Eliana Pastor


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PoliToHFI at SemEval-2023 Task 6: Leveraging Entity-Aware and Hierarchical Transformers For Legal Entity Recognition and Court Judgment Prediction
Irene Benedetto | Alkis Koudounas | Lorenzo Vaiani | Eliana Pastor | Elena Baralis | Luca Cagliero | Francesco Tarasconi
Proceedings of the 17th International Workshop on Semantic Evaluation (SemEval-2023)

The use of Natural Language Processing techniques in the legal domain has become established for supporting attorneys and domain experts in content retrieval and decision-making. However, understanding the legal text poses relevant challenges in the recognition of domain-specific entities and the adaptation and explanation of predictive models. This paper addresses the Legal Entity Name Recognition (L-NER) and Court judgment Prediction (CPJ) and Explanation (CJPE) tasks. The L-NER solution explores the use of various transformer-based models, including an entity-aware method attending domain-specific entities. The CJPE proposed method relies on hierarchical BERT-based classifiers combined with local input attribution explainers. We propose a broad comparison of eXplainable AI methodologies along with a novel approach based on NER. For the L-NER task, the experimental results remark on the importance of domain-specific pre-training. For CJP our lightweight solution shows performance in line with existing approaches, and our NER-boosted explanations show promising CJPE results in terms of the conciseness of the prediction explanations.

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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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Benchmarking Post-Hoc Interpretability Approaches for Transformer-based Misogyny Detection
Giuseppe Attanasio | Debora Nozza | Eliana Pastor | Dirk Hovy
Proceedings of NLP Power! The First Workshop on Efficient Benchmarking in NLP

Transformer-based Natural Language Processing models have become the standard for hate speech detection. However, the unconscious use of these techniques for such a critical task comes with negative consequences. Various works have demonstrated that hate speech classifiers are biased. These findings have prompted efforts to explain classifiers, mainly using attribution methods. In this paper, we provide the first benchmark study of interpretability approaches for hate speech detection. We cover four post-hoc token attribution approaches to explain the predictions of Transformer-based misogyny classifiers in English and Italian. Further, we compare generated attributions to attention analysis. We find that only two algorithms provide faithful explanations aligned with human expectations. Gradient-based methods and attention, however, show inconsistent outputs, making their value for explanations questionable for hate speech detection tasks.