Proceedings of the 18th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Yvette Graham, Matthew Purver (Editors)

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St. Julian’s, Malta
Association for Computational Linguistics
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Proceedings of the 18th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)
Yvette Graham | Matthew Purver

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Enhancing Ethical Explanations of Large Language Models through Iterative Symbolic Refinement
Xin Quan | Marco Valentino | Louise Dennis | Andre Freitas

An increasing amount of research in Natural Language Inference (NLI) focuses on the application and evaluation of Large Language Models (LLMs) and their reasoning capabilities. Despite their success, however, LLMs are still prone to factual errors and inconsistencies in their explanations, offering limited control and interpretability for inference in complex domains. In this paper, we focus on ethical NLI, investigating how hybrid neuro-symbolic techniques can enhance the logical validity and alignment of ethical explanations produced by LLMs. Specifically, we present an abductive-deductive framework named Logic-Explainer, which integrates LLMs with an external backward-chaining solver to refine step-wise natural language explanations and jointly verify their correctness, reduce incompleteness and minimise redundancy. An extensive empirical analysis demonstrates that Logic-Explainer can improve explanations generated via in-context learning methods and Chain-of-Thought (CoT) on challenging ethical NLI tasks, while, at the same time, producing formal proofs describing and supporting models’ reasoning. As ethical NLI requires commonsense reasoning to identify underlying moral violations, our results suggest the effectiveness of neuro-symbolic methods for multi-step NLI more broadly, opening new opportunities to enhance the logical consistency, reliability, and alignment of LLMs.

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Multi-Relational Hyperbolic Word Embeddings from Natural Language Definitions
Marco Valentino | Danilo Carvalho | Andre Freitas

Natural language definitions possess a recursive, self-explanatory semantic structure that can support representation learning methods able to preserve explicit conceptual relations and constraints in the latent space. This paper presents a multi-relational model that explicitly leverages such a structure to derive word embeddings from definitions. By automatically extracting the relations linking defined and defining terms from dictionaries, we demonstrate how the problem of learning word embeddings can be formalised via a translational framework in Hyperbolic space and used as a proxy to capture the global semantic structure of definitions. An extensive empirical analysis demonstrates that the framework can help imposing the desired structural constraints while preserving the semantic mapping required for controllable and interpretable traversal. Moreover, the experiments reveal the superiority of the Hyperbolic word embeddings over the Euclidean counterparts and demonstrate that the multi-relational approach can obtain competitive results when compared to state-of-the-art neural models, with the advantage of being intrinsically more efficient and interpretable

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Anisotropy Is Inherent to Self-Attention in Transformers
Nathan Godey | Éric Clergerie | Benoît Sagot

The representation degeneration problem is a phenomenon that is widely observed among self-supervised learning methods based on Transformers. In NLP, it takes the form of anisotropy, a singular property of hidden representations which makes them unexpectedly close to each other in terms of angular distance (cosine-similarity). Some recent works tend to show that anisotropy is a consequence of optimizing the cross-entropy loss on long-tailed distributions of tokens. We show in this paper that anisotropy can also be observed empirically in language models with specific objectives that should not suffer directly from the same consequences. We also show that the anisotropy problem extends to Transformers trained on other modalities. Our observations tend to demonstrate that anisotropy might actually be inherent to Transformers-based models.

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Generating Benchmarks for Factuality Evaluation of Language Models
Dor Muhlgay | Ori Ram | Inbal Magar | Yoav Levine | Nir Ratner | Yonatan Belinkov | Omri Abend | Kevin Leyton-Brown | Amnon Shashua | Yoav Shoham

Before deploying a language model (LM) within a given domain, it is important to measure its tendency to generate factually incorrect information in that domain. Existing methods for factuality evaluation of LLM generation focus on facts sampled from the LM itself, and thus do not control the set of evaluated facts and might under-represent domain specific or rare facts. We propose FACTOR: Factual Assessment via Corpus TransfORmation, a scalable approach for evaluating LM factuality. FACTOR automatically transforms a factual corpus of interest into a benchmark evaluating an LM’s propensity to generate true facts from the corpus vs. similar but incorrect statements. We use our framework to create three benchmarks: Wiki-FACTOR, News-FACTOR and Expert-FACTOR. We show that: (i) our benchmark scores increase with model size and improve when the LM is augmented with retrieval; (ii) benchmark score and perplexity do not always agree on model ranking; (iii) when perplexity and benchmark score disagree, the latter better reflects factuality in open-ended generation, as measured by human annotators.

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Leak, Cheat, Repeat: Data Contamination and Evaluation Malpractices in Closed-Source LLMs
Simone Balloccu | Patrícia Schmidtová | Mateusz Lango | Ondrej Dusek

Natural Language Processing (NLP) research is increasingly focusing on the use of Large Language Models (LLMs), with some of the most popular ones being either fully or partially closed-source. The lack of access to model details, especially regarding training data, has repeatedly raised concerns about data contamination among researchers. Several attempts have been made to address this issue, but they are limited to anecdotal evidence and trial and error. Additionally, they overlook the problem of indirect data leaking, where modelsare iteratively improved by using data coming from users. In this work, we conduct the first systematic analysis of work using OpenAI’s GPT-3.5 and GPT-4, the most prominently used LLMs today, in the context of data contamination. By analysing 255 papers and considering OpenAI’s data usage policy, we extensively document the amount of data leaked to these models during the first year after the model’s release. We report that these models have been globally exposed to ∼4.7M samples from 263 benchmarks. At the same time, we document a number of evaluation malpractices emerging in the reviewed papers, such as unfair or missing baseline comparisons and reproducibility issues. We release our results as a collaborative project on, where other researchers can contribute to our efforts.

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Archer: A Human-Labeled Text-to-SQL Dataset with Arithmetic, Commonsense and Hypothetical Reasoning
Danna Zheng | Mirella Lapata | Jeff Pan

We present Archer, a challenging bilingual text-to-SQL dataset specific to complex reasoning, including arithmetic, commonsense and hypothetical reasoning. It contains 1,042 English questions and 1,042 Chinese questions, along with 521 unique SQL queries, covering 20 English databases across 20 domains. Notably, this dataset demonstrates a significantly higher level of complexity compared to existing publicly available datasets. Our evaluation shows that Archer challenges the capabilities of current state-of-the-art models, with a high-ranked model on the Spider leaderboard achieving only 6.73% execution accuracy on Archer test set. Thus, Archer presents a significant challenge for future research in this field.

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GEAR: Augmenting Language Models with Generalizable and Efficient Tool Resolution
Yining Lu | Haoping Yu | Daniel Khashabi

Augmenting large language models (LLM) to use external tools enhances their performance across a variety of tasks. However, prior works over-rely on task-specific demonstration of tool use that limits their generalizability and computational cost due to making many calls to large-scale LLMs. We introduce GEAR, a computationally efficient query-tool grounding algorithm that is generalizable to various tasks that require tool use while not relying on task-specific demonstrations. GEAR achieves better efficiency by delegating tool grounding and execution to small language models (SLM) and LLM, respectively; while leveraging semantic and pattern-based evaluation at both question and answer levels for generalizable tool grounding. We evaluate GEAR on 14 datasets across 6 downstream tasks, demonstrating its strong generalizability to novel tasks, tools and different SLMs. Despite offering more efficiency, GEAR achieves higher precision in tool grounding compared to prior strategies using LLM prompting, thus improving downstream accuracy at a reduced computational cost. For example, we demonstrate that GEAR-augmented GPT-J and GPT-3 outperform counterpart tool-augmented baselines because of better tool use.

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LLM Comparative Assessment: Zero-shot NLG Evaluation through Pairwise Comparisons using Large Language Models
Adian Liusie | Potsawee Manakul | Mark Gales

Current developments in large language models (LLMs) have enabled impressive zero-shot capabilities across various natural language tasks. An interesting application of these systems is in the automated assessment of natural language generation (NLG), a highly challenging area with great practical benefit. In this paper, we explore two options for exploiting the emergent abilities of LLMs for zero-shot NLG assessment: absolute score prediction, and comparative assessment which uses relative comparisons between pairs of candidates. Though comparative assessment has not been extensively studied in NLG assessment, we note that humans often find it more intuitive to compare two options rather than scoring each one independently. This work examines comparative assessment from multiple perspectives: performance compared to absolute grading; positional biases in the prompt; and efficient ranking in terms of the number of comparisons. We illustrate that LLM comparative assessment is a simple, general and effective approach for NLG assessment. For moderate-sized open-source LLMs, such as FlanT5 and Llama2-chat, comparative assessment is superior to prompt scoring, and in many cases can achieve performance competitive with state-of-the-art methods. Additionally, we demonstrate that LLMs often exhibit strong positional biases when making pairwise comparisons, and we propose debiasing methods that can further improve performance.

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Parameter-Efficient Conversational Recommender System as a Language Processing Task
Mathieu Ravaut | Hao Zhang | Lu Xu | Aixin Sun | Yong Liu

Conversational recommender systems (CRS) aim to recommend relevant items to users by eliciting user preference through natural language conversation. Prior work often utilizes external knowledge graphs for items’ semantic information, a language model for dialogue generation, and a recommendation module for ranking relevant items. This combination of multiple components suffers from a cumber-some training process, and leads to semantic misalignment issues between dialogue generation and item recommendation. In this paper, we represent items in natural language and formulate CRS as a natural language processing task. Accordingly, we leverage the power of pre-trained language models to encode items, understand user intent via conversation, perform item recommendation through semantic matching, and generate dialogues. As a unified model, our PECRS (Parameter-Efficient CRS), can be optimized in a single stage, without relying on non-textual metadata such as a knowledge graph. Experiments on two benchmark CRS datasets, ReDial and INSPIRED, demonstrate the effectiveness of PECRS on recommendation and conversation. Our code is available at:

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OpenPI2.0: An Improved Dataset for Entity Tracking in Texts
Li Zhang | Hainiu Xu | Abhinav Kommula | Chris Callison-Burch | Niket Tandon

Much texts describe a changing world (e.g., procedures, stories, newswires), and understanding them requires tracking how entities change. An earlier dataset, OpenPI, provided crowdsourced annotations of entity state changes in text. However, a major limitation was that those annotations were free-form and did not identify salient changes, hampering model evaluation. To overcome these limitations, we present an improved dataset, OpenPI2.0, where entities and attributes are fully canonicalized and additional entity salience annotations are added. On our fairer evaluation setting, we find that current state-of-the-art language models are far from competent. We also show that using state changes of salient entities as a chain-of-thought prompt, downstream performance is improved on tasks such as question answering and classical planning, outperforming the setting involving all related entities indiscriminately. We offer OpenPI2.0 for the continued development of models that can understand the dynamics of entities in text.

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A Comparative Multidimensional Analysis of Empathetic Systems
Andrew Lee | Jonathan Kummerfeld | Larry Ann | Rada Mihalcea

Recently, empathetic dialogue systems have received significant attention.While some researchers have noted limitations, e.g., that these systems tend to generate generic utterances, no study has systematically verified these issues. We survey 21 systems, asking what progress has been made on the task. We observe multiple limitations of current evaluation procedures. Most critically, studies tend to rely on a single non-reproducible empathy score, which inadequately reflects the multidimensional nature of empathy. To better understand the differences between systems, we comprehensively analyze each system with automated methods that are grounded in a variety of aspects of empathy. We find that recent systems lack three important aspects of empathy: specificity, reflection levels, and diversity. Based on our results, we discuss problematic behaviors that may have gone undetected in prior evaluations, and offer guidance for developing future systems.

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Few-Shot Data Synthesis for Open Domain Multi-Hop Question Answering
Mingda Chen | Xilun Chen | Wen-tau Yih

Few-shot learning for open domain multi-hop question answering typically relies on the in-context learning capability of large language models (LLMs). While powerful, these LLMs usually contain tens or hundreds of billions of parameters, making them rather inefficient at inference time. To improve performance of smaller language models, we propose a data synthesis framework for multi-hop question answering that requires less than 10 human-annotated question answer pairs. Our framework depends only on rich, naturally-occurring relationships among documents and is built upon the data generation functions parameterized by LLMs and prompts. We synthesize millions of multi-hop questions and claims to finetune language models, evaluated on popular benchmarks for multi-hop question answering and fact verification. Empirically, our approach improves model performance significantly, allowing the finetuned models to be competitive with GPT-3.5 based approaches while being almost one-third the size in parameter count.

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Language Models as Inductive Reasoners
Zonglin Yang | Li Dong | Xinya Du | Hao Cheng | Erik Cambria | Xiaodong Liu | Jianfeng Gao | Furu Wei

Inductive reasoning is a core component of human intelligence. In the past research of inductive reasoning within computer science, formal language is used as representations of knowledge (facts and rules, more specifically). However, formal language can cause systematic problems for inductive reasoning such as disability of handling raw input such as natural language, sensitiveness to mislabeled data, and incapacity to handle ambiguous input. To this end, we propose a new paradigm (task) for inductive reasoning, which is to induce natural language rules from natural language facts, and create a dataset termed DEER containing 1.2k rule-fact pairs for the task, where rules and facts are written in natural language. New automatic metrics are also proposed and analysed for the evaluation of this task. With DEER, we investigate a modern approach for inductive reasoning where we use natural language as representation for knowledge instead of formal language and use pretrained language models as ”reasoners”. Moreover, we provide the first and comprehensive analysis of how well pretrained language models can induce natural language rules from natural language facts. We also propose a new framework drawing insights from philosophy literature for this task, which we show in the experiment section that surpasses baselines in both automatic and human evaluations. We discuss about our future perspectives for inductive reasoning in Section 7. Dataset and code are available at

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SIB-200: A Simple, Inclusive, and Big Evaluation Dataset for Topic Classification in 200+ Languages and Dialects
David Adelani | Hannah Liu | Xiaoyu Shen | Nikita Vassilyev | Jesujoba Alabi | Yanke Mao | Haonan Gao | En-Shiun Lee

Despite the progress in building multilingual language models, evaluation is often limited to a few languages with available datasets which excludes a large number of low-resource languages. In this paper, we create SIB-200—a large-scale open-sourced benchmark dataset for topic classification in 205 languages and dialects to address the lack of evaluation dataset for Natural Language Understanding (NLU). For many of the languages covered in SIB-200, this is the first publicly available evaluation dataset for NLU. The dataset is based on Flores-200 machine translation corpus. We annotated the English portion of the dataset and extended the sentence-level annotation to the remaining 204 languages covered in the corpus. Despite the simplicity of this task, our evaluation in full-supervised setting, cross-lingual transfer setting and prompting of large language model setting show that there is still a large gap between the performance of high-resource and low-resource languages when multilingual evaluation is scaled to numerous world languages. We found that languages unseen during the pre-training of multilingual language models, languages from under-represented families (like Nilotic and Altantic-Congo), and languages from the regions of Africa, Americas, Oceania and South East Asia, often have the lowest performance on our topic classification dataset. We hope our dataset %will encourages a more inclusive evaluation of multilingual language models on a more diverse set of languages.

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FinBPM: A Framework for Portfolio Management-based Financial Investor Behavior Perception Model
Zhilu Zhang | Procheta Sen | Zimu Wang | Ruoyu Sun | Zhengyong Jiang | Jionglong Su

The goal of portfolio management is to simultaneously maximize the accumulated return and also to control risk. In consecutive trading periods, portfolio manager needs to continuously adjust the portfolio weights based on the factors which can cause price fluctuation in the market. In the stock market, the factors affecting the stock price can be divided into two categories. The first is price fluctuations caused by irrational investment of the speculators. The second is endogenous value changes caused by operations of the company. In recent years, with the advancement of artificial intelligence technology, reinforcement learning (RL) algorithms have been increasingly employed by scholars to address financial problems, particularly in the area of portfolio management. However, the deep RL models proposed by these scholars in the past have focused more on analyzing the price changes caused by the investment behavior of speculators in response to technical indicators of actual stock prices. In this research, we introduce an RL-based framework called FinBPM, which takes both the factor pertaining to the impact on operations of the company and the factor of the irrational investment of the speculator into consideration. For our experimentation, we randomly selected twelve stocks from the Dow Jones Industrial Index to construct our portfolio. The experimental results reveal that, in comparison to conventional reinforcement learning methods, our approach with at least 13.26% increase over other methods compared. Additionally, it achieved the best Sharpe ratio of 2.77, effectively maximizing the return per unit of risk.

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Asking the Right Question at the Right Time: Human and Model Uncertainty Guidance to Ask Clarification Questions
Alberto Testoni | Raquel Fernández

Clarification questions are an essential dialogue tool to signal misunderstanding, ambiguities, and under-specification in language use. While humans are able to resolve uncertainty by asking questions since childhood, modern dialogue systems struggle to generate effective questions. To make progress in this direction, in this work we take a collaborative dialogue task as a testbed and study how model uncertainty relates to human uncertainty—an as yet under-explored problem. We show that model uncertainty does not mirror human clarification-seeking behavior, which suggests that using human clarification questions as supervision for deciding when to ask may not be the most effective way to resolve model uncertainty. To address this issue, we propose an approach to generating clarification questions based on model uncertainty estimation, compare it to several alternatives, and show that it leads to significant improvements in terms of task success. Our findings highlight the importance of equipping dialogue systems with the ability to assess their own uncertainty and exploit in interaction.

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Like a Good Nearest Neighbor: Practical Content Moderation and Text Classification
Luke Bates | Iryna Gurevych

Few-shot text classification systems have impressive capabilities but are infeasible to deploy and use reliably due to their dependence on prompting and billion-parameter language models. SetFit (Tunstall, 2022) is a recent, practical approach that fine-tunes a Sentence Transformer under a contrastive learning paradigm and achieves similar results to more unwieldy systems. Inexpensive text classification is important for addressing the problem of domain drift in all classification tasks, and especially in detecting harmful content, which plagues social media platforms. Here, we propose Like a Good Nearest Neighbor (LaGoNN), a modification to SetFit that introduces no learnable parameters but alters input text with information from its nearest neighbor, for example, the label and text, in the training data, making novel data appear similar to an instance on which the model was optimized. LaGoNN is effective at flagging undesirable content and text classification, and improves SetFit’s performance. To demonstrate LaGoNN’s value, we conduct a thorough study of text classification systems in the context of content moderation under four label distributions, and in general and multilingual classification settings.

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Zero-shot Sentiment Analysis in Low-Resource Languages Using a Multilingual Sentiment Lexicon
Fajri Koto | Tilman Beck | Zeerak Talat | Iryna Gurevych | Timothy Baldwin

Improving multilingual language models capabilities in low-resource languages is generally difficult due to the scarcity of large-scale data in those languages. In this paper, we relax the reliance on texts in low-resource languages by using multilingual lexicons in pretraining to enhance multilingual capabilities. Specifically, we focus on zero-shot sentiment analysis tasks across 34 languages, including 6 high/medium-resource languages, 25 low-resource languages, and 3 code-switching datasets. We demonstrate that pretraining using multilingual lexicons, without using any sentence-level sentiment data, achieves superior zero-shot performance compared to models fine-tuned on English sentiment datasets, and large language models like GPT–3.5, BLOOMZ, and XGLM. These findings are observable for unseen low-resource languages to code-mixed scenarios involving high-resource languages.

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CEAN: Contrastive Event Aggregation Network with LLM-based Augmentation for Event Extraction
Zihao Meng | Tao Liu | Heng Zhang | Kai Feng | Peng Zhao

Event Extraction is a crucial yet arduous task in natural language processing (NLP), as its performance is significantly hindered by laborious data annotation. Given this challenge, recent research has predominantly focused on two approaches: pretraining task-oriented models for event extraction and employing data augmentation techniques. These methods involve integrating external knowledge, semantic structures, or artificially generated samples using large language models (LLMs). However, their performances can be compromised due to two fundamental issues. Firstly, the alignment between the introduced knowledge and event extraction knowledge is crucial. Secondly, the introduction of data noise during the augmentation is unavoidable and can mislead the model’s convergence. To address these issues, we propose a Contrastive Event Aggregation Network with LLM-based Augmentation to promote low-resource learning and reduce data noise for event extraction. Different from the existing methods introducing linguistic knowledge into data augmentation, an event aggregation network is established to introduce event knowledge into supervised learning by constructing adaptively-updated semantic representation for trigger and argument. For LLM-based augmentation, we design a new scheme including a multi-pattern rephrasing paradigm and a data-free composing paradigm. Instead of directly using augmentation samples in the supervised task, we introduce span-level contrastive learning to reduce data noise. Experiments on the ACE2005 and ERE-EN demonstrate that our proposed approach achieves new state-of-the-art results on both of the two datasets.

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How Transferable are Attribute Controllers on Pretrained Multilingual Translation Models?
Danni Liu | Jan Niehues

Customizing machine translation models to comply with desired attributes (e.g., formality or grammatical gender) is a well-studied topic. However, most current approaches rely on (semi-)supervised data with attribute annotations. This data scarcity bottlenecks democratizing such customization possibilities to a wider range of languages, particularly lower-resource ones. This gap is out of sync with recent progress in pretrained massively multilingual translation models. In response, we transfer the attribute controlling capabilities to languages without attribute-annotated data with an NLLB-200 model as a foundation. Inspired by techniques from controllable generation, we employ a gradient-based inference-time controller to steer the pretrained model. The controller transfers well to zero-shot conditions, as it is operates on pretrained multilingual representations and is attribute- rather than language-specific. With a comprehensive comparison to finetuning-based control, we demonstrate that, despite finetuning’s clear dominance in supervised settings, the gap to inference-time control closes when moving to zero-shot conditions, especially with new and distant target languages. The latter also shows stronger domain robustness. We further show that our inference-time control complements finetuning. Moreover, a human evaluation on a real low-resource language, Bengali, confirms our findings. Our code is in the supplementary material.

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MultiMUC: Multilingual Template Filling on MUC-4
William Gantt | Shabnam Behzad | Hannah An | Yunmo Chen | Aaron White | Benjamin Van Durme | Mahsa Yarmohammadi

We introduce MultiMUC, the first multilingual parallel corpus for template filling, comprising translations of the classic MUC-4 template filling benchmark into five languages: Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, Korean, and Russian. We obtain automatic translations from a strong multilingual machine translation system and manually project the original English annotations into each target language. For all languages, we also provide human translations for key portions of the dev and test splits. Finally, we present baselines on MultiMUC both with state-of-the-art template filling models for MUC-4 and with ChatGPT. We release MUC-4 and the supervised baselines to facilitate further work on document-level information extraction in multilingual settings.

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Align and Augment: Generative Data Augmentation for Compositional Generalization
Francesco Cazzaro | Davide Locatelli | Ariadna Quattoni

Recent work on semantic parsing has shown that seq2seq models find compositional generalization challenging. Several strategies have been proposed to mitigate this challenge. One such strategy is to improve compositional generalization via data augmentation techniques. In this paper we follow this line of work and propose Archer, a data-augmentation strategy that exploits alignment annotations between sentences and their corresponding meaning representations. More precisely, we use alignments to train a two step generative model that combines monotonic lexical generation with reordering. Our experiments show that Archer leads to significant improvements in compositional generalization performance.

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UNSEE: Unsupervised Non-contrastive Sentence Embeddings
Ömer Çağatan

In this paper, we introduce UNSEE, which stands for Unsupervised Non-Contrastive Sentence Embeddings. UNSEE demonstrates better performance compared to SimCSE in the Massive Text Embedding (MTEB) benchmark. We begin by highlighting the issue of representation collapse that occurs with the replacement of contrastive objectives with non-contrastive objectives in SimCSE. Subsequently, we introduce a straightforward solution called the target network to mitigate this problem. This approach enables us to harness non-contrastive objectives while ensuring training stability and achieving performance improvements similar to those seen with contrastive objectives. We have reached peak performance in non-contrastive sentence embeddings through extensive fine-tuning and optimization. These efforts have resulted in superior sentence representation models, emphasizing the importance of careful tuning and optimization for non-contrastive objectives.

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EXPLORER: Exploration-guided Reasoning for Textual Reinforcement Learning
Kinjal Basu | Keerthiram Murugesan | Subhajit Chaudhury | Murray Campbell | Kartik Talamadupula | Tim Klinger

Text-based games (TBGs) have emerged as an important collection of NLP tasks, requiring reinforcement learning (RL) agents to combine natural language understanding with reasoning. A key challenge for agents attempting to solve such tasks is to generalize across multiple games and demonstrate good performance on both seen and unseen objects. Purely deep-RL-based approaches may perform well on seen objects; however, they fail to showcase the same performance on unseen objects. Commonsense-infused deep-RL agents may work better on unseen data; unfortunately, their policies are often not interpretable or easily transferable. To tackle these issues, in this paper, we present EXPLORER which is an exploration-guided reasoning agent for textual reinforcement learning. EXPLORER is neuro-symbolic in nature, as it relies on a neural module for exploration and a symbolic module for exploitation. It can also learn generalized symbolic policies and perform well over unseen data. Our experiments show that EXPLORER outperforms the baseline agents on Text-World cooking (TW-Cooking) and Text-World Commonsense (TWC) games.

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From Text Segmentation to Smart Chaptering: A Novel Benchmark for Structuring Video Transcriptions
Fabian Retkowski | Alexander Waibel

Text segmentation is a fundamental task in natural language processing, where documents are split into contiguous sections. However, prior research in this area has been constrained by limited datasets, which are either small in scale, synthesized, or only contain well-structured documents. In this paper, we address these limitations by introducing a novel benchmark YTSeg focusing on spoken content that is inherently more unstructured and both topically and structurally diverse. As part of this work, we introduce an efficient hierarchical segmentation model MiniSeg, that outperforms state-of-the-art baselines. Lastly, we expand the notion of text segmentation to a more practical “smart chaptering” task that involves the segmentation of unstructured content, the generation of meaningful segment titles, and a potential real-time application of the models.

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Fréchet Distance for Offline Evaluation of Information Retrieval Systems with Sparse Labels
Negar Arabzadeh | Charles Clarke

The rapid advancement of natural language processing, information retrieval (IR), computer vision, and other technologies has presented significant challenges in evaluating the performance of these systems. One of the main challenges is the scarcity of human-labeled data, which hinders the fair and accurate assessment of these systems. In this work, we specifically focus on evaluating IR systems with sparse labels, borrowing from recent research on evaluating computer vision tasks.taking inspiration from the success of using Fréchet Inception Distance (FID) in assessing text-to-image generation systems. We propose leveraging the Fréchet Distance to measure the distance between the distributions of relevant judged items and retrieved results. Our experimental results on MS MARCO V1 dataset and TREC Deep Learning Tracks query sets demonstrate the effectiveness of the Fréchet Distance as a metric for evaluating IR systems, particularly in settings where a few labels are available.This approach contributes to the advancement of evaluation methodologies in real-world scenarios such as the assessment of generative IR systems.

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Semantic Sensitivities and Inconsistent Predictions: Measuring the Fragility of NLI Models
Erik Arakelyan | Zhaoqi Liu | Isabelle Augenstein

Recent studies of the emergent capabilities of transformer-based Natural Language Understanding (NLU) models have indicated that they have an understanding of lexical and compositional semantics. We provide evidence that suggests these claims should be taken with a grain of salt: we find that state-of-the-art Natural Language Inference (NLI) models are sensitive towards minor semantics preserving surface-form variations, which lead to sizable inconsistent model decisions during inference. Notably, this behaviour differs from valid and in-depth comprehension of compositional semantics, however does neither emerge when evaluating model accuracy on standard benchmarks nor when probing for syntactic, monotonic, and logically robust reasoning. We propose a novel framework to measure the extent of semantic sensitivity. To this end, we evaluate NLI models on adversarially generated examples containing minor semantics-preserving surface-form input noise. This is achieved using conditional text generation, with the explicit condition that the NLI model predicts the relationship between the original and adversarial inputs as a symmetric equivalence entailment. We systematically study the effects of the phenomenon across NLI models for in- and out-of- domain settings. Our experiments show that semantic sensitivity causes performance degradations of 12.92% and 23.71% average over in- and out-of- domain settings, respectively. We further perform ablation studies, analysing this phenomenon across models, datasets, and variations in inference and show that semantic sensitivity can lead to major inconsistency within model predictions.

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Exploring the Robustness of Task-oriented Dialogue Systems for Colloquial German Varieties
Ekaterina Artemova | Verena Blaschke | Barbara Plank

Mainstream cross-lingual task-oriented dialogue (ToD) systems leverage the transfer learning paradigm by training a joint model for intent recognition and slot-filling in English and applying it, zero-shot, to other languages.We address a gap in prior research, which often overlooked the transfer to lower-resource colloquial varieties due to limited test data.Inspired by prior work on English varieties, we craft and manually evaluate perturbation rules that transform German sentences into colloquial forms and use them to synthesize test sets in four ToD datasets.Our perturbation rules cover 18 distinct language phenomena, enabling us to explore the impact of each perturbation on slot and intent performance.Using these new datasets, we conduct an experimental evaluation across six different transformers.Here, we demonstrate that when applied to colloquial varieties, ToD systems maintain their intent recognition performance, losing 6% (4.62 percentage points) in accuracy on average. However, they exhibit a significant drop in slot detection, with a decrease of 31% (21 percentage points) in slot F1 score.Our findings are further supported by a transfer experiment from Standard American English to synthetic Urban African American Vernacular English.

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PEARL: Prompting Large Language Models to Plan and Execute Actions Over Long Documents
Simeng Sun | Yang Liu | Shuohang Wang | Dan Iter | Chenguang Zhu | Mohit Iyyer

Strategies such as chain-of-thought prompting improve the performance of large language models (LLMs) on complex reasoning tasks by decomposing input examples into intermediate steps. However, it remains unclear how to apply such methods to reason over long input documents, in which both the decomposition and the output of each intermediate step are non-trivial to obtain. In this work, we propose PEARL, a prompting framework to improve reasoning over long documents, which consists of three stages: action mining, plan formulation, and plan execution. More specifically, given a question about a long document, PEARL decomposes the question into a sequence of actions (e.g., SUMMARIZE, FIND_EVENT, FIND_RELATION) and then executes them over the document to obtain the answer. Each stage of PEARL is implemented via zero-shot or few-shot prompting of LLMs (in our work, GPT-4) with minimal human input. We evaluate PEARL on a challenging subset of the QuALITY dataset, which contains questions that require complex reasoning over long narrative texts. PEARL outperforms zero-shot and chain-of-thought prompting on this dataset, and ablation experiments show that each stage of PEARL is critical to its performance. Overall, PEARL is a first step towards leveraging LLMs to reason over long documents.

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LAraBench: Benchmarking Arabic AI with Large Language Models
Ahmed Abdelali | Hamdy Mubarak | Shammur Chowdhury | Maram Hasanain | Basel Mousi | Sabri Boughorbel | Samir Abdaljalil | Yassine El Kheir | Daniel Izham | Fahim Dalvi | Majd Hawasly | Nizi Nazar | Youssef Elshahawy | Ahmed Ali | Nadir Durrani | Natasa Milic-Frayling | Firoj Alam

Recent advancements in Large Language Models (LLMs) have significantly influenced the landscape of language and speech research. Despite this progress, these models lack specific benchmarking against state-of-the-art (SOTA) models tailored to particular languages and tasks. LAraBench addresses this gap for Arabic Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Speech Processing tasks, including sequence tagging and content classification across different domains. We utilized models such as GPT-3.5-turbo, GPT-4, BLOOMZ, Jais-13b-chat, Whisper, and USM, employing zero and few-shot learning techniques to tackle 33 distinct tasks across 61 publicly available datasets. This involved 98 experimental setups, encompassing ~296K data points, ~46 hours of speech, and 30 sentences for Text-to-Speech (TTS). This effort resulted in 330+ sets of experiments. Our analysis focused on measuring the performance gap between SOTA models and LLMs. The overarching trend observed was that SOTA models generally outperformed LLMs in zero-shot learning, with a few exceptions. Notably, larger computational models with few-shot learning techniques managed to reduce these performance gaps. Our findings provide valuable insights into the applicability of LLMs for Arabic NLP and speech processing tasks.

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SentenceLDA: Discriminative and Robust Document Representation with Sentence Level Topic Model
Taehun Cha | Donghun Lee

A subtle difference in context results in totally different nuances even for lexically identical words. On the other hand, two words can convey similar meanings given a homogeneous context. As a result, considering only word spelling information is not sufficient to obtain quality text representation. We propose SentenceLDA, a sentence-level topic model. We combine modern SentenceBERT and classical LDA to extend the semantic unit from word to sentence. By extending the semantic unit, we verify that SentenceLDA returns more discriminative document representation than other topic models, while maintaining LDA’s elegant probabilistic interpretability. We also verify the robustness of SentenceLDA by comparing the inference results on original and paraphrased texts. Additionally, we implement one possible application of SentenceLDA on corpus-level key opinion mining by applying SentenceLDA on an argumentative corpus, DebateSum.

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Towards Hierarchical Spoken Language Disfluency Modeling
Jiachen Lian | Gopala Anumanchipalli

Speech dysfluency modeling is the bottleneck for both speech therapy and language learning. However, there is no AI solution to systematically tackle this problem. We first propose to define the concept of dysfluent speech and dysfluent speech modeling. We then present Hierarchical Unconstrained Dysfluency Modeling (H-UDM) approach that addresses both dysfluency transcription and detection to eliminate the need for extensive manual annotation. Furthermore, we introduce a simulated dysfluent dataset called VCTK++ to enhance the capabilities of H-UDM in phonetic transcription. Our experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness and robustness of our proposed methods in both transcription and detection tasks.

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Finding a Needle in the Adversarial Haystack: A Targeted Paraphrasing Approach For Uncovering Edge Cases with Minimal Distribution Distortion
Aly Kassem | Sherif Saad

Adversarial attacks against Language models (LMs) are a significant concern. In particular, adversarial samples exploit the model’s sensitivity to small input changes. While these changes appear insignificant on the semantics of the input sample, they result in significant decay in model performance. In this paper, we propose Targeted Paraphrasing via RL (TPRL), an approach to automatically learn a policy to generate challenging samples that improve the model’s performance. TPRL leverages FLAN-T5, a language model, as a generator and employs a self-learned policy using a proximal policy optimization to generate the adversarial examples automatically. TPRL’s reward is based on the confusion induced in the classifier, preserving the original text meaning through a Mutual Implication score. We demonstrate & evaluate TPRL’s effectiveness in discovering natural adversarial attacks and improving model performance through extensive experiments on four diverse NLP classification tasks via Automatic & Human evaluation. TPRL outperforms strong baselines, exhibits generalizability across classifiers and datasets, and combines the strengths of language modeling and reinforcement learning to generate diverse and influential adversarial examples.

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FAIR: Filtering of Automatically Induced Rules
Divya Jyoti Bajpai | Ayush Maheshwari | Manjesh Hanawal | Ganesh Ramakrishnan

Availability of large annotated data can be a critical bottleneck in training machine learning algorithms successfully, especially when applied to diverse domains. Weak supervision offers a promising alternative by accelerating the creation of labeled training data using domain-specific rules. However, it requires users to write a diverse set of high-quality rules to assign labels to the unlabeled data (eg., Snorkel (CITATION)). Automatic Rule Induction (ARI) approaches such as Snuba (CITATION) circumvent this problem by automatically creating rules from features on a small labeled set and filtering a final set of rules from them. In the ARI approach, the crucial step is to filter out a set of a high-quality useful subset of rules from the large set of automatically created rules. In this paper, we propose an algorithm FAIR (Filtering of Automatically Induced Rules) to filter rules from a large number of automatically induced rules using submodular objective functions that account for the collective precision, coverage, and conflicts of the rule set. We experiment with three ARI approaches and five text classification datasets to validate the superior performance of our algorithm with respect to several semi-supervised label aggregation approaches. We show that our approach achieves statistically significant results in comparison to existing rule-filtering approaches. The anonymized source code is available at

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NNOSE: Nearest Neighbor Occupational Skill Extraction
Mike Zhang | Rob van der Goot | Min-Yen Kan | Barbara Plank

The labor market is changing rapidly, prompting increased interest in the automatic extraction of occupational skills from text. With the advent of English benchmark job description datasets, there is a need for systems that handle their diversity well. We tackle the complexity in occupational skill datasets tasks—combining and leveraging multiple datasets for skill extraction, to identify rarely observed skills within a dataset, and overcoming the scarcity of skills across datasets. In particular, we investigate the retrieval-augmentation of language models, employing an external datastore for retrieving similar skills in a dataset-unifying manner. Our proposed method, Nearest Neighbor Occupational Skill Extraction (NNOSE) effectively leverages multiple datasets by retrieving neighboring skills from other datasets in the datastore. This improves skill extraction without additional fine-tuning. Crucially, we observe a performance gain in predicting infrequent patterns, with substantial gains of up to 30% span-F1 in cross-dataset settings.

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GAINER: Graph Machine Learning with Node-specific Radius for Classification of Short Texts and Documents
Naganand Yadati

Graphs provide a natural, intuitive, and holistic means to capture relationships between different text elements in Natural Language Processing (NLP) such as words, sentences, and documents. Recent advancements in the field of Graph Machine Learning (GML) have led to the development of numerous models to process text for various natural language applications, including but not limited to short-text classification, document classification, and others.At the heart of GML models, specifically those based on Graph Neural Networks (GNNs), lies the message passing operation which has shown to be an essential component for strong empirical performance in NLP.However, the number of message passing steps (often known as the radius) is fixed for all the nodes in existing GML models for NLP.Fixing the radius poses a fundamental restriction as nodes exhibit diverse properties and varying amounts of informative local structures in the input graph.This paper presents GAINER, a novel framework called Graph mAchine learnIng with Node-spEcific Radius, aimed at graph-based NLP. We propose non-neural and novel neural approaches built on the core ideas of GAINER.Through rigorous experimentation, we demonstrate the efficacy of GAINER in various popular NLP tasks.

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MAFIA: Multi-Adapter Fused Inclusive Language Models
Prachi Jain | Ashutosh Sathe | Varun Gumma | Kabir Ahuja | Sunayana Sitaram

Pretrained Language Models (PLMs) are widely used in NLP for various tasks. Recent studies have identified various biases that such models exhibit and have proposed methods to correct these biases. However, most of the works address a limited set of bias dimensions independently such as gender, race, or religion. Moreover, the methods typically involve finetuning the full model in order to maintain the performance on the downstream task. In this work, we aim to modularly debias a pre-trained language model across multiple dimensions. Previous works extensively explored debiasing PLMs by using limited US-centric counterfactual data augmentation (CDA). We use structured knowledge and a large generative model to build a diverse CDA across multiple bias dimensions in a semi-automated way. We highlight how existing debiasing methods do not consider interactions between multiple societal biases and propose a debiasing model that exploits the synergy amongst various societal biases and enables multi-bias debiasing simultaneously. An extensive evaluation on multiple tasks and languages demonstrates the efficacy of the approach.

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Code-Switched Language Identification is Harder Than You Think
Laurie Burchell | Alexandra Birch | Robert Thompson | Kenneth Heafield

Code switching (CS) is a very common phenomenon in written and spoken communication, but is handled poorly by many NLP applications. Looking to the application of building CS corpora, we explore CS language identification for corpus building. We make the task more realistic by scaling it to more languages and considering models with simpler architectures for faster inference. We also reformulate the task as a sentence-level multi-label tagging problem to make it more tractable. Having defined the task, we investigate three reasonable architectures for this task and define metrics which better reflect desired performance. We present empirical evidence that no current approach is adequate, and finally provide recommendations for future work in this area.

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Generation-driven Contrastive Self-training for Zero-shot Text Classification with Instruction-following LLM
Ruohong Zhang | Yau-Shian Wang | Yiming Yang

The remarkable performance of large language models (LLMs) in zero-shot language understanding has garnered significant attention.However, employing LLMs for large-scale inference or domain-specific fine-tuning requires immense computational resources due to their substantial model size. To overcome these limitations, we introduce a novel method, namely GenCo, which leverages the strong generative power of LLMs to assist in training a smaller and more adaptable language model. In our method, an LLM plays an important role in the self-training loop of a smaller model in two important ways. Firstly, we utilize an LLM to generate multiple augmented texts for each input instance to enhance its semantic meaning for better understanding. Secondly, we additionally generate high-quality training instances conditioned on predicted labels, ensuring the generated texts are relevant to the labels. In this way, GenCo not only corrects the errors of predicted labels during self-training but also eliminates the need for extensive unlabeled texts. In our experiments, GenCo outperforms previous state-of-the-art methods when only limited (<5% of original) in-domain text data is available. Notably, our approach surpasses Alpaca-7B with human instructions, highlighting the significance of self-training.

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Quantifying the Hyperparameter Sensitivity of Neural Networks for Character-level Sequence-to-Sequence Tasks
Adam Wiemerslage | Kyle Gorman | Katharina von der Wense

Hyperparameter tuning, the process of searching for suitable hyperparameters, becomes more difficult as the computing resources required to train neural networks continue to grow. This topic continues to receive little attention and discussion—much of it hearsay—despite its obvious importance. We attempt to formalize hyperparameter sensitivity using two metrics: similarity-based sensitivity and performance-based sensitivity. We then use these metrics to quantify two such claims: (1) transformers are more sensitive to hyperparameter choices than LSTMs and (2) transformers are particularly sensitive to batch size. We conduct experiments on two different character-level sequence-to-sequence tasks and find that, indeed, the transformer is slightly more sensitive to hyperparameters according to both of our metrics. However, we do not find that it is more sensitive to batch size in particular.

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Examining Gender and Racial Bias in Large Vision–Language Models Using a Novel Dataset of Parallel Images
Kathleen Fraser | Svetlana Kiritchenko

Following on recent advances in large language models (LLMs) and subsequent chat models, a new wave of large vision–language models (LVLMs) has emerged. Such models can incorporate images as input in addition to text, and perform tasks such as visual question answering, image captioning, story generation, etc. Here, we examine potential gender and racial biases in such systems, based on the perceived characteristics of the people in the input images. To accomplish this, we present a new dataset PAIRS (PArallel Images for eveRyday Scenarios). The PAIRS dataset contains sets of AI-generated images of people, such that the images are highly similar in terms of background and visual content, but differ along the dimensions of gender (man, woman) and race (Black, white). By querying the LVLMs with such images, we observe significant differences in the responses according to the perceived gender or race of the person depicted.

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ConstraintChecker: A Plugin for Large Language Models to Reason on Commonsense Knowledge Bases
Quyet V. Do | Tianqing Fang | Shizhe Diao | Zhaowei Wang | Yangqiu Song

Reasoning over Commonsense Knowledge Bases (CSKB), i.e. CSKB reasoning, has been explored as a way to acquire new commonsense knowledge based on reference knowledge in the original CSKBs and external prior knowledge.Despite the advancement of Large Language Models (LLM) and prompt engineering techniques in various reasoning tasks, they still struggle to deal with CSKB reasoning.One of the problems is that it is hard for them to acquire explicit relational constraints in CSKBs from only in-context exemplars, due to a lack of symbolic reasoning capabilities (CITATION).To this end, we proposed **ConstraintChecker**, a plugin over prompting techniques to provide and check explicit constraints.When considering a new knowledge instance, ConstraintChecker employs a rule-based module to produce a list of constraints, then it uses a zero-shot learning module to check whether this knowledge instance satisfies all constraints.The acquired constraint-checking result is then aggregated with the output of the main prompting technique to produce the final output.Experimental results on CSKB Reasoning benchmarks demonstrate the effectiveness of our method by bringing consistent improvements over all prompting methods.

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A* shortest string decoding for non-idempotent semirings
Kyle Gorman | Cyril Allauzen

Abstract: The single shortest path algorithm is undefined for weighted finite-state automata over non-idempotent semirings because such semirings do not guarantee the existence of a shortest path. However, in non-idempotent semirings admitting an order satisfying a monotonicity condition (such as the plus-times or log semirings), the shortest string is well-defined. We describe an algorithm which finds the shortest string for a weighted non-deterministic automaton over such semirings using the backwards shortest distance of an equivalent deterministic automaton (DFA) as a heuristic for A* search performed over a companion idempotent semiring, which is proven to return the shortest string. There may be exponentially more states in the DFA, but the proposed algorithm needs to visit only a small fraction of them if determinization is performed “on the fly”.

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Importance-Aware Data Augmentation for Document-Level Neural Machine Translation
Minghao Wu | Yufei Wang | George Foster | Lizhen Qu | Gholamreza Haffari

Document-level neural machine translation (DocNMT) aims to generate translations that are both coherent and cohesive, in contrast to its sentence-level counterpart. However, due to its longer input length and limited availability of training data, DocNMT often faces the challenge of data sparsity. To overcome this issue, we propose a novel Importance-Aware Data Augmentation (IADA) algorithm for DocNMT that augments the training data based on token importance information estimated by the norm of hidden states and training gradients. We conduct comprehensive experiments on three widely-used DocNMT benchmarks. Our empirical results show that our proposed IADA outperforms strong DocNMT baselines as well as several data augmentation approaches, with statistical significance on both sentence-level and document-level BLEU.

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Lost in Translationese? Reducing Translation Effect Using Abstract Meaning Representation
Shira Wein | Nathan Schneider

Translated texts bear several hallmarks distinct from texts originating in the language (“translationese”). Though individual translated texts are often fluent and preserve meaning, at a large scale, translated texts have statistical tendencies which distinguish them from text originally written in the language and can affect model performance. We frame the novel task of translationese reduction and hypothesize that Abstract Meaning Representation (AMR), a graph-based semantic representation which abstracts away from the surface form, can be used as an interlingua to reduce the amount of translationese in translated texts. By parsing English translations into an AMR and then generating text from that AMR, the result more closely resembles originally English text across three quantitative macro-level measures, without severely compromising fluency or adequacy. We compare our AMR-based approach against three other techniques based on machine translation or paraphrase generation. This work represents the first approach to reducing translationese in text and highlights the promise of AMR, given that our AMR-based approach outperforms more computationally intensive methods.

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Comparing Template-based and Template-free Language Model Probing
Sagi Shaier | Kevin Bennett | Lawrence Hunter | Katharina von der Wense

The differences between cloze-task language model (LM) probing with 1) expert-made templates and 2) naturally-occurring text have often been overlooked. Here, we evaluate 16 different LMs on 10 probing English datasets – 4 template-based and 6 template-free – in general and biomedical domains to answer the following research questions: (RQ1) Do model rankings differ between the two approaches? (RQ2) Do models’ absolute scores differ between the two approaches? (RQ3) Do the answers to RQ1 and RQ2 differ between general and domain-specific models? Our findings are: 1) Template-free and template-based approaches often rank models differently, except for the top domain- specific models. 2) Scores decrease by up to 42% Acc@1 when comparing parallel template-free and template-based prompts. 3) Perplexity is negatively correlated with accuracy in the template-free approach, but, counter-intuitively, they are positively correlated for template-based probing. 4) Models tend to predict the same answers frequently across prompts for template-based probing, which is less common when employing template-free techniques.

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Desiderata For The Context Use Of Question Answering Systems
Sagi Shaier | Lawrence Hunter | Katharina von der Wense

Prior work has uncovered a set of common problems in state-of-the-art context-based question answering (QA) systems: a lack of attention to the context when the latter conflicts with a model’s parametric knowledge, little robustness to noise, and a lack of consistency with their answers. However, most prior work focus on one or two of those problems in isolation, which makes it difficult to see trends across them. We aim to close this gap, by first outlining a set of – previously discussed as well as novel – desiderata for QA models. We then survey relevant analysis and methods papers to provide an overview of the state of the field. The second part of our work presents experiments where we evaluate 15 QA systems on 5 datasets according to all desiderata at once. We find many novel trends, including (1) systems that are less susceptible to noise are not necessarily more consistent with their answers when given irrelevant context; (2) most systems that are more susceptible to noise are more likely to correctly answer according to a context that conflicts with their parametric knowledge; and (3) the combination of conflicting knowledge and noise can reduce system performance by up to 96%. As such, our desiderata help increase our understanding of how these models work and reveal potential avenues for improvements.

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Scaling up Discovery of Latent Concepts in Deep NLP Models
Majd Hawasly | Fahim Dalvi | Nadir Durrani

Despite the revolution caused by deep NLP models, they remain black boxes, necessitating research to understand their decision-making processes. A recent work by Dalvi et al. (2022) carried out representation analysis through the lens of clustering latent spaces within pre-trained models (PLMs), but that approach is limited to small scale due to the high cost of running Agglomerative hierarchical clustering. This paper studies clustering algorithms in order to scale the discovery of encoded concepts in PLM representations to larger datasets and models. We propose metrics for assessing the quality of discovered latent concepts and use them to compare the studied clustering algorithms. We found that K-Means-based concept discovery significantly enhances efficiency while maintaining the quality of the obtained concepts. Furthermore, we demonstrate the practicality of this newfound efficiency by scaling latent concept discovery to LLMs and phrasal concepts.

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AnthroScore: A Computational Linguistic Measure of Anthropomorphism
Myra Cheng | Kristina Gligoric | Tiziano Piccardi | Dan Jurafsky

Anthropomorphism, or the attribution of human-like characteristics to non-human entities, has shaped conversations about the impacts and possibilities of technology. We present AnthroScore, an automatic metric of implicit anthropomorphism in language. We use a masked language model to quantify how non-human entities are implicitly framed as human by the surrounding context. We show that AnthroScore corresponds with human judgments of anthropomorphism and dimensions of anthropomorphism described in social science literature. Motivated by concerns of misleading anthropomorphism in computer science discourse, we use AnthroScore to analyze 15 years of research papers and downstream news articles. In research papers, we find that anthropomorphism has steadily increased over time, and that papers related to language models have the most anthropomorphism. Within ACL papers, temporal increases in anthropomorphism are correlated with key neural advancements. Building upon concerns of scientific misinformation in mass media, we identify higher levels of anthropomorphism in news headlines compared to the research papers they cite. Since AnthroScore is lexicon-free, it can be directly applied to a wide range of text sources.

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Centering the Speech Community
Steven Bird | Dean Yibarbuk

How can NLP/AI practitioners engage with oral societies and develop locally appropriate language technologies? We report on our experience of working together over five years in a remote community in the far north of Australia, and how we prototyped simple language technologies to support our collaboration. We navigated different understandings of language, the functional differentiation of oral vs institutional languages, and the distinct technology opportunities for each. Our collaboration unsettled the first author’s western framing of language as data for exploitation by machines, and we devised a design pattern that seems better aligned with local interests and aspirations. We call for new collaborations on the design of locally appropriate technologies for languages with primary orality.

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Improving the TENOR of Labeling: Re-evaluating Topic Models for Content Analysis
Zongxia Li | Andrew Mao | Daniel Stephens | Pranav Goel | Emily Walpole | Alden Dima | Juan Fung | Jordan Boyd-Graber

Topic models are a popular tool for understanding text collections, but their evaluation has been a point of contention. Automated evaluation metrics such as coherence are often used, however, their validity has been questioned for neural topic models (NTMs) and can overlook a model’s benefits in real-world applications. To this end, we conduct the first evaluation of neural, supervised and classical topic models in an interactive task-based setting. We combine topic models with a classifier and test their ability to help humans conduct content analysis and document annotation. From simulated, real user and expert pilot studies, the Contextual Neural Topic Model does the best on cluster evaluation metrics and human evaluations; however, LDA is competitive with two other NTMs under our simulated experiment and user study results, contrary to what coherence scores suggest. We show that current automated metrics do not provide a complete picture of topic modeling capabilities, but the right choice of NTMs can be better than classical models on practical tasks.

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Quality Does Matter: A Detailed Look at the Quality and Utility of Web-Mined Parallel Corpora
Surangika Ranathunga | Nisansa De Silva | Velayuthan Menan | Aloka Fernando | Charitha Rathnayake

We conducted a detailed analysis on the quality of web-mined corpora for two low-resource languages (making three language pairs, English-Sinhala, English-Tamil and Sinhala-Tamil). We ranked each corpus according to a similarity measure and carried out an intrinsic and extrinsic evaluation on different portions of this ranked corpus. We show that there are significant quality differences between different portions of web-mined corpora and that the quality varies across languages and datasets. We also show that, for some web-mined datasets, Neural Machine Translation (NMT) models trained with their highest-ranked 25k portion can be on par with human-curated datasets.

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VOLTAGE: A Versatile Contrastive Learning based OCR Methodology for ultra low-resource scripts through Auto Glyph Feature Extraction
Prawaal Sharma | Poonam Goyal | Vidisha Sharma | Navneet Goyal

UNESCO has classified 2500 out of 7000 languages spoken worldwide as endangered. Attrition of a language leads to loss of traditional wisdom, folk literature, and the essence of the community that uses it. It is therefore imperative to bring digital inclusion to these languages and avoid its extinction. Low resource languages are at a greater risk of extinction. Lack of unsupervised Optical Character Recognition(OCR) methodologies for low resource languages is one of the reasons impeding their digital inclusion. We propose VOLTAGE - a contrastive learning based OCR methodology, leveraging auto-glyph feature recommendation for cluster-based labelling. We augment the labelled data for diversity and volume using image transformations and Generative Adversarial Networks. Voltage has been designed using Takri - a family of scripts used in 16th to 20th century in the Himalayan regions of India. We present results for Takri along with other Indic scripts (both low and high resource) to substantiate the universal behavior of the methodology. An accuracy of 95% for machine printed and 87% for handwritten samples on Takri script has been achieved. We conduct baseline and ablation studies along with building downstream use cases for Takri, demonstrating the usefulness of our work.

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Unsupervised Contrast-Consistent Ranking with Language Models
Niklas Stoehr | Pengxiang Cheng | Jing Wang | Daniel Preotiuc-Pietro | Rajarshi Bhowmik

Language models contain ranking-based knowledge and are powerful solvers of in-context ranking tasks. For instance, they may have parametric knowledge about the ordering of countries by size or may be able to rank product reviews by sentiment. We compare pairwise, pointwise and listwise prompting techniques to elicit a language model’s ranking knowledge. However, we find that even with careful calibration and constrained decoding, prompting-based techniques may not always be self-consistent in the rankings they produce. This motivates us to explore an alternative approach that is inspired by an unsupervised probing method called Contrast-Consistent Search (CCS). The idea is to train a probe guided by a logical constraint: a language model’s representation of a statement and its negation must be mapped to contrastive true-false poles consistently across multiple statements. We hypothesize that similar constraints apply to ranking tasks where all items are related via consistent, pairwise or listwise comparisons. To this end, we extend the binary CCS method to Contrast-Consistent Ranking (CCR) by adapting existing ranking methods such as the Max-Margin Loss, Triplet Loss and an Ordinal Regression objective. Across different models and datasets, our results confirm that CCR probing performs better or, at least, on a par with prompting.

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Entity-level Factual Adaptiveness of Fine-tuning based Abstractive Summarization Models
Jongyoon Song | Nohil Park | Bongkyu Hwang | Jaewoong Yun | Seongho Joe | Youngjune Gwon | Sungroh Yoon

Abstractive summarization models often generate factually inconsistent content particularly when the parametric knowledge of the model conflicts with the knowledge in the input document. In this paper, we analyze the robustness of fine-tuning based summarization models to the knowledge conflict, which we call factual adaptiveness. We utilize pre-trained language models to construct evaluation sets and find that factual adaptiveness is not strongly correlated with factual consistency on original datasets. Furthermore, we introduce a controllable counterfactual data augmentation method where the degree of knowledge conflict within the augmented data can be adjustable. Our experimental results on two pre-trained language models (PEGASUS and BART) and two fine-tuning datasets (XSum and CNN/DailyMail) demonstrate that our method enhances factual adaptiveness while achieving factual consistency on original datasets on par with the contrastive learning baseline.

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Meme-ingful Analysis: Enhanced Understanding of Cyberbullying in Memes Through Multimodal Explanations
Prince Jha | Krishanu Maity | Raghav Jain | Apoorv Verma | Sriparna Saha | Pushpak Bhattacharyya

Internet memes have gained significant influence in communicating political, psychological, and sociocultural ideas. While meme are often humorous, there has been a rise in the use of memes for trolling and cyberbullying. Although a wide variety of effective deep learning-based models have been developed for detecting offensive multimodal memes, only a few works have been done on explainability aspect. Recent laws like “right to explanations” of General Data Protection Regulation, have spurred research in developing interpretable models rather than only focusing on performance. Motivated by this, we introduce MultiBully-Ex, the first benchmark dataset for multimodal explanation from code-mixed cyberbullying memes. Here, both visual and textual modalities are highlighted to explain why a given meme is cyberbullying. A Contrastive Language-Image Pretraining (CLIP) projection based multimodal shared-private multitask approach has been proposed for visual and textual explanation of a meme. Experimental results demonstrate that training with multimodal explanations improves performance in generating textual justifications and more accurately identifying the visual evidence supporting a decision with reliable performance improvements.

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LaMini-LM: A Diverse Herd of Distilled Models from Large-Scale Instructions
Minghao Wu | Abdul Waheed | Chiyu Zhang | Muhammad Abdul-Mageed | Alham Aji

Large language models (LLMs) with instruction fine-tuning demonstrate superior generative capabilities. However, these models are resource-intensive. To alleviate this issue, we explore distilling knowledge from instruction-tuned LLMs into much smaller ones. While other similar works have been done, they are often conducted on a limited set of (usually still large) models and are not accompanied by proper evaluations. To this end, we carefully develop a large set of 2.58M instructions based on both existing and newly-generated instructions. In addition to being sizable, we design our instructions to cover a broad set of topics to ensure diversity. Extensive analysis of our instruction dataset confirms its diversity, and we generate responses for these instructions using gpt-3.5-turbo. Leveraging these instructions, we fine-tune a diverse herd of models, collectively referred to as LaMini-LM, which includes models from both the encoder-decoder and decoder-only families, with varying sizes. We evaluate the performance of our models using automatic metrics on 15 different natural language processing (NLP) benchmarks, as well as through human assessment. We also assess the model for hallucination and toxicity, and for the former, we introduce a new benchmark dataset for hallucination-inducing QA. The results demonstrate that our proposed LaMini-LM models are comparable to strong baselines while being much smaller in size.

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Automated Cognate Detection as a Supervised Link Prediction Task with Cognate Transformer
V.S.D.S.Mahesh Akavarapu | Arnab Bhattacharya

Identification of cognates across related languages is one of the primary problems in historical linguistics. Automated cognate identification is helpful for several downstream tasks including identifying sound correspondences, proto-language reconstruction, phylogenetic classification, etc. Previous state-of-the-art methods are mostly based on distributions of phonemes computed across multilingual wordlists and make little use of the cognacy labels that define links among cognate clusters. In this paper, we present a transformer-based architecture inspired by computational biology for the task of automated cognate detection. Beyond a certain amount of supervision, this method performs better than the existing methods, and shows steady improvement with further increase in supervision proving the efficacy of utilizing the labeled information. We also demonstrate that accepting multiple sequence alignments as input and having an end-to-end architecture with link prediction head saves much computation time while simultaneously yielding superior performance.

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Leveraging Multi-lingual Positive Instances in Contrastive Learning to Improve Sentence Embedding
Kaiyan Zhao | Qiyu Wu | Xin-Qiang Cai | Yoshimasa Tsuruoka

Learning multilingual sentence embeddings is a fundamental task in natural language processing. Recent trends in learning both monolingual and multilingual sentence embeddings are mainly based on contrastive learning (CL) among an anchor, one positive, and multiple negative instances. In this work, we argue that leveraging multiple positives should be considered for multilingual sentence embeddings because (1) positives in a diverse set of languages can benefit cross-lingual learning, and (2) transitive similarity across multiple positives can provide reliable structural information for learning.In order to investigate the impact of multiple positives in CL, we propose a novel approach, named MPCL, to effectively utilize multiple positive instances to improve the learning of multilingual sentence embeddings. Experimental results on various backbone models and downstream tasks demonstrate that MPCL leads to better retrieval, semantic similarity, and classification performance compared to conventional CL. We also observe that in unseen languages, sentence embedding models trained on multiple positives show better cross-lingual transfer performance than models trained on a single positive instance.

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Moderation in the Wild: Investigating User-Driven Moderation in Online Discussions
Neele Falk | Eva Vecchi | Iman Jundi | Gabriella Lapesa

Effective content moderation is imperative for fostering healthy and productive discussions in online domains. Despite the substantial efforts of moderators, the overwhelming nature of discussion flow can limit their effectiveness. However, it is not only trained moderators who intervene in online discussions to improve their quality. “Ordinary” users also act as moderators, actively intervening to correct information of other users’ posts, enhance arguments, and steer discussions back on course.This paper introduces the phenomenon of user moderation, documenting and releasing UMOD, the first dataset of comments in whichusers act as moderators. UMOD contains 1000 comment-reply pairs from the subreddit r/changemyview with crowdsourced annotations from a large annotator pool and with a fine-grained annotation schema targeting the functions of moderation, stylistic properties(aggressiveness, subjectivity, sentiment), constructiveness, as well as the individual perspectives of the annotators on the task. The releaseof UMOD is complemented by two analyses which focus on the constitutive features of constructiveness in user moderation and on thesources of annotator disagreements, given the high subjectivity of the task.

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Cross-Lingual Transfer from Related Languages: Treating Low-Resource Maltese as Multilingual Code-Switching
Kurt Micallef | Nizar Habash | Claudia Borg | Fadhl Eryani | Houda Bouamor

Although multilingual language models exhibit impressive cross-lingual transfer capabilities on unseen languages, the performance on downstream tasks is impacted when there is a script disparity with the languages used in the multilingual model’s pre-training data. Using transliteration offers a straightforward yet effective means to align the script of a resource-rich language with a target language thereby enhancing cross-lingual transfer capabilities. However, for mixed languages, this approach is suboptimal, since only a subset of the language benefits from the cross-lingual transfer while the remainder is impeded. In this work, we focus on Maltese, a Semitic language, with substantial influences from Arabic, Italian, and English, and notably written in Latin script. We present a novel dataset annotated with word-level etymology. We use this dataset to train a classifier that enables us to make informed decisions regarding the appropriate processing of each token in the Maltese language. We contrast indiscriminate transliteration or translation to mixing processing pipelines that only transliterate words of Arabic origin, thereby resulting in text with a mixture of scripts. We fine-tune the processed data on four downstream tasks and show that conditional transliteration based on word etymology yields the best results, surpassing fine-tuning with raw Maltese or Maltese processed with non-selective pipelines.

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Where Do We Go From Here? Multi-scale Allocentric Relational Inferencefrom Natural Spatial Descriptions
Tzuf Paz-Argaman | John Palowitch | Sayali Kulkarni | Jason Baldridge | Reut Tsarfaty

The concept of acquired spatial knowledge is crucial in spatial cognitive research, particularly when it comes to communicating routes. However, NLP navigation studies often overlook the impact of acquired knowledge on textual descriptions. Current navigation studies concentrate on egocentric local descriptions (e.g., ‘it will be on your right’) that require reasoning over the agent’s local perception. These instructions are typically given in a sequence of steps, with each action-step explicitly mentioned and followed by a landmark that the agent can use to verify that they are on the correct path (e.g., ‘turn right and then you will see...’). In contrast, descriptions based on knowledge acquired through a map provide a complete view of the environment and capture its compositionality. These instructions typically contain allocentric relations, are non-sequential, with implicit actions and multiple spatial relations without any verification (e.g., ‘south of Central Park and a block north of a police station’). This paper introduces the Rendezvous (RVS) task and dataset, which includes 10,404 examples of English geospatial instructions for reaching a target location using map-knowledge. Our analysis reveals that RVS exhibits a richer use of spatial allocentric relations, and requires resolving more spatial relations simultaneously compared to previous text-based navigation benchmarks.

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Bias in Opinion Summarisation from Pre-training to Adaptation: A Case Study in Political Bias
Nannan Huang | Haytham Fayek | Xiuzhen Zhang

Opinion summarisation aims to summarise the salient information and opinions presented in documents such as product reviews, discussion forums, and social media texts into short summaries that enable users to effectively understand the opinions therein.Generating biased summaries has the risk of potentially swaying public opinion. Previous studies focused on studying bias in opinion summarisation using extractive models, but limited research has paid attention to abstractive summarisation models. In this study, using political bias as a case study, we first establish a methodology to quantify bias in abstractive models, then trace it from the pre-trained models to the task of summarising social media opinions using different models and adaptation methods. We find that most models exhibit intrinsic bias. Using a social media text summarisation dataset and contrasting various adaptation methods, we find that tuning a smaller number of parameters is less biased compared to standard fine-tuning; however, the diversity of topics in training data used for fine-tuning is critical.

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Document Structure in Long Document Transformers
Jan Buchmann | Max Eichler | Jan-Micha Bodensohn | Ilia Kuznetsov | Iryna Gurevych

Long documents often exhibit structure with hierarchically organized elements of different functions, such as section headers and paragraphs. Despite the omnipresence of document structure, its role in natural language processing (NLP) remains opaque. Do long-document Transformer models acquire an internal representation of document structure during pre-training? How can structural information be communicated to a model after pre-training, and how does it influence downstream performance? To answer these questions, we develop a novel suite of probing tasks to assess structure-awareness of long-document Transformers, propose general-purpose structure infusion methods, and evaluate the effects of structure infusion on QASPER and Evidence Inference, two challenging long-document NLP tasks. Results on LED and LongT5 suggest that they acquire implicit understanding of document structure during pre-training, which can be further enhanced by structure infusion, leading to improved end-task performance. To foster research on the role of document structure in NLP modeling, we make our data and code publicly available.

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The Role of Data Curation in Image Captioning
Wenyan Li | Jonas Lotz | Chen Qiu | Desmond Elliott

Image captioning models are typically trained by treating all samples equally, neglecting to account for mismatched or otherwise difficult data points. In contrast, recent work has shown the effectiveness of training models by scheduling the data using curriculum learning strategies. This paper contributes to this direction by actively curating difficult samples in datasets without increasing the total number of samples. We explore the effect of using three data curation methods within the training process: complete removal of an sample, caption replacement, or image replacement via a text-to-image generation model. Experiments on the Flickr30K and COCO datasets with the BLIP and BEiT-3 models demonstrate that these curation methods do indeed yield improved image captioning models, underscoring their efficacy.

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Large-Scale Bitext Corpora Provide New Evidence for Cognitive Representations of Spatial Terms
Peter Viechnicki | Kevin Duh | Anthony Kostacos | Barbara Landau

Recent evidence from cognitive science suggests that there exist two classes of cognitive representations within the spatial terms of a language, one represented geometrically (e.g., above, below) and the other functionally (e.g., on, in). It has been hypothesized that geometric terms are more constrained and are mastered relatively early in language learning, whereas functional terms are less constrained and are mastered over longer time periods (Landau, 2016). One consequence of this hypothesis is that these two classes should exhibit different cross-linguistic variability, which is supported by human elicitation studies. In this work we present to our knowledge the first corpus-based empirical test of this hypothesis. We develop a pipeline for extracting, isolating, and aligning spatial terms in basic locative constructions from parallel text. Using Shannon entropy to measure the variability of spatial term use across eight languages, we find supporting evidence that variability in functional terms differs significantly from that of geometric terms. We also perform latent variable modeling and find support for the division of spatial terms into geometric and functional classes.

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REFINER: Reasoning Feedback on Intermediate Representations
Debjit Paul | Mete Ismayilzada | Maxime Peyrard | Beatriz Borges | Antoine Bosselut | Robert West | Boi Faltings

Language models (LMs) have recently shown remarkable performance on reasoning tasks by explicitly generating intermediate inferences,e.g., chain-of-thought prompting. However, these intermediate inference steps may be inappropriate deductions from the initial contextand lead to incorrect final predictions. Here we introduce REFINER, a framework for finetuning LMs to explicitly generate intermediate reasoning steps while interacting with a critic model that provides automated feedback on the reasoning. Specifically, the critic provides structured feedback that the reasoning LM uses to iteratively improve its intermediate arguments. Empirical evaluations of REFINER on three diverse reasoning tasks show significant improvements over baseline LMs of comparable scale. Furthermore, when using GPT-3.5 or ChatGPT as the reasoner, the trained critic significantly improves reasoning without finetuning the reasoner. Finally, our critic model is trained without expensive human-in-the-loop data but can be substituted with humans at inference time.

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HumBEL: A Human-in-the-Loop Approach for Evaluating Demographic Factors of Language Models in Human-Machine Conversations
Anthony Sicilia | Jennifer Gates | Malihe Alikhani

While demographic factors like age and gender change the way people talk, and in particular, the way people talk to machines, there is little investigation into how large pre-trained language models (LMs) can adapt to these changes. To remedy this gap, we consider how demographic factors in LM language skills can be measured to determine compatibility with a target demographic. We suggest clinical techniques from Speech Language Pathology, which has norms for acquisition of language skills in humans. We conduct evaluation with a domain expert (i.e., a clinically licensed speech language pathologist), and also propose automated techniques to complement clinical evaluation at scale. Empirically, we focus on age, finding LM capability varies widely depending on task: GPT-3.5 mimics the ability of humans ranging from age 6-15 at tasks requiring inference, and simultaneously, outperforms a typical 21 year old at memorization. GPT-3.5 also has trouble with social language use, exhibiting less than 50% of the tested pragmatic skills. Findings affirm the importance of considering demographic alignment and conversational goals when using LMs as public-facing tools. Code, data, and a package will be available.

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LOCOST: State-Space Models for Long Document Abstractive Summarization
Florian Le Bronnec | Song Duong | Mathieu Ravaut | Alexandre Allauzen | Nancy Chen | Vincent Guigue | Alberto Lumbreras | Laure Soulier | Patrick Gallinari

State-space models are a low-complexity alternative to transformers for encoding long sequences and capturing long-term dependencies. We propose LOCOST: an encoder-decoder architecture based on state-space models for conditional text generation with long context inputs. With a computational complexity of 𝒪(L log L), this architecture can handle significantly longer sequences than state-of-the-art models that are based on sparse attention patterns. We evaluate our model on a series of long document abstractive summarization tasks. The model reaches a performance level that is 93-96% comparable to the top-performing sparse transformers of the same size while saving up to 50% memory during training and up to 87% during inference. Additionally, LOCOST effectively handles input texts exceeding 600K tokens at inference time, setting new state-of-the-art results on full-book summarization and opening new perspectives for long input processing.

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A Classification-Guided Approach for Adversarial Attacks against Neural Machine Translation
Sahar Sadrizadeh | Ljiljana Dolamic | Pascal Frossard

Neural Machine Translation (NMT) models have been shown to be vulnerable to adversarial attacks, wherein carefully crafted perturbations of the input can mislead the target model. In this paper, we introduce ACT, a novel adversarial attack framework against NMT systems guided by a classifier. In our attack, the adversary aims to craft meaning-preserving adversarial examples whose translations in the target language by the NMT model belong to a different class than the original translations. Unlike previous attacks, our new approach has a more substantial effect on the translation by altering the overall meaning, which then leads to a different class determined by an oracle classifier. To evaluate the robustness of NMT models to our attack, we propose enhancements to existing black-box word-replacement-based attacks by incorporating output translations of the target NMT model and the output logits of a classifier within the attack process. Extensive experiments, including a comparison with existing untargeted attacks, show that our attack is considerably more successful in altering the class of the output translation and has more effect on the translation. This new paradigm can reveal the vulnerabilities of NMT systems by focusing on the class of translation rather than the mere translation quality as studied traditionally.

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Improving Generalization in Semantic Parsing by Increasing Natural Language Variation
Irina Saparina | Mirella Lapata

Text-to-SQL semantic parsing has made significant progress in recent years, with various models demonstrating impressive performance on the challenging Spider benchmark. However, it has also been shown that these models often struggle to generalize even when faced with small perturbations of previously (accurately) parsed expressions. This is mainly due to the linguistic form of questions in Spider which are overly specific, unnatural, and display limited variation. In this work, we use data augmentation to enhance the robustness of text-to-SQL parsers against natural language variations. Existing approaches generate question reformulations either via models trained on Spider or only introduce local changes. In contrast, we leverage the capabilities of large language models to generate more realistic and diverse questions. Using only a few prompts, we achieve a two-fold increase in the number of questions in Spider. Training on this augmented dataset yields substantial improvements on a range of evaluation sets, including robustness benchmarks and out-of-domain data.

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Text-to-Code Generation with Modality-relative Pre-training
Fenia Christopoulou | Guchun Zhang | Gerasimos Lampouras

Large pre-trained language models have recently been expanded and applied to programming language tasks with great success, often through further pre-training of a strictly-natural language model–where training sequences typically contain both natural and (linearised) programming language. Such approaches effectively map both modalities of the sequence into the same embedding space. However, programming language keywords (e.g. “while”) often have very strictly defined semantics. As such, transfer learning from their natural language usage may not necessarily be beneficial to their code application and vise versa. Assuming an already pre-trained language model, in this work we investigate how sequence tokens can be adapted and represented differently, depending on which modality they belong to, and to the ultimate benefit of the downstream task. We experiment with separating embedding spaces between modalities during further model pre-training with modality-relative training objectives. We focus on text-to-code generation and observe consistent improvements across two backbone models and two test sets, measuring pass@k and a novel incremental variation.

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No Error Left Behind: Multilingual Grammatical Error Correction with Pre-trained Translation Models
Agnes Luhtaru | Elizaveta Korotkova | Mark Fishel

Grammatical Error Correction (GEC) enhances language proficiency and promotes effective communication, but research has primarily centered around English. We propose a simple approach to multilingual and low-resource GEC by exploring the potential of multilingual machine translation (MT) models for error correction. We show that MT models are not only capable of error correction out-of-the-box, but that they can also be fine-tuned to even better correction quality. Results show the effectiveness of this approach, with our multilingual model outperforming similar-sized mT5-based models and even competing favourably with larger models.

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Quantifying Stereotypes in Language
Yang Liu

A stereotype is a generalized perception of a specific group of humans. It is often potentially encoded in human language, which is more common in texts on social issues. Previous works simply define a sentence as stereotypical and anti-stereotypical. However, the stereotype of a sentence may require fine-grained quantification. In this paper, to fill this gap, we quantify stereotypes in language by annotating a dataset. We use the pre-trained language models (PLMs) to learn this dataset to predict stereotypes of sentences. Then, we discuss stereotypes about common social issues such as hate speech, sexism, sentiments, and disadvantaged and advantaged groups. We demonstrate the connections and differences between stereotypes and common social issues, and all four studies validate the general findings of the current studies. In addition, our work suggests that fine-grained stereotype scores are a highly relevant and competitive dimension for research on social issues. The models and datasets used in this paper are available at

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Generation, Distillation and Evaluation of Motivational Interviewing-Style Reflections with a Foundational Language Model
Andrew Brown | Jiading Zhu | Mohamed Abdelwahab | Alec Dong | Cindy Wang | Jonathan Rose

Large Foundational Language Models are capable of performing many tasks at a high level but are difficult to deploy in many applications because of their size and proprietary ownership. Many will be motivated to distill specific capabilities of foundational models into smaller models that can be owned and controlled. In the development of a therapeutic chatbot, we wish to distill a capability known as reflective listening, in which a therapist produces reflections of client speech. These reflections either restate what a client has said, or connect what was said to a relevant observation, idea or guess that encourages and guides the client to continue contemplation. In this paper, we present a method for distilling the generation of reflections from a Foundational Language Model (GPT-4) into smaller models. We first show that GPT-4, using zero-shot prompting, can generate reflections at near 100% success rate, superior to all previous methods. Using reflections generated by GPT-4, we fine-tune different sizes of the GPT-2 family. The GPT-2-small model achieves 83% success on a hold-out test set and the GPT-2 XL achieves 90% success. We also show that GPT-4 can help in the labor-intensive task of evaluating the quality of the distilled models, using it as a zero-shot classifier. Using triple-human review as a guide, the classifier achieves a Cohen-Kappa of 0.66, a substantial inter-rater reliability figure.

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Multi-Reference Benchmarks for Russian Grammatical Error Correction
Frank Palma Gomez | Alla Rozovskaya

This paper presents multi-reference benchmarks for the Grammatical Error Correction (GEC) of Russian, based on two existing single-reference datasets, for a total of 7,444 learner sentences from a variety of first language backgrounds. Each sentence is corrected independently by two new raters, and their corrections are reviewed by a senior annotator, resulting in a total of three references per sentence. Analysis of the annotations reveals that the new raters tend to make more changes, compared to the original raters, especially at the lexical level. We conduct experiments with two popular GEC approaches and show competitive performance on the original datasets and the new benchmarks. We also compare system scores as evaluated against individual annotators and discuss the effect of using multiple references overall and on specific error types. We find that using the union of the references increases system scores by more than 10 points and decreases the gap between system and human performance, thereby providing a more realistic evaluation of GEC system performance, although the effect is not the same across the error types. The annotations are available for research.

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Plan-Grounded Large Language Models for Dual Goal Conversational Settings
Diogo Glória-Silva | Rafael Ferreira | Diogo Tavares | David Semedo | Joao Magalhaes

Training Large Language Models (LLMs) to follow user instructions has shown to supply the LLM with ample capacity to converse fluently while being aligned with humans. Yet, it is not completely clear how an LLM can lead a plan-grounded conversation in mixed-initiative settings where instructions flow in both directions of the conversation, i.e. both the LLM and the user provide instructions to one another. In this paper, we tackle a dual goal mixed-initiative conversational setting where the LLM not only grounds the conversation on an arbitrary plan but also seeks to satisfy both a procedural plan and user instructions. The LLM is then responsible for guiding the user through the plan and, at the same time, adapting to new circumstances, answering questions, and activating safety guardrails when needed. We propose a novel LLM that grounds the dialogue on a procedural plan, can take the dialogue initiative, and enforces guardrails on the system’s behavior, while also improving the LLM’s responses to unexpected user behavior. Experiments in controlled settings and with real users show that the best-performing model, which we call PlanLLM, achieves a 2.1x improvement over a strong baseline. Moreover, experiments also show good generalization to unseen domains.

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“Define Your Terms” : Enhancing Efficient Offensive Speech Classification with Definition
Huy Nghiem | Umang Gupta | Fred Morstatter

The propagation of offensive content through social media channels has garnered attention of the research community. Multiple works have proposed various semantically related yet subtle distinct categories of offensive speech. In this work, we explore meta-learning approaches to leverage the diversity of offensive speech corpora to enhance their reliable and efficient detection. We propose a joint embedding architecture that incorporates the input’s label and definition for classification via Prototypical Network. Our model achieves at least 75% of the maximal F1-score while using less than 10% of the available training data across 4 datasets. Our experimental findings also provide a case study of training strategies valuable to combat resource scarcity.

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VlogQA: Task, Dataset, and Baseline Models for Vietnamese Spoken-Based Machine Reading Comprehension
Thinh Ngo | Khoa Dang | Son Luu | Kiet Nguyen | Ngan Nguyen

This paper presents the development process of a Vietnamese spoken language corpus for machine reading comprehension (MRC) tasks and provides insights into the challenges and opportunities associated with using real-world data for machine reading comprehension tasks. The existing MRC corpora in Vietnamese mainly focus on formal written documents such as Wikipedia articles, online newspapers, or textbooks. In contrast, the VlogQA consists of 10,076 question-answer pairs based on 1,230 transcript documents sourced from YouTube – an extensive source of user-uploaded content, covering the topics of food and travel. By capturing the spoken language of native Vietnamese speakers in natural settings, an obscure corner overlooked in Vietnamese research, the corpus provides a valuable resource for future research in reading comprehension tasks for the Vietnamese language. Regarding performance evaluation, our deep-learning models achieved the highest F1 score of 75.34% on the test set, indicating significant progress in machine reading comprehension for Vietnamese spoken language data. In terms of EM, the highest score we accomplished is 53.97%, which reflects the challenge in processing spoken-based content and highlights the need for further improvement.

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CEV-LM: Controlled Edit Vector Language Model for Shaping Natural Language Generations
Samraj Moorjani | Adit Krishnan | Hari Sundaram

As large-scale language models become the standard for text generation, there is a greater need to tailor the generations to be more or less concise, targeted, and informative, depending on the audience/application. Existing control approaches primarily adjust the semantic (e.g., emotion, topics), structural (e.g., syntax tree, parts-of-speech), and lexical (e.g., keyword/phrase inclusion) properties of text, but are insufficient to accomplish complex objectives such as pacing which control the complexity and readability of the text. In this paper, we introduce CEV-LM - a lightweight, semi-autoregressive language model that utilizes constrained edit vectors to control three complementary metrics (speed, volume, and circuitousness) that quantify the shape of text (e.g., pacing of content). We study an extensive set of state-of-the-art CTG models and find that CEV-LM provides significantly more targeted and precise control of these three metrics while preserving semantic content, using less training data, and containing fewer parameters.

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It’s All Relative: Learning Interpretable Models for Scoring Subjective Bias in Documents from Pairwise Comparisons
Aswin Suresh | Wu Hsuan | Matthias Grossglauser

We propose an interpretable model to score the subjective bias present in documents, based only on their textual content. Our model is trained on pairs of revisions of the same Wikipedia article, where one version is more biased than the other. Although prior approaches based on bias classification have struggled to obtain a high accuracy for the task, we are able to develop a useful model for scoring bias by learning to accurately perform pairwise comparisons. We show that we can interpret the parameters of the trained model to discover the words most indicative of bias. We also apply our model in three different settings by studying the temporal evolution of bias in Wikipedia articles, comparing news sources based on bias, and scoring bias in law amendments. In each case, we demonstrate that the outputs of the model can be explained and validated, even for the two domains that are outside the training-data domain. We also use the model to compare the general level of bias between domains, where we see that legal texts are the least biased and news media are the most biased, with Wikipedia articles in between.

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HiGen: Hierarchy-Aware Sequence Generation for Hierarchical Text Classification
Vidit Jain | Mukund Rungta | Yuchen Zhuang | Yue Yu | Zeyu Wang | Mu Gao | Jeffrey Skolnick | Chao Zhang

Hierarchical text classification (HTC) is a complex subtask under multi-label text classification, characterized by a hierarchical label taxonomy and data imbalance. The best-performing models aim to learn a static representation by combining document and hierarchical label information. However, the relevance of document sections can vary based on the hierarchy level, necessitating a dynamic document representation. To address this, we propose HiGen, a text-generation-based framework utilizing language models to encode dynamic text representations. We introduce a level-guided loss function to capture the relationship between text and label name semantics. Our approach incorporates a task-specific pretraining strategy, adapting the language model to in-domain knowledge and significantly enhancing performance for classes with limited examples. Furthermore, we present a new and valuable dataset called ENZYME, designed for HTC, which comprises articles from PubMed with the goal of predicting Enzyme Commission (EC) numbers. Through extensive experiments on the ENZYME dataset and the widely recognized WOS and NYT datasets, our methodology demonstrates superior performance, surpassing existing approaches while efficiently handling data and mitigating class imbalance. We release our code and dataset here:

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M4: Multi-generator, Multi-domain, and Multi-lingual Black-Box Machine-Generated Text Detection
Yuxia Wang | Jonibek Mansurov | Petar Ivanov | Jinyan Su | Artem Shelmanov | Akim Tsvigun | Chenxi Whitehouse | Osama Mohammed Afzal | Tarek Mahmoud | Toru Sasaki | Thomas Arnold | Alham Aji | Nizar Habash | Iryna Gurevych | Preslav Nakov

Large language models (LLMs) have demonstrated remarkable capability to generate fluent responses to a wide variety of user queries. However, this has also raised concerns about the potential misuse of such texts in journalism, education, and academia. In this study, we strive to create automated systems that can detect machine-generated texts and pinpoint potential misuse. We first introduce a large-scale benchmark M4, which is a multi-generator, multi-domain, and multi-lingual corpus for machine-generated text detection. Through an extensive empirical study of this dataset, we show that it is challenging for detectors to generalize well on instances from unseen domains or LLMs. In such cases, detectors tend to misclassify machine-generated text as human-written. These results show that the problem is far from solved and that there is a lot of room for improvement. We believe that our dataset will enable future research towards more robust approaches to this pressing societal problem. The dataset is available at

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A Truly Joint Neural Architecture for Segmentation and Parsing
Danit Yshaayahu Levi | Reut Tsarfaty

Contemporary multilingual dependency parsers can parse a diverse set of languages, but for Morphologically Rich Languages (MRLs), performance is attested to be lower than other languages. The key challenge is that, due to high morphological complexity and ambiguity of the space-delimited input tokens, the linguistic units that act as nodes in the tree are not known in advance. Pre-neural dependency parsers for MRLs subscribed to the joint morpho-syntactic hypothesis, stating that morphological segmentation and syntactic parsing should be solved jointly, rather than as a pipeline where segmentation precedes parsing. However, neural state-of-the-art parsers to date use a strict pipeline. In this paper we introduce a joint neural architecture where a lattice-based representation preserving all morphological ambiguity of the input is provided to an arc-factored model, which then solves the morphological segmentation and syntactic parsing tasks at once. Our experiments on Hebrew, a rich and highly ambiguous MRL, demonstrate state-of-the-art performance on parsing, tagging and segmentation of the Hebrew section of UD, using a single model. This proposed architecture is LLM-based and language agnostic, providing a solid foundation for MRLs to obtain further performance improvements and bridge the gap with other languages.

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ViLexNorm: A Lexical Normalization Corpus for Vietnamese Social Media Text
Thanh-Nhi Nguyen | Thanh-Phong Le | Kiet Nguyen

Lexical normalization, a fundamental task in Natural Language Processing (NLP), involves the transformation of words into their canonical forms. This process has been proven to benefit various downstream NLP tasks greatly. In this work, we introduce Vietnamese Lexical Normalization (ViLexNorm), the first-ever corpus developed for the Vietnamese lexical normalization task. The corpus comprises over 10,000 pairs of sentences meticulously annotated by human annotators, sourced from public comments on Vietnam’s most popular social media platforms. Various methods were used to evaluate our corpus, and the best-performing system achieved a result of 57.74% using the Error Reduction Rate (ERR) metric (van der Goot, 2019a) with the Leave-As-Is (LAI) baseline. For extrinsic evaluation, employing the model trained on ViLexNorm demonstrates the positive impact of the Vietnamese lexical normalization task on other NLP tasks. Our corpus is publicly available exclusively for research purposes.

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Diffusion-NAT: Self-Prompting Discrete Diffusion for Non-Autoregressive Text Generation
Kun Zhou | Yifan Li | Xin Zhao | Ji-Rong Wen

Recently, continuous diffusion models (CDM) have been introduced into non-autoregressive (NAR) text-to-text generation. However, the discrete nature of text increases the difficulty of CDM to generate coherent and fluent texts, and also causes the incompatibility problem between CDM and advanced NLP techniques, especially the popular pre-trained language models (PLMs).To solve it, we propose Diffusion-NAT, which introduces discrete diffusion models (DDM) into NAR text-to-text generation and integrates BART to improve the performance.By revising the decoding process of BART and the typical settings of DDM, we unify the inference process of BART and the denoising process of DDM into the same NAR masked tokens recovering task.In this way, DDM can rely on BART to perform denoising, which can benefit from both the rich pre-learned knowledge of BART and the iterative refining paradigm of DDM.Besides, we also propose the iterative self-prompting strategy to further improve the generation quality.Experimental results on 7 datasets show that our approach can outperform competitive NAR methods, and even surpass autoregressive methods.Our code and data are released at

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Unleashing the Power of Discourse-Enhanced Transformers for Propaganda Detection
Alexander Chernyavskiy | Dmitry Ilvovsky | Preslav Nakov

The prevalence of information manipulation online has created a need for propaganda detection systems. Such systems have typically focused on the surface words, ignoring the linguistic structure. Here we aim to bridge this gap. In particular, we present the first attempt at using discourse analysis for the task. We consider both paragraph-level and token-level classification and we propose a discourse-aware Transformer architecture. Our experiments on English and Russian demonstrate sizeable performance gains compared to a number of baselines. Moreover, our ablation study emphasizes the importance of specific types of discourse features, and our in-depth analysis reveals a strong correlation between propaganda instances and discourse spans.

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Predicting Client Emotions and Therapist Interventions in Psychotherapy Dialogues
Tobias Mayer | Neha Warikoo | Amir Eliassaf | Dana Atzil-Slonim | Iryna Gurevych

Natural Language Processing (NLP) can advance psychotherapy research by scaling up therapy dialogue analysis as well as by allowing researchers to examine client-therapist interactions in detail. Previous studies have mainly either explored the clients’ behavior or the therapists’ intervention in dialogues. Yet, modelling conversations from both dialogue participants is crucial to understanding the therapeutic interaction. This study explores speaker contribution-based dialogue acts at the utterance-level; i.e, the therapist - Intervention Prediction (IP) and the client - Emotion Recognition (ER) in psychotherapy using a pan-theoretical schema. We perform experiments with fine-tuned language models and light-weight adapter solutions on a Hebrew dataset. We deploy the results from our ER model predictions in investigating the coherence between client self-reports on emotion and the utterance-level emotions. Our best adapters achieved on-par performance with fully fine-tuned models, at 0.64 and 0.66 micro F1 for IP and ER, respectively. In addition, our analysis identifies ambiguities within categorical clinical coding, which can be used to fine-tune the coding schema. Finally, our results indicate a positive correlation between client self-reports and utterance-level emotions.

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Who Needs Decoders? Efficient Estimation of Sequence-Level Attributes with Proxies
Yassir Fathullah | Puria Radmard | Adian Liusie | Mark Gales

Sequence-to-sequence models often require an expensive autoregressive decoding process. However, for some downstream tasks such as out-of-distribution (OOD) detection and resource allocation, the actual decoding output is not needed, just a scalar attribute of this sequence. In such scenarios, where knowing the quality of a system’s output to predict poor performance prevails over knowing the output itself, is it possible to bypass the autoregressive decoding? We propose Non-Autoregressive Proxy (NAP) models that can efficiently predict scalar-valued sequence-level attributes. Importantly, NAPs predict these metrics directly from the encodings, avoiding the expensive decoding stage. We consider two sequence tasks: Machine Translation (MT) and Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR). In OOD for MT, NAPs outperform ensembles while being significantly faster. NAPs are also proven capable of predicting metrics such as BERTScore (MT) or word error rate (ASR). For downstream tasks, such as data filtering and resource optimization, NAPs generate performance predictions that outperform predictive uncertainty while being highly inference efficient.

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3D Rotation and Translation for Hyperbolic Knowledge Graph Embedding
Yihua Zhu | Hidetoshi Shimodaira

The main objective of Knowledge Graph (KG) embeddings is to learn low-dimensional representations of entities and relations, enabling the prediction of missing facts. A significant challenge in achieving better KG embeddings lies in capturing relation patterns, including symmetry, antisymmetry, inversion, commutative composition, non-commutative composition, hierarchy, and multiplicity. This study introduces a novel model called 3H-TH (3D Rotation and Translation in Hyperbolic space) that captures these relation patterns simultaneously. In contrast, previous attempts have not achieved satisfactory performance across all the mentioned properties at the same time. The experimental results demonstrate that the new model outperforms existing state-of-the-art models in terms of accuracy, hierarchy property, and other relation patterns in low-dimensional space, meanwhile performing similarly in high-dimensional space.

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Geo-Encoder: A Chunk-Argument Bi-Encoder Framework for Chinese Geographic Re-Ranking
Yong Cao | Ruixue Ding | Boli Chen | Xianzhi Li | Min Chen | Daniel Hershcovich | Pengjun Xie | Fei Huang

Chinese geographic re-ranking task aims to find the most relevant addresses among retrieved candidates, which is crucial for location-related services such as navigation maps. Unlike the general sentences, Chinese geographic contexts are closely intertwined with geographical concepts, from general spans (e.g., province) to specific spans (e.g., road). Given this feature, we propose an innovative framework, namely Geo-Encoder, to more effectively integrate Chinese geographical semantics into re-ranking pipelines. Our methodology begins by employing off-the-shelf tools to associate text with geographical spans, treating them as chunking units. Then, we present a multi-task learning module to simultaneously acquire an effective attention matrix that determines chunk contributions to geographic representations. Furthermore, we put forth an asynchronous update mechanism for the proposed task, aiming to guide the model to focus on specific chunks. Experiments on two Chinese benchmark datasets, show that the Geo-Encoder achieves significant improvements when compared to state-of-the-art baselines. Notably, it leads to a substantial improvement in the Hit@1 score of MGEO-BERT, increasing it by 6.22% from 62.76 to 68.98 on the GeoTES dataset.

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Style-News: Incorporating Stylized News Generation and Adversarial Verification for Neural Fake News Detection
Wei-Yao Wang | Yu-Chieh Chang | Wen-Chih Peng

With the improvements in generative models, the issues of producing hallucinations in various domains (e.g., law, writing) have been brought to people’s attention due to concerns about misinformation. In this paper, we focus on neural fake news, which refers to content generated by neural networks aiming to mimic the style of real news to deceive people. To prevent harmful disinformation spreading fallaciously from malicious social media (e.g., content farms), we propose a novel verification framework, Style-News, using publisher metadata to imply a publisher’s template with the corresponding text types, political stance, and credibility. Based on threat modeling aspects, a style-aware neural news generator is introduced as an adversary for generating news content conditioning for a specific publisher, and style and source discriminators are trained to defend against this attack by identifying which publisher the style corresponds with, and discriminating whether the source of the given news is human-written or machine-generated. To evaluate the quality of the generated content, we integrate various dimensional metrics (language fluency, content preservation, and style adherence) and demonstrate that Style-News significantly outperforms the previous approaches by a margin of 0.35 for fluency, 15.24 for content, and 0.38 for style at most. Moreover, our discriminative model outperforms state-of-the-art baselines in terms of publisher prediction (up to 4.64%) and neural fake news detection (+6.94% 31.72%). We plan to release our Style-News publicly, with the aim of improving neural fake news detection.

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Graph-based Clustering for Detecting Semantic Change Across Time and Languages
Xianghe Ma | Michael Strube | Wei Zhao

Despite the predominance of contextualized embeddings in NLP, approaches to detect semantic change relying on these embeddings and clustering methods underperform simpler counterparts based on static word embeddings. This stems from the poor quality of the clustering methods to produce sense clusters—which struggle to capture word senses, especially those with low frequency. This issue hinders the next step in examining how changes in word senses in one language influence another. To address this issue, we propose a graph-based clustering approach to capture nuanced changes in both high- and low-frequency word senses across time and languages, including the acquisition and loss of these senses over time. Our experimental results show that our approach substantially surpasses previous approaches in the SemEval2020 binary classification task across four languages. Moreover, we showcase the ability of our approach as a versatile visualization tool to detect semantic changes in both intra-language and inter-language setups. We make our code and data publicly available.

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Translate to Disambiguate: Zero-shot Multilingual Word Sense Disambiguation with Pretrained Language Models
Haoqiang Kang | Terra Blevins | Luke Zettlemoyer

Pretrained Language Models (PLMs) learn rich cross-lingual knowledge and perform well on diverse tasks such as translation and multilingual word sense disambiguation (WSD) when finetuned. However, they often struggle at disambiguating word sense in a zero-shot setting. To better understand this contrast, we present a new study investigating how well PLMs capture cross-lingual word sense with Contextual Word-Level Translation (C-WLT), an extension of word-level translation that prompts the model to translate a given word in context. We find that as the model size increases, PLMs encode more cross-lingual word sense knowledge and better use context to improve WLT performance. Building on C-WLT, we introduce a zero-shot prompting approach for WSD, tested on 18 languages from the XL-WSD dataset. Our method outperforms fully supervised baselines on recall for many evaluation languages without additional training or finetuning. This study presents a first step towards understanding how to best leverage the cross-lingual knowledge inside PLMs for robust zero-shot reasoning in any language.

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Anchor Points: Benchmarking Models with Much Fewer Examples
Rajan Vivek | Kawin Ethayarajh | Diyi Yang | Douwe Kiela

Modern language models often exhibit powerful but brittle behavior, leading to the development of larger and more diverse benchmarks to reliably assess their behavior. Here, we suggest that model performance can be benchmarked and elucidated with much smaller evaluation sets. We first show that in six popular language classification benchmarks, model confidence in the correct class on many pairs of points is strongly correlated across models. We build upon this phenomenon to propose Anchor Point Selection, a technique to select small subsets of datasets that capture model behavior across the entire dataset. Anchor points reliably rank models: across 87 diverse language model-prompt pairs, evaluating models using 1-30 anchor points outperforms uniform sampling and other baselines at accurately ranking models. Moreover, just a dozen anchor points can be used to estimate model per-class predictions on all other points in a dataset with low error, sufficient for gauging where the model is likely to fail. Lastly, we present Anchor Point Maps for visualizing these insights and facilitating comparisons of the performance of different models on various regions within the dataset distribution.

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SCO-VIST: Social Interaction Commonsense Knowledge-based Visual Storytelling
Eileen Wang | Caren Han | Josiah Poon

Visual storytelling aims to automatically generate a coherent story based on a given image sequence. Unlike tasks like image captioning, visual stories should contain factual descriptions, worldviews, and human social commonsense to put disjointed elements together to form a coherent and engaging human-writeable story. However, most models mainly focus on applying factual information and using taxonomic/lexical external knowledge when attempting to create stories. This paper introduces SCO-VIST, a framework representing the image sequence as a graph with objects and relations that includes human action motivation and its social interaction commonsense knowledge. SCO-VIST then takes this graph representing plot points and creates bridges between plot points with semantic and occurrence-based edge weights. This weighted story graph produces the storyline in a sequence of events using Floyd-Warshall’s algorithm. Our proposed framework produces stories superior across multiple metrics in terms of visual grounding, coherence, diversity, and humanness, per both automatic and human evaluations.

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Discovering and Articulating Frames of Communication from Social Media Using Chain-of-Thought Reasoning
Maxwell Weinzierl | Sanda Harabagiu

Frames of Communication (FoCs) are ubiquitous in social media discourse. They define what counts as a problem, diagnose what is causing the problem, elicit moral judgments and imply remedies for resolving the problem. Most research on automatic frame detection involved the recognition of the problems addressed by frames, but did not consider the articulation of frames. Articulating an FoC involves reasoning with salient problems, their cause and eventual solution. In this paper we present a method for Discovering and Articulating FoCs (DA-FoC) that relies on a combination of Chain-of-Thought prompting of large language models (LLMs) with In-Context Active Curriculum Learning. Very promising evaluation results indicate that 86.72% of the FoCs encoded by communication experts on the same reference dataset were also uncovered by DA-FoC. Moreover, DA-FoC uncovered many new FoCs, which escaped the experts. Interestingly, 55.1% of the known FoCs were judged as being better articulated than the human-written ones, while 93.8% of the new FoCs were judged as having sound rationale and being clearly articulated.

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VEIL: Vetting Extracted Image Labels from In-the-Wild Captions for Weakly-Supervised Object Detection
Arushi Rai | Adriana Kovashka

The use of large-scale vision-language datasets is limited for object detection due to the negative impact of label noise on localization. Prior methods have shown how such large-scale datasets can be used for pretraining, which can provide initial signal for localization, but is insufficient without clean bounding-box data for at least some categories. We propose a technique to “vet” labels extracted from noisy captions, and use them for weakly-supervised object detection (WSOD), without any bounding boxes. We analyze and annotate the types of label noise in captions in our Caption Label Noise dataset, and train a classifier that predicts if an extracted label is actually present in the image or not. Our classifier generalizes across dataset boundaries and across categories. We compare the classifier to nine baselines on five datasets, and demonstrate that it can improve WSOD without label vetting by 30% (31.2 to 40.5 mAP when evaluated on PASCAL VOC). See dataset at:

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WSC+: Enhancing The Winograd Schema Challenge Using Tree-of-Experts
Pardis Sadat Zahraei | Ali Emami

The Winograd Schema Challenge (WSC) serves as a prominent benchmark for evaluating machine understanding. While Large Language Models (LLMs) excel at answering WSC questions, their ability to generate such questions remains less explored. In this work, we propose Tree-of-Experts (ToE), a novel prompting method which enhances the generation of WSC instances (50% valid cases vs. 10% in recent methods). Using this approach, we introduce WSC+, a novel dataset comprising 3,026 LLM-generated sentences. Notably, we extend the WSC framework by incorporating new ‘ambiguous’ and ‘offensive’ categories, providing a deeper insight into model overconfidence and bias. Our analysis reveals nuances in generation-evaluation consistency, suggesting that LLMs may not always outperform in evaluating their own generated questions when compared to those crafted by other models. On WSC+, GPT-4, the top-performing LLM, achieves an accuracy of 68.7%, significantly below the human benchmark of 95.1%.

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Kardeş-NLU: Transfer to Low-Resource Languages with the Help of a High-Resource Cousin – A Benchmark and Evaluation for Turkic Languages
Lütfi Kerem Senel | Benedikt Ebing | Konul Baghirova | Hinrich Schuetze | Goran Glavaš

Cross-lingual transfer (XLT) driven by massively multilingual language models (mmLMs) has been shown largely ineffective for low-resource (LR) target languages with little (or no) representation in mmLM’s pretraining, especially if they are linguistically distant from the high-resource (HR) source language. Much of the recent focus in XLT research has been dedicated to LR language families, i.e., families without any HR languages (e.g., families of African languages or indigenous languages of the Americas). In this work, in contrast, we investigate a configuration that is arguably of practical relevance for more of the world’s languages: XLT to LR languages that do have a close HR relative. To explore the extent to which a HR language can facilitate transfer to its LR relatives, we (1) introduce Kardeş-NLU, an evaluation benchmark with language understanding datasets in five LR Turkic languages: Azerbaijani, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Uzbek, and Uyghur; and (2) investigate (a) intermediate training and (b) fine-tuning strategies that leverage Turkish in XLT to these target languages. Our experimental results show that both - integrating Turkish in intermediate training and in downstream fine-tuning - yield substantial improvements in XLT to LR Turkic languages. Finally, we benchmark cutting-edge instruction-tuned large language models on Kardeş-NLU, showing that their performance is highly task- and language-dependent.

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Chaining Event Spans for Temporal Relation Grounding
Jongho Kim | Dohyeon Lee | Minsoo Kim | Seung-won Hwang

Accurately understanding temporal relations between events is a critical building block of diverse tasks, such as temporal reading comprehension (TRC) and relation extraction (TRE). For example in TRC, we need to understand the temporal semantic differences between the following two questions that are lexically near-identical: “What finished right before the decision?” or “What finished right after the decision?”. To discern the two questions, existing solutions have relied on answer overlaps as a proxy label to contrast similar and dissimilar questions. However, we claim that answer overlap can lead to unreliable results, due to spurious overlaps of two dissimilar questions with coincidentally identical answers. To address the issue, we propose a novel approach that elicits proper reasoning behaviors through a module for predicting time spans of events. We introduce the Timeline Reasoning Network (TRN) operating in a two-step inductive reasoning process: In the first step model initially answers each question with semantic and syntactic information. The next step chains multiple questions on the same event to predict a timeline, which is then used to ground the answers. Results on the TORQUE and TB-dense, TRC, and TRE tasks respectively, demonstrate that TRN outperforms previous methods by effectively resolving the spurious overlaps using the predicted timeline.

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Fine-Grained Natural Language Inference Based Faithfulness Evaluation for Diverse Summarisation Tasks
Huajian Zhang | Yumo Xu | Laura Perez-Beltrachini

We study existing approaches to leverage off-the-shelf Natural Language Inference (NLI) models for the evaluation of summary faithfulness and argue that these are sub-optimal due to the granularity level considered for premises and hypotheses. That is, the smaller content unit considered as hypothesis is a sentence and premises are made up of a fixed number of document sentences. We propose a novel approach, namely INFUSE, that uses a variable premise size and simplifies summary sentences into shorter hypotheses. Departing from previous studies which focus on single short document summarisation, we analyse NLI based faithfulness evaluation for diverse summarisation tasks. We introduce DiverSumm, a new benchmark comprising long form summarisation (long documents and summaries) and diverse summarisation tasks (e.g., meeting and multi-document summarisation). In experiments, INFUSE obtains superior performance across the different summarisation tasks.

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AnaDE1.0: A Novel Data Set for Benchmarking Analogy Detection and Extraction
Bhavya Bhavya | Shradha Sehgal | Jinjun Xiong | ChengXiang Zhai

Textual analogies that make comparisons between two concepts are often used for explaining complex ideas, creative writing, and scientific discovery. In this paper, we propose and study a new task, called Analogy Detection and Extraction (AnaDE), which includes three synergistic sub-tasks: 1) detecting documents containing analogies, 2) extracting text segments that make up the analogy, and 3) identifying the (source and target) concepts being compared. To facilitate the study of this new task, we create a benchmark dataset by scraping and investigate the performances of state-of-the-art models on all sub-tasks to establish the first-generation benchmark results for this new task. We find that the Longformer model achieves the best performance on all the three sub-tasks demonstrating its effectiveness for handling long texts. Moreover, smaller models fine-tuned on our dataset perform better than non-finetuned ChatGPT, suggesting high task difficulty. Overall, the models achieve a high performance on documents detection suggesting that it could be used to develop applications like analogy search engines. Further, there is a large room for improvement on the segment and concept extraction tasks.

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A Comprehensive Survey of Sentence Representations: From the BERT Epoch to the CHATGPT Era and Beyond
Abhinav Ramesh Kashyap | Thanh-Tung Nguyen | Viktor Schlegel | Stefan Winkler | See-Kiong Ng | Soujanya Poria

Sentence representations are a critical component in NLP applications such as retrieval, question answering, and text classification. They capture the meaning of a sentence, enabling machines to understand and reason over human language. In recent years, significant progress has been made in developing methods for learning sentence representations, including unsupervised, supervised, and transfer learning approaches. However there is no literature review on sentence representations till now. In this paper, we provide an overview of the different methods for sentence representation learning, focusing mostly on deep learning models. We provide a systematic organization of the literature, highlighting the key contributions and challenges in this area. Overall, our review highlights the importance of this area in natural language processing, the progress made in sentence representation learning, and the challenges that remain. We conclude with directions for future research, suggesting potential avenues for improving the quality and efficiency of sentence representations.

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Learning to Retrieve In-Context Examples for Large Language Models
Liang Wang | Nan Yang | Furu Wei

Large language models (LLMs) have demonstrated their ability to learn in-context, allowing them to perform various tasks based on a few input-output examples. However, the effectiveness of in-context learning is heavily reliant on the quality of the selected examples. In this paper, we propose a novel framework to iteratively train dense retrievers that can identify high-quality in-context examples for LLMs. Our framework initially trains a reward model based on LLM feedback to evaluate the quality of candidate examples, followed by knowledge distillation to train a bi-encoder based dense retriever. Our experiments on a suite of 30 tasks demonstrate that our framework significantly enhances in-context learning performance. Furthermore, we show the generalization ability of our framework to unseen tasks during training. An in-depth analysis reveals that our model improves performance by retrieving examples with similar patterns, and the gains are consistent across LLMs of varying sizes.

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EnCore: Fine-Grained Entity Typing by Pre-Training Entity Encoders on Coreference Chains
Frank Mtumbuka | Steven Schockaert

Entity typing is the task of assigning semantic types to the entities that are mentioned in a text. In the case of fine-grained entity typing (FET), a large set of candidate type labels is considered. Since obtaining sufficient amounts of manual annotations is then prohibitively expensive, FET models are typically trained using distant supervision. In this paper, we propose to improve on this process by pre-training an entity encoder such that embeddings of coreferring entities are more similar to each other than to the embeddings of other entities. The main problem with this strategy, which helps to explain why it has not previously been considered, is that predicted coreference links are often too noisy. We show that this problem can be addressed by using a simple trick: we only consider coreference links that are predicted by two different off-the-shelf systems. With this prudent use of coreference links, our pre-training strategy allows us to improve the state-of-the-art in benchmarks on fine-grained entity typing, as well as traditional entity extraction.

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Unsupervised stance detection for social media discussions: A generic baseline
Maia Sutter | Antoine Gourru | Amine Trabelsi | Christine Largeron

With the ever-growing use of social media to express opinions on the national and international stage, unsupervised methods of stance detection are increasingly important to handle the task without costly annotation of data. The current unsupervised state-of-the-art models are designed for specific network types, either homophilic or heterophilic, and they fail to generalize to both. In this paper, we first analyze the generalization ability of recent baselines to these two very different network types. Then, we conduct extensive experiments with a baseline model based on text embeddings propagated with a graph neural network that generalizes well to heterophilic and homophilic networks. We show that it outperforms, on average, other state-of-the-art methods across the two network types. Additionally, we show that combining textual and network information outperforms using text only, and that the language model size has only a limited impact on the model performance.

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Putting Context in Context: the Impact of Discussion Structure on Text Classification
Nicolò Penzo | Antonio Longa | Bruno Lepri | Sara Tonelli | Marco Guerini

Current text classification approaches usually focus on the content to be classified. Contextual aspects (both linguistic and extra-linguistic) are usually neglected, even in tasks based on online discussions. Still in many cases the multi-party and multi-turn nature of the context from which these elements are selected can be fruitfully exploited. In this work, we propose a series of experiments on a large dataset for stance detection in English, in which we evaluate the contribution of different types of contextual information, i.e. linguistic, structural and temporal, by feeding them as natural language input into a transformer-based model. We also experiment with different amounts of training data and analyse the topology of local discussion networks in a privacy-compliant way. Results show that structural information can be highly beneficial to text classification but only under certain circumstances (e.g. depending on the amount of training data and on discussion chain complexity). Indeed, we show that contextual information on smaller datasets from other classification tasks does not yield significant improvements. Our framework, based on local discussion networks, allows the integration of structural information while minimising user profiling, thus preserving their privacy.

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Aligning Large and Small Language Models via Chain-of-Thought Reasoning
Leonardo Ranaldi | Andre Freitas

Chain-of-Thought (CoT) prompting empowersthe reasoning abilities of Large Language Models (LLMs), eliciting them to solve complexreasoning tasks in a step-wise manner. However, these capabilities appear only in models with billions of parameters, which represent an entry barrier for many users who are constrained to operate on a smaller model scale, i.e., Small Language Models (SLMs). Although many companies are releasing LLMs of the same family with fewer parameters, these models tend not to preserve all the reasoning capabilities of the original models, including CoT reasoning.In this paper, we propose a method for aligning and transferring reasoning abilities between larger to smaller Language Models. By using an Instruction-tuning-CoT method, that is, an Instruction-tuning designed around CoT-Demonstrations, we enable the SLMs to generate multi-step controlled reasoned answers when they are elicited with the CoT mechanism. Hence, we instruct a smaller Language Model using outputs generated by more robust models belonging to the same family or not, evaluating the impact across different types of models. Results obtained on question-answering and mathematical reasoning benchmarks show that LMs instructed via the Instruction-tuning CoT method produced by LLMs outperform baselines within both in-domain and out-domain scenarios.

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Disentangling the Roles of Target-side Transfer and Regularization in Multilingual Machine Translation
Yan Meng | Christof Monz

Multilingual Machine Translation (MMT) benefits from knowledge transfer across different language pairs. However, improvements in one-to-many translation compared to many-to-one translation are only marginal and sometimes even negligible. This performance discrepancy raises the question of to what extent positive transfer plays a role on the target-side for one-to-many MT. In this paper, we conduct a large-scale study that varies the auxiliary target-side languages along two dimensions, i.e., linguistic similarity and corpus size, to show the dynamic impact of knowledge transfer on the main language pairs. We show that linguistically similar auxiliary target languages exhibit strong ability to transfer positive knowledge. With an increasing size of similar target languages, the positive transfer is further enhanced to benefit the main language pairs. Meanwhile, we find distant auxiliary target languages can also unexpectedly benefit main language pairs, even with minimal positive transfer ability. Apart from transfer, we show distant auxiliary target languages can act as a regularizer to benefit translation performance by enhancing the generalization and model inference calibration.

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Uncovering Stereotypes in Large Language Models: A Task Complexity-based Approach
Hari Shrawgi | Prasanjit Rath | Tushar Singhal | Sandipan Dandapat

Recent Large Language Models (LLMs) have unlocked unprecedented applications of AI. As these models continue to transform human life, there are growing socio-ethical concerns around their inherent stereotypes that can lead to bias in their applications. There is an urgent need for holistic bias evaluation of these LLMs. Few such benchmarks exist today and evaluation techniques that do exist are either non-holistic or may provide a false sense of security as LLMs become better at hiding their biases on simpler tasks. We address these issues with an extensible benchmark - LLM Stereotype Index (LSI). LSI is grounded on Social Progress Index, a holistic social benchmark. We also test the breadth and depth of bias protection provided by LLMs via a variety of tasks with varying complexities. Our findings show that both ChatGPT and GPT-4 have strong inherent prejudice with respect to nationality, gender, race, and religion. The exhibition of such issues becomes increasingly apparent as we increase task complexity. Furthermore, GPT-4 is better at hiding the biases, but when displayed it is more significant. Our findings highlight the harms and divide that these LLMs can bring to society if we do not take very diligent care in their use.

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Rainbow - A Benchmark for Systematic Testing of How Sensitive Visio-Linguistic Models are to Color Naming
Marie Bexte | Andrea Horbach | Torsten Zesch

With the recent emergence of powerful visio-linguistic models comes the question of how fine-grained their multi-modal understanding is. This has lead to the release of several probing datasets. Results point towards models having trouble with prepositions and verbs, but being relatively robust when it comes to color.To gauge how deep this understanding goes, we compile a comprehensive probing dataset to systematically test multi-modal alignment around color. We demonstrate how human perception influences descriptions of color and pay special attention to the extent to which this is reflected within the predictions of a visio-linguistic model. Probing a set of models with diverse properties with our benchmark confirms the superiority of models that do not rely on pre-extracted image features, and demonstrates that augmentation with too much noisy pre-training data can produce an inferior model. While the benchmark remains challenging for all models we test, the overall result pattern suggests well-founded alignment of color terms with hues. Analyses do however reveal uncertainty regarding the boundaries between neighboring color terms.

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CATfOOD: Counterfactual Augmented Training for Improving Out-of-Domain Performance and Calibration
Rachneet Sachdeva | Martin Tutek | Iryna Gurevych

In recent years, large language models (LLMs) have shown remarkable capabilities at scale, particularly at generating text conditioned on a prompt. In our work, we investigate the use of LLMs to augment training data of smaller language models (SLMs) with automatically generated counterfactual (CF) instances – i.e. minimally altered inputs – in order to improve out-of-domain (OOD) performance of SLMs in the extractive question answering (QA) setup. We show that, across various LLM generators, such data augmentation consistently enhances OOD performance and improves model calibration for both confidence-based and rationale-augmented calibrator models. Furthermore, these performance improvements correlate with higher diversity of CF instances in terms of their surface form and semantic content. Finally, we show that CF augmented models which are easier to calibrate also exhibit much lower entropy when assigning importance, indicating that rationale-augmented calibrators prefer concise explanations.

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UP5: Unbiased Foundation Model for Fairness-aware Recommendation
Wenyue Hua | Yingqiang Ge | Shuyuan Xu | Jianchao Ji | Zelong Li | Yongfeng Zhang

Recent advances in Foundation Models such as Large Language Models (LLMs) have propelled them to the forefront of Recommender Systems (RS). Despite their utility, there is a growing concern that LLMs might inadvertently perpetuate societal stereotypes, resulting in unfair recommendations. Since fairness is critical for RS as many users take it for decision-making and demand fulfillment, this paper focuses on user-side fairness for LLM-based recommendation where the users may require a recommender system to be fair on specific sensitive features such as gender or age. In this paper, we dive into the extent of unfairness exhibited by LLM-based recommender models based on both T5 and LLaMA backbones, and discuss appropriate methods for promoting equitable treatment of users in LLM-based recommendation models. We introduce a novel Counterfactually-Fair-Prompt (CFP) method towards Unbiased Foundation mOdels (UFO) for fairness-aware LLM-based recommendation. Experiments are conducted on two real-world datasets, MovieLens-1M and Insurance, and compared with both matching-based and sequential-based fairness-aware recommendation models. Results show that CFP achieves better recommendation performance with a high level of fairness.

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Human Temporal Inferences Go Beyond Aspectual Class
Katarzyna Pruś | Mark Steedman | Adam Lopez

Past work in NLP has proposed the task of classifying English verb phrases into situation aspect categories, assuming that these categories play an important role in tasks requiring temporal reasoning. We investigate this assumption by gathering crowd-sourced judgements about aspectual entailments from non-expert, native English participants. The results suggest that aspectual class alone is not sufficient to explain the response patterns of the participants. We propose that looking at scenarios which can feasibly accompany an action description contributes towards a better explanation of the participants’ answers. A further experiment using GPT-3.5 shows that its outputs follow different patterns than human answers, suggesting that such conceivable scenarios cannot be fully accounted for in the language alone. We release our dataset to support further research.

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It is not True that Transformers are Inductive Learners: Probing NLI Models with External Negation
Michael Sullivan

NLI tasks necessitate a substantial degree of logical reasoning; as such, the remarkable performance of SoTA transformers on these tasks may lead us to believe that those models have learned to reason logically. The results presented in this paper demonstrate that (i) models fine-tuned on NLI datasets learn to treat external negation as a distractor, effectively ignoring its presence in hypothesis sentences; (ii) several near-SoTA encoder and encoder-decoder transformer models fail to inductively learn the law of the excluded middle for a single external negation prefix with respect to NLI tasks, despite extensive fine-tuning; (iii) those models which are are able to learn the law of the excluded middle for a single prefix are unable to generalize this pattern to similar prefixes. Given the critical role of negation in logical reasoning, we may conclude from these findings that transformers do not learn to reason logically when fine-tuned for NLI tasks. Furthermore, these results suggest that transformers may not be able to inductively learn the role of negation with respect to NLI tasks, calling into question their capacity to fully acquire logical reasoning abilities.

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Polarized Opinion Detection Improves the Detection of Toxic Language
John Pavlopoulos | Aristidis Likas

Distance from unimodality (DFU) has been found to correlate well with human judgment for the assessment of polarized opinions. However, its un-normalized nature makes it less intuitive and somewhat difficult to exploit in machine learning (e.g., as a supervised signal). In this work a normalized version of this measure, called nDFU, is proposed that leads to better assessment of the degree of polarization. Then, we propose a methodology for K-class text classification, based on nDFU, that exploits polarized texts in the dataset. Such polarized instances are assigned to a separate K+1 class, so that a K+1-class classifier is trained. An empirical analysis on three datasets for abusive language detection, shows that nDFU can be used to model polarized annotations and prevent them from harming the classification performance. Finally, we further exploit nDFU to specify conditions that could explain polarization given a dimension and present text examples that polarized the annotators when the dimension was gender and race. Our code is available at

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Improving Acoustic Word Embeddings through Correspondence Training of Self-supervised Speech Representations
Amit Meghanani | Thomas Hain

Acoustic word embeddings (AWEs) are vector representations of spoken words. An effective method for obtaining AWEs is the Correspondence Auto-Encoder (CAE). In the past, the CAE method has been associated with traditional MFCC features. Representations obtained from self-supervised learning (SSL)-based speech models such as HuBERT, Wav2vec2, etc., are outperforming MFCC in many downstream tasks. However, they have not been well studied in the context of learning AWEs. This work explores the effectiveness of CAE with SSL-based speech representations to obtain improved AWEs. Additionally, the capabilities of SSL-based speech models are explored in cross-lingual scenarios for obtaining AWEs. Experiments are conducted on five languages: Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, French, and English. HuBERT-based CAE model achieves the best results for word discrimination in all languages, despite HuBERT being pre-trained on English only. Also, the HuBERT-based CAE model works well in cross-lingual settings. It outperforms MFCC-based CAE models trained on the target languages when trained on one source language and tested on target languages.

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Investigating Agency of LLMs in Human-AI Collaboration Tasks
Ashish Sharma | Sudha Rao | Chris Brockett | Akanksha Malhotra | Nebojsa Jojic | Bill Dolan

Agency, the capacity to proactively shape events, is central to how humans interact and collaborate. While LLMs are being developed to simulate human behavior and serve as human-like agents, little attention has been given to the Agency that these models should possess in order to proactively manage the direction of interaction and collaboration. In this paper, we investigate Agency as a desirable function of LLMs, and how it can be measured and managed. We build on social-cognitive theory to develop a framework of features through which Agency is expressed in dialogue – indicating what you intend to do (Intentionality), motivating your intentions (Motivation), having self-belief in intentions (Self-Efficacy), and being able to self-adjust (Self-Regulation). We collect a new dataset of 83 human-human collaborative interior design conversations containing 908 conversational snippets annotated for Agency features. Using this dataset, we develop methods for measuring Agency of LLMs. Automatic and human evaluations show that models that manifest features associated with high Intentionality, Motivation, Self-Efficacy, and Self-Regulation are more likely to be perceived as strongly agentive.

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SynthDST: Synthetic Data is All You Need for Few-Shot Dialog State Tracking
Atharva Kulkarni | Bo-Hsiang Tseng | Joel Moniz | Dhivya Piraviperumal | Hong Yu | Shruti Bhargava

In-context learning with Large Language Models (LLMs) has emerged as a promising avenue of research in Dialog State Tracking (DST). However, the best-performing in-context learning methods involve retrieving and adding similar examples to the prompt, requiring access to labeled training data. Procuring such training data for a wide range of domains and applications is time-consuming, expensive, and, at times, infeasible. While zero-shot learning requires no training data, it significantly lags behind the few-shot setup. Thus, ‘Can we efficiently generate synthetic data for any dialogue schema to enable few-shot prompting?' Addressing this question, we propose , a data generation framework tailored for DST, utilizing LLMs. Our approach only requires the dialogue schema and a few hand-crafted dialogue templates to synthesize natural, coherent, and free-flowing dialogues with DST annotations. Few-shot learning using data from results in 4-5% improvement in Joint Goal Accuracy over the zero-shot baseline on MultiWOZ 2.1 and 2.4. Remarkably, our few-shot learning approach recovers nearly 98% of the performance compared to the few-shot setup using human-annotated training data.

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Argument Mining as a Text-to-Text Generation Task
Masayuki Kawarada | Tsutomu Hirao | Wataru Uchida | Masaaki Nagata

Argument Mining (AM) aims to uncover the argumentative structures within a text. Previous methods require several subtasks, such as span identification, component classification, and relation classification. Consequently, these methods need rule-based postprocessing to derive argumentative structures from the output of each subtask. This approach adds to the complexity of the model and expands the search space of the hyperparameters. To address this difficulty, we propose a simple yet strong method based on a text-to-text generation approach using a pretrained encoder-decoder language model. Our method simultaneously generates argumentatively annotated text for spans, components, and relations, eliminating the need for task-specific postprocessing and hyperparameter tuning. Furthermore, because it is a straightforward text-to-text generation method, we can easily adapt our approach to various types of argumentative structures.Experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness of our method, as it achieves state-of-the-art performance on three different types of benchmark datasets: the Argument-annotated Essays Corpus (AAEC), AbstRCT, and the Cornell eRulemaking Corpus (CDCP).

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Answering legal questions from laymen in German civil law system
Marius Büttner | Ivan Habernal

What is preventing us from building a NLP system that could help real people in real situations, for instance when they need legal advice but don’t understand law? This question is trickier than one might think, because legal systems vary from country to country, so do the law books, availability of data, and incomprehensibility of legalese. In this paper we focus Germany (which employs the civil-law system where, roughly speaking, interpretation of law codes dominates over precedence) and lay a foundational work to address the laymen’s legal question answering empirically. We create GerLayQA, a new dataset comprising of 21k laymen’s legal questions paired with answers from lawyers and grounded to concrete law book paragraphs. We experiment with a variety of retrieval and answer generation models and provide an in-depth analysis of limitations, which helps us to provide first empirical answers to the question above.

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An Empirical Analysis of Diversity in Argument Summarization
Michiel Van Der Meer | Piek Vossen | Catholijn Jonker | Pradeep Murukannaiah

Presenting high-level arguments is a crucial task for fostering participation in online societal discussions. Current argument summarization approaches miss an important facet of this task—capturing diversity—which is important for accommodating multiple perspectives. We introduce three aspects of diversity: those of opinions, annotators, and sources. We evaluate approaches to a popular argument summarization task called Key Point Analysis, which shows how these approaches struggle to (1) represent arguments shared by few people, (2) deal with data from various sources, and (3) align with subjectivity in human-provided annotations. We find that both general-purpose LLMs and dedicated KPA models exhibit this behavior, but have complementary strengths. Further, we observe that diversification of training data may ameliorate generalization in zero-shot cases. Addressing diversity in argument summarization requires a mix of strategies to deal with subjectivity.

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What Makes Medical Claims (Un)Verifiable? Analyzing Entity and Relation Properties for Fact Verification
Amelie Wuehrl | Yarik Menchaca Resendiz | Lara Grimminger | Roman Klinger

Verifying biomedical claims fails if no evidence can be discovered. In these cases, the fact-checking verdict remains unknown and the claim is unverifiable. To improve this situation, we have to understand if there are any claim properties that impact its verifiability. In this work we assume that entities and relations define the core variables in a biomedical claim’s anatomy and analyze if their properties help us to differentiate verifiable from unverifiable claims. In a study with trained annotation experts we prompt them to find evidence for biomedical claims, and observe how they refine search queries for their evidence search. This leads to the first corpus for scientific fact verification annotated with subject–relation–object triplets, evidence documents, and fact-checking verdicts (the BEAR-FACT corpus). We find (1) that discovering evidence for negated claims (e.g., X–does-not-cause–Y) is particularly challenging. Further, we see that annotators process queries mostly by adding constraints to the search and by normalizing entities to canonical names. (2) We compare our in-house annotations with a small crowdsourcing setting where we employ both medical experts and laypeople. We find that domain expertise does not have a substantial effect on the reliability of annotations. Finally, (3), we demonstrate that it is possible to reliably estimate the success of evidence retrieval purely from the claim text (.82F1), whereas identifying unverifiable claims proves more challenging (.27F1)

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Approximate Attributions for Off-the-Shelf Siamese Transformers
Lucas Moeller | Dmitry Nikolaev | Sebastian Padó

Siamese encoders such as sentence transformers are among the least understood deep models.Established attribution methods cannot tackle this model class since it compares two inputs rather than processing a single one. To address this gap, we have recently proposed an attribution method specifically for Siamese encoders (Möller et al., 2023). However, it requires models to be adjusted and fine-tuned and therefore cannot be directly applied to off-the-shelf models. In this work, we reassess these restrictions and propose (i) a model with exact attribution ability that retains the original model’s predictive performance and (ii) a way to compute approximate attributions for off-the-shelf models.We extensively compare approximate and exact attributions and use them to analyze the models’ attendance to different linguistic aspects. We gain insights into which syntactic roles Siamese transformers attend to, confirm that they mostly ignore negation, explore how they judge semantically opposite adjectives, and find that they exhibit lexical bias.

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Describing Images Fast and Slow: Quantifying and Predicting the Variation in Human Signals during Visuo-Linguistic Processes
Ece Takmaz | Sandro Pezzelle | Raquel Fernández

There is an intricate relation between the properties of an image and how humans behave while describing the image. This behavior shows ample variation, as manifested in human signals such as eye movements and when humans start to describe the image. Despite the value of such signals of visuo-linguistic variation, they are virtually disregarded in the training of current pretrained models, which motivates further investigation. Using a corpus of Dutch image descriptions with concurrently collected eye-tracking data, we explore the nature of the variation in visuo-linguistic signals, and find that they correlate with each other. Given this result, we hypothesize that variation stems partly from the properties of the images, and explore whether image representations encoded by pretrained vision encoders can capture such variation. Our results indicate that pretrained models do so to a weak-to-moderate degree, suggesting that the models lack biases about what makes a stimulus complex for humans and what leads to variations in human outputs.

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Tracing the Roots of Facts in Multilingual Language Models: Independent, Shared, and Transferred Knowledge
Xin Zhao | Naoki Yoshinaga | Daisuke Oba

Acquiring factual knowledge for language models (LMs) in low-resource languages poses a serious challenge, thus resorting to cross-lingual transfer in multilingual LMs (ML-LMs). In this study, we ask how ML-LMs acquire and represent factual knowledge. Using the multilingual factual knowledge probing dataset, mLAMA, we first conducted a neuron investigation of ML-LMs (specifically, multilingual BERT). We then traced the roots of facts back to the knowledge source (Wikipedia) to identify the ways in which ML-LMs acquire specific facts. We finally identified three patterns of acquiring and representing facts in ML-LMs: language-independent, cross-lingual shared and transferred, and devised methods for differentiating them. Our findings highlight the challenge of maintaining consistent factual knowledge across languages, underscoring the need for better fact representation learning in ML-LMs.

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Comparing Knowledge Sources for Open-Domain Scientific Claim Verification
Juraj Vladika | Florian Matthes

The increasing rate at which scientific knowledge is discovered and health claims shared online has highlighted the importance of developing efficient fact-checking systems for scientific claims. The usual setting for this task in the literature assumes that the documents containing the evidence for claims are already provided and annotated or contained in a limited corpus. This renders the systems unrealistic for real-world settings where knowledge sources with potentially millions of documents need to be queried to find relevant evidence. In this paper, we perform an array of experiments to test the performance of open-domain claim verification systems. We test the final verdict prediction of systems on four datasets of biomedical and health claims in different settings. While keeping the pipeline’s evidence selection and verdict prediction parts constant, document retrieval is performed over three common knowledge sources (PubMed, Wikipedia, Google) and using two different information retrieval techniques. We show that PubMed works better with specialized biomedical claims, while Wikipedia is more suited for everyday health concerns. Likewise, BM25 excels in retrieval precision, while semantic search in recall of relevant evidence. We discuss the results, outline frequent retrieval patterns and challenges, and provide promising future directions.

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Measuring Uncertainty in Neural Machine Translation with Similarity-Sensitive Entropy
Julius Cheng | Andreas Vlachos

Uncertainty estimation is an important diagnostic tool for statistical models, and is often used to assess the confidence of model predictions. Previous work shows that neural machine translation (NMT) is an intrinsically uncertain task where there are often multiple correct and semantically equivalent translations, and that well-trained NMT models produce good translations despite spreading probability mass among many semantically similar translations. These findings suggest that popular measures of uncertainty based on token- and sequence-level entropies which measure surface form diversity may not be good proxies of the more useful quantity of interest, semantic diversity. We propose to adapt similarity-sensitive Shannon entropy (S3E), a concept borrowed from theoretical ecology, for NMT. By demonstrating significantly improved correlation between S3E and task performance on quality estimation and named entity recall, we show that S3E is a useful framework for measuring uncertainty in NMT.

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LegalLens: Leveraging LLMs for Legal Violation Identification in Unstructured Text
Dor Bernsohn | Gil Semo | Yaron Vazana | Gila Hayat | Ben Hagag | Joel Niklaus | Rohit Saha | Kyryl Truskovskyi

In this study, we focus on two main tasks, the first for detecting legal violations within unstructured textual data, and the second for associating these violations with potentially affected individuals. We constructed two datasets using Large Language Models (LLMs) which were subsequently validated by domain expert annotators. Both tasks were designed specifically for the context of class-action cases. The experimental design incorporated fine-tuning models from the BERT family and open-source LLMs, and conducting few-shot experiments using closed-source LLMs. Our results, with an F1-score of 62.69% (violation identification) and 81.02% (associating victims), show that our datasets and setups can be used for both tasks. Finally, we publicly release the datasets and the code used for the experiments in order to advance further research in the area of legal natural language processing (NLP).

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𝜇PLAN: Summarizing using a Content Plan as Cross-Lingual Bridge
Fantine Huot | Joshua Maynez | Chris Alberti | Reinald Kim Amplayo | Priyanka Agrawal | Constanza Fierro | Shashi Narayan | Mirella Lapata

Cross-lingual summarization aims to generate a summary in one languagegiven input in a different language, allowing for the dissemination ofrelevant content among different language speaking populations. Thetask is challenging mainly due to the paucity of cross-lingualdatasets and the compounded difficulty of summarizing andtranslating.This work presents 𝜇PLAN, an approach to cross-lingual summarization that uses an intermediate planning step as a cross-lingual bridge. We formulate the plan as a sequence of entities capturing thesummary’s content and the order in which it should becommunicated. Importantly, our plans abstract from surface form: usinga multilingual knowledge base, we align entities to their canonicaldesignation across languages and generate the summary conditioned onthis cross-lingual bridge and the input. Automatic and human evaluation on the XWikis dataset (across four language pairs) demonstrates that our planning objective achieves state-of-the-art performance interms of informativeness and faithfulness. Moreover, 𝜇PLAN modelsimprove the zero-shot transfer to new cross-lingual language pairscompared to baselines without a planning component.

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Exploring Data Augmentation in Neural DRS-to-Text Generation
Muhammad Saad Amin | Luca Anselma | Alessandro Mazzei

Neural networks are notoriously data-hungry. This represents an issue in cases where data are scarce such as in low-resource languages. Data augmentation is a technique commonly used in computer vision to provide neural networks with more data and increase their generalization power. When dealing with data augmentation for natural language, however, simple data augmentation techniques similar to the ones used in computer vision such as rotation and cropping cannot be employed because they would generate ungrammatical texts. Thus, data augmentation needs a specific design in the case of neural logic-to-text systems, especially for a structurally rich input format such as the ones used for meaning representation. This is the case of the neural natural language generation for Discourse Representation Structures (DRS-to-Text), where the logical nature of DRS needs a specific design of data augmentation. In this paper, we adopt a novel approach in DRS-to-Text to selectively augment a training set with new data by adding and varying two specific lexical categories, i.e. proper and common nouns. In particular, we propose using WordNet supersenses to produce new training sentences using both in-and-out-of-context nouns. We present a number of experiments for evaluating the role played by augmented lexical information. The experimental results prove the effectiveness of our approach for data augmentation in DRS-to-Text generation.

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Think Twice: Measuring the Efficiency of Eliminating Prediction Shortcuts of Question Answering Models
Lukáš Mikula | Michal Štefánik | Marek Petrovič | Petr Sojka

While the Large Language Models (LLMs) dominate a majority of language understanding tasks, previous work shows that some of these results are supported by modelling spurious correlations of training datasets. Authors commonly assess model robustness by evaluating their models on out-of-distribution (OOD) datasets of the same task, but these datasets might share the bias of the training dataset. We propose a simple method for measuring a scale of models’ reliance on any identified spurious feature and assess the robustness towards a large set of known and newly found prediction biases for various pre-trained models and debiasing methods in Question Answering (QA). We find that the reported OOD gains of debiasing methods can not be explained by mitigated reliance on biased features, suggesting that biases are shared among different QA datasets. We further evidence this by measuring that performance of OOD models depends on bias features comparably to the ID model. Our findings motivate future work to refine the reports of LLMs’ robustness to a level of known spurious features.

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Improving Contrastive Learning in Emotion Recognition in Conversation via Data Augmentation and Decoupled Neutral Emotion
Yujin Kang | Yoon-Sik Cho

Emotion recognition in conversation (ERC) has attracted much attention due to its wide applications. While consistent improvement is being made in this area, inevitable challenge comes from the dataset. The ERC dataset exhibits significantly imbalanced emotion distribution. While the utterances with neutral emotion predominate the data, this emotion label is always treated the same as other emotion labels in current approaches. To address the problem caused by the dataset, we propose a supervised contrastive learning specifically oriented for ERC task. We employ a novel data augmentation method emulating the emotion dynamics in a conversation and formulate supervised contrastive learning method tailored for ERC addressing the predominance and the ambiguity of neutral emotion. Experimental results on four benchmark datasets demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach.

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CroCoAlign: A Cross-Lingual, Context-Aware and Fully-Neural Sentence Alignment System for Long Texts
Francesco Molfese | Andrei Bejgu | Simone Tedeschi | Simone Conia | Roberto Navigli

Sentence alignment – establishing links between corresponding sentences in two related documents – is an important NLP task with several downstream applications, such as machine translation (MT). Despite the fact that existing sentence alignment systems have achieved promising results, their effectiveness is based on auxiliary information such as document metadata or machine-generated translations, as well as hyperparameter-sensitive techniques. Moreover, these systems often overlook the crucial role that context plays in the alignment process. In this paper, we address the aforementioned issues and propose CroCoAlign: the first context-aware, end-to-end and fully neural architecture for sentence alignment. Our system maps source and target sentences in long documents by contextualizing their sentence embeddings with respect to the other sentences in the document. We extensively evaluate CroCoAlign on a multilingual dataset consisting of 20 language pairs derived from the Opus project, and demonstrate that our model achieves state-of-the-art performance. To ensure reproducibility, we release our code and model checkpoints at

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Explaining Speech Classification Models via Word-Level Audio Segments and Paralinguistic Features
Eliana Pastor | Alkis Koudounas | Giuseppe Attanasio | Dirk Hovy | Elena Baralis

Predictive models make mistakes and have biases. To combat both, we need to understand their predictions.Explainable AI (XAI) provides insights into models for vision, language, and tabular data. However, only a few approaches exist for speech classification models. Previous works focus on a selection of spoken language understanding (SLU) tasks, and most users find their explanations challenging to interpret.We propose a novel approach to explain speech classification models. It provides two types of insights. (i) Word-level. We measure the impact of each audio segment aligned with a word on the outcome. (ii) Paralinguistic. We evaluate how non-linguistic features (e.g., prosody and background noise) affect the outcome if perturbed.We validate our approach by explaining two state-of-the-art SLU models on two tasks in English and Italian. We test their plausibility with human subject ratings. Our results show that the explanations correctly represent the model’s inner workings and are plausible to humans.

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Zero-Shot End-to-End Spoken Language Understanding via Cross-Modal Selective Self-Training
Jianfeng He | Julian Salazar | Kaisheng Yao | Haoqi Li | Jason Cai

End-to-end (E2E) spoken language understanding (SLU) is constrained by the cost of collecting speech-semantics pairs, especially when label domains change. Hence, we explore zero-shot E2E SLU, which learns E2E SLU without speech-semantics pairs, instead using only speech-text and text-semantics pairs. Previous work achieved zero-shot by pseudolabeling all speech-text transcripts with a natural language understanding (NLU) model learned on text-semantics corpora. However, this method requires the domains of speech-text and text-semantics to match, which often mismatch due to separate collections. Furthermore, using the entire collected speech-text corpus from any domains leads to imbalance and noise issues. To address these, we propose cross-modal selective self-training (CMSST). CMSST tackles imbalance by clustering in a joint space of the three modalities (speech, text, and semantics) and handles label noise with a selection network. We also introduce two benchmarks for zero-shot E2E SLU, covering matched and found speech (mismatched) settings. Experiments show that CMSST improves performance in both two settings, with significantly reduced sample sizes and training time. Our code and data are released in

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Clever Hans or Neural Theory of Mind? Stress Testing Social Reasoning in Large Language Models
Natalie Shapira | Mosh Levy | Seyed Hossein Alavi | Xuhui Zhou | Yejin Choi | Yoav Goldberg | Maarten Sap | Vered Shwartz

The escalating debate on AI’s capabilities warrants developing reliable metrics to assess machine “intelligence.” Recently, many anecdotal examples were used to suggest that newer Large Language Models (LLMs) like ChatGPT and GPT-4 exhibit Neural Theory-of-Mind (N-ToM); however, prior work reached conflicting conclusions regarding those abilities. We investigate the extent of LLMs’ N-ToM through an extensive evaluation of 6 tasks and find that while LLMs exhibit certain N-ToM abilities, this behavior is far from being robust. We further examine the factors impacting performance on N-ToM tasks and discover that LLMs struggle with adversarial examples, indicating reliance on shallow heuristics rather than robust ToM abilities. We caution against drawing conclusions from anecdotal examples, limited benchmark testing, and using human-designed psychological tests to evaluate models.

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NevIR: Negation in Neural Information Retrieval
Orion Weller | Dawn Lawrie | Benjamin Van Durme

Negation is a common everyday phenomena and has been a consistent area of weakness for language models (LMs). Although the Information Retrieval (IR) community has adopted LMs as the backbone of modern IR architectures, there has been little to no research in understanding how negation impacts neural IR. We therefore construct a straightforward benchmark on this theme: asking IR models to rank two documents that differ only by negation. We show that the results vary widely according to the type of IR architecture: cross-encoders perform best, followed by late-interaction models, and in last place are bi-encoder and sparse neural architectures. We find that most current information retrieval models do not consider negation, performing similarly or worse than randomly ranking. We show that although the obvious approach of continued fine-tuning on a dataset of contrastive documents containing negations increases performance (as does model size), there is still a large gap between machine and human performance.

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“According to . . . ”: Prompting Language Models Improves Quoting from Pre-Training Data
Orion Weller | Marc Marone | Nathaniel Weir | Dawn Lawrie | Daniel Khashabi | Benjamin Van Durme

Large Language Models (LLMs) may hallucinate and generate fake information, despite pre-training on factual data. Inspired by the journalistic device of “according to sources”, we propose according-to prompting: directing LLMs to ground responses against previously observed text. To quantify this grounding, we propose a novel evaluation metric (QUIP-Score) that measures the extent to which model-produced answers are directly found in underlying text corpora. We illustrate with experiments on three corpora (Wikipedia, PubMed, and the U.S. legal tax code) that these prompts improve grounding under our metrics, with the additional benefit of often improving end-task performance. Furthermore, prompts that ask the model to decrease grounding (or to ground to other corpora) indeed decrease QUIP-Score, indicating the ability of LLMs to increase or decrease grounded generations on request.

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Accurate and Well-Calibrated ICD Code Assignment Through Attention Over Diverse Label Embeddings
Goncalo Gomes | Isabel Coutinho | Bruno Martins

Although the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) has been adopted worldwide, manually assigning ICD codes to clinical text is time-consuming, error-prone, and expensive, motivating the development of automated approaches. This paper describes a novel approach for automated ICD coding, combining several ideas from previous related work. We specifically employ a strong Transformer-based model as a text encoder and, to handle lengthy clinical narratives, we explored either (a) adapting the base encoder model into a Longformer, or (b) dividing the text into chunks and processing each chunk independently. The representations produced by the encoder are combined with a label embedding mechanism that explores diverse ICD code synonyms. Experiments with different splits of the MIMIC-III dataset show that the proposed approach outperforms the current state-of-the-art models in ICD coding, with the label embeddings significantly contributing to the good performance. Our approach also leads to properly calibrated classification results, which can effectively inform downstream tasks such as quantification.

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Investigating Content Planning for Navigating Trade-offs in Knowledge-Grounded Dialogue
Kushal Chawla | Hannah Rashkin | Gaurav Singh Tomar | David Reitter

Knowledge-grounded dialogue generation is a challenging task because it requires satisfying two fundamental, yet often competing constraints: being responsive in a manner that is specific to what the conversation partner has said while also being attributable to an underlying source document. In this work, we bring this trade-off between these two objectives (specificity and attribution) to light, and ask the question: Can explicit content planning before the response generation help the model to address this challenge? To answer this question, we design a framework called PLEDGE, which allows us to experiment with various plan variables explored in prior work supporting both metric-agnostic and metric-aware approaches. While content planning shows promise, our results on whether it can actually help to navigate this trade-off are mixed – planning mechanisms that are metric-aware (use automatic metrics during training) are better at automatic evaluations but underperform in human judgment compared to metric-agnostic mechanisms. We discuss how this may be caused by over-fitting to automatic metrics, and the need for future work to better calibrate these metrics towards human judgment. We hope the observations from our analysis will inform future work that aims to apply content planning in this context.

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SPUQ: Perturbation-Based Uncertainty Quantification for Large Language Models
Xiang Gao | Jiaxin Zhang | Lalla Mouatadid | Kamalika Das

In recent years, large language models (LLMs) have become increasingly prevalent, offering remarkable text generation capabilities. However, a pressing challenge is their tendency to make confidently wrong predictions, highlighting the critical need for uncertainty quantification (UQ) in LLMs. While previous works have mainly focused on addressing aleatoric uncertainty, the full spectrum of uncertainties, including epistemic, remains inadequately explored. Motivated by this gap, we introduce a novel UQ method, sampling with perturbation for UQ (SPUQ), designed to tackle both aleatoric and epistemic uncertainties. The method entails generating a set of perturbations for LLM inputs, sampling outputs for each perturbation, and incorporating an aggregation module that generalizes the sampling uncertainty approach for text generation tasks. Through extensive experiments on various datasets, we investigated different perturbation and aggregation techniques. Our findings show a substantial improvement in model uncertainty calibration, with a reduction in Expected Calibration Error (ECE) by 50% on average. Our findings suggest that our proposed UQ method offers promising steps toward enhancing the reliability and trustworthiness of LLMs.

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TESS: Text-to-Text Self-Conditioned Simplex Diffusion
Rabeeh Karimi Mahabadi | Hamish Ivison | Jaesung Tae | James Henderson | Iz Beltagy | Matthew Peters | Arman Cohan

Diffusion models have emerged as a powerful paradigm for generation, obtaining strong performance in various continuous domains. However, applying continuous diffusion models to natural language remains challenging due to its discrete nature and the need for a large number of diffusion steps to generate text, making diffusion-based generation expensive.In this work, we propose Text-to-text Self-conditioned Simplex Diffusion (TESS), a text diffusion model that is fully non-autoregressive, employs a new form of self-conditioning, and applies the diffusion process on the logit simplex space rather than the learned embedding space.Through extensive experiments on natural language understanding and generation tasks including summarization, text simplification, paraphrase generation, and question generation, we demonstrate that TESS outperforms state-of-the-art non-autoregressive models, requires fewer diffusion steps with minimal drop in performance, and is competitive with pretrained autoregressive sequence-to-sequence models.

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Advancing Precise Outline-Conditioned Text Generation with Task Duality and Explicit Outline Control
Yunzhe Li | Qian Chen | Weixiang Yan | Wen Wang | Qinglin Zhang | Hari Sundaram

Existing works on outline-conditioned text generation typically aim to generate text using provided outlines as rough sketches, such as keywords and phrases. However, these approaches make it challenging to control the quality of text generation and assess consistency between outlines and generated texts due to lack of clarity and rationality of the rough outlines. In this paper, we introduce a novel text generation task called Precise Outline-conditioned Generation, which requires generating stories based on specific, sentence-level outlines. To facilitate research on this task, we construct two new datasets, WPOG and CDM. We provide strong baselines based on fine-tuning models such as BART and GPT-2, and evaluating zero-shot performance of models such as ChatGPT and Vicuna. Furthermore, we identify an issue of imbalanced utilization of the outline information in the precise outline-conditioned generation, which is ubiquitously observed across fine-tuned models and zero-shot inference models. To address this issue, we propose an explicit outline utilization control approach and a novel framework that leverages the task duality between summarization and generation. Experimental results show that the proposed approaches effectively alleviate the issue of imbalanced outline utilization and enhance the quality of precise outline-conditioned text generation for both fine-tuning and zero-shot settings.

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Localization vs. Semantics: Visual Representations in Unimodal and Multimodal Models
Zhuowan Li | Cihang Xie | Benjamin Van Durme | Alan Yuille

Despite the impressive advancements achieved through vision-and-language pretraining, it remains unclear whether multi-modal learning can help understand each individual modality. In this work, we conduct a comparative analysis of the visual representations in existing vision-and-language models and vision-only models by probing on a broad range of tasks. Five probing tasks are evaluated in order to assess the quality of the learned representations in a nuanced manner. Our results on five probing tasks suggest vision-and-language models are better at label prediction tasks like object and attribute prediction, while vision-only models are stronger at dense prediction tasks that require more localized information. We hope our study sheds light on the role of language in visual learning, and serves as an empirical guide for various pretrained models.

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Creating Suspenseful Stories: Iterative Planning with Large Language Models
Kaige Xie | Mark Riedl

Automated story generation has been one of the long-standing challenges in NLP. Among all dimensions of stories, *suspense* is very common in human-written stories but relatively under-explored in AI-generated stories. While recent advances in large language models (LLMs) have greatly promoted language generation in general, state-of-the-art LLMs are still unreliable when it comes to suspenseful story generation. We propose a novel iterative-prompting-based planning method that is grounded in two theoretical foundations of story suspense from cognitive psychology and narratology. This theory-grounded method works in a fully zero-shot manner and does not rely on any supervised story corpora. To the best of our knowledge, this paper is the first attempt at suspenseful story generation with LLMs. Extensive human evaluations of the generated suspenseful stories demonstrate the effectiveness of our method.

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Few-Shot Dialogue Summarization via Skeleton-Assisted Prompt Transfer in Prompt Tuning
Kaige Xie | Tong Yu | Haoliang Wang | Junda Wu | Handong Zhao | Ruiyi Zhang | Kanak Mahadik | Ani Nenkova | Mark Riedl

In real-world scenarios, labeled samples for dialogue summarization are usually limited (i.e., few-shot) due to high annotation costs for high-quality dialogue summaries. To efficiently learn from few-shot samples, previous works have utilized massive annotated data from other downstream tasks and then performed prompt transfer in prompt tuning so as to enable cross-task knowledge transfer. However, existing general-purpose prompt transfer techniques lack consideration for dialogue-specific information. In this paper, we focus on improving the prompt transfer from dialogue state tracking to dialogue summarization and propose Skeleton-Assisted Prompt Transfer (SAPT), which leverages skeleton generation as extra supervision that functions as a medium connecting the distinct source and target task and resulting in the model’s better consumption of dialogue state information. To automatically extract dialogue skeletons as supervised training data for skeleton generation, we design a novel approach with perturbation-based probes requiring neither annotation effort nor domain knowledge. Training the model on such skeletons can also help preserve model capability during prompt transfer. Our method significantly outperforms existing baselines. In-depth analyses demonstrate the effectiveness of our method in facilitating cross-task knowledge transfer in few-shot dialogue summarization.

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Ask, Assess, and Refine: Rectifying Factual Consistency and Hallucination in LLMs with Metric-Guided Feedback Learning
Dongyub Lee | Eunhwan Park | Hodong Lee | Heuiseok Lim

Recent advancements in Large Language Models (LLMs) have heralded unprecedented capabilities in information-seeking and text generation, as evidenced by applications like Bing Chat and Despite these strides, challenges on hallucination and factual inconsistency continue to impede their wider real-world adoption. Contemporary methods, including retrieval-augmented LLMs and feedback-based learning, serve as alternatives to mitigate these challenges. However, challenges remain, particularly regarding referencing erroneous evidence (citation errors) and generating information not present in the evidence (hallucination). In this paper, we introduce the 𝖠2𝖱 framework: Ask, Assess, and Refine. Our approach utilizes an explicit evaluation paradigm, incorporating metrics specifically tailored to assess citation errors and hallucination, aiming to address these prevalent challenges robustly. Capitalizing on these evaluations, we devise a strategy to formulate actionable natural language feedback, enabling iterative refinements that yield improved factual consistency and reduced hallucinations in responses. Our experiments on ASQA, ELI5, and QAMPARI datasets demonstrate our method’s superiority in enhancing correctness, fluency, and citation quality.

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Effective Controllable Bias Mitigation for Classification and Retrieval using Gate Adapters
Shahed Masoudian | Cornelia Volaucnik | Markus Schedl | Navid Rekabsaz

Bias mitigation of Language Models has been the topic of many studies with a recent focus on learning separate modules like adapters for on-demand debiasing. Besides optimizing for a modularized debiased model, it is often critical in practice to control the degree of bias reduction at inference time, e.g., in order to tune for a desired performance-fairness trade-off in search results or to control the strength of debiasing in classification tasks. In this paper, we introduce Controllable Gate Adapter (ConGater), a novel modular gating mechanism with adjustable sensitivity parameters, %In addition to better perseverance of task performance and enhanced information removal, which allows for a gradual transition from the biased state of the model to the fully debiased version at inference time. We demonstrate ConGater performance by (1) conducting adversarial debiasing experiments with three different models on three classification tasks with four protected attributes, and (2) reducing the bias of search results through fairness list-wise regularization to enable adjusting a trade-off between performance and fairness metrics. Our experiments on the classification tasks show that compared to baselines of the same caliber, ConGater can maintain higher task performance while containing less information regarding the attributes. Our results on the retrieval task show that the fully debiased ConGater can achieve the same fairness performance while maintaining more than twice as high task performance than recent strong baselines. Overall, besides strong performance ConGater enables the continuous transitioning between biased and debiased states of models, enhancing personalization of use and interpretability through controllability.

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STable: Table Generation Framework for Encoder-Decoder Models
Michał Pietruszka | Michał Turski | Łukasz Borchmann | Tomasz Dwojak | Gabriela Nowakowska | Karolina Szyndler | Dawid Jurkiewicz | Łukasz Garncarek

The output structure of database-like tables, consisting of values structured in horizontal rows and vertical columns identifiable by name, can cover a wide range of NLP tasks. Following this constatation, we propose a framework for text-to-table neural models applicable to problems such as extraction of line items, joint entity and relation extraction, or knowledge base population. The permutation-based decoder of our proposal is a generalized sequential method that comprehends information from all cells in the table. The training maximizes the expected log-likelihood for a table’s content across all random permutations of the factorization order. During the content inference, we exploit the model’s ability to generate cells in any order by searching over possible orderings to maximize the model’s confidence and avoid substantial error accumulation, which other sequential models are prone to. Experiments demonstrate a high practical value of the framework, which establishes state-of-the-art results on several challenging datasets, outperforming previous solutions by up to 15\\%.

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A RelEntLess Benchmark for Modelling Graded Relations between Named Entities
Asahi Ushio | Jose Camacho-Collados | Steven Schockaert

Relations such as “is influenced by”, “is known for” or “is a competitor of” are inherently graded: we can rank entity pairs based on how well they satisfy these relations, but it is hard to draw a line between those pairs that satisfy them and those that do not. Such graded relations play a central role in many applications, yet they are typically not covered by existing Knowledge Graphs. In this paper, we consider the possibility of using Large Language Models (LLMs) to fill this gap. To this end, we introduce a new benchmark, in which entity pairs have to be ranked according to how much they satisfy a given graded relation. The task is formulated as a few-shot ranking problem, where models only have access to a description of the relation and five prototypical instances. We use the proposed benchmark to evaluate state-of-the-art relation embedding strategies as well as several publicly available LLMs and closed conversational models such as GPT-4. We find that smaller language models struggle to outperform a naive baseline. Overall, the best results are obtained with the 11B parameter Flan-T5 model and the 13B parameter OPT model, where further increasing the model size does not seem to be beneficial. For all models, a clear gap with human performance remains.

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A Multimodal Framework to Detect Target Aware Aggression in Memes
Shawly Ahsan | Eftekhar Hossain | Omar Sharif | Avishek Das | Mohammed Moshiul Hoque | M. Dewan

Internet memes have gained immense traction as a medium for individuals to convey emotions, thoughts, and perspectives on social media. While memes often serve as sources of humor and entertainment, they can also propagate offensive, incendiary, or harmful content, deliberately targeting specific individuals or communities. Identifying such memes is challenging because of their satirical and cryptic characteristics. Most contemporary research on memes’ detrimental facets is skewed towards high-resource languages, often sidelining the unique challenges tied to low-resource languages, such as Bengali. To facilitate this research in low-resource languages, this paper presents a novel dataset MIMOSA (MultIMOdal aggreSsion dAtaset) in Bengali. MIMOSA encompasses 4,848 annotated memes across five aggression target categories: Political, Gender, Religious, Others, and non-aggressive. We also propose MAF (Multimodal Attentive Fusion), a simple yet effective approach that uses multimodal context to detect the aggression targets. MAF captures the selective modality-specific features of the input meme and jointly evaluates them with individual modality features. Experiments on MIMOSA exhibit that the proposed method outperforms several state-of-the-art rivaling approaches. Our code and data are available at

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Graph Guided Question Answer Generation for Procedural Question-Answering
Hai Pham | Isma Hadji | Xinnuo Xu | Ziedune Degutyte | Jay Rainey | Evangelos Kazakos | Afsaneh Fazly | Georgios Tzimiropoulos | Brais Martinez

In this paper, we focus on task-specific question answering (QA). To this end, we introduce a method for generating exhaustive and high-quality training data, which allows us to train compact (e.g., run on a mobile device), task-specific QA models that are competitive against GPT variants. The key technological enabler is a novel mechanism for automatic question-answer generation from procedural text which can ingest large amounts of textual instructions and produce exhaustive in-domain QA training data. While current QA data generation methods can produce well-formed and varied data, their non-exhaustive nature is sub-optimal for training a QA model. In contrast, we leverage the highly structured aspect of procedural text and represent each step and the overall flow of the procedure as graphs. We then condition on graph nodes to automatically generate QA pairs in an exhaustive and controllable manner. Comprehensive evaluations of our method show that: 1) small models trained with our data achieve excellent performance on the target QA task, even exceeding that of GPT3 and ChatGPT despite being several orders of magnitude smaller. 2) semantic coverage is the key indicator for downstream QA performance. Crucially, while large language models excel at syntactic diversity, this does not necessarily result in improvements on the end QA model. In contrast, the higher semantic coverage provided by our method is critical for QA performance.

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Contrastive Decoding Reduces Hallucinations in Large Multilingual Machine Translation Models
Jonas Waldendorf | Barry Haddow | Alexandra Birch

In Neural Machine Translation (NMT), models will sometimes generate repetitive or fluent output that is not grounded in the source sentence. This phenomenon is known as hallucination and is a problem even in large-scale multilingual translation models. We propose to use Contrastive Decoding, an algorithm developed to improve generation from unconditional language models, to mitigate hallucinations in NMT. Specifically, we maximise the log-likelihood difference between a model and the same model with reduced contribution from the encoder outputs. Additionally, we propose an alternative implementation of Contrastive Decoding that dynamically weights the difference based on the maximum probability in the output distribution to reduce the effect of CD when the model is confident of its prediction. We evaluate our methods using the Small (418M) and Medium (1.2B) M2M models across 21 low and medium-resource language pairs. Our results show a 14.6 ± 0.5 and 11.0 ± 0.6 maximal increase in the mean COMET scores for the Small and Medium models on those sentences for which the M2M models initially generate a hallucination., respectively.

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Leveraging fine-tuned Large Language Models with LoRA for Effective Claim, Claimer, and Claim Object Detection
Sotiris Kotitsas | Panagiotis Kounoudis | Eleni Koutli | Haris Papageorgiou

Misinformation and disinformation phenomena existed long before the advent of digital technologies. The exponential use of social media platforms, whose information feeds have created the conditions for many to many communication and instant amplification of the news has accelerated the diffusion of inaccurate and misleading information. As a result, the identification of claims have emerged as a pivotal technology for combating the influence of misinformation and disinformation within news media. Most existing work has concentrated on claim analysis at the sentence level, neglecting the crucial exploration of supplementary attributes such as the claimer and the claim object of the claim or confining it by limiting its scope to a predefined list of topics. Furthermore, previous research has been mostly centered around political debates, Wikipedia articles, and COVID-19 related content. By leveraging the advanced capabilities of Large Language Models (LLMs) in Natural Language Understanding (NLU) and text generation, we propose a novel architecture utilizing LLMs finetuned with LoRA to transform the claim, claimer and claim object detection task into a Question Answering (QA) setting. We evaluate our approach in a dataset of 867 scientific news articles of 3 domains (Health, Climate Change, Nutrition) (HCN), which are human annotated with the major claim, the claimer and the object of the major claim. We also evaluate our proposed model in the benchmark dataset of NEWSCLAIMS. Experimental and qualitative results showcase the effectiveness of the proposed approach. We make our dataset publicly available to encourage further research.

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Should I try multiple optimizers when fine-tuning a pre-trained Transformer for NLP tasks? Should I tune their hyperparameters?
Nefeli Gkouti | Prodromos Malakasiotis | Stavros Toumpis | Ion Androutsopoulos

NLP research has explored different neural model architectures and sizes, datasets, training objectives, and transfer learning techniques. However, the choice of optimizer during training has not been explored as extensively. Typically, some variant of Stochastic Gradient Descent (SGD) is employed, selected among numerous variants, using unclear criteria, often with minimal or no tuning of the optimizer’s hyperparameters. Experimenting with five GLUE datasets, two models (DistilBERT and DistilRoBERTa), and seven popular optimizers (SGD, SGD with Momentum, Adam, AdaMax, Nadam, AdamW, and AdaBound), we find that when the hyperparameters of the optimizers are tuned, there is no substantial difference in test performance across the five more elaborate (adaptive) optimizers, despite differences in training loss. Furthermore, tuning just the learning rate is in most cases as good as tuning all the hyperparameters. Hence, we recommend picking any of the best-behaved adaptive optimizers (e.g., Adam) and tuning only its learning rate. When no hyperparameter can be tuned, SGD with Momentum is the best choice.

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GUMsley: Evaluating Entity Salience in Summarization for 12 English Genres
Jessica Lin | Amir Zeldes

As NLP models become increasingly capable of understanding documents in terms of coherent entities rather than strings, obtaining the most salient entities for each document is not only an important end task in itself but also vital for Information Retrieval (IR) and other downstream applications such as controllable summarization. In this paper, we present and evaluate GUMsley, the first entity salience dataset covering all named and non-named salient entities for 12 genres of English text, aligned with entity types, Wikification links and full coreference resolution annotations. We promote a strict definition of salience using human summaries and demonstrate high inter-annotator agreement for salience based on whether a source entity is mentioned in the summary. Our evaluation shows poor performance by pre-trained SOTA summarization models and zero-shot LLM prompting in capturing salient entities in generated summaries. We also show that predicting or providing salient entities to several model architectures enhances performance and helps derive higher-quality summaries by alleviating the entity hallucination problem in existing abstractive summarization.

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Sensitivity, Performance, Robustness: Deconstructing the Effect of Sociodemographic Prompting
Tilman Beck | Hendrik Schuff | Anne Lauscher | Iryna Gurevych

Annotators’ sociodemographic backgrounds (i.e., the individual compositions of their gender, age, educational background, etc.) have a strong impact on their decisions when working on subjective NLP tasks, such as toxic language detection. Often, heterogeneous backgrounds result in high disagreements. To model this variation, recent work has explored sociodemographic prompting, a technique, which steers the output of prompt-based models towards answers that humans with specific sociodemographic profiles would give. However, the available NLP literature disagrees on the efficacy of this technique — it remains unclear for which tasks and scenarios it can help, and the role of the individual factors in sociodemographic prompting is still unexplored. We address this research gap by presenting the largest and most comprehensive study of sociodemographic prompting today. We use it to analyze its influence on model sensitivity, performance and robustness across seven datasets and six instruction-tuned model families. We show that sociodemographic information affects model predictions and can be beneficial for improving zero-shot learning in subjective NLP tasks.However, its outcomes largely vary for different model types, sizes, and datasets, and are subject to large variance with regards to prompt formulations. Most importantly, our results show that sociodemographic prompting should be used with care when used for data annotation or studying LLM alignment.

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Threat Behavior Textual Search by Attention Graph Isomorphism
Chanwoo Bae | Guanhong Tao | Zhuo Zhang | Xiangyu Zhang

Cyber attacks cause over $1 trillion loss every year. An important task for cyber security analysts is attack forensics. It entails understanding malware behaviors and attack origins. However, existing automated or manual malware analysis can only disclose a subset of behaviors due to inherent difficulties (e.g., malware cloaking and obfuscation). As such, analysts often resort to text search techniques to identify existing malware reports based on the symptoms they observe, exploiting the fact that malware samples share a lot of similarity, especially those from the same origin. In this paper, we propose a novel malware behavior search technique that is based on graph isomorphism at the attention layers of Transformer models. We also compose a large dataset collected from various agencies to facilitate such research.Our technique outperforms state-of-the-art methods, such as those based on sentence embeddings and keywords by 6-14%. In the case study of 10 real-world malwares, our technique can correctly attribute 8 of them to their ground truth origins while using Google only works for 3 cases.

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Identifying Narrative Content in Podcast Transcripts
Yosra Abdessamed | Shadi Rezapour | Steven Wilson

As one of the oldest forms of human communication, narratives appear across a variety of genres and media. Computational methods have been applied to study narrativity in novels, social media, and patient records, leading to new approaches and insights. However, other types of media are growing in popularity, like podcasts. Podcasts contain a multitude of spoken narratives that can provide a meaningful glimpse into how people share stories with one another.In this paper, we outline and apply methods to process English-language podcast transcripts and extract narrative content from conversations within each episode. We provide an initial analysis of the types of narrative content that exists within a wide range of podcasts, and compare our results to other established narrative analysis tools.Our annotations for narrativity and pretrained models can help to enable future research into narrativity within a large corpus of approximately 100,000 podcast episodes.

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Frequency Explains the Inverse Correlation of Large Language Models’ Size, Training Data Amount, and Surprisal’s Fit to Reading Times
Byung-Doh Oh | Shisen Yue | William Schuler

Recent studies have shown that as Transformer-based language models become larger and are trained on very large amounts of data, the fit of their surprisal estimates to naturalistic human reading times degrades. The current work presents a series of analyses showing that word frequency is a key explanatory factor underlying these two trends. First, residual errors from four language model families on four corpora show that the inverse correlation between model size and fit to reading times is the strongest on the subset of least frequent words, which is driven by excessively accurate predictions of larger model variants. Additionally, training dynamics reveal that during later training steps, all model variants learn to predict rare words and that larger model variants do so more accurately, which explains the detrimental effect of both training data amount and model size on fit to reading times. Finally, a feature attribution analysis demonstrates that larger model variants are able to accurately predict rare words based on both an effectively longer context window size as well as stronger local associations compared to smaller model variants. Taken together, these results indicate that Transformer-based language models’ surprisal estimates diverge from human-like expectations due to the superhumanly complex associations they learn for predicting rare words.

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Presentations by the Humans and For the Humans: Harnessing LLMs for Generating Persona-Aware Slides from Documents
Ishani Mondal | Shwetha S | Anandhavelu Natarajan | Aparna Garimella | Sambaran Bandyopadhyay | Jordan Boyd-Graber

Scientific papers and slides are two different representations of the same underlying information, but both require substantial work to prepare. While there had been prior efforts on automating document-to-slides generation, there is still a pressing need of customizing the presentation of content aligning with the persona of target audience or duration of presentation. This paper first introduces the concept of end-user specification-aware document to slides conversion that incorporates end-user specifications into the conversion process. For this, we initially introduce a new dataset reuse the existing SciDuet dataset consisting of pairs of papers and corresponding slides decks from recent years’ *ACL conferences to create four persona-aware configurations. Secondly, we present Persona-Aware-D2S, a novel approach by finetuning LLMs using target audience feedback to create persona-aware slides from scientific documents. Our evaluation on both automated metrics and qualitative human evaluation suggests that by incorporating end-user specifications into the conversion process, our model can create presentations that are not only informative but also tailored to expectations and cognitive abilities of target audience.

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ToPro: Token-Level Prompt Decomposition for Cross-Lingual Sequence Labeling Tasks
Bolei Ma | Ercong Nie | Shuzhou Yuan | Helmut Schmid | Michael Färber | Frauke Kreuter | Hinrich Schuetze

Prompt-based methods have been successfully applied to multilingual pretrained language models for zero-shot cross-lingual understanding. However, most previous studies primarily focused on sentence-level classification tasks, and only a few considered token-level labeling tasks such as Named Entity Recognition (NER) and Part-of-Speech (POS) tagging. In this paper, we propose Token-Level Prompt Decomposition (ToPro), which facilitates the prompt-based method for token-level sequence labeling tasks. The ToPro method decomposes an input sentence into single tokens and applies one prompt template to each token. Our experiments on multilingual NER and POS tagging datasets demonstrate that ToPro-based fine-tuning outperforms Vanilla fine-tuning and Prompt-Tuning in zero-shot cross-lingual transfer, especially for languages that are typologically different from the source language English. Our method also attains state-of-the-art performance when employed with the mT5 model. Besides, our exploratory study in multilingual large language models shows that ToPro performs much better than the current in-context learning method. Overall, the performance improvements show that ToPro could potentially serve as a novel and simple benchmarking method for sequence labeling tasks.

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Small Language Models Improve Giants by Rewriting Their Outputs
Giorgos Vernikos | Arthur Brazinskas | Jakub Adamek | Jonathan Mallinson | Aliaksei Severyn | Eric Malmi

Despite the impressive performance of large language models (LLMs), theyoften lag behind specialized models in various tasks. LLMs only use a fractionof the existing training data for in-context learning, while task-specificmodels harness the full dataset for fine-tuning. In this work, we tackle theproblem of leveraging training data to improve the performance of LLMs withoutfine-tuning. Our approach directly targets LLM predictions without requiringaccess to their weights. We create a pool of candidates from the LLM throughfew-shot prompting and we employ a compact model, the LM-corrector (LMCor),specifically trained to merge these candidates to produce an enhanced output.Our experiments on four natural language generation tasks demonstrate that evena small LMCor model (250M) substantially improves the few-shot performance ofLLMs (62B), matching and even outperforming standard fine-tuning. Furthermore,we illustrate the robustness of LMCor against different prompts, therebyminimizing the need for extensive prompt engineering. Finally, we show thatLMCor can be seamlessly integrated with different LLMs at inference, serving asa plug-and-play module to improve their performance.

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Unintended Bias Detection and Mitigation in Misogynous Memes
Gitanjali Kumari | Anubhav Sinha | Asif Ekbal

Online sexism has become a concerning issue in recent years, especially conveyed through memes. Although this alarming phenomenon has triggered many studies from computational linguistic and natural language processing points of view, less effort has been spent analyzing if those misogyny detection models are affected by an unintended bias. Such biases can lead models to incorrectly label non-misogynous memes misogynous due to specific identity terms, perpetuating harmful stereotypes and reinforcing negative attitudes. This paper presents the first and most comprehensive approach to measure and mitigate unintentional bias in the misogynous memes detection model, aiming to develop effective strategies to counter their harmful impact. Our proposed model, the Contextualized Scene Graph-based Multimodal Network (CTXSGMNet), is an integrated architecture that combines VisualBERT, a CLIP-LSTM-based memory network, and an unbiased scene graph module with supervised contrastive loss, achieves state-of-the-art performance in mitigating unintentional bias in misogynous memes.Empirical evaluation, including both qualitative and quantitative analysis, demonstrates the effectiveness of our CTXSGMNet framework on the SemEval-2022 Task 5 (MAMI task) dataset, showcasing its promising performance in terms of Equity of Odds and F1 score. Additionally, we assess the generalizability of the proposed model by evaluating their performance on a few benchmark meme datasets, providing a comprehensive understanding of our approach’s efficacy across diverse datasets.

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A Weak Supervision Approach for Few-Shot Aspect Based Sentiment Analysis
Robert Vacareanu | Siddharth Varia | Kishaloy Halder | Shuai Wang | Giovanni Paolini | Neha Anna John | Miguel Ballesteros | Smaranda Muresan

We explore how weak supervision on abundant unlabeled data can be leveraged to improve few-shot performance in aspect-based sentiment analysis (ABSA) tasks. We propose a pipeline approach to construct a noisy ABSA dataset, and we use it to adapt a pre-trained sequence-to-sequence model to the ABSA tasks. We test the resulting model on three widely used ABSA datasets, before and after fine-tuning. Our proposed method preserves the full fine-tuning performance while showing significant improvements (15.84 absolute F1) in the few-shot learning scenario for the harder tasks. In zero-shot (i.e., without fine-tuning), our method outperforms the previous state of the art on the aspect extraction sentiment classification (AESC) task and is, additionally, capable of performing the harder aspect sentiment triplet extraction (ASTE) task.

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Counterfactual Reasoning with Knowledge Graph Embeddings
Lena Zellinger | Andreas Stephan | Benjamin Roth

Knowledge graph embeddings (KGEs) were originally developed to infer true but missing facts in incomplete knowledge repositories.In this paper, we link knowledge graph completion and counterfactual reasoning via our new task CFKGR. We model the original world state as a knowledge graph, hypothetical scenarios as edges added to the graph, and plausible changes to the graph as inferences from logical rules. We create corresponding benchmark datasets, which contain diverse hypothetical scenarios with plausible changes to the original knowledge graph and facts that should be retained. We develop COULDD, a general method for adapting existing knowledge graph embeddings given a hypothetical premise, and evaluate it on our benchmark. Our results indicate that KGEs learn patterns in the graph without explicit training. We further observe that KGEs adapted with COULDD solidly detect plausible counterfactual changes to the graph that follow these patterns. An evaluation on human-annotated data reveals that KGEs adapted with COULDD are mostly unable to recognize changes to the graph that do not follow learned inference rules. In contrast, ChatGPT mostly outperforms KGEs in detecting plausible changes to the graph but has poor knowledge retention. In summary, CFKGR connects two previously distinct areas, namely KG completion and counterfactual reasoning.

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System-Level Natural Language Feedback
Weizhe Yuan | Kyunghyun Cho | Jason Weston

Natural language (NL) feedback offers rich insights into user experience. While existing studies focus on an instance-level approach, where feedback is used to refine specific examples, we introduce a framework for system-level use of NL feedback. We show how to use feedback to formalize system-level design decisions in a human-in-the-loop-process – in order to produce better models. In particular this is done through: (i) metric design for tasks; and (ii) language model prompt design for refining model responses. We conduct two case studies of this approach for improving search query and dialog response generation, demonstrating the effectiveness of system-level feedback. We show the combination of system-level and instance-level feedback brings further gains, and that human written instance-level feedback results in more grounded refinements than GPT-3.5 written ones, underlying the importance of human feedback for building systems.

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Syntactic Preposing and Discourse Relations
Yunfang Dong | Xixian Liao | Bonnie Webber

Over 15 years ago, Ward & Birner (2006) suggested that non-canonical constructions in English can serve both to mark information status and to structure the information flow of discourse. One such construction is preposing, where a phrasal constituent appears to the left of its canonical position, typically sentence-initially. But computational work on discourse has, to date, ignored non-canonical syntax. We take account of non-canonical syntax by providing quantitative evidence relating NP/PP preposing to discourse relations. The evidence comes from an LLM mask-filling task that compares the predictions when a mask is inserted between the arguments of an implicit inter-sentential discourse relation — first, when the right-hand argument (Arg2) starts with a preposed constituent, and again, when that constituent is in canonical (post-verbal) position. Results show that (1) the top-ranked mask-fillers in the preposed case agree more often with “gold” annotations in the Penn Discourse TreeBank than they do in the latter case, and (2) preposing in Arg2 can affect the distribution of discourse-relational senses.

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Can we obtain significant success in RST discourse parsing by using Large Language Models?
Aru Maekawa | Tsutomu Hirao | Hidetaka Kamigaito | Manabu Okumura

Recently, decoder-only pre-trained large language models (LLMs), with several tens of billion parameters, have significantly impacted a wide range of natural language processing (NLP) tasks. While encoder-only or encoder-decoder pre-trained language models have already proved to be effective in discourse parsing, the extent to which LLMs can perform this task remains an open research question. Therefore, this paper explores how beneficial such LLMs are for Rhetorical Structure Theory (RST) discourse parsing. Here, the parsing process for both fundamental top-down and bottom-up strategies is converted into prompts, which LLMs can work with. We employ Llama 2 and fine-tune it with QLoRA, which has fewer parameters that can be tuned. Experimental results on three benchmark datasets, RST-DT, Instr-DT, and the GUM corpus, demonstrate that Llama 2 with 70 billion parameters in the bottom-up strategy obtained state-of-the-art (SOTA) results with significant differences. Furthermore, our parsers demonstrated generalizability when evaluated on RST-DT, showing that, in spite of being trained with the GUM corpus, it obtained similar performances to those of existing parsers trained with RST-DT.

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Ameli: Enhancing Multimodal Entity Linking with Fine-Grained Attributes
Barry Yao | Sijia Wang | Yu Chen | Qifan Wang | Minqian Liu | Zhiyang Xu | Licheng Yu | Lifu Huang

We propose attribute-aware multimodal entity linking, where the input consists of a mention described with a text paragraph and images, and the goal is to predict the corresponding target entity from a multimodal knowledge base (KB) where each entity is also accompanied by a text description, visual images, and a collection of attributes that present the meta-information of the entity in a structured format. To facilitate this research endeavor, we construct Ameli, encompassing a new multimodal entity linking benchmark dataset that contains 16,735 mentions described in text and associated with 30,472 images, and a multimodal knowledge base that covers 34,690 entities along with 177,873 entity images and 798,216 attributes. To establish baseline performance on Ameli, we experiment with several state-of-the-art architectures for multimodal entity linking and further propose a new approach that incorporates attributes of entities into disambiguation. Experimental results and extensive qualitative analysis demonstrate that extracting and understanding the attributes of mentions from their text descriptions and visual images play a vital role in multimodal entity linking. To the best of our knowledge, we are the first to integrate attributes in the multimodal entity linking task. The programs, model checkpoints, and the dataset are publicly available at

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Generative Dense Retrieval: Memory Can Be a Burden
Peiwen Yuan | Xinglin Wang | Shaoxiong Feng | Boyuan Pan | Yiwei Li | Heda Wang | Xupeng Miao | Kan Li

Generative Retrieval (GR), autoregressively decoding relevant document identifiers given a query, has been shown to perform well under the setting of small-scale corpora. By memorizing the document corpus with model parameters, GR implicitly achieves deep interaction between query and document. However, such a memorizing mechanism faces three drawbacks: (1) Poor memory accuracy for fine-grained features of documents; (2) Memory confusion gets worse as the corpus size increases; (3) Huge memory update costs for new documents. To alleviate these problems, we propose the Generative Dense Retrieval (GDR) paradigm. Specifically, GDR first uses the limited memory volume to achieve inter-cluster matching from query to relevant document clusters. Memorizing-free matching mechanism from Dense Retrieval (DR) is then introduced to conduct fine-grained intra-cluster matching from clusters to relevant documents. The coarse-to-fine process maximizes the advantages of GR’s deep interaction and DR’s scalability. Besides, we design a cluster identifier constructing strategy to facilitate corpus memory and a cluster-adaptive negative sampling strategy to enhance the intra-cluster mapping ability. Empirical results show that GDR obtains an average of 3.0 R@100 improvement on NQ dataset under multiple settings and has better scalability.

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Backward Compatibility During Data Updates by Weight Interpolation
Raphael Schumann | Elman Mansimov | Yi-An Lai | Nikolaos Pappas | Xibin Gao | Yi Zhang

Backward compatibility of model predictions is a desired property when updating a machine learning driven application. It allows to seamlessly improve the underlying model without introducing regression bugs. In classification tasks these bugs occur in the form of negative flips. This means an instance that was correctly classified by the old model is now classified incorrectly by the updated model. This has direct negative impact on the user experience of such systems e.g. a frequently used voice assistant query is suddenly misclassified.A common reason to update the model is when new training data becomes available and needs to be incorporated. Simply retraining the model with the updated data introduces the unwanted negative flips. We study the problem of regression during data updates and propose Backward Compatible Weight Interpolation (BCWI). This method interpolates between the weights of the old and new model and we show in extensive experiments that it reduces negative flips without sacrificing the improved accuracy of the new model. BCWI is straight forward to implement and does not increase inference cost. We also explore the use of importance weighting during interpolation and averaging the weights of multiple new models in order to further reduce negative flips.

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Gradient-Based Language Model Red Teaming
Nevan Wichers | Carson Denison | Ahmad Beirami

Red teaming is a common strategy for identifying weaknesses in generative language models (LMs) by producing adversarial prompts that trigger models to generate unsafe responses. Red teaming is instrumental for both model alignment and evaluation, but is labor-intensive and difficult to scale when done by humans. In this paper, we present Gradient-Based Red Teaming (GBRT), a novel red teaming method for automatically generating diverse prompts that are likely to cause an LM to output unsafe responses. GBRT is a form of prompt learning, trained by scoring an LM response with a safety classifier and then backpropagating through the frozen safety classifier and LM to update the prompt. To improve the coherence of input prompts, we introduce two variants that add a realism loss and fine-tune a pretrained model to generate the prompts instead of learning the prompts directly. Our experiments show that GBRT is more effective at finding prompts that trigger an LM to generate unsafe responses than a strong reinforcement learning-based red teaming approach and works even when the LM has been fine-tuned to produce safer outputs.

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Do Moral Judgment and Reasoning Capability of LLMs Change with Language? A Study using the Multilingual Defining Issues Test
Aditi Khandelwal | Utkarsh Agarwal | Kumar Tanmay | Monojit Choudhury

This paper explores the moral judgment and moral reasoning abilities exhibited by Large Language Models (LLMs) across languages through the Defining Issues Test. It is a well known fact that moral judgment depends on the language in which the question is asked. We extend the work of beyond English, to 5 new languages (Chinese, Hindi, Russian, Spanish and Swahili), and probe three LLMs – ChatGPT, GPT-4 and Llama2Chat-70B – that shows substantial multilingual text processing and generation abilities. Our study shows that the moral reasoning ability for all models, as indicated by the post-conventional score, is substantially inferior for Hindi and Swahili, compared to Spanish, Russian, Chinese and English, while there is no clear trend for the performance of the latter four languages. The moral judgments too vary considerably by the language.

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Analyzing the Evaluation of Cross-Lingual Knowledge Transfer in Multilingual Language Models
Sara Rajaee | Christof Monz

Recent advances in training multilingual language models on large datasets seem to have shown promising results in knowledge transfer across languages and achieve high performance on downstream tasks. However, we question to what extent the current evaluation benchmarks and setups accurately measure zero-shot cross-lingual knowledge transfer. In this work, we challenge the assumption that high zero-shot performance on target tasks reflects high cross-lingual ability by introducing more challenging setups involving instances with multiple languages. Through extensive experiments and analysis, we show that the observed high performance of multilingual models can be largely attributed to factors not requiring the transfer of actual linguistic knowledge, such as task- and surface-level knowledge. More specifically, we observe what has been transferred across languages is mostly data artifacts and biases, especially for low-resource languages. Our findings highlight the overlooked drawbacks of existing cross-lingual test data and evaluation setups, calling for a more nuanced understanding of the cross-lingual capabilities of multilingual models.

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Large-Scale Label Interpretation Learning for Few-Shot Named Entity Recognition
Jonas Golde | Felix Hamborg | Alan Akbik

Few-shot named entity recognition (NER) detects named entities within text using only a few annotated examples. One promising line of research is to leverage natural language descriptions of each entity type: the common label PER might, for example, be verbalized as ”person entity.” In an initial label interpretation learning phase, the model learns to interpret such verbalized descriptions of entity types. In a subsequent few-shot tagset extension phase, this model is then given a description of a previously unseen entity type (such as ”music album”) and optionally a few training examples to perform few-shot NER for this type. In this paper, we systematically explore the impact of a strong semantic prior to interpret verbalizations of new entity types by massively scaling up the number and granularity of entity types used for label interpretation learning. To this end, we leverage an entity linking benchmark to create a dataset with orders of magnitude of more distinct entity types and descriptions as currently used datasets. We find that this increased signal yields strong results in zero- and few-shot NER in in-domain, cross-domain, and even cross-lingual settings. Our findings indicate significant potential for improving few-shot NER through heuristical data-based optimization.

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MLCopilot: Unleashing the Power of Large Language Models in Solving Machine Learning Tasks
Lei Zhang | Yuge Zhang | Kan Ren | Dongsheng Li | Yuqing Yang

The field of machine learning (ML) has gained widespread adoption, leading to significant demand for adapting ML to specific scenarios, which is yet expensive and non-trivial. The predominant approaches towards the automation of solving ML tasks (e.g., AutoML) are often time-consuming and hard to understand for human developers. In contrast, though human engineers have the incredible ability to understand tasks and reason about solutions, their experience and knowledge are often sparse and difficult to utilize by quantitative approaches. In this paper, we aim to bridge the gap between machine intelligence and human knowledge by introducing a novel framework MLCopilot, which leverages the state-of-the-art large language models to develop ML solutions for novel tasks. We showcase the possibility of extending the capability of LLMs to comprehend structured inputs and perform thorough reasoning for solving novel ML tasks. And we find that, after some dedicated design, the LLM can (i) observe from the existing experiences of ML tasks and (ii) reason effectively to deliver promising results for new tasks. The solution generated can be used directly to achieve high levels of competitiveness.

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Text-Guided Image Clustering
Andreas Stephan | Lukas Miklautz | Kevin Sidak | Jan Philip Wahle | Bela Gipp | Claudia Plant | Benjamin Roth

Image clustering divides a collection of images into meaningful groups, typically interpreted post-hoc via human-given annotations. Those are usually in the form of text, begging the question of using text as an abstraction for image clustering. Current image clustering methods, however, neglect the use of generated textual descriptions. We, therefore, propose Text-Guided Image Clustering, i.e., generating text using image captioning and visual question-answering (VQA) models and subsequently clustering the generated text. Further, we introduce a novel approach to inject task- or domain knowledge for clustering by prompting VQA models. Across eight diverse image clustering datasets, our results show that the obtained text representations often outperform image features. Additionally, we propose a counting-based cluster explainability method. Our evaluations show that the derived keyword-based explanations describe clusters better than the respective cluster accuracy suggests. Overall, this research challenges traditional approaches and paves the way for a paradigm shift in image clustering, using generated text.

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CCPrefix: Counterfactual Contrastive Prefix-Tuning for Many-Class Classification
Yang Li | Canran Xu | Guodong Long | Tao Shen | Chongyang Tao | Jing Jiang

Recently, prefix-tuning was proposed to efficiently adapt pre-trained language models to a broad spectrum of natural language classification tasks. It leverages soft prefix as task-specific indicators and language verbalizers as categorical-label mentions to narrow the formulation gap from pre-training language models. However, when the label space increases considerably (i.e., many-class classification), such a tuning technique suffers from a verbalizer ambiguity problem since the many-class labels are represented by semantic-similar verbalizers in short language phrases. To overcome this, inspired by the human-decision process that the most ambiguous classes would be mulled over for an instance, we propose a brand-new prefix-tuning method, Counterfactual Contrastive Prefix-tuning (CCPrefix), for many-class classification. Basically, an instance-dependent soft prefix, derived from fact-counterfactual pairs in the label space, is leveraged to complement the language verbalizers in many-class classification. We conduct experiments on many-class benchmark datasets in both the fully supervised setting and the few-shot setting, which indicates that our model outperforms former baselines.