AbdelRahim Elmadany


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Investigating Code-Mixed Modern Standard Arabic-Egyptian to English Machine Translation
El Moatez Billah Nagoudi | AbdelRahim Elmadany | Muhammad Abdul-Mageed
Proceedings of the Fifth Workshop on Computational Approaches to Linguistic Code-Switching

Recent progress in neural machine translation (NMT) has made it possible to translate successfully between monolingual language pairs where large parallel data exist, with pre-trained models improving performance even further. Although there exists work on translating in code-mixed settings (where one of the pairs includes text from two or more languages), it is still unclear what recent success in NMT and language modeling exactly means for translating code-mixed text. We investigate one such context, namely MT from code-mixed Modern Standard Arabic and Egyptian Arabic (MSAEA) into English. We develop models under different conditions, employing both (i) standard end-to-end sequence-to-sequence (S2S) Transformers trained from scratch and (ii) pre-trained S2S language models (LMs). We are able to acquire reasonable performance using only MSA-EN parallel data with S2S models trained from scratch. We also find LMs fine-tuned on data from various Arabic dialects to help the MSAEA-EN task. Our work is in the context of the Shared Task on Machine Translation in Code-Switching. Our best model achieves 25.72 BLEU, placing us first on the official shared task evaluation for MSAEA-EN.

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Mega-COV: A Billion-Scale Dataset of 100+ Languages for COVID-19
Muhammad Abdul-Mageed | AbdelRahim Elmadany | El Moatez Billah Nagoudi | Dinesh Pabbi | Kunal Verma | Rannie Lin
Proceedings of the 16th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Main Volume

We describe Mega-COV, a billion-scale dataset from Twitter for studying COVID-19. The dataset is diverse (covers 268 countries), longitudinal (goes as back as 2007), multilingual (comes in 100+ languages), and has a significant number of location-tagged tweets (~169M tweets). We release tweet IDs from the dataset. We also develop two powerful models, one for identifying whether or not a tweet is related to the pandemic (best F1=97%) and another for detecting misinformation about COVID-19 (best F1=92%). A human annotation study reveals the utility of our models on a subset of Mega-COV. Our data and models can be useful for studying a wide host of phenomena related to the pandemic. Mega-COV and our models are publicly available.

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DiaLex: A Benchmark for Evaluating Multidialectal Arabic Word Embeddings
Muhammad Abdul-Mageed | Shady Elbassuoni | Jad Doughman | AbdelRahim Elmadany | El Moatez Billah Nagoudi | Yorgo Zoughby | Ahmad Shaher | Iskander Gaba | Ahmed Helal | Mohammed El-Razzaz
Proceedings of the Sixth Arabic Natural Language Processing Workshop

Word embeddings are a core component of modern natural language processing systems, making the ability to thoroughly evaluate them a vital task. We describe DiaLex, a benchmark for intrinsic evaluation of dialectal Arabic word embeddings. DiaLex covers five important Arabic dialects: Algerian, Egyptian, Lebanese, Syrian, and Tunisian. Across these dialects, DiaLex provides a testbank for six syntactic and semantic relations, namely male to female, singular to dual, singular to plural, antonym, comparative, and genitive to past tense. DiaLex thus consists of a collection of word pairs representing each of the six relations in each of the five dialects. To demonstrate the utility of DiaLex, we use it to evaluate a set of existing and new Arabic word embeddings that we developed. Beyond evaluation of word embeddings, DiaLex supports efforts to integrate dialects into the Arabic language curriculum. It can be easily translated into Modern Standard Arabic and English, which can be useful for evaluating word translation. Our benchmark, evaluation code, and new word embedding models will be publicly available.

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NADI 2021: The Second Nuanced Arabic Dialect Identification Shared Task
Muhammad Abdul-Mageed | Chiyu Zhang | AbdelRahim Elmadany | Houda Bouamor | Nizar Habash
Proceedings of the Sixth Arabic Natural Language Processing Workshop

We present the findings and results of theSecond Nuanced Arabic Dialect IdentificationShared Task (NADI 2021). This Shared Taskincludes four subtasks: country-level ModernStandard Arabic (MSA) identification (Subtask1.1), country-level dialect identification (Subtask1.2), province-level MSA identification (Subtask2.1), and province-level sub-dialect identifica-tion (Subtask 2.2). The shared task dataset cov-ers a total of 100 provinces from 21 Arab coun-tries, collected from the Twitter domain. A totalof 53 teams from 23 countries registered to par-ticipate in the tasks, thus reflecting the interestof the community in this area. We received 16submissions for Subtask 1.1 from five teams, 27submissions for Subtask 1.2 from eight teams,12 submissions for Subtask 2.1 from four teams,and 13 Submissions for subtask 2.2 from fourteams.

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ARBERT & MARBERT: Deep Bidirectional Transformers for Arabic
Muhammad Abdul-Mageed | AbdelRahim Elmadany | El Moatez Billah Nagoudi
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)

Pre-trained language models (LMs) are currently integral to many natural language processing systems. Although multilingual LMs were also introduced to serve many languages, these have limitations such as being costly at inference time and the size and diversity of non-English data involved in their pre-training. We remedy these issues for a collection of diverse Arabic varieties by introducing two powerful deep bidirectional transformer-based models, ARBERT and MARBERT. To evaluate our models, we also introduce ARLUE, a new benchmark for multi-dialectal Arabic language understanding evaluation. ARLUE is built using 42 datasets targeting six different task clusters, allowing us to offer a series of standardized experiments under rich conditions. When fine-tuned on ARLUE, our models collectively achieve new state-of-the-art results across the majority of tasks (37 out of 48 classification tasks, on the 42 datasets). Our best model acquires the highest ARLUE score (77.40) across all six task clusters, outperforming all other models including XLM-R Large ( 3.4x larger size). Our models are publicly available at https://github.com/UBC-NLP/marbert and ARLUE will be released through the same repository.


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Machine Generation and Detection of Arabic Manipulated and Fake News
El Moatez Billah Nagoudi | AbdelRahim Elmadany | Muhammad Abdul-Mageed | Tariq Alhindi
Proceedings of the Fifth Arabic Natural Language Processing Workshop

Fake news and deceptive machine-generated text are serious problems threatening modern societies, including in the Arab world. This motivates work on detecting false and manipulated stories online. However, a bottleneck for this research is lack of sufficient data to train detection models. We present a novel method for automatically generating Arabic manipulated (and potentially fake) news stories. Our method is simple and only depends on availability of true stories, which are abundant online, and a part of speech tagger (POS). To facilitate future work, we dispense with both of these requirements altogether by providing AraNews, a novel and large POS-tagged news dataset that can be used off-the-shelf. Using stories generated based on AraNews, we carry out a human annotation study that casts light on the effects of machine manipulation on text veracity. The study also measures human ability to detect Arabic machine manipulated text generated by our method. Finally, we develop the first models for detecting manipulated Arabic news and achieve state-of-the-art results on Arabic fake news detection (macro F1=70.06). Our models and data are publicly available.

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Toward Micro-Dialect Identification in Diaglossic and Code-Switched Environments
Muhammad Abdul-Mageed | Chiyu Zhang | AbdelRahim Elmadany | Lyle Ungar
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

Although prediction of dialects is an important language processing task, with a wide range of applications, existing work is largely limited to coarse-grained varieties. Inspired by geolocation research, we propose the novel task of Micro-Dialect Identification (MDI) and introduce MARBERT, a new language model with striking abilities to predict a fine-grained variety (as small as that of a city) given a single, short message. For modeling, we offer a range of novel spatially and linguistically-motivated multi-task learning models. To showcase the utility of our models, we introduce a new, large-scale dataset of Arabic micro-varieties (low-resource) suited to our tasks. MARBERT predicts micro-dialects with 9.9% F1, 76 better than a majority class baseline. Our new language model also establishes new state-of-the-art on several external tasks.

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Leveraging Affective Bidirectional Transformers for Offensive Language Detection
AbdelRahim Elmadany | Chiyu Zhang | Muhammad Abdul-Mageed | Azadeh Hashemi
Proceedings of the 4th Workshop on Open-Source Arabic Corpora and Processing Tools, with a Shared Task on Offensive Language Detection

Social media are pervasive in our life, making it necessary to ensure safe online experiences by detecting and removing offensive and hate speech. In this work, we report our submission to the Offensive Language and hate-speech Detection shared task organized with the 4th Workshop on Open-Source Arabic Corpora and Processing Tools Arabic (OSACT4). We focus on developing purely deep learning systems, without a need for feature engineering. For that purpose, we develop an effective method for automatic data augmentation and show the utility of training both offensive and hate speech models off (i.e., by fine-tuning) previously trained affective models (i.e., sentiment and emotion). Our best models are significantly better than a vanilla BERT model, with 89.60% acc (82.31% macro F1) for hate speech and 95.20% acc (70.51% macro F1) on official TEST data.


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Arabic Tweet-Act: Speech Act Recognition for Arabic Asynchronous Conversations
Bushra Algotiml | AbdelRahim Elmadany | Walid Magdy
Proceedings of the Fourth Arabic Natural Language Processing Workshop

Speech acts are the actions that a speaker intends when performing an utterance within conversations. In this paper, we proposed speech act classification for asynchronous conversations on Twitter using multiple machine learning methods including SVM and deep neural networks. We applied the proposed methods on the ArSAS tweets dataset. The obtained results show that superiority of deep learning methods compared to SVMs, where Bi-LSTM managed to achieve an accuracy of 87.5% and a macro-averaged F1 score 61.5%. We believe that our results are the first to be reported on the task of speech-act recognition for asynchronous conversations on Arabic Twitter.


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Improving Dialogue Act Classification for Spontaneous Arabic Speech and Instant Messages at Utterance Level
AbdelRahim Elmadany | Sherif Abdou | Mervat Gheith
Proceedings of the Eleventh International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC 2018)