Uri Shaham


What Do You Get When You Cross Beam Search with Nucleus Sampling?
Uri Shaham | Omer Levy
Proceedings of the Third Workshop on Insights from Negative Results in NLP

We combine beam search with the probabilistic pruning technique of nucleus sampling to create two deterministic nucleus search algorithms for natural language generation. The first algorithm, p-exact search, locally prunes the next-token distribution and performs an exact search over the remaining space. The second algorithm, dynamic beam search, shrinks and expands the beam size according to the entropy of the candidate’s probability distribution. Despite the probabilistic intuition behind nucleus search, experiments on machine translation and summarization benchmarks show that both algorithms reach the same performance levels as standard beam search.

SCROLLS: Standardized CompaRison Over Long Language Sequences
Uri Shaham | Elad Segal | Maor Ivgi | Avia Efrat | Ori Yoran | Adi Haviv | Ankit Gupta | Wenhan Xiong | Mor Geva | Jonathan Berant | Omer Levy
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

NLP benchmarks have largely focused on short texts, such as sentences and paragraphs, even though long texts comprise a considerable amount of natural language in the wild. We introduce SCROLLS, a suite of tasks that require reasoning over long texts. We examine existing long-text datasets, and handpick ones where the text is naturally long, while prioritizing tasks that involve synthesizing information across the input. SCROLLS contains summarization, question answering, and natural language inference tasks, covering multiple domains, including literature, science, business, and entertainment. Initial baselines, including Longformer Encoder-Decoder, indicate that there is ample room for improvement on SCROLLS. We make all datasets available in a unified text-to-text format and host a live leaderboard to facilitate research on model architecture and pretraining methods.


Neural Machine Translation without Embeddings
Uri Shaham | Omer Levy
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Many NLP models operate over sequences of subword tokens produced by hand-crafted tokenization rules and heuristic subword induction algorithms. A simple universal alternative is to represent every computerized text as a sequence of bytes via UTF-8, obviating the need for an embedding layer since there are fewer token types (256) than dimensions. Surprisingly, replacing the ubiquitous embedding layer with one-hot representations of each byte does not hurt performance; experiments on byte-to-byte machine translation from English to 10 different languages show a consistent improvement in BLEU, rivaling character-level and even standard subword-level models. A deeper investigation reveals that the combination of embeddingless models with decoder-input dropout amounts to token dropout, which benefits byte-to-byte models in particular.

Cryptonite: A Cryptic Crossword Benchmark for Extreme Ambiguity in Language
Avia Efrat | Uri Shaham | Dan Kilman | Omer Levy
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Current NLP datasets targeting ambiguity can be solved by a native speaker with relative ease. We present Cryptonite, a large-scale dataset based on cryptic crosswords, which is both linguistically complex and naturally sourced. Each example in Cryptonite is a cryptic clue, a short phrase or sentence with a misleading surface reading, whose solving requires disambiguating semantic, syntactic, and phonetic wordplays, as well as world knowledge. Cryptic clues pose a challenge even for experienced solvers, though top-tier experts can solve them with almost 100% accuracy. Cryptonite is a challenging task for current models; fine-tuning T5-Large on 470k cryptic clues achieves only 7.6% accuracy, on par with the accuracy of a rule-based clue solver (8.6%).