Nikita Kitaev


Learned Incremental Representations for Parsing
Nikita Kitaev | Thomas Lu | Dan Klein
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

We present an incremental syntactic representation that consists of assigning a single discrete label to each word in a sentence, where the label is predicted using strictly incremental processing of a prefix of the sentence, and the sequence of labels for a sentence fully determines a parse tree. Our goal is to induce a syntactic representation that commits to syntactic choices only as they are incrementally revealed by the input, in contrast with standard representations that must make output choices such as attachments speculatively and later throw out conflicting analyses. Our learned representations achieve 93.72 F1 on the Penn Treebank with as few as 5 bits per word, and at 8 bits per word they achieve 94.97 F1, which is comparable with other state of the art parsing models when using the same pre-trained embeddings. We also provide an analysis of the representations learned by our system, investigating properties such as the interpretable syntactic features captured by the system and mechanisms for deferred resolution of syntactic ambiguities.


Interactive Assignments for Teaching Structured Neural NLP
David Gaddy | Daniel Fried | Nikita Kitaev | Mitchell Stern | Rodolfo Corona | John DeNero | Dan Klein
Proceedings of the Fifth Workshop on Teaching NLP

We present a set of assignments for a graduate-level NLP course. Assignments are designed to be interactive, easily gradable, and to give students hands-on experience with several key types of structure (sequences, tags, parse trees, and logical forms), modern neural architectures (LSTMs and Transformers), inference algorithms (dynamic programs and approximate search) and training methods (full and weak supervision). We designed assignments to build incrementally both within each assignment and across assignments, with the goal of enabling students to undertake graduate-level research in NLP by the end of the course.


Unsupervised Parsing via Constituency Tests
Steven Cao | Nikita Kitaev | Dan Klein
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

We propose a method for unsupervised parsing based on the linguistic notion of a constituency test. One type of constituency test involves modifying the sentence via some transformation (e.g. replacing the span with a pronoun) and then judging the result (e.g. checking if it is grammatical). Motivated by this idea, we design an unsupervised parser by specifying a set of transformations and using an unsupervised neural acceptability model to make grammaticality decisions. To produce a tree given a sentence, we score each span by aggregating its constituency test judgments, and we choose the binary tree with the highest total score. While this approach already achieves performance in the range of current methods, we further improve accuracy by fine-tuning the grammaticality model through a refinement procedure, where we alternate between improving the estimated trees and improving the grammaticality model. The refined model achieves 62.8 F1 on the Penn Treebank test set, an absolute improvement of 7.6 points over the previously best published result.

Tetra-Tagging: Word-Synchronous Parsing with Linear-Time Inference
Nikita Kitaev | Dan Klein
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

We present a constituency parsing algorithm that, like a supertagger, works by assigning labels to each word in a sentence. In order to maximally leverage current neural architectures, the model scores each word’s tags in parallel, with minimal task-specific structure. After scoring, a left-to-right reconciliation phase extracts a tree in (empirically) linear time. Our parser achieves 95.4 F1 on the WSJ test set while also achieving substantial speedups compared to current state-of-the-art parsers with comparable accuracies.


Cross-Domain Generalization of Neural Constituency Parsers
Daniel Fried | Nikita Kitaev | Dan Klein
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Neural parsers obtain state-of-the-art results on benchmark treebanks for constituency parsing—but to what degree do they generalize to other domains? We present three results about the generalization of neural parsers in a zero-shot setting: training on trees from one corpus and evaluating on out-of-domain corpora. First, neural and non-neural parsers generalize comparably to new domains. Second, incorporating pre-trained encoder representations into neural parsers substantially improves their performance across all domains, but does not give a larger relative improvement for out-of-domain treebanks. Finally, despite the rich input representations they learn, neural parsers still benefit from structured output prediction of output trees, yielding higher exact match accuracy and stronger generalization both to larger text spans and to out-of-domain corpora. We analyze generalization on English and Chinese corpora, and in the process obtain state-of-the-art parsing results for the Brown, Genia, and English Web treebanks.

Multilingual Constituency Parsing with Self-Attention and Pre-Training
Nikita Kitaev | Steven Cao | Dan Klein
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

We show that constituency parsing benefits from unsupervised pre-training across a variety of languages and a range of pre-training conditions. We first compare the benefits of no pre-training, fastText, ELMo, and BERT for English and find that BERT outperforms ELMo, in large part due to increased model capacity, whereas ELMo in turn outperforms the non-contextual fastText embeddings. We also find that pre-training is beneficial across all 11 languages tested; however, large model sizes (more than 100 million parameters) make it computationally expensive to train separate models for each language. To address this shortcoming, we show that joint multilingual pre-training and fine-tuning allows sharing all but a small number of parameters between ten languages in the final model. The 10x reduction in model size compared to fine-tuning one model per language causes only a 3.2% relative error increase in aggregate. We further explore the idea of joint fine-tuning and show that it gives low-resource languages a way to benefit from the larger datasets of other languages. Finally, we demonstrate new state-of-the-art results for 11 languages, including English (95.8 F1) and Chinese (91.8 F1).

CoDraw: Collaborative Drawing as a Testbed for Grounded Goal-driven Communication
Jin-Hwa Kim | Nikita Kitaev | Xinlei Chen | Marcus Rohrbach | Byoung-Tak Zhang | Yuandong Tian | Dhruv Batra | Devi Parikh
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

In this work, we propose a goal-driven collaborative task that combines language, perception, and action. Specifically, we develop a Collaborative image-Drawing game between two agents, called CoDraw. Our game is grounded in a virtual world that contains movable clip art objects. The game involves two players: a Teller and a Drawer. The Teller sees an abstract scene containing multiple clip art pieces in a semantically meaningful configuration, while the Drawer tries to reconstruct the scene on an empty canvas using available clip art pieces. The two players communicate with each other using natural language. We collect the CoDraw dataset of ~10K dialogs consisting of ~138K messages exchanged between human players. We define protocols and metrics to evaluate learned agents in this testbed, highlighting the need for a novel “crosstalk” evaluation condition which pairs agents trained independently on disjoint subsets of the training data. We present models for our task and benchmark them using both fully automated evaluation and by having them play the game live with humans.


Constituency Parsing with a Self-Attentive Encoder
Nikita Kitaev | Dan Klein
Proceedings of the 56th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

We demonstrate that replacing an LSTM encoder with a self-attentive architecture can lead to improvements to a state-of-the-art discriminative constituency parser. The use of attention makes explicit the manner in which information is propagated between different locations in the sentence, which we use to both analyze our model and propose potential improvements. For example, we find that separating positional and content information in the encoder can lead to improved parsing accuracy. Additionally, we evaluate different approaches for lexical representation. Our parser achieves new state-of-the-art results for single models trained on the Penn Treebank: 93.55 F1 without the use of any external data, and 95.13 F1 when using pre-trained word representations. Our parser also outperforms the previous best-published accuracy figures on 8 of the 9 languages in the SPMRL dataset.


Where is Misty? Interpreting Spatial Descriptors by Modeling Regions in Space
Nikita Kitaev | Dan Klein
Proceedings of the 2017 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

We present a model for locating regions in space based on natural language descriptions. Starting with a 3D scene and a sentence, our model is able to associate words in the sentence with regions in the scene, interpret relations such as ‘on top of’ or ‘next to,’ and finally locate the region described in the sentence. All components form a single neural network that is trained end-to-end without prior knowledge of object segmentation. To evaluate our model, we construct and release a new dataset consisting of Minecraft scenes with crowdsourced natural language descriptions. We achieve a 32% relative error reduction compared to a strong neural baseline.