Proceedings of the 2024 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies (Volume 3: System Demonstrations)

Kai-Wei Chang, Annie Lee, Nazneen Rajani (Editors)

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Mexico City, Mexico
Association for Computational Linguistics
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Proceedings of the 2024 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies (Volume 3: System Demonstrations)
Kai-Wei Chang | Annie Lee | Nazneen Rajani

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TOPICAL: TOPIC Pages AutomagicaLly
John Giorgi | Amanpreet Singh | Doug Downey | Sergey Feldman | Lucy Wang

Topic pages aggregate useful information about an entity or concept into a single succinct and accessible article. Automated creation of topic pages would enable their rapid curation as information resources, providing an alternative to traditional web search. While most prior work has focused on generating topic pages about biographical entities, in this work, we develop a completely automated process to generate high-quality topic pages for scientific entities, with a focus on biomedical concepts. We release TOPICAL, a web app and associated open-source code, comprising a model pipeline combining retrieval, clustering, and prompting, that makes it easy for anyone to generate topic pages for a wide variety of biomedical entities on demand. In a human evaluation of 150 diverse topic pages generated using TOPICAL, we find that the vast majority were considered relevant, accurate, and coherent, with correct supporting citations. We make all code publicly available and host a free-to-use web app at:

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Low-code LLM: Graphical User Interface over Large Language Models
Yuzhe Cai | Shaoguang Mao | Wenshan Wu | Zehua Wang | Yaobo Liang | Tao Ge | Chenfei Wu | WangYou WangYou | Ting Song | Yan Xia | Nan Duan | Furu Wei

Utilizing Large Language Models (LLMs) for complex tasks is challenging, often involving a time-consuming and uncontrollable prompt engineering process. This paper introduces a novel human-LLM interaction framework, Low-code LLM. It incorporates six types of simple low-code visual programming interactions to achieve more controllable and stable responses. Through visual interaction with a graphical user interface, users can incorporate their ideas into the process without writing trivial prompts. The proposed Low-code LLM framework consists of a Planning LLM that designs a structured planning workflow for complex tasks, which can be correspondingly edited and confirmed by users through low-code visual programming operations, and an Executing LLM that generates responses following the user-confirmed workflow. We highlight three advantages of the low-code LLM: user-friendly interaction, controllable generation, and wide applicability. We demonstrate its benefits using four typical applications. By introducing this framework, we aim to bridge the gap between humans and LLMs, enabling more effective and efficient utilization of LLMs for complex tasks. The code, prompts, and experimental details are available at A system demonstration video can be found at

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EdTec-QBuilder: A Semantic Retrieval Tool for Assembling Vocational Training Exams in German Language
Alonso Palomino | Andreas Fischer | Jakub Kuzilek | Jarek Nitsch | Niels Pinkwart | Benjamin Paassen

Selecting and assembling test items from a validated item database into comprehensive exam forms is an under-researched but significant challenge in education. Search and retrieval methods provide a robust framework to assist educators when filtering and assembling relevant test items. In this work, we present EdTec-QBuilder, a semantic search tool developed to assist vocational educators in assembling exam forms. To implement EdTec-QBuilder’s core search functionality, we evaluated eight retrieval strategies and twenty-five popular pre-trained sentence similarity models. Our evaluation revealed that employing cross-encoders to re-rank an initial list of relevant items is best for assisting vocational trainers in assembling examination forms. Beyond topic-based exam assembly, EdTec-QBuilder aims to provide a crowdsourcing infrastructure enabling manual exam assembly data collection, which is critical for future research and development in assisted and automatic exam assembly models.

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DIALIGHT: Lightweight Multilingual Development and Evaluation of Task-Oriented Dialogue Systems with Large Language Models
Songbo Hu | Xiaobin Wang | Moy Yuan | Anna Korhonen | Ivan Vulić

We present DIALIGHT, a toolkit for developing and evaluating multilingual Task-Oriented Dialogue (ToD) systems which facilitates systematic evaluations and comparisons between ToD systems using fine-tuning of Pretrained Language Models (PLMs) and those utilising the zero-shot and in-context learning capabilities of Large Language Models (LLMs). In addition to automatic evaluation, this toolkit features (i) a secure, user-friendly web interface for fine-grained human evaluation at both local utterance level and global dialogue level, and (ii) a microservice-based backend, improving efficiency and scalability. Our evaluations reveal that while PLM fine-tuning leads to higher accuracy and coherence, LLM-based systems excel in producing diverse and likeable responses. However, we also identify significant challenges of LLMs in adherence to task-specific instructions and generating outputs in multiple languages, highlighting areas for future research. We hope this open-sourced toolkit will serve as a valuable resource for researchers aiming to develop and properly evaluate multilingual ToD systems and will lower, currently still high, entry barriers in the field.

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RTSUM: Relation Triple-based Interpretable Summarization with Multi-level Salience Visualization
Seonglae Cho | Myungha Jang | Jinyoung Yeo | Dongha Lee

In this paper, we present RTSum, an unsupervised summarization framework that utilizes relation triples as the basic unit for summarization. Given an input document, RTSum first selects salient relation triples via multi-level salience scoring and then generates a concise summary from the selected relation triples by using a text-to-text language model. On the basis of RTSum, we also develop a web demo for an interpretable summarizing tool, providing fine-grained interpretations with the output summary. With support for customization options, our tool visualizes the salience for textual units at three distinct levels: sentences, relation triples, and phrases. The code, demo, and video are publicly available.

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Edu-ConvoKit: An Open-Source Library for Education Conversation Data
Rose Wang | Dorottya Demszky

We introduce Edu-ConvoKit, an open-source library designed to handle pre-processing, annotation and analysis of conversation data in education. Resources for analyzing education conversation data are scarce, making the research challenging to perform and therefore hard to access. We address these challenges with Edu-ConvoKit. Edu-ConvoKit is open-source [1], pip-installable [2], with comprehensive documentation [3]. Our demo video is available at: We include additional resources, such as Colab applications of Edu-ConvoKit to three diverse education datasets [4] and a repository of Edu-ConvoKit-related papers [5].[1][2][3][4][5]

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jp-evalb: Robust Alignment-based PARSEVAL Measures
Jungyeul Park | Junrui Wang | Eunkyul Jo | Angela Park

We introduce an evaluation system designed to compute PARSEVAL measures, offering a viable alternative to evalb commonly used for constituency parsing evaluation. The widely used evalb script has traditionally been employed for evaluating the accuracy of constituency parsing results, albeit with the requirement for consistent tokenization and sentence boundaries. In contrast, our approach, named jp-evalb, is founded on an alignment method. This method aligns sentences and words when discrepancies arise. It aims to overcome several known issues associated with evalb by utilizing the ‘jointly preprocessed (JP)’ alignment-based method. We introduce a more flexible and adaptive framework, ultimately contributing to a more accurate assessment of constituency parsing performance.

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OpinionGPT: Modelling Explicit Biases in Instruction-Tuned LLMs
Patrick Haller | Ansar Aynetdinov | Alan Akbik

Instruction-tuned Large Language Models (LLMs) have recently showcased remarkable ability to generate fitting responses to natural language instructions. However, an open research question concerns the inherent biases of trained models and their responses. For instance, if the data used to tune an LLM is dominantly written by persons with a specific political bias, we might expect generated answers to share this bias. Current research work seeks to de-bias such models, or suppress potentially biased answers.With this demonstration, we take a different view on biases in instruction-tuning: Rather than aiming to suppress them, we aim to make them explicit and transparent. To this end, we present OpinionGPT, a web demo in which users can ask questions and select all biases they wish to investigate. The demo will answer this question using a model fine-tuned on text representing each of the selected biases, allowing side-by-side comparison. To train the underlying model, we identified 11 different biases (political, geographic, gender, age) and derived an instruction-tuning corpus in which each answer was written by members of one of these demographics. This paper presents OpinionGPT, illustrates how we trained the bias-aware model and showcases the web application (available at

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ATLAS: A System for PDF-centric Human Interaction Data Collection
Alexa Siu | Zichao Wang | Joshua Hoeflich | Naman Kapasi | Ani Nenkova | Tong Sun

The Portable Document Format (PDF) is a popular format for distributing digital documents. Datasets on PDF reading behaviors and interactions remain limited due to the challenges of instrumenting PDF readers for these data collection tasks. We present ATLAS, a data collection tool designed to better support researchers in collecting rich PDF-centric datasets from users. ATLAS supports researchers in programmatically creating a user interface for data collection that is ready to share with annotators. It includes a toolkit and an extensible schema to easily customize the data collection tasks for a variety of purposes, allowing collection of PDF annotations (e.g., highlights, drawings) as well as reading behavior analytics (e.g., page scroll, text selections). We open-source ATLAS1 to support future research efforts and review use cases of ATLAS that showcase our system’s broad applicability.

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BeLeaf: Belief Prediction as Tree Generation
John Murzaku | Owen Rambow

We present a novel approach to predicting source-and-target factuality by transforming it into a linearized tree generation task. Unlike previous work, our model and representation format fully account for the factuality tree structure, generating the full chain of nested sources instead of the last source only. Furthermore, our linearized tree representation significantly compresses the amount of tokens needed compared to other representations, allowing for fully end-to-end systems. We achieve state-of-the-art results on FactBank and the Modal Dependency Corpus, which are both corpora annotating source-and-target event factuality. Our results on fine-tuning validate the strong generality of the proposed linearized tree generation task, which can be easily adapted to other corpora with a similar structure. We then present BeLeaf, a system which directly leverages the linearized tree representation to create both sentence level and document level visualizations. Our system adds several missing pieces to the source-and-target factuality task such as coreference resolution and event head word to syntactic span conversion. Our demo code is available on and our video is available on

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QueryExplorer: An Interactive Query Generation Assistant for Search and Exploration
Kaustubh Dhole | Shivam Bajaj | Ramraj Chandradevan | Eugene Agichtein

Formulating effective search queries remains a challenging task, particularly when users lack expertise in a specific domain or are not proficient in the language of the content. Providing example documents of interest might be easier for a user. However, such query-by-example scenarios are prone to concept drift, and the retrieval effectiveness is highly sensitive to the query generation method, without a clear way to incorporate user feedback. To enable exploration and to support Human-In-The-Loop experiments we propose QueryExplorer– an interactive query generation, reformulation, and retrieval interface with support for Hug-gingFace generation models and PyTerrier’sretrieval pipelines and datasets, and extensivelogging of human feedback. To allow users to create and modify effective queries, our demo supports complementary approaches of using LLMs interactively, assisting the user with edits and feedback at multiple stages of the query formulation process. With support for recording fine-grained interactions and user annotations, QueryExplorer can serve as a valuable experimental and research platform for annotation, qualitative evaluation, and conducting Human-in-the-Loop (HITL) experiments for complex search tasks where users struggle to formulate queries.

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LMFlow: An Extensible Toolkit for Finetuning and Inference of Large Foundation Models
Shizhe Diao | Rui Pan | Hanze Dong | KaShun Shum | Jipeng Zhang | Wei Xiong | Tong Zhang

Foundation models have demonstrated a great ability to achieve general human-level intelligence far beyond traditional approaches. As the technique keeps attracting attention from the AI community, more and more foundation models have become publicly available.However, most of those models exhibit a major deficiency in specialized-domain and specialized-task applications, where the step of domain- and task-aware finetuning is still required to obtain scientific language models. As the number of available foundation models and specialized tasks keeps growing, the job of training scientific language models becomes highly nontrivial. In this paper, we take the first step to address this issue. We introduce an extensible and lightweight toolkit, LMFlow, which aims to simplify the domain- and task-aware finetuning of general foundation models.LMFlow offers a complete finetuning workflow for a foundation model to support specialized training with limited computing resources.Furthermore, it supports continuous pretraining, instruction tuning, parameter-efficient finetuning, alignment tuning, inference acceleration, long context generalization, model customization, and even multimodal finetuning, along with carefully designed and extensible APIs. This toolkit has been thoroughly tested and is available at

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DOCMASTER: A Unified Platform for Annotation, Training, & Inference in Document Question-Answering
Alex Nguyen | Zilong Wang | Jingbo Shang | Dheeraj Mekala

The application of natural language processing models to PDF documents is pivotal for various business applications yet the challenge of training models for this purpose persists in businesses due to specific hurdles. These include the complexity of working with PDF formats that necessitate parsing text and layout information for curating training data and the lack of privacy-preserving annotation tools. This paper introduces DOCMASTER, a unified platform designed for annotating PDF documents, model training, and inference, tailored to document question-answering. The annotation interface enables users to input questions and highlight text spans within the PDF file as answers, saving layout information and text spans accordingly. Furthermore, DOCMASTER supports both state-of-the-art layout-aware and text models for comprehensive training purposes. Importantly, as annotations, training, and inference occur on-device, it also safeguards privacy. The platform has been instrumental in driving several research prototypes concerning document analysis such as the AI assistant utilized by University of California San Diego’s (UCSD) International Services and Engagement Office (ISEO) for processing a substantial volume of PDF documents.

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RedCoast: A Lightweight Tool to Automate Distributed Training of LLMs on Any GPU/TPUs
Bowen Tan | Yun Zhu | Lijuan Liu | Hongyi Wang | Yonghao Zhuang | Jindong Chen | Eric Xing | Zhiting Hu

The recent progress of AI can be largely attributed to large language models (LLMs). However, their escalating memory requirements introduce challenges for machine learning (ML) researchers and engineers. Addressing this requires developers to partition a large model to distribute it across multiple GPUs or TPUs. This necessitates considerable coding and intricate configuration efforts with existing model parallel tools, such as Megatron-LM, DeepSpeed, and Alpa. These tools require users’ expertise in machine learning systems (MLSys), creating a bottleneck in LLM development, particularly for developers without MLSys background. In this work, we present RedCoast (Redco), a lightweight and user-friendly tool crafted to automate distributed training and inference for LLMs, as well as to simplify ML pipeline development. The design of Redco emphasizes two key aspects. Firstly, to automate model parallelism, our study identifies two straightforward rules to generate tensor parallel strategies for any given LLM. Integrating these rules into Redco facilitates effortless distributed LLM training and inference, eliminating the need of additional coding or complex configurations. We demonstrate the effectiveness by applying Redco on a set of LLM architectures, such as GPT-J, LLaMA, T5, and OPT, up to the size of 66B. Secondly, we propose a mechanism that allows for the customization of diverse ML pipelines through the definition of merely three functions, avoiding redundant and formulaic code like multi-host related processing. This mechanism proves adaptable across a spectrum of ML algorithms, from foundational language modeling to complex algorithms like meta-learning and reinforcement learning. As a result, Redco implementations exhibit significantly fewer lines of code compared to their official counterparts. RedCoast (Redco) has been released under Apache 2.0 license at

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Concept Over Time Analysis: Unveiling Temporal Patterns for Qualitative Data Analysis
Tim Fischer | Florian Schneider | Robert Geislinger | Florian Helfer | Gertraud Koch | Chris Biemann

In this system demonstration paper, we present the Concept Over Time Analysis extension for the Discourse Analysis Tool Suite.The proposed tool empowers users to define, refine, and visualize their concepts of interest within an interactive interface. Adhering to the Human-in-the-loop paradigm, users can give feedback through sentence annotations. Utilizing few-shot sentence classification, the system employs Sentence Transformers to compute representations of sentences and concepts. Through an iterative process involving semantic similarity searches, sentence annotation, and fine-tuning with contrastive data, the model continuously refines, providing users with enhanced analysis outcomes. The final output is a timeline visualization of sentences classified to concepts. Especially suited for the Digital Humanities, Concept Over Time Analysis serves as a valuable tool for qualitative data analysis within extensive datasets. The chronological overview of concepts enables researchers to uncover patterns, trends, and shifts in discourse over time.

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pyvene: A Library for Understanding and Improving PyTorch Models via Interventions
Zhengxuan Wu | Atticus Geiger | Aryaman Arora | Jing Huang | Zheng Wang | Noah Goodman | Christopher Manning | Christopher Potts

Interventions on model-internal states are fundamental operations in many areas of AI, including model editing, steering, robustness, and interpretability. To facilitate such research, we introduce pyvene, an open-source Python library that supports customizable interventions on a range of different PyTorch modules. pyvene supports complex intervention schemes with an intuitive configuration format, and its interventions can be static or include trainable parameters. We show how pyvene provides a unified and extensible framework for performing interventions on neural models and sharing the intervened upon models with others. We illustrate the power of the library via interpretability analyses using causal abstraction and knowledge localization. We publish our library through Python Package Index (PyPI) and provide code, documentation, and tutorials at ‘‘.

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Newspaper Signaling for Crisis Prediction
Prajvi Saxena | Sabine Janzen | Wolfgang Maass

To establish sophisticated monitoring of newspaper articles for detecting crisis-related signals, natural language processing has to cope with unstructured data, media, and cultural bias as well as multiple languages. So far, research on detecting signals in newspaper articles is focusing on structured data, restricted language settings, and isolated application domains. When considering complex crisis-related signals, a high number of diverse newspaper articles in terms of language and culture reduces potential biases. We demonstrate MENDEL – a model for multi-lingual and open-domain newspaper signaling for detecting crisis-related indicators in newspaper articles. The model works with unstructured news data and combines multiple transformer-based models for pre-processing (STANZA) and content filtering (RoBERTa, GPT-3.5). Embedded in a Question-Answering (QA) setting, MENDEL supports multiple languages (>66) and can detect early newspaper signals for open crisis domains in real-time.

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FastFit: Fast and Effective Few-Shot Text Classification with a Multitude of Classes
Asaf Yehudai | Elron Bandel

We present FastFit, a Python package designed to provide fast and accurate few-shot classification, especially for scenarios with many semantically similar classes. FastFit utilizes a novel approach integrating batch contrastive learning and token-level similarity score. Compared to existing few-shot learning packages, such as SetFit, Transformers, or few-shot prompting of large language models via API calls, FastFit significantly improves multi-class classification performance in speed and accuracy across various English and Multilingual datasets. FastFit demonstrates a 3-20x improvement in training speed, completing training in just a few seconds. The FastFit package is now available on GitHub, presenting a user-friendly solution for NLP practitioners.

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AgentQuest: A Modular Benchmark Framework to Measure Progress and Improve LLM Agents
Luca Gioacchini | Giuseppe Siracusano | Davide Sanvito | Kiril Gashteovski | David Friede | Roberto Bifulco | Carolin Lawrence

The advances made by Large Language Models (LLMs) have led to the pursuit of LLM agents that can solve intricate, multi-step reasoning tasks. As with any research pursuit, benchmarking and evaluation are key corner stones to efficient and reliable progress. However, existing benchmarks are often narrow and simply compute overall task success. To face these issues, we propose AgentQuest – a framework where (i) both benchmarks and metrics are modular and easily extensible through well documented and easy-to-use APIs; (ii) we offer two new evaluation metrics that can reliably track LLM agent progress while solving a task. We exemplify the utility of the metrics on two use cases wherein we identify common failure points and refine the agent architecture to obtain a significant performance increase. Together with the research community, we hope to extend AgentQuest further and therefore we make it available under

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ZhuJiu-Knowledge: A Fairer Platform for Evaluating Multiple Knowledge Types in Large Language Models
Pengfan Du | Sirui Liang | Baoli Zhang | Pengfei Cao | Yubo Chen | Kang Liu | Jun Zhao

The swift advancement in large language models (LLMs) has heightened the importance of model evaluations. LLMs have acquired a substantial amount of knowledge, and evaluating the knowledge of these LLMs is crucial. To address this, we introduce the ZhuJiu-Knowledge benchmark which carefully considers the following factors: (1) For knowledge scope, we concentrate on three domains: commonsense knowledge, world knowledge, language knowledge, which comes from ATOMIC, Conceptnet, Wikidata, and Wordnet. (2) For data construction, to prevent data contamination, we utilize knowledge derived from corpora and knowledge graphs to formulate novel questions which are ensured not to appear in the training corpus. A multitude of prompts is purposefully devised to mitigate the impact of prompt design on evaluation and to further analyze the LLMs’ sensitivity to various prompts. (3) For evaluation criteria, we propose a novel voting methodology for assessing generative text, aligning the model’s evaluation with human preferences to reduce biases inherent in individual model assessments. We evaluate 14 current mainstream LLMs and conduct a comprehensive discussion and analysis of their results. The ZhuJiu-Knowledge benchmark and open-participation leaderboard are publicly released at and we also provide a demo video at

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Unitxt: Flexible, Shareable and Reusable Data Preparation and Evaluation for Generative AI
Elron Bandel | Yotam Perlitz | Elad Venezian | Roni Friedman | Ofir Arviv | Matan Orbach | Shachar Don-Yehiya | Dafna Sheinwald | Ariel Gera | Leshem Choshen | Michal Shmueli-Scheuer | Yoav Katz

In the dynamic landscape of generative NLP, traditional text processing pipelines limit research flexibility and reproducibility, as they are tailored to specific dataset, task, and model combinations. The escalating complexity, involving system prompts, model-specific formats, instructions, and more, calls for a shift to a structured, modular, and customizable solution.Addressing this need, we present Unitxt, an innovative library for customizable textual data preparation and evaluation tailored to generative language models. Unitxt natively integrates with common libraries like HuggingFace and LM-eval-harness and deconstructs processing flows into modular components, enabling easy customization and sharing between practitioners. These components encompass model-specific formats, task prompts, and many other comprehensive dataset processing definitions. The Unitxt Catalog centralizes these components, fostering collaboration and exploration in modern textual data workflows. Beyond being a tool, Unitxt is a community-driven platform, empowering users to build, share, and advance their pipelines collaboratively. Join the Unitxt community at