Michiel Van Der Meer

Also published as: Michiel van der Meer


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An Empirical Analysis of Diversity in Argument Summarization
Michiel Van Der Meer | Piek Vossen | Catholijn Jonker | Pradeep Murukannaiah
Proceedings of the 18th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Presenting high-level arguments is a crucial task for fostering participation in online societal discussions. Current argument summarization approaches miss an important facet of this task—capturing diversity—which is important for accommodating multiple perspectives. We introduce three aspects of diversity: those of opinions, annotators, and sources. We evaluate approaches to a popular argument summarization task called Key Point Analysis, which shows how these approaches struggle to (1) represent arguments shared by few people, (2) deal with data from various sources, and (3) align with subjectivity in human-provided annotations. We find that both general-purpose LLMs and dedicated KPA models exhibit this behavior, but have complementary strengths. Further, we observe that diversification of training data may ameliorate generalization in zero-shot cases. Addressing diversity in argument summarization requires a mix of strategies to deal with subjectivity.

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Facilitating Opinion Diversity through Hybrid NLP Approaches
Michiel Van Der Meer
Proceedings of the 2024 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies (Volume 4: Student Research Workshop)

Modern democracies face a critical issue of declining citizen participation in decision-making. Online discussion forums are an important avenue for enhancing citizen participation. This thesis proposal 1) identifies the challenges involved in facilitating large-scale online discussions with Natural Language Processing (NLP), 2) suggests solutions to these challenges by incorporating hybrid human-AI technologies, and 3) investigates what these technologies can reveal about individual perspectives in online discussions. We propose a three-layered hierarchy for representing perspectives that can be obtained by a mixture of human intelligence and large language models. We illustrate how these representations can draw insights into the diversity of perspectives and allow us to investigate interactions in online discussions.


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Leveraging Few-Shot Data Augmentation and Waterfall Prompting for Response Generation
Lea Krause | Selene Báez Santamaría | Michiel van der Meer | Urja Khurana
Proceedings of The Eleventh Dialog System Technology Challenge

This paper discusses our approaches for task-oriented conversational modelling using subjective knowledge, with a particular emphasis on response generation. Our methodology was shaped by an extensive data analysis that evaluated key factors such as response length, sentiment, and dialogue acts present in the provided dataset. We used few-shot learning to augment the data with newly generated subjective knowledge items and present three approaches for DSTC11: (1) task-specific model exploration, (2) incorporation of the most frequent question into all generated responses, and (3) a waterfall prompting technique using a combination of both GPT-3 and ChatGPT.

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Do Differences in Values Influence Disagreements in Online Discussions?
Michiel van der Meer | Piek Vossen | Catholijn Jonker | Pradeep Murukannaiah
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Disagreements are common in online discussions. Disagreement may foster collaboration and improve the quality of a discussion under some conditions. Although there exist methods for recognizing disagreement, a deeper understanding of factors that influence disagreement is lacking in the literature. We investigate a hypothesis that differences in personal values are indicative of disagreement in online discussions. We show how state-of-the-art models can be used for estimating values in online discussions and how the estimated values can be aggregated into value profiles. We evaluate the estimated value profiles based on human-annotated agreement labels. We find that the dissimilarity of value profiles correlates with disagreement in specific cases. We also find that including value information in agreement prediction improves performance.


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Will It Blend? Mixing Training Paradigms & Prompting for Argument Quality Prediction
Michiel van der Meer | Myrthe Reuver | Urja Khurana | Lea Krause | Selene Baez Santamaria
Proceedings of the 9th Workshop on Argument Mining

This paper describes our contributions to the Shared Task of the 9th Workshop on Argument Mining (2022). Our approach uses Large Language Models for the task of Argument Quality Prediction. We perform prompt engineering using GPT-3, and also investigate the training paradigms multi-task learning, contrastive learning, and intermediate-task training. We find that a mixed prediction setup outperforms single models. Prompting GPT-3 works best for predicting argument validity, and argument novelty is best estimated by a model trained using all three training paradigms.