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Ivan Vulić

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Adapters: A Unified Library for Parameter-Efficient and Modular Transfer Learning

Nov 18, 2023
Clifton Poth, Hannah Sterz, Indraneil Paul, Sukannya Purkayastha, Leon Engländer, Timo Imhof, Ivan Vulić, Sebastian Ruder, Iryna Gurevych, Jonas Pfeiffer

We introduce Adapters, an open-source library that unifies parameter-efficient and modular transfer learning in large language models. By integrating 10 diverse adapter methods into a unified interface, Adapters offers ease of use and flexible configuration. Our library allows researchers and practitioners to leverage adapter modularity through composition blocks, enabling the design of complex adapter setups. We demonstrate the library's efficacy by evaluating its performance against full fine-tuning on various NLP tasks. Adapters provides a powerful tool for addressing the challenges of conventional fine-tuning paradigms and promoting more efficient and modular transfer learning. The library is available via

* EMNLP 2023: Systems Demonstrations 
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$\textit{Dial BeInfo for Faithfulness}$: Improving Factuality of Information-Seeking Dialogue via Behavioural Fine-Tuning

Nov 16, 2023
Evgeniia Razumovskaia, Ivan Vulić, Pavle Marković, Tomasz Cichy, Qian Zheng, Tsung-Hsien Wen, Paweł Budzianowski

Factuality is a crucial requirement in information seeking dialogue: the system should respond to the user's queries so that the responses are meaningful and aligned with the knowledge provided to the system. However, most modern large language models suffer from hallucinations, that is, they generate responses not supported by or contradicting the knowledge source. To mitigate the issue and increase faithfulness of information-seeking dialogue systems, we introduce BeInfo, a simple yet effective method that applies behavioural tuning to aid information-seeking dialogue. Relying on three standard datasets, we show that models tuned with BeInfo} become considerably more faithful to the knowledge source both for datasets and domains seen during BeInfo-tuning, as well as on unseen domains, when applied in a zero-shot manner. In addition, we show that the models with 3B parameters (e.g., Flan-T5) tuned with BeInfo demonstrate strong performance on data from real `production' conversations and outperform GPT4 when tuned on a limited amount of such realistic in-domain dialogues.

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SQATIN: Supervised Instruction Tuning Meets Question Answering for Improved Dialogue NLU

Nov 16, 2023
Evgeniia Razumovskaia, Goran Glavaš, Anna Korhonen, Ivan Vulić

Task-oriented dialogue (ToD) systems help users execute well-defined tasks across a variety of domains (e.g., $\textit{flight booking}$ or $\textit{food ordering}$), with their Natural Language Understanding (NLU) components being dedicated to the analysis of user utterances, predicting users' intents ($\textit{Intent Detection}$, ID) and extracting values for informational slots ($\textit{Value Extraction}$, VE). In most domains, labelled NLU data is scarce, making sample-efficient learning -- enabled with effective transfer paradigms -- paramount. In this work, we introduce SQATIN, a new framework for dialog NLU based on (i) instruction tuning and (ii) question-answering-based formulation of ID and VE tasks. According to the evaluation on established NLU benchmarks, SQATIN sets the new state of the art in dialogue NLU, substantially surpassing the performance of current models based on standard fine-tuning objectives in both in-domain training and cross-domain transfer. SQATIN yields particularly large performance gains in cross-domain transfer, owing to the fact that our QA-based instruction tuning leverages similarities between natural language descriptions of classes (i.e., slots and intents) across domains.

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Quantifying the Dialect Gap and its Correlates Across Languages

Oct 23, 2023
Anjali Kantharuban, Ivan Vulić, Anna Korhonen

Historically, researchers and consumers have noticed a decrease in quality when applying NLP tools to minority variants of languages (i.e. Puerto Rican Spanish or Swiss German), but studies exploring this have been limited to a select few languages. Additionally, past studies have mainly been conducted in a monolingual context, so cross-linguistic trends have not been identified and tied to external factors. In this work, we conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the most influential, state-of-the-art large language models (LLMs) across two high-use applications, machine translation and automatic speech recognition, to assess their functionality on the regional dialects of several high- and low-resource languages. Additionally, we analyze how the regional dialect gap is correlated with economic, social, and linguistic factors. The impact of training data, including related factors like dataset size and its construction procedure, is shown to be significant but not consistent across models or languages, meaning a one-size-fits-all approach cannot be taken in solving the dialect gap. This work will lay the foundation for furthering the field of dialectal NLP by laying out evident disparities and identifying possible pathways for addressing them through mindful data collection.

* Accepted to EMNLP Findings 2023 
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On Bilingual Lexicon Induction with Large Language Models

Oct 21, 2023
Yaoyiran Li, Anna Korhonen, Ivan Vulić

Bilingual Lexicon Induction (BLI) is a core task in multilingual NLP that still, to a large extent, relies on calculating cross-lingual word representations. Inspired by the global paradigm shift in NLP towards Large Language Models (LLMs), we examine the potential of the latest generation of LLMs for the development of bilingual lexicons. We ask the following research question: Is it possible to prompt and fine-tune multilingual LLMs (mLLMs) for BLI, and how does this approach compare against and complement current BLI approaches? To this end, we systematically study 1) zero-shot prompting for unsupervised BLI and 2) few-shot in-context prompting with a set of seed translation pairs, both without any LLM fine-tuning, as well as 3) standard BLI-oriented fine-tuning of smaller LLMs. We experiment with 18 open-source text-to-text mLLMs of different sizes (from 0.3B to 13B parameters) on two standard BLI benchmarks covering a range of typologically diverse languages. Our work is the first to demonstrate strong BLI capabilities of text-to-text mLLMs. The results reveal that few-shot prompting with in-context examples from nearest neighbours achieves the best performance, establishing new state-of-the-art BLI scores for many language pairs. We also conduct a series of in-depth analyses and ablation studies, providing more insights on BLI with (m)LLMs, also along with their limitations.

* EMNLP 2023 Main Conference 
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A Systematic Study of Performance Disparities in Multilingual Task-Oriented Dialogue Systems

Oct 19, 2023
Songbo Hu, Han Zhou, Moy Yuan, Milan Gritta, Guchun Zhang, Ignacio Iacobacci, Anna Korhonen, Ivan Vulić

Achieving robust language technologies that can perform well across the world's many languages is a central goal of multilingual NLP. In this work, we take stock of and empirically analyse task performance disparities that exist between multilingual task-oriented dialogue (ToD) systems. We first define new quantitative measures of absolute and relative equivalence in system performance, capturing disparities across languages and within individual languages. Through a series of controlled experiments, we demonstrate that performance disparities depend on a number of factors: the nature of the ToD task at hand, the underlying pretrained language model, the target language, and the amount of ToD annotated data. We empirically prove the existence of the adaptation and intrinsic biases in current ToD systems: e.g., ToD systems trained for Arabic or Turkish using annotated ToD data fully parallel to English ToD data still exhibit diminished ToD task performance. Beyond providing a series of insights into the performance disparities of ToD systems in different languages, our analyses offer practical tips on how to approach ToD data collection and system development for new languages.

* Accepted to EMNLP 2023 
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Survival of the Most Influential Prompts: Efficient Black-Box Prompt Search via Clustering and Pruning

Oct 19, 2023
Han Zhou, Xingchen Wan, Ivan Vulić, Anna Korhonen

Prompt-based learning has been an effective paradigm for large pretrained language models (LLM), enabling few-shot or even zero-shot learning. Black-box prompt search has received growing interest recently for its distinctive properties of gradient-free optimization, proven particularly useful and powerful for model-as-a-service usage. However, the discrete nature and the complexity of combinatorial optimization hinder the efficiency of modern black-box approaches. Despite extensive research on search algorithms, the crucial aspect of search space design and optimization has been largely overlooked. In this paper, we first conduct a sensitivity analysis by prompting LLM, revealing that only a small number of tokens exert a disproportionate amount of influence on LLM predictions. Leveraging this insight, we propose the Clustering and Pruning for Efficient Black-box Prompt Search (ClaPS), a simple black-box search method that first clusters and prunes the search space to focus exclusively on influential prompt tokens. By employing even simple search methods within the pruned search space, ClaPS achieves state-of-the-art performance across various tasks and LLMs, surpassing the performance of complex approaches while significantly reducing search costs. Our findings underscore the critical role of search space design and optimization in enhancing both the usefulness and the efficiency of black-box prompt-based learning.

* Findings of EMNLP 2023. 10 pages, 5 figures, 4 tables (14 pages, 5 figures, 8 tables including references and appendices) 
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One For All & All For One: Bypassing Hyperparameter Tuning with Model Averaging For Cross-Lingual Transfer

Oct 16, 2023
Fabian David Schmidt, Ivan Vulić, Goran Glavaš

Multilingual language models enable zero-shot cross-lingual transfer (ZS-XLT): fine-tuned on sizable source-language task data, they perform the task in target languages without labeled instances. The effectiveness of ZS-XLT hinges on the linguistic proximity between languages and the amount of pretraining data for a language. Because of this, model selection based on source-language validation is unreliable: it picks model snapshots with suboptimal target-language performance. As a remedy, some work optimizes ZS-XLT by extensively tuning hyperparameters: the follow-up work then routinely struggles to replicate the original results. Other work searches over narrower hyperparameter grids, reporting substantially lower performance. In this work, we therefore propose an unsupervised evaluation protocol for ZS-XLT that decouples performance maximization from hyperparameter tuning. As a robust and more transparent alternative to extensive hyperparameter tuning, we propose to accumulatively average snapshots from different runs into a single model. We run broad ZS-XLT experiments on both higher-level semantic tasks (NLI, extractive QA) and a lower-level token classification task (NER) and find that conventional model selection based on source-language validation quickly plateaus to suboptimal ZS-XLT performance. On the other hand, our accumulative run-by-run averaging of models trained with different hyperparameters boosts ZS-XLT performance and closely correlates with "oracle" ZS-XLT, i.e., model selection based on target-language validation performance.

* Accepted to findings of EMNLP 2023 
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Multi3WOZ: A Multilingual, Multi-Domain, Multi-Parallel Dataset for Training and Evaluating Culturally Adapted Task-Oriented Dialog Systems

Jul 26, 2023
Songbo Hu, Han Zhou, Mete Hergul, Milan Gritta, Guchun Zhang, Ignacio Iacobacci, Ivan Vulić, Anna Korhonen

Figure 1 for Multi3WOZ: A Multilingual, Multi-Domain, Multi-Parallel Dataset for Training and Evaluating Culturally Adapted Task-Oriented Dialog Systems
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Figure 4 for Multi3WOZ: A Multilingual, Multi-Domain, Multi-Parallel Dataset for Training and Evaluating Culturally Adapted Task-Oriented Dialog Systems

Creating high-quality annotated data for task-oriented dialog (ToD) is known to be notoriously difficult, and the challenges are amplified when the goal is to create equitable, culturally adapted, and large-scale ToD datasets for multiple languages. Therefore, the current datasets are still very scarce and suffer from limitations such as translation-based non-native dialogs with translation artefacts, small scale, or lack of cultural adaptation, among others. In this work, we first take stock of the current landscape of multilingual ToD datasets, offering a systematic overview of their properties and limitations. Aiming to reduce all the detected limitations, we then introduce Multi3WOZ, a novel multilingual, multi-domain, multi-parallel ToD dataset. It is large-scale and offers culturally adapted dialogs in 4 languages to enable training and evaluation of multilingual and cross-lingual ToD systems. We describe a complex bottom-up data collection process that yielded the final dataset, and offer the first sets of baseline scores across different ToD-related tasks for future reference, also highlighting its challenging nature.

* A pre-MIT Press publication version for TACL 
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Knowledge-Aware Audio-Grounded Generative Slot Filling for Limited Annotated Data

Jul 04, 2023
Guangzhi Sun, Chao Zhang, Ivan Vulić, Paweł Budzianowski, Philip C. Woodland

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Manually annotating fine-grained slot-value labels for task-oriented dialogue (ToD) systems is an expensive and time-consuming endeavour. This motivates research into slot-filling methods that operate with limited amounts of labelled data. Moreover, the majority of current work on ToD is based solely on text as the input modality, neglecting the additional challenges of imperfect automatic speech recognition (ASR) when working with spoken language. In this work, we propose a Knowledge-Aware Audio-Grounded generative slot-filling framework, termed KA2G, that focuses on few-shot and zero-shot slot filling for ToD with speech input. KA2G achieves robust and data-efficient slot filling for speech-based ToD by 1) framing it as a text generation task, 2) grounding text generation additionally in the audio modality, and 3) conditioning on available external knowledge (e.g. a predefined list of possible slot values). We show that combining both modalities within the KA2G framework improves the robustness against ASR errors. Further, the knowledge-aware slot-value generator in KA2G, implemented via a pointer generator mechanism, particularly benefits few-shot and zero-shot learning. Experiments, conducted on the standard speech-based single-turn SLURP dataset and a multi-turn dataset extracted from a commercial ToD system, display strong and consistent gains over prior work, especially in few-shot and zero-shot setups.

* to submit to CS&L 
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