Md. Saiful Islam

Also published as: Md Saiful Islam


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EmoNoBa: A Dataset for Analyzing Fine-Grained Emotions on Noisy Bangla Texts
Khondoker Ittehadul Islam | Tanvir Yuvraz | Md Saiful Islam | Enamul Hassan
Proceedings of the 2nd Conference of the Asia-Pacific Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 12th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 2: Short Papers)

For low-resourced Bangla language, works on detecting emotions on textual data suffer from size and cross-domain adaptability. In our paper, we propose a manually annotated dataset of 22,698 Bangla public comments from social media sites covering 12 different domains such as Personal, Politics, and Health, labeled for 6 fine-grained emotion categories of the Junto Emotion Wheel. We invest efforts in the data preparation to 1) preserve the linguistic richness and 2) challenge any classification model. Our experiments to develop a benchmark classification system show that random baselines perform better than neural networks and pre-trained language models as hand-crafted features provide superior performance.

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BD-SHS: A Benchmark Dataset for Learning to Detect Online Bangla Hate Speech in Different Social Contexts
Nauros Romim | Mosahed Ahmed | Md Saiful Islam | Arnab Sen Sharma | Hriteshwar Talukder | Mohammad Ruhul Amin
Proceedings of the Thirteenth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

Social media platforms and online streaming services have spawned a new breed of Hate Speech (HS). Due to the massive amount of user-generated content on these sites, modern machine learning techniques are found to be feasible and cost-effective to tackle this problem. However, linguistically diverse datasets covering different social contexts in which offensive language is typically used are required to train generalizable models. In this paper, we identify the shortcomings of existing Bangla HS datasets and introduce a large manually labeled dataset BD-SHS that includes HS in different social contexts. The labeling criteria were prepared following a hierarchical annotation process, which is the first of its kind in Bangla HS to the best of our knowledge. The dataset includes more than 50,200 offensive comments crawled from online social networking sites and is at least 60% larger than any existing Bangla HS datasets. We present the benchmark result of our dataset by training different NLP models resulting in the best one achieving an F1-score of 91.0%. In our experiments, we found that a word embedding trained exclusively using 1.47 million comments from social media and streaming sites consistently resulted in better modeling of HS detection in comparison to other pre-trained embeddings. Our dataset and all accompanying codes is publicly available at

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BAN-Cap: A Multi-Purpose English-Bangla Image Descriptions Dataset
Mohammad Faiyaz Khan | S.M. Sadiq-Ur-Rahman Shifath | Md Saiful Islam
Proceedings of the Thirteenth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

As computers have become efficient at understanding visual information and transforming it into a written representation, research interest in tasks like automatic image captioning has seen a significant leap over the last few years. While most of the research attention is given to the English language in a monolingual setting, resource-constrained languages like Bangla remain out of focus, predominantly due to a lack of standard datasets. Addressing this issue, we present a new dataset BAN-Cap following the widely used Flickr8k dataset, where we collect Bangla captions of the images provided by qualified annotators. Our dataset represents a wider variety of image caption styles annotated by trained people from different backgrounds. We present a quantitative and qualitative analysis of the dataset and the baseline evaluation of the recent models in Bangla image captioning. We investigate the effect of text augmentation and demonstrate that an adaptive attention-based model combined with text augmentation using Contextualized Word Replacement (CWR) outperforms all state-of-the-art models for Bangla image captioning. We also present this dataset’s multipurpose nature, especially on machine translation for Bangla-English and English-Bangla. This dataset and all the models will be useful for further research.

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BanglaBERT: Language Model Pretraining and Benchmarks for Low-Resource Language Understanding Evaluation in Bangla
Abhik Bhattacharjee | Tahmid Hasan | Wasi Ahmad | Kazi Samin Mubasshir | Md Saiful Islam | Anindya Iqbal | M. Sohel Rahman | Rifat Shahriyar
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: NAACL 2022

In this work, we introduce BanglaBERT, a BERT-based Natural Language Understanding (NLU) model pretrained in Bangla, a widely spoken yet low-resource language in the NLP literature. To pretrain BanglaBERT, we collect 27.5 GB of Bangla pretraining data (dubbed ‘Bangla2B+’) by crawling 110 popular Bangla sites. We introduce two downstream task datasets on natural language inference and question answering and benchmark on four diverse NLU tasks covering text classification, sequence labeling, and span prediction. In the process, we bring them under the first-ever Bangla Language Understanding Benchmark (BLUB). BanglaBERT achieves state-of-the-art results outperforming multilingual and monolingual models. We are making the models, datasets, and a leaderboard publicly available at to advance Bangla NLP.


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XL-Sum: Large-Scale Multilingual Abstractive Summarization for 44 Languages
Tahmid Hasan | Abhik Bhattacharjee | Md. Saiful Islam | Kazi Mubasshir | Yuan-Fang Li | Yong-Bin Kang | M. Sohel Rahman | Rifat Shahriyar
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL-IJCNLP 2021

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SentNoB: A Dataset for Analysing Sentiment on Noisy Bangla Texts
Khondoker Ittehadul Islam | Sudipta Kar | Md Saiful Islam | Mohammad Ruhul Amin
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2021

In this paper, we propose an annotated sentiment analysis dataset made of informally written Bangla texts. This dataset comprises public comments on news and videos collected from social media covering 13 different domains, including politics, education, and agriculture. These comments are labeled with one of the polarity labels, namely positive, negative, and neutral. One significant characteristic of the dataset is that each of the comments is noisy in terms of the mix of dialects and grammatical incorrectness. Our experiments to develop a benchmark classification system show that hand-crafted lexical features provide superior performance than neural network and pretrained language models. We have made the dataset and accompanying models presented in this paper publicly available at

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Syntax and Themes: How Context Free Grammar Rules and Semantic Word Association Influence Book Success
Henry Gorelick | Biddut Sarker Bijoy | Syeda Jannatus Saba | Sudipta Kar | Md Saiful Islam | Mohammad Ruhul Amin
Proceedings of the International Conference on Recent Advances in Natural Language Processing (RANLP 2021)

In this paper, we attempt to improve upon the state-of-the-art in predicting a novel’s success by modeling the lexical semantic relationships of its contents. We created the largest dataset used in such a project containing lexical data from 17,962 books from Project Gutenberg. We utilized domain specific feature reduction techniques to implement the most accurate models to date for predicting book success, with our best model achieving an average accuracy of 94.0%. By analyzing the model parameters, we extracted the successful semantic relationships from books of 12 different genres. We finally mapped those semantic relations to a set of themes, as defined in Roget’s Thesaurus and discovered the themes that successful books of a given genre prioritize. At the end of the paper, we further showed that our model demonstrate similar performance for book success prediction even when Goodreads rating was used instead of download count to measure success.

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Hitting your MARQ: Multimodal ARgument Quality Assessment in Long Debate Video
Md Kamrul Hasan | James Spann | Masum Hasan | Md Saiful Islam | Kurtis Haut | Rada Mihalcea | Ehsan Hoque
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

The combination of gestures, intonations, and textual content plays a key role in argument delivery. However, the current literature mostly considers textual content while assessing the quality of an argument, and it is limited to datasets containing short sequences (18-48 words). In this paper, we study argument quality assessment in a multimodal context, and experiment on DBATES, a publicly available dataset of long debate videos. First, we propose a set of interpretable debate centric features such as clarity, content variation, body movement cues, and pauses, inspired by theories of argumentation quality. Second, we design the Multimodal ARgument Quality assessor (MARQ) – a hierarchical neural network model that summarizes the multimodal signals on long sequences and enriches the multimodal embedding with debate centric features. Our proposed MARQ model achieves an accuracy of 81.91% on the argument quality prediction task and outperforms established baseline models with an error rate reduction of 22.7%. Through ablation studies, we demonstrate the importance of multimodal cues in modeling argument quality.

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A Study on Using Semantic Word Associations to Predict the Success of a Novel
Syeda Jannatus Saba | Biddut Sarker Bijoy | Henry Gorelick | Sabir Ismail | Md Saiful Islam | Mohammad Ruhul Amin
Proceedings of *SEM 2021: The Tenth Joint Conference on Lexical and Computational Semantics

Many new books get published every year, and only a fraction of them become popular among the readers. So the prediction of a book success can be a very useful parameter for publishers to make a reliable decision. This article presents the study of semantic word associations using the word embedding of book content for a set of Roget’s thesaurus concepts for book success prediction. In this work, we discuss the method to represent a book as a spectrum of concepts based on the association score between its content embedding and a global embedding (i.e. fastText) for a set of semantically linked word clusters. We show that the semantic word associations outperform the previous methods for book success prediction. In addition, we present that semantic word associations also provide better results than using features like the frequency of word groups in Roget’s thesaurus, LIWC (a popular tool for linguistic inquiry and word count), NRC (word association emotion lexicon), and part of speech (PoS). Our study reports that concept associations based on Roget’s Thesaurus using word embedding of individual novel resulted in the state-of-the-art performance of 0.89 average weighted F1-score for book success prediction. Finally, we present a set of dominant themes that contribute towards the popularity of a book for a specific genre.


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BanFakeNews: A Dataset for Detecting Fake News in Bangla
Md Zobaer Hossain | Md Ashraful Rahman | Md Saiful Islam | Sudipta Kar
Proceedings of the Twelfth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

Observing the damages that can be done by the rapid propagation of fake news in various sectors like politics and finance, automatic identification of fake news using linguistic analysis has drawn the attention of the research community. However, such methods are largely being developed for English where low resource languages remain out of the focus. But the risks spawned by fake and manipulative news are not confined by languages. In this work, we propose an annotated dataset of ≈ 50K news that can be used for building automated fake news detection systems for a low resource language like Bangla. Additionally, we provide an analysis of the dataset and develop a benchmark system with state of the art NLP techniques to identify Bangla fake news. To create this system, we explore traditional linguistic features and neural network based methods. We expect this dataset will be a valuable resource for building technologies to prevent the spreading of fake news and contribute in research with low resource languages. The dataset and source code are publicly available at