Joshua Eisenberg


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Automatic extraction of personal events from dialogue
Joshua Eisenberg | Michael Sheriff
Proceedings of the First Joint Workshop on Narrative Understanding, Storylines, and Events

In this paper we introduce the problem of extracting events from dialogue. Previous work on event extraction focused on newswire, however we are interested in extracting events from spoken dialogue. To ground this study, we annotated dialogue transcripts from fourteen episodes of the podcast This American Life. This corpus contains 1,038 utterances, made up of 16,962 tokens, of which 3,664 represent events. The agreement for this corpus has a Cohen’s Kappa of 0.83. We have open-sourced this corpus for the NLP community. With this corpus in hand, we trained support vector machines (SVM) to correctly classify these phenomena with 0.68 F1, when using episode-fold cross-validation. This is nearly 100% higher F1 than the baseline classifier. The SVM models achieved performance of over 0.75 F1 on some testing folds. We report the results for SVM classifiers trained with four different types of features (verb classes, part of speech tags, named entities, and semantic role labels), and different machine learning protocols (under-sampling and trigram context). This work is grounded in narratology and computational models of narrative. It is useful for extracting events, plot, and story content from spoken dialogue.


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A Simpler and More Generalizable Story Detector using Verb and Character Features
Joshua Eisenberg | Mark Finlayson
Proceedings of the 2017 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Story detection is the task of determining whether or not a unit of text contains a story. Prior approaches achieved a maximum performance of 0.66 F1, and did not generalize well across different corpora. We present a new state-of-the-art detector that achieves a maximum performance of 0.75 F1 (a 14% improvement), with significantly greater generalizability than previous work. In particular, our detector achieves performance above 0.70 F1 across a variety of combinations of lexically different corpora for training and testing, as well as dramatic improvements (up to 4,000%) in performance when trained on a small, disfluent data set. The new detector uses two basic types of features–ones related to events, and ones related to characters–totaling 283 specific features overall; previous detectors used tens of thousands of features, and so this detector represents a significant simplification along with increased performance.


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Automatic Identification of Narrative Diegesis and Point of View
Joshua Eisenberg | Mark Finlayson
Proceedings of the 2nd Workshop on Computing News Storylines (CNS 2016)