Gareth Tyson


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MMVAE at SemEval-2022 Task 5: A Multi-modal Multi-task VAE on Misogynous Meme Detection
Yimeng Gu | Ignacio Castro | Gareth Tyson
Proceedings of the 16th International Workshop on Semantic Evaluation (SemEval-2022)

Nowadays, memes have become quite common in day-to-day communications on social media platforms. They appear to be amusing, evoking and attractive to audiences. However, some memes containing malicious contents can be harmful to the targeted group and arouse public anger in the long run. In this paper, we study misogynous meme detection, a shared task in SemEval 2022 - Multimedia Automatic Misogyny Identification (MAMI). The challenge of misogynous meme detection is to co-represent multi-modal features. To tackle with this challenge, we propose a Multi-modal Multi-task Variational AutoEncoder (MMVAE) to learn an effective co-representation of visual and textual features in the latent space, and determine if the meme contains misogynous information and identify its fine-grained categories. Our model achieves 0.723 on sub-task A and 0.634 on sub-task B in terms of F1 scores. We carry out comprehensive experiments on our model’s architecture and show that our approach significantly outperforms several strong uni-modal and multi-modal approaches. Our code is released on github.


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Racist or Sexist Meme? Classifying Memes beyond Hateful
Haris Bin Zia | Ignacio Castro | Gareth Tyson
Proceedings of the 5th Workshop on Online Abuse and Harms (WOAH 2021)

Memes are the combinations of text and images that are often humorous in nature. But, that may not always be the case, and certain combinations of texts and images may depict hate, referred to as hateful memes. This work presents a multimodal pipeline that takes both visual and textual features from memes into account to (1) identify the protected category (e.g. race, sex etc.) that has been attacked; and (2) detect the type of attack (e.g. contempt, slurs etc.). Our pipeline uses state-of-the-art pre-trained visual and textual representations, followed by a simple logistic regression classifier. We employ our pipeline on the Hateful Memes Challenge dataset with additional newly created fine-grained labels for protected category and type of attack. Our best model achieves an AUROC of 0.96 for identifying the protected category, and 0.97 for detecting the type of attack. We release our code at

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An Expert Annotated Dataset for the Detection of Online Misogyny
Ella Guest | Bertie Vidgen | Alexandros Mittos | Nishanth Sastry | Gareth Tyson | Helen Margetts
Proceedings of the 16th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Main Volume

Online misogyny is a pernicious social problem that risks making online platforms toxic and unwelcoming to women. We present a new hierarchical taxonomy for online misogyny, as well as an expert labelled dataset to enable automatic classification of misogynistic content. The dataset consists of 6567 labels for Reddit posts and comments. As previous research has found untrained crowdsourced annotators struggle with identifying misogyny, we hired and trained annotators and provided them with robust annotation guidelines. We report baseline classification performance on the binary classification task, achieving accuracy of 0.93 and F1 of 0.43. The codebook and datasets are made freely available for future researchers.


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Urban Dictionary Embeddings for Slang NLP Applications
Steven Wilson | Walid Magdy | Barbara McGillivray | Kiran Garimella | Gareth Tyson
Proceedings of the Twelfth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

The choice of the corpus on which word embeddings are trained can have a sizable effect on the learned representations, the types of analyses that can be performed with them, and their utility as features for machine learning models. To contribute to the existing sets of pre-trained word embeddings, we introduce and release the first set of word embeddings trained on the content of Urban Dictionary, a crowd-sourced dictionary for slang words and phrases. We show that although these embeddings are trained on fewer total tokens (by at least an order of magnitude compared to most popular pre-trained embeddings), they have high performance across a range of common word embedding evaluations, ranging from semantic similarity to word clustering tasks. Further, for some extrinsic tasks such as sentiment analysis and sarcasm detection where we expect to require some knowledge of colloquial language on social media data, initializing classifiers with the Urban Dictionary Embeddings resulted in improved performance compared to initializing with a range of other well-known, pre-trained embeddings that are order of magnitude larger in size.

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Embedding Structured Dictionary Entries
Steven Wilson | Walid Magdy | Barbara McGillivray | Gareth Tyson
Proceedings of the First Workshop on Insights from Negative Results in NLP

Previous work has shown how to effectively use external resources such as dictionaries to improve English-language word embeddings, either by manipulating the training process or by applying post-hoc adjustments to the embedding space. We experiment with a multi-task learning approach for explicitly incorporating the structured elements of dictionary entries, such as user-assigned tags and usage examples, when learning embeddings for dictionary headwords. Our work generalizes several existing models for learning word embeddings from dictionaries. However, we find that the most effective representations overall are learned by simply training with a skip-gram objective over the concatenated text of all entries in the dictionary, giving no particular focus to the structure of the entries.