Recently, several studies on propaganda detection have involved document and fragment-level analyses of news articles. However, there are significant data and modeling challenges dealing with fine-grained detection of propaganda on social media. In this work, we present TWEETSPIN, a dataset containing tweets that are weakly annotated with different fine-grained propaganda techniques, and propose a neural approach to detect and categorize propaganda tweets across those fine-grained categories. These categories include specific rhetorical and psychological techniques, ranging from leveraging emotions to using logical fallacies. Our model relies on multi-view representations of the input tweet data to (a) extract different aspects of the input text including the context, entities, their relationships, and external knowledge; (b) model their mutual interplay; and (c) effectively speed up the learning process by requiring fewer training examples. Our method allows for representation enrichment leading to better detection and categorization of propaganda on social media. We verify the effectiveness of our proposed method on TWEETSPIN and further probe how the implicit relations between the views impact the performance. Our experiments show that our model is able to outperform several benchmark methods and transfer the knowledge to relatively low-resource news domains.
Few-shot language learners adapt knowledge from a pre-trained model to recognize novel classes from a few-labeled sentences. In such settings, fine-tuning a pre-trained language model can cause severe over-fitting. In this paper, we propose an Embedding Hallucination (EmbedHalluc) method, which generates auxiliary embedding-label pairs to expand the fine-tuning dataset. The hallucinator is trained by playing an adversarial game with the discriminator, such that the hallucinated embedding is indiscriminative to the real ones in the fine-tuning dataset. By training with the extended dataset, the language learner effectively learns from the diverse hallucinated embeddings to overcome the over-fitting issue. Experiments demonstrate that our proposed method is effective in a wide range of language tasks, outperforming current fine-tuning methods. Further, we show that EmbedHalluc outperforms other methods that address this over-fitting problem, such as common data augmentation, semi-supervised pseudo-labeling, and regularization.
The impressive performance of GPT-3 using natural language prompts and in-context learning has inspired work on better fine-tuning of moderately-sized models under this paradigm. Following this line of work, we present a contrastive learning framework that clusters inputs from the same class for better generality of models trained with only limited examples. Specifically, we propose a supervised contrastive framework that clusters inputs from the same class under different augmented “views” and repel the ones from different classes. We create different “views” of an example by appending it with different language prompts and contextual demonstrations. Combining a contrastive loss with the standard masked language modeling (MLM) loss in prompt-based few-shot learners, the experimental results show that our method can improve over the state-of-the-art methods in a diverse set of 15 language tasks. Our framework makes minimal assumptions on the task or the base model, and can be applied to many recent methods with little modification.
While cultural backgrounds have been shown to affect linguistic expressions, existing natural language processing (NLP) research on culture modeling is overly coarse-grained and does not examine cultural differences among speakers of the same language. To address this problem and augment NLP models with cultural background features, we collect, annotate, manually validate, and benchmark EnCBP, a finer-grained news-based cultural background prediction dataset in English. Through language modeling (LM) evaluations and manual analyses, we confirm that there are noticeable differences in linguistic expressions among five English-speaking countries and across four states in the US. Additionally, our evaluations on nine syntactic (CoNLL-2003), semantic (PAWS-Wiki, QNLI, STS-B, and RTE), and psycholinguistic tasks (SST-5, SST-2, Emotion, and Go-Emotions) show that, while introducing cultural background information does not benefit the Go-Emotions task due to text domain conflicts, it noticeably improves deep learning (DL) model performance on other tasks. Our findings strongly support the importance of cultural background modeling to a wide variety of NLP tasks and demonstrate the applicability of EnCBP in culture-related research.
Although current large-scale generative language models (LMs) can show impressive insights about factual knowledge, they do not exhibit similar success with respect to human values judgements (e.g., whether or not the generations of an LM are moral). Existing methods learn human values either by directly mimicking the behavior of human data, or rigidly constraining the generation space to human-chosen tokens. These methods are inherently limited in that they do not consider the contextual and abstract nature of human values and as a result often fail when dealing with out-of-domain context or sophisticated and abstract human values.This paper proposes SENSEI, a new reinforcement learning based method that can embed human values judgements into each step of language generation. SENSEI deploys an Actor-Critic framework, where the Critic is a reward distributor that simulates the reward assignment procedure of humans, while the Actor guides the generation towards the maximum reward direction. Compared with five existing methods in three human values alignment datasets, SENSEI not only achieves higher alignment performance in terms of both automatic and human evaluations, but also shows improvements on robustness and transfer learning on unseen human values.
Differential framing of issues can lead to divergent world views on important issues. This is especially true in domains where the information presented can reach a large audience, such as traditional and social media. Scalable and reliable measurement of such differential framing is an important first step in addressing them. In this work, based on the intuition that framing affects the tone and word choices in written language, we propose a framework for modeling the differential framing of issues through masked token prediction via large-scale fine-tuned language models (LMs). Specifically, we explore three key factors for our framework: 1) prompt generation methods for the masked token prediction; 2) methods for normalizing the output of fine-tuned LMs; 3) robustness to the choice of pre-trained LMs used for fine-tuning. Through experiments on a dataset of articles from traditional media outlets covering five diverse and politically polarized topics, we show that our framework can capture differential framing of these topics with high reliability.
This paper introduces the result of Team Dartmouth’s experiments on each of the five subtasks for the detection of sarcasm in English and Arabic tweets. This detection was framed as a classification problem, and our contributions are threefold: we developed an English binary classifier system with RoBERTa, an Arabic binary classifier with XLM-RoBERTa, and an English multilabel classifier with BERT. Preprocessing steps are taken with labeled input data prior to tokenization, such as extracting and appending verbs/adjectives or representative/significant keywords to the end of an input tweet to help the models better understand and generalize sarcasm detection. We also discuss the results of simple data augmentation techniques to improve the quality of the given training dataset as well as an alternative approach to the question of multilabel sequence classification. Ultimately, our systems place us in the top 14 participants for each of the five subtasks.
This paper presents our approach for tackling SemEval-2022 Task 8: Multilingual News Article Similarity. Our experiments show that even by using multi-lingual pre-trained language models (LMs), translating the text into the same language yields the best evaluation performance. We also find that stylometric features of the text and meta-information of the news articles can be predicted based on the text with low error rates, and these predictions could be used to improve the predictions of the overall similarity scores. These findings suggest substantial correlations between authorship information and topical similarity estimation, which sheds light on future stylometric and topic modeling research.
Metaphors are ubiquitous in human language. The metaphor detection task (MD) aims at detecting and interpreting metaphors from written language, which is crucial in natural language understanding (NLU) research. In this paper, we introduce a pre-trained Transformer-based model into MD. Our model outperforms the previous state-of-the-art models by large margins in our evaluations, with relative improvements on the F-1 score from 5.33% to 28.39%. Second, we extend MD to a classification task about the metaphoricity of an entire piece of text to make MD applicable in more general NLU scenes. Finally, we clean up the improper or outdated annotations in one of the MD benchmark datasets and re-benchmark it with our Transformer-based model. This approach could be applied to other existing MD datasets as well, since the metaphoricity annotations in these benchmark datasets may be outdated. Future research efforts are also necessary to build an up-to-date and well-annotated dataset consisting of longer and more complex texts.
A key problem in multi-task learning (MTL) research is how to select high-quality auxiliary tasks automatically. This paper presents GradTS, an automatic auxiliary task selection method based on gradient calculation in Transformer-based models. Compared to AUTOSEM, a strong baseline method, GradTS improves the performance of MT-DNN with a bert-base-cased backend model, from 0.33% to 17.93% on 8 natural language understanding (NLU) tasks in the GLUE benchmarks. GradTS is also time-saving since (1) its gradient calculations are based on single-task experiments and (2) the gradients are re-used without additional experiments when the candidate task set changes. On the 8 GLUE classification tasks, for example, GradTS costs on average 21.32% less time than AUTOSEM with comparable GPU consumption. Further, we show the robustness of GradTS across various task settings and model selections, e.g. mixed objectives among candidate tasks. The efficiency and efficacy of GradTS in these case studies illustrate its general applicability in MTL research without requiring manual task filtering or costly parameter tuning.
Traditional data augmentation aims to increase the coverage of the input distribution by generating augmented examples that strongly resemble original samples in an online fashion where augmented examples dominate training. In this paper, we propose an alternative perspective—a multi-task view (MTV) of data augmentation—in which the primary task trains on original examples and the auxiliary task trains on augmented examples. In MTV data augmentation, both original and augmented samples are weighted substantively during training, relaxing the constraint that augmented examples must resemble original data and thereby allowing us to apply stronger augmentation functions. In empirical experiments using four common data augmentation techniques on three benchmark text classification datasets, we find that using the MTV leads to higher and more robust performance than traditional augmentation.
This paper studies the relative importance of attention heads in Transformer-based models to aid their interpretability in cross-lingual and multi-lingual tasks. Prior research has found that only a few attention heads are important in each mono-lingual Natural Language Processing (NLP) task and pruning the remaining heads leads to comparable or improved performance of the model. However, the impact of pruning attention heads is not yet clear in cross-lingual and multi-lingual tasks. Through extensive experiments, we show that (1) pruning a number of attention heads in a multi-lingual Transformer-based model has, in general, positive effects on its performance in cross-lingual and multi-lingual tasks and (2) the attention heads to be pruned can be ranked using gradients and identified with a few trial experiments. Our experiments focus on sequence labeling tasks, with potential applicability on other cross-lingual and multi-lingual tasks. For comprehensiveness, we examine two pre-trained multi-lingual models, namely multi-lingual BERT (mBERT) and XLM-R, on three tasks across 9 languages each. We also discuss the validity of our findings and their extensibility to truly resource-scarce languages and other task settings.
Although automated metrics are commonly used to evaluate NLG systems, they often correlate poorly with human judgements. Newer metrics such as BERTScore have addressed many weaknesses in prior metrics such as BLEU and ROUGE, which rely on n-gram matching. These newer methods, however, are still limited in that they do not consider the generation context, so they cannot properly reward generated text that is correct but deviates from the given reference. In this paper, we propose Language Model Augmented Relevance Score (MARS), a new context-aware metric for NLG evaluation. MARS leverages off-the-shelf language models, guided by reinforcement learning, to create augmented references that consider both the generation context and available human references, which are then used as additional references to score generated text. Compared with seven existing metrics in three common NLG tasks, MARS not only achieves higher correlation with human reference judgements, but also differentiates well-formed candidates from adversarial samples to a larger degree.
The complexity loss paradox, which posits that individuals suffering from disease exhibit surprisingly predictable behavioral dynamics, has been observed in a variety of both human and animal physiological systems. The recent advent of online text-based therapy presents a new opportunity to analyze the complexity loss paradox in a novel operationalization: linguistic complexity loss in text-based therapy conversations. In this paper, we analyze linguistic complexity correlates of mental health in the online therapy messages sent between therapists and 7,170 clients who provided 30,437 corresponding survey responses on their anxiety. We found that when clients reported more anxiety, they showed reduced lexical diversity as estimated by the moving average type-token ratio. Therapists, on the other hand, used language of higher reading difficulty, syntactic complexity, and age of acquisition when clients were more anxious. Finally, we found that clients, and to an even greater extent, therapists, exhibited consistent levels of many linguistic complexity measures. These results demonstrate how linguistic analysis of text-based communication can be leveraged as a marker for anxiety, an exciting prospect in a time of both increased online communication and increased mental health issues.
Few-shot text classification is a fundamental NLP task in which a model aims to classify text into a large number of categories, given only a few training examples per category. This paper explores data augmentation—a technique particularly suitable for training with limited data—for this few-shot, highly-multiclass text classification setting. On four diverse text classification tasks, we find that common data augmentation techniques can improve the performance of triplet networks by up to 3.0% on average. To further boost performance, we present a simple training strategy called curriculum data augmentation, which leverages curriculum learning by first training on only original examples and then introducing augmented data as training progresses. We explore a two-stage and a gradual schedule, and find that, compared with standard single-stage training, curriculum data augmentation trains faster, improves performance, and remains robust to high amounts of noising from augmentation.
This paper describes a system submitted by team BigGreen to LCP 2021 for predicting the lexical complexity of English words in a given context. We assemble a feature engineering-based model with a deep neural network model founded on BERT. While BERT itself performs competitively, our feature engineering-based model helps in extreme cases, eg. separating instances of easy and neutral difficulty. Our handcrafted features comprise a breadth of lexical, semantic, syntactic, and novel phonological measures. Visualizations of BERT attention maps offer insight into potential features that Transformers models may learn when fine-tuned for lexical complexity prediction. Our ensembled predictions score reasonably well for the single word subtask, and we demonstrate how they can be harnessed to perform well on the multi word expression subtask too.
This paper describes our approach to the Toxic Spans Detection problem (SemEval-2021 Task 5). We propose BERToxic, a system that fine-tunes a pre-trained BERT model to locate toxic text spans in a given text and utilizes additional post-processing steps to refine the boundaries. The post-processing steps involve (1) labeling character offsets between consecutive toxic tokens as toxic and (2) assigning a toxic label to words that have at least one token labeled as toxic. Through experiments, we show that these two post-processing steps improve the performance of our model by 4.16% on the test set. We also studied the effects of data augmentation and ensemble modeling strategies on our system. Our system significantly outperformed the provided baseline and achieved an F1-score of 0.683, placing Lone Pine in the 17th place out of 91 teams in the competition. Our code is made available at https://github.com/Yakoob-Khan/Toxic-Spans-Detection
We present COVID-Q, a set of 1,690 questions about COVID-19 from 13 sources, which we annotate into 15 question categories and 207 question clusters. The most common questions in our dataset asked about transmission, prevention, and societal effects of COVID, and we found that many questions that appeared in multiple sources were not answered by any FAQ websites of reputable organizations such as the CDC and FDA. We post our dataset publicly at https://github.com/JerryWei03/COVID-Q. For classifying questions into 15 categories, a BERT baseline scored 58.1% accuracy when trained on 20 examples per category, and for a question clustering task, a BERT + triplet loss baseline achieved 49.5% accuracy. We hope COVID-Q can help either for direct use in developing applied systems or as a domain-specific resource for model evaluation.
The field of NLP has seen unprecedented achievements in recent years. Most notably, with the advent of large-scale pre-trained Transformer-based language models, such as BERT, there has been a noticeable improvement in text representation. It is, however, unclear whether these improvements translate to noisy user-generated text, such as tweets. In this paper, we present an experimental survey of a wide range of well-known text representation techniques for the task of text clustering on noisy Twitter data. Our results indicate that the more advanced models do not necessarily work best on tweets and that more exploration in this area is needed.
Relation and event extraction is an important task in natural language processing. We introduce a system which uses contextualized knowledge graph completion to classify relations and events between known entities in a noisy text environment. We report results which show that our system is able to effectively extract relations and events from a dataset of wet lab protocols.
We describe the systems developed for the WNUT-2020 shared task 2, identification of informative COVID-19 English Tweets. BERT is a highly performant model for Natural Language Processing tasks. We increased BERT’s performance in this classification task by fine-tuning BERT and concatenating its embeddings with Tweet-specific features and training a Support Vector Machine (SVM) for classification (henceforth called BERT+). We compared its performance to a suite of machine learning models. We used a Twitter specific data cleaning pipeline and word-level TF-IDF to extract features for the non-BERT models. BERT+ was the top performing model with an F1-score of 0.8713.
Emojis are able to express various linguistic components, including emotions, sentiments, events, etc. Predicting the proper emojis associated with text provides a way to summarize the text accurately, and it has been proven to be a good auxiliary task to many Natural Language Understanding (NLU) tasks. Labels in existing emoji prediction datasets are all passage-based and are usually under the multi-class classification setting. However, in many cases, one single emoji cannot fully cover the theme of a piece of text. It is thus useful to infer the part of text related to each emoji. The lack of multi-label and aspect-level emoji prediction datasets is one of the bottlenecks for this task. This paper annotates an emoji prediction dataset with passage-level multi-class/multi-label, and aspect-level multi-class annotations. We also present a novel annotation method with which we generate the aspect-level annotations. The annotations are generated heuristically, taking advantage of the self-attention mechanism in Transformer networks. We validate the annotations both automatically and manually to ensure their quality. We also benchmark the dataset with a pre-trained BERT model.
Data augmentation is proven to be effective in many NLU tasks, especially for those suffering from data scarcity. In this paper, we present a powerful and easy to deploy text augmentation framework, Data Boost, which augments data through reinforcement learning guided conditional generation. We evaluate Data Boost on three diverse text classification tasks under five different classifier architectures. The result shows that Data Boost can boost the performance of classifiers especially in low-resource data scenarios. For instance, Data Boost improves F1 for the three tasks by 8.7% on average when given only 10% of the whole data for training. We also compare Data Boost with six prior text augmentation methods. Through human evaluations (N=178), we confirm that Data Boost augmentation has comparable quality as the original data with respect to readability and class consistency.
Twitter should be an ideal place to get a fresh read on how different issues are playing with the public, one that’s potentially more reflective of democracy in this new media age than traditional polls. Pollsters typically ask people a fixed set of questions, while in social media people use their own voices to speak about whatever is on their minds. However, the demographic distribution of users on Twitter is not representative of the general population. In this paper, we present a demographic classifier for gender, age, political orientation and location on Twitter. We collected and curated a robust Twitter demographic dataset for this task. Our classifier uses a deep multi-modal multi-task learning architecture to reach a state-of-the-art performance, achieving an F1-score of 0.89, 0.82, 0.86, and 0.68 for gender, age, political orientation, and location respectively.