Jianhua Yuan


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SSR: Utilizing Simplified Stance Reasoning Process for Robust Stance Detection
Jianhua Yuan | Yanyan Zhao | Yanyue Lu | Bing Qin
Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Dataset bias in stance detection tasks allows models to achieve superior performance without using targets. Most existing debiasing methods are task-agnostic, which fail to utilize task knowledge to better discriminate between genuine and bias features. Motivated by how humans tackle stance detection tasks, we propose to incorporate the stance reasoning process as task knowledge to assist in learning genuine features and reducing reliance on bias features. The full stance reasoning process usually involves identifying the span of the mentioned target and corresponding opinion expressions, such fine-grained annotations are hard and expensive to obtain. To alleviate this, we simplify the stance reasoning process to relax the granularity of annotations from token-level to sentence-level, where labels for sub-tasks can be easily inferred from existing resources. We further implement those sub-tasks by maximizing mutual information between the texts and the opinioned targets. To evaluate whether stance detection models truly understand the task from various aspects, we collect and construct a series of new test sets. Our proposed model achieves better performance than previous task-agnostic debiasing methods on most of those new test sets while maintaining comparable performances to existing stance detection models.