Ningnan Wang


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PAR: Political Actor Representation Learning with Social Context and Expert Knowledge
Shangbin Feng | Zhaoxuan Tan | Zilong Chen | Ningnan Wang | Peisheng Yu | Qinghua Zheng | Xiaojun Chang | Minnan Luo
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Modeling the ideological perspectives of political actors is an essential task in computational political science with applications in many downstream tasks. Existing approaches are generally limited to textual data and voting records, while they neglect the rich social context and valuable expert knowledge for holistic ideological analysis. In this paper, we propose PAR, a Political Actor Representation learning framework that jointly leverages social context and expert knowledge. Specifically, we retrieve and extract factual statements about legislators to leverage social context information. We then construct a heterogeneous information network to incorporate social context and use relational graph neural networks to learn legislator representations. Finally, we train PAR with three objectives to align representation learning with expert knowledge, model ideological stance consistency, and simulate the echo chamber phenomenon. Extensive experiments demonstrate that PAR is better at augmenting political text understanding and successfully advances the state-of-the-art in political perspective detection and roll call vote prediction. Further analysis proves that PAR learns representations that reflect the political reality and provide new insights into political behavior.