Automatic text summarization has enjoyed great progress over the last years. Now is the time to re-assess its focus and objectives. Does the current focus fully adhere to users' desires or should we expand or change our focus? We investigate this question empirically by conducting a survey amongst heavy users of pre-made summaries. We find that the current focus of the field does not fully align with participants' wishes. In response, we identify three groups of implications. First, we argue that it is important to adopt a broader perspective on automatic summarization. Based on our findings, we illustrate how we can expand our view when it comes to the types of input material that is to be summarized, the purpose of the summaries and their potential formats. Second, we define requirements for datasets that can facilitate these research directions. Third, usefulness is an important aspect of summarization that should be included in our evaluation methodology; we propose a methodology to evaluate the usefulness of a summary. With this work we unlock important research directions for future work on automatic summarization and we hope to initiate the development of methods in these directions.
Topical Segmentation poses a great role in reducing search space of the topics taught in a lecture video specially when the video metadata lacks topic wise segmentation information. This segmentation information eases user efforts of searching, locating and browsing a topic inside a lecture video. In this work we propose an algorithm, that combines state-of-the art language model and domain knowledge graph for automatically detecting different coherent topics present inside a long lecture video. We use the language model on speech-to-text transcription to capture the implicit meaning of the whole video while the knowledge graph provides us the domain specific dependencies between different concepts of that subjects. Also leveraging the domain knowledge we can capture the way instructor binds and connects different concepts while teaching, which helps us in achieving better segmentation accuracy. We tested our approach on NPTEL lecture videos and holistic evaluation shows that it out performs the other methods described in the literature.
Time series classification (TSC) gained a lot of attention in the past decade and number of methods for representing and classifying time series have been proposed. Nowadays, methods based on convolutional networks and ensemble techniques represent the state of the art for time series classification. Techniques transforming time series to image or text also provide reliable ways to extract meaningful features or representations of time series. We compare the state-of-the-art representation and classification methods on a specific application, that is predictive maintenance from sequences of event logs. The contributions of this paper are twofold: introducing a new data set for predictive maintenance on automated teller machines (ATMs) log data and comparing the performance of different representation methods for predicting the occurrence of a breakdown. The problem is difficult since unlike the classic case of predictive maintenance via signals from sensors, we have sequences of discrete event logs occurring at any time and the lengths of the sequences, corresponding to life cycles, vary a lot.
Mass surveillance systems for voice over IP (VoIP) conversations pose a huge risk to privacy. These automated systems use learning models to analyze conversations, and upon detecting calls that involve specific topics, route them to a human agent. In this study, we present an adversarial learning-based framework for privacy protection for VoIP conversations. We present a novel algorithm that finds a universal adversarial perturbation (UAP), which, when added to the audio stream, prevents an eavesdropper from automatically detecting the conversation's topic. As shown in our experiments, the UAP is agnostic to the speaker or audio length, and its volume can be changed in real-time, as needed. In a real-world demonstration, we use a Teensy microcontroller that acts as an external microphone and adds the UAP to the audio in real-time. We examine different speakers, VoIP applications (Skype, Zoom), audio lengths, and speech-to-text models (Deep Speech, Kaldi). Our results in the real world suggest that our approach is a feasible solution for privacy protection.
There have been significant efforts to interpret the encoder of Transformer-based encoder-decoder architectures for neural machine translation (NMT); meanwhile, the decoder remains largely unexamined despite its critical role. During translation, the decoder must predict output tokens by considering both the source-language text from the encoder and the target-language prefix produced in previous steps. In this work, we study how Transformer-based decoders leverage information from the source and target languages -- developing a universal probe task to assess how information is propagated through each module of each decoder layer. We perform extensive experiments on three major translation datasets (WMT En-De, En-Fr, and En-Zh). Our analysis provides insight on when and where decoders leverage different sources. Based on these insights, we demonstrate that the residual feed-forward module in each Transformer decoder layer can be dropped with minimal loss of performance -- a significant reduction in computation and number of parameters, and consequently a significant boost to both training and inference speed.
Public entities such as companies and politicians increasingly use online social networks to communicate directly with their constituencies. Often, this public messaging is aimed at aligning the entity with a particular cause or issue, such as the environment or public health. However, as a consumer or voter, it can be difficult to assess an entity's true commitment to a cause based on public messaging. In this paper, we present a text classification approach to categorize a message according to its commitment level toward a cause. We then compare the volume of such messages with external ratings based on entities' actions (e.g., a politician's voting record with respect to the environment or a company's rating from environmental non-profits). We find that by distinguishing between low- and high- level commitment messages, we can more reliably identify truly committed entities. Furthermore, by measuring the discrepancy between classified messages and external ratings, we can identify entities whose public messaging does not align with their actions, thereby providing a methodology to identify potentially "inauthentic" messaging campaigns.
Models that perform well on a training domain often fail to generalize to out-of-domain (OOD) examples. Data augmentation is a common method used to prevent overfitting and improve OOD generalization. However, in natural language, it is difficult to generate new examples that stay on the underlying data manifold. We introduce SSMBA, a data augmentation method for generating synthetic training examples by using a pair of corruption and reconstruction functions to move randomly on a data manifold. We investigate the use of SSMBA in the natural language domain, leveraging the manifold assumption to reconstruct corrupted text with masked language models. In experiments on robustness benchmarks across 3 tasks and 9 datasets, SSMBA consistently outperforms existing data augmentation methods and baseline models on both in-domain and OOD data, achieving gains of 0.8% accuracy on OOD Amazon reviews, 1.8% accuracy on OOD MNLI, and 1.4 BLEU on in-domain IWSLT14 German-English.
Generating accurate descriptions for online fashion items is important not only for enhancing customers' shopping experiences, but also for the increase of online sales. Besides the need of correctly presenting the attributes of items, the expressions in an enchanting style could better attract customer interests. The goal of this work is to develop a novel learning framework for accurate and expressive fashion captioning. Different from popular work on image captioning, it is hard to identify and describe the rich attributes of fashion items. We seed the description of an item by first identifying its attributes, and introduce attribute-level semantic (ALS) reward and sentence-level semantic (SLS) reward as metrics to improve the quality of text descriptions. We further integrate the training of our model with maximum likelihood estimation (MLE), attribute embedding, and Reinforcement Learning (RL). To facilitate the learning, we build a new FAshion CAptioning Dataset (FACAD), which contains 993K images and 130K corresponding enchanting and diverse descriptions. Experiments on FACAD demonstrate the effectiveness of our model.