Momchil Hardalov


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A Neighborhood Framework for Resource-Lean Content Flagging
Sheikh Muhammad Sarwar | Dimitrina Zlatkova | Momchil Hardalov | Yoan Dinkov | Isabelle Augenstein | Preslav Nakov
Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Volume 10

We propose a novel framework for cross- lingual content flagging with limited target- language data, which significantly outperforms prior work in terms of predictive performance. The framework is based on a nearest-neighbor architecture. It is a modern instantiation of the vanilla k-nearest neighbor model, as we use Transformer representations in all its components. Our framework can adapt to new source- language instances, without the need to be retrained from scratch. Unlike prior work on neighborhood-based approaches, we encode the neighborhood information based on query– neighbor interactions. We propose two encoding schemes and we show their effectiveness using both qualitative and quantitative analysis. Our evaluation results on eight languages from two different datasets for abusive language detection show sizable improvements of up to 9.5 F1 points absolute (for Italian) over strong baselines. On average, we achieve 3.6 absolute F1 points of improvement for the three languages in the Jigsaw Multilingual dataset and 2.14 points for the WUL dataset.


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Generating Answer Candidates for Quizzes and Answer-Aware Question Generators
Kristiyan Vachev | Momchil Hardalov | Georgi Karadzhov | Georgi Georgiev | Ivan Koychev | Preslav Nakov
Proceedings of the Student Research Workshop Associated with RANLP 2021

In education, quiz questions have become an important tool for assessing the knowledge of students. Yet, manually preparing such questions is a tedious task, and thus automatic question generation has been proposed as a possible alternative. So far, the vast majority of research has focused on generating the question text, relying on question answering datasets with readily picked answers, and the problem of how to come up with answer candidates in the first place has been largely ignored. Here, we aim to bridge this gap. In particular, we propose a model that can generate a specified number of answer candidates for a given passage of text, which can then be used by instructors to write questions manually or can be passed as an input to automatic answer-aware question generators. Our experiments show that our proposed answer candidate generation model outperforms several baselines.

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Cross-Domain Label-Adaptive Stance Detection
Momchil Hardalov | Arnav Arora | Preslav Nakov | Isabelle Augenstein
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Stance detection concerns the classification of a writer’s viewpoint towards a target. There are different task variants, e.g., stance of a tweet vs. a full article, or stance with respect to a claim vs. an (implicit) topic. Moreover, task definitions vary, which includes the label inventory, the data collection, and the annotation protocol. All these aspects hinder cross-domain studies, as they require changes to standard domain adaptation approaches. In this paper, we perform an in-depth analysis of 16 stance detection datasets, and we explore the possibility for cross-domain learning from them. Moreover, we propose an end-to-end unsupervised framework for out-of-domain prediction of unseen, user-defined labels. In particular, we combine domain adaptation techniques such as mixture of experts and domain-adversarial training with label embeddings, and we demonstrate sizable performance gains over strong baselines, both (i) in-domain, i.e., for seen targets, and (ii) out-of-domain, i.e., for unseen targets. Finally, we perform an exhaustive analysis of the cross-domain results, and we highlight the important factors influencing the model performance.


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EXAMS: A Multi-subject High School Examinations Dataset for Cross-lingual and Multilingual Question Answering
Momchil Hardalov | Todor Mihaylov | Dimitrina Zlatkova | Yoan Dinkov | Ivan Koychev | Preslav Nakov
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

We propose EXAMS – a new benchmark dataset for cross-lingual and multilingual question answering for high school examinations. We collected more than 24,000 high-quality high school exam questions in 16 languages, covering 8 language families and 24 school subjects from Natural Sciences and Social Sciences, among others.EXAMS offers unique fine-grained evaluation framework across multiple languages and subjects, which allows precise analysis and comparison of the proposed models. We perform various experiments with existing top-performing multilingual pre-trained models and show that EXAMS offers multiple challenges that require multilingual knowledge and reasoning in multiple domains. We hope that EXAMS will enable researchers to explore challenging reasoning and knowledge transfer methods and pre-trained models for school question answering in various languages which was not possible by now. The data, code, pre-trained models, and evaluation are available at


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Beyond English-Only Reading Comprehension: Experiments in Zero-shot Multilingual Transfer for Bulgarian
Momchil Hardalov | Ivan Koychev | Preslav Nakov
Proceedings of the International Conference on Recent Advances in Natural Language Processing (RANLP 2019)

Recently, reading comprehension models achieved near-human performance on large-scale datasets such as SQuAD, CoQA, MS Macro, RACE, etc. This is largely due to the release of pre-trained contextualized representations such as BERT and ELMo, which can be fine-tuned for the target task. Despite those advances and the creation of more challenging datasets, most of the work is still done for English. Here, we study the effectiveness of multilingual BERT fine-tuned on large-scale English datasets for reading comprehension (e.g., for RACE), and we apply it to Bulgarian multiple-choice reading comprehension. We propose a new dataset containing 2,221 questions from matriculation exams for twelfth grade in various subjects —history, biology, geography and philosophy—, and 412 additional questions from online quizzes in history. While the quiz authors gave no relevant context, we incorporate knowledge from Wikipedia, retrieving documents matching the combination of question + each answer option. Moreover, we experiment with different indexing and pre-training strategies. The evaluation results show accuracy of 42.23%, which is well above the baseline of 24.89%.


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Tweety at SemEval-2018 Task 2: Predicting Emojis using Hierarchical Attention Neural Networks and Support Vector Machine
Daniel Kopev | Atanas Atanasov | Dimitrina Zlatkova | Momchil Hardalov | Ivan Koychev | Ivelina Nikolova | Galia Angelova
Proceedings of The 12th International Workshop on Semantic Evaluation

We present the system built for SemEval-2018 Task 2 on Emoji Prediction. Although Twitter messages are very short we managed to design a wide variety of features: textual, semantic, sentiment, emotion-, and color-related ones. We investigated different methods of text preprocessing including replacing text emojis with respective tokens and splitting hashtags to capture more meaning. To represent text we used word n-grams and word embeddings. We experimented with a wide range of classifiers and our best results were achieved using a SVM-based classifier and a Hierarchical Attention Neural Network.


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SUper Team at SemEval-2016 Task 3: Building a Feature-Rich System for Community Question Answering
Tsvetomila Mihaylova | Pepa Gencheva | Martin Boyanov | Ivana Yovcheva | Todor Mihaylov | Momchil Hardalov | Yasen Kiprov | Daniel Balchev | Ivan Koychev | Preslav Nakov | Ivelina Nikolova | Galia Angelova
Proceedings of the 10th International Workshop on Semantic Evaluation (SemEval-2016)