Usual caveats: didn't see all papers, blah blah blah. Also look for #acl14nlp on twitter -- lots of papers were mentioned there too!
- A Tabular Method for Dynamic Oracles in Transition-Based Parsing; Yoav Goldberg, Francesco Sartorio, Giorgio Satta.
Jaokim Nivre, Ryan McDonald and I tried searnifying MaltParser back in 2007 and never got it to work. Perhaps this is because we didn't have dynamic oracles and we thought that a silly approximate oracle would be good enough. Guess not. Yoav, Francesco and Giorgio have a nice technique for efficiently computing the best possible-to-achieve dependency parse given some prefix, possibly incorrect, parse.
- Joint Incremental Disfluency Detection and Dependency Parsing; Matthew Honnibal, Mark Johnson
The basic idea is to do shift-reduce dependency parsing, but allow for "rewinds" in the case of (predicted) disfluencies. I like that they didn't just go with the most obvious model and actually thought about how might be a good way to solve this problem. Basic idea is if you get "Please book a flight to Boston uh to Denver..." is that you parse "to Boston" like usual but then when you get to the "uh", you remove old arcs. You do it this way because detecting the disfluent segment ("to Boston") is much easier when you hit "uh" than when you hit "to Boston."
- Don't count, predict! A systematic comparison of context-counting vs. context-predicting semantic vectors; Marco Baroni; Georgiana Dinu; Germán Kruszewski
This paper is summarized best by its own statement, which should win it the award for most honest paper ever: "...we set out to conduct this study because we were annoyed by the triumphalist overtones often surrounding [neural network embeddings], despite the almost complete lack of a proper comparison.... Our secret wish was to discover that it is all hype... Instead, we found that the [embeddings] are so good that, while the triumphalist overtones still sound excessive, there are very good reasons to switch to the new architecture."
- Learning to Automatically Solve Algebra Word Problems ; Nate Kushman; Luke Zettlemoyer; Regina Barzilay; Yoav Artzi
An algebra word problem is something like "I have twice as many dimes as nickles and have $2.53. How many nickles do I have." Of course usually they actually have an answer. They have a nice, fairly linguistically unstructured (i.e., no CCG) for mapping word problems to algebraic formulae and then solving those formulae. Code/data available.
- Grounded Compositional Semantics for Finding and Describing Images with Sentences; Richard Socher, Quoc V. Le, Christopher D. Manning, and Andrew Y. Ng
This is the follow-on work from Richard's NIPS workshop paper on text <-> images from this past NIPS. They fixed the main bug in that paper (the use of l2 error, which gives a trivial and uninteresting global optimal solution) and get nice results. If you're in the langvis space, worth a read, even if you don't like neural networks :).
- From image descriptions to visual denotations: New similarity metrics for semantic inference over event descriptions; Peter Young, Alice Lai, Micah Hodosh, Julia Hockenmaier
I really like the "visual denotations" idea here. Basically you say something like "the set of worlds in which this sentence is true is the set of images in which this sentence is true (i.e., roughly the sentence is entailed by the image)." You can then measure similarity between sentences based on denotations.
- Kneser-Ney Smoothing on Expected Counts; Hui Zhang; David Chiang
I didn't actually see this talk or read the paper, but lots of people told me in hallways that this is a very nice result. Basically we like KN smoothing, but it only works for integral counts, which means it's hard to incorporate into something like EM, which produces fractional counts. This paper solves this problem.
- Linguistic Structured Sparsity in Text Categorization; Dani Yogatama; Noah A. Smith
Also didn't see this one, but skimmed the paper. The reason I really like this paper is because they took a well known technique in ML land (structured sparsity) and applied it to NLP, but in an interesting way. I.e., it wasn't just "apply X to Y" but rather find a very linguistically clever/interesting way of mapping X to a problem that we care about. Very cool work.
Please add comments with your favorite papers that I missed!