Chiara Di Bonaventura


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ferret: a Framework for Benchmarking Explainers on Transformers
Giuseppe Attanasio | Eliana Pastor | Chiara Di Bonaventura | Debora Nozza
Proceedings of the 17th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: System Demonstrations

As Transformers are increasingly relied upon to solve complex NLP problems, there is an increased need for their decisions to be humanly interpretable. While several explainable AI (XAI) techniques for interpreting the outputs of transformer-based models have been proposed, there is still a lack of easy access to using and comparing them. We introduce ferret, a Python library to simplify the use and comparisons of XAI methods on transformer-based classifiers. With ferret, users can visualize and compare transformers-based models output explanations using state-of-the-art XAI methods on any free-text or existing XAI corpora. Moreover, users can also evaluate ad-hoc XAI metrics to select the most faithful and plausible explanations. To align with the recently consolidated process of sharing and using transformers-based models from Hugging Face, ferret interfaces directly with its Python library. In this paper, we showcase ferret to benchmark XAI methods used on transformers for sentiment analysis and hate speech detection. We show how specific methods provide consistently better explanations and are preferable in the context of transformer models.


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Leveraging time-dependent lexical features for offensive language detection
Barbara McGillivray | Malithi Alahapperuma | Jonathan Cook | Chiara Di Bonaventura | Albert Meroño-Peñuela | Gareth Tyson | Steven Wilson
Proceedings of the The First Workshop on Ever Evolving NLP (EvoNLP)

We present a study on the integration of time-sensitive information in lexicon-based offensive language detection systems. Our focus is on Offenseval sub-task A, aimed at detecting offensive tweets. We apply a semantic change detection algorithm over a short time span of two years to detect words whose semantics has changed and we focus particularly on those words that acquired or lost an offensive meaning between 2019 and 2020. Using the output of this semantic change detection approach, we train an SVM classifier on the Offenseval 2019 training set. We build on the already competitive SINAI system submitted to Offenseval 2019 by adding new lexical features, including those that capture the change in usage of words and their association with emerging offensive usages. We discuss the challenges, opportunities and limitations of integrating semantic change detection in offensive language detection models. Our work draws attention to an often neglected aspect of offensive language, namely that the meanings of words are constantly evolving and that NLP systems that account for this change can achieve good performance even when not trained on the most recent training data.