Alexandra Uma


Hard and Soft Evaluation of NLP models with BOOtSTrap SAmpling - BooStSa
Tommaso Fornaciari | Alexandra Uma | Massimo Poesio | Dirk Hovy
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics: System Demonstrations

Natural Language Processing (NLP) ‘s applied nature makes it necessary to select the most effective and robust models. Producing slightly higher performance is insufficient; we want to know whether this advantage will carry over to other data sets. Bootstrapped significance tests can indicate that ability.So while necessary, computing the significance of models’ performance differences has many levels of complexity. It can be tedious, especially when the experimental design has many conditions to compare and several runs of experiments.We present BooStSa, a tool that makes it easy to compute significance levels with the BOOtSTrap SAmpling procedure to evaluate models that predict not only standard hard labels but soft-labels (i.e., probability distributions over different classes) as well.

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Proceedings of the 1st Workshop on Perspectivist Approaches to NLP @LREC2022
Gavin Abercrombie | Valerio Basile | Sara Tonelli | Verena Rieser | Alexandra Uma
Proceedings of the 1st Workshop on Perspectivist Approaches to NLP @LREC2022


Beyond Black & White: Leveraging Annotator Disagreement via Soft-Label Multi-Task Learning
Tommaso Fornaciari | Alexandra Uma | Silviu Paun | Barbara Plank | Dirk Hovy | Massimo Poesio
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Supervised learning assumes that a ground truth label exists. However, the reliability of this ground truth depends on human annotators, who often disagree. Prior work has shown that this disagreement can be helpful in training models. We propose a novel method to incorporate this disagreement as information: in addition to the standard error computation, we use soft-labels (i.e., probability distributions over the annotator labels) as an auxiliary task in a multi-task neural network. We measure the divergence between the predictions and the target soft-labels with several loss-functions and evaluate the models on various NLP tasks. We find that the soft-label prediction auxiliary task reduces the penalty for errors on ambiguous entities, and thereby mitigates overfitting. It significantly improves performance across tasks, beyond the standard approach and prior work.

We Need to Consider Disagreement in Evaluation
Valerio Basile | Michael Fell | Tommaso Fornaciari | Dirk Hovy | Silviu Paun | Barbara Plank | Massimo Poesio | Alexandra Uma
Proceedings of the 1st Workshop on Benchmarking: Past, Present and Future

Evaluation is of paramount importance in data-driven research fields such as Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Computer Vision (CV). Current evaluation practice largely hinges on the existence of a single “ground truth” against which we can meaningfully compare the prediction of a model. However, this comparison is flawed for two reasons. 1) In many cases, more than one answer is correct. 2) Even where there is a single answer, disagreement among annotators is ubiquitous, making it difficult to decide on a gold standard. We argue that the current methods of adjudication, agreement, and evaluation need serious reconsideration. Some researchers now propose to minimize disagreement and to fix datasets. We argue that this is a gross oversimplification, and likely to conceal the underlying complexity. Instead, we suggest that we need to better capture the sources of disagreement to improve today’s evaluation practice. We discuss three sources of disagreement: from the annotator, the data, and the context, and show how this affects even seemingly objective tasks. Datasets with multiple annotations are becoming more common, as are methods to integrate disagreement into modeling. The logical next step is to extend this to evaluation.

SemEval-2021 Task 12: Learning with Disagreements
Alexandra Uma | Tommaso Fornaciari | Anca Dumitrache | Tristan Miller | Jon Chamberlain | Barbara Plank | Edwin Simpson | Massimo Poesio
Proceedings of the 15th International Workshop on Semantic Evaluation (SemEval-2021)

Disagreement between coders is ubiquitous in virtually all datasets annotated with human judgements in both natural language processing and computer vision. However, most supervised machine learning methods assume that a single preferred interpretation exists for each item, which is at best an idealization. The aim of the SemEval-2021 shared task on learning with disagreements (Le-Wi-Di) was to provide a unified testing framework for methods for learning from data containing multiple and possibly contradictory annotations covering the best-known datasets containing information about disagreements for interpreting language and classifying images. In this paper we describe the shared task and its results.


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A Cluster Ranking Model for Full Anaphora Resolution
Juntao Yu | Alexandra Uma | Massimo Poesio
Proceedings of the Twelfth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

Anaphora resolution (coreference) systems designed for the CONLL 2012 dataset typically cannot handle key aspects of the full anaphora resolution task such as the identification of singletons and of certain types of non-referring expressions (e.g., expletives), as these aspects are not annotated in that corpus. However, the recently released dataset for the CRAC 2018 Shared Task can now be used for that purpose. In this paper, we introduce an architecture to simultaneously identify non-referring expressions (including expletives, predicative s, and other types) and build coreference chains, including singletons. Our cluster-ranking system uses an attention mechanism to determine the relative importance of the mentions in the same cluster. Additional classifiers are used to identify singletons and non-referring markables. Our contributions are as follows. First all, we report the first result on the CRAC data using system mentions; our result is 5.8% better than the shared task baseline system, which used gold mentions. Second, we demonstrate that the availability of singleton clusters and non-referring expressions can lead to substantially improved performance on non-singleton clusters as well. Third, we show that despite our model not being designed specifically for the CONLL data, it achieves a score equivalent to that of the state-of-the-art system by Kantor and Globerson (2019) on that dataset.


A Crowdsourced Corpus of Multiple Judgments and Disagreement on Anaphoric Interpretation
Massimo Poesio | Jon Chamberlain | Silviu Paun | Juntao Yu | Alexandra Uma | Udo Kruschwitz
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 1 (Long and Short Papers)

We present a corpus of anaphoric information (coreference) crowdsourced through a game-with-a-purpose. The corpus, containing annotations for about 108,000 markables, is one of the largest corpora for coreference for English, and one of the largest crowdsourced NLP corpora, but its main feature is the large number of judgments per markable: 20 on average, and over 2.2M in total. This characteristic makes the corpus a unique resource for the study of disagreements on anaphoric interpretation. A second distinctive feature is its rich annotation scheme, covering singletons, expletives, and split-antecedent plurals. Finally, the corpus also comes with labels inferred using a recently proposed probabilistic model of annotation for coreference. The labels are of high quality and make it possible to successfully train a state of the art coreference resolver, including training on singletons and non-referring expressions. The annotation model can also result in more than one label, or no label, being proposed for a markable, thus serving as a baseline method for automatically identifying ambiguous markables. A preliminary analysis of the results is presented.


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Anaphora Resolution with the ARRAU Corpus
Massimo Poesio | Yulia Grishina | Varada Kolhatkar | Nafise Moosavi | Ina Roesiger | Adam Roussel | Fabian Simonjetz | Alexandra Uma | Olga Uryupina | Juntao Yu | Heike Zinsmeister
Proceedings of the First Workshop on Computational Models of Reference, Anaphora and Coreference

The ARRAU corpus is an anaphorically annotated corpus of English providing rich linguistic information about anaphora resolution. The most distinctive feature of the corpus is the annotation of a wide range of anaphoric relations, including bridging references and discourse deixis in addition to identity (coreference). Other distinctive features include treating all NPs as markables, including non-referring NPs; and the annotation of a variety of morphosyntactic and semantic mention and entity attributes, including the genericity status of the entities referred to by markables. The corpus however has not been extensively used for anaphora resolution research so far. In this paper, we discuss three datasets extracted from the ARRAU corpus to support the three subtasks of the CRAC 2018 Shared Task–identity anaphora resolution over ARRAU-style markables, bridging references resolution, and discourse deixis; the evaluation scripts assessing system performance on those datasets; and preliminary results on these three tasks that may serve as baseline for subsequent research in these phenomena.