This paper describes the Shared Task on Fine-grained Event Classification in News-like Text Snippets. The Shared Task is divided into three sub-tasks: (a) classification of text snippets reporting socio-political events (25 classes) for which vast amount of training data exists, although exhibiting different structure and style vis-a-vis test data, (b) enhancement to a generalized zero-shot learning problem, where 3 additional event types were introduced in advance, but without any training data (‘unseen’ classes), and (c) further extension, which introduced 2 additional event types, announced shortly prior to the evaluation phase. The reported Shared Task focuses on classification of events in English texts and is organized as part of the Workshop on Challenges and Applications of Automated Extraction of Socio-political Events from Text (CASE 2021), co-located with the ACL-IJCNLP 2021 Conference. Four teams participated in the task. Best performing systems for the three aforementioned sub-tasks achieved 83.9%, 79.7% and 77.1% weighted F1 scores respectively.
We introduce a new set of benchmark datasets derived from ACLED data for fine-grained event classification and compare the performance of various state-of-the-art models on these datasets, including SVM based on TF-IDF character n-grams and neural context-free embeddings (GLOVE and FASTTEXT) as well as deep learning-based BERT with its contextual embeddings. The best results in terms of micro (94.3-94.9%) and macro F1 (86.0-88.9%) were obtained using BERT transformer, with simpler TF-IDF character n-gram based SVM being an interesting alternative. Further, we discuss the pros and cons of the considered benchmark models in terms of their robustness and the dependence of the classification performance on the size of training data.