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On Sample Based Explanation Methods for NLP:Efficiency, Faithfulness, and Semantic Evaluation

Jun 09, 2021
Wei Zhang, Ziming Huang, Yada Zhu, Guangnan Ye, Xiaodong Cui, Fan Zhang

In the recent advances of natural language processing, the scale of the state-of-the-art models and datasets is usually extensive, which challenges the application of sample-based explanation methods in many aspects, such as explanation interpretability, efficiency, and faithfulness. In this work, for the first time, we can improve the interpretability of explanations by allowing arbitrary text sequences as the explanation unit. On top of this, we implement a hessian-free method with a model faithfulness guarantee. Finally, to compare our method with the others, we propose a semantic-based evaluation metric that can better align with humans' judgment of explanations than the widely adopted diagnostic or re-training measures. The empirical results on multiple real data sets demonstrate the proposed method's superior performance to popular explanation techniques such as Influence Function or TracIn on semantic evaluation.

* 13 pages; Accepted to ACL 2021 

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Is Sparse Attention more Interpretable?

Jun 08, 2021
Clara Meister, Stefan Lazov, Isabelle Augenstein, Ryan Cotterell

Sparse attention has been claimed to increase model interpretability under the assumption that it highlights influential inputs. Yet the attention distribution is typically over representations internal to the model rather than the inputs themselves, suggesting this assumption may not have merit. We build on the recent work exploring the interpretability of attention; we design a set of experiments to help us understand how sparsity affects our ability to use attention as an explainability tool. On three text classification tasks, we verify that only a weak relationship between inputs and co-indexed intermediate representations exists -- under sparse attention and otherwise. Further, we do not find any plausible mappings from sparse attention distributions to a sparse set of influential inputs through other avenues. Rather, we observe in this setting that inducing sparsity may make it less plausible that attention can be used as a tool for understanding model behavior.

* Proceedings of ACL-IJCNLP 2021 
* ACL 2021 

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Cross-document Coreference Resolution over Predicted Mentions

Jun 02, 2021
Arie Cattan, Alon Eirew, Gabriel Stanovsky, Mandar Joshi, Ido Dagan

Coreference resolution has been mostly investigated within a single document scope, showing impressive progress in recent years based on end-to-end models. However, the more challenging task of cross-document (CD) coreference resolution remained relatively under-explored, with the few recent models applied only to gold mentions. Here, we introduce the first end-to-end model for CD coreference resolution from raw text, which extends the prominent model for within-document coreference to the CD setting. Our model achieves competitive results for event and entity coreference resolution on gold mentions. More importantly, we set first baseline results, on the standard ECB+ dataset, for CD coreference resolution over predicted mentions. Further, our model is simpler and more efficient than recent CD coreference resolution systems, while not using any external resources.

* Findings of ACL 2021 

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Planning with Entity Chains for Abstractive Summarization

Apr 15, 2021
Shashi Narayan, Yao Zhao, Joshua Maynez, Gonçalo Simoes, Ryan McDonald

Pre-trained transformer-based sequence-to-sequence models have become the go-to solution for many text generation tasks, including summarization. However, the results produced by these models tend to contain significant issues such as hallucinations and irrelevant passages. One solution to mitigate these problems is to incorporate better content planning in neural summarization. We propose to use entity chains (i.e., chains of entities mentioned in the summary) to better plan and ground the generation of abstractive summaries. In particular, we augment the target by prepending it with its entity chain. We experimented with both pre-training and finetuning with this content planning objective. When evaluated on CNN/DailyMail, SAMSum and XSum, models trained with this objective improved on entity correctness and summary conciseness, and achieved state-of-the-art performance on ROUGE for SAMSum and XSum.

* 11 pages 

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Construction of a Large-scale Japanese ASR Corpus on TV Recordings

Mar 26, 2021
Shintaro Ando, Hiromasa Fujihara

This paper presents a new large-scale Japanese speech corpus for training automatic speech recognition (ASR) systems. This corpus contains over 2,000 hours of speech with transcripts built on Japanese TV recordings and their subtitles. We develop herein an iterative workflow to extract matching audio and subtitle segments from TV recordings based on a conventional method for lightly-supervised audio-to-text alignment. We evaluate a model trained with our corpus using an evaluation dataset built on Japanese TEDx presentation videos and confirm that the performance is better than that trained with the Corpus of Spontaneous Japanese (CSJ). The experiment results show the usefulness of our corpus for training ASR systems. This corpus is made public for the research community along with Kaldi scripts for training the models reported in this paper.


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Dialect Identification in Nuanced Arabic Tweets Using Farasa Segmentation and AraBERT

Feb 22, 2021
Anshul Wadhawan

This paper presents our approach to address the EACL WANLP-2021 Shared Task 1: Nuanced Arabic Dialect Identification (NADI). The task is aimed at developing a system that identifies the geographical location(country/province) from where an Arabic tweet in the form of modern standard Arabic or dialect comes from. We solve the task in two parts. The first part involves pre-processing the provided dataset by cleaning, adding and segmenting various parts of the text. This is followed by carrying out experiments with different versions of two Transformer based models, AraBERT and AraELECTRA. Our final approach achieved macro F1-scores of 0.216, 0.235, 0.054, and 0.043 in the four subtasks, and we were ranked second in MSA identification subtasks and fourth in DA identification subtasks.


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Active Learning for Sequence Tagging with Deep Pre-trained Models and Bayesian Uncertainty Estimates

Feb 18, 2021
Artem Shelmanov, Dmitri Puzyrev, Lyubov Kupriyanova, Denis Belyakov, Daniil Larionov, Nikita Khromov, Olga Kozlova, Ekaterina Artemova, Dmitry V. Dylov, Alexander Panchenko

Annotating training data for sequence tagging of texts is usually very time-consuming. Recent advances in transfer learning for natural language processing in conjunction with active learning open the possibility to significantly reduce the necessary annotation budget. We are the first to thoroughly investigate this powerful combination for the sequence tagging task. We conduct an extensive empirical study of various Bayesian uncertainty estimation methods and Monte Carlo dropout options for deep pre-trained models in the active learning framework and find the best combinations for different types of models. Besides, we also demonstrate that to acquire instances during active learning, a full-size Transformer can be substituted with a distilled version, which yields better computational performance and reduces obstacles for applying deep active learning in practice.

* In Proceedings of the 16th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics (EACL-2021) 

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Self-Supervised learning with cross-modal transformers for emotion recognition

Nov 20, 2020
Aparna Khare, Srinivas Parthasarathy, Shiva Sundaram

Emotion recognition is a challenging task due to limited availability of in-the-wild labeled datasets. Self-supervised learning has shown improvements on tasks with limited labeled datasets in domains like speech and natural language. Models such as BERT learn to incorporate context in word embeddings, which translates to improved performance in downstream tasks like question answering. In this work, we extend self-supervised training to multi-modal applications. We learn multi-modal representations using a transformer trained on the masked language modeling task with audio, visual and text features. This model is fine-tuned on the downstream task of emotion recognition. Our results on the CMU-MOSEI dataset show that this pre-training technique can improve the emotion recognition performance by up to 3% compared to the baseline.

* To appear in SLT2020 

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doc2dial: A Goal-Oriented Document-Grounded Dialogue Dataset

Nov 18, 2020
Song Feng, Hui Wan, Chulaka Gunasekara, Siva Sankalp Patel, Sachindra Joshi, Luis A. Lastras

We introduce doc2dial, a new dataset of goal-oriented dialogues that are grounded in the associated documents. Inspired by how the authors compose documents for guiding end users, we first construct dialogue flows based on the content elements that corresponds to higher-level relations across text sections as well as lower-level relations between discourse units within a section. Then we present these dialogue flows to crowd contributors to create conversational utterances. The dataset includes about 4800 annotated conversations with an average of 14 turns that are grounded in over 480 documents from four domains. Compared to the prior document-grounded dialogue datasets, this dataset covers a variety of dialogue scenes in information-seeking conversations. For evaluating the versatility of the dataset, we introduce multiple dialogue modeling tasks and present baseline approaches.

* EMNLP 2020 

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