Alex Gittens


SPOCK @ Causal News Corpus 2022: Cause-Effect-Signal Span Detection Using Span-Based and Sequence Tagging Models
Anik Saha | Alex Gittens | Jian Ni | Oktie Hassanzadeh | Bulent Yener | Kavitha Srinivas
Proceedings of the 5th Workshop on Challenges and Applications of Automated Extraction of Socio-political Events from Text (CASE)

Understanding causal relationship is an importance part of natural language processing. We address the causal information extraction problem with different neural models built on top of pre-trained transformer-based language models for identifying Cause, Effect and Signal spans, from news data sets. We use the Causal News Corpus subtask 2 training data set to train span-based and sequence tagging models. Our span-based model based on pre-trained BERT base weights achieves an F1 score of 47.48 on the test set with an accuracy score of 36.87 and obtained 3rd place in the Causal News Corpus 2022 shared task.

SPOCK at FinCausal 2022: Causal Information Extraction Using Span-Based and Sequence Tagging Models
Anik Saha | Jian Ni | Oktie Hassanzadeh | Alex Gittens | Kavitha Srinivas | Bulent Yener
Proceedings of the 4th Financial Narrative Processing Workshop @LREC2022

Causal information extraction is an important task in natural language processing, particularly in finance domain. In this work, we develop several information extraction models using pre-trained transformer-based language models for identifying cause and effect text spans from financial documents. We use FinCausal 2021 and 2022 data sets to train span-based and sequence tagging models. Our ensemble of sequence tagging models based on the RoBERTa-Large pre-trained language model achieves an F1 score of 94.70 with Exact Match score of 85.85 and obtains the 1st place in the FinCausal 2022 competition.


Reading StackOverflow Encourages Cheating: Adding Question Text Improves Extractive Code Generation
Gabriel Orlanski | Alex Gittens
Proceedings of the 1st Workshop on Natural Language Processing for Programming (NLP4Prog 2021)

Answering a programming question with only its title is difficult as salient contextual information is left out. To address this, we present a corpus of over 40,000 StackOverflow question texts to be used in conjunction with the corresponding intents from the CoNaLa dataset (Yin et al., 2018). Using both the intent and the question body, we use BART to establish a baseline BLEU score of 34.35 for this new task. We then find further improvements of 2.8% by combining the mined CoNaLa data with the labeled data to achieve a 35.32 BLEU score. We then evaluate the prior state-of-the-art CoNaLa models with this additional data. We find that our proposed method of using the body and mined data beats that of the previous state-of-the-art by a 71.96% BLEU score. Finally, we perform ablations that prove that BART is an unsupervised multimodal learner and examine its extractive behavior.


Skip-Gram − Zipf + Uniform = Vector Additivity
Alex Gittens | Dimitris Achlioptas | Michael W. Mahoney
Proceedings of the 55th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

In recent years word-embedding models have gained great popularity due to their remarkable performance on several tasks, including word analogy questions and caption generation. An unexpected “side-effect” of such models is that their vectors often exhibit compositionality, i.e., addingtwo word-vectors results in a vector that is only a small angle away from the vector of a word representing the semantic composite of the original words, e.g., “man” + “royal” = “king”. This work provides a theoretical justification for the presence of additive compositionality in word vectors learned using the Skip-Gram model. In particular, it shows that additive compositionality holds in an even stricter sense (small distance rather than small angle) under certain assumptions on the process generating the corpus. As a corollary, it explains the success of vector calculus in solving word analogies. When these assumptions do not hold, this work describes the correct non-linear composition operator. Finally, this work establishes a connection between the Skip-Gram model and the Sufficient Dimensionality Reduction (SDR) framework of Globerson and Tishby: the parameters of SDR models can be obtained from those of Skip-Gram models simply by adding information on symbol frequencies. This shows that Skip-Gram embeddings are optimal in the sense of Globerson and Tishby and, further, implies that the heuristics commonly used to approximately fit Skip-Gram models can be used to fit SDR models.