Ilia Kuznetsov


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LINSPECTOR: Multilingual Probing Tasks for Word Representations
Gözde Gül Şahin | Clara Vania | Ilia Kuznetsov | Iryna Gurevych
Computational Linguistics, Volume 46, Issue 2 - June 2020

Despite an ever-growing number of word representation models introduced for a large number of languages, there is a lack of a standardized technique to provide insights into what is captured by these models. Such insights would help the community to get an estimate of the downstream task performance, as well as to design more informed neural architectures, while avoiding extensive experimentation that requires substantial computational resources not all researchers have access to. A recent development in NLP is to use simple classification tasks, also called probing tasks, that test for a single linguistic feature such as part-of-speech. Existing studies mostly focus on exploring the linguistic information encoded by the continuous representations of English text. However, from a typological perspective the morphologically poor English is rather an outlier: The information encoded by the word order and function words in English is often stored on a subword, morphological level in other languages. To address this, we introduce 15 type-level probing tasks such as case marking, possession, word length, morphological tag count, and pseudoword identification for 24 languages. We present a reusable methodology for creation and evaluation of such tests in a multilingual setting, which is challenging because of a lack of resources, lower quality of tools, and differences among languages. We then present experiments on several diverse multilingual word embedding models, in which we relate the probing task performance for a diverse set of languages to a range of five classic NLP tasks: POS-tagging, dependency parsing, semantic role labeling, named entity recognition, and natural language inference. We find that a number of probing tests have significantly high positive correlation to the downstream tasks, especially for morphologically rich languages. We show that our tests can be used to explore word embeddings or black-box neural models for linguistic cues in a multilingual setting. We release the probing data sets and the evaluation suite LINSPECTOR with

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A matter of framing: The impact of linguistic formalism on probing results
Ilia Kuznetsov | Iryna Gurevych
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

Deep pre-trained contextualized encoders like BERT demonstrate remarkable performance on a range of downstream tasks. A recent line of research in probing investigates the linguistic knowledge implicitly learned by these models during pre-training. While most work in probing operates on the task level, linguistic tasks are rarely uniform and can be represented in a variety of formalisms. Any linguistics-based probing study thereby inevitably commits to the formalism used to annotate the underlying data. Can the choice of formalism affect probing results? To investigate, we conduct an in-depth cross-formalism layer probing study in role semantics. We find linguistically meaningful differences in the encoding of semantic role- and proto-role information by BERT depending on the formalism and demonstrate that layer probing can detect subtle differences between the implementations of the same linguistic formalism. Our results suggest that linguistic formalism is an important dimension in probing studies, along with the commonly used cross-task and cross-lingual experimental settings.


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Does My Rebuttal Matter? Insights from a Major NLP Conference
Yang Gao | Steffen Eger | Ilia Kuznetsov | Iryna Gurevych | Yusuke Miyao
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)

Peer review is a core element of the scientific process, particularly in conference-centered fields such as ML and NLP. However, only few studies have evaluated its properties empirically. Aiming to fill this gap, we present a corpus that contains over 4k reviews and 1.2k author responses from ACL-2018. We quantitatively and qualitatively assess the corpus. This includes a pilot study on paper weaknesses given by reviewers and on quality of author responses. We then focus on the role of the rebuttal phase, and propose a novel task to predict after-rebuttal (i.e., final) scores from initial reviews and author responses. Although author responses do have a marginal (and statistically significant) influence on the final scores, especially for borderline papers, our results suggest that a reviewer’s final score is largely determined by her initial score and the distance to the other reviewers’ initial scores. In this context, we discuss the conformity bias inherent to peer reviewing, a bias that has largely been overlooked in previous research. We hope our analyses will help better assess the usefulness of the rebuttal phase in NLP conferences.


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Corpus-Driven Thematic Hierarchy Induction
Ilia Kuznetsov | Iryna Gurevych
Proceedings of the 22nd Conference on Computational Natural Language Learning

Thematic role hierarchy is a widely used linguistic tool to describe interactions between semantic roles and their syntactic realizations. Despite decades of dedicated research and numerous thematic hierarchy suggestions in the literature, this concept has not been used in NLP so far due to incompatibility and limited scope of existing hierarchies. We introduce an empirical framework for thematic hierarchy induction and evaluate several role ranking strategies on English and German full-text corpus data. We hypothesize that global thematic hierarchy induction is feasible, that a hierarchy can be induced from just fractions of training data and that resulting hierarchies apply cross-lingually. We evaluate these assumptions empirically.

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From Text to Lexicon: Bridging the Gap between Word Embeddings and Lexical Resources
Ilia Kuznetsov | Iryna Gurevych
Proceedings of the 27th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Distributional word representations (often referred to as word embeddings) are omnipresent in modern NLP. Early work has focused on building representations for word types, and recent studies show that lemmatization and part of speech (POS) disambiguation of targets in isolation improve the performance of word embeddings on a range of downstream tasks. However, the reasons behind these improvements, the qualitative effects of these operations and the combined performance of lemmatized and POS disambiguated targets are less studied. This work aims to close this gap and puts previous findings into a general perspective. We examine the effect of lemmatization and POS typing on word embedding performance in a novel resource-based evaluation scenario, as well as on standard similarity benchmarks. We show that these two operations have complimentary qualitative and vocabulary-level effects and are best used in combination. We find that the improvement is more pronounced for verbs and show how lemmatization and POS typing implicitly target some of the verb-specific issues. We claim that the observed improvement is a result of better conceptual alignment between word embeddings and lexical resources, stressing the need for conceptually plausible modeling of word embedding targets.


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Out-of-domain FrameNet Semantic Role Labeling
Silvana Hartmann | Ilia Kuznetsov | Teresa Martin | Iryna Gurevych
Proceedings of the 15th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Volume 1, Long Papers

Domain dependence of NLP systems is one of the major obstacles to their application in large-scale text analysis, also restricting the applicability of FrameNet semantic role labeling (SRL) systems. Yet, current FrameNet SRL systems are still only evaluated on a single in-domain test set. For the first time, we study the domain dependence of FrameNet SRL on a wide range of benchmark sets. We create a novel test set for FrameNet SRL based on user-generated web text and find that the major bottleneck for out-of-domain FrameNet SRL is the frame identification step. To address this problem, we develop a simple, yet efficient system based on distributed word representations. Our system closely approaches the state-of-the-art in-domain while outperforming the best available frame identification system out-of-domain. We publish our system and test data for research purposes.

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EELECTION at SemEval-2017 Task 10: Ensemble of nEural Learners for kEyphrase ClassificaTION
Steffen Eger | Erik-Lân Do Dinh | Ilia Kuznetsov | Masoud Kiaeeha | Iryna Gurevych
Proceedings of the 11th International Workshop on Semantic Evaluation (SemEval-2017)

This paper describes our approach to the SemEval 2017 Task 10: Extracting Keyphrases and Relations from Scientific Publications, specifically to Subtask (B): Classification of identified keyphrases. We explored three different deep learning approaches: a character-level convolutional neural network (CNN), a stacked learner with an MLP meta-classifier, and an attention based Bi-LSTM. From these approaches, we created an ensemble of differently hyper-parameterized systems, achieving a micro-F1-score of 0.63 on the test data. Our approach ranks 2nd (score of 1st placed system: 0.64) out of four according to this official score. However, we erroneously trained 2 out of 3 neural nets (the stacker and the CNN) on only roughly 15% of the full data, namely, the original development set. When trained on the full data (training+development), our ensemble has a micro-F1-score of 0.69. Our code is available from

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Assessing SRL Frameworks with Automatic Training Data Expansion
Silvana Hartmann | Éva Mújdricza-Maydt | Ilia Kuznetsov | Iryna Gurevych | Anette Frank
Proceedings of the 11th Linguistic Annotation Workshop

We present the first experiment-based study that explicitly contrasts the three major semantic role labeling frameworks. As a prerequisite, we create a dataset labeled with parallel FrameNet-, PropBank-, and VerbNet-style labels for German. We train a state-of-the-art SRL tool for German for the different annotation styles and provide a comparative analysis across frameworks. We further explore the behavior of the frameworks with automatic training data generation. VerbNet provides larger semantic expressivity than PropBank, and we find that its generalization capacity approaches PropBank in SRL training, but it benefits less from training data expansion than the sparse-data affected FrameNet.