Arabic is a collection of dialectal variants that are historically related but significantly different. These differences can be seen across regions, countries, and even cities in the same countries. Previous work on Arabic Dialect identification has focused mainly on specific dialect levels (region, country, province, or city) using level-specific resources; and different efforts used different schemas and labels. In this paper, we present the first effort aiming at defining a standard unified three-level hierarchical schema (region-country-city) for dialectal Arabic classification. We map 29 different data sets to this unified schema, and use the common mapping to facilitate aggregating these data sets. We test the value of such aggregation by building language models and using them in dialect identification. We make our label mapping code and aggregated language models publicly available.
The Interplay of Variant, Size, and Task Type in Arabic Pre-trained Language Models
Go Inoue | Bashar Alhafni | Nurpeiis Baimukan | Houda Bouamor | Nizar Habash
Proceedings of the Sixth Arabic Natural Language Processing Workshop
In this paper, we explore the effects of language variants, data sizes, and fine-tuning task types in Arabic pre-trained language models. To do so, we build three pre-trained language models across three variants of Arabic: Modern Standard Arabic (MSA), dialectal Arabic, and classical Arabic, in addition to a fourth language model which is pre-trained on a mix of the three. We also examine the importance of pre-training data size by building additional models that are pre-trained on a scaled-down set of the MSA variant. We compare our different models to each other, as well as to eight publicly available models by fine-tuning them on five NLP tasks spanning 12 datasets. Our results suggest that the variant proximity of pre-training data to fine-tuning data is more important than the pre-training data size. We exploit this insight in defining an optimized system selection model for the studied tasks.