Sneha Mehta


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Improving Zero-Shot Event Extraction via Sentence Simplification
Sneha Mehta | Huzefa Rangwala | Naren Ramakrishnan
Proceedings of the 5th Workshop on Challenges and Applications of Automated Extraction of Socio-political Events from Text (CASE)

The success of sites such as ACLED and Our World in Data have demonstrated the massive utility of extracting events in structured formats from large volumes of textual data in the formof news, social media, blogs and discussion forums. Event extraction can provide a window into ongoing geopolitical crises and yield actionable intelligence. In this work, we cast socio-political event extraction as a machine reading comprehension (MRC) task. % With the proliferation of large pretrained language models Machine Reading Comprehension (MRC) has emerged as a new paradigm for event extraction in recent times. In this approach, extraction of social-political actors and targets from a sentence is framed as an extractive question-answering problem conditioned on an event type. There are several advantages of using MRC for this task including the ability to leverage large pretrained multilingual language models and their ability to perform zero-shot extraction. Moreover, we find that the problem of long-range dependencies, i.e., large lexical distance between trigger and argument words and the difficulty of processing syntactically complex sentences plague MRC-based approaches. To address this, we present a general approach to improve the performance of MRC-based event extraction by performing unsupervised sentence simplification guided by the MRC model itself. We evaluate our approach on the ICEWS geopolitical event extraction dataset, with specific attention to ‘Actor’ and ‘Target’ argument roles. We show how such context simplification can improve the performance of MRC-based event extraction by more than 5% for actor extraction and more than 10% for target extraction.

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Towards Improved Distantly Supervised Multilingual Named-Entity Recognition for Tweets
Ramy Eskander | Shubhanshu Mishra | Sneha Mehta | Sofia Samaniego | Aria Haghighi
Proceedings of the 2nd Workshop on Multi-lingual Representation Learning (MRL)

Recent low-resource named-entity recognition (NER) work has shown impressive gains by leveraging a single multilingual model trained using distantly supervised data derived from cross-lingual knowledge bases. In this work, we investigate such approaches by leveraging Wikidata to build large-scale NER datasets of Tweets and propose two orthogonal improvements for low-resource NER in the Twitter social media domain: (1) leveraging domain-specific pre-training on Tweets; and (2) building a model for each language family rather than an all-in-one single multilingual model. For (1), we show that mBERT with Tweet pre-training outperforms the state-of-the-art multilingual transformer-based language model, LaBSE, by a relative increase of 34.6% in F1 when evaluated on Twitter data in a language-agnostic multilingual setting. For (2), we show that learning NER models for language families outperforms a single multilingual model by relative increases of 14.1%, 15.8% and 45.3% in F1 when utilizing mBERT, mBERT with Tweet pre-training and LaBSE, respectively. We conduct analyses and present examples for these observed improvements.

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NTULM: Enriching Social Media Text Representations with Non-Textual Units
Jinning Li | Shubhanshu Mishra | Ahmed El-Kishky | Sneha Mehta | Vivek Kulkarni
Proceedings of the Eighth Workshop on Noisy User-generated Text (W-NUT 2022)

On social media, additional context is often present in the form of annotations and meta-data such as the post’s author, mentions, Hashtags, and hyperlinks. We refer to these annotations as Non-Textual Units (NTUs). We posit that NTUs provide social context beyond their textual semantics and leveraging these units can enrich social media text representations. In this work we construct an NTU-centric social heterogeneous network to co-embed NTUs. We then principally integrate these NTU embeddings into a large pretrained language model by fine-tuning with these additional units. This adds context to noisy short-text social media. Experiments show that utilizing NTU-augmented text representations significantly outperforms existing text-only baselines by 2-5% relative points on many downstream tasks highlighting the importance of context to social media NLP. We also highlight that including NTU context into the initial layers of language model alongside text is better than using it after the text embedding is generated. Our work leads to the generation of holistic general purpose social media content embedding.