Reliable automatic evaluation of summarization systems is challenging due to the multifaceted and subjective nature of the task. This is especially the case for languages other than English, where human evaluations are scarce. In this work, we introduce SEAHORSE, a dataset for multilingual, multifaceted summarization evaluation. SEAHORSE consists of 96K summaries with human ratings along 6 quality dimensions: comprehensibility, repetition, grammar, attribution, main ideas, and conciseness, covering 6 languages, 9 systems and 4 datasets. As a result of its size and scope, SEAHORSE can serve both as a benchmark to evaluate learnt metrics, as well as a large-scale resource for training such metrics. We show that metrics trained with SEAHORSE achieve strong performance on the out-of-domain meta-evaluation benchmarks TRUE (Honovich et al., 2022) and mFACE (Aharoni et al., 2022). We make SEAHORSE publicly available for future research on multilingual and multifaceted summarization evaluation.
To align conditional text generation model outputs with desired behaviors, there has been an increasing focus on training the model using reinforcement learning (RL) with reward functions learned from human annotations. Under this framework, we identify three common cases where high rewards are incorrectly assigned to undesirable patterns: noise-induced spurious correlation, naturally occurring spurious correlation, and covariate shift. We show that even though learned metrics achieve high performance on the distribution of the data used to train the reward function, the undesirable patterns may be amplified during RL training of the text generation model. While there has been discussion about reward gaming in the RL or safety community, in this short discussion piece, we would like to highlight reward gaming in the NLG community using concrete conditional text generation examples and discuss potential fixes and areas for future work.
Evaluation metrics that are not robust to dialect variation make it impossible to tell how well systems perform for many groups of users, and can even penalize systems for producing text in lower-resource dialects. However, currently, there exists no way to quantify how metrics respond to change in the dialect of a generated utterance. We thus formalize dialect robustness and dialect awareness as goals for NLG evaluation metrics. We introduce a suite of methods and corresponding statistical tests one can use to assess metrics in light of the two goals. Applying the suite to current state-of-the-art metrics, we demonstrate that they are not dialect-robust and that semantic perturbations frequently lead to smaller decreases in a metric than the introduction of dialect features. As a first step to overcome this limitation, we propose a training schema, NANO, which introduces regional and language information to the pretraining process of a metric. We demonstrate that NANO provides a size-efficient way for models to improve the dialect robustness while simultaneously improving their performance on the standard metric benchmark.
Much of text-to-speech research relies on human evaluation, which incurs heavy costs and slows down the development process. The problem is particularly acute in heavily multilingual applications, where recruiting and polling judges can take weeks. We introduce SQuId (Speech Quality Identification), a multilingual naturalness prediction model trained on over a million ratings and tested in 65 locales-the largest effort of this type to date. The main insight is that training one model on many locales consistently outperforms mono-locale baselines. We present our task, the model, and show that it outperforms a competitive baseline based on w2v-BERT and VoiceMOS by 50.0%. We then demonstrate the effectiveness of cross-locale transfer during fine-tuning and highlight its effect on zero-shot locales, i.e., locales for which there is no fine-tuning data. Through a series of analyses, we highlight the role of non-linguistic effects such as sound artifacts in cross-locale transfer. Finally, we present the effect of our design decision, e.g., model size, pre-training diversity, and language rebalancing with several ablation experiments.
Evaluation practices in natural language generation (NLG) have many known flaws, but improved evaluation approaches are rarely widely adopted. This issue has become more urgent, since neural NLG models have improved to the point where they can often no longer be distinguished based on the surface-level features that older metrics rely on. This paper surveys the issues with human and automatic model evaluations and with commonly used datasets in NLG that have been pointed out over the past 20 years. We summarize, categorize, and discuss how researchers have been addressing these issues and what their findings mean for the current state of model evaluations. Building on those insights, we lay out a long-term vision for NLG evaluation and propose concrete steps for researchers to improve their evaluation processes. Finally, we analyze 66 NLG papers from recent NLP conferences in how well they already follow these suggestions and identify which areas require more drastic changes to the status quo.
Recent developments in machine translation and multilingual text generation have led researchers to adopt trained metrics such as COMET or BLEURT, which treat evaluation as a regression problem and use representations from multilingual pre-trained models such as XLM-RoBERTa or mBERT. Yet studies on related tasks suggest that these models are most efficient when they are large, which is costly and impractical for evaluation. We investigate the trade-off between multilinguality and model capacity with RemBERT, a state-of-the-art multilingual language model, using data from the WMT Metrics Shared Task. We present a series of experiments which show that model size is indeed a bottleneck for cross-lingual transfer, then demonstrate how distillation can help addressing this bottleneck, by leveraging synthetic data generation and transferring knowledge from one teacher to multiple students trained on related languages. Our method yields up to 10.5% improvement over vanilla fine-tuning and reaches 92.6% of RemBERT's performance using only a third of its parameters.
Experiments with pretrained models such as BERT are often based on a single checkpoint. While the conclusions drawn apply to the artifact (i.e., the particular instance of the model), it is not always clear whether they hold for the more general procedure (which includes the model architecture, training data, initialization scheme, and loss function). Recent work has shown that re-running pretraining can lead to substantially different conclusions about performance, suggesting that alternative evaluations are needed to make principled statements about procedures. To address this question, we introduce MultiBERTs: a set of 25 BERT-base checkpoints, trained with similar hyper-parameters as the original BERT model but differing in random initialization and data shuffling. The aim is to enable researchers to draw robust and statistically justified conclusions about pretraining procedures. The full release includes 25 fully trained checkpoints, as well as statistical guidelines and a code library implementing our recommended hypothesis testing methods. Finally, for five of these models we release a set of 28 intermediate checkpoints in order to support research on learning dynamics.
We introduce GEM, a living benchmark for natural language Generation (NLG), its Evaluation, and Metrics. Measuring progress in NLG relies on a constantly evolving ecosystem of automated metrics, datasets, and human evaluation standards. However, due to this moving target, new models often still evaluate on divergent anglo-centric corpora with well-established, but flawed, metrics. This disconnect makes it challenging to identify the limitations of current models and opportunities for progress. Addressing this limitation, GEM provides an environment in which models can easily be applied to a wide set of corpora and evaluation strategies can be tested. Regular updates to the benchmark will help NLG research become more multilingual and evolve the challenge alongside models. This paper serves as the description of the initial release for which we are organizing a shared task at our ACL 2021 Workshop and to which we invite the entire NLG community to participate.
The quality of machine translation systems has dramatically improved over the last decade, and as a result, evaluation has become an increasingly challenging problem. This paper describes our contribution to the WMT 2020 Metrics Shared Task, the main benchmark for automatic evaluation of translation. We make several submissions based on BLEURT, a previously published metric based on transfer learning. We extend the metric beyond English and evaluate it on 14 language pairs for which fine-tuning data is available, as well as 4 "zero-shot" language pairs, for which we have no labelled examples. Additionally, we focus on English to German and demonstrate how to combine BLEURT's predictions with those of YiSi and use alternative reference translations to enhance the performance. Empirical results show that the models achieve competitive results on the WMT Metrics 2019 Shared Task, indicating their promise for the 2020 edition.