Research papers and code for "Miguel Ballesteros":
Neural encoder-decoder models of machine translation have achieved impressive results, while learning linguistic knowledge of both the source and target languages in an implicit end-to-end manner. We propose a framework in which our model begins learning syntax and translation interleaved, gradually putting more focus on translation. Using this approach, we achieve considerable improvements in terms of BLEU score on relatively large parallel corpus (WMT14 English to German) and a low-resource (WIT German to English) setup.

* Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics, 6:225-240 (2018)
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Neural machine translation has achieved levels of fluency and adequacy that would have been surprising a short time ago. Output quality is extremely relevant for industry purposes, however it is equally important to produce results in the shortest time possible, mainly for latency-sensitive applications and to control cloud hosting costs. In this paper we show the effectiveness of translating with 8-bit quantization for models that have been trained using 32-bit floating point values. Results show that 8-bit translation makes a non-negligible impact in terms of speed with no degradation in accuracy and adequacy.

* To appear at NAACL 2018 Industry Track
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Our work involves enriching the Stack-LSTM transition-based AMR parser (Ballesteros and Al-Onaizan, 2017) by augmenting training with Policy Learning and rewarding the Smatch score of sampled graphs. In addition, we also combined several AMR-to-text alignments with an attention mechanism and we supplemented the parser with pre-processed concept identification, named entities and contextualized embeddings. We achieve a highly competitive performance that is comparable to the best published results. We show an in-depth study ablating each of the new components of the parser

* Accepted as short paper at ACL 2019
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We present a transition-based AMR parser that directly generates AMR parses from plain text. We use Stack-LSTMs to represent our parser state and make decisions greedily. In our experiments, we show that our parser achieves very competitive scores on English using only AMR training data. Adding additional information, such as POS tags and dependency trees, improves the results further.

* EMNLP 2017
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Multilingual machine translation addresses the task of translating between multiple source and target languages. We propose task-specific attention models, a simple but effective technique for improving the quality of sequence-to-sequence neural multilingual translation. Our approach seeks to retain as much of the parameter sharing generalization of NMT models as possible, while still allowing for language-specific specialization of the attention model to a particular language-pair or task. Our experiments on four languages of the Europarl corpus show that using a target-specific model of attention provides consistent gains in translation quality for all possible translation directions, compared to a model in which all parameters are shared. We observe improved translation quality even in the (extreme) low-resource zero-shot translation directions for which the model never saw explicitly paired parallel data.

* COLING 2018
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Emojis are ideograms which are naturally combined with plain text to visually complement or condense the meaning of a message. Despite being widely used in social media, their underlying semantics have received little attention from a Natural Language Processing standpoint. In this paper, we investigate the relation between words and emojis, studying the novel task of predicting which emojis are evoked by text-based tweet messages. We train several models based on Long Short-Term Memory networks (LSTMs) in this task. Our experimental results show that our neural model outperforms two baselines as well as humans solving the same task, suggesting that computational models are able to better capture the underlying semantics of emojis.

* To appear at EACL 2017
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We present extensions to a continuous-state dependency parsing method that makes it applicable to morphologically rich languages. Starting with a high-performance transition-based parser that uses long short-term memory (LSTM) recurrent neural networks to learn representations of the parser state, we replace lookup-based word representations with representations constructed from the orthographic representations of the words, also using LSTMs. This allows statistical sharing across word forms that are similar on the surface. Experiments for morphologically rich languages show that the parsing model benefits from incorporating the character-based encodings of words.

* In Proceedings of EMNLP 2015
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The need for tree structure modelling on top of sequence modelling is an open issue in neural dependency parsing. We investigate the impact of adding a tree layer on top of a sequential model by recursively composing subtree representations (composition) in a transition-based parser that uses features extracted by a BiLSTM. Composition seems superfluous with such a model, suggesting that BiLSTMs capture information about subtrees. We perform model ablations to tease out the conditions under which composition helps. When ablating the backward LSTM, performance drops and composition does not recover much of the gap. When ablating the forward LSTM, performance drops less dramatically and composition recovers a substantial part of the gap, indicating that a forward LSTM and composition capture similar information. We take the backward LSTM to be related to lookahead features and the forward LSTM to the rich history-based features both crucial for transition-based parsers. To capture history-based information, composition is better than a forward LSTM on its own, but it is even better to have a forward LSTM as part of a BiLSTM. We correlate results with language properties, showing that the improved lookahead of a backward LSTM is especially important for head-final languages.

* Accepted at NAACL 2019
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Emojis are small images that are commonly included in social media text messages. The combination of visual and textual content in the same message builds up a modern way of communication, that automatic systems are not used to deal with. In this paper we extend recent advances in emoji prediction by putting forward a multimodal approach that is able to predict emojis in Instagram posts. Instagram posts are composed of pictures together with texts which sometimes include emojis. We show that these emojis can be predicted by using the text, but also using the picture. Our main finding is that incorporating the two synergistic modalities, in a combined model, improves accuracy in an emoji prediction task. This result demonstrates that these two modalities (text and images) encode different information on the use of emojis and therefore can complement each other.

* NAACL 2018 (short)
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We present a transition-based parser that jointly produces syntactic and semantic dependencies. It learns a representation of the entire algorithm state, using stack long short-term memories. Our greedy inference algorithm has linear time, including feature extraction. On the CoNLL 2008--9 English shared tasks, we obtain the best published parsing performance among models that jointly learn syntax and semantics.

* Proceedings of CoNLL 2016; 13 pages, 5 figures
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We introduce recurrent neural network grammars, probabilistic models of sentences with explicit phrase structure. We explain efficient inference procedures that allow application to both parsing and language modeling. Experiments show that they provide better parsing in English than any single previously published supervised generative model and better language modeling than state-of-the-art sequential RNNs in English and Chinese.

* Proceedings of NAACL 2016 (contains corrigendum)
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We adapt the greedy Stack-LSTM dependency parser of Dyer et al. (2015) to support a training-with-exploration procedure using dynamic oracles(Goldberg and Nivre, 2013) instead of cross-entropy minimization. This form of training, which accounts for model predictions at training time rather than assuming an error-free action history, improves parsing accuracies for both English and Chinese, obtaining very strong results for both languages. We discuss some modifications needed in order to get training with exploration to work well for a probabilistic neural-network.

* In proceedings of EMNLP 2016
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We study the use of greedy feature selection methods for morphosyntactic tagging under a number of different conditions. We compare a static ordering of features to a dynamic ordering based on mutual information statistics, and we apply the techniques to standalone taggers as well as joint systems for tagging and parsing. Experiments on five languages show that feature selection can result in more compact models as well as higher accuracy under all conditions, but also that a dynamic ordering works better than a static ordering and that joint systems benefit more than standalone taggers. We also show that the same techniques can be used to select which morphosyntactic categories to predict in order to maximize syntactic accuracy in a joint system. Our final results represent a substantial improvement of the state of the art for several languages, while at the same time reducing both the number of features and the running time by up to 80% in some cases.

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State-of-the-art LSTM language models trained on large corpora learn sequential contingencies in impressive detail and have been shown to acquire a number of non-local grammatical dependencies with some success. Here we investigate whether supervision with hierarchical structure enhances learning of a range of grammatical dependencies, a question that has previously been addressed only for subject-verb agreement. Using controlled experimental methods from psycholinguistics, we compare the performance of word-based LSTM models versus two models that represent hierarchical structure and deploy it in left-to-right processing: Recurrent Neural Network Grammars (RNNGs) (Dyer et al., 2016) and a incrementalized version of the Parsing-as-Language-Modeling configuration from Chariak et al., (2016). Models are tested on a diverse range of configurations for two classes of non-local grammatical dependencies in English---Negative Polarity licensing and Filler--Gap Dependencies. Using the same training data across models, we find that structurally-supervised models outperform the LSTM, with the RNNG demonstrating best results on both types of grammatical dependencies and even learning many of the Island Constraints on the filler--gap dependency. Structural supervision thus provides data efficiency advantages over purely string-based training of neural language models in acquiring human-like generalizations about non-local grammatical dependencies.

* To appear: Proceedings of the 2019 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies
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We introduce two first-order graph-based dependency parsers achieving a new state of the art. The first is a consensus parser built from an ensemble of independently trained greedy LSTM transition-based parsers with different random initializations. We cast this approach as minimum Bayes risk decoding (under the Hamming cost) and argue that weaker consensus within the ensemble is a useful signal of difficulty or ambiguity. The second parser is a "distillation" of the ensemble into a single model. We train the distillation parser using a structured hinge loss objective with a novel cost that incorporates ensemble uncertainty estimates for each possible attachment, thereby avoiding the intractable cross-entropy computations required by applying standard distillation objectives to problems with structured outputs. The first-order distillation parser matches or surpasses the state of the art on English, Chinese, and German.

* 10 pages. To appear at EMNLP 2016
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We train one multilingual model for dependency parsing and use it to parse sentences in several languages. The parsing model uses (i) multilingual word clusters and embeddings; (ii) token-level language information; and (iii) language-specific features (fine-grained POS tags). This input representation enables the parser not only to parse effectively in multiple languages, but also to generalize across languages based on linguistic universals and typological similarities, making it more effective to learn from limited annotations. Our parser's performance compares favorably to strong baselines in a range of data scenarios, including when the target language has a large treebank, a small treebank, or no treebank for training.

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State-of-the-art named entity recognition systems rely heavily on hand-crafted features and domain-specific knowledge in order to learn effectively from the small, supervised training corpora that are available. In this paper, we introduce two new neural architectures---one based on bidirectional LSTMs and conditional random fields, and the other that constructs and labels segments using a transition-based approach inspired by shift-reduce parsers. Our models rely on two sources of information about words: character-based word representations learned from the supervised corpus and unsupervised word representations learned from unannotated corpora. Our models obtain state-of-the-art performance in NER in four languages without resorting to any language-specific knowledge or resources such as gazetteers.

* Proceedings of NAACL 2016
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We propose a technique for learning representations of parser states in transition-based dependency parsers. Our primary innovation is a new control structure for sequence-to-sequence neural networks---the stack LSTM. Like the conventional stack data structures used in transition-based parsing, elements can be pushed to or popped from the top of the stack in constant time, but, in addition, an LSTM maintains a continuous space embedding of the stack contents. This lets us formulate an efficient parsing model that captures three facets of a parser's state: (i) unbounded look-ahead into the buffer of incoming words, (ii) the complete history of actions taken by the parser, and (iii) the complete contents of the stack of partially built tree fragments, including their internal structures. Standard backpropagation techniques are used for training and yield state-of-the-art parsing performance.

* Proceedings of ACL 2015
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We deploy the methods of controlled psycholinguistic experimentation to shed light on the extent to which the behavior of neural network language models reflects incremental representations of syntactic state. To do so, we examine model behavior on artificial sentences containing a variety of syntactically complex structures. We test four models: two publicly available LSTM sequence models of English (Jozefowicz et al., 2016; Gulordava et al., 2018) trained on large datasets; an RNNG (Dyer et al., 2016) trained on a small, parsed dataset; and an LSTM trained on the same small corpus as the RNNG. We find evidence that the LSTMs trained on large datasets represent syntactic state over large spans of text in a way that is comparable to the RNNG, while the LSTM trained on the small dataset does not or does so only weakly.

* Accepted to NAACL 2019. Not yet edited into the camera-ready version
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Recurrent neural network grammars (RNNG) are a recently proposed probabilistic generative modeling family for natural language. They show state-of-the-art language modeling and parsing performance. We investigate what information they learn, from a linguistic perspective, through various ablations to the model and the data, and by augmenting the model with an attention mechanism (GA-RNNG) to enable closer inspection. We find that explicit modeling of composition is crucial for achieving the best performance. Through the attention mechanism, we find that headedness plays a central role in phrasal representation (with the model's latent attention largely agreeing with predictions made by hand-crafted head rules, albeit with some important differences). By training grammars without nonterminal labels, we find that phrasal representations depend minimally on nonterminals, providing support for the endocentricity hypothesis.

* 10 pages. To appear in EACL 2017, Valencia, Spain
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