Computational Sarcasm

Pushpak Bhattacharyya, Aditya Joshi

Sarcasm is a form of verbal irony that is intended to express contempt or ridicule. Motivated by challenges posed by sarcastic text to sentiment analysis, computational approaches to sarcasm have witnessed a growing interest at NLP forums in the past decade. Computational sarcasm refers to automatic approaches pertaining to sarcasm. The tutorial will provide a bird’s-eye view of the research in computational sarcasm for text, while focusing on significant milestones.The tutorial begins with linguistic theories of sarcasm, with a focus on incongruity: a useful notion that underlies sarcasm and other forms of figurative language. Since the most significant work in computational sarcasm is sarcasm detection: predicting whether a given piece of text is sarcastic or not, sarcasm detection forms the focus hereafter. We begin our discussion on sarcasm detection with datasets, touching on strategies, challenges and nature of datasets. Then, we describe algorithms for sarcasm detection: rule-based (where a specific evidence of sarcasm is utilised as a rule), statistical classifier-based (where features are designed for a statistical classifier), a topic model-based technique, and deep learning-based algorithms for sarcasm detection. In case of each of these algorithms, we refer to our work on sarcasm detection and share our learnings. Since information beyond the text to be classified, contextual information is useful for sarcasm detection, we then describe approaches that use such information through conversational context or author-specific context.We then follow it by novel areas in computational sarcasm such as sarcasm generation, sarcasm v/s irony classification, etc. We then summarise the tutorial and describe future directions based on errors reported in past work. The tutorial will end with a demonstration of our work on sarcasm detection.This tutorial will be of interest to researchers investigating computational sarcasm and related areas such as computational humour, figurative language understanding, emotion and sentiment sentiment analysis, etc. The tutorial is motivated by our continually evolving survey paper of sarcasm detection, that is available on arXiv at: Joshi, Aditya, Pushpak Bhattacharyya, and Mark James Carman. “Automatic Sarcasm Detection: A Survey.” arXiv preprint arXiv:1602.03426 (2016).
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Proceedings of the 2017 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing: Tutorial Abstracts
Copenhagen, Denmark
Alexandra Birch, Nathan Schneider
Association for Computational Linguistics
Cite (ACL):
Pushpak Bhattacharyya and Aditya Joshi. 2017. Computational Sarcasm. In Proceedings of the 2017 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing: Tutorial Abstracts, Copenhagen, Denmark. Association for Computational Linguistics.
Cite (Informal):
Computational Sarcasm (Bhattacharyya & Joshi, EMNLP 2017)
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