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Massimo Nicosia

Massimo Nicosia

Massimo Nicosia is a Staff Software Engineer in Research at Google working on semantic parsing, question answering and internationalization of NLU models. He received his PhD from the University of Trento, Italy.
Authored Publications
Google Publications
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    XTREME-UP: A User-Centric Scarce-Data Benchmark for Under-Represented Languages
    Sebastian Ruder
    Shruti Rijhwani
    Jean-Michel Sarr
    Cindy Wang
    John Wieting
    Christo Kirov
    Dana L. Dickinson
    Bidisha Samanta
    Connie Tao
    David Adelani
    Reeve Ingle
    Dmitry Panteleev
    Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023, Association for Computational Linguistics, Singapore, pp. 1856-1884
    Preview abstract Data scarcity is a crucial issue for the development of highly multilingual NLP systems. Yet for many under-represented languages (ULs) — languages for which NLP research is particularly far behind in meeting user needs — it is feasible to annotate small amounts of data. Motivated by this, we propose XTREME-UP, a benchmark defined by: its focus on the scarce-data scenario rather than zero-shot; its focus on user-centric tasks — tasks with broad adoption by speakers of high-resource languages; and its focus on under-represented languages where this scarce-data scenario tends to be most realistic. XTREME-UP evaluates the capabilities of language models across 88 under-represented languages over 9 key user-centric technologies including ASR, OCR, MT, and information access tasks that are of general utility. We create new datasets for OCR, autocomplete, semantic parsing, and transliteration, and build on and refine existing datasets for other tasks. XTREME-UP provides methodology for evaluating many modeling scenarios including text only, multi-modal (vision, audio, and text), supervised parameter tuning, and in-context learning. We evaluate commonly used models on the benchmark. We release all code and scripts to train and evaluate models. View details
    Evaluating Byte and Wordpiece Level Models for Massively Multilingual Semantic Parsing
    Massively Multilingual NLU 2022, colocated with EMNLP 2022, The 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (2022)
    Preview abstract Token free approaches have been successfully applied to a series of word and span level tasks. In this work, we compare a byte-level (ByT5) and a wordpiece based (mT5) sequence to sequence model on the 51 languages of the MASSIVE multilingual semantic parsing dataset. We examine multiple experimental settings: (i) zero-shot, (ii) full gold data and (iii) zero-shot with synthetic data. By leveraging a state-of-the-art label projection method for machine translated examples, we are able to reduce the gap in exact match accuracy to only 5 points with respect to a model trained on gold data from all the languages. We additionally provide insights on the cross-lingual transfer of ByT5 and show how the model compares with respect to mT5 across all parameter sizes. View details
    Translate & Fill: Improving Zero-Shot Multilingual Semantic Parsing by Generating Synthetic Data
    Zhongdi Qu
    Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (Findings), Association for Computational Linguistics (2021) (to appear)
    Preview abstract While multilingual pretrained language models (LMs) fine-tuned on a single language have shown substantial cross-lingual task transfer capabilities, there is still a wide performance gap in semantic parsing tasks when target language supervision is available. In this paper, we propose a novel Translate-and-Fill (TaF) method for producing silver training data for a multilingual semantic parser. This method simplifies the popular Translate-Align-Project (TAP) pipeline and consists of a sequence-to-sequence filler model that constructs a full parse conditioned on an utterance and a view of the same parse. Our filler is trained on English data only but can accurately complete instances in other languages (i.e., translations of the English training utterances), in a zero-shot fashion. Experimental results on multiple multilingual semantic parsing datasets show that high-capacity multilingual pretrained LMs have remarkable zero-shot performance and with the help of our synthetic data, they reach competitive accuracy compared to similar systems which rely on traditional alignment techniques. View details
    Answering Conversational Questions on Structured Data without Logical Forms
    Thomas Müller
    Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing, Association for Computational Linguistics (2019)
    Preview abstract We present a novel approach to answering sequential questions based on structured objects such as knowledge bases or tables without using a logical form as an intermediate representation. We encode tables as graphs using a graph neural network model based on the Transformer architecture. The answers are then selected from the encoded graph using a pointer network. This model is appropriate for processing conversations around structured data, where the attention mechanism that selects the answer to a question can also be used to resolve conversational references. We demonstrate the validity of this approach with competitive results on the Sequential Question Answering task (SQA) (Iyyer et al., 2017). View details
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