Tom Hosking



I'm a PhD student in NLP at Edinburgh supervised by Mirella Lapata, working on language generation.

Recent Work


Factorising Meaning and Form for Intent-Preserving Paraphrasing Tom Hosking and Mirella Lapata
ACL 2021

    title = "Factorising Meaning and Form for Intent-Preserving Paraphrasing",
    author = "Hosking, Tom  and
        Lapata, Mirella",
    booktitle = "Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 1: Long Papers)",
    month = aug,
    year = "2021",
    address = "Online",
    publisher = "Association for Computational Linguistics",
    url = "",
    pages = "1405--1418",
    abstract = "We propose a method for generating paraphrases of English questions that retain the original intent but use a different surface form. Our model combines a careful choice of training objective with a principled information bottleneck, to induce a latent encoding space that disentangles meaning and form. We train an encoder-decoder model to reconstruct a question from a paraphrase with the same meaning and an exemplar with the same surface form, leading to separated encoding spaces. We use a Vector-Quantized Variational Autoencoder to represent the surface form as a set of discrete latent variables, allowing us to use a classifier to select a different surface form at test time. Crucially, our method does not require access to an external source of target exemplars. Extensive experiments and a human evaluation show that we are able to generate paraphrases with a better tradeoff between semantic preservation and syntactic novelty compared to previous methods.",

Querent Intent in Multi-Sentence Questions • Laurie Burchell*, Jie Chi*, Tom Hosking*, Nina Markl* and Bonnie Webber
Linguistics Annotation Workshop, COLING 2020 (* = equal contribution)

    title = "Querent Intent in Multi-Sentence Questions",
    author = "Burchell, Laurie  and
        Chi, Jie  and
        Hosking, Tom  and
        Markl, Nina  and
        Webber, Bonnie",
    booktitle = "Proceedings of the 14th Linguistic Annotation Workshop",
    month = dec,
    year = "2020",
    address = "Barcelona, Spain",
    publisher = "Association for Computational Linguistics",
    url = "",
    pages = "138--147",
    abstract = "Multi-sentence questions (MSQs) are sequences of questions connected by relations which, unlike sequences of standalone questions, need to be answered as a unit. Following Rhetorical Structure Theory (RST), we recognise that different {``}question discourse relations{''} between the subparts of MSQs reflect different speaker intents, and consequently elicit different answering strategies. Correctly identifying these relations is therefore a crucial step in automatically answering MSQs. We identify five different types of MSQs in English, and define five novel relations to describe them. We extract over 162,000 MSQs from Stack Exchange to enable future research. Finally, we implement a high-precision baseline classifier based on surface features.",

Evaluating Rewards for Question Generation ModelsTom Hosking and Sebastian Riedel
NAACL 2019

    title = "Evaluating Rewards for Question Generation Models",
    author = "Hosking, Tom  and
    Riedel, Sebastian",
    booktitle = "Proceedings of the 2019 Conference of the North {A}merican Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 1 (Long and Short Papers)",
    month = jun,
    year = "2019",
    address = "Minneapolis, Minnesota",
    publisher = "Association for Computational Linguistics",
    url = "",
    pages = "2278--2283"