Towards realistic practices in low-resource natural language processing: The development set

Katharina Kann, Kyunghyun Cho, Samuel R. Bowman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Development sets are impractical to obtain for real low-resource languages, since using all available data for training is often more effective. However, development sets are widely used in research papers that purport to deal with low-resource natural language processing (NLP). Here, we aim to answer the following questions: Does using a development set for early stopping in the low-resource setting influence results as compared to a more realistic alternative, where the number of training epochs is tuned on development languages? And does it lead to overestimation or underestimation of performance? We repeat multiple experiments from recent work on neural models for low-resource NLP and compare results for models obtained by training with and without development sets. On average over languages, absolute accuracy differs by up to 1.4%. However, for some languages and tasks, differences are as big as 18.0% accuracy. Our results highlight the importance of realistic experimental setups in the publication of low-resource NLP research results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEMNLP-IJCNLP 2019 - 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing, Proceedings of the Conference
PublisherAssociation for Computational Linguistics
Pages3342-3349
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781950737901
StatePublished - 2020
Event2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing, EMNLP-IJCNLP 2019 - Hong Kong, China
Duration: Nov 3 2019Nov 7 2019

Publication series

NameEMNLP-IJCNLP 2019 - 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing, Proceedings of the Conference

Conference

Conference2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing, EMNLP-IJCNLP 2019
CountryChina
CityHong Kong
Period11/3/1911/7/19

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Information Systems

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