Tasnim Mohiuddin

I am a graduate student at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore. I am a member of NTU-NLP Group, working with my supervisor Professor Shafiq Joty. Prior to NTU, I received BS in Computer Science and Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET). My research interest falls broadly in the application of Machine Learning, especially Natural Language Processing. My current research projects mainly focus on Machine Translation, Discourse Analysis, and Cross-Lingual NLP.

[ Résumé]

Recent News


Peer-reviewed Conference Papers
  1. M Saiful Bari, Tasnim Mohiuddin (Equal Contributions), and Shafiq Joty, "UXLA: : A Robust Unsupervised Data Augmentation Framework for Cross-Lingual NLP". In Proceedings of The Joint Conference of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (ACL-IJCNLP 2021).
    [PDF] [Code]

  2. Tasnim Mohiuddin , M Saiful Bari, and Shafiq Joty, "AugVic: Exploiting BiText Vicinity for Low-Resource NMT". In Findings of The Joint Conference of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (ACL-IJCNLP 2021).
    [PDF] [Code]

  3. Tasnim Mohiuddin , Prathyusha Jwalapuram, Xiang Lin, and Shafiq Joty, "Rethinking Coherence Modeling: Synthetic vs. Downstream Tasks". In Proceedings of the 16th conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics (EACL 2021), Kyiv, Ukraine.
    [PDF] [Resource]

  4. Tasnim Mohiuddin , M Saiful Bari, and Shafiq Joty, "LNMap: Departures from Isomorphic Assumption in Bilingual Lexicon Induction Through Non-Linear Mapping in Latent Space". In Proceedings of the Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP 2020).
    [PDF] [Presentation] [Code]

  5. Han-Cheol Moon, Tasnim Mohiuddin (Equal Contributions), Shafiq Joty, and Chi Xu, "A Unified Neural Coherence Model". In Proceedings of the Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP 2019), Hong Kong, China.
    [PDF] [Presentation] [Code]

  6. Tasnim Mohiuddin and Shafiq Joty, "Revisiting Adversarial Autoencoder for Unsupervised Word Translation with Cycle Consistency and Improved Training". In Proceedings of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies (NAACL-HLT 2019), Minneapolis, USA.
    [PDF] [Presentation] [Poster] [Code]

  7. Tasnim Mohiuddin , Thanh-Tung Nguyen, and Shafiq Joty, "Adaptation of Hierarchical Structured Models for Speech Act Recognition in Asynchronous Conversation" . In Proceedings of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies (NAACL-HLT 2019), Minneapolis, USA.
    [PDF] [Presentation] [Poster] [Code]

  8. Tasnim Mohiuddin , Shafiq Joty, and Dat Nguyen, "Coherence Modeling of Asynchronous Conversations: A Neural Entity Grid Approach". In Proceedings of the 56th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL 2018), Melbourne, Australia.
    [PDF] [Poster] [Code]

Peer-reviewed Journal Papers
  1. Tasnim Mohiuddin and Shafiq Joty, "Unsupervised Word Translation with Adversarial Autoencoder". Computational Linguistics (Special Issue of Computational Linguistics on Multilingual and Interlingual Semantic Representations for Natural Language Processing) : pages XXX - XXX (2020), MIT press (June 2020).
    [PDF] [Presentation]

  2. Shafiq Joty and Tasnim Mohiuddin, "Modeling Speech Acts in Asynchronous Conversations: A Neural-CRF Approach". Computational Linguistics (Special Issue on Language in Social Media) 44:4 , pages 859 - 894 (2018), MIT press (2018).
    [PDF] [Code]


Exploiting BiText Vicinity for Low-Resource NMT

The success of Neural Machine Translation (NMT) largely depends on the availability of large bitext training corpora. Due to the lack of such large corpora in low-resource language pairs, NMT systems often exhibit poor performance. Extra relevant monolingual data often helps, but acquiring it could be quite expensive, especially for low-resource languages. Moreover, domain mismatch between bitext (train/test) and monolingual data might degrade the performance. To alleviate such issues, we propose AugVic, a novel data augmentation framework for low-resource NMT which exploits the vicinal samples of the given bitext without using any extra monolingual data explicitly.
It can diversify the in-domain bitext data with finer-level control. Through extensive experiments on four low-resource language pairs comprising data from different domains, we have shown that our method is comparable to the traditional back-translation that uses extra in-domain monolingual data. When we combine the synthetic parallel data generated from AugVic with the ones from the extra monolingual data, we achieve further improvements. We show that AugVic helps to attenuate the discrepancies between relevant and distant-domain monolingual data in traditional back-translation.

Publication: ACL-2021


Data Augmentation for Cross-Lingual NLP

Transfer learning has yielded state-of-the-art (SoTA) results in many supervised natural language processing tasks. However, annotated data for every target task in every target language is rare, especially for low-resource languages. We target to solve cross-lingual adaptation problems from a source language distribution to an unknown target language distribution, assuming no training labels are available for the target language task.
In this project, we propose UXLA, a generic data augmentation framework for self-supervised learning in zero-resource transfer learning scenarios. At its core, UXLA performs simultaneous self-training with data augmentation and unsupervised sample selection. We augment data from the unlabeled training examples in the target language as well as from the virtual input samples (eg sentences) generated from the vicinity distribution of the source and target language sentences. With the augmented data, UXLA performs simultaneous self-learning with an effective distillation strategy to learn a strongly adapted cross-lingual model from noisy (pseudo) labels for the target language task. We propose novel ways to generate virtual input samples using XLMR - a multilingual masked language model, and get reliable task labels by simultaneous multilingual co-training.
To show our proposed methods' effectiveness, we conduct extensive experiments on zero-resource cross-lingual transfer tasks for Named Entity Recognition (XNER) and Natural Language Inference (XNLI). UXLA achieves SoTA results in both tasks, outperforming the baselines by a good margin. With an in-depth model dissection, we demonstrate the cumulative contributions of different components to UXLA's success.

Publication: ACL-2021


Bilingual Lexicon Induction with Limited Supervision

Most of the successful and predominant methods for Bilingual Lexicon Induction (BLI) are mapping-based, where a linear mapping function is learned with the assumption that the word embedding spaces of different languages exhibit similar geometric structures i.e. approximately isomorphic}). However, several recent studies have criticized this simplified assumption showing that it does not hold in general even for closely related languages. In this work, we propose a novel semi-supervised method to learn cross-lingual word embeddings for BLI. Our model is independent of the isomorphic assumption and uses non-linear mapping in the latent space of two independently pre-trained} autoencoders. Through extensive experiments on fifteen (15) different language pairs (in both directions) comprising resource-rich and low-resource languages from two different datasets, we demonstrate that our method outperforms existing models by a good margin. Ablation studies show the importance of different model components and the necessity of non-linear mapping.

Publication: EMNLP-2020


Unsupervised word translation

Suppose we are given monolingual word embeddings for source and target languages. We do not have any initial dictionary or external cross-lingual signal. Our goal is to learn word translation (a.k.a. bilingual lexicon induction) i.e. for a given source word, we want its translation in the target domain.
Cross-lingual word embeddings learned from monolingual embeddings have a crucial role in many downstream tasks, ranging from machine translation to transfer learning. Adversarial training has shown impressive success in learning cross-lingual embeddings and the associated word translation task without any parallel data by mapping monolingual embeddings to a shared space. In this project, we investigate adversarial autoencoder for unsupervised word translation and propose two novel extensions to it that yield more stable training and improved results. Our method includes regularization terms to enforce cycle consistency and input reconstruction, and puts the target encoders as an adversary against the corresponding discriminator.
We use two types of refinement procedures sequentially after obtaining the trained encoders and mappings from the adversarial training, namely, refinement with Procrustes solution and refinement with symmetric re-weighting.
Extensive experimentations with European, non-European and low-resource languages show that our method achieves better performance than existing adversarial and non-adversarial approaches and is also competitive with the supervised system. Along with performing comprehensive ablation studies to understand the contribution of different components of our adversarial model, we also conduct a thorough analysis of the refinement procedures to understand their effects.

Publication: NAACL-HLT 2019 , CL Journal 2020

unsupervised word translation models

Neural Coherence Model

Sentences in a text or a conversation do not occur independently; rather they are connected to form a coherent discourse that is easy to comprehend. Coherence models are computational models that can distinguish a coherent discourse from incoherent ones. It has ranges of applications in text generation, summarization, and coherence scoring.
In this project, we conduct our research in two steps.
First, we propose improvements to the recently proposed neural entity grid model by lexicalizing its entity transitions. We propose methods based on word embeddings to achieve better generalization with the lexicalized model.
Second, we extend the model to asynchronous conversations by incorporating the underlying conversational structure in the entity grid representation and feature computation. For this, we propose a novel grid representation for asynchronous conversations and adapt the convolution layer of the neural model accordingly.
Our model achieves state of the art results on standard coherence assessment tasks in monologue and conversations outperforming existing models. We also demonstrate its effectiveness in reconstructing thread structures.

Publication: ACL 2018


Unified Coherence Model

In this project, we work on the limitations of existing models which underperform on tasks that require the model to be sensitive to local contexts such as candidate ranking in conversational dialogue and in machine translation.
We propose a unified coherence model that incorporates sentence grammar, inter-sentence coherence relations, and global coherence patterns in a single framework. We use an LSTM sentence encoder with explicit language model loss to capture the syntax. Inter-sentence discourse relations are modeled with a bilinear layer, and a lightweight convolution-pooling is used to capture the attention and topic structures (global coherence patterns ).
We evaluate our models on both local and global discrimination tasks on the benchmark dataset. Our results show that our approach outperforms existing methods by a wide margin in both tasks.

Publication: EMNLP-IJCNLP 2019


Speech Act Recognition in Asynchronous Conversation

With the advent of Internet technologies, communication media like emails and discussion forums have become common-place for discussing work, issues, events, and experiences. Participants in these media interact with each other asynchronously by writing at different times. Participants in an asynchronous conversation interact with each other in complex ways, performing certain communicative acts like asking questions, requesting information or suggesting something. These are called speech acts.
Unlike synchronous conversations (e.g. meeting, phone), modeling conversational dependencies between sentences in an asynchronous conversation are challenging. The conversational flow often lacks sequential dependencies in its temporal/chronological order. For example, if we arrange the sentences as they arrive in the conversation, it becomes hard to capture any dependency between the acts types because the two components of the adjacency pairs can be far apart in the sequence. This leaves us with one open research question: how do we model the dependencies between sentences in a single comment and between sentences across different comments? Another major problem is insufficient training data in the asynchronous domains.
In this project, we propose methods to effectively leverage abundant unlabeled conversational data and the available labeled data from synchronous domains. We carry out our research in three main steps.
First, we introduce an end-to-end neural architecture based on a hierarchical LSTM encoder with a Softmax or conditional random fields (CRF) output layer, and show that our method outperforms existing methods when trained on in-domain data only.
Second, we improve our initial SAR models by semi-supervised learning in the form of pretrained word embeddings learned from a large unlabeled conversational corpus.
Finally, we adapt our hierarchical LSTM encoder using domain adversarial training to leverage the labeled data from synchronous domains by explicitly modeling the shift in the two domains.
We evaluate our models on three different asynchronous datasets containing forum and email conversations, and on the MRDA meeting corpus. Our main findings are:

  1. hierarchical LSTMs outperform existing methods when trained on in-domain data for both synchronous and asynchronous domains, setting a new state-of-the-art
  2. conversational word embeddings yield significant improvements over off-the-shelf ones
  3. domain adversarial training improves the results by inducing domain-invariant features.

Publications: CL Journal 2018, NAACL-HLT 2019



Multimedia and Interactive Computing Lab (MICL)
Block N4 #B1C-17
School of Computer Science and Engineering
Nanyang Technological University
Singapore 639798.