In scientific papers, arguments are essential for explaining authors’ findings. As substrates of the reasoning process, arguments are often decorated with discourse indicators such as “which shows that” or “suggesting that”. However, it remains understudied whether discourse indicators by themselves can be used as an effective marker of the local argument components (LACs) in the body text that support the main claim in the abstract, i.e., the global argument. In this work, we investigate whether discourse indicators reflect the global premise and conclusion. We construct a set of regular expressions for over 100 word- and phrase-level discourse indicators and measure the alignment of LACs extracted by discourse indicators with the global arguments. We find a positive correlation between the alignment of local premises and local conclusions. However, compared to a simple textual intersection baseline, discourse indicators achieve lower ROUGE recall and have limited capability of extracting LACs relevant to the global argument; thus their role in scientific reasoning is less salient as expected.
We explore the suitability of self-attention models for character-level neural machine translation. We test the standard transformer model, as well as a novel variant in which the encoder block combines information from nearby characters using convolutions. We perform extensive experiments on WMT and UN datasets, testing both bilingual and multilingual translation to English using up to three input languages (French, Spanish, and Chinese). Our transformer variant consistently outperforms the standard transformer at the character-level and converges faster while learning more robust character-level alignments.
Each claim in a research paper requires all relevant prior knowledge to be discovered, assimilated, and appropriately cited. However, despite the availability of powerful search engines and sophisticated text editing software, discovering relevant papers and integrating the knowledge into a manuscript remain complex tasks associated with high cognitive load. To define comprehensive search queries requires strong motivation from authors, irrespective of their familiarity with the research field. Moreover, switching between independent applications for literature discovery, bibliography management, reading papers, and writing text burdens authors further and interrupts their creative process. Here, we present a web application that combines text editing and literature discovery in an interactive user interface. The application is equipped with a search engine that couples Boolean keyword filtering with nearest neighbor search over text embeddings, providing a discovery experience tuned to an author’s manuscript and his interests. Our application aims to take a step towards more enjoyable and effortless academic writing. The demo of the application (https://SciEditorDemo2020.herokuapp.com) and a short video tutorial (https://youtu.be/pkdVU60IcRc) are available online.
Character-level Neural Machine Translation (NMT) models have recently achieved impressive results on many language pairs. They mainly do well for Indo-European language pairs, where the languages share the same writing system. However, for translating between Chinese and English, the gap between the two different writing systems poses a major challenge because of a lack of systematic correspondence between the individual linguistic units. In this paper, we enable character-level NMT for Chinese, by breaking down Chinese characters into linguistic units similar to that of Indo-European languages. We use the Wubi encoding scheme, which preserves the original shape and semantic information of the characters, while also being reversible. We show promising results from training Wubi-based models on the character- and subword-level with recurrent as well as convolutional models.