Nikolay Babakov


A large-scale computational study of content preservation measures for text style transfer and paraphrase generation
Nikolay Babakov | David Dale | Varvara Logacheva | Alexander Panchenko
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Student Research Workshop

Text style transfer and paraphrasing of texts are actively growing areas of NLP, dozens of methods for solving these tasks have been recently introduced. In both tasks, the system is supposed to generate a text which should be semantically similar to the input text. Therefore, these tasks are dependent on methods of measuring textual semantic similarity. However, it is still unclear which measures are the best to automatically evaluate content preservation between original and generated text. According to our observations, many researchers still use BLEU-like measures, while there exist more advanced measures including neural-based that significantly outperform classic approaches. The current problem is the lack of a thorough evaluation of the available measures. We close this gap by conducting a large-scale computational study by comparing 57 measures based on different principles on 19 annotated datasets. We show that measures based on cross-encoder models outperform alternative approaches in almost all cases.We also introduce the Mutual Implication Score (MIS), a measure that uses the idea of paraphrasing as a bidirectional entailment and outperforms all other measures on the paraphrase detection task and performs on par with the best measures in the text style transfer task.


Detecting Inappropriate Messages on Sensitive Topics that Could Harm a Company’s Reputation
Nikolay Babakov | Varvara Logacheva | Olga Kozlova | Nikita Semenov | Alexander Panchenko
Proceedings of the 8th Workshop on Balto-Slavic Natural Language Processing

Not all topics are equally “flammable” in terms of toxicity: a calm discussion of turtles or fishing less often fuels inappropriate toxic dialogues than a discussion of politics or sexual minorities. We define a set of sensitive topics that can yield inappropriate and toxic messages and describe the methodology of collecting and labelling a dataset for appropriateness. While toxicity in user-generated data is well-studied, we aim at defining a more fine-grained notion of inappropriateness. The core of inappropriateness is that it can harm the reputation of a speaker. This is different from toxicity in two respects: (i) inappropriateness is topic-related, and (ii) inappropriate message is not toxic but still unacceptable. We collect and release two datasets for Russian: a topic-labelled dataset and an appropriateness-labelled dataset. We also release pre-trained classification models trained on this data.