GUCL talk: Rachel Rudinger: Decompositional Event Semantics

GU Computational Linguistics (GUCL) guest speaker

Rachel Rudinger, JHU

Decompositional Event Semantics

In natural language understanding, traditional approaches to mapping observed linguistic forms (e.g., a sentence) to symbolic representations of meaning typically require the construction of an underlying ontology of abstract semantic categories. Such ontologies can be challenging to establish, expensive to annotate training data for, and may still suffer from issues of label ambiguity, incomplete coverage, or sparsity. The Decompositional Semantics Initiative is a collection of efforts to provide light-weight alternatives to ontology-backed semantic representations of text; these decompositional representations instead consist of layers of independent, rapidly-annotated properties (entailments) based on common-sense questions that can be posed to crowdsource workers. In this talk, I will present my work on two particular efforts under this initiative: Semantic Proto-Role Labeling and Event Factuality Prediction. This work involves each stage of the decompositional semantics life-cycle: from the formulation of semantic targets, to large-scale data collection, and finally to the development of state-of-the-art, linguistically-informed predictive models. I will also discuss recent follow-up work on analytically probing the capabilities of these models, as well as a newly-developed cross-lingual application.

Bio: Rachel Rudinger is a senior Ph.D. student at Johns Hopkins University in Computer Science, affiliated with the Center for Language and Speech Processing. Her work focuses on problems in natural language understanding, including event factuality prediction, semantic (proto-)role labeling, and acquisition of common-sense knowledge from text. During her Ph.D., Rachel interned with the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence and was a visiting student at Saarland University. She is the author of many peer-reviewed papers in top Computational Linguistics conferences and journals, and has been interviewed about her work on the popular NLP Highlights podcast. Rachel is a recipient of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and a member of the MIT EECS Rising Stars cohort of 2018.

Friday, January 11 at 1:30pm to 2:30pm

St. Mary's Hall, 326
3700 Reservoir Road, N.W., Washington


Georgetown College, Computer Science, Linguistics


Event Contact Name

Djuana Shields

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