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Hinrich Schütze

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Multilingual Word Embeddings for Low-Resource Languages using Anchors and a Chain of Related Languages

Nov 21, 2023
Viktor Hangya, Silvia Severini, Radoslav Ralev, Alexander Fraser, Hinrich Schütze

Very low-resource languages, having only a few million tokens worth of data, are not well-supported by multilingual NLP approaches due to poor quality cross-lingual word representations. Recent work showed that good cross-lingual performance can be achieved if a source language is related to the low-resource target language. However, not all language pairs are related. In this paper, we propose to build multilingual word embeddings (MWEs) via a novel language chain-based approach, that incorporates intermediate related languages to bridge the gap between the distant source and target. We build MWEs one language at a time by starting from the resource rich source and sequentially adding each language in the chain till we reach the target. We extend a semi-joint bilingual approach to multiple languages in order to eliminate the main weakness of previous works, i.e., independently trained monolingual embeddings, by anchoring the target language around the multilingual space. We evaluate our method on bilingual lexicon induction for 4 language families, involving 4 very low-resource (<5M tokens) and 4 moderately low-resource (<50M) target languages, showing improved performance in both categories. Additionally, our analysis reveals the importance of good quality embeddings for intermediate languages as well as the importance of leveraging anchor points from all languages in the multilingual space.

* Accepted at the MRL 2023 workshop 
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OFA: A Framework of Initializing Unseen Subword Embeddings for Efficient Large-scale Multilingual Continued Pretraining

Nov 15, 2023
Yihong Liu, Peiqin Lin, Mingyang Wang, Hinrich Schütze

Pretraining multilingual language models from scratch requires considerable computational resources and substantial training data. Therefore, a more efficient method is to adapt existing pretrained language models (PLMs) to new languages via vocabulary extension and continued pretraining. However, this method usually randomly initializes the embeddings of new subwords and introduces substantially more embedding parameters to the language model, thus weakening the efficiency. To address these issues, we propose a novel framework: \textbf{O}ne \textbf{F}or \textbf{A}ll (\textbf{\textsc{Ofa}}), which wisely initializes the embeddings of unseen subwords from target languages and thus can adapt a PLM to multiple languages efficiently and effectively. \textsc{Ofa} takes advantage of external well-aligned multilingual word embeddings and injects the alignment knowledge into the new embeddings. In addition, \textsc{Ofa} applies matrix factorization and replaces the cumbersome embeddings with two lower-dimensional matrices, which significantly reduces the number of parameters while not sacrificing the performance. Through extensive experiments, we show models initialized by \textsc{Ofa} are efficient and outperform several baselines. \textsc{Ofa} not only accelerates the convergence of continued pretraining, which is friendly to a limited computation budget, but also improves the zero-shot crosslingual transfer on a wide range of downstream tasks. We make our code and models publicly available.

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GlotLID: Language Identification for Low-Resource Languages

Nov 04, 2023
Amir Hossein Kargaran, Ayyoob Imani, François Yvon, Hinrich Schütze

Several recent papers have published good solutions for language identification (LID) for about 300 high-resource and medium-resource languages. However, there is no LID available that (i) covers a wide range of low-resource languages, (ii) is rigorously evaluated and reliable and (iii) efficient and easy to use. Here, we publish GlotLID-M, an LID model that satisfies the desiderata of wide coverage, reliability and efficiency. It identifies 1665 languages, a large increase in coverage compared to prior work. In our experiments, GlotLID-M outperforms four baselines (CLD3, FT176, OpenLID and NLLB) when balancing F1 and false positive rate (FPR). We analyze the unique challenges that low-resource LID poses: incorrect corpus metadata, leakage from high-resource languages, difficulty separating closely related languages, handling of macrolanguage vs varieties and in general noisy data. We hope that integrating GlotLID-M into dataset creation pipelines will improve quality and enhance accessibility of NLP technology for low-resource languages and cultures. GlotLID-M model, code, and list of data sources are available:

* EMNLP 2023 
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Counting the Bugs in ChatGPT's Wugs: A Multilingual Investigation into the Morphological Capabilities of a Large Language Model

Oct 26, 2023
Leonie Weissweiler, Valentin Hofmann, Anjali Kantharuban, Anna Cai, Ritam Dutt, Amey Hengle, Anubha Kabra, Atharva Kulkarni, Abhishek Vijayakumar, Haofei Yu, Hinrich Schütze, Kemal Oflazer, David R. Mortensen

Large language models (LLMs) have recently reached an impressive level of linguistic capability, prompting comparisons with human language skills. However, there have been relatively few systematic inquiries into the linguistic capabilities of the latest generation of LLMs, and those studies that do exist (i) ignore the remarkable ability of humans to generalize, (ii) focus only on English, and (iii) investigate syntax or semantics and overlook other capabilities that lie at the heart of human language, like morphology. Here, we close these gaps by conducting the first rigorous analysis of the morphological capabilities of ChatGPT in four typologically varied languages (specifically, English, German, Tamil, and Turkish). We apply a version of Berko's (1958) wug test to ChatGPT, using novel, uncontaminated datasets for the four examined languages. We find that ChatGPT massively underperforms purpose-built systems, particularly in English. Overall, our results -- through the lens of morphology -- cast a new light on the linguistic capabilities of ChatGPT, suggesting that claims of human-like language skills are premature and misleading.

* EMNLP 2023 
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GradSim: Gradient-Based Language Grouping for Effective Multilingual Training

Oct 23, 2023
Mingyang Wang, Heike Adel, Lukas Lange, Jannik Strötgen, Hinrich Schütze

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Most languages of the world pose low-resource challenges to natural language processing models. With multilingual training, knowledge can be shared among languages. However, not all languages positively influence each other and it is an open research question how to select the most suitable set of languages for multilingual training and avoid negative interference among languages whose characteristics or data distributions are not compatible. In this paper, we propose GradSim, a language grouping method based on gradient similarity. Our experiments on three diverse multilingual benchmark datasets show that it leads to the largest performance gains compared to other similarity measures and it is better correlated with cross-lingual model performance. As a result, we set the new state of the art on AfriSenti, a benchmark dataset for sentiment analysis on low-resource African languages. In our extensive analysis, we further reveal that besides linguistic features, the topics of the datasets play an important role for language grouping and that lower layers of transformer models encode language-specific features while higher layers capture task-specific information.

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LoHoRavens: A Long-Horizon Language-Conditioned Benchmark for Robotic Tabletop Manipulation

Oct 23, 2023
Shengqiang Zhang, Philipp Wicke, Lütfi Kerem Şenel, Luis Figueredo, Abdeldjallil Naceri, Sami Haddadin, Barbara Plank, Hinrich Schütze

The convergence of embodied agents and large language models (LLMs) has brought significant advancements to embodied instruction following. Particularly, the strong reasoning capabilities of LLMs make it possible for robots to perform long-horizon tasks without expensive annotated demonstrations. However, public benchmarks for testing the long-horizon reasoning capabilities of language-conditioned robots in various scenarios are still missing. To fill this gap, this work focuses on the tabletop manipulation task and releases a simulation benchmark, \textit{LoHoRavens}, which covers various long-horizon reasoning aspects spanning color, size, space, arithmetics and reference. Furthermore, there is a key modality bridging problem for long-horizon manipulation tasks with LLMs: how to incorporate the observation feedback during robot execution for the LLM's closed-loop planning, which is however less studied by prior work. We investigate two methods of bridging the modality gap: caption generation and learnable interface for incorporating explicit and implicit observation feedback to the LLM, respectively. These methods serve as the two baselines for our proposed benchmark. Experiments show that both methods struggle to solve some tasks, indicating long-horizon manipulation tasks are still challenging for current popular models. We expect the proposed public benchmark and baselines can help the community develop better models for long-horizon tabletop manipulation tasks.

* 6 pages, 4 figures. The video and code of LoHoRavens are available at 
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Unleashing the Multilingual Encoder Potential: Boosting Zero-Shot Performance via Probability Calibration

Oct 19, 2023
Ercong Nie, Helmut Schmid, Hinrich Schütze

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Pretrained multilingual encoder models can directly perform zero-shot multilingual tasks or linguistic probing by reformulating the input examples into cloze-style prompts. This is accomplished by predicting the probabilities of the label words at the masked token position, without requiring any updates to the model parameters. However, the performance of this method is limited by the model's bias toward predicting label words which frequently occurred during the pretraining. These words typically receive high probabilities. To address this issue, we combine the models with calibration techniques which modify the probabilities of label words predicted by the models. We first validate the effectiveness of a proposed simple calibration method together with other existing techniques on monolingual encoders in both zero- and few-shot scenarios. We subsequently employ these calibration techniques on multilingual encoders, resulting in substantial performance improvements across a wide range of tasks.

* Accepted to Findings of EMNLP 2023 
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