AESOP: Paraphrase Generation with Adaptive Syntactic Control

EMNLP 2021  ·  Jiao Sun, Xuezhe Ma, Nanyun Peng ·

We propose to control paraphrase generation through carefully chosen target syntactic structures to generate more proper and higher quality paraphrases. Our model, AESOP, leverages a pretrained language model and adds deliberately chosen syntactical control via a retrieval-based selection module to generate fluent paraphrases. Experiments show that AESOP achieves state-of-the-art performances on semantic preservation and syntactic conformation on two benchmark datasets with ground-truth syntactic control from human-annotated exemplars. Moreover, with the retrieval-based target syntax selection module, AESOP generates paraphrases with even better qualities than the current best model using human-annotated target syntactic parses according to human evaluation. We further demonstrate the effectiveness of AESOP to improve classification models’ robustness to syntactic perturbation by data augmentation on two GLUE tasks.

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