Pouya Pezeshkpour


Combining Feature and Instance Attribution to Detect Artifacts
Pouya Pezeshkpour | Sarthak Jain | Sameer Singh | Byron Wallace
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2022

Training the deep neural networks that dominate NLP requires large datasets. These are often collected automatically or via crowdsourcing, and may exhibit systematic biases or annotation artifacts. By the latter we mean spurious correlations between inputs and outputs that do not represent a generally held causal relationship between features and classes; models that exploit such correlations may appear to perform a given task well, but fail on out of sample data. In this paper, we evaluate use of different attribution methods for aiding identification of training data artifacts. We propose new hybrid approaches that combine saliency maps (which highlight important input features) with instance attribution methods (which retrieve training samples influential to a given prediction). We show that this proposed training-feature attribution can be used to efficiently uncover artifacts in training data when a challenging validation set is available. We also carry out a small user study to evaluate whether these methods are useful to NLP researchers in practice, with promising results. We make code for all methods and experiments in this paper available.


ParsiNLU: A Suite of Language Understanding Challenges for Persian
Daniel Khashabi | Arman Cohan | Siamak Shakeri | Pedram Hosseini | Pouya Pezeshkpour | Malihe Alikhani | Moin Aminnaseri | Marzieh Bitaab | Faeze Brahman | Sarik Ghazarian | Mozhdeh Gheini | Arman Kabiri | Rabeeh Karimi Mahabagdi | Omid Memarrast | Ahmadreza Mosallanezhad | Erfan Noury | Shahab Raji | Mohammad Sadegh Rasooli | Sepideh Sadeghi | Erfan Sadeqi Azer | Niloofar Safi Samghabadi | Mahsa Shafaei | Saber Sheybani | Ali Tazarv | Yadollah Yaghoobzadeh
Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Volume 9

Abstract Despite the progress made in recent years in addressing natural language understanding (NLU) challenges, the majority of this progress remains to be concentrated on resource-rich languages like English. This work focuses on Persian language, one of the widely spoken languages in the world, and yet there are few NLU datasets available for this language. The availability of high-quality evaluation datasets is a necessity for reliable assessment of the progress on different NLU tasks and domains. We introduce ParsiNLU, the first benchmark in Persian language that includes a range of language understanding tasks—reading comprehension, textual entailment, and so on. These datasets are collected in a multitude of ways, often involving manual annotations by native speakers. This results in over 14.5k new instances across 6 distinct NLU tasks. Additionally, we present the first results on state-of-the-art monolingual and multilingual pre-trained language models on this benchmark and compare them with human performance, which provides valuable insights into our ability to tackle natural language understanding challenges in Persian. We hope ParsiNLU fosters further research and advances in Persian language understanding.1

An Empirical Comparison of Instance Attribution Methods for NLP
Pouya Pezeshkpour | Sarthak Jain | Byron Wallace | Sameer Singh
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Widespread adoption of deep models has motivated a pressing need for approaches to interpret network outputs and to facilitate model debugging. Instance attribution methods constitute one means of accomplishing these goals by retrieving training instances that (may have) led to a particular prediction. Influence functions (IF; Koh and Liang 2017) provide machinery for doing this by quantifying the effect that perturbing individual train instances would have on a specific test prediction. However, even approximating the IF is computationally expensive, to the degree that may be prohibitive in many cases. Might simpler approaches (e.g., retrieving train examples most similar to a given test point) perform comparably? In this work, we evaluate the degree to which different potential instance attribution agree with respect to the importance of training samples. We find that simple retrieval methods yield training instances that differ from those identified via gradient-based methods (such as IFs), but that nonetheless exhibit desirable characteristics similar to more complex attribution methods. Code for all methods and experiments in this paper is available at: https://github.com/successar/instance_attributions_NLP.


Investigating Robustness and Interpretability of Link Prediction via Adversarial Modifications
Pouya Pezeshkpour | Yifan Tian | Sameer Singh
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)

Representing entities and relations in an embedding space is a well-studied approach for machine learning on relational data. Existing approaches, however, primarily focus on improving accuracy and overlook other aspects such as robustness and interpretability. In this paper, we propose adversarial modifications for link prediction models: identifying the fact to add into or remove from the knowledge graph that changes the prediction for a target fact after the model is retrained. Using these single modifications of the graph, we identify the most influential fact for a predicted link and evaluate the sensitivity of the model to the addition of fake facts. We introduce an efficient approach to estimate the effect of such modifications by approximating the change in the embeddings when the knowledge graph changes. To avoid the combinatorial search over all possible facts, we train a network to decode embeddings to their corresponding graph components, allowing the use of gradient-based optimization to identify the adversarial modification. We use these techniques to evaluate the robustness of link prediction models (by measuring sensitivity to additional facts), study interpretability through the facts most responsible for predictions (by identifying the most influential neighbors), and detect incorrect facts in the knowledge base.


Embedding Multimodal Relational Data for Knowledge Base Completion
Pouya Pezeshkpour | Liyan Chen | Sameer Singh
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Representing entities and relations in an embedding space is a well-studied approach for machine learning on relational data. Existing approaches, however, primarily focus on simple link structure between a finite set of entities, ignoring the variety of data types that are often used in knowledge bases, such as text, images, and numerical values. In this paper, we propose multimodal knowledge base embeddings (MKBE) that use different neural encoders for this variety of observed data, and combine them with existing relational models to learn embeddings of the entities and multimodal data. Further, using these learned embedings and different neural decoders, we introduce a novel multimodal imputation model to generate missing multimodal values, like text and images, from information in the knowledge base. We enrich existing relational datasets to create two novel benchmarks that contain additional information such as textual descriptions and images of the original entities. We demonstrate that our models utilize this additional information effectively to provide more accurate link prediction, achieving state-of-the-art results with a considerable gap of 5-7% over existing methods. Further, we evaluate the quality of our generated multimodal values via a user study.