Feature attribution a.k.a. input salience methods which assign an importance score to a feature are abundant but may produce surprisingly different results for the same model on the same input. While differences are expected if disparate definitions of importance are assumed, most methods claim to provide faithful attributions and point at the features most relevant for a model’s prediction. Existing work on faithfulness evaluation is not conclusive and does not provide a clear answer as to how different methods are to be compared.Focusing on text classification and the model debugging scenario, our main contribution is a protocol for faithfulness evaluation that makes use of partially synthetic data to obtain ground truth for feature importance ranking. Following the protocol, we do an in-depth analysis of four standard salience method classes on a range of datasets and lexical shortcuts for BERT and LSTM models. We demonstrate that some of the most popular method configurations provide poor results even for simple shortcuts while a method judged to be too simplistic works remarkably well for BERT.
Unresolved coreference is a bottleneck for relation extraction, and high-quality coreference resolvers may produce an output that makes it a lot easier to extract knowledge triples. We show how to improve coreference resolvers by forwarding their input to a relation extraction system and reward the resolvers for producing triples that are found in knowledge bases. Since relation extraction systems can rely on different forms of supervision and be biased in different ways, we obtain the best performance, improving over the state of the art, using multi-task reinforcement learning.