for’ corresponding model output; when such a snippet comprises tokens that indeed informed the model’s prediction, it is a faithful explanation. In some settings, faithfulness may be critical to ensure transparency. Lei et al. (2016) proposed a model to produce faithful rationales for neural text classification by defining independent snippet extraction and prediction modules. However, the discrete selection over input tokens performed by this method complicates training, leading to high variance and requiring careful hyperparameter tuning. We propose a simpler variant of this approach that provides faithful explanations by construction. In our scheme, named FRESH, arbitrary feature importance scores (e.g., gradients from a trained model) are used to induce binary labels over token inputs, which an extractor can be trained to predict. An independent classifier module is then trained exclusively on snippets provided by the extractor; these snippets thus constitute faithful explanations, even if the classifier is arbitrarily complex. In both automatic and manual evaluations we find that variants of this simple framework yield predictive performance superior to ‘end-to-end’ approaches, while being more general and easier to train. Code is available at https://github.com/successar/FRESH.

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NYTWIT: A Dataset of Novel Words in the New York Times
Yuval Pinter | Cassandra L. Jacobs | Max Bittker
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

We present the New York Times Word Innovation Types dataset, or NYTWIT, a collection of over 2,500 novel English words published in the New York Times between November 2017 and March 2019, manually annotated for their class of novelty (such as lexical derivation, dialectal variation, blending, or compounding). We present baseline results for both uncontextual and contextual prediction of novelty class, showing that there is room for improvement even for state-of-the-art NLP systems. We hope this resource will prove useful for linguists and NLP practitioners by providing a real-world environment of novel word appearance.

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UniMorph 3.0: Universal Morphology
Arya D. McCarthy | Christo Kirov | Matteo Grella | Amrit Nidhi | Patrick Xia | Kyle Gorman | Ekaterina Vylomova | Sabrina J. Mielke | Garrett Nicolai | Miikka Silfverberg | Timofey Arkhangelskiy | Nataly Krizhanovsky | Andrew Krizhanovsky | Elena Klyachko | Alexey Sorokin | John Mansfield | Valts Ernštreits | Yuval Pinter | Cassandra L. Jacobs | Ryan Cotterell | Mans Hulden | David Yarowsky
Proceedings of the Twelfth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

The Universal Morphology (UniMorph) project is a collaborative effort providing broad-coverage instantiated normalized morphological paradigms for hundreds of diverse world languages. The project comprises two major thrusts: a language-independent feature schema for rich morphological annotation and a type-level resource of annotated data in diverse languages realizing that schema. We have implemented several improvements to the extraction pipeline which creates most of our data, so that it is both more complete and more correct. We have added 66 new languages, as well as new parts of speech for 12 languages. We have also amended the schema in several ways. Finally, we present three new community tools: two to validate data for resource creators, and one to make morphological data available from the command line. UniMorph is based at the Center for Language and Speech Processing (CLSP) at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. This paper details advances made to the schema, tooling, and dissemination of project resources since the UniMorph 2.0 release described at LREC 2018.

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Will it Unblend?
Yuval Pinter | Cassandra L. Jacobs | Jacob Eisenstein
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2020

Natural language processing systems often struggle with out-of-vocabulary (OOV) terms, which do not appear in training data. Blends, such as “innoventor”, are one particularly challenging class of OOV, as they are formed by fusing together two or more bases that relate to the intended meaning in unpredictable manners and degrees. In this work, we run experiments on a novel dataset of English OOV blends to quantify the difficulty of interpreting the meanings of blends by large-scale contextual language models such as BERT. We first show that BERT’s processing of these blends does not fully access the component meanings, leaving their contextual representations semantically impoverished. We find this is mostly due to the loss of characters resulting from blend formation. Then, we assess how easily different models can recognize the structure and recover the origin of blends, and find that context-aware embedding systems outperform character-level and context-free embeddings, although their results are still far from satisfactory.

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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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Character Eyes: Seeing Language through Character-Level Taggers
Yuval Pinter | Marc Marone | Jacob Eisenstein
Proceedings of the 2019 ACL Workshop BlackboxNLP: Analyzing and Interpreting Neural Networks for NLP

Character-level models have been used extensively in recent years in NLP tasks as both supplements and replacements for closed-vocabulary token-level word representations. In one popular architecture, character-level LSTMs are used to feed token representations into a sequence tagger predicting token-level annotations such as part-of-speech (POS) tags. In this work, we examine the behavior of POS taggers across languages from the perspective of individual hidden units within the character LSTM. We aggregate the behavior of these units into language-level metrics which quantify the challenges that taggers face on languages with different morphological properties, and identify links between synthesis and affixation preference and emergent behavior of the hidden tagger layer. In a comparative experiment, we show how modifying the balance between forward and backward hidden units affects model arrangement and performance in these types of languages.

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Attention is not not Explanation
Sarah Wiegreffe | Yuval Pinter
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

Attention mechanisms play a central role in NLP systems, especially within recurrent neural network (RNN) models. Recently, there has been increasing interest in whether or not the intermediate representations offered by these modules may be used to explain the reasoning for a model’s prediction, and consequently reach insights regarding the model’s decision-making process. A recent paper claims that ‘Attention is not Explanation’ (Jain and Wallace, 2019). We challenge many of the assumptions underlying this work, arguing that such a claim depends on one’s definition of explanation, and that testing it needs to take into account all elements of the model. We propose four alternative tests to determine when/whether attention can be used as explanation: a simple uniform-weights baseline; a variance calibration based on multiple random seed runs; a diagnostic framework using frozen weights from pretrained models; and an end-to-end adversarial attention training protocol. Each allows for meaningful interpretation of attention mechanisms in RNN models. We show that even when reliable adversarial distributions can be found, they don’t perform well on the simple diagnostic, indicating that prior work does not disprove the usefulness of attention mechanisms for explainability.


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Predicting Semantic Relations using Global Graph Properties
Yuval Pinter | Jacob Eisenstein
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Semantic graphs, such as WordNet, are resources which curate natural language on two distinguishable layers. On the local level, individual relations between synsets (semantic building blocks) such as hypernymy and meronymy enhance our understanding of the words used to express their meanings. Globally, analysis of graph-theoretic properties of the entire net sheds light on the structure of human language as a whole. In this paper, we combine global and local properties of semantic graphs through the framework of Max-Margin Markov Graph Models (M3GM), a novel extension of Exponential Random Graph Model (ERGM) that scales to large multi-relational graphs. We demonstrate how such global modeling improves performance on the local task of predicting semantic relations between synsets, yielding new state-of-the-art results on the WN18RR dataset, a challenging version of WordNet link prediction in which “easy” reciprocal cases are removed. In addition, the M3GM model identifies multirelational motifs that are characteristic of well-formed lexical semantic ontologies.

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Si O No, Que Penses? Catalonian Independence and Linguistic Identity on Social Media
Ian Stewart | Yuval Pinter | Jacob Eisenstein
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 2 (Short Papers)

Political identity is often manifested in language variation, but the relationship between the two is still relatively unexplored from a quantitative perspective. This study examines the use of Catalan, a language local to the semi-autonomous region of Catalonia in Spain, on Twitter in discourse related to the 2017 independence referendum. We corroborate prior findings that pro-independence tweets are more likely to include the local language than anti-independence tweets. We also find that Catalan is used more often in referendum-related discourse than in other contexts, contrary to prior findings on language variation. This suggests a strong role for the Catalan language in the expression of Catalonian political identity.


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Mimicking Word Embeddings using Subword RNNs
Yuval Pinter | Robert Guthrie | Jacob Eisenstein
Proceedings of the 2017 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Word embeddings improve generalization over lexical features by placing each word in a lower-dimensional space, using distributional information obtained from unlabeled data. However, the effectiveness of word embeddings for downstream NLP tasks is limited by out-of-vocabulary (OOV) words, for which embeddings do not exist. In this paper, we present MIMICK, an approach to generating OOV word embeddings compositionally, by learning a function from spellings to distributional embeddings. Unlike prior work, MIMICK does not require re-training on the original word embedding corpus; instead, learning is performed at the type level. Intrinsic and extrinsic evaluations demonstrate the power of this simple approach. On 23 languages, MIMICK improves performance over a word-based baseline for tagging part-of-speech and morphosyntactic attributes. It is competitive with (and complementary to) a supervised character-based model in low resource settings.


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Syntactic Parsing of Web Queries with Question Intent
Yuval Pinter | Roi Reichart | Idan Szpektor
Proceedings of the 2016 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies