Denis Peskov


Adapting Entities across Languages and Cultures
Denis Peskov | Viktor Hangya | Jordan Boyd-Graber | Alexander Fraser
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2021

How would you explain Bill Gates to a German? He is associated with founding a company in the United States, so perhaps the German founder Carl Benz could stand in for Gates in those contexts. This type of translation is called adaptation in the translation community. Until now, this task has not been done computationally. Automatic adaptation could be used in natural language processing for machine translation and indirectly for generating new question answering datasets and education. We propose two automatic methods and compare them to human results for this novel NLP task. First, a structured knowledge base adapts named entities using their shared properties. Second, vector-arithmetic and orthogonal embedding mappings methods identify better candidates, but at the expense of interpretable features. We evaluate our methods through a new dataset of human adaptations.


It Takes Two to Lie: One to Lie, and One to Listen
Denis Peskov | Benny Cheng | Ahmed Elgohary | Joe Barrow | Cristian Danescu-Niculescu-Mizil | Jordan Boyd-Graber
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Trust is implicit in many online text conversations—striking up new friendships, or asking for tech support. But trust can be betrayed through deception. We study the language and dynamics of deception in the negotiation-based game Diplomacy, where seven players compete for world domination by forging and breaking alliances with each other. Our study with players from the Diplomacy community gathers 17,289 messages annotated by the sender for their intended truthfulness and by the receiver for their perceived truthfulness. Unlike existing datasets, this captures deception in long-lasting relationships, where the interlocutors strategically combine truth with lies to advance objectives. A model that uses power dynamics and conversational contexts can predict when a lie occurs nearly as well as human players.

ContraCAT: Contrastive Coreference Analytical Templates for Machine Translation
Dario Stojanovski | Benno Krojer | Denis Peskov | Alexander Fraser
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Recent high scores on pronoun translation using context-aware neural machine translation have suggested that current approaches work well. ContraPro is a notable example of a contrastive challenge set for English→German pronoun translation. The high scores achieved by transformer models may suggest that they are able to effectively model the complicated set of inferences required to carry out pronoun translation. This entails the ability to determine which entities could be referred to, identify which entity a source-language pronoun refers to (if any), and access the target-language grammatical gender for that entity. We first show through a series of targeted adversarial attacks that in fact current approaches are not able to model all of this information well. Inserting small amounts of distracting information is enough to strongly reduce scores, which should not be the case. We then create a new template test set ContraCAT, designed to individually assess the ability to handle the specific steps necessary for successful pronoun translation. Our analyses show that current approaches to context-aware NMT rely on a set of surface heuristics, which break down when translations require real reasoning. We also propose an approach for augmenting the training data, with some improvements.


Multi-Domain Goal-Oriented Dialogues (MultiDoGO): Strategies toward Curating and Annotating Large Scale Dialogue Data
Denis Peskov | Nancy Clarke | Jason Krone | Brigi Fodor | Yi Zhang | Adel Youssef | Mona Diab
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

The need for high-quality, large-scale, goal-oriented dialogue datasets continues to grow as virtual assistants become increasingly wide-spread. However, publicly available datasets useful for this area are limited either in their size, linguistic diversity, domain coverage, or annotation granularity. In this paper, we present strategies toward curating and annotating large scale goal oriented dialogue data. We introduce the MultiDoGO dataset to overcome these limitations. With a total of over 81K dialogues harvested across six domains, MultiDoGO is over 8 times the size of MultiWOZ, the other largest comparable dialogue dataset currently available to the public. Over 54K of these harvested conversations are annotated for intent classes and slot labels. We adopt a Wizard-of-Oz approach wherein a crowd-sourced worker (the “customer”) is paired with a trained annotator (the “agent”). The data curation process was controlled via biases to ensure a diversity in dialogue flows following variable dialogue policies. We provide distinct class label tags for agents vs. customer utterances, along with applicable slot labels. We also compare and contrast our strategies on annotation granularity, i.e. turn vs. sentence level. Furthermore, we compare and contrast annotations curated by leveraging professional annotators vs the crowd. We believe our strategies for eliciting and annotating such a dialogue dataset scales across modalities and domains and potentially languages in the future. To demonstrate the efficacy of our devised strategies we establish neural baselines for classification on the agent and customer utterances as well as slot labeling for each domain.

Comparing and Developing Tools to Measure the Readability of Domain-Specific Texts
Elissa Redmiles | Lisa Maszkiewicz | Emily Hwang | Dhruv Kuchhal | Everest Liu | Miraida Morales | Denis Peskov | Sudha Rao | Rock Stevens | Kristina Gligorić | Sean Kross | Michelle Mazurek | Hal Daumé III
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

The readability of a digital text can influence people’s ability to learn new things about a range topics from digital resources (e.g., Wikipedia, WebMD). Readability also impacts search rankings, and is used to evaluate the performance of NLP systems. Despite this, we lack a thorough understanding of how to validly measure readability at scale, especially for domain-specific texts. In this work, we present a comparison of the validity of well-known readability measures and introduce a novel approach, Smart Cloze, which is designed to address shortcomings of existing measures. We compare these approaches across four different corpora: crowdworker-generated stories, Wikipedia articles, security and privacy advice, and health information. On these corpora, we evaluate the convergent and content validity of each measure, and detail tradeoffs in score precision, domain-specificity, and participant burden. These results provide a foundation for more accurate readability measurements and better evaluation of new natural-language-processing systems and tools.

Can You Unpack That? Learning to Rewrite Questions-in-Context
Ahmed Elgohary | Denis Peskov | Jordan Boyd-Graber
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

Question answering is an AI-complete problem, but existing datasets lack key elements of language understanding such as coreference and ellipsis resolution. We consider sequential question answering: multiple questions are asked one-by-one in a conversation between a questioner and an answerer. Answering these questions is only possible through understanding the conversation history. We introduce the task of question-in-context rewriting: given the context of a conversation’s history, rewrite a context-dependent into a self-contained question with the same answer. We construct, CANARD, a dataset of 40,527 questions based on QuAC (Choi et al., 2018) and train Seq2Seq models for incorporating context into standalone questions.


UMDeep at SemEval-2017 Task 1: End-to-End Shared Weight LSTM Model for Semantic Textual Similarity
Joe Barrow | Denis Peskov
Proceedings of the 11th International Workshop on Semantic Evaluation (SemEval-2017)

We describe a modified shared-LSTM network for the Semantic Textual Similarity (STS) task at SemEval-2017. The network builds on previously explored Siamese network architectures. We treat max sentence length as an additional hyperparameter to be tuned (beyond learning rate, regularization, and dropout). Our results demonstrate that hand-tuning max sentence training length significantly improves final accuracy. After optimizing hyperparameters, we train the network on the multilingual semantic similarity task using pre-translated sentences. We achieved a correlation of 0.4792 for all the subtasks. We achieved the fourth highest team correlation for Task 4b, which was our best relative placement.