Computational Linguistics Journal (2020)


bib (full) Computational Linguistics, Volume 46, Issue 1 - March 2020

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An Empirical Study on Crosslingual Transfer in Probabilistic Topic Models
Shudong Hao | Michael J. Paul

Probabilistic topic modeling is a common first step in crosslingual tasks to enable knowledge transfer and extract multilingual features. Although many multilingual topic models have been developed, their assumptions about the training corpus are quite varied, and it is not clear how well the different models can be utilized under various training conditions. In this article, the knowledge transfer mechanisms behind different multilingual topic models are systematically studied, and through a broad set of experiments with four models on ten languages, we provide empirical insights that can inform the selection and future development of multilingual topic models.

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Data-Driven Sentence Simplification : Survey and Benchmark
Fernando Alva-Manchego | Carolina Scarton | Lucia Specia

Sentence Simplification (SS) aims to modify a sentence in order to make it easier to read and understand. In order to do so, several rewriting transformations can be performed such as replacement, reordering, and splitting. Executing these transformations while keeping sentences grammatical, preserving their main idea, and generating simpler output, is a challenging and still far from solved problem. In this article, we survey research on SS, focusing on approaches that attempt to learn how to simplify using corpora of aligned original-simplified sentence pairs in English, which is the dominant paradigm nowadays. We also include a benchmark of different approaches on common data sets so as to compare them and highlight their strengths and limitations. We expect that this survey will serve as a starting point for researchers interested in the task and help spark new ideas for future developments.


bib (full) Computational Linguistics, Volume 46, Issue 2 - June 2020

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Unsupervised Word Translation with Adversarial Autoencoder
Tasnim Mohiuddin | Shafiq Joty

Crosslingual word embeddings learned from monolingual embeddings have a crucial role in many downstream tasks, ranging from machine translation to transfer learning. Adversarial training has shown impressive success in learning crosslingual embeddings and the associated word translation task without any parallel data by mapping monolingual embeddings to a shared space. However, recent work has shown superior performance for non-adversarial methods in more challenging language pairs. In this article, we investigate adversarial autoencoder for unsupervised word translation and propose two novel extensions to it that yield more stable training and improved results. Our method includes regularization terms to enforce cycle consistency and input reconstruction, and puts the target encoders as an adversary against the corresponding discriminator. We use two types of refinement procedures sequentially after obtaining the trained encoders and mappings from the adversarial training, namely, refinement with Procrustes solution and refinement with symmetric re-weighting. Extensive experimentations with high- and low-resource languages from two different data sets show that our method achieves better performance than existing adversarial and non-adversarial approaches and is also competitive with the supervised system. Along with performing comprehensive ablation studies to understand the contribution of different components of our adversarial model, we also conduct a thorough analysis of the refinement procedures to understand their effects.

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LINSPECTOR : Multilingual Probing Tasks for Word RepresentationsLINSPECTOR: Multilingual Probing Tasks for Word Representations
Gözde Gül Şahin | Clara Vania | Ilia Kuznetsov | Iryna Gurevych

Despite an ever-growing number of word representation models introduced for a large number of languages, there is a lack of a standardized technique to provide insights into what is captured by these models. Such insights would help the community to get an estimate of the downstream task performance, as well as to design more informed neural architectures, while avoiding extensive experimentation that requires substantial computational resources not all researchers have access to. A recent development in NLP is to use simple classification tasks, also called probing tasks, that test for a single linguistic feature such as part-of-speech. Existing studies mostly focus on exploring the linguistic information encoded by the continuous representations of English text. However, from a typological perspective the morphologically poor English is rather an outlier : The information encoded by the word order and function words in English is often stored on a subword, morphological level in other languages. To address this, we introduce 15 type-level probing tasks such as case marking, possession, word length, morphological tag count, and pseudoword identification for 24 languages. We present a reusable methodology for creation and evaluation of such tests in a multilingual setting, which is challenging because of a lack of resources, lower quality of tools, and differences among languages. We then present experiments on several diverse multilingual word embedding models, in which we relate the probing task performance for a diverse set of languages to a range of five classic NLP tasks : POS-tagging, dependency parsing, semantic role labeling, named entity recognition, and natural language inference. We find that a number of probing tests have significantly high positive correlation to the downstream tasks, especially for morphologically rich languages. We show that our tests can be used to explore word embeddings or black-box neural models for linguistic cues in a multilingual setting. We release the probing data sets and the evaluation suite LINSPECTOR with

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The Limitations of Stylometry for Detecting Machine-Generated Fake News
Tal Schuster | Roei Schuster | Darsh J. Shah | Regina Barzilay

Recent developments in neural language models (LMs) have raised concerns about their potential misuse for automatically spreading misinformation. In light of these concerns, several studies have proposed to detect machine-generated fake news by capturing their stylistic differences from human-written text. These approaches, broadly termed stylometry, have found success in source attribution and misinformation detection in human-written texts. However, in this work, we show that stylometry is limited against machine-generated misinformation. Whereas humans speak differently when trying to deceive, LMs generate stylistically consistent text, regardless of underlying motive. Thus, though stylometry can successfully prevent impersonation by identifying text provenance, it fails to distinguish legitimate LM applications from those that introduce false information. We create two benchmarks demonstrating the stylistic similarity between malicious and legitimate uses of LMs, utilized in auto-completion and editing-assistance settings.1 Our findings highlight the need for non-stylometry approaches in detecting machine-generated misinformation, and open up the discussion on the desired evaluation benchmarks.