Legal contracts, such as employment or lease agreements, are important documents as they govern the obligations and entitlements of the various contracting parties. However, these documents are typically long and written in legalese resulting in lots of manual hours spent in understanding them. In this paper, we address the task of summarizing legal contracts for each of the contracting parties, to enable faster reviewing and improved understanding of them. Specifically, we collect a dataset consisting of pairwise importance comparison annotations by legal experts for ~293K sentence pairs from lease agreements. We propose a novel extractive summarization system to automatically produce a summary consisting of the most important obligations, entitlements, and prohibitions in a contract. It consists of two modules: (1) a content categorize to identify sentences containing each of the categories (i.e., obligation, entitlement, and prohibition) for a party, and (2) an importance ranker to compare the importance among sentences of each category for a party to obtain a ranked list. The final summary is produced by selecting the most important sentences of a category for each of the parties. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our proposed system by comparing it against several text ranking baselines via automatic and human evaluation.
Legal documents are typically long and written in legalese, which makes it particularly difficult for laypeople to understand their rights and duties. While natural language understanding technologies can be valuable in supporting such understanding in the legal domain, the limited availability of datasets annotated for deontic modalities in the legal domain, due to the cost of hiring experts and privacy issues, is a bottleneck. To this end, we introduce, LEXDEMOD, a corpus of English contracts annotated with deontic modality expressed with respect to a contracting party or agent along with the modal triggers. We benchmark this dataset on two tasks: (i) agent-specific multi-label deontic modality classification, and (ii) agent-specific deontic modality and trigger span detection using Transformer-based (Vaswani et al., 2017) language models. Transfer learning experiments show that the linguistic diversity of modal expressions in LEXDEMOD generalizes reasonably from lease to employment and rental agreements. A small case study indicates that a model trained on LEXDEMOD can detect red flags with high recall. We believe our work offers a new research direction for deontic modality detection in the legal domain.
We present a novel method, DistillAdapt, for the challenging problem of Source-Free Active Domain Adaptation (SF-ADA). The problem requires adapting a pretrained source domain network to a target domain, within a provided budget for acquiring labels in the target domain, while assuming that the source data is not available for adaptation due to privacy concerns or otherwise. DistillAdapt is one of the first approaches for SF-ADA, and holistically addresses the challenges of SF-ADA via a novel Guided Attention Transfer Network (GATN) and an active learning heuristic, H_AL. The GATN enables selective distillation of features from the pre-trained network to the target network using a small subset of annotated target samples mined by H_AL. H_AL acquires samples at batch-level and balances transfer-ability from the pre-trained network and uncertainty of the target network. DistillAdapt is task-agnostic, and can be applied across visual tasks such as classification, segmentation and detection. Moreover, DistillAdapt can handle shifts in output label space. We conduct experiments and extensive ablation studies across 3 visual tasks, viz. digits classification (MNIST, SVHN), synthetic (GTA5) to real (CityScapes) image segmentation, and document layout detection (PubLayNet to DSSE). We show that our source-free approach, DistillAdapt, results in an improvement of 0.5% - 31.3% (across datasets and tasks) over prior adaptation methods that assume access to large amounts of annotated source data for adaptation.
We introduce a new task of entailment relation aware paraphrase generation which aims at generating a paraphrase conforming to a given entailment relation (e.g. equivalent, forward entailing, or reverse entailing) with respect to a given input. We propose a reinforcement learning-based weakly-supervised paraphrasing system, ERAP, that can be trained using existing paraphrase and natural language inference (NLI) corpora without an explicit task-specific corpus. A combination of automated and human evaluations show that ERAP generates paraphrases conforming to the specified entailment relation and are of good quality as compared to the baselines and uncontrolled paraphrasing systems. Using ERAP for augmenting training data for downstream textual entailment task improves performance over an uncontrolled paraphrasing system, and introduces fewer training artifacts, indicating the benefit of explicit control during paraphrasing.
Script Knowledge (Schank and Abelson, 1975) has long been recognized as crucial for language understanding as it can help in filling in unstated information in a narrative. However, such knowledge is expensive to produce manually and difficult to induce from text due to reporting bias (Gordon and Van Durme, 2013). In this work, we are interested in the scientific question of whether explicit script knowledge is present and accessible through pre-trained generative language models (LMs). To this end, we introduce the task of generating full event sequence descriptions (ESDs) given a scenario in the form of natural language prompts. In zero-shot probing experiments, we find that generative LMs produce poor ESDs with mostly omitted, irrelevant, repeated or misordered events. To address this, we propose a pipeline-based script induction framework (SIF) which can generate good quality ESDs for unseen scenarios (e.g., bake a cake). SIF is a two-staged framework that fine-tunes LM on a small set of ESD examples in the first stage. In the second stage, ESD generated for an unseen scenario is post-processed using RoBERTa-based models to filter irrelevant events, remove repetitions, and reorder the temporally misordered events. Through automatic and manual evaluations, we demonstrate that SIF yields substantial improvements ($1$-$3$ BLUE points) over a fine-tuned LM. However, manual analysis shows that there is great room for improvement, offering a new research direction for inducing script knowledge.
Recent times have seen data analytics software applications become an integral part of the decision-making process of analysts. The users of these software applications generate a vast amount of unstructured log data. These logs contain clues to the user's goals, which traditional recommender systems may find difficult to model implicitly from the log data. With this assumption, we would like to assist the analytics process of a user through command recommendations. We categorize the commands into software and data categories based on their purpose to fulfill the task at hand. On the premise that the sequence of commands leading up to a data command is a good predictor of the latter, we design, develop, and validate various sequence modeling techniques. In this paper, we propose a framework to provide goal-driven data command recommendations to the user by leveraging unstructured logs. We use the log data of a web-based analytics software to train our neural network models and quantify their performance, in comparison to relevant and competitive baselines. We propose a custom loss function to tailor the recommended data commands according to the goal information provided exogenously. We also propose an evaluation metric that captures the degree of goal orientation of the recommendations. We demonstrate the promise of our approach by evaluating the models with the proposed metric and showcasing the robustness of our models in the case of adversarial examples, where the user activity is misaligned with selected goal, through offline evaluation.
Content is created for a well-defined purpose, often described by a metric or a signal represented in the form of structured information. The relationship between the metrics or the goal of a target content and the content itself are non-trivial. While large scale language models show promising text generation capabilities, guiding and informing the generated text with external metrics is challenging. These metrics and the content tend to have inherent relationships and not all of them may directly impact the content. We introduce a CaM-Gen: Causally-aware Generative Networks guided by user-defined input metrics incorporating the causal relationships between the metric and the content features. We leverage causal inference techniques to identify the causally significant aspects of text that leads to the target metric and then explicitly guide the generative model towards these by a feedback mechanism. We propose this mechanism for variational autoencoder-based and transformer-based generative models. The proposed models beat baselines in terms of the target metric accuracy while maintaining the fluency and the language quality of the generated text. To the best of our knowledge, this is one of the early attempts at incorporating a metric-guide using causal inference towards controlled generation.
Style transfer has been widely explored in natural language generation with non-parallel corpus by directly or indirectly extracting a notion of style from source and target domain corpus. A common aspect among the existing approaches is the prerequisite of joint annotations across all the stylistic dimensions under consideration. Availability of such dataset across a combination of styles is a limiting factor in extending state-of-the art style transfer setups to multiple style dimensions. While cascading single-dimensional models across multiple styles is a possibility, it suffers from content loss, especially when the style dimensions are not completely independent of each other. In our work, we attempt to relax this restriction on requirement of jointly annotated data across multiple styles being inspected and make use of independently acquired data across different style dimensions without any additional annotations. We initialize an encoder-decoder setup with large transformer-based language models pre-trained on a generic corpus and enhance its re-writing capability to multiple styles by employing multiple language models as discriminators. Through quantitative and qualitative evaluation, we show the ability of our model to control for styles across multiple style-dimensions while preserving content of the input text and compare it against baselines which involve cascaded state-of-the-art uni-dimensional style transfer models.
We describe our system for WNUT-2020 shared task on the identification of informative COVID-19 English tweets. Our system is an ensemble of various machine learning methods, leveraging both traditional feature-based classifiers as well as recent advances in pre-trained language models that help in capturing the syntactic, semantic, and contextual features from the tweets. We further employ pseudo-labelling to incorporate the unlabelled Twitter data released on the pandemic. Our best performing model achieves an F1-score of 0.9179 on the provided validation set and 0.8805 on the blind test-set.
Style transfer deals with the algorithms to transfer the stylistic properties of a piece of text into that of another while ensuring that the core content is preserved. There has been a lot of interest in the field of text style transfer due to its wide application to tailored text generation. Existing works evaluate the style transfer models based on content preservation and transfer strength. In this work, we propose a reinforcement learning based framework that directly rewards the framework on these target metrics yielding a better transfer of the target style. We show the improved performance of our proposed framework based on automatic and human evaluation on three independent tasks: wherein we transfer the style of text from formal to informal, high excitement to low excitement, modern English to Shakespearean English, and vice-versa in all the three cases. Improved performance of the proposed framework over existing state-of-the-art frameworks indicates the viability of the approach.