Afshin Rahimi


2021

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Proceedings of the The 19th Annual Workshop of the Australasian Language Technology Association
Afshin Rahimi | William Lane | Guido Zuccon
Proceedings of the The 19th Annual Workshop of the Australasian Language Technology Association

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Proceedings of the Seventh Workshop on Noisy User-generated Text (W-NUT 2021)
Wei Xu | Alan Ritter | Tim Baldwin | Afshin Rahimi
Proceedings of the Seventh Workshop on Noisy User-generated Text (W-NUT 2021)

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Fairness-aware Class Imbalanced Learning
Shivashankar Subramanian | Afshin Rahimi | Timothy Baldwin | Trevor Cohn | Lea Frermann
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Class imbalance is a common challenge in many NLP tasks, and has clear connections to bias, in that bias in training data often leads to higher accuracy for majority groups at the expense of minority groups. However there has traditionally been a disconnect between research on class-imbalanced learning and mitigating bias, and only recently have the two been looked at through a common lens. In this work we evaluate long-tail learning methods for tweet sentiment and occupation classification, and extend a margin-loss based approach with methods to enforce fairness. We empirically show through controlled experiments that the proposed approaches help mitigate both class imbalance and demographic biases.

2020

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IndoLEM and IndoBERT: A Benchmark Dataset and Pre-trained Language Model for Indonesian NLP
Fajri Koto | Afshin Rahimi | Jey Han Lau | Timothy Baldwin
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Although the Indonesian language is spoken by almost 200 million people and the 10th most spoken language in the world, it is under-represented in NLP research. Previous work on Indonesian has been hampered by a lack of annotated datasets, a sparsity of language resources, and a lack of resource standardization. In this work, we release the IndoLEM dataset comprising seven tasks for the Indonesian language, spanning morpho-syntax, semantics, and discourse. We additionally release IndoBERT, a new pre-trained language model for Indonesian, and evaluate it over IndoLEM, in addition to benchmarking it against existing resources. Our experiments show that IndoBERT achieves state-of-the-art performance over most of the tasks in IndoLEM.

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WikiUMLS: Aligning UMLS to Wikipedia via Cross-lingual Neural Ranking
Afshin Rahimi | Timothy Baldwin | Karin Verspoor
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

We present our work on aligning the Unified Medical Language System (UMLS) to Wikipedia, to facilitate manual alignment of the two resources. We propose a cross-lingual neural reranking model to match a UMLS concept with a Wikipedia page, which achieves a recall@1of 72%, a substantial improvement of 20% over word- and char-level BM25, enabling manual alignment with minimal effort. We release our resources, including ranked Wikipedia pages for 700k UMLSconcepts, and WikiUMLS, a dataset for training and evaluation of alignment models between UMLS and Wikipedia collected from Wikidata. This will provide easier access to Wikipedia for health professionals, patients, and NLP systems, including in multilingual settings.

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Learning Causal Bayesian Networks from Text
Farhad Moghimifar | Afshin Rahimi | Mahsa Baktashmotlagh | Xue Li
Proceedings of the The 18th Annual Workshop of the Australasian Language Technology Association

Causal relationships form the basis for reasoning and decision-making in Artificial Intelligence systems. To exploit the large volume of textual data available today, the automatic discovery of causal relationships from text has emerged as a significant challenge in recent years. Existing approaches in this realm are limited to the extraction of low-level relations among individual events. To overcome the limitations of the existing approaches, in this paper, we propose a method for automatic inference of causal relationships from human written language at conceptual level. To this end, we leverage the characteristics of hierarchy of concepts and linguistic variables created from text, and represent the extracted causal relationships in the form of a Causal Bayesian Network. Our experiments demonstrate superiority of our approach over the existing approaches in inferring complex causal reasoning from the text.

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Proceedings of the Sixth Workshop on Noisy User-generated Text (W-NUT 2020)
Wei Xu | Alan Ritter | Tim Baldwin | Afshin Rahimi
Proceedings of the Sixth Workshop on Noisy User-generated Text (W-NUT 2020)

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WNUT-2020 Task 2: Identification of Informative COVID-19 English Tweets
Dat Quoc Nguyen | Thanh Vu | Afshin Rahimi | Mai Hoang Dao | Linh The Nguyen | Long Doan
Proceedings of the Sixth Workshop on Noisy User-generated Text (W-NUT 2020)

In this paper, we provide an overview of the WNUT-2020 shared task on the identification of informative COVID-19 English Tweets. We describe how we construct a corpus of 10K Tweets and organize the development and evaluation phases for this task. In addition, we also present a brief summary of results obtained from the final system evaluation submissions of 55 teams, finding that (i) many systems obtain very high performance, up to 0.91 F1 score, (ii) the majority of the submissions achieve substantially higher results than the baseline fastText (Joulin et al., 2017), and (iii) fine-tuning pre-trained language models on relevant language data followed by supervised training performs well in this task.

2019

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Does an LSTM forget more than a CNN? An empirical study of catastrophic forgetting in NLP
Gaurav Arora | Afshin Rahimi | Timothy Baldwin
Proceedings of the The 17th Annual Workshop of the Australasian Language Technology Association

Catastrophic forgetting — whereby a model trained on one task is fine-tuned on a second, and in doing so, suffers a “catastrophic” drop in performance over the first task — is a hurdle in the development of better transfer learning techniques. Despite impressive progress in reducing catastrophic forgetting, we have limited understanding of how different architectures and hyper-parameters affect forgetting in a network. With this study, we aim to understand factors which cause forgetting during sequential training. Our primary finding is that CNNs forget less than LSTMs. We show that max-pooling is the underlying operation which helps CNNs alleviate forgetting compared to LSTMs. We also found that curriculum learning, placing a hard task towards the end of task sequence, reduces forgetting. We analysed the effect of fine-tuning contextual embeddings on catastrophic forgetting and found that using embeddings as feature extractor is preferable to fine-tuning in continual learning setup.

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Proceedings of the 5th Workshop on Noisy User-generated Text (W-NUT 2019)
Wei Xu | Alan Ritter | Tim Baldwin | Afshin Rahimi
Proceedings of the 5th Workshop on Noisy User-generated Text (W-NUT 2019)

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Massively Multilingual Transfer for NER
Afshin Rahimi | Yuan Li | Trevor Cohn
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

In cross-lingual transfer, NLP models over one or more source languages are applied to a low-resource target language. While most prior work has used a single source model or a few carefully selected models, here we consider a “massive” setting with many such models. This setting raises the problem of poor transfer, particularly from distant languages. We propose two techniques for modulating the transfer, suitable for zero-shot or few-shot learning, respectively. Evaluating on named entity recognition, we show that our techniques are much more effective than strong baselines, including standard ensembling, and our unsupervised method rivals oracle selection of the single best individual model.

2018

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Semi-supervised User Geolocation via Graph Convolutional Networks
Afshin Rahimi | Trevor Cohn | Timothy Baldwin
Proceedings of the 56th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Social media user geolocation is vital to many applications such as event detection. In this paper, we propose GCN, a multiview geolocation model based on Graph Convolutional Networks, that uses both text and network context. We compare GCN to the state-of-the-art, and to two baselines we propose, and show that our model achieves or is competitive with the state-of-the-art over three benchmark geolocation datasets when sufficient supervision is available. We also evaluate GCN under a minimal supervision scenario, and show it outperforms baselines. We find that highway network gates are essential for controlling the amount of useful neighbourhood expansion in GCN.

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Proceedings of the 2018 EMNLP Workshop W-NUT: The 4th Workshop on Noisy User-generated Text
Wei Xu | Alan Ritter | Tim Baldwin | Afshin Rahimi
Proceedings of the 2018 EMNLP Workshop W-NUT: The 4th Workshop on Noisy User-generated Text

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Twitter Geolocation using Knowledge-Based Methods
Taro Miyazaki | Afshin Rahimi | Trevor Cohn | Timothy Baldwin
Proceedings of the 2018 EMNLP Workshop W-NUT: The 4th Workshop on Noisy User-generated Text

Automatic geolocation of microblog posts from their text content is particularly difficult because many location-indicative terms are rare terms, notably entity names such as locations, people or local organisations. Their low frequency means that key terms observed in testing are often unseen in training, such that standard classifiers are unable to learn weights for them. We propose a method for reasoning over such terms using a knowledge base, through exploiting their relations with other entities. Our technique uses a graph embedding over the knowledge base, which we couple with a text representation to learn a geolocation classifier, trained end-to-end. We show that our method improves over purely text-based methods, which we ascribe to more robust treatment of low-count and out-of-vocabulary entities.

2017

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Continuous Representation of Location for Geolocation and Lexical Dialectology using Mixture Density Networks
Afshin Rahimi | Timothy Baldwin | Trevor Cohn
Proceedings of the 2017 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

We propose a method for embedding two-dimensional locations in a continuous vector space using a neural network-based model incorporating mixtures of Gaussian distributions, presenting two model variants for text-based geolocation and lexical dialectology. Evaluated over Twitter data, the proposed model outperforms conventional regression-based geolocation and provides a better estimate of uncertainty. We also show the effectiveness of the representation for predicting words from location in lexical dialectology, and evaluate it using the DARE dataset.

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A Neural Model for User Geolocation and Lexical Dialectology
Afshin Rahimi | Trevor Cohn | Timothy Baldwin
Proceedings of the 55th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 2: Short Papers)

We propose a simple yet effective text-based user geolocation model based on a neural network with one hidden layer, which achieves state of the art performance over three Twitter benchmark geolocation datasets, in addition to producing word and phrase embeddings in the hidden layer that we show to be useful for detecting dialectal terms. As part of our analysis of dialectal terms, we release DAREDS, a dataset for evaluating dialect term detection methods.

2016

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Twitter Geolocation Prediction Shared Task of the 2016 Workshop on Noisy User-generated Text
Bo Han | Afshin Rahimi | Leon Derczynski | Timothy Baldwin
Proceedings of the 2nd Workshop on Noisy User-generated Text (WNUT)

This paper presents the shared task for English Twitter geolocation prediction in WNUT 2016. We discuss details of task settings, data preparations and participant systems. The derived dataset and performance figures from each system provide baselines for future research in this realm.

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pigeo: A Python Geotagging Tool
Afshin Rahimi | Trevor Cohn | Timothy Baldwin
Proceedings of ACL-2016 System Demonstrations

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Filter and Match Approach to Pair-wise Web URI Linking
S. Shivashankar | Yitong Li | Afshin Rahimi
Proceedings of the Australasian Language Technology Association Workshop 2016

2015

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Twitter User Geolocation Using a Unified Text and Network Prediction Model
Afshin Rahimi | Trevor Cohn | Timothy Baldwin
Proceedings of the 53rd Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 7th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 2: Short Papers)

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Exploiting Text and Network Context for Geolocation of Social Media Users
Afshin Rahimi | Duy Vu | Trevor Cohn | Timothy Baldwin
Proceedings of the 2015 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

2014

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Automatic Identification of Expressions of Locations in Tweet Messages using Conditional Random Fields
Fei Liu | Afshin Rahimi | Bahar Salehi | Miji Choi | Ping Tan | Long Duong
Proceedings of the Australasian Language Technology Association Workshop 2014