Dieuwke Hupkes

Dieuwke Hupkes
University of Amsterdam | UVA · Institute of Logic, Language and Computation

Bachelor of Physics, Master of Logic

About

50
Publications
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616
Citations

Publications

Publications (50)
Preprint
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Interaction between caregivers and children plays a critical role in human language acquisition and development. Given this observation, it is remarkable that explicit interaction plays little to no role in artificial language modeling -- which also targets the acquisition of human language, yet by artificial models. Moreover, an interactive approa...
Preprint
There has been a lot of interest in understanding what information is captured by hidden representations of language models (LMs). Typically, interpretation methods i) do not guarantee that the model actually uses the encoded information, and ii) do not discover small subsets of neurons responsible for a considered phenomenon. Inspired by causal me...
Preprint
Full-text available
Recursive processing is considered a hallmark of human linguistic abilities. A recent study evaluated recursive processing in recurrent neural language models (RNN-LMs) and showed that such models perform below chance level on embedded dependencies within nested constructions -- a prototypical example of recursion in natural language. Here, we stud...
Preprint
Training data memorization in NLP can both be beneficial (e.g., closed-book QA) and undesirable (personal data extraction). In any case, successful model training requires a non-trivial amount of memorization to store word spellings, various linguistic idiosyncrasies and common knowledge. However, little is known about what affects the memorization...
Preprint
Full-text available
Moving towards human-like linguistic performance is often argued to require compositional generalisation. Whether neural networks exhibit this ability is typically studied using artificial languages, for which the compositionality of input fragments can be guaranteed and their meanings algebraically composed. However, compositionality in natural la...
Preprint
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We investigate the semantic knowledge of language models (LMs), focusing on (1) whether these LMs create categories of linguistic environments based on their semantic monotonicity properties, and (2) whether these categories play a similar role in LMs as in human language understanding, using negative polarity item licensing as a case study. We int...
Article
Recursive processing in sentence comprehension is considered a hallmark of human linguistic abilities. However, its underlying neural mechanisms remain largely unknown. We studied whether a modern artificial neural network trained with "deep learning" methods mimics a central aspect of human sentence processing, namely the storing of grammatical nu...
Preprint
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The field of explainable AI has recently seen an explosion in the number of explanation methods for highly non-linear deep neural networks. The extent to which such methods -- that are often proposed and tested in the domain of computer vision -- are appropriate to address the explainability challenges in NLP is yet relatively unexplored. In this w...
Preprint
A possible explanation for the impressive performance of masked language model (MLM) pre-training is that such models have learned to represent the syntactic structures prevalent in classical NLP pipelines. In this paper, we propose a different explanation: MLMs succeed on downstream tasks almost entirely due to their ability to model higher-order...
Preprint
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In this paper, we propose to study language modelling as a multi-task problem, bringing together three strands of research: multi-task learning, linguistics, and interpretability. Based on hypotheses derived from linguistic theory, we investigate whether language models adhere to learning principles of multi-task learning during training. To showca...
Preprint
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In this paper, we consider the syntactic properties of languages emerged in referential games, using unsupervised grammar induction (UGI) techniques originally designed to analyse natural language. We show that the considered UGI techniques are appropriate to analyse emergent languages and we then study if the languages that emerge in a typical ref...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Despite a multitude of empirical studies, little consensus exists on whether neural networks are able to generalise compositionally. As a response to this controversy, we present a set of tests that provide a bridge between, on the one hand, the vast amount of linguistic and philosophical theory about compositionality of language and, on the other,...
Preprint
Full-text available
Recursive processing in sentence comprehension is considered a hallmark of human linguistic abilities. However, its underlying neural mechanisms remain largely unknown. We studied whether a recurrent neural network with Long Short-Term Memory units can mimic a central aspect of human sentence processing, namely the handling of long-distance agreeme...
Article
Full-text available
Despite a multitude of empirical studies, little consensus exists on whether neural networks are able to generalise compositionally, a controversy that, in part, stems from a lack of agreement about what it means for a neural model to be compositional. As a response to this controversy, we present a set of tests that provide a bridge between, on th...
Preprint
In previous work, artificial agents were shown to achieve almost perfect accuracy in referential games where they have to communicate to identify images. Nevertheless, the resulting communication protocols rarely display salient features of natural languages, such as compositionality. In this paper, we propose some realistic sources of pressure on...
Preprint
Full-text available
Referential games offer a grounded learning environment for neural agents, that accounts for the functional aspects of language. However, they fail to account for another fundamental aspect of human language: Because languages are transmitted from generation to generation, they have to be learnable by new language users, which makes them subject to...
Preprint
Neural networks are surprisingly good at interpolating and perform remarkably well when the training set examples resemble those in the test set. However, they are often unable to extrapolate patterns beyond the seen data, even when the abstractions required for such patterns are simple. In this paper, we first review the notion of extrapolation, w...
Preprint
Extensive research has recently shown that recurrent neural language models are able to process a wide range of grammatical phenomena. How these models are able to perform these remarkable feats so well, however, is still an open question. To gain more insight into what information LSTMs base their decisions on, we propose a generalisation of Conte...
Preprint
Full-text available
Despite a multitude of empirical studies, little consensus exists on whether neural networks are able to generalise compositionally, a controversy that, in part, stems from a lack of agreement about what it means for a neural model to be compositional. As a response to this controversy, we present a set of tests that provide a bridge between, on th...
Preprint
Since their inception, encoder-decoder models have successfully been applied to a wide array of problems in computational linguistics. The most recent successes are predominantly due to the use of different variations of attention mechanisms, but their cognitive plausibility is questionable. In particular, because past representations can be revisi...
Preprint
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While sequence-to-sequence models have shown remarkable generalization power across several natural language tasks, their construct of solutions are argued to be less compositional than human-like generalization. In this paper, we present seq2attn, a new architecture that is specifically designed to exploit attention to find compositional patterns...
Preprint
Full-text available
We present a detailed comparison of two types of sequence to sequence models trained to conduct a compositional task. The models are architecturally identical at inference time, but differ in the way that they are trained: our baseline model is trained with a task-success signal only, while the other model receives additional supervision on its att...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Recent work has shown that LSTMs trained on a generic language modeling objective capture syntax-sensitive generalizations such as long-distance number agreement. We have however no mechanistic understanding of how they accomplish this remarkable feat. Some have conjectured it depends on heuristics that do not truly take hierarchical structure into...
Preprint
Full-text available
Recent work has shown that LSTMs trained on a generic language modeling objective capture syntax-sensitive generalizations such as long-distance number agreement. We have however no mechanistic understanding of how they accomplish this remarkable feat. Some have conjectured it depends on heuristics that do not truly take hierarchical structure into...
Preprint
Full-text available
Human language, music and a variety of animal vocalisations constitute ways of sonic communication that exhibit remarkable structural complexity. While the complexities of language and possible parallels in animal communication have been discussed intensively, reflections on the complexity of music and animal song, and their comparisons are underre...
Preprint
Learning to follow human instructions is a challenging task because while interpreting instructions requires discovering arbitrary algorithms, humans typically provide very few examples to learn from. For learning from this data to be possible, strong inductive biases are necessary. Work in the past has relied on hand-coded components or manually e...
Preprint
Full-text available
In this paper, we attempt to link the inner workings of a neural language model to linguistic theory, focusing on a complex phenomenon well discussed in formal linguis- tics: (negative) polarity items. We briefly discuss the leading hypotheses about the licensing contexts that allow negative polarity items and evaluate to what extent a neural langu...
Preprint
We investigate how encoder-decoder models trained on a synthetic dataset of task-oriented dialogues process disfluencies, such as hesitations and self-corrections. We find that, contrary to earlier results, disfluencies have very little impact on the task success of seq-to-seq models with attention. Using visualisation and diagnostic classifiers, w...
Preprint
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How do neural language models keep track of number agreement between subject and verb? We show that `diagnostic classifiers', trained to predict number from the internal states of a language model, provide a detailed understanding of how, when, and where this information is represented. Moreover, they give us insight into when and where number info...
Conference Paper
In this paper, we investigate how recurrent neural networks can learn and process languages with hierarchical, compositional semantics. To this end, we define the artificial task of processing nested arithmetic expressions, and study whether different types of neural networks can learn to compute their meaning. We find that simple recurrent network...
Preprint
Full-text available
In this paper, we introduce Attentive Guidance (AG), a new mechanism to direct a sequence to sequence model equipped with attention to find more compositional solutions that generalise even in cases where the training and testing distribution strongly diverge. We test AG on two tasks, devised precisely to asses the composi- tional capabilities of n...
Article
Full-text available
We investigate how neural networks can learn and process languages with hierarchical, compositional semantics. To this end, we define the artificial task of processing nested arithmetic expressions, and study whether different types of neural networks can learn to compute their meaning. We find that recursive neural networks can find a generalising...
Article
Full-text available
We investigate how neural networks can be used for hierarchical, compositional semantics. To this end, we define the simple but nontrivial artificial task of processing nested arithmetic expressions and study whether different types of neural networks can learn to add and subtract. We find that recursive neural networks can implement a generalising...
Article
Full-text available
We present a study of the adequacy of current methods that are used for POS-tagging historical Dutch texts, as well as an exploration of the influence of employing different techniques to improve upon the current practice. The main focus of this paper is on (unsupervised) methods that are easily adaptable for different domains without requiring ext...

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Projects (2)
Project
Nowadays many (deep) neural networks are trained on tasks requiring hierarchical compositionality. In the current project, focussing on compositionality in language, we are using a small toy language with unambigously defined syntax and semantics to understand how such networks may operate.