Alaa Alharbi


pdf bib
Classifying Arabic Crisis Tweets using Data Selection and Pre-trained Language Models
Alaa Alharbi | Mark Lee
Proceedinsg of the 5th Workshop on Open-Source Arabic Corpora and Processing Tools with Shared Tasks on Qur'an QA and Fine-Grained Hate Speech Detection

User-generated Social Media (SM) content has been explored as a valuable and accessible source of data about crises to enhance situational awareness and support humanitarian response efforts. However, the timely extraction of crisis-related SM messages is challenging as it involves processing large quantities of noisy data in real-time. Supervised machine learning methods have been successfully applied to this task but such approaches require human-labelled data, which are unlikely to be available from novel and emerging crises. Supervised machine learning algorithms trained on labelled data from past events did not usually perform well when classifying a new disaster due to data variations across events. Using the BERT embeddings, we propose and investigate an instance distance-based data selection approach for adaptation to improve classifiers’ performance under a domain shift. The K-nearest neighbours algorithm selects a subset of multi-event training data that is most similar to the target event. Results show that fine-tuning a BERT model on a selected subset of data to classify crisis tweets outperforms a model that has been fine-tuned on all available source data. We demonstrated that our approach generally works better than the self-training adaptation method. Combing the self-training with our proposed classifier does not enhance the performance.


pdf bib
Kawarith: an Arabic Twitter Corpus for Crisis Events
Alaa Alharbi | Mark Lee
Proceedings of the Sixth Arabic Natural Language Processing Workshop

Social media (SM) platforms such as Twitter provide large quantities of real-time data that can be leveraged during mass emergencies. Developing tools to support crisis-affected communities requires available datasets, which often do not exist for low resource languages. This paper introduces Kawarith a multi-dialect Arabic Twitter corpus for crisis events, comprising more than a million Arabic tweets collected during 22 crises that occurred between 2018 and 2020 and involved several types of hazard. Exploration of this content revealed the most discussed topics and information types, and the paper presents a labelled dataset from seven emergency events that serves as a gold standard for several tasks in crisis informatics research. Using annotated data from the same event, a BERT model is fine-tuned to classify tweets into different categories in the multi- label setting. Results show that BERT-based models yield good performance on this task even with small amounts of task-specific training data.


pdf bib
Crisis Detection from Arabic Tweets
Alaa Alharbi | Mark Lee
Proceedings of the 3rd Workshop on Arabic Corpus Linguistics