Eduardo Blanco


2023

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Synthetic Dataset for Evaluating Complex Compositional Knowledge for Natural Language Inference
Sushma Anand Akoju | Robert Vacareanu | Eduardo Blanco | Haris Riaz | Mihai Surdeanu
Proceedings of the 1st Workshop on Natural Language Reasoning and Structured Explanations (NLRSE)

We introduce a synthetic dataset called Sentences Involving Complex Compositional Knowledge (SICCK) and a novel analysis that investigates the performance of Natural Language Inference (NLI) models to understand compositionality in logic. We produce 1,304 sentence pairs by modifying 15 examples from the SICK dataset (Marelli et al., 2014). To this end, we modify the original texts using a set of phrases modifiers that correspond to universal quantifiers, existential quantifiers, negation, and other concept modifiers in Natural Logic (NL) (MacCartney, 2009). We use these phrases to modify the subject, verb, and object parts of the premise and hypothesis. Lastly, we annotate these modified texts with the corresponding entailment labels following NL rules. We conduct a preliminary verification of how well the change in the structural and semantic composition is captured by neural NLI models, in both zero-shot and fine-tuned scenarios. We found that the performance of NLI models under the zero-shot setting is poor, especially for modified sentences with negation and existential quantifiers. After fine-tuning this dataset, we observe that models continue to perform poorly over negation, existential and universal modifiers.

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Not All Counterhate Tweets Elicit the Same Replies: A Fine-Grained Analysis
Abdullah Albanyan | Ahmed Hassan | Eduardo Blanco
Proceedings of the 12th Joint Conference on Lexical and Computational Semantics (*SEM 2023)

Counterhate arguments can effectively fight and limit the spread of hate speech. However, they can also exacerbate the hate, as some people may respond with aggression if they feel threatened or targeted by the counterhate. In this paper, we investigate replies to counterhate arguments beyond whether the reply agrees or disagrees with the counterhate argument. We present a corpus with 2,621 replies to counterhate arguments countering hateful tweets, and annotate them with fine-grained characteristics. We show that (a) half of the replies (51%) to the counterhate arguments disagree with the argument, and (b) this kind of reply often supports the hateful tweet (40%). We also analyze the language of counterhate arguments that elicit certain types of replies. Experimental results show that it is feasible to anticipate the kind of replies a counterhate argument will elicit.

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Interpreting Indirect Answers to Yes-No Questions in Multiple Languages
Zijie Wang | Md Hossain | Shivam Mathur | Terry Melo | Kadir Ozler | Keun Park | Jacob Quintero | MohammadHossein Rezaei | Shreya Shakya | Md Uddin | Eduardo Blanco
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

Yes-no questions expect a yes or no for an answer, but people often skip polar keywords. Instead, they answer with long explanations that must be interpreted. In this paper, we focus on this challenging problem and release new benchmarks in eight languages. We present a distant supervision approach to collect training data, and demonstrate that direct answers (i.e., with polar keywords) are useful to train models to interpret indirect answers (i.e., without polar keywords). We show that monolingual fine-tuning is beneficial if training data can be obtained via distant supervision for the language of interest (5 languages). Additionally, we show that cross-lingual fine-tuning is always beneficial (8 languages).

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Hiding in Plain Sight: Tweets with Hate Speech Masked by Homoglyphs
Portia Cooper | Mihai Surdeanu | Eduardo Blanco
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

To avoid detection by current NLP monitoring applications, progenitors of hate speech often replace one or more letters in offensive words with homoglyphs, visually similar Unicode characters. Harvesting real-world hate speech containing homoglyphs is challenging due to the vast replacement possibilities. We developed a character substitution scraping method and assembled the Offensive Tweets with Homoglyphs (OTH) Dataset (N=90,788) with more than 1.5 million occurrences of 1,281 non-Latin characters (emojis excluded). In an annotated sample (n=700), 40.14% of the tweets were found to contain hate speech. We assessed the performance of seven transformer-based hate speech detection models and found that they performed poorly in a zero-shot setting (F1 scores between 0.04 and 0.52) but normalizing the data dramatically improved detection (F1 scores between 0.59 and 0.71). Training the models using the annotated data further boosted performance (highest micro-averaged F1 score=0.88, using five-fold cross validation). This study indicates that a dataset containing homoglyphs known and unknown to the scraping script can be collected, and that neural models can be trained to recognize camouflaged real-world hate speech.

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RobustEmbed: Robust Sentence Embeddings Using Self-Supervised Contrastive Pre-Training
Javad Asl | Eduardo Blanco | Daniel Takabi
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

Pre-trained language models (PLMs) have demonstrated their exceptional performance across a wide range of natural language processing tasks. The utilization of PLM-based sentence embeddings enables the generation of contextual representations that capture rich semantic information. However, despite their success with unseen samples, current PLM-based representations suffer from poor robustness in adversarial scenarios. In this paper, we propose RobustEmbed, a self-supervised sentence embedding framework that enhances both generalization and robustness in various text representation tasks and against diverse adversarial attacks. By generating high-risk adversarial perturbations to promote higher invariance in the embedding space and leveraging the perturbation within a novel contrastive objective approach, RobustEmbed effectively learns high-quality sentence embeddings. Our extensive experiments validate the superiority of RobustEmbed over previous state-of-the-art self-supervised representations in adversarial settings, while also showcasing relative improvements in seven semantic textual similarity (STS) tasks and six transfer tasks. Specifically, our framework achieves a significant reduction in attack success rate from 75.51% to 39.62% for the BERTAttack attack technique, along with enhancements of 1.20% and 0.40% in STS tasks and transfer tasks, respectively.

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Interpreting Answers to Yes-No Questions in User-Generated Content
Shivam Mathur | Keun Park | Dhivya Chinnappa | Saketh Kotamraju | Eduardo Blanco
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

Interpreting answers to yes-no questions in social media is difficult. Yes and no keywords are uncommon, and the few answers that include them are rarely to be interpreted what the keywords suggest. In this paper, we present a new corpus of 4,442 yes-no question-answer pairs from Twitter. We discuss linguistic characteristics of answers whose interpretation is yes or no, as well as answers whose interpretation is unknown. We show that large language models are far from solving this problem, even after fine-tuning and blending other corpora for the same problem but outside social media.

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Context Helps Determine Spatial Knowledge from Tweets
Zhaomin Xiao | Yan Huang | Eduardo Blanco
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: IJCNLP-AACL 2023 (Findings)

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A Fine-Grained Taxonomy of Replies to Hate Speech
Xinchen Yu | Ashley Zhao | Eduardo Blanco | Lingzi Hong
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Countering rather than censoring hate speech has emerged as a promising strategy to address hatred. There are many types of counterspeech in user-generated content: addressing the hateful content or its author, generic requests, well-reasoned counter arguments, insults, etc. The effectiveness of counterspeech, which we define as subsequent incivility, depends on these types. In this paper, we present a theoretically grounded taxonomy of replies to hate speech and a new corpus. We work with real, user-generated hate speech and all the replies it elicits rather than replies generated by a third party. Our analyses provide insights into the content real users reply with as well as which replies are empirically most effective. We also experiment with models to characterize the replies to hate speech, thereby opening the door to estimating whether a reply to hate speech will result in further incivility.

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Finding Authentic Counterhate Arguments: A Case Study with Public Figures
Abdullah Albanyan | Ahmed Hassan | Eduardo Blanco
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

We explore authentic counterhate arguments for online hateful content toward individuals. Previous efforts are limited to counterhate to fight against hateful content toward groups. Thus, we present a corpus of 54,816 hateful tweet-paragraph pairs, where the paragraphs are candidate counterhate arguments. The counterhate arguments are retrieved from 2,500 online articles from multiple sources. We propose a methodology that assures the authenticity of the counter argument and its specificity to the individual of interest. We show that finding arguments in online articles is an efficient alternative to counterhate generation approaches that may hallucinate unsupported arguments. We also present linguistic insights on the language used in counterhate arguments. Experimental results show promising results. It is more challenging, however, to identify counterhate arguments for hateful content toward individuals not included in the training set.

2022

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Are People Located in the Places They Mention in Their Tweets? A Multimodal Approach
Zhaomin Xiao | Eduardo Blanco
Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

This paper introduces the problem of determining whether people are located in the places they mention in their tweets. In particular, we investigate the role of text and images to solve this challenging problem. We present a new corpus of tweets that contain both text and images. Our analyses show that this problem is multimodal at its core: human judgments depend on whether annotators have access to the text, the image, or both. Experimental results show that a neural architecture that combines both modalities yields better results. We also conduct an error analysis to provide insights into why and when each modality is beneficial.

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A Question-Answer Driven Approach to Reveal Affirmative Interpretations from Verbal Negations
Md Mosharaf Hossain | Luke Holman | Anusha Kakileti | Tiffany Kao | Nathan Brito | Aaron Mathews | Eduardo Blanco
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: NAACL 2022

This paper explores a question-answer driven approach to reveal affirmative interpretations from verbal negations (i.e., when a negation cue grammatically modifies a verb). We create a new corpus consisting of 4,472 verbal negations and discover that 67.1% of them convey that an event actually occurred. Annotators generate and answer 7,277 questions % converted for 4,000 for the 3,001 negations that convey an affirmative interpretation. We first cast the problem of revealing affirmative interpretations from negations as a natural language inference (NLI) classification task. Experimental results show that state-of-the-art transformers trained with existing NLI corpora are insufficient to reveal affirmative interpretations. We also observe, however, that fine-tuning brings substantial improvements. In addition to NLI classification, we also explore the more realistic task of generating affirmative interpretations directly from negations with the T5 transformer. We conclude that the generation task remains a challenge as T5 substantially underperforms humans.

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An Analysis of Negation in Natural Language Understanding Corpora
Md Mosharaf Hossain | Dhivya Chinnappa | Eduardo Blanco
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 2: Short Papers)

This paper analyzes negation in eight popular corpora spanning six natural language understanding tasks. We show that these corpora have few negations compared to general-purpose English, and that the few negations in them are often unimportant. Indeed, one can often ignore negations and still make the right predictions. Additionally, experimental results show that state-of-the-art transformers trained with these corpora obtain substantially worse results with instances that contain negation, especially if the negations are important. We conclude that new corpora accounting for negation are needed to solve natural language understanding tasks when negation is present.

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Disentangling Indirect Answers to Yes-No Questions in Real Conversations
Krishna Sanagavarapu | Jathin Singaraju | Anusha Kakileti | Anirudh Kaza | Aaron Mathews | Helen Li | Nathan Brito | Eduardo Blanco
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

In this paper, we explore the task of determining indirect answers to yes-no questions in real conversations. We work with transcripts of phone conversations in the Switchboard Dialog Act (SwDA) corpus and create SwDA-IndirectAnswers (SwDA-IA), a subset of SwDA consisting of all conversations containing a yes-no question with an indirect answer. We annotate the underlying direct answers to the yes-no questions (yes, probably yes, middle, probably no, or no). We show that doing so requires taking into account conversation context: the indirect answer alone is insufficient to determine the ground truth. Experimental results also show that taking into account context is beneficial. More importantly, our results demonstrate that existing corpora with synthetic indirect answers to yes-no questions are not beneficial when working with real conversations. Our best models outperform the majority baseline by a substantial margin, but the task remains a challenge (F1: 0.46).

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Hate Speech and Counter Speech Detection: Conversational Context Does Matter
Xinchen Yu | Eduardo Blanco | Lingzi Hong
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Hate speech is plaguing the cyberspace along with user-generated content. Adding counter speech has become an effective way to combat hate speech online. Existing datasets and models target either (a) hate speech or (b) hate and counter speech but disregard the context. This paper investigates the role of context in the annotation and detection of online hate and counter speech, where context is defined as the preceding comment in a conversation thread. We created a context-aware dataset for a 3-way classification task on Reddit comments: hate speech, counter speech, or neutral. Our analyses indicate that context is critical to identify hate and counter speech: human judgments change for most comments depending on whether we show annotators the context. A linguistic analysis draws insights into the language people use to express hate and counter speech. Experimental results show that neural networks obtain significantly better results if context is taken into account. We also present qualitative error analyses shedding light into (a) when and why context is beneficial and (b) the remaining errors made by our best model when context is taken into account.

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Leveraging Affirmative Interpretations from Negation Improves Natural Language Understanding
Md Mosharaf Hossain | Eduardo Blanco
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Negation poses a challenge in many natural language understanding tasks. Inspired by the fact that understanding a negated statement often requires humans to infer affirmative interpretations, in this paper we show that doing so benefits models for three natural language understanding tasks. We present an automated procedure to collect pairs of sentences with negation and their affirmative interpretations, resulting in over 150,000 pairs. Experimental results show that leveraging these pairs helps (a) T5 generate affirmative interpretations from negations in a previous benchmark, and (b) a RoBERTa-based classifier solve the task of natural language inference. We also leverage our pairs to build a plug-and-play neural generator that given a negated statement generates an affirmative interpretation. Then, we incorporate the pretrained generator into a RoBERTa-based classifier for sentiment analysis and show that doing so improves the results. Crucially, our proposal does not require any manual effort.

2021

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Written Justifications are Key to Aggregate Crowdsourced Forecasts
Saketh Kotamraju | Eduardo Blanco
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2021

This paper demonstrates that aggregating crowdsourced forecasts benefits from modeling the written justifications provided by forecasters. Our experiments show that the majority and weighted vote baselines are competitive, and that the written justifications are beneficial to call a question throughout its life except in the last quarter. We also conduct an error analysis shedding light into the characteristics that make a justification unreliable.

2020

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Extracting Adherence Information from Electronic Health Records
Jordan Sanders | Meghana Gudala | Kathleen Hamilton | Nishtha Prasad | Jordan Stovall | Eduardo Blanco | Jane E Hamilton | Kirk Roberts
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Patient adherence is a critical factor in health outcomes. We present a framework to extract adherence information from electronic health records, including both sentence-level information indicating general adherence information (full, partial, none, etc.) and span-level information providing additional information such as adherence type (medication or nonmedication), reasons and outcomes. We annotate and make publicly available a new corpus of 3,000 de-identified sentences, and discuss the language physicians use to document adherence information. We also explore models based on state-of-the-art transformers to automate both tasks.

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An Analysis of Natural Language Inference Benchmarks through the Lens of Negation
Md Mosharaf Hossain | Venelin Kovatchev | Pranoy Dutta | Tiffany Kao | Elizabeth Wei | Eduardo Blanco
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

Negation is underrepresented in existing natural language inference benchmarks. Additionally, one can often ignore the few negations in existing benchmarks and still make the right inference judgments. In this paper, we present a new benchmark for natural language inference in which negation plays a critical role. We also show that state-of-the-art transformers struggle making inference judgments with the new pairs.

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Beyond Possession Existence: Duration and Co-Possession
Dhivya Chinnappa | Srikala Murugan | Eduardo Blanco
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

This paper introduces two tasks: determining (a) the duration of possession relations and (b) co-possessions, i.e., whether multiple possessors possess a possessee at the same time. We present new annotations on top of corpora annotating possession existence and experimental results. Regarding possession duration, we derive the time spans we work with empirically from annotations indicating lower and upper bounds. Regarding co-possessions, we use a binary label. Cohen’s kappa coefficients indicate substantial agreement, and experimental results show that text is more useful than the image for solving these tasks.

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Predicting the Focus of Negation: Model and Error Analysis
Md Mosharaf Hossain | Kathleen Hamilton | Alexis Palmer | Eduardo Blanco
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

The focus of a negation is the set of tokens intended to be negated, and a key component for revealing affirmative alternatives to negated utterances. In this paper, we experiment with neural networks to predict the focus of negation. Our main novelty is leveraging a scope detector to introduce the scope of negation as an additional input to the network. Experimental results show that doing so obtains the best results to date. Additionally, we perform a detailed error analysis providing insights into the main error categories, and analyze errors depending on whether the model takes into account scope and context information.

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WikiPossessions: Possession Timeline Generation as an Evaluation Benchmark for Machine Reading Comprehension of Long Texts
Dhivya Chinnappa | Alexis Palmer | Eduardo Blanco
Proceedings of the Twelfth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

This paper presents WikiPossessions, a new benchmark corpus for the task of temporally-oriented possession (TOP), or tracking objects as they change hands over time. We annotate Wikipedia articles for 90 different well-known artifacts paintings, diamonds, and archaeological artifacts), producing 799 artifact-possessor relations with associated attributes. For each article, we also produce a full possession timeline. The full version of the task combines straightforward entity-relation extraction with complex temporal reasoning, as well as verification of textual support for the relevant types of knowledge. Specifically, to complete the full TOP task for a given article, a system must do the following: a) identify possessors; b) anchor possessors to times/events; c) identify temporal relations between each temporal anchor and the possession relation it corresponds to; d) assign certainty scores to each possessor and each temporal relation; and e) assemble individual possession events into a global possession timeline. In addition to the corpus, we release evaluation scripts and a baseline model for the task.

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Detecting Negation Cues and Scopes in Spanish
Salud María Jiménez-Zafra | Roser Morante | Eduardo Blanco | María Teresa Martín Valdivia | L. Alfonso Ureña López
Proceedings of the Twelfth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

In this work we address the processing of negation in Spanish. We first present a machine learning system that processes negation in Spanish. Specifically, we focus on two tasks: i) negation cue detection and ii) scope identification. The corpus used in the experimental framework is the SFU Corpus. The results for cue detection outperform state-of-the-art results, whereas for scope detection this is the first system that performs the task for Spanish. Moreover, we provide a qualitative error analysis aimed at understanding the limitations of the system and showing which negation cues and scopes are straightforward to predict automatically, and which ones are challenging.

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Helpful or Hierarchical? Predicting the Communicative Strategies of Chat Participants, and their Impact on Success
Farzana Rashid | Tommaso Fornaciari | Dirk Hovy | Eduardo Blanco | Fernando Vega-Redondo
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2020

When interacting with each other, we motivate, advise, inform, show love or power towards our peers. However, the way we interact may also hold some indication on how successful we are, as people often try to help each other to achieve their goals. We study the chat interactions of thousands of aspiring entrepreneurs who discuss and develop business models. We manually annotate a set of about 5,500 chat interactions with four dimensions of interaction styles (motivation, cooperation, equality, advice). We find that these styles can be reliably predicted, and that the communication styles can be used to predict a number of indices of business success. Our findings indicate that successful communicators are also successful in other domains.

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It’s not a Non-Issue: Negation as a Source of Error in Machine Translation
Md Mosharaf Hossain | Antonios Anastasopoulos | Eduardo Blanco | Alexis Palmer
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2020

As machine translation (MT) systems progress at a rapid pace, questions of their adequacy linger. In this study we focus on negation, a universal, core property of human language that significantly affects the semantics of an utterance. We investigate whether translating negation is an issue for modern MT systems using 17 translation directions as test bed. Through thorough analysis, we find that indeed the presence of negation can significantly impact downstream quality, in some cases resulting in quality reductions of more than 60%. We also provide a linguistically motivated analysis that directly explains the majority of our findings. We release our annotations and code to replicate our analysis here: https://github.com/mosharafhossain/negation-mt.

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Determining Event Outcomes: The Case of #fail
Srikala Murugan | Dhivya Chinnappa | Eduardo Blanco
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2020

This paper targets the task of determining event outcomes in social media. We work with tweets containing either #cookingFail or #bakingFail, and show that many of the events described in them resulted in something edible. Tweets that contain images are more likely to result in edible albeit imperfect outcomes. Experimental results show that edibility is easier to predict than outcome quality.

2019

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Extracting Possessions from Social Media: Images Complement Language
Dhivya Chinnappa | Srikala Murugan | Eduardo Blanco
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

This paper describes a new dataset and experiments to determine whether authors of tweets possess the objects they tweet about. We work with 5,000 tweets and show that both humans and neural networks benefit from images in addition to text. We also introduce a simple yet effective strategy to incorporate visual information into any neural network beyond weights from pretrained networks. Specifically, we consider the tags identified in an image as an additional textual input, and leverage pretrained word embeddings as usually done with regular text. Experimental results show this novel strategy is beneficial.

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A Corpus of Negations and their Underlying Positive Interpretations
Zahra Sarabi | Erin Killian | Eduardo Blanco | Alexis Palmer
Proceedings of the Eighth Joint Conference on Lexical and Computational Semantics (*SEM 2019)

Negation often conveys implicit positive meaning. In this paper, we present a corpus of negations and their underlying positive interpretations. We work with negations from Simple Wikipedia, automatically generate potential positive interpretations, and then collect manual annotations that effectively rewrite the negation in positive terms. This procedure yields positive interpretations for approximately 77% of negations, and the final corpus includes over 5,700 negations and over 5,900 positive interpretations. We also present baseline results using seq2seq neural models.

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Incorporating Emoji Descriptions Improves Tweet Classification
Abhishek Singh | Eduardo Blanco | Wei Jin
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 1 (Long and Short Papers)

Tweets are short messages that often include specialized language such as hashtags and emojis. In this paper, we present a simple strategy to process emojis: replace them with their natural language description and use pretrained word embeddings as normally done with standard words. We show that this strategy is more effective than using pretrained emoji embeddings for tweet classification. Specifically, we obtain new state-of-the-art results in irony detection and sentiment analysis despite our neural network is simpler than previous proposals.

2018

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Annotating Temporally-Anchored Spatial Knowledge by Leveraging Syntactic Dependencies
Alakananda Vempala | Eduardo Blanco
Proceedings of the Eleventh International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC 2018)

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Annotating If the Authors of a Tweet are Located at the Locations They Tweet About
Vivek Doudagiri | Alakananda Vempala | Eduardo Blanco
Proceedings of the Eleventh International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC 2018)

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Proceedings of the Workshop on Computational Semantics beyond Events and Roles
Eduardo Blanco | Roser Morante
Proceedings of the Workshop on Computational Semantics beyond Events and Roles

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Mining Possessions: Existence, Type and Temporal Anchors
Dhivya Chinnappa | Eduardo Blanco
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 1 (Long Papers)

This paper presents a corpus and experiments to mine possession relations from text. Specifically, we target alienable and control possessions, and assign temporal anchors indicating when the possession holds between possessor and possessee. We present new annotations for this task, and experimental results using both traditional classifiers and neural networks. Results show that the three subtasks (predicting possession existence, possession type and temporal anchors) can be automated.

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Determining Event Durations: Models and Error Analysis
Alakananda Vempala | Eduardo Blanco | Alexis Palmer
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 2 (Short Papers)

This paper presents models to predict event durations. We introduce aspectual features that capture deeper linguistic information than previous work, and experiment with neural networks. Our analysis shows that tense, aspect and temporal structure of the clause provide useful clues, and that an LSTM ensemble captures relevant context around the event.

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Possessors Change Over Time: A Case Study with Artworks
Dhivya Chinnappa | Eduardo Blanco
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

This paper presents a corpus and experimental results to extract possession relations over time. We work with Wikipedia articles about artworks, and extract possession relations along with temporal information indicating when these relations are true. The annotation scheme yields many possessors over time for a given artwork, and experimental results show that an LSTM ensemble can automate the task.

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Characterizing Interactions and Relationships between People
Farzana Rashid | Eduardo Blanco
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

This paper presents a set of dimensions to characterize the association between two people. We distinguish between interactions (when somebody refers to somebody in a conversation) and relationships (a sequence of interactions). We work with dialogue scripts from the TV show Friends, and do not impose any restrictions on the interactions and relationships. We introduce and analyze a new corpus, and present experimental results showing that the task can be automated.

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Proceedings of the 2018 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing: System Demonstrations
Eduardo Blanco | Wei Lu
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing: System Demonstrations

2017

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Determining Whether and When People Participate in the Events They Tweet About
Krishna Chaitanya Sanagavarapu | Alakananda Vempala | Eduardo Blanco
Proceedings of the 55th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 2: Short Papers)

This paper describes an approach to determine whether people participate in the events they tweet about. Specifically, we determine whether people are participants in events with respect to the tweet timestamp. We target all events expressed by verbs in tweets, including past, present and events that may occur in the future. We present new annotations using 1,096 event mentions, and experimental results showing that the task is challenging.

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If No Media Were Allowed inside the Venue, Was Anybody Allowed?
Zahra Sarabi | Eduardo Blanco
Proceedings of the 15th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Volume 1, Long Papers

This paper presents a framework to understand negation in positive terms. Specifically, we extract positive meaning from negation when the negation cue syntactically modifies a noun or adjective. Our approach is grounded on generating potential positive interpretations automatically, and then scoring them. Experimental results show that interpretations scored high can be reliably identified.

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Dimensions of Interpersonal Relationships: Corpus and Experiments
Farzana Rashid | Eduardo Blanco
Proceedings of the 2017 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

This paper presents a corpus and experiments to determine dimensions of interpersonal relationships. We define a set of dimensions heavily inspired by work in social science. We create a corpus by retrieving pairs of people, and then annotating dimensions for their relationships. A corpus analysis shows that dimensions can be annotated reliably. Experimental results show that given a pair of people, values to dimensions can be assigned automatically.

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Proceedings of the Workshop Computational Semantics Beyond Events and Roles
Eduardo Blanco | Roser Morante | Roser Saurí
Proceedings of the Workshop Computational Semantics Beyond Events and Roles

2016

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Proceedings of the Workshop on Extra-Propositional Aspects of Meaning in Computational Linguistics (ExProM)
Eduardo Blanco | Roser Morante | Roser Saurí
Proceedings of the Workshop on Extra-Propositional Aspects of Meaning in Computational Linguistics (ExProM)

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Automatic Extraction of Implicit Interpretations from Modal Constructions
Jordan Sanders | Eduardo Blanco
Proceedings of the 2016 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

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Understanding Negation in Positive Terms Using Syntactic Dependencies
Zahra Sarabi | Eduardo Blanco
Proceedings of the 2016 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

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Automatic Generation and Scoring of Positive Interpretations from Negated Statements
Eduardo Blanco | Zahra Sarabi
Proceedings of the 2016 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

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Beyond Plain Spatial Knowledge: Determining Where Entities Are and Are Not Located, and For How Long
Alakananda Vempala | Eduardo Blanco
Proceedings of the 54th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

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Annotating Temporally-Anchored Spatial Knowledge on Top of OntoNotes Semantic Roles
Alakananda Vempala | Eduardo Blanco
Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC'16)

This paper presents a two-step methodology to annotate spatial knowledge on top of OntoNotes semantic roles. First, we manipulate semantic roles to automatically generate potential additional spatial knowledge. Second, we crowdsource annotations with Amazon Mechanical Turk to either validate or discard the potential additional spatial knowledge. The resulting annotations indicate whether entities are or are not located somewhere with a degree of certainty, and temporally anchor this spatial information. Crowdsourcing experiments show that the additional spatial knowledge is ubiquitous and intuitive to humans, and experimental results show that it can be inferred automatically using standard supervised machine learning techniques.

2015

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Inferring Temporally-Anchored Spatial Knowledge from Semantic Roles
Eduardo Blanco | Alakananda Vempala
Proceedings of the 2015 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

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Proceedings of the Second Workshop on Extra-Propositional Aspects of Meaning in Computational Semantics (ExProM 2015)
Eduardo Blanco | Roser Morante | Caroline Sporleder
Proceedings of the Second Workshop on Extra-Propositional Aspects of Meaning in Computational Semantics (ExProM 2015)

2014

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Leveraging Verb-Argument Structures to Infer Semantic Relations
Eduardo Blanco | Dan Moldovan
Proceedings of the 14th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics

2013

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Choosing the Right Words: Characterizing and Reducing Error of the Word Count Approach
Hansen Andrew Schwartz | Johannes Eichstaedt | Eduardo Blanco | Lukasz Dziurzynski | Margaret L. Kern | Stephanie Ramones | Martin Seligman | Lyle Ungar
Second Joint Conference on Lexical and Computational Semantics (*SEM), Volume 1: Proceedings of the Main Conference and the Shared Task: Semantic Textual Similarity

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A Semantically Enhanced Approach to Determine Textual Similarity
Eduardo Blanco | Dan Moldovan
Proceedings of the 2013 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

2012

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*SEM 2012 Shared Task: Resolving the Scope and Focus of Negation
Roser Morante | Eduardo Blanco
*SEM 2012: The First Joint Conference on Lexical and Computational Semantics – Volume 1: Proceedings of the main conference and the shared task, and Volume 2: Proceedings of the Sixth International Workshop on Semantic Evaluation (SemEval 2012)

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Polaris: Lymba’s Semantic Parser
Dan Moldovan | Eduardo Blanco
Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC'12)

Semantic representation of text is key to text understanding and reasoning. In this paper, we present Polaris, Lymba's semantic parser. Polaris is a supervised semantic parser that given text extracts semantic relations. It extracts relations from a wide variety of lexico-syntactic patterns, including verb-argument structures, noun compounds and others. The output can be provided in several formats: XML, RDF triples, logic forms or plain text, facilitating interoperability with other tools. Polaris is implemented using eight separate modules. Each module is explained and a detailed example of processing using a sample sentence is provided. Overall results using a benchmark are discussed. Per module performance, including errors made and pruned by each module are also analyzed.

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Fine-Grained Focus for Pinpointing Positive Implicit Meaning from Negated Statements
Eduardo Blanco | Dan Moldovan
Proceedings of the 2012 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

2011

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A Model for Composing Semantic Relations
Eduardo Blanco | Dan Moldovan
Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Computational Semantics (IWCS 2011)

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Semantic Representation of Negation Using Focus Detection
Eduardo Blanco | Dan Moldovan
Proceedings of the 49th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

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Unsupervised Learning of Semantic Relation Composition
Eduardo Blanco | Dan Moldovan
Proceedings of the 49th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

2010

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Composition of Semantic Relations: Model and Applications
Eduardo Blanco | Hakki C. Cankaya | Dan Moldovan
Coling 2010: Posters

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Automatic Discovery of Manner Relations and its Applications
Eduardo Blanco | Dan Moldovan
Proceedings of the 2010 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

2008

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Causal Relation Extraction
Eduardo Blanco | Nuria Castell | Dan Moldovan
Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC'08)

This paper presents a supervised method for the detection and extraction of Causal Relations from open domain text. First we give a brief outline of the definition of causation and how it relates to other Semantic Relations, as well as a characterization of their encoding. In this work, we only consider marked and explicit causations. Our approach first identifies the syntactic patterns that may encode a causation, then we use Machine Learning techniques to decide whether or not a pattern instance encodes a causation. We focus on the most productive pattern, a verb phrase followed by a relator and a clause, and its reverse version, a relator followed by a clause and a verb phrase. As relators we consider the words as, after, because and since. We present a set of lexical, syntactic and semantic features for the classification task, their rationale and some examples. The results obtained are discussed and the errors analyzed.