Research papers and code for "Luke Zettlemoyer":
The SimpleQuestions dataset is one of the most commonly used benchmarks for studying single-relation factoid questions. In this paper, we present new evidence that this benchmark can be nearly solved by standard methods. First we show that ambiguity in the data bounds performance on this benchmark at 83.4%; there are often multiple answers that cannot be disambiguated from the linguistic signal alone. Second we introduce a baseline that sets a new state-of-the-art performance level at 78.1% accuracy, despite using standard methods. Finally, we report an empirical analysis showing that the upperbound is loose; roughly a third of the remaining errors are also not resolvable from the linguistic signal. Together, these results suggest that the SimpleQuestions dataset is nearly solved.

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We introduce a fully differentiable approximation to higher-order inference for coreference resolution. Our approach uses the antecedent distribution from a span-ranking architecture as an attention mechanism to iteratively refine span representations. This enables the model to softly consider multiple hops in the predicted clusters. To alleviate the computational cost of this iterative process, we introduce a coarse-to-fine approach that incorporates a less accurate but more efficient bilinear factor, enabling more aggressive pruning without hurting accuracy. Compared to the existing state-of-the-art span-ranking approach, our model significantly improves accuracy on the English OntoNotes benchmark, while being far more computationally efficient.

* Accepted to NAACL 2018
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This paper addresses the problem of mapping natural language sentences to lambda-calculus encodings of their meaning. We describe a learning algorithm that takes as input a training set of sentences labeled with expressions in the lambda calculus. The algorithm induces a grammar for the problem, along with a log-linear model that represents a distribution over syntactic and semantic analyses conditioned on the input sentence. We apply the method to the task of learning natural language interfaces to databases and show that the learned parsers outperform previous methods in two benchmark database domains.

* Appears in Proceedings of the Twenty-First Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence (UAI2005)
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The recent success of transformer networks for neural machine translation and other NLP tasks has led to a surge in research work trying to apply it for speech recognition. Recent efforts studied key research questions around ways of combining positional embedding with speech features, and stability of optimization for large scale learning of transformer networks. In this paper, we propose replacing the sinusoidal positional embedding for transformers with convolutionally learned input representations. These contextual representations provide subsequent transformer blocks with relative positional information needed for discovering long-range relationships between local concepts. The proposed system has favorable optimization characteristics where our reported results are produced with fixed learning rate of 1.0 and no warmup steps. The proposed model reduces the word error rate (WER) by 12% and 16% relative to previously published work on Librispeech "dev other" and "test other" subsets respectively, when no extra LM text is provided. Full code to reproduce our results will be available online at the time of publication.

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Programmers typically organize executable source code using high-level coding patterns or idiomatic structures such as nested loops, exception handlers and recursive blocks, rather than as individual code tokens. In contrast, state of the art semantic parsers still map natural language instructions to source code by building the code syntax tree one node at a time. In this paper, we introduce an iterative method to extract code idioms from large source code corpora by repeatedly collapsing most-frequent depth-2 subtrees of their syntax trees, and we train semantic parsers to apply these idioms during decoding. We apply this idiom-based code generation to a recent context-dependent semantic parsing task, and improve the state of the art by 2.2% BLEU score while reducing training time by more than 50%. This improved speed enables us to scale up the model by training on an extended training set that is 5x times larger, to further move up the state of the art by an additional 2.3% BLEU and 0.9% exact match.

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We present a new architecture for storing and accessing entity mentions during online text processing. While reading the text, entity references are identified, and may be stored by either updating or overwriting a cell in a fixed-length memory. The update operation implies coreference with the other mentions that are stored in the same cell; the overwrite operations causes these mentions to be forgotten. By encoding the memory operations as differentiable gates, it is possible to train the model end-to-end, using both a supervised anaphora resolution objective as well as a supplementary language modeling objective. Evaluation on a dataset of pronoun-name anaphora demonstrates that the model achieves state-of-the-art performance with purely left-to-right processing of the text.

* in review
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We present a set of experiments to demonstrate that deep recurrent neural networks (RNNs) learn internal representations that capture soft hierarchical notions of syntax from highly varied supervision. We consider four syntax tasks at different depths of the parse tree; for each word, we predict its part of speech as well as the first (parent), second (grandparent) and third level (great-grandparent) constituent labels that appear above it. These predictions are made from representations produced at different depths in networks that are pretrained with one of four objectives: dependency parsing, semantic role labeling, machine translation, or language modeling. In every case, we find a correspondence between network depth and syntactic depth, suggesting that a soft syntactic hierarchy emerges. This effect is robust across all conditions, indicating that the models encode significant amounts of syntax even in the absence of an explicit syntactic training supervision.

* Accepted to ACL 2018
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We introduce recurrent additive networks (RANs), a new gated RNN which is distinguished by the use of purely additive latent state updates. At every time step, the new state is computed as a gated component-wise sum of the input and the previous state, without any of the non-linearities commonly used in RNN transition dynamics. We formally show that RAN states are weighted sums of the input vectors, and that the gates only contribute to computing the weights of these sums. Despite this relatively simple functional form, experiments demonstrate that RANs perform on par with LSTMs on benchmark language modeling problems. This result shows that many of the non-linear computations in LSTMs and related networks are not essential, at least for the problems we consider, and suggests that the gates are doing more of the computational work than previously understood.

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We introduce the first global recursive neural parsing model with optimality guarantees during decoding. To support global features, we give up dynamic programs and instead search directly in the space of all possible subtrees. Although this space is exponentially large in the sentence length, we show it is possible to learn an efficient A* parser. We augment existing parsing models, which have informative bounds on the outside score, with a global model that has loose bounds but only needs to model non-local phenomena. The global model is trained with a new objective that encourages the parser to explore a tiny fraction of the search space. The approach is applied to CCG parsing, improving state-of-the-art accuracy by 0.4 F1. The parser finds the optimal parse for 99.9% of held-out sentences, exploring on average only 190 subtrees.

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We present end-to-end neural models for detecting metaphorical word use in context. We show that relatively standard BiLSTM models which operate on complete sentences work well in this setting, in comparison to previous work that used more restricted forms of linguistic context. These models establish a new state-of-the-art on existing verb metaphor detection benchmarks, and show strong performance on jointly predicting the metaphoricity of all words in a running text.

* EMNLP 2018
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Recent BIO-tagging-based neural semantic role labeling models are very high performing, but assume gold predicates as part of the input and cannot incorporate span-level features. We propose an end-to-end approach for jointly predicting all predicates, arguments spans, and the relations between them. The model makes independent decisions about what relationship, if any, holds between every possible word-span pair, and learns contextualized span representations that provide rich, shared input features for each decision. Experiments demonstrate that this approach sets a new state of the art on PropBank SRL without gold predicates.

* 5 pages, ACL 2018
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We introduce a new entity typing task: given a sentence with an entity mention, the goal is to predict a set of free-form phrases (e.g. skyscraper, songwriter, or criminal) that describe appropriate types for the target entity. This formulation allows us to use a new type of distant supervision at large scale: head words, which indicate the type of the noun phrases they appear in. We show that these ultra-fine types can be crowd-sourced, and introduce new evaluation sets that are much more diverse and fine-grained than existing benchmarks. We present a model that can predict open types, and is trained using a multitask objective that pools our new head-word supervision with prior supervision from entity linking. Experimental results demonstrate that our model is effective in predicting entity types at varying granularity; it achieves state of the art performance on an existing fine-grained entity typing benchmark, and sets baselines for our newly-introduced datasets. Our data and model can be downloaded from: http://nlp.cs.washington.edu/entity_type

* ACL 18
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We present a new large-scale corpus of Question-Answer driven Semantic Role Labeling (QA-SRL) annotations, and the first high-quality QA-SRL parser. Our corpus, QA-SRL Bank 2.0, consists of over 250,000 question-answer pairs for over 64,000 sentences across 3 domains and was gathered with a new crowd-sourcing scheme that we show has high precision and good recall at modest cost. We also present neural models for two QA-SRL subtasks: detecting argument spans for a predicate and generating questions to label the semantic relationship. The best models achieve question accuracy of 82.6% and span-level accuracy of 77.6% (under human evaluation) on the full pipelined QA-SRL prediction task. They can also, as we show, be used to gather additional annotations at low cost.

* 10 pages, 3 figures, 8 tables. Accepted to ACL 2018
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We introduce the first end-to-end coreference resolution model and show that it significantly outperforms all previous work without using a syntactic parser or hand-engineered mention detector. The key idea is to directly consider all spans in a document as potential mentions and learn distributions over possible antecedents for each. The model computes span embeddings that combine context-dependent boundary representations with a head-finding attention mechanism. It is trained to maximize the marginal likelihood of gold antecedent spans from coreference clusters and is factored to enable aggressive pruning of potential mentions. Experiments demonstrate state-of-the-art performance, with a gain of 1.5 F1 on the OntoNotes benchmark and by 3.1 F1 using a 5-model ensemble, despite the fact that this is the first approach to be successfully trained with no external resources.

* Accepted to EMNLP 2017
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Information Extraction (IE) aims to automatically generate a large knowledge base from natural language text, but progress remains slow. Supervised learning requires copious human annotation, while unsupervised and weakly supervised approaches do not deliver competitive accuracy. As a result, most fielded applications of IE, as well as the leading TAC-KBP systems, rely on significant amounts of manual engineering. Even "Extreme" methods, such as those reported in Freedman et al. 2011, require about 10 hours of expert labor per relation. This paper shows how to reduce that effort by an order of magnitude. We present a novel system, InstaRead, that streamlines authoring with an ensemble of methods: 1) encoding extraction rules in an expressive and compositional representation, 2) guiding the user to promising rules based on corpus statistics and mined resources, and 3) introducing a new interactive development cycle that provides immediate feedback --- even on large datasets. Experiments show that experts can create quality extractors in under an hour and even NLP novices can author good extractors. These extractors equal or outperform ones obtained by comparably supervised and state-of-the-art distantly supervised approaches.

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Most machine translation systems generate text autoregressively, by sequentially predicting tokens from left to right. We, instead, use a masked language modeling objective to train a model to predict any subset of the target words, conditioned on both the input text and a partially masked target translation. This approach allows for efficient iterative decoding, where we first predict all of the target words non-autoregressively, and then repeatedly mask out and regenerate the subset of words that the model is least confident about. By applying this strategy for a constant number of iterations, our model improves state-of-the-art performance levels for constant-time translation models by over 3 BLEU on average. It is also able to reach 92-95% of the performance of a typical left-to-right transformer model, while decoding significantly faster.

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Source code is rarely written in isolation. It depends significantly on the programmatic context, such as the class that the code would reside in. To study this phenomenon, we introduce the task of generating class member functions given English documentation and the programmatic context provided by the rest of the class. This task is challenging because the desired code can vary greatly depending on the functionality the class provides (e.g., a sort function may or may not be available when we are asked to "return the smallest element" in a particular member variable list). We introduce CONCODE, a new large dataset with over 100,000 examples consisting of Java classes from online code repositories, and develop a new encoder-decoder architecture that models the interaction between the method documentation and the class environment. We also present a detailed error analysis suggesting that there is significant room for future work on this task.

* Accepted at EMNLP 2018
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LSTMs were introduced to combat vanishing gradients in simple RNNs by augmenting them with gated additive recurrent connections. We present an alternative view to explain the success of LSTMs: the gates themselves are versatile recurrent models that provide more representational power than previously appreciated. We do this by decoupling the LSTM's gates from the embedded simple RNN, producing a new class of RNNs where the recurrence computes an element-wise weighted sum of context-independent functions of the input. Ablations on a range of problems demonstrate that the gating mechanism alone performs as well as an LSTM in most settings, strongly suggesting that the gates are doing much more in practice than just alleviating vanishing gradients.

* ACL 2018
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We propose syntactically controlled paraphrase networks (SCPNs) and use them to generate adversarial examples. Given a sentence and a target syntactic form (e.g., a constituency parse), SCPNs are trained to produce a paraphrase of the sentence with the desired syntax. We show it is possible to create training data for this task by first doing backtranslation at a very large scale, and then using a parser to label the syntactic transformations that naturally occur during this process. Such data allows us to train a neural encoder-decoder model with extra inputs to specify the target syntax. A combination of automated and human evaluations show that SCPNs generate paraphrases that follow their target specifications without decreasing paraphrase quality when compared to baseline (uncontrolled) paraphrase systems. Furthermore, they are more capable of generating syntactically adversarial examples that both (1) "fool" pretrained models and (2) improve the robustness of these models to syntactic variation when used to augment their training data.

* NAACL 2018
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We show that relation extraction can be reduced to answering simple reading comprehension questions, by associating one or more natural-language questions with each relation slot. This reduction has several advantages: we can (1) learn relation-extraction models by extending recent neural reading-comprehension techniques, (2) build very large training sets for those models by combining relation-specific crowd-sourced questions with distant supervision, and even (3) do zero-shot learning by extracting new relation types that are only specified at test-time, for which we have no labeled training examples. Experiments on a Wikipedia slot-filling task demonstrate that the approach can generalize to new questions for known relation types with high accuracy, and that zero-shot generalization to unseen relation types is possible, at lower accuracy levels, setting the bar for future work on this task.

* CoNLL 2017
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