Orgad Keller

Orgad Keller

Research Scientist at Google Research.
Authored Publications
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    Preview abstract Most works on modeling the conversation history in Conversational Question Answering (CQA) report a single main result on a common CQA benchmark. While existing models show impressive results on CQA leaderboards, it remains unclear whether they are robust to shifts in setting (sometimes to more realistic ones), training data size (e.g. from large to small sets) and domain. In this work, we design and conduct the first large-scale robustness study of history modeling approaches for CQA. We find that high benchmark scores do not necessarily translate to strong robustness, and that various methods can perform extremely differently under different settings. Equipped with the insights from our study, we design a novel prompt-based history modeling approach, and demonstrate its strong robustness across various settings. Our approach is inspired by existing methods that highlight historic answers in the passage. However, instead of highlighting by modifying the passage token embeddings, we add textual prompts directly in the passage text. Our approach is simple, easy-to-plug into practically any model, and highly effective, thus we recommend it as a starting point for future model developers. We also hope that our study and insights will raise awareness to the importance of robustness-focused evaluation, in addition to obtaining high leaderboard scores, leading to better CQA systems. View details
    Factually Consistent Summarization via Reinforcement Learning with Textual Entailment Feedback
    Paul Roit
    Johan Ferret
    Geoffrey Cideron
    Matthieu Geist
    Sertan Girgin
    Léonard Hussenot
    Nikola Momchev
    Piotr Stanczyk
    Nino Vieillard
    Olivier Pietquin
    Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Association for Computational Linguistics(2023), 6252–6272
    Preview abstract Despite the seeming success of contemporary grounded text generation systems, they often tend to generate factually inconsistent text with respect to their input. This phenomenon is emphasized in tasks like summarization, in which the generated summaries should be corroborated by their source article. In this work we leverage recent progress on textual entailment models to directly address this problem for abstractive summarization systems. We use reinforcement learning with reference-free, textual-entailment rewards to optimize for factual consistency and explore the ensuing trade-offs, as improved consistency may come at the cost of less informative or more extractive summaries. Our results, according to both automatic metrics and human evaluation, show that our method considerably improves the faithfulness, salience and conciseness of the generated summaries. View details
    Preview abstract Given the ubiquity of negative campaigning in recent political elections, we find it important to study its properties from a computational perspective. To this end, we present a model where elections can be manipulated by convincing voters to demote specific non-favored candidates, and study its properties in the classic setting of scoring rules. When the goal is constructive (making a preferred candidate win), we prove that finding such a demotion strategy is easy for Plurality and Veto, while generally hard for t-approval and Borda. We also provide a t-factor approximation for t-approval for every fixed t, and a 3-factor approximation algorithm for Borda. Interestingly enough - following recent trends in political science that show that the effectiveness of negative campaigning depends on the type of candidate and demographic - when assigning varying prices to different possible demotion operations, we are able to provide inapproximability results. When the goal is destructive (making the leading opponent lose), we show that the problem is easy for a broad class of scoring rules. View details
    Preview abstract We study conversational domain exploration (CODEX), where the user’s goal is to enrich her knowledge of a given domain by conversing with an informative bot. Such conversations should be well grounded in high-quality domain knowledge as well as engaging and open-ended. A CODEX bot should be proactive and introduce relevant information even if not directly asked for by the user. The bot should also appropriately pivot the conversation to undiscovered regions of the domain. To address these dialogue characteristics, we introduce a novel approach termed dynamic composition that decouples candidate content generation from the flexible composition of bot responses. This allows the bot to control the source, correctness and quality of the offered content, while achieving flexibility via a dialogue manager that selects the most appropriate contents in a compositional manner. We implemented a CODEX bot based on dynamic composition and integrated it into the Google Assistant. As an example domain, the bot conversed about the NBA basketball league in a seamless experience, such that users were not aware whether they were conversing with the vanilla system or the one augmented with our CODEX bot. Results are positive and offer insights into what makes for a good conversation. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first real user experiment of open-ended dialogues as part of a commercial assistant system. View details
    Preview abstract Sentence fusion is the task of joining related sentences into coherent text. Current training and evaluation schemes for this task are based on single reference ground-truths and do not account for valid fusion variants. We show that this hinders models from robustly capturing the semantic relationship between input sentences. To alleviate this, we present an approach in which ground-truth solutions are automatically expanded into multiple references via curated equivalence classes of connective phrases. We apply this method to a large-scale dataset and use the augmented dataset for both model training and evaluation. To improve the learning of semantic representation using multiple references, we enrich the model with auxiliary discourse classification tasks under a multi-tasking framework. Our experiments highlight the improvements of our approach over state-of-the-art models. View details
    Approximating Weighted and Priced Bribery in Scoring Rules
    Noam Hazon
    Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research, 66(2019), pp. 1057-1098
    Preview abstract The classic Bribery problem is to find a minimal subset of voters who need to change their vote to make some preferred candidate win. Its important generalizations consider voters who are weighted and also have different prices. We provide an approximate solution for these problems for a broad family of scoring rules (which includes Borda, t-approval, and Dowdall). Our algorithm is based on a randomized reduction from these Bribery generalizations to weighted coalitional manipulation (WCM). To solve this WCM instance, we apply the Birkhoff-von Neumann (BvN) decomposition to a fractional manipulation matrix. This allows us to limit the size of the possible ballot search space reducing it from exponential to polynomial, while still obtaining good approximation guarantees. Finding a solution in the truncated search space yields a new algorithm for WCM, which is of independent interest. View details
    New Approximations for Coalitional Manipulation in Scoring Rules
    Noam Hazon
    Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research, 64(2019), pp. 109-145
    Preview abstract We study the problem of coalitional manipulation---where k manipulators try to manipulate an election on m candidates---for any scoring rule, with focus on the Borda protocol. We do so in both the weighted and unweighted settings. For these problems, recent approximation approaches have tried to minimize k, the number of manipulators needed to make some preferred candidate p win (thus assuming that the number of manipulators is not limited in advance). In contrast, we focus on minimizing the score margin of p which is the difference between the maximum score of a candidate and the score of p. We provide algorithms that approximate the optimum score margin, which are applicable to any scoring rule. For the specific case of the Borda protocol in the unweighted setting, our algorithm provides a superior approximation factor for lower values of k. Our methods are novel and adapt techniques from multiprocessor scheduling by carefully rounding an exponentially-large configuration linear program that is solved by using the ellipsoid method with an efficient separation oracle. We believe that such methods could be beneficial in other social choice settings as well. View details
    Preview abstract The classic bribery problem is to find a minimal subset of voters who need to change their vote to make some preferred candidate win.We find an approximate solution for this problem for a broad family of scoring rules (which includes Borda and t-approval), in the following sense: if there is a strategy which requires bribing k voters, we efficiently find a strategy which requires bribing at most k + Õ(√k) voters. Our algorithm is based on a randomized reduction from bribery to coalitional manipulation (UCM). To solve the UCM problem, we apply the Birkhoff-von Neumann (BvN) decomposition to a fractional manipulation matrix. This allows us to limit the size of the possible ballot search space reducing it from exponential to polynomial, while still obtaining good approximation guarantees. Finding the optimal solution in the truncated search space yields a new algorithm for UCM, which is of independent interest. View details
    Preview abstract We study the problem of Borda Unweighted Coalitional Manipulation, where k manipulators try to manipulate an election on m candidates under the Borda protocol. This problem is known to be NP-hard. While most recent approaches to approximation tried to minimize k, the number of manipulators needed to make the preferred candidate win (thus assuming that the number of manipulators is not limited in advance), we focus instead on minimizing the maximum score obtainable by a non-preferred candidate. We provide a randomized, additive O(k √(m log m) ) approximation to this value; in other words, if there exists a strategy enabling the preferred candidate to win by an Ω(k √(m log m) ) margin, our method, with high probability, will find a strategy enabling her to win (albeit with a possibly smaller margin). It thus provides a somewhat stronger guarantee compared to the previous methods, where the addition of an extra manipulator implied (with respect to the original k) a strategy that provides an Ω(m)-additive approximation to a runner-up's score: when k is o(√(m/log m)), our strategy provides a stronger approximation. Our algorithm can also be viewed as a (1+o(1))-multiplicative approximation since the value we approximate has a natural Ω(km) lower bound. Our methods are novel and adapt techniques from multiprocessor scheduling by carefully rounding an exponentially-large configuration linear program that is solved by using the ellipsoid method with an efficient separation oracle. We believe that such methods could be beneficial in approximating coalitional manipulation in other election protocols as well. View details