Nikita Soni


2022

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Human Language Modeling
Nikita Soni | Matthew Matero | Niranjan Balasubramanian | H. Andrew Schwartz
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2022

Natural language is generated by people, yet traditional language modeling views words or documents as if generated independently. Here, we propose human language modeling (HuLM), a hierarchical extension to the language modeling problem where by a human- level exists to connect sequences of documents (e.g. social media messages) and capture the notion that human language is moderated by changing human states. We introduce, HaRT, a large-scale transformer model for solving HuLM, pre-trained on approximately 100,000 social media users, and demonstrate it’s effectiveness in terms of both language modeling (perplexity) for social media and fine-tuning for 4 downstream tasks spanning document- and user-levels. Results on all tasks meet or surpass the current state-of-the-art.

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WWBP-SQT-lite: Multi-level Models and Difference Embeddings for Moments of Change Identification in Mental Health Forums
Adithya V Ganesan | Vasudha Varadarajan | Juhi Mittal | Shashanka Subrahmanya | Matthew Matero | Nikita Soni | Sharath Chandra Guntuku | Johannes Eichstaedt | H. Andrew Schwartz
Proceedings of the Eighth Workshop on Computational Linguistics and Clinical Psychology

Psychological states unfold dynamically; to understand and measure mental health at scale we need to detect and measure these changes from sequences of online posts. We evaluate two approaches to capturing psychological changes in text: the first relies on computing the difference between the embedding of a message with the one that precedes it, the second relies on a “human-aware” multi-level recurrent transformer (HaRT). The mood changes of timeline posts of users were annotated into three classes, ‘ordinary,’ ‘switching’ (positive to negative or vice versa) and ‘escalations’ (increasing in intensity). For classifying these mood changes, the difference-between-embeddings technique – applied to RoBERTa embeddings – showed the highest overall F1 score (0.61) across the three different classes on the test set. The technique particularly outperformed the HaRT transformer (and other baselines) in the detection of switches (F1 = .33) and escalations (F1 = .61).Consistent with the literature, the language use patterns associated with mental-health related constructs in prior work (including depression, stress, anger and anxiety) predicted both mood switches and escalations.

2021

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MeLT: Message-Level Transformer with Masked Document Representations as Pre-Training for Stance Detection
Matthew Matero | Nikita Soni | Niranjan Balasubramanian | H. Andrew Schwartz
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2021

Much of natural language processing is focused on leveraging large capacity language models, typically trained over single messages with a task of predicting one or more tokens. However, modeling human language at higher-levels of context (i.e., sequences of messages) is under-explored. In stance detection and other social media tasks where the goal is to predict an attribute of a message, we have contextual data that is loosely semantically connected by authorship. Here, we introduce Message-Level Transformer (MeLT) – a hierarchical message-encoder pre-trained over Twitter and applied to the task of stance prediction. We focus on stance prediction as a task benefiting from knowing the context of the message (i.e., the sequence of previous messages). The model is trained using a variant of masked-language modeling; where instead of predicting tokens, it seeks to generate an entire masked (aggregated) message vector via reconstruction loss. We find that applying this pre-trained masked message-level transformer to the downstream task of stance detection achieves F1 performance of 67%.