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"speech": models, code, and papers

Enabling Robots to Draw and Tell: Towards Visually Grounded Multimodal Description Generation

Jan 14, 2021
Ting Han, Sina Zarrieß

Socially competent robots should be equipped with the ability to perceive the world that surrounds them and communicate about it in a human-like manner. Representative skills that exhibit such ability include generating image descriptions and visually grounded referring expressions. In the NLG community, these generation tasks are largely investigated in non-interactive and language-only settings. However, in face-to-face interaction, humans often deploy multiple modalities to communicate, forming seamless integration of natural language, hand gestures and other modalities like sketches. To enable robots to describe what they perceive with speech and sketches/gestures, we propose to model the task of generating natural language together with free-hand sketches/hand gestures to describe visual scenes and real life objects, namely, visually-grounded multimodal description generation. In this paper, we discuss the challenges and evaluation metrics of the task, and how the task can benefit from progress recently made in the natural language processing and computer vision realms, where related topics such as visually grounded NLG, distributional semantics, and photo-based sketch generation have been extensively studied.

* The 2nd Workshop on NLG for HRI colocated with The 13th International Conference on Natural Language Generation 

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On-Device Sentence Similarity for SMS Dataset

Dec 04, 2020
Arun D Prabhu, Nikhil Arora, Shubham Vatsal, Gopi Ramena, Sukumar Moharana, Naresh Purre

Determining the sentence similarity between Short Message Service (SMS) texts/sentences plays a significant role in mobile device industry. Gauging the similarity between SMS data is thus necessary for various applications like enhanced searching and navigation, clubbing together SMS of similar type when given a custom label or tag is provided by user irrespective of their sender etc. The problem faced with SMS data is its incomplete structure and grammatical inconsistencies. In this paper, we propose a unique pipeline for evaluating the text similarity between SMS texts. We use Part of Speech (POS) model for keyword extraction by taking advantage of the partial structure embedded in SMS texts and similarity comparisons are carried out using statistical methods. The proposed pipeline deals with major semantic variations across SMS data as well as makes it effective for its application on-device (mobile phone). To showcase the capabilities of our work, our pipeline has been designed with an inclination towards one of the possible applications of SMS text similarity discussed in one of the following sections but nonetheless guarantees scalability for other applications as well.


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Adversarial Attack and Defense of Structured Prediction Models

Oct 18, 2020
Wenjuan Han, Liwen Zhang, Yong Jiang, Kewei Tu

Building an effective adversarial attacker and elaborating on countermeasures for adversarial attacks for natural language processing (NLP) have attracted a lot of research in recent years. However, most of the existing approaches focus on classification problems. In this paper, we investigate attacks and defenses for structured prediction tasks in NLP. Besides the difficulty of perturbing discrete words and the sentence fluency problem faced by attackers in any NLP tasks, there is a specific challenge to attackers of structured prediction models: the structured output of structured prediction models is sensitive to small perturbations in the input. To address these problems, we propose a novel and unified framework that learns to attack a structured prediction model using a sequence-to-sequence model with feedbacks from multiple reference models of the same structured prediction task. Based on the proposed attack, we further reinforce the victim model with adversarial training, making its prediction more robust and accurate. We evaluate the proposed framework in dependency parsing and part-of-speech tagging. Automatic and human evaluations show that our proposed framework succeeds in both attacking state-of-the-art structured prediction models and boosting them with adversarial training.

* Accepted to EMNLP 2020 

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Development of POS tagger for English-Bengali Code-Mixed data

Jul 29, 2020
Tathagata Raha, Sainik Kumar Mahata, Dipankar Das, Sivaji Bandyopadhyay

Code-mixed texts are widespread nowadays due to the advent of social media. Since these texts combine two languages to formulate a sentence, it gives rise to various research problems related to Natural Language Processing. In this paper, we try to excavate one such problem, namely, Parts of Speech tagging of code-mixed texts. We have built a system that can POS tag English-Bengali code-mixed data where the Bengali words were written in Roman script. Our approach initially involves the collection and cleaning of English-Bengali code-mixed tweets. These tweets were used as a development dataset for building our system. The proposed system is a modular approach that starts by tagging individual tokens with their respective languages and then passes them to different POS taggers, designed for different languages (English and Bengali, in our case). Tags given by the two systems are later joined together and the final result is then mapped to a universal POS tag set. Our system was checked using 100 manually POS tagged code-mixed sentences and it returned an accuracy of 75.29%

* Accepted and published in The sixteenth International Conference on Natural Language Processing (ICON-2019) 

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Video Understanding as Machine Translation

Jun 12, 2020
Bruno Korbar, Fabio Petroni, Rohit Girdhar, Lorenzo Torresani

With the advent of large-scale multimodal video datasets, especially sequences with audio or transcribed speech, there has been a growing interest in self-supervised learning of video representations. Most prior work formulates the objective as a contrastive metric learning problem between the modalities. To enable effective learning, however, these strategies require a careful selection of positive and negative samples often combined with hand-designed curriculum policies. In this work we remove the need for negative sampling by taking a generative modeling approach that poses the objective as a translation problem between modalities. Such a formulation allows us to tackle a wide variety of downstream video understanding tasks by means of a single unified framework, without the need for large batches of negative samples common in contrastive metric learning. We experiment with the large-scale HowTo100M dataset for training, and report performance gains over the state-of-the-art on several downstream tasks including video classification (EPIC-Kitchens), question answering (TVQA), captioning (TVC, YouCook2, and MSR-VTT), and text-based clip retrieval (YouCook2 and MSR-VTT).


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Context-Dependent Acoustic Modeling without Explicit Phone Clustering

May 15, 2020
Tina Raissi, Eugen Beck, Ralf Schlüter, Hermann Ney

Phoneme-based acoustic modeling of large vocabulary automatic speech recognition takes advantage of phoneme context. The large number of context-dependent (CD) phonemes and their highly varying statistics require tying or smoothing to enable robust training. Usually, Classification and Regression Trees are used for phonetic clustering, which is standard in Hidden Markov Model (HMM)-based systems. However, this solution introduces a secondary training objective and does not allow for end-to-end training. In this work, we address a direct phonetic context modeling for the hybrid Deep Neural Network (DNN)/HMM, that does not build on any phone clustering algorithm for the determination of the HMM state inventory. By performing different decompositions of the joint probability of the center phoneme state and its left and right contexts, we obtain a factorized network consisting of different components, trained jointly. Moreover, the representation of the phonetic context for the network relies on phoneme embeddings. The recognition accuracy of our proposed models on the Switchboard task is comparable and outperforms slightly the hybrid model using the standard state-tying decision trees.

* Submitted to Interspeech 2020 

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A Focused Study to Compare Arabic Pre-training Models on Newswire IE Tasks

Apr 30, 2020
Wuwei Lan, Yang Chen, Wei Xu, Alan Ritter

The Arabic language is a morphological rich language, posing many challenges for information extraction (IE) tasks, including Named Entity Recognition (NER), Part-of-Speech tagging (POS), Argument Role Labeling (ARL) and Relation Extraction (RE). A few multilingual pre-trained models have been proposed and show good performance for Arabic, however, most experiment results are reported on language understanding tasks, such as natural language inference, question answering and sentiment analysis. Their performance on the IE tasks is less known, in particular, the cross-lingual transfer capability from English to Arabic. In this work, we pre-train a Gigaword-based bilingual language model (GigaBERT) to study these two distant languages as well as zero-short transfer learning on the information extraction tasks. Our GigaBERT model can outperform mBERT and XLM-R-base on NER, POS and ARL tasks, with regarding to the per-language and/or zero-transfer performance. We make our pre-trained models publicly available at https://github.com/lanwuwei/GigaBERT to facilitate the research of this field.


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CorGAN: Correlation-Capturing Convolutional Generative Adversarial Networks for Generating Synthetic Healthcare Records

Mar 04, 2020
Amirsina Torfi, Edward A. Fox

Deep learning models have demonstrated high-quality performance in areas such as image classification and speech processing. However, creating a deep learning model using electronic health record (EHR) data, requires addressing particular privacy challenges that are unique to researchers in this domain. This matter focuses attention on generating realistic synthetic data while ensuring privacy. In this paper, we propose a novel framework called correlation-capturing Generative Adversarial Network (CorGAN), to generate synthetic healthcare records. In CorGAN we utilize Convolutional Neural Networks to capture the correlations between adjacent medical features in the data representation space by combining Convolutional Generative Adversarial Networks and Convolutional Autoencoders. To demonstrate the model fidelity, we show that CorGAN generates synthetic data with performance similar to that of real data in various Machine Learning settings such as classification and prediction. We also give a privacy assessment and report on statistical analysis regarding realistic characteristics of the synthetic data. The software of this work is open-source and is available at: https://github.com/astorfi/cor-gan.

* Accepted to be published in the 33rd International FLAIRS Conference, AI in Healthcare Informatics 

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COR-GAN: Correlation-Capturing Convolutional Neural Networks for Generating Synthetic Healthcare Records

Jan 25, 2020
Amirsina Torfi, Edward A. Fox

Deep learning models have demonstrated high-quality performance in areas such as image classification and speech processing. However, creating a deep learning model using electronic health record (EHR) data, requires addressing particular privacy challenges that are unique to researchers in this domain. This matter focuses attention on generating realistic synthetic data while ensuring privacy. In this paper, we propose a novel framework called correlation-capturing Generative Adversarial Network (corGAN), to generate synthetic healthcare records. In corGAN we utilize Convolutional Neural Networks to capture the correlations between adjacent medical features in the data representation space by combining Convolutional Generative Adversarial Networks and Convolutional Autoencoders. To demonstrate the model fidelity, we show that corGAN generates synthetic data with performance similar to that of real data in various Machine Learning settings such as classification and prediction. We also give a privacy assessment and report on statistical analysis regarding realistic characteristics of the synthetic data. The software of this work is open-source and is available at: https://github.com/astorfi/cor-gan.

* Accepted to be published in the 33rd International FLAIRS Conference, AI in Healthcare Informatics 

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