Lara Grimminger


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What Makes Medical Claims (Un)Verifiable? Analyzing Entity and Relation Properties for Fact Verification
Amelie Wuehrl | Yarik Menchaca Resendiz | Lara Grimminger | Roman Klinger
Proceedings of the 18th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Verifying biomedical claims fails if no evidence can be discovered. In these cases, the fact-checking verdict remains unknown and the claim is unverifiable. To improve this situation, we have to understand if there are any claim properties that impact its verifiability. In this work we assume that entities and relations define the core variables in a biomedical claim’s anatomy and analyze if their properties help us to differentiate verifiable from unverifiable claims. In a study with trained annotation experts we prompt them to find evidence for biomedical claims, and observe how they refine search queries for their evidence search. This leads to the first corpus for scientific fact verification annotated with subject–relation–object triplets, evidence documents, and fact-checking verdicts (the BEAR-FACT corpus). We find (1) that discovering evidence for negated claims (e.g., X–does-not-cause–Y) is particularly challenging. Further, we see that annotators process queries mostly by adding constraints to the search and by normalizing entities to canonical names. (2) We compare our in-house annotations with a small crowdsourcing setting where we employ both medical experts and laypeople. We find that domain expertise does not have a substantial effect on the reliability of annotations. Finally, (3), we demonstrate that it is possible to reliably estimate the success of evidence retrieval purely from the claim text (.82F1), whereas identifying unverifiable claims proves more challenging (.27F1)


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An Entity-based Claim Extraction Pipeline for Real-world Biomedical Fact-checking
Amelie Wuehrl | Lara Grimminger | Roman Klinger
Proceedings of the Sixth Fact Extraction and VERification Workshop (FEVER)

Existing fact-checking models for biomedical claims are typically trained on synthetic or well-worded data and hardly transfer to social media content. This mismatch can be mitigated by adapting the social media input to mimic the focused nature of common training claims. To do so, Wührl and Klinger (2022a) propose to extract concise claims based on medical entities in the text. However, their study has two limitations: First, it relies on gold-annotated entities. Therefore, its feasibility for a real-world application cannot be assessed since this requires detecting relevant entities automatically. Second, they represent claim entities with the original tokens. This constitutes a terminology mismatch which potentially limits the fact-checking performance. To understand both challenges, we propose a claim extraction pipeline for medical tweets that incorporates named entity recognition and terminology normalization via entity linking. We show that automatic NER does lead to a performance drop in comparison to using gold annotations but the fact-checking performance still improves considerably over inputting the unchanged tweets. Normalizing entities to their canonical forms does, however, not improve the performance.


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Hate Towards the Political Opponent: A Twitter Corpus Study of the 2020 US Elections on the Basis of Offensive Speech and Stance Detection
Lara Grimminger | Roman Klinger
Proceedings of the Eleventh Workshop on Computational Approaches to Subjectivity, Sentiment and Social Media Analysis

The 2020 US Elections have been, more than ever before, characterized by social media campaigns and mutual accusations. We investigate in this paper if this manifests also in online communication of the supporters of the candidates Biden and Trump, by uttering hateful and offensive communication. We formulate an annotation task, in which we join the tasks of hateful/offensive speech detection and stance detection, and annotate 3000 Tweets from the campaign period, if they express a particular stance towards a candidate. Next to the established classes of favorable and against, we add mixed and neutral stances and also annotate if a candidate is mentioned with- out an opinion expression. Further, we an- notate if the tweet is written in an offensive style. This enables us to analyze if supporters of Joe Biden and the Democratic Party communicate differently than supporters of Donald Trump and the Republican Party. A BERT baseline classifier shows that the detection if somebody is a supporter of a candidate can be performed with high quality (.89 F1 for Trump and .91 F1 for Biden), while the detection that somebody expresses to be against a candidate is more challenging (.79 F1 and .64 F1, respectively). The automatic detection of hate/offensive speech remains challenging (with .53 F1). Our corpus is publicly available and constitutes a novel resource for computational modelling of offensive language under consideration of stances.