The task of context-dependent text-to-SQL aims to convert multi-turn user utterances to formal SQL queries. This is a challenging task due to both the scarcity of training data from which to learn complex contextual dependencies and to generalize to unseen databases. In this paper we explore augmenting the training datasets using self-play, which leverages contextual information to synthesize new interactions to adapt the model to new databases. We first design a SQL-to-text model conditioned on a sampled goal query, which represents a user’s intent, that then converses with a text-to-SQL semantic parser to generate new interactions. We then filter the synthesized interactions and retrain the models with the augmented data. We find that self-play improves the accuracy of a strong baseline on SParC and CoSQL, two widely used cross-domain text-to-SQL datasets. Our analysis shows that self-play simulates various conversational thematic relations, enhances cross-domain generalization and improves beam-search.
With the rapid development of NLP research, leaderboards have emerged as one tool to track the performance of various systems on various NLP tasks. They are effective in this goal to some extent, but generally present a rather simplistic one-dimensional view of the submitted systems, communicated only through holistic accuracy numbers. In this paper, we present a new conceptualization and implementation of NLP evaluation: the ExplainaBoard, which in addition to inheriting the functionality of the standard leaderboard, also allows researchers to (i) diagnose strengths and weaknesses of a single system (e.g. what is the best-performing system bad at?) (ii) interpret relationships between multiple systems. (e.g. where does system A outperform system B? What if we combine systems A, B and C?) and (iii) examine prediction results closely (e.g. what are common errors made by multiple systems or in what contexts do particular errors occur?). So far, ExplainaBoard covers more than 400 systems, 50 datasets, 40 languages, and 12 tasks. We not only released an online platform at the website but also make our evaluation tool an API with MIT Licence at Github and PyPi that allows users to conveniently assess their models offline. We additionally release all output files from systems that we have run or collected to motivate “output-driven” research in the future.
Performance prediction, the task of estimating a system’s performance without performing experiments, allows us to reduce the experimental burden caused by the combinatorial explosion of different datasets, languages, tasks, and models. In this paper, we make two contributions to improving performance prediction for NLP tasks. First, we examine performance predictors not only for holistic measures of accuracy like F1 or BLEU, but also fine-grained performance measures such as accuracy over individual classes of examples. Second, we propose methods to understand the reliability of a performance prediction model from two angles: confidence intervals and calibration. We perform an analysis of four types of NLP tasks, and both demonstrate the feasibility of fine-grained performance prediction and the necessity to perform reliability analysis for performance prediction methods in the future.