Harish Tayyar Madabushi


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SemEval-2022 Task 2: Multilingual Idiomaticity Detection and Sentence Embedding
Harish Tayyar Madabushi | Edward Gow-Smith | Marcos Garcia | Carolina Scarton | Marco Idiart | Aline Villavicencio
Proceedings of the 16th International Workshop on Semantic Evaluation (SemEval-2022)

This paper presents the shared task on Multilingual Idiomaticity Detection and Sentence Embedding, which consists of two subtasks: (a) a binary classification task aimed at identifying whether a sentence contains an idiomatic expression, and (b) a task based on semantic text similarity which requires the model to adequately represent potentially idiomatic expressions in context. Each subtask includes different settings regarding the amount of training data. Besides the task description, this paper introduces the datasets in English, Portuguese, and Galician and their annotation procedure, the evaluation metrics, and a summary of the participant systems and their results. The task had close to 100 registered participants organised into twenty five teams making over 650 and 150 submissions in the practice and evaluation phases respectively.

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Abstraction not Memory: BERT and the English Article System
Harish Tayyar Madabushi | Dagmar Divjak | Petar Milin
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Article prediction is a task that has long defied accurate linguistic description. As such, this task is ideally suited to evaluate models on their ability to emulate native-speaker intuition. To this end, we compare the performance of native English speakers and pre-trained models on the task of article prediction set up as a three way choice (a/an, the, zero). Our experiments with BERT show that BERT outperforms humans on this task across all articles. In particular, BERT is far superior to humans at detecting the zero article, possibly because we insert them using rules that the deep neural model can easily pick up. More interestingly, we find that BERT tends to agree more with annotators than with the corpus when inter-annotator agreement is high but switches to agreeing more with the corpus as inter-annotator agreement drops. We contend that this alignment with annotators, despite being trained on the corpus, suggests that BERT is not memorising article use, but captures a high level generalisation of article use akin to human intuition.


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UoB at ProfNER 2021: Data Augmentation for Classification Using Machine Translation
Frances Adriana Laureano De Leon | Harish Tayyar Madabushi | Mark Lee
Proceedings of the Sixth Social Media Mining for Health (#SMM4H) Workshop and Shared Task

This paper describes the participation of the UoB-NLP team in the ProfNER-ST shared subtask 7a. The task was aimed at detecting the mention of professions in social media text. Our team experimented with two methods of improving the performance of pre-trained models: Specifically, we experimented with data augmentation through translation and the merging of multiple language inputs to meet the objective of the task. While the best performing model on the test data consisted of mBERT fine-tuned on augmented data using back-translation, the improvement is minor possibly because multi-lingual pre-trained models such as mBERT already have access to the kind of information provided through back-translation and bilingual data.

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UoB at SemEval-2021 Task 5: Extending Pre-Trained Language Models to Include Task and Domain-Specific Information for Toxic Span Prediction
Erik Yan | Harish Tayyar Madabushi
Proceedings of the 15th International Workshop on Semantic Evaluation (SemEval-2021)

Toxicity is pervasive in social media and poses a major threat to the health of online communities. The recent introduction of pre-trained language models, which have achieved state-of-the-art results in many NLP tasks, has transformed the way in which we approach natural language processing. However, the inherent nature of pre-training means that they are unlikely to capture task-specific statistical information or learn domain-specific knowledge. Additionally, most implementations of these models typically do not employ conditional random fields, a method for simultaneous token classification. We show that these modifications can improve model performance on the Toxic Spans Detection task at SemEval-2021 to achieve a score within 4 percentage points of the top performing team.

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UoB_UK at SemEval 2021 Task 2: Zero-Shot and Few-Shot Learning for Multi-lingual and Cross-lingual Word Sense Disambiguation.
Wei Li | Harish Tayyar Madabushi | Mark Lee
Proceedings of the 15th International Workshop on Semantic Evaluation (SemEval-2021)

This paper describes our submission to SemEval 2021 Task 2. We compare XLM-RoBERTa Base and Large in the few-shot and zero-shot settings and additionally test the effectiveness of using a k-nearest neighbors classifier in the few-shot setting instead of the more traditional multi-layered perceptron. Our experiments on both the multi-lingual and cross-lingual data show that XLM-RoBERTa Large, unlike the Base version, seems to be able to more effectively transfer learning in a few-shot setting and that the k-nearest neighbors classifier is indeed a more powerful classifier than a multi-layered perceptron when used in few-shot learning.

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AStitchInLanguageModels: Dataset and Methods for the Exploration of Idiomaticity in Pre-Trained Language Models
Harish Tayyar Madabushi | Edward Gow-Smith | Carolina Scarton | Aline Villavicencio
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2021

Despite their success in a variety of NLP tasks, pre-trained language models, due to their heavy reliance on compositionality, fail in effectively capturing the meanings of multiword expressions (MWEs), especially idioms. Therefore, datasets and methods to improve the representation of MWEs are urgently needed. Existing datasets are limited to providing the degree of idiomaticity of expressions along with the literal and, where applicable, (a single) non-literal interpretation of MWEs. This work presents a novel dataset of naturally occurring sentences containing MWEs manually classified into a fine-grained set of meanings, spanning both English and Portuguese. We use this dataset in two tasks designed to test i) a language model’s ability to detect idiom usage, and ii) the effectiveness of a language model in generating representations of sentences containing idioms. Our experiments demonstrate that, on the task of detecting idiomatic usage, these models perform reasonably well in the one-shot and few-shot scenarios, but that there is significant scope for improvement in the zero-shot scenario. On the task of representing idiomaticity, we find that pre-training is not always effective, while fine-tuning could provide a sample efficient method of learning representations of sentences containing MWEs.

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Learned Construction Grammars Converge Across Registers Given Increased Exposure
Jonathan Dunn | Harish Tayyar Madabushi
Proceedings of the 25th Conference on Computational Natural Language Learning

This paper measures the impact of increased exposure on whether learned construction grammars converge onto shared representations when trained on data from different registers. Register influences the frequency of constructions, with some structures common in formal but not informal usage. We expect that a grammar induction algorithm exposed to different registers will acquire different constructions. To what degree does increased exposure lead to the convergence of register-specific grammars? The experiments in this paper simulate language learning in 12 languages (half Germanic and half Romance) with corpora representing three registers (Twitter, Wikipedia, Web). These simulations are repeated with increasing amounts of exposure, from 100k to 2 million words, to measure the impact of exposure on the convergence of grammars. The results show that increased exposure does lead to converging grammars across all languages. In addition, a shared core of register-universal constructions remains constant across increasing amounts of exposure.

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CogNLP-Sheffield at CMCL 2021 Shared Task: Blending Cognitively Inspired Features with Transformer-based Language Models for Predicting Eye Tracking Patterns
Peter Vickers | Rosa Wainwright | Harish Tayyar Madabushi | Aline Villavicencio
Proceedings of the Workshop on Cognitive Modeling and Computational Linguistics

The CogNLP-Sheffield submissions to the CMCL 2021 Shared Task examine the value of a variety of cognitively and linguistically inspired features for predicting eye tracking patterns, as both standalone model inputs and as supplements to contextual word embeddings (XLNet). Surprisingly, the smaller pre-trained model (XLNet-base) outperforms the larger (XLNet-large), and despite evidence that multi-word expressions (MWEs) provide cognitive processing advantages, MWE features provide little benefit to either model.


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CXP949 at WNUT-2020 Task 2: Extracting Informative COVID-19 Tweets - RoBERTa Ensembles and The Continued Relevance of Handcrafted Features
Calum Perrio | Harish Tayyar Madabushi
Proceedings of the Sixth Workshop on Noisy User-generated Text (W-NUT 2020)

This paper presents our submission to Task 2 of the Workshop on Noisy User-generated Text. We explore improving the performance of a pre-trained transformer-based language model fine-tuned for text classification through an ensemble implementation that makes use of corpus level information and a handcrafted feature. We test the effectiveness of including the aforementioned features in accommodating the challenges of a noisy data set centred on a specific subject outside the remit of the pre-training data. We show that inclusion of additional features can improve classification results and achieve a score within 2 points of the top performing team.

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CxGBERT: BERT meets Construction Grammar
Harish Tayyar Madabushi | Laurence Romain | Dagmar Divjak | Petar Milin
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

While lexico-semantic elements no doubt capture a large amount of linguistic information, it has been argued that they do not capture all information contained in text. This assumption is central to constructionist approaches to language which argue that language consists of constructions, learned pairings of a form and a function or meaning that are either frequent or have a meaning that cannot be predicted from its component parts. BERT’s training objectives give it access to a tremendous amount of lexico-semantic information, and while BERTology has shown that BERT captures certain important linguistic dimensions, there have been no studies exploring the extent to which BERT might have access to constructional information. In this work we design several probes and conduct extensive experiments to answer this question. Our results allow us to conclude that BERT does indeed have access to a significant amount of information, much of which linguists typically call constructional information. The impact of this observation is potentially far-reaching as it provides insights into what deep learning methods learn from text, while also showing that information contained in constructions is redundantly encoded in lexico-semantics.

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Multi-class Hierarchical Question Classification for Multiple Choice Science Exams
Dongfang Xu | Peter Jansen | Jaycie Martin | Zhengnan Xie | Vikas Yadav | Harish Tayyar Madabushi | Oyvind Tafjord | Peter Clark
Proceedings of the 12th Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

Prior work has demonstrated that question classification (QC), recognizing the problem domain of a question, can help answer it more accurately. However, developing strong QC algorithms has been hindered by the limited size and complexity of annotated data available. To address this, we present the largest challenge dataset for QC, containing 7,787 science exam questions paired with detailed classification labels from a fine-grained hierarchical taxonomy of 406 problem domains. We then show that a BERT-based model trained on this dataset achieves a large (+0.12 MAP) gain compared with previous methods, while also achieving state-of-the-art performance on benchmark open-domain and biomedical QC datasets. Finally, we show that using this model’s predictions of question topic significantly improves the accuracy of a question answering system by +1.7% P@1, with substantial future gains possible as QC performance improves.

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UoB at SemEval-2020 Task 1: Automatic Identification of Novel Word Senses
Eleri Sarsfield | Harish Tayyar Madabushi
Proceedings of the Fourteenth Workshop on Semantic Evaluation

Much as the social landscape in which languages are spoken shifts, language too evolves to suit the needs of its users. Lexical semantic change analysis is a burgeoning field of semantic analysis which aims to trace changes in the meanings of words over time. This paper presents an approach to lexical semantic change detection based on Bayesian word sense induction suitable for novel word sense identification. This approach is used for a submission to SemEval-2020 Task 1, which shows the approach to be capable of the SemEval task. The same approach is also applied to a corpus gleaned from 15 years of Twitter data, the results of which are then used to identify words which may be instances of slang.

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CS-Embed at SemEval-2020 Task 9: The Effectiveness of Code-switched Word Embeddings for Sentiment Analysis
Frances Adriana Laureano De Leon | Florimond Guéniat | Harish Tayyar Madabushi
Proceedings of the Fourteenth Workshop on Semantic Evaluation

The growing popularity and applications of sentiment analysis of social media posts has naturally led to sentiment analysis of posts written in multiple languages, a practice known as code-switching. While recent research into code-switched posts has focused on the use of multilingual word embeddings, these embeddings were not trained on code-switched data. In this work, we present word-embeddings trained on code-switched tweets, specifically those that make use of Spanish and English, known as Spanglish. We explore the embedding space to discover how they capture the meanings of words in both languages. We test the effectiveness of these embeddings by participating in SemEval 2020 Task 9: Sentiment Analysis on Code-Mixed Social Media Text. We utilised them to train a sentiment classifier that achieves an F-1 score of 0.722. This is higher than the baseline for the competition of 0.656, with our team (codalab username francesita) ranking 14 out of 29 participating teams, beating the baseline.

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UoB at SemEval-2020 Task 12: Boosting BERT with Corpus Level Information
Wah Meng Lim | Harish Tayyar Madabushi
Proceedings of the Fourteenth Workshop on Semantic Evaluation

Pre-trained language model word representation, such as BERT, have been extremely successful in several Natural Language Processing tasks significantly improving on the state-of-the-art. This can largely be attributed to their ability to better capture semantic information contained within a sentence. Several tasks, however, can benefit from information available at a corpus level, such as Term Frequency-Inverse Document Frequency (TF-IDF). In this work we test the effectiveness of integrating this information with BERT on the task of identifying abuse on social media and show that integrating this information with BERT does indeed significantly improve performance. We participate in Sub-Task A (abuse detection) wherein we achieve a score within two points of the top performing team and in Sub-Task B (target detection) wherein we are ranked 4 of the 44 participating teams.

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Augmenting Neural Metaphor Detection with Concreteness
Ghadi Alnafesah | Harish Tayyar Madabushi | Mark Lee
Proceedings of the Second Workshop on Figurative Language Processing

The idea that a shift in concreteness within a sentence indicates the presence of a metaphor has been around for a while. However, recent methods of detecting metaphor that have relied on deep neural models have ignored concreteness and related psycholinguistic information. We hypothesis that this information is not available to these models and that their addition will boost the performance of these models in detecting metaphor. We test this hypothesis on the Metaphor Detection Shared Task 2020 and find that the addition of concreteness information does in fact boost deep neural models. We also run tests on data from a previous shared task and show similar results.

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Incorporating Count-Based Features into Pre-Trained Models for Improved Stance Detection
Anushka Prakash | Harish Tayyar Madabushi
Proceedings of the 3rd NLP4IF Workshop on NLP for Internet Freedom: Censorship, Disinformation, and Propaganda

The explosive growth and popularity of Social Media has revolutionised the way we communicate and collaborate. Unfortunately, this same ease of accessing and sharing information has led to an explosion of misinformation and propaganda. Given that stance detection can significantly aid in veracity prediction, this work focuses on boosting automated stance detection, a task on which pre-trained models have been extremely successful on, as on several other tasks. This work shows that the task of stance detection can benefit from feature based information, especially on certain under performing classes, however, integrating such features into pre-trained models using ensembling is challenging. We propose a novel architecture for integrating features with pre-trained models that address these challenges and test our method on the RumourEval 2019 dataset. This method achieves state-of-the-art results with an F1-score of 63.94 on the test set.


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Cost-Sensitive BERT for Generalisable Sentence Classification on Imbalanced Data
Harish Tayyar Madabushi | Elena Kochkina | Michael Castelle
Proceedings of the Second Workshop on Natural Language Processing for Internet Freedom: Censorship, Disinformation, and Propaganda

The automatic identification of propaganda has gained significance in recent years due to technological and social changes in the way news is generated and consumed. That this task can be addressed effectively using BERT, a powerful new architecture which can be fine-tuned for text classification tasks, is not surprising. However, propaganda detection, like other tasks that deal with news documents and other forms of decontextualized social communication (e.g. sentiment analysis), inherently deals with data whose categories are simultaneously imbalanced and dissimilar. We show that BERT, while capable of handling imbalanced classes with no additional data augmentation, does not generalise well when the training and test data are sufficiently dissimilar (as is often the case with news sources, whose topics evolve over time). We show how to address this problem by providing a statistical measure of similarity between datasets and a method of incorporating cost-weighting into BERT when the training and test sets are dissimilar. We test these methods on the Propaganda Techniques Corpus (PTC) and achieve the second highest score on sentence-level propaganda classification.


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Integrating Question Classification and Deep Learning for improved Answer Selection
Harish Tayyar Madabushi | Mark Lee | John Barnden
Proceedings of the 27th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

We present a system for Answer Selection that integrates fine-grained Question Classification with a Deep Learning model designed for Answer Selection. We detail the necessary changes to the Question Classification taxonomy and system, the creation of a new Entity Identification system and methods of highlighting entities to achieve this objective. Our experiments show that Question Classes are a strong signal to Deep Learning models for Answer Selection, and enable us to outperform the current state of the art in all variations of our experiments except one. In the best configuration, our MRR and MAP scores outperform the current state of the art by between 3 and 5 points on both versions of the TREC Answer Selection test set, a standard dataset for this task.


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High Accuracy Rule-based Question Classification using Question Syntax and Semantics
Harish Tayyar Madabushi | Mark Lee
Proceedings of COLING 2016, the 26th International Conference on Computational Linguistics: Technical Papers

We present in this paper a purely rule-based system for Question Classification which we divide into two parts: The first is the extraction of relevant words from a question by use of its structure, and the second is the classification of questions based on rules that associate these words to Concepts. We achieve an accuracy of 97.2%, close to a 6 point improvement over the previous State of the Art of 91.6%. Additionally, we believe that machine learning algorithms can be applied on top of this method to further improve accuracy.

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UoB-UK at SemEval-2016 Task 1: A Flexible and Extendable System for Semantic Text Similarity using Types, Surprise and Phrase Linking
Harish Tayyar Madabushi | Mark Buhagiar | Mark Lee
Proceedings of the 10th International Workshop on Semantic Evaluation (SemEval-2016)