Stella Frank

I design and develop computational models to understand how humans learn language, how language changes through use, and how language connects to the world. These models investigate questions like:
  • How do speakers adapt to each other during a conversation, and how do they know what kinds of adaptations to make?
  • How can individual interactions shape the language spoken by a population?
  • How do people describe images differently in different languages?
  • How can infants and agents use disparate sources of information for learning language?
I use both Bayesian and deep learning methods (and am getting into Bayesian deep learning as well).

I am currently a postdoctoral researcher at the CLIC lab at CIMeC at the University of Trento in Rovereto, working with Raffaella Bernardi.

Previously I was at the Centre for Language Evolution at the University of Edinburgh, working with Kenny Smith on an ERC-funded project investigating the evolution of linguistic complexity.

Before that, I worked on grounded machine translation and crosslingual image description in the Statistical Language Processing and Learning Lab, at the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC) in the University of Amsterdam. I did my Ph.D. at the Institute for Language, Cognition, and Computation (ILCC) in the University of Edinburgh, supervised by Sharon Goldwater and Frank Keller.

Email me: stella dot frank at unitn dot it

Stella Frank

Publications

Learner dynamics in a model of wug inflection: integrating frequency and phonology. Stella Frank, Kenny Smith, and Christine Cuskley. Proceedings of CogSci (2020).

Simple kinship systems are more learnable. Kenny Smith, Stella Frank, Sara Rolando, Simon Kirby, and Jia Loy. Proceedings of CogSci (2020).

CompGuessWhat?!: A Multi-task Evaluation Framework for Grounded Language LearningCompGuessWhat?!: A Multi-task Evaluation Framework for Grounded Language Learning. Alessandro Suglia, Ioannis Konstas, Andrea Vanzo, Emanuele Bastianelli, Desmond Elliott, Stella Frank, Oliver Lemon. Proceedings of ACL (2020).

Natural population growth can cause language simplification. Stella Frank and Kenny Smith. Proceedings of Evolang (2020).

The Emergence of Compositional Languages for Numeric Concepts Through Iterated Learning in Neural Agents. Shangmin Guo and Yi Ren and Kenny Smith and Ivan Titov and Stella Frank and Serhii Havrylov. Proceedings of Evolang (2020).

Findings of the Third Shared Task on Multimodal Machine Translation. Loïc Barrault, Fethi Bougares, Lucia Specia, Chiraag Lala, Desmond Elliott, Stella Frank. 2018. Proceedings of the Third Conference on Machine Translation

A model of linguistic accommodation leading to language simplification. Stella Frank and Kenny Smith. 2018. Proceedings of the 40th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society

A rational model of linguistic accommodation and its potential role in language simplification. Stella Frank and Kenny Smith. 2018. In Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on the Evolution of Language, Torun, Poland.

Assessing Multilingual Multimodal Image Description: Studies of Native Speaker Preferences and Translator Choices. Stella Frank, Desmond Elliott and Lucia Specia. 2018. Journal of Natural Language Engineering. 24(3), pp. 393--413.

A Shared Task on Multimodal Machine Translation and Crosslingual Image Description. Desmond Elliott, Stella Frank, Loic Barrault, Fethi Bougares, and Lucia Specia. 2017. Findings of the Second Shared Task on Multimodal Machine Translation and Multilingual Image Description. In Proceedings of the Second Conference on Machine Translation (WMT '17), Copenhagen, Denmark.

A Shared Task on Multimodal Machine Translation and Crosslingual Image Description. Lucia Specia, Stella Frank, Khalil Sima’an and Desmond Elliott. 2016. In Proceedings of the First Conference on Statistical Machine Translation (WMT). [Slides]

Multi30K: Multilingual English-German Image Descriptions. Desmond Elliott, Stella Frank, Khalil Sima’an, and Lucia Specia. 2016. In Proceedings of the 5th Workshop on Vision and Language (VL’16).

DCU-UvA System for Multimodal Machine Translation. Iacer Calixto, Desmond Elliott, and Stella Frank. 2016. In Proceedings of the First Conference on Statistical Machine Translation (WMT).

ILLC-UvA Adaptation System (Scorpio) at WMT’16 IT-Domain Task. Hoang Cuong, Stella Frank, and Khalil Sima’an. 2016. In Proceedings of the First Conference on Statistical Machine Translation (WMT).

The QT21/HimL Combined Machine Translation System. Peter, Jan-Thorsten, Tamer Alkhouli, Hermann Ney, Matthias Huck, Fabienne Braune, Alexander Fraser, Aleš Tamchyna, Ondřej Bojar, Barry Haddow, Rico Sennrich, Frédéric Blain, Lucia Specia, Jan Niehues, Alex Waibel, Alexandre Allauzen, Lauriane Aufrant, Franck Burlot, Elena Knyazeva, Thomas Lavergne, François Yvon, Stella Frank, and Marcis Pinnis (2016). In Proceedings of the First Conference on Statistical Machine Translation (WMT).

Multilingual Image Description with Neural Sequence Models. Desmond Elliott, Stella Frank, Eva Hasler. 2015. [arxiv] [code]

Splitting Compounds by Semantic Analogy. Joachim Daiber, Lautaro Quiroz, Roger Wechsler, and Stella Frank. In Proceedings of the first Deep Machine Translation Workshop. 2015. [arxiv] [code]

Weak semantic context helps phonetic learning in a model of infant language acquisition. Stella Frank, Naomi Feldman, Sharon Goldwater. In Proceedings of the Association for Computational Linguistics, 2014.

Learning the hyperparameters to learn morphology. Stella Frank. In Proceedings of the Workshop on Cognitive Aspects of Computational Language Learning at EACL, 2014

Exploring the utility of joint morphological and syntactic learning from child-directed speech. Stella Frank, Frank Keller, Sharon Goldwater. In Proceedings of the Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing, 2013.

Adding sentence types to a model of syntactic category acquisition. Stella Frank, Sharon Goldwater, Frank Keller. TopiCS in Cognitive Science 5 (3), pp. 495-521. 2013. [preprint]

Using sentence type information for syntactic category acquisition. Stella Frank, Sharon Goldwater, Frank Keller. In Proceedings of the Workshop on Cognitive Modeling and Computational Linguistics at ACL, 2010.

Evaluating models of syntactic category acquisition without using a gold standard. Stella Frank, Sharon Goldwater, Frank Keller. In Proceedings of the 31st Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, 2009.

Syntactic priming between non-identical noun phrase structures. Frank, Stella, Amit Dubey, and Frank Keller. In Proceedings of the Conference on Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing (AMLaP), 2008. [abstract] [poster]

Theses

Bayesian models of syntactic category acquisition. Stella Frank. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Edinburgh, 2013. [University Repository]

Syntactic Priming over Clusters of Noun Phrase. Stella Frank. MSc Dissertation, University of Edinburgh, 2007.