Bianca Scarlini


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EPIC: Multi-Perspective Annotation of a Corpus of Irony
Simona Frenda | Alessandro Pedrani | Valerio Basile | Soda Marem Lo | Alessandra Teresa Cignarella | Raffaella Panizzon | Cristina Marco | Bianca Scarlini | Viviana Patti | Cristina Bosco | Davide Bernardi
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

We present EPIC (English Perspectivist Irony Corpus), the first annotated corpus for irony analysis based on the principles of data perspectivism. The corpus contains short conversations from social media in five regional varieties of English, and it is annotated by contributors from five countries corresponding to those varieties. We analyse the resource along the perspectives induced by the diversity of the annotators, in terms of origin, age, and gender, and the relationship between these dimensions, irony, and the topics of conversation. We validate EPIC by creating perspective-aware models that encode the perspectives of annotators grouped according to their demographic characteristics. Firstly, the performance of perspectivist models confirms that different annotators induce very different models. Secondly, in the classification of ironic and non-ironic texts, perspectivist models prove to be generally more confident than the non-perspectivist ones. Furthermore, comparing the performance on a perspective-based test set with those achieved on a gold standard test set, we can observe how perspectivist models tend to detect more precisely the positive class, showing their ability to capture the different perceptions of irony. Thanks to these models, we are moreover able to show interesting insights about the variation in the perception of irony by the different groups of annotators, such as among different generations and nationalities.


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With More Contexts Comes Better Performance: Contextualized Sense Embeddings for All-Round Word Sense Disambiguation
Bianca Scarlini | Tommaso Pasini | Roberto Navigli
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

Contextualized word embeddings have been employed effectively across several tasks in Natural Language Processing, as they have proved to carry useful semantic information. However, it is still hard to link them to structured sources of knowledge. In this paper we present ARES (context-AwaRe Embeddings of Senses), a semi-supervised approach to producing sense embeddings for the lexical meanings within a lexical knowledge base that lie in a space that is comparable to that of contextualized word vectors. ARES representations enable a simple 1 Nearest-Neighbour algorithm to outperform state-of-the-art models, not only in the English Word Sense Disambiguation task, but also in the multilingual one, whilst training on sense-annotated data in English only. We further assess the quality of our embeddings in the Word-in-Context task, where, when used as an external source of knowledge, they consistently improve the performance of a neural model, leading it to compete with other more complex architectures. ARES embeddings for all WordNet concepts and the automatically-extracted contexts used for creating the sense representations are freely available at

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CluBERT: A Cluster-Based Approach for Learning Sense Distributions in Multiple Languages
Tommaso Pasini | Federico Scozzafava | Bianca Scarlini
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Knowing the Most Frequent Sense (MFS) of a word has been proved to help Word Sense Disambiguation (WSD) models significantly. However, the scarcity of sense-annotated data makes it difficult to induce a reliable and high-coverage distribution of the meanings in a language vocabulary. To address this issue, in this paper we present CluBERT, an automatic and multilingual approach for inducing the distributions of word senses from a corpus of raw sentences. Our experiments show that CluBERT learns distributions over English senses that are of higher quality than those extracted by alternative approaches. When used to induce the MFS of a lemma, CluBERT attains state-of-the-art results on the English Word Sense Disambiguation tasks and helps to improve the disambiguation performance of two off-the-shelf WSD models. Moreover, our distributions also prove to be effective in other languages, beating all their alternatives for computing the MFS on the multilingual WSD tasks. We release our sense distributions in five different languages at

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Sense-Annotated Corpora for Word Sense Disambiguation in Multiple Languages and Domains
Bianca Scarlini | Tommaso Pasini | Roberto Navigli
Proceedings of the Twelfth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

The knowledge acquisition bottleneck problem dramatically hampers the creation of sense-annotated data for Word Sense Disambiguation (WSD). Sense-annotated data are scarce for English and almost absent for other languages. This limits the range of action of deep-learning approaches, which today are at the base of any NLP task and are hungry for data. We mitigate this issue and encourage further research in multilingual WSD by releasing to the NLP community five large datasets annotated with word-senses in five different languages, namely, English, French, Italian, German and Spanish, and 5 distinct datasets in English, each for a different semantic domain. We show that supervised WSD models trained on our data attain higher performance than when trained on other automatically-created corpora. We release all our data containing more than 15 million annotated instances in 5 different languages at


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Just “OneSeC” for Producing Multilingual Sense-Annotated Data
Bianca Scarlini | Tommaso Pasini | Roberto Navigli
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

The well-known problem of knowledge acquisition is one of the biggest issues in Word Sense Disambiguation (WSD), where annotated data are still scarce in English and almost absent in other languages. In this paper we formulate the assumption of One Sense per Wikipedia Category and present OneSeC, a language-independent method for the automatic extraction of hundreds of thousands of sentences in which a target word is tagged with its meaning. Our automatically-generated data consistently lead a supervised WSD model to state-of-the-art performance when compared with other automatic and semi-automatic methods. Moreover, our approach outperforms its competitors on multilingual and domain-specific settings, where it beats the existing state of the art on all languages and most domains. All the training data are available for research purposes at