Olga Golovneva


Cross-lingual transfer for low-resource Arabic language understanding
Khadige Abboud | Olga Golovneva | Christopher DiPersio
Proceedings of the The Seventh Arabic Natural Language Processing Workshop (WANLP)

This paper explores cross-lingual transfer learning in natural language understanding (NLU), with the focus on bootstrapping Arabic from high-resource English and French languages for domain classification, intent classification, and named entity recognition tasks. We adopt a BERT-based architecture and pretrain three models using open-source Wikipedia data and large-scale commercial datasets: monolingual:Arabic, bilingual:Arabic-English, and trilingual:Arabic-English-French models. Additionally, we use off-the-shelf machine translator to translate internal data from source English language to the target Arabic language, in an effort to enhance transfer learning through translation. We conduct experiments that finetune the three models for NLU tasks and evaluate them on a large internal dataset. Despite the morphological, orthographical, and grammatical differences between Arabic and the source languages, transfer learning performance gains from source languages and through machine translation are achieved on a real-world Arabic test dataset in both a zero-shot setting and in a setting when the models are further finetuned on labeled data from the target language.

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Task-driven augmented data evaluation
Olga Golovneva | Pan Wei | Khadige Abboud | Charith Peris | Lizhen Tan | Haiyang Yu
Proceedings of the 2nd Workshop on Natural Language Generation, Evaluation, and Metrics (GEM)

In the area of data augmentation research, the main focus to date has been on the improvement of the generation models, while the examination and improvements to synthetic data evaluation methods remains less explored. In our work, we explore a number of sentence similarity measures in the context of data generation filtering, and evaluate their impact on the performance of the targeted Natural Language Understanding problem on the example of the intent classification and named entity recognition tasks. Our experiments on ATIS dataset show that the right choice of filtering technique can bring up to 33% in sentence accuracy improvement for targeted underrepresented intents.


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Evaluating Cross-Lingual Transfer Learning Approaches in Multilingual Conversational Agent Models
Lizhen Tan | Olga Golovneva
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics: Industry Track

With the recent explosion in popularity of voice assistant devices, there is a growing interest in making them available to user populations in additional countries and languages. However, to provide the highest accuracy and best performance for specific user populations, most existing voice assistant models are developed individually for each region or language, which requires linear investment of effort. In this paper, we propose a general multilingual model framework for Natural Language Understanding (NLU) models, which can help bootstrap new language models faster and reduce the amount of effort required to develop each language separately. We explore how different deep learning architectures affect multilingual NLU model performance. Our experimental results show that these multilingual models can reach same or better performance compared to monolingual models across language-specific test data while require less effort in creating features and model maintenance.

Generative Adversarial Networks for Annotated Data Augmentation in Data Sparse NLU
Olga Golovneva | Charith Peris
Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Natural Language Processing (ICON)

Data sparsity is one of the key challenges associated with model development in Natural Language Understanding (NLU) for conversational agents. The challenge is made more complex by the demand for high quality annotated utterances commonly required for supervised learning, usually resulting in weeks of manual labor and high cost. In this paper, we present our results on boosting NLU model performance through training data augmentation using a sequential generative adversarial network (GAN). We explore data generation in the context of two tasks, the bootstrapping of a new language and the handling of low resource features. For both tasks we explore three sequential GAN architectures, one with a token-level reward function, another with our own implementation of a token-level Monte Carlo rollout reward, and a third with sentence-level reward. We evaluate the performance of these feedback models across several sampling methodologies and compare our results to upsampling the original data to the same scale. We further improve the GAN model performance through the transfer learning of the pre-trained embeddings. Our experiments reveal synthetic data generated using the sequential generative adversarial network provides significant performance boosts across multiple metrics and can be a major benefit to the NLU tasks.