Proceedings of the 2nd Conference of the Asia-Pacific Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 12th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing: System Demonstrations

Wray Buntine, Maria Liakata (Editors)

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Taipei, Taiwan
Association for Computational Linguistics
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Proceedings of the 2nd Conference of the Asia-Pacific Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 12th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing: System Demonstrations
Wray Buntine | Maria Liakata

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VScript: Controllable Script Generation with Visual Presentation
Ziwei Ji | Yan Xu | I-Tsun Cheng | Samuel Cahyawijaya | Rita Frieske | Etsuko Ishii | Min Zeng | Andrea Madotto | Pascale Fung

In order to offer a customized script tool and inspire professional scriptwriters, we present VScript. It is a controllable pipeline that generates complete scripts, including dialogues and scene descriptions, as well as presents visually using video retrieval. With an interactive interface, our system allows users to select genres and input starting words that control the theme and development of the generated script. We adopt a hierarchical structure, which first generates the plot, then the script and its visual presentation. A novel approach is also introduced to plot-guided dialogue generation by treating it as an inverse dialogue summarization. The experiment results show that our approach outperforms the baselines on both automatic and human evaluations, especially in genre control.

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TexPrax: A Messaging Application for Ethical, Real-time Data Collection and Annotation
Lorenz Stangier | Ji-Ung Lee | Yuxi Wang | Marvin Müller | Nicholas Frick | Joachim Metternich | Iryna Gurevych

Collecting and annotating task-oriented dialog data is difficult, especially for highly specific domains that require expert knowledge. At the same time, informal communication channels such as instant messengers are increasingly being used at work. This has led to a lot of work-relevant information that is disseminated through those channels and needs to be post-processed manually by the employees. To alleviate this problem, we present TexPrax, a messaging system to collect and annotate _problems_, _causes_, and _solutions_ that occur in work-related chats. TexPrax uses a chatbot to directly engage the employees to provide lightweight annotations on their conversation and ease their documentation work. To comply with data privacy and security regulations, we use an end-to-end message encryption and give our users full control over their data which has various advantages over conventional annotation tools. We evaluate TexPrax in a user-study with German factory employees who ask their colleagues for solutions on problems that arise during their daily work. Overall, we collect 202 task-oriented German dialogues containing 1,027 sentences with sentence-level expert annotations. Our data analysis also reveals that real-world conversations frequently contain instances with code-switching, varying abbreviations for the same entity, and dialects which NLP systems should be able to handle.

PicTalky: Augmentative and Alternative Communication for Language Developmental Disabilities
Chanjun Park | Yoonna Jang | Seolhwa Lee | Jaehyung Seo | Kisu Yang | Heuiseok Lim

Children with language disabilities face communication difficulties in daily life. They are often deprived of the opportunity to participate in social activities due to their difficulty in understanding or using natural language. In this regard, Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) can be a practical means of communication for children with language disabilities. In this study, we propose PicTalky, which is an AI-based AAC system that helps children with language developmental disabilities to improve their communication skills and language comprehension abilities. PicTalky can process both text and pictograms more accurately by connecting a series of neural-based NLP modules. Additionally, we perform quantitative and qualitative analyses on the modules of PicTalky. By using this service, it is expected that those suffering from language problems will be able to express their intentions or desires more easily and improve their quality of life. We have made the models freely available alongside a demonstration of the web interface. Furthermore, we implemented robotics AAC for the first time by applying PicTalky to the NAO robot.

UKP-SQuARE v2: Explainability and Adversarial Attacks for Trustworthy QA
Rachneet Sachdeva | Haritz Puerto | Tim Baumgärtner | Sewin Tariverdian | Hao Zhang | Kexin Wang | Hossain Shaikh Saadi | Leonardo F. R. Ribeiro | Iryna Gurevych

Question Answering (QA) systems are increasingly deployed in applications where they support real-world decisions. However, state-of-the-art models rely on deep neural networks, which are difficult to interpret by humans. Inherently interpretable models or post hoc explainability methods can help users to comprehend how a model arrives at its prediction and, if successful, increase their trust in the system. Furthermore, researchers can leverage these insights to develop new methods that are more accurate and less biased. In this paper, we introduce SQuARE v2, the new version of SQuARE, to provide an explainability infrastructure for comparing models based on methods such as saliency maps and graph-based explanations. While saliency maps are useful to inspect the importance of each input token for the model’s prediction, graph-based explanations from external Knowledge Graphs enable the users to verify the reasoning behind the model prediction. In addition, we provide multiple adversarial attacks to compare the robustness of QA models. With these explainability methods and adversarial attacks, we aim to ease the research on trustworthy QA models. SQuARE is available on

TaxFree: a Visualization Tool for Candidate-free Taxonomy Enrichment
Irina Nikishina | Ivan Andrianov | Alsu Vakhitova | Alexander Panchenko

Taxonomies are widely used in a various number of downstream NLP tasks and, therefore, should be kept up-to-date. In this paper, we present TaxFree, an open source system for taxonomy visualisation and automatic Taxonomy Enrichment without pre-defined candidates on the example of WordNet-3.0. As oppose to the traditional task formulation (where the list of new words is provided beforehand), we provide an approach for automatic extension of a taxonomy using a large pre-trained language model. As an advantage to the existing visualisation tools of WordNet, TaxFree also integrates graphic representations of synsets from ImageNet. Such visualisation tool can be used for both updating taxonomies and inspecting them for the required modifications.

F-coref: Fast, Accurate and Easy to Use Coreference Resolution
Shon Otmazgin | Arie Cattan | Yoav Goldberg

We introduce fastcoref, a python package for fast, accurate, and easy-to-use English coreference resolution. The package is pip-installable, and allows two modes: an accurate mode based on the LingMess architecture, providing state-of-the-art coreference accuracy, and a substantially faster model, F-coref, which is the focus of this work. F-coref allows to process 2.8K OntoNotes documents in 25 seconds on a V100 GPU (compared to 6 minutes for the LingMess model, and to 12 minutes of the popular AllenNLP coreference model) with only a modest drop in accuracy. The fast speed is achieved through a combination of distillation of a compact model from the LingMess model, and an efficient batching implementation using a technique we call leftover batching.

PIEKM: ML-based Procedural Information Extraction and Knowledge Management System for Materials Science Literature
Huichen Yang | Carlos Aguirre | William Hsu

The published materials science literature contains abundant description information about synthesis procedures that can help discover new material areas, deepen the study of materials synthesis, and accelerate its automated planning. Nevertheless, this information is expressed in unstructured text, and manually processing and assimilating useful information is expensive and time-consuming for researchers. To address this challenge, we develop a Machine Learning-based procedural information extraction and knowledge management system (PIEKM) that extracts procedural information recipe steps, figures, and tables from materials science articles, and provides information retrieval capability and the statistics visualization functionality. Our system aims to help researchers to gain insights and quickly understand the connections among massive data. Moreover, we demonstrate that the machine learning-based system performs well in low-resource scenarios (i.e., limited annotated data) for domain adaption.

BiomedCurator: Data Curation for Biomedical Literature
Mohammad Golam Sohrab | Khoa N.A. Duong | Ikeda Masami | Goran Topić | Yayoi Natsume-Kitatani | Masakata Kuroda | Mari Nogami Itoh | Hiroya Takamura

We present BiomedCurator1, a web application that extracts the structured data from scientific articles in PubMed and BiomedCurator uses state-of-the-art natural language processing techniques to fill the fields pre-selected by domain experts in the relevant biomedical area. The BiomedCurator web application includes: text generation based model for relation extraction, entity detection and recognition, text classification model for extracting several fields, information retrieval from external knowledge base to retrieve IDs, and a pattern-based extraction approach that can extract several fields using regular expressions over the PubMed and datasets. Evaluation results show that different approaches of BiomedCurator web application system are effective for automatic data curation in the biomedical domain.

Text Characterization Toolkit (TCT)
Daniel Simig | Tianlu Wang | Verna Dankers | Peter Henderson | Khuyagbaatar Batsuren | Dieuwke Hupkes | Mona Diab

We present a tool, Text Characterization Toolkit (TCT), that researchers can use to study characteristics of large datasets. Furthermore, such properties can lead to understanding the influence of such attributes on models’ behaviour. Traditionally, in most NLP research, models are usually evaluated by reporting single-number performance scores on a number of readily available benchmarks, without much deeper analysis. Here, we argue that – especially given the well-known fact that benchmarks often contain biases, artefacts, and spurious correlations – deeper results analysis should become the de-facto standard when presenting new models or benchmarks. TCT aims at filling this gap by facilitating such deeper analysis for datasets at scale, where datasets can be for training/development/evaluation. TCT includes both an easy-to-use tool, as well as off-the-shelf scripts that can be used for specific analyses. We also present use-cases from several different domains. TCT is used to predict difficult examples for given well-known trained models; TCT is also used to identify (potentially harmful) biases present in a dataset.

Meeting Decision Tracker: Making Meeting Minutes with De-Contextualized Utterances
Shumpei Inoue | Hy Nguyen | Hoang Pham | Tsungwei Liu | Minh-Tien Nguyen

Meetings are a universal process to make decisions in business and project collaboration. The capability to automatically itemize the decisions in daily meetings allows for extensive tracking of past discussions. To that end, we developed Meeting Decision Tracker, a prototype system to construct decision items comprising decision utterance detector (DUD) and decision utterance rewriter (DUR). We show that DUR makes a sizable contribution to improving the user experience by dealing with utterance collapse in natural conversation. An introduction video of our system is also available at