FELIX: Flexible Text Editing Through Tagging and Insertion


We present FELIX – a flexible text-editing approach for generation, designed to derive maximum benefit from the ideas of decoding with bi-directional contexts and self-supervised pretraining. In contrast to conventional sequenceto-sequence (seq2seq) models, FELIX is efficient in low-resource settings and fast at inference time, while being capable of modeling flexible input-output transformations. We achieve this by decomposing the text-editing task into two sub-tasks: tagging to decide on the subset of input tokens and their order in the output text and insertion to in-fill the missing tokens in the output not present in the input. The tagging model employs a novel Pointer mechanism, while the insertion model is based on a Masked Language Model (MLM). Both of these models are chosen to be non-autoregressive to guarantee faster inference. FELIX performs favourably when compared to recent text-editing methods and strong seq2seq baselines when evaluated on four NLG tasks: Sentence Fusion, Machine Translation Automatic Post-Editing, Summarization, and Text Simplification

Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2020