Swanie Juhng


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Transfer and Active Learning for Dissonance Detection: Addressing the Rare-Class Challenge
Vasudha Varadarajan | Swanie Juhng | Syeda Mahwish | Xiaoran Liu | Jonah Luby | Christian Luhmann | H. Andrew Schwartz
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

While transformer-based systems have enabled greater accuracies with fewer training examples, data acquisition obstacles still persist for rare-class tasks – when the class label is very infrequent (e.g. < 5% of samples). Active learning has in general been proposed to alleviate such challenges, but choice of selection strategy, the criteria by which rare-class examples are chosen, has not been systematically evaluated. Further, transformers enable iterative transfer-learning approaches. We propose and investigate transfer- and active learning solutions to the rare class problem of dissonance detection through utilizing models trained on closely related tasks and the evaluation of acquisition strategies, including a proposed probability-of-rare-class (PRC) approach. We perform these experiments for a specific rare-class problem: collecting language samples of cognitive dissonance from social media. We find that PRC is a simple and effective strategy to guide annotations and ultimately improve model accuracy while transfer-learning in a specific order can improve the cold-start performance of the learner but does not benefit iterations of active learning.

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Discourse-Level Representations can Improve Prediction of Degree of Anxiety
Swanie Juhng | Matthew Matero | Vasudha Varadarajan | Johannes Eichstaedt | Adithya V Ganesan | H. Andrew Schwartz
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 2: Short Papers)

Anxiety disorders are the most common of mental illnesses, but relatively little is known about how to detect them from language. The primary clinical manifestation of anxiety is worry associated cognitive distortions, which are likely expressed at the discourse-level of semantics. Here, we investigate the development of a modern linguistic assessment for degree of anxiety, specifically evaluating the utility of discourse-level information in addition to lexical-level large language model embeddings. We find that a combined lexico-discourse model outperforms models based solely on state-of-the-art contextual embeddings (RoBERTa), with discourse-level representations derived from Sentence-BERT and DiscRE both providing additional predictive power not captured by lexical-level representations. Interpreting the model, we find that discourse patterns of causal explanations, among others, were used significantly more by those scoring high in anxiety, dovetailing with psychological literature.