Nick Beauchamp


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Generative Entity-to-Entity Stance Detection with Knowledge Graph Augmentation
Xinliang Frederick Zhang | Nick Beauchamp | Lu Wang
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Stance detection is typically framed as predicting the sentiment in a given text towards a target entity. However, this setup overlooks the importance of the source entity, i.e., who is expressing the opinion. In this paper, we emphasize the imperative need for studying interactions among entities when inferring stances. We first introduce a new task, entity-to-entity (E2E) stance detection, which primes models to identify entities in their canonical names and discern stances jointly. To support this study, we curate a new dataset with 10,641 annotations labeled at the sentence level from news articles of different ideological leanings. We present a novel generative framework to allow the generation of canonical names for entities as well as stances among them. We further enhance the model with a graph encoder to summarize entity activities and external knowledge surrounding the entities. Experiments show that our model outperforms strong comparisons by large margins. Further analyses demonstrate the usefulness of E2E stance detection for understanding media quotation and stance landscape as well as inferring entity ideology.

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Sentence-level Media Bias Analysis Informed by Discourse Structures
Yuanyuan Lei | Ruihong Huang | Lu Wang | Nick Beauchamp
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

As polarization continues to rise among both the public and the news media, increasing attention has been devoted to detecting media bias. Most recent work in the NLP community, however, identify bias at the level of individual articles. However, each article itself comprises multiple sentences, which vary in their ideological bias. In this paper, we aim to identify sentences within an article that can illuminate and explain the overall bias of the entire article. We show that understanding the discourse role of a sentence in telling a news story, as well as its relation with nearby sentences, can reveal the ideological leanings of an author even when the sentence itself appears merely neutral. In particular, we consider using a functional news discourse structure and PDTB discourse relations to inform bias sentence identification, and distill the auxiliary knowledge from the two types of discourse structure into our bias sentence identification system. Experimental results on benchmark datasets show that incorporating both the global functional discourse structure and local rhetorical discourse relations can effectively increase the recall of bias sentence identification by 8.27% - 8.62%, as well as increase the precision by 2.82% - 3.48%.


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Winning on the Merits: The Joint Effects of Content and Style on Debate Outcomes
Lu Wang | Nick Beauchamp | Sarah Shugars | Kechen Qin
Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Volume 5

Debate and deliberation play essential roles in politics and government, but most models presume that debates are won mainly via superior style or agenda control. Ideally, however, debates would be won on the merits, as a function of which side has the stronger arguments. We propose a predictive model of debate that estimates the effects of linguistic features and the latent persuasive strengths of different topics, as well as the interactions between the two. Using a dataset of 118 Oxford-style debates, our model’s combination of content (as latent topics) and style (as linguistic features) allows us to predict audience-adjudicated winners with 74% accuracy, significantly outperforming linguistic features alone (66%). Our model finds that winning sides employ stronger arguments, and allows us to identify the linguistic features associated with strong or weak arguments.