Hila Gonen


2020

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Simple, Interpretable and Stable Method for Detecting Words with Usage Change across Corpora
Hila Gonen | Ganesh Jawahar | Djamé Seddah | Yoav Goldberg
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

The problem of comparing two bodies of text and searching for words that differ in their usage between them arises often in digital humanities and computational social science. This is commonly approached by training word embeddings on each corpus, aligning the vector spaces, and looking for words whose cosine distance in the aligned space is large. However, these methods often require extensive filtering of the vocabulary to perform well, and - as we show in this work - result in unstable, and hence less reliable, results. We propose an alternative approach that does not use vector space alignment, and instead considers the neighbors of each word. The method is simple, interpretable and stable. We demonstrate its effectiveness in 9 different setups, considering different corpus splitting criteria (age, gender and profession of tweet authors, time of tweet) and different languages (English, French and Hebrew).

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Null It Out: Guarding Protected Attributes by Iterative Nullspace Projection
Shauli Ravfogel | Yanai Elazar | Hila Gonen | Michael Twiton | Yoav Goldberg
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

The ability to control for the kinds of information encoded in neural representation has a variety of use cases, especially in light of the challenge of interpreting these models. We present Iterative Null-space Projection (INLP), a novel method for removing information from neural representations. Our method is based on repeated training of linear classifiers that predict a certain property we aim to remove, followed by projection of the representations on their null-space. By doing so, the classifiers become oblivious to that target property, making it hard to linearly separate the data according to it. While applicable for multiple uses, we evaluate our method on bias and fairness use-cases, and show that our method is able to mitigate bias in word embeddings, as well as to increase fairness in a setting of multi-class classification.

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Automatically Identifying Gender Issues in Machine Translation using Perturbations
Hila Gonen | Kellie Webster
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2020

The successful application of neural methods to machine translation has realized huge quality advances for the community. With these improvements, many have noted outstanding challenges, including the modeling and treatment of gendered language. While previous studies have identified issues using synthetic examples, we develop a novel technique to mine examples from real world data to explore challenges for deployed systems. We use our method to compile an evaluation benchmark spanning examples for four languages from three language families, which we publicly release to facilitate research. The examples in our benchmark expose where model representations are gendered, and the unintended consequences these gendered representations can have in downstream application.

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Pick a Fight or Bite your Tongue: Investigation of Gender Differences in Idiomatic Language Usage
Ella Rabinovich | Hila Gonen | Suzanne Stevenson
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

A large body of research on gender-linked language has established foundations regarding cross-gender differences in lexical, emotional, and topical preferences, along with their sociological underpinnings. We compile a novel, large and diverse corpus of spontaneous linguistic productions annotated with speakers’ gender, and perform a first large-scale empirical study of distinctions in the usage of figurative language between male and female authors. Our analyses suggest that (1) idiomatic choices reflect gender-specific lexical and semantic preferences in general language, (2) men’s and women’s idiomatic usages express higher emotion than their literal language, with detectable, albeit more subtle, differences between male and female authors along the dimension of dominance compared to similar distinctions in their literal utterances, and (3) contextual analysis of idiomatic expressions reveals considerable differences, reflecting subtle divergences in usage environments, shaped by cross-gender communication styles and semantic biases.

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It’s not Greek to mBERT: Inducing Word-Level Translations from Multilingual BERT
Hila Gonen | Shauli Ravfogel | Yanai Elazar | Yoav Goldberg
Proceedings of the Third BlackboxNLP Workshop on Analyzing and Interpreting Neural Networks for NLP

Recent works have demonstrated that multilingual BERT (mBERT) learns rich cross-lingual representations, that allow for transfer across languages. We study the word-level translation information embedded in mBERT and present two simple methods that expose remarkable translation capabilities with no fine-tuning. The results suggest that most of this information is encoded in a non-linear way, while some of it can also be recovered with purely linear tools. As part of our analysis, we test the hypothesis that mBERT learns representations which contain both a language-encoding component and an abstract, cross-lingual component, and explicitly identify an empirical language-identity subspace within mBERT representations.

2019

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Language Modeling for Code-Switching: Evaluation, Integration of Monolingual Data, and Discriminative Training
Hila Gonen | Yoav Goldberg
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

We focus on the problem of language modeling for code-switched language, in the context of automatic speech recognition (ASR). Language modeling for code-switched language is challenging for (at least) three reasons: (1) lack of available large-scale code-switched data for training; (2) lack of a replicable evaluation setup that is ASR directed yet isolates language modeling performance from the other intricacies of the ASR system; and (3) the reliance on generative modeling. We tackle these three issues: we propose an ASR-motivated evaluation setup which is decoupled from an ASR system and the choice of vocabulary, and provide an evaluation dataset for English-Spanish code-switching. This setup lends itself to a discriminative training approach, which we demonstrate to work better than generative language modeling. Finally, we explore a variety of training protocols and verify the effectiveness of training with large amounts of monolingual data followed by fine-tuning with small amounts of code-switched data, for both the generative and discriminative cases.

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It’s All in the Name: Mitigating Gender Bias with Name-Based Counterfactual Data Substitution
Rowan Hall Maudslay | Hila Gonen | Ryan Cotterell | Simone Teufel
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

This paper treats gender bias latent in word embeddings. Previous mitigation attempts rely on the operationalisation of gender bias as a projection over a linear subspace. An alternative approach is Counterfactual Data Augmentation (CDA), in which a corpus is duplicated and augmented to remove bias, e.g. by swapping all inherently-gendered words in the copy. We perform an empirical comparison of these approaches on the English Gigaword and Wikipedia, and find that whilst both successfully reduce direct bias and perform well in tasks which quantify embedding quality, CDA variants outperform projection-based methods at the task of drawing non-biased gender analogies by an average of 19% across both corpora. We propose two improvements to CDA: Counterfactual Data Substitution (CDS), a variant of CDA in which potentially biased text is randomly substituted to avoid duplication, and the Names Intervention, a novel name-pairing technique that vastly increases the number of words being treated. CDA/S with the Names Intervention is the only approach which is able to mitigate indirect gender bias: following debiasing, previously biased words are significantly less clustered according to gender (cluster purity is reduced by 49%), thus improving on the state-of-the-art for bias mitigation.

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How Does Grammatical Gender Affect Noun Representations in Gender-Marking Languages?
Hila Gonen | Yova Kementchedjhieva | Yoav Goldberg
Proceedings of the 23rd Conference on Computational Natural Language Learning (CoNLL)

Many natural languages assign grammatical gender also to inanimate nouns in the language. In such languages, words that relate to the gender-marked nouns are inflected to agree with the noun’s gender. We show that this affects the word representations of inanimate nouns, resulting in nouns with the same gender being closer to each other than nouns with different gender. While “embedding debiasing” methods fail to remove the effect, we demonstrate that a careful application of methods that neutralize grammatical gender signals from the words’ context when training word embeddings is effective in removing it. Fixing the grammatical gender bias yields a positive effect on the quality of the resulting word embeddings, both in monolingual and cross-lingual settings. We note that successfully removing gender signals, while achievable, is not trivial to do and that a language-specific morphological analyzer, together with careful usage of it, are essential for achieving good results.

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Lipstick on a Pig: Debiasing Methods Cover up Systematic Gender Biases in Word Embeddings But do not Remove Them
Hila Gonen | Yoav Goldberg
Proceedings of the 2019 Workshop on Widening NLP

Word embeddings are widely used in NLP for a vast range of tasks. It was shown that word embeddings derived from text corpora reflect gender biases in society, causing serious concern. Several recent works tackle this problem, and propose methods for significantly reducing this gender bias in word embeddings, demonstrating convincing results. However, we argue that this removal is superficial. While the bias is indeed substantially reduced according to the provided bias definition, the actual effect is mostly hiding the bias, not removing it. The gender bias information is still reflected in the distances between “gender-neutralized” words in the debiased embeddings, and can be recovered from them. We present a series of experiments to support this claim, for two debiasing methods. We conclude that existing bias removal techniques are insufficient, and should not be trusted for providing gender-neutral modeling.

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How does Grammatical Gender Affect Noun Representations in Gender-Marking Languages?
Hila Gonen | Yova Kementchedjhieva | Yoav Goldberg
Proceedings of the 2019 Workshop on Widening NLP

Many natural languages assign grammatical gender also to inanimate nouns in the language. In such languages, words that relate to the gender-marked nouns are inflected to agree with the noun’s gender. We show that this affects the word representations of inanimate nouns, resulting in nouns with the same gender being closer to each other than nouns with different gender. While “embedding debiasing” methods fail to remove the effect, we demonstrate that a careful application of methods that neutralize grammatical gender signals from the words’ context when training word embeddings is effective in removing it. Fixing the grammatical gender bias results in a positive effect on the quality of the resulting word embeddings, both in monolingual and cross lingual settings. We note that successfully removing gender signals, while achievable, is not trivial to do and that a language-specific morphological analyzer, together with careful usage of it, are essential for achieving good results.

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Lipstick on a Pig: Debiasing Methods Cover up Systematic Gender Biases in Word Embeddings But do not Remove Them
Hila Gonen | Yoav Goldberg
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)

Word embeddings are widely used in NLP for a vast range of tasks. It was shown that word embeddings derived from text corpora reflect gender biases in society. This phenomenon is pervasive and consistent across different word embedding models, causing serious concern. Several recent works tackle this problem, and propose methods for significantly reducing this gender bias in word embeddings, demonstrating convincing results. However, we argue that this removal is superficial. While the bias is indeed substantially reduced according to the provided bias definition, the actual effect is mostly hiding the bias, not removing it. The gender bias information is still reflected in the distances between “gender-neutralized” words in the debiased embeddings, and can be recovered from them. We present a series of experiments to support this claim, for two debiasing methods. We conclude that existing bias removal techniques are insufficient, and should not be trusted for providing gender-neutral modeling.

2016

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Semi Supervised Preposition-Sense Disambiguation using Multilingual Data
Hila Gonen | Yoav Goldberg
Proceedings of COLING 2016, the 26th International Conference on Computational Linguistics: Technical Papers

Prepositions are very common and very ambiguous, and understanding their sense is critical for understanding the meaning of the sentence. Supervised corpora for the preposition-sense disambiguation task are small, suggesting a semi-supervised approach to the task. We show that signals from unannotated multilingual data can be used to improve supervised preposition-sense disambiguation. Our approach pre-trains an LSTM encoder for predicting the translation of a preposition, and then incorporates the pre-trained encoder as a component in a supervised classification system, and fine-tunes it for the task. The multilingual signals consistently improve results on two preposition-sense datasets.