Indira Sen


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Counterfactually Augmented Data and Unintended Bias: The Case of Sexism and Hate Speech Detection
Indira Sen | Mattia Samory | Claudia Wagner | Isabelle Augenstein
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Counterfactually Augmented Data (CAD) aims to improve out-of-domain generalizability, an indicator of model robustness. The improvement is credited to promoting core features of the construct over spurious artifacts that happen to correlate with it. Yet, over-relying on core features may lead to unintended model bias. Especially, construct-driven CAD—perturbations of core features—may induce models to ignore the context in which core features are used. Here, we test models for sexism and hate speech detection on challenging data: non-hate and non-sexist usage of identity and gendered terms. On these hard cases, models trained on CAD, especially construct-driven CAD, show higher false positive rates than models trained on the original, unperturbed data. Using a diverse set of CAD—construct-driven and construct-agnostic—reduces such unintended bias.


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How Does Counterfactually Augmented Data Impact Models for Social Computing Constructs?
Indira Sen | Mattia Samory | Fabian Flöck | Claudia Wagner | Isabelle Augenstein
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

As NLP models are increasingly deployed in socially situated settings such as online abusive content detection, it is crucial to ensure that these models are robust. One way of improving model robustness is to generate counterfactually augmented data (CAD) for training models that can better learn to distinguish between core features and data artifacts. While models trained on this type of data have shown promising out-of-domain generalizability, it is still unclear what the sources of such improvements are. We investigate the benefits of CAD for social NLP models by focusing on three social computing constructs — sentiment, sexism, and hate speech. Assessing the performance of models trained with and without CAD across different types of datasets, we find that while models trained on CAD show lower in-domain performance, they generalize better out-of-domain. We unpack this apparent discrepancy using machine explanations and find that CAD reduces model reliance on spurious features. Leveraging a novel typology of CAD to analyze their relationship with model performance, we find that CAD which acts on the construct directly or a diverse set of CAD leads to higher performance.


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On the Reliability and Validity of Detecting Approval of Political Actors in Tweets
Indira Sen | Fabian Flöck | Claudia Wagner
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

Social media sites like Twitter possess the potential to complement surveys that measure political opinions and, more specifically, political actors’ approval. However, new challenges related to the reliability and validity of social-media-based estimates arise. Various sentiment analysis and stance detection methods have been developed and used in previous research to measure users’ political opinions based on their content on social media. In this work, we attempt to gauge the efficacy of untargeted sentiment, targeted sentiment, and stance detection methods in labeling various political actors’ approval by benchmarking them across several datasets. We also contrast the performance of these pretrained methods that can be used in an off-the-shelf (OTS) manner against a set of models trained on minimal custom data. We find that OTS methods have low generalizability on unseen and familiar targets, while low-resource custom models are more robust. Our work sheds light on the strengths and limitations of existing methods proposed for understanding politicians’ approval from tweets.


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Language Identification and Named Entity Recognition in Hinglish Code Mixed Tweets
Kushagra Singh | Indira Sen | Ponnurangam Kumaraguru
Proceedings of ACL 2018, Student Research Workshop

While growing code-mixed content on Online Social Networks(OSN) provides a fertile ground for studying various aspects of code-mixing, the lack of automated text analysis tools render such studies challenging. To meet this challenge, a family of tools for analyzing code-mixed data such as language identifiers, parts-of-speech (POS) taggers, chunkers have been developed. Named Entity Recognition (NER) is an important text analysis task which is not only informative by itself, but is also needed for downstream NLP tasks such as semantic role labeling. In this work, we present an exploration of automatic NER of code-mixed data. We compare our method with existing off-the-shelf NER tools for social media content,and find that our systems outperforms the best baseline by 33.18 % (F1 score).

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A Twitter Corpus for Hindi-English Code Mixed POS Tagging
Kushagra Singh | Indira Sen | Ponnurangam Kumaraguru
Proceedings of the Sixth International Workshop on Natural Language Processing for Social Media

Code-mixing is a linguistic phenomenon where multiple languages are used in the same occurrence that is increasingly common in multilingual societies. Code-mixed content on social media is also on the rise, prompting the need for tools to automatically understand such content. Automatic Parts-of-Speech (POS) tagging is an essential step in any Natural Language Processing (NLP) pipeline, but there is a lack of annotated data to train such models. In this work, we present a unique language tagged and POS-tagged dataset of code-mixed English-Hindi tweets related to five incidents in India that led to a lot of Twitter activity. Our dataset is unique in two dimensions: (i) it is larger than previous annotated datasets and (ii) it closely resembles typical real-world tweets. Additionally, we present a POS tagging model that is trained on this dataset to provide an example of how this dataset can be used. The model also shows the efficacy of our dataset in enabling the creation of code-mixed social media POS taggers.