Pretraining Chinese BERT for Detecting Word Insertion and Deletion Errors

26 Apr 2022  ·  Cong Zhou, Yong Dai, Duyu Tang, Enbo Zhao, Zhangyin Feng, Li Kuang, Shuming Shi ·

Chinese BERT models achieve remarkable progress in dealing with grammatical errors of word substitution. However, they fail to handle word insertion and deletion because BERT assumes the existence of a word at each position. To address this, we present a simple and effective Chinese pretrained model. The basic idea is to enable the model to determine whether a word exists at a particular position. We achieve this by introducing a special token \texttt{[null]}, the prediction of which stands for the non-existence of a word. In the training stage, we design pretraining tasks such that the model learns to predict \texttt{[null]} and real words jointly given the surrounding context. In the inference stage, the model readily detects whether a word should be inserted or deleted with the standard masked language modeling function. We further create an evaluation dataset to foster research on word insertion and deletion. It includes human-annotated corrections for 7,726 erroneous sentences. Results show that existing Chinese BERT performs poorly on detecting insertion and deletion errors. Our approach significantly improves the F1 scores from 24.1\% to 78.1\% for word insertion and from 26.5\% to 68.5\% for word deletion, respectively.

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