Chen Sun


Do Trajectories Encode Verb Meaning?
Dylan Ebert | Chen Sun | Ellie Pavlick
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Distributional models learn representations of words from text, but are criticized for their lack of grounding, or the linking of text to the non-linguistic world. Grounded language models have had success in learning to connect concrete categories like nouns and adjectives to the world via images and videos, but can struggle to isolate the meaning of the verbs themselves from the context in which they typically occur. In this paper, we investigate the extent to which trajectories (i.e. the position and rotation of objects over time) naturally encode verb semantics. We build a procedurally generated agent-object-interaction dataset, obtain human annotations for the verbs that occur in this data, and compare several methods for representation learning given the trajectories. We find that trajectories correlate as-is with some verbs (e.g., fall), and that additional abstraction via self-supervised pretraining can further capture nuanced differences in verb meaning (e.g., roll and slide).


Does Vision-and-Language Pretraining Improve Lexical Grounding?
Tian Yun | Chen Sun | Ellie Pavlick
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2021

Linguistic representations derived from text alone have been criticized for their lack of grounding, i.e., connecting words to their meanings in the physical world. Vision-and- Language (VL) models, trained jointly on text and image or video data, have been offered as a response to such criticisms. However, while VL pretraining has shown success on multimodal tasks such as visual question answering, it is not yet known how the internal linguistic representations themselves compare to their text-only counterparts. This paper compares the semantic representations learned via VL vs. text-only pretraining for two recent VL models using a suite of analyses (clustering, probing, and performance on a commonsense question answering task) in a language-only setting. We find that the multimodal models fail to significantly outperform the text-only variants, suggesting that future work is required if multimodal pretraining is to be pursued as a means of improving NLP in general.


Automated Pyramid Summarization Evaluation
Yanjun Gao | Chen Sun | Rebecca J. Passonneau
Proceedings of the 23rd Conference on Computational Natural Language Learning (CoNLL)

Pyramid evaluation was developed to assess the content of paragraph length summaries of source texts. A pyramid lists the distinct units of content found in several reference summaries, weights content units by how many reference summaries they occur in, and produces three scores based on the weighted content of new summaries. We present an automated method that is more efficient, more transparent, and more complete than previous automated pyramid methods. It is tested on a new dataset of student summaries, and historical NIST data from extractive summarizers.