Seid Muhie Yimam


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How Hateful are Movies? A Study and Prediction on Movie Subtitles
Niklas von Boguszewski | Sana Moin | Anirban Bhowmick | Seid Muhie Yimam | Chris Biemann
Proceedings of the 17th Conference on Natural Language Processing (KONVENS 2021)

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SCoT: Sense Clustering over Time: a tool for the analysis of lexical change
Christian Haase | Saba Anwar | Seid Muhie Yimam | Alexander Friedrich | Chris Biemann
Proceedings of the 16th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: System Demonstrations

We present Sense Clustering over Time (SCoT), a novel network-based tool for analysing lexical change. SCoT represents the meanings of a word as clusters of similar words. It visualises their formation, change, and demise. There are two main approaches to the exploration of dynamic networks: the discrete one compares a series of clustered graphs from separate points in time. The continuous one analyses the changes of one dynamic network over a time-span. SCoT offers a new hybrid solution. First, it aggregates time-stamped documents into intervals and calculates one sense graph per discrete interval. Then, it merges the static graphs to a new type of dynamic semantic neighbourhood graph over time. The resulting sense clusters offer uniquely detailed insights into lexical change over continuous intervals with model transparency and provenance. SCoT has been successfully used in a European study on the changing meaning of ‘crisis’.

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Word Complexity is in the Eye of the Beholder
Sian Gooding | Ekaterina Kochmar | Seid Muhie Yimam | Chris Biemann
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Lexical complexity is a highly subjective notion, yet this factor is often neglected in lexical simplification and readability systems which use a ”one-size-fits-all” approach. In this paper, we investigate which aspects contribute to the notion of lexical complexity in various groups of readers, focusing on native and non-native speakers of English, and how the notion of complexity changes depending on the proficiency level of a non-native reader. To facilitate reproducibility of our approach and foster further research into these aspects, we release a dataset of complex words annotated by readers with different backgrounds.

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ActiveAnno: General-Purpose Document-Level Annotation Tool with Active Learning Integration
Max Wiechmann | Seid Muhie Yimam | Chris Biemann
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies: Demonstrations

ActiveAnno is an annotation tool focused on document-level annotation tasks developed both for industry and research settings. It is designed to be a general-purpose tool with a wide variety of use cases. It features a modern and responsive web UI for creating annotation projects, conducting annotations, adjudicating disagreements, and analyzing annotation results. ActiveAnno embeds a highly configurable and interactive user interface. The tool also integrates a RESTful API that enables integration into other software systems, including an API for machine learning integration. ActiveAnno is built with extensible design and easy deployment in mind, all to enable users to perform annotation tasks with high efficiency and high-quality annotation results.


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Exploring Amharic Sentiment Analysis from Social Media Texts: Building Annotation Tools and Classification Models
Seid Muhie Yimam | Hizkiel Mitiku Alemayehu | Abinew Ayele | Chris Biemann
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

This paper presents the study of sentiment analysis for Amharic social media texts. As the number of social media users is ever-increasing, social media platforms would like to understand the latent meaning and sentiments of a text to enhance decision-making procedures. However, low-resource languages such as Amharic have received less attention due to several reasons such as lack of well-annotated datasets, unavailability of computing resources, and fewer or no expert researchers in the area. This research addresses three main research questions. We first explore the suitability of existing tools for the sentiment analysis task. Annotation tools are scarce to support large-scale annotation tasks in Amharic. Also, the existing crowdsourcing platforms do not support Amharic text annotation. Hence, we build a social-network-friendly annotation tool called ‘ASAB’ using the Telegram bot. We collect 9.4k tweets, where each tweet is annotated by three Telegram users. Moreover, we explore the suitability of machine learning approaches for Amharic sentiment analysis. The FLAIR deep learning text classifier, based on network embeddings that are computed from a distributional thesaurus, outperforms other supervised classifiers. We further investigate the challenges in building a sentiment analysis system for Amharic and we found that the widespread usage of sarcasm and figurative speech are the main issues in dealing with the problem. To advance the sentiment analysis research in Amharic and other related low-resource languages, we release the dataset, the annotation tool, source code, and models publicly under a permissive.

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Automatic Compilation of Resources for Academic Writing and Evaluating with Informal Word Identification and Paraphrasing System
Seid Muhie Yimam | Gopalakrishnan Venkatesh | John Lee | Chris Biemann
Proceedings of the 12th Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

We present the first approach to automatically building resources for academic writing. The aim is to build a writing aid system that automatically edits a text so that it better adheres to the academic style of writing. On top of existing academic resources, such as the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA) academic Word List, the New Academic Word List, and the Academic Collocation List, we also explore how to dynamically build such resources that would be used to automatically identify informal or non-academic words or phrases. The resources are compiled using different generic approaches that can be extended for different domains and languages. We describe the evaluation of resources with a system implementation. The system consists of an informal word identification (IWI), academic candidate paraphrase generation, and paraphrase ranking components. To generate candidates and rank them in context, we have used the PPDB and WordNet paraphrase resources. We use the Concepts in Context (CoInCO) “All-Words” lexical substitution dataset both for the informal word identification and paraphrase generation experiments. Our informal word identification component achieves an F-1 score of 82%, significantly outperforming a stratified classifier baseline. The main contribution of this work is a domain-independent methodology to build targeted resources for writing aids.

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UHH-LT at SemEval-2020 Task 12: Fine-Tuning of Pre-Trained Transformer Networks for Offensive Language Detection
Gregor Wiedemann | Seid Muhie Yimam | Chris Biemann
Proceedings of the Fourteenth Workshop on Semantic Evaluation

Fine-tuning of pre-trained transformer networks such as BERT yield state-of-the-art results for text classification tasks. Typically, fine-tuning is performed on task-specific training datasets in a supervised manner. One can also fine-tune in unsupervised manner beforehand by further pre-training the masked language modeling (MLM) task. Hereby, in-domain data for unsupervised MLM resembling the actual classification target dataset allows for domain adaptation of the model. In this paper, we compare current pre-trained transformer networks with and without MLM fine-tuning on their performance for offensive language detection. Our MLM fine-tuned RoBERTa-based classifier officially ranks 1st in the SemEval 2020 Shared Task 12 for the English language. Further experiments with the ALBERT model even surpass this result.


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Par4Sim – Adaptive Paraphrasing for Text Simplification
Seid Muhie Yimam | Chris Biemann
Proceedings of the 27th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Learning from a real-world data stream and continuously updating the model without explicit supervision is a new challenge for NLP applications with machine learning components. In this work, we have developed an adaptive learning system for text simplification, which improves the underlying learning-to-rank model from usage data, i.e. how users have employed the system for the task of simplification. Our experimental result shows that, over a period of time, the performance of the embedded paraphrase ranking model increases steadily improving from a score of 62.88% up to 75.70% based on the NDCG@10 evaluation metrics. To our knowledge, this is the first study where an NLP component is adaptively improved through usage.

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A Report on the Complex Word Identification Shared Task 2018
Seid Muhie Yimam | Chris Biemann | Shervin Malmasi | Gustavo Paetzold | Lucia Specia | Sanja Štajner | Anaïs Tack | Marcos Zampieri
Proceedings of the Thirteenth Workshop on Innovative Use of NLP for Building Educational Applications

We report the findings of the second Complex Word Identification (CWI) shared task organized as part of the BEA workshop co-located with NAACL-HLT’2018. The second CWI shared task featured multilingual and multi-genre datasets divided into four tracks: English monolingual, German monolingual, Spanish monolingual, and a multilingual track with a French test set, and two tasks: binary classification and probabilistic classification. A total of 12 teams submitted their results in different task/track combinations and 11 of them wrote system description papers that are referred to in this report and appear in the BEA workshop proceedings.

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Demonstrating Par4Sem - A Semantic Writing Aid with Adaptive Paraphrasing
Seid Muhie Yimam | Chris Biemann
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing: System Demonstrations

In this paper, we present Par4Sem, a semantic writing aid tool based on adaptive paraphrasing. Unlike many annotation tools that are primarily used to collect training examples, Par4Sem is integrated into a real word application, in this case a writing aid tool, in order to collect training examples from usage data. Par4Sem is a tool, which supports an adaptive, iterative, and interactive process where the underlying machine learning models are updated for each iteration using new training examples from usage data. After motivating the use of ever-learning tools in NLP applications, we evaluate Par4Sem by adopting it to a text simplification task through mere usage.

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A Multilingual Information Extraction Pipeline for Investigative Journalism
Gregor Wiedemann | Seid Muhie Yimam | Chris Biemann
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing: System Demonstrations

We introduce an advanced information extraction pipeline to automatically process very large collections of unstructured textual data for the purpose of investigative journalism. The pipeline serves as a new input processor for the upcoming major release of our New/s/leak 2.0 software, which we develop in cooperation with a large German news organization. The use case is that journalists receive a large collection of files up to several Gigabytes containing unknown contents. Collections may originate either from official disclosures of documents, e.g. Freedom of Information Act requests, or unofficial data leaks.


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Entity-Centric Information Access with Human in the Loop for the Biomedical Domain
Seid Muhie Yimam | Steffen Remus | Alexander Panchenko | Andreas Holzinger | Chris Biemann
Proceedings of the Biomedical NLP Workshop associated with RANLP 2017

In this paper, we describe the concept of entity-centric information access for the biomedical domain. With entity recognition technologies approaching acceptable levels of accuracy, we put forward a paradigm of document browsing and searching where the entities of the domain and their relations are explicitly modeled to provide users the possibility of collecting exhaustive information on relations of interest. We describe three working prototypes along these lines: NEW/S/LEAK, which was developed for investigative journalists who need a quick overview of large leaked document collections; STORYFINDER, which is a personalized organizer for information found in web pages that allows adding entities as well as relations, and is capable of personalized information management; and adaptive annotation capabilities of WEBANNO, which is a general-purpose linguistic annotation tool. We will discuss future steps towards the adaptation of these tools to biomedical data, which is subject to a recently started project on biomedical knowledge acquisition. A key difference to other approaches is the centering around the user in a Human-in-the-Loop machine learning approach, where users define and extend categories and enable the system to improve via feedback and interaction.

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IIT-UHH at SemEval-2017 Task 3: Exploring Multiple Features for Community Question Answering and Implicit Dialogue Identification
Titas Nandi | Chris Biemann | Seid Muhie Yimam | Deepak Gupta | Sarah Kohail | Asif Ekbal | Pushpak Bhattacharyya
Proceedings of the 11th International Workshop on Semantic Evaluation (SemEval-2017)

In this paper we present the system for Answer Selection and Ranking in Community Question Answering, which we build as part of our participation in SemEval-2017 Task 3. We develop a Support Vector Machine (SVM) based system that makes use of textual, domain-specific, word-embedding and topic-modeling features. In addition, we propose a novel method for dialogue chain identification in comment threads. Our primary submission won subtask C, outperforming other systems in all the primary evaluation metrics. We performed well in other English subtasks, ranking third in subtask A and eighth in subtask B. We also developed open source toolkits for all the three English subtasks by the name cQARank [].

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Multilingual and Cross-Lingual Complex Word Identification
Seid Muhie Yimam | Sanja Štajner | Martin Riedl | Chris Biemann
Proceedings of the International Conference Recent Advances in Natural Language Processing, RANLP 2017

Complex Word Identification (CWI) is an important task in lexical simplification and text accessibility. Due to the lack of CWI datasets, previous works largely depend on Simple English Wikipedia and edit histories for obtaining ‘gold standard’ annotations, which are of doubtable quality, and limited only to English. We collect complex words/phrases (CP) for English, German and Spanish, annotated by both native and non-native speakers, and propose language independent features that can be used to train multilingual and cross-lingual CWI models. We show that the performance of cross-lingual CWI systems (using a model trained on one language and applying it on the other languages) is comparable to the performance of monolingual CWI systems.

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CWIG3G2 - Complex Word Identification Task across Three Text Genres and Two User Groups
Seid Muhie Yimam | Sanja Štajner | Martin Riedl | Chris Biemann
Proceedings of the Eighth International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 2: Short Papers)

Complex word identification (CWI) is an important task in text accessibility. However, due to the scarcity of CWI datasets, previous studies have only addressed this problem on Wikipedia sentences and have solely taken into account the needs of non-native English speakers. We collect a new CWI dataset (CWIG3G2) covering three text genres News, WikiNews, and Wikipedia) annotated by both native and non-native English speakers. Unlike previous datasets, we cover single words, as well as complex phrases, and present them for judgment in a paragraph context. We present the first study on cross-genre and cross-group CWI, showing measurable influences in native language and genre types.


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new/s/leak – Information Extraction and Visualization for Investigative Data Journalists
Seid Muhie Yimam | Heiner Ulrich | Tatiana von Landesberger | Marcel Rosenbach | Michaela Regneri | Alexander Panchenko | Franziska Lehmann | Uli Fahrer | Chris Biemann | Kathrin Ballweg
Proceedings of ACL-2016 System Demonstrations

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Learning Paraphrasing for Multiword Expressions
Seid Muhie Yimam | Héctor Martínez Alonso | Martin Riedl | Chris Biemann
Proceedings of the 12th Workshop on Multiword Expressions

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A Web-based Tool for the Integrated Annotation of Semantic and Syntactic Structures
Richard Eckart de Castilho | Éva Mújdricza-Maydt | Seid Muhie Yimam | Silvana Hartmann | Iryna Gurevych | Anette Frank | Chris Biemann
Proceedings of the Workshop on Language Technology Resources and Tools for Digital Humanities (LT4DH)

We introduce the third major release of WebAnno, a generic web-based annotation tool for distributed teams. New features in this release focus on semantic annotation tasks (e.g. semantic role labelling or event annotation) and allow the tight integration of semantic annotations with syntactic annotations. In particular, we introduce the concept of slot features, a novel constraint mechanism that allows modelling the interaction between semantic and syntactic annotations, as well as a new annotation user interface. The new features were developed and used in an annotation project for semantic roles on German texts. The paper briefly introduces this project and reports on experiences performing annotations with the new tool. On a comparative evaluation, our tool reaches significant speedups over WebAnno 2 for a semantic annotation task.


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Narrowing the Loop: Integration of Resources and Linguistic Dataset Development with Interactive Machine Learning
Seid Muhie Yimam
Proceedings of the 2015 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Student Research Workshop


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Automatic Annotation Suggestions and Custom Annotation Layers in WebAnno
Seid Muhie Yimam | Chris Biemann | Richard Eckart de Castilho | Iryna Gurevych
Proceedings of 52nd Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics: System Demonstrations


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WebAnno: A Flexible, Web-based and Visually Supported System for Distributed Annotations
Seid Muhie Yimam | Iryna Gurevych | Richard Eckart de Castilho | Chris Biemann
Proceedings of the 51st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics: System Demonstrations