David Thulke


Controllable Factuality in Document-Grounded Dialog Systems Using a Noisy Channel Model
Nico Daheim | David Thulke | Christian Dugast | Hermann Ney
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2022

In this work, we present a model for document-grounded response generation in dialog that is decomposed into two components according to Bayes’ theorem.One component is a traditional ungrounded response generation model and the other component models the reconstruction of the grounding document based on the dialog context and generated response.We propose different approximate decoding schemes and evaluate our approach on multiple open-domain and task-oriented document-grounded dialog datasets.Our experiments show that the model is more factual in terms of automatic factuality metrics than the baseline model.Furthermore, we outline how introducing scaling factors between the components allows for controlling the tradeoff between factuality and fluency in the model output.Finally, we compare our approach to a recently proposed method to control factuality in grounded dialog, CTRL (Rashkin et al., 2021), and show that both approaches can be combined to achieve additional improvements.

Mask More and Mask Later: Efficient Pre-training of Masked Language Models by Disentangling the [MASK] Token
Baohao Liao | David Thulke | Sanjika Hewavitharana | Hermann Ney | Christof Monz
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2022

The pre-training of masked language models (MLMs) consumes massive computation to achieve good results on downstream NLP tasks, resulting in a large carbon footprint. In the vanilla MLM, the virtual tokens, [MASK]s, act as placeholders and gather the contextualized information from unmasked tokens to restore the corrupted information. It raises the question of whether we can append [MASK]s at a later layer, to reduce the sequence length for earlier layers and make the pre-training more efficient. We show: (1) [MASK]s can indeed be appended at a later layer, being disentangled from the word embedding; (2) The gathering of contextualized information from unmasked tokens can be conducted with a few layers. By further increasing the masking rate from 15% to 50%, we can pre-train RoBERTa-base and RoBERTa-large from scratch with only 78% and 68% of the original computational budget without any degradation on the GLUE benchmark. When pre-training with the original budget, our method outperforms RoBERTa for 6 out of 8 GLUE tasks, on average by 0.4%.

Does Joint Training Really Help Cascaded Speech Translation?
Viet Anh Khoa Tran | David Thulke | Yingbo Gao | Christian Herold | Hermann Ney
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Currently, in speech translation, the straightforward approach - cascading a recognition system with a translation system - delivers state-of-the-art results.However, fundamental challenges such as error propagation from the automatic speech recognition system still remain.To mitigate these problems, recently, people turn their attention to direct data and propose various joint training methods.In this work, we seek to answer the question of whether joint training really helps cascaded speech translation.We review recent papers on the topic and also investigate a joint training criterion by marginalizing the transcription posterior probabilities.Our findings show that a strong cascaded baseline can diminish any improvements obtained using joint training, and we suggest alternatives to joint training.We hope this work can serve as a refresher of the current speech translation landscape, and motivate research in finding more efficient and creative ways to utilize the direct data for speech translation.


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Investigation on Data Adaptation Techniques for Neural Named Entity Recognition
Evgeniia Tokarchuk | David Thulke | Weiyue Wang | Christian Dugast | Hermann Ney
Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing: Student Research Workshop

Data processing is an important step in various natural language processing tasks. As the commonly used datasets in named entity recognition contain only a limited number of samples, it is important to obtain additional labeled data in an efficient and reliable manner. A common practice is to utilize large monolingual unlabeled corpora. Another popular technique is to create synthetic data from the original labeled data (data augmentation). In this work, we investigate the impact of these two methods on the performance of three different named entity recognition tasks.

Cascaded Span Extraction and Response Generation for Document-Grounded Dialog
Nico Daheim | David Thulke | Christian Dugast | Hermann Ney
Proceedings of the 1st Workshop on Document-grounded Dialogue and Conversational Question Answering (DialDoc 2021)

This paper summarizes our entries to both subtasks of the first DialDoc shared task which focuses on the agent response prediction task in goal-oriented document-grounded dialogs. The task is split into two subtasks: predicting a span in a document that grounds an agent turn and generating an agent response based on a dialog and grounding document. In the first subtask, we restrict the set of valid spans to the ones defined in the dataset, use a biaffine classifier to model spans, and finally use an ensemble of different models. For the second sub-task, we use a cascaded model which grounds the response prediction on the predicted span instead of the full document. With these approaches, we obtain significant improvements in both subtasks compared to the baseline.