Terry Ruas


2023

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The Elephant in the Room: Analyzing the Presence of Big Tech in Natural Language Processing Research
Mohamed Abdalla | Jan Philip Wahle | Terry Ruas | Aurélie Névéol | Fanny Ducel | Saif Mohammad | Karen Fort
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Recent advances in deep learning methods for natural language processing (NLP) have created new business opportunities and made NLP research critical for industry development. As one of the big players in the field of NLP, together with governments and universities, it is important to track the influence of industry on research. In this study, we seek to quantify and characterize industry presence in the NLP community over time. Using a corpus with comprehensive metadata of 78,187 NLP publications and 701 resumes of NLP publication authors, we explore the industry presence in the field since the early 90s. We find that industry presence among NLP authors has been steady before a steep increase over the past five years (180% growth from 2017 to 2022). A few companies account for most of the publications and provide funding to academic researchers through grants and internships. Our study shows that the presence and impact of the industry on natural language processing research are significant and fast-growing. This work calls for increased transparency of industry influence in the field.

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Paraphrase Types for Generation and Detection
Jan Philip Wahle | Bela Gipp | Terry Ruas
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Current approaches in paraphrase generation and detection heavily rely on a single general similarity score, ignoring the intricate linguistic properties of language. This paper introduces two new tasks to address this shortcoming by considering paraphrase types - specific linguistic perturbations at particular text positions. We name these tasks Paraphrase Type Generation and Paraphrase Type Detection. Our results suggest that while current techniques perform well in a binary classification scenario, i.e., paraphrased or not, the inclusion of fine-grained paraphrase types poses a significant challenge. While most approaches are good at generating and detecting general semantic similar content, they fail to understand the intrinsic linguistic variables they manipulate. Models trained in generating and identifying paraphrase types also show improvements in tasks without them. In addition, scaling these models further improves their ability to understand paraphrase types. We believe paraphrase types can unlock a new paradigm for developing paraphrase models and solving tasks in the future.

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We are Who We Cite: Bridges of Influence Between Natural Language Processing and Other Academic Fields
Jan Philip Wahle | Terry Ruas | Mohamed Abdalla | Bela Gipp | Saif Mohammad
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Natural Language Processing (NLP) is poised to substantially influence the world. However, significant progress comes hand-in-hand with substantial risks. Addressing them requires broad engagement with various fields of study. Yet, little empirical work examines the state of such engagement (past or current). In this paper, we quantify the degree of influence between 23 fields of study and NLP (on each other). We analyzed ~77k NLP papers, ~3.1m citations from NLP papers to other papers, and ~1.8m citations from other papers to NLP papers. We show that, unlike most fields, the cross-field engagement of NLP, measured by our proposed Citation Field Diversity Index (CFDI), has declined from 0.58 in 1980 to 0.31 in 2022 (an all-time low). In addition, we find that NLP has grown more insular—citing increasingly more NLP papers and having fewer papers that act as bridges between fields. NLP citations are dominated by computer science; Less than 8% of NLP citations are to linguistics, and less than 3% are to math and psychology. These findings underscore NLP’s urgent need to reflect on its engagement with various fields.

2022

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Analyzing Multi-Task Learning for Abstractive Text Summarization
Frederic Thomas Kirstein | Jan Philip Wahle | Terry Ruas | Bela Gipp
Proceedings of the 2nd Workshop on Natural Language Generation, Evaluation, and Metrics (GEM)

Despite the recent success of multi-task learning and pre-finetuning for natural language understanding, few works have studied the effects of task families on abstractive text summarization. Task families are a form of task grouping during the pre-finetuning stage to learn common skills, such as reading comprehension. To close this gap, we analyze the influence of multi-task learning strategies using task families for the English abstractive text summarization task. We group tasks into one of three strategies, i.e., sequential, simultaneous, and continual multi-task learning, and evaluate trained models through two downstream tasks. We find that certain combinations of task families (e.g., advanced reading comprehension and natural language inference) positively impact downstream performance. Further, we find that choice and combinations of task families influence downstream performance more than the training scheme, supporting the use of task families for abstractive text

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How Large Language Models are Transforming Machine-Paraphrase Plagiarism
Jan Philip Wahle | Terry Ruas | Frederic Kirstein | Bela Gipp
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

The recent success of large language models for text generation poses a severe threat to academic integrity, as plagiarists can generate realistic paraphrases indistinguishable from original work. However, the role of large autoregressive models in generating machine-paraphrased plagiarism and their detection is still incipient in the literature. This work explores T5 and GPT3 for machine-paraphrase generation on scientific articles from arXiv, student theses, and Wikipedia. We evaluate the detection performance of six automated solutions and one commercial plagiarism detection software and perform a human study with 105 participants regarding their detection performance and the quality of generated examples. Our results suggest that large language models can rewrite text humans have difficulty identifying as machine-paraphrased (53% mean acc.). Human experts rate the quality of paraphrases generated by GPT-3 as high as original texts (clarity 4.0/5, fluency 4.2/5, coherence 3.8/5). The best-performing detection model (GPT-3) achieves 66% F1-score in detecting paraphrases. We make our code, data, and findings publicly available to facilitate the development of detection solutions.

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D3: A Massive Dataset of Scholarly Metadata for Analyzing the State of Computer Science Research
Jan Philip Wahle | Terry Ruas | Saif Mohammad | Bela Gipp
Proceedings of the Thirteenth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

DBLP is the largest open-access repository of scientific articles on computer science and provides metadata associated with publications, authors, and venues. We retrieved more than 6 million publications from DBLP and extracted pertinent metadata (e.g., abstracts, author affiliations, citations) from the publication texts to create the DBLP Discovery Dataset (D3). D3 can be used to identify trends in research activity, productivity, focus, bias, accessibility, and impact of computer science research. We present an initial analysis focused on the volume of computer science research (e.g., number of papers, authors, research activity), trends in topics of interest, and citation patterns. Our findings show that computer science is a growing research field (15% annually), with an active and collaborative researcher community. While papers in recent years present more bibliographical entries in comparison to previous decades, the average number of citations has been declining. Investigating papers’ abstracts reveals that recent topic trends are clearly reflected in D3. Finally, we list further applications of D3 and pose supplemental research questions. The D3 dataset, our findings, and source code are publicly available for research purposes.

2021

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Neural Media Bias Detection Using Distant Supervision With BABE - Bias Annotations By Experts
Timo Spinde | Manuel Plank | Jan-David Krieger | Terry Ruas | Bela Gipp | Akiko Aizawa
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2021

Media coverage has a substantial effect on the public perception of events. Nevertheless, media outlets are often biased. One way to bias news articles is by altering the word choice. The automatic identification of bias by word choice is challenging, primarily due to the lack of a gold standard data set and high context dependencies. This paper presents BABE, a robust and diverse data set created by trained experts, for media bias research. We also analyze why expert labeling is essential within this domain. Our data set offers better annotation quality and higher inter-annotator agreement than existing work. It consists of 3,700 sentences balanced among topics and outlets, containing media bias labels on the word and sentence level. Based on our data, we also introduce a way to detect bias-inducing sentences in news articles automatically. Our best performing BERT-based model is pre-trained on a larger corpus consisting of distant labels. Fine-tuning and evaluating the model on our proposed supervised data set, we achieve a macro F1-score of 0.804, outperforming existing methods.

2020

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Aspect-based Document Similarity for Research Papers
Malte Ostendorff | Terry Ruas | Till Blume | Bela Gipp | Georg Rehm
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Traditional document similarity measures provide a coarse-grained distinction between similar and dissimilar documents. Typically, they do not consider in what aspects two documents are similar. This limits the granularity of applications like recommender systems that rely on document similarity. In this paper, we extend similarity with aspect information by performing a pairwise document classification task. We evaluate our aspect-based document similarity approach for research papers. Paper citations indicate the aspect-based similarity, i.e., the title of a section in which a citation occurs acts as a label for the pair of citing and cited paper. We apply a series of Transformer models such as RoBERTa, ELECTRA, XLNet, and BERT variations and compare them to an LSTM baseline. We perform our experiments on two newly constructed datasets of 172,073 research paper pairs from the ACL Anthology and CORD-19 corpus. According to our results, SciBERT is the best performing system with F1-scores of up to 0.83. A qualitative analysis validates our quantitative results and indicates that aspect-based document similarity indeed leads to more fine-grained recommendations.

2018

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Semantic Feature Structure Extraction From Documents Based on Extended Lexical Chains
Terry Ruas | William Grosky
Proceedings of the 9th Global Wordnet Conference

The meaning of a sentence in a document is more easily determined if its constituent words exhibit cohesion with respect to their individual semantics. This paper explores the degree of cohesion among a document’s words using lexical chains as a semantic representation of its meaning. Using a combination of diverse types of lexical chains, we develop a text document representation that can be used for semantic document retrieval. For our approach, we develop two kinds of lexical chains: (i) a multilevel flexible chain representation of the extracted semantic values, which is used to construct a fixed segmentation of these chains and constituent words in the text; and (ii) a fixed lexical chain obtained directly from the initial semantic representation from a document. The extraction and processing of concepts is performed using WordNet as a lexical database. The segmentation then uses these lexical chains to model the dispersion of concepts in the document. Representing each document as a high-dimensional vector, we use spherical k-means clustering to demonstrate that our approach performs better than previous techniques.