Large pre-trained language models (LMs) have demonstrated the ability to obtain good performance on downstream tasks with limited examples in cross-lingual settings. However, this was mostly studied for relatively resource-rich languages, where at least enough unlabeled data is available to be included in pre-training a multilingual language model. In this paper, we explore the problem of cross-lingual transfer in unseen languages, where no unlabeled data is available for pre-training a model. We use a downstream sentiment analysis task across 12 languages, including 8 unseen languages, to analyze the effectiveness of several few-shot learning strategies across the three major types of model architectures and their learning dynamics. We also compare strategies for selecting languages for transfer and contrast findings across languages seen in pre-training compared to those that are not. Our findings contribute to the body of knowledge on cross-lingual models for low-resource settings that is paramount to increasing coverage, diversity, and equity in access to NLP technology. We show that, in few-shot learning, linguistically similar and geographically similar languages are useful for cross-lingual adaptation, but taking the context from a mixture of random source languages is surprisingly more effective. We also compare different model architectures and show that the encoder-only model, XLM-R, gives the best downstream task performance.
In this work, we take the named entity recognition task in the English language as a case study and explore style transfer as a data augmentation method to increase the size and diversity of training data in low-resource scenarios. We propose a new method to effectively transform the text from a high-resource domain to a low-resource domain by changing its style-related attributes to generate synthetic data for training. Moreover, we design a constrained decoding algorithm along with a set of key ingredients for data selection to guarantee the generation of valid and coherent data. Experiments and analysis on five different domain pairs under different data regimes demonstrate that our approach can significantly improve results compared to current state-of-the-art data augmentation methods. Our approach is a practical solution to data scarcity, and we expect it to be applicable to other NLP tasks.
Multimodal named entity recognition (MNER) requires to bridge the gap between language understanding and visual context. While many multimodal neural techniques have been proposed to incorporate images into the MNER task, the model’s ability to leverage multimodal interactions remains poorly understood. In this work, we conduct in-depth analyses of existing multimodal fusion techniques from different perspectives and describe the scenarios where adding information from the image does not always boost performance. We also study the use of captions as a way to enrich the context for MNER. Experiments on three datasets from popular social platforms expose the bottleneck of existing multimodal models and the situations where using captions is beneficial.
Performance of neural models for named entity recognition degrades over time, becoming stale. This degradation is due to temporal drift, the change in our target variables’ statistical properties over time. This issue is especially problematic for social media data, where topics change rapidly. In order to mitigate the problem, data annotation and retraining of models is common. Despite its usefulness, this process is expensive and time-consuming, which motivates new research on efficient model updating. In this paper, we propose an intuitive approach to measure the potential trendiness of tweets and use this metric to select the most informative instances to use for training. We conduct experiments on three state-of-the-art models on the Temporal Twitter Dataset. Our approach shows larger increases in prediction accuracy with less training data than the alternatives, making it an attractive, practical solution.
Current work in named entity recognition (NER) shows that data augmentation techniques can produce more robust models. However, most existing techniques focus on augmenting in-domain data in low-resource scenarios where annotated data is quite limited. In this work, we take this research direction to the opposite and study cross-domain data augmentation for the NER task. We investigate the possibility of leveraging data from high-resource domains by projecting it into the low-resource domains. Specifically, we propose a novel neural architecture to transform the data representation from a high-resource to a low-resource domain by learning the patterns (e.g. style, noise, abbreviations, etc.) in the text that differentiate them and a shared feature space where both domains are aligned. We experiment with diverse datasets and show that transforming the data to the low-resource domain representation achieves significant improvements over only using data from high-resource domains.
Byte-pair encoding (BPE) is a ubiquitous algorithm in the subword tokenization process of language models as it provides multiple benefits. However, this process is solely based on pre-training data statistics, making it hard for the tokenizer to handle infrequent spellings. On the other hand, though robust to misspellings, pure character-level models often lead to unreasonably long sequences and make it harder for the model to learn meaningful words. To alleviate these challenges, we propose a character-based subword module (char2subword) that learns the subword embedding table in pre-trained models like BERT. Our char2subword module builds representations from characters out of the subword vocabulary, and it can be used as a drop-in replacement of the subword embedding table. The module is robust to character-level alterations such as misspellings, word inflection, casing, and punctuation. We integrate it further with BERT through pre-training while keeping BERT transformer parameters fixed–and thus, providing a practical method. Finally, we show that incorporating our module to mBERT significantly improves the performance on the social media linguistic code-switching evaluation (LinCE) benchmark.
In this paper, we introduce the task of predicting severity of age-restricted aspects of movie content based solely on the dialogue script. We first investigate categorizing the ordinal severity of movies on 5 aspects: Sex, Violence, Profanity, Substance consumption, and Frightening scenes. The problem is handled using a siamese network-based multitask framework which concurrently improves the interpretability of the predictions. The experimental results show that our method outperforms the previous state-of-the-art model and provides useful information to interpret model predictions. The proposed dataset and source code are publicly available at our GitHub repository.
Code-switching is an omnipresent phenomenon in multilingual communities all around the world but remains a challenge for NLP systems due to the lack of proper data and processing techniques. Hindi-English code-switched text on social media is often transliterated to the Roman script which prevents from utilizing monolingual resources available in the native Devanagari script. In this paper, we propose a method to normalize and back-transliterate code-switched Hindi-English text. In addition, we present a grapheme-to-phoneme (G2P) conversion technique for romanized Hindi data. We also release a dataset of script-corrected Hindi-English code-switched sentences labeled for the named entity recognition and part-of-speech tagging tasks to facilitate further research.
In this work, we explore different approaches to combine modalities for the problem of automated age-suitability rating of movie trailers. First, we introduce a new dataset containing videos of movie trailers in English downloaded from IMDB and YouTube, along with their corresponding age-suitability rating labels. Secondly, we propose a multi-modal deep learning pipeline addressing the movie trailer age suitability rating problem. This is the first attempt to combine video, audio, and speech information for this problem, and our experimental results show that multi-modal approaches significantly outperform the best mono and bimodal models in this task.
In this paper, we present the results of the SemEval-2020 Task 9 on Sentiment Analysis of Code-Mixed Tweets (SentiMix 2020). We also release and describe our Hinglish (Hindi-English)and Spanglish (Spanish-English) corpora annotated with word-level language identification and sentence-level sentiment labels. These corpora are comprised of 20K and 19K examples, respectively. The sentiment labels are - Positive, Negative, and Neutral. SentiMix attracted 89 submissions in total including 61 teams that participated in the Hinglish contest and 28 submitted systems to the Spanglish competition. The best performance achieved was 75.0% F1 score for Hinglish and 80.6% F1 for Spanglish. We observe that BERT-like models and ensemble methods are the most common and successful approaches among the participants.
In this paper, we present the main findings and compare the results of SemEval-2020 Task 10, Emphasis Selection for Written Text in Visual Media. The goal of this shared task is to design automatic methods for emphasis selection, i.e. choosing candidates for emphasis in textual content to enable automated design assistance in authoring. The main focus is on short text instances for social media, with a variety of examples, from social media posts to inspirational quotes. Participants were asked to model emphasis using plain text with no additional context from the user or other design considerations. SemEval-2020 Emphasis Selection shared task attracted 197 participants in the early phase and a total of 31 teams made submissions to this task. The highest-ranked submission achieved 0.823 Matchm score. The analysis of systems submitted to the task indicates that BERT and RoBERTa were the most common choice of pre-trained models used, and part of speech tag (POS) was the most useful feature. Full results can be found on the task’s website.
In recent years, abusive behavior has become a serious issue in online social networks. In this paper, we present a new corpus for the task of abusive language detection that is collected from a semi-anonymous online platform, and unlike the majority of other available resources, is not created based on a specific list of bad words. We also develop computational models to incorporate emotions into textual cues to improve aggression identification. We evaluate our proposed methods on a set of corpora related to the task and show promising results with respect to abusive language detection.
In recent times, the focus of the NLP community has increased towards offensive language, aggression, and hate-speech detection.This paper presents our system for TRAC-2 shared task on “Aggression Identification” (sub-task A) and “Misogynistic Aggression Identification” (sub-task B). The data for this shared task is provided in three different languages - English, Hindi, and Bengali. Each data instance is annotated into one of the three aggression classes - Not Aggressive, Covertly Aggressive, Overtly Aggressive, as well as one of the two misogyny classes - Gendered and Non-Gendered. We propose an end-to-end neural model using attention on top of BERT that incorporates a multi-task learning paradigm to address both the sub-tasks simultaneously. Our team, “na14”, scored 0.8579 weighted F1-measure on the English sub-task B and secured 3rd rank out of 15 teams for the task. The code and the model weights are publicly available at https://github.com/NiloofarSafi/TRAC-2. Keywords: Aggression, Misogyny, Abusive Language, Hate-Speech Detection, BERT, NLP, Neural Networks, Social Media
Nowadays, the amount of users’ activities on online social media is growing dramatically. These online environments provide excellent opportunities for communication and knowledge sharing. However, some people misuse them to harass and bully others online, a phenomenon called cyberbullying. Due to its harmful effects on people, especially youth, it is imperative to detect cyberbullying as early as possible before it causes irreparable damages to victims. Most of the relevant available resources are not explicitly designed to detect cyberbullying, but related content, such as hate speech and abusive language. In this paper, we propose a new approach to create a corpus suited for cyberbullying detection. We also investigate the possibility of designing a framework to monitor the streams of users’ online messages and detects the signs of cyberbullying as early as possible.
Linguistic Code-switching (CS) is still an understudied phenomenon in natural language processing. The NLP community has mostly focused on monolingual and multi-lingual scenarios, but little attention has been given to CS in particular. This is partly because of the lack of resources and annotated data, despite its increasing occurrence in social media platforms. In this paper, we aim at adapting monolingual models to code-switched text in various tasks. Specifically, we transfer English knowledge from a pre-trained ELMo model to different code-switched language pairs (i.e., Nepali-English, Spanish-English, and Hindi-English) using the task of language identification. Our method, CS-ELMo, is an extension of ELMo with a simple yet effective position-aware attention mechanism inside its character convolutions. We show the effectiveness of this transfer learning step by outperforming multilingual BERT and homologous CS-unaware ELMo models and establishing a new state of the art in CS tasks, such as NER and POS tagging. Our technique can be expanded to more English-paired code-switched languages, providing more resources to the CS community.
In this paper, we aim to learn associations between visual attributes of fonts and the verbal context of the texts they are typically applied to. Compared to related work leveraging the surrounding visual context, we choose to focus only on the input text, which can enable new applications for which the text is the only visual element in the document. We introduce a new dataset, containing examples of different topics in social media posts and ads, labeled through crowd-sourcing. Due to the subjective nature of the task, multiple fonts might be perceived as acceptable for an input text, which makes this problem challenging. To this end, we investigate different end-to-end models to learn label distributions on crowd-sourced data, to capture inter-subjectivity across all annotations.
Movies help us learn and inspire societal change. But they can also contain objectionable content that negatively affects viewers’ behaviour, especially children. In this paper, our goal is to predict the suitability of movie content for children and young adults based on scripts. The criterion that we use to measure suitability is the MPAA rating that is specifically designed for this purpose. We create a corpus for movie MPAA ratings and propose an RNN based architecture with attention that jointly models the genre and the emotions in the script to predict the MPAA rating. We achieve 81% weighted F1-score for the classification model that outperforms the traditional machine learning method by 7%.
Recent trends in NLP research have raised an interest in linguistic code-switching (CS); modern approaches have been proposed to solve a wide range of NLP tasks on multiple language pairs. Unfortunately, these proposed methods are hardly generalizable to different code-switched languages. In addition, it is unclear whether a model architecture is applicable for a different task while still being compatible with the code-switching setting. This is mainly because of the lack of a centralized benchmark and the sparse corpora that researchers employ based on their specific needs and interests. To facilitate research in this direction, we propose a centralized benchmark for Linguistic Code-switching Evaluation (LinCE) that combines eleven corpora covering four different code-switched language pairs (i.e., Spanish-English, Nepali-English, Hindi-English, and Modern Standard Arabic-Egyptian Arabic) and four tasks (i.e., language identification, named entity recognition, part-of-speech tagging, and sentiment analysis). As part of the benchmark centralization effort, we provide an online platform where researchers can submit their results while comparing with others in real-time. In addition, we provide the scores of different popular models, including LSTM, ELMo, and multilingual BERT so that the NLP community can compare against state-of-the-art systems. LinCE is a continuous effort, and we will expand it with more low-resource languages and tasks.
This paper considers the problem of characterizing stories by inferring properties such as theme and style using written synopses and reviews of movies. We experiment with a multi-label dataset of movie synopses and a tagset representing various attributes of stories (e.g., genre, type of events). Our proposed multi-view model encodes the synopses and reviews using hierarchical attention and shows improvement over methods that only use synopses. Finally, we demonstrate how we can take advantage of such a model to extract a complementary set of story-attributes from reviews without direct supervision. We have made our dataset and source code publicly available at https://ritual.uh.edu/multiview-tag-2020.
An author’s way of presenting a story through his/her writing style has a great impact on whether the story will be liked by readers or not. In this paper, we learn representations for authors of literary texts together with representations for character n-grams annotated with their functional roles. We train a neural character n-gram based language model using an external corpus of literary texts and transfer learned representations for use in downstream tasks. We show that augmenting the knowledge from external works of authors produces results competitive with other style-based methods for book likability prediction, genre classification, and authorship attribution.
In visual communication, text emphasis is used to increase the comprehension of written text to convey the author’s intent. We study the problem of emphasis selection, i.e. choosing candidates for emphasis in short written text, to enable automated design assistance in authoring. Without knowing the author’s intent and only considering the input text, multiple emphasis selections are valid. We propose a model that employs end-to-end label distribution learning (LDL) on crowd-sourced data and predicts a selection distribution, capturing the inter-subjectivity (common-sense) in the audience as well as the ambiguity of the input. We compare the model with several baselines in which the problem is transformed to single-label learning by mapping label distributions to absolute labels via majority voting.
Folksonomy of movies covers a wide range of heterogeneous information about movies, like the genre, plot structure, visual experiences, soundtracks, metadata, and emotional experiences from watching a movie. Being able to automatically generate or predict tags for movies can help recommendation engines improve retrieval of similar movies, and help viewers know what to expect from a movie in advance. In this work, we explore the problem of creating tags for movies from plot synopses. We propose a novel neural network model that merges information from synopses and emotion flows throughout the plots to predict a set of tags for movies. We compare our system with multiple baselines and found that the addition of emotion flows boosts the performance of the network by learning ≈18% more tags than a traditional machine learning system.
Likability prediction of books has many uses. Readers, writers, as well as the publishing industry, can all benefit from automatic book likability prediction systems. In order to make reliable decisions, these systems need to assimilate information from different aspects of a book in a sensible way. We propose a novel multimodal neural architecture that incorporates genre supervision to assign weights to individual feature types. Our proposed method is capable of dynamically tailoring weights given to feature types based on the characteristics of each book. Our architecture achieves competitive results and even outperforms state-of-the-art for this task.
The intensive use of e-communications in everyday life has given rise to new threats and risks. When the vulnerable asset is the user, detecting these potential attacks before they cause serious damages is extremely important. This paper proposes a novel document representation to improve the early detection of risks in social media sources. The goal is to effectively identify the potential risk using as few text as possible and with as much anticipation as possible. Accordingly, we devise a Multi-Resolution Representation (MulR), which allows us to generate multiple “views” of the analyzed text. These views capture different semantic meanings for words and documents at different levels of detail, which is very useful in early scenarios to model the variable amounts of evidence. Intuitively, the representation captures better the content of short documents (very early stages) in low resolutions, whereas large documents (medium/large stages) are better modeled with higher resolutions. We evaluate the proposed ideas in two different tasks where anticipation is critical: sexual predator detection and depression detection. The experimental evaluation for these early tasks revealed that the proposed approach outperforms previous methodologies by a considerable margin.
Recognizing named entities in a document is a key task in many NLP applications. Although current state-of-the-art approaches to this task reach a high performance on clean text (e.g. newswire genres), those algorithms dramatically degrade when they are moved to noisy environments such as social media domains. We present two systems that address the challenges of processing social media data using character-level phonetics and phonology, word embeddings, and Part-of-Speech tags as features. The first model is a multitask end-to-end Bidirectional Long Short-Term Memory (BLSTM)-Conditional Random Field (CRF) network whose output layer contains two CRF classifiers. The second model uses a multitask BLSTM network as feature extractor that transfers the learning to a CRF classifier for the final prediction. Our systems outperform the current F1 scores of the state of the art on the Workshop on Noisy User-generated Text 2017 dataset by 2.45% and 3.69%, establishing a more suitable approach for social media environments.
Books have the power to make us feel happiness, sadness, pain, surprise, or sorrow. An author’s dexterity in the use of these emotions captivates readers and makes it difficult for them to put the book down. In this paper, we model the flow of emotions over a book using recurrent neural networks and quantify its usefulness in predicting success in books. We obtained the best weighted F1-score of 69% for predicting books’ success in a multitask setting (simultaneously predicting success and genre of books).
In this paper, we detail our work on comparing different word-level language identification systems for code-switched Hindi-English data and a standard Spanish-English dataset. In this regard, we build a new code-switched dataset for Hindi-English. To understand the code-switching patterns in these language pairs, we investigate different code-switching metrics. We find that the CRF model outperforms the neural network based models by a margin of 2-5 percentage points for Spanish-English and 3-5 percentage points for Hindi-English.
In the third shared task of the Computational Approaches to Linguistic Code-Switching (CALCS) workshop, we focus on Named Entity Recognition (NER) on code-switched social-media data. We divide the shared task into two competitions based on the English-Spanish (ENG-SPA) and Modern Standard Arabic-Egyptian (MSA-EGY) language pairs. We use Twitter data and 9 entity types to establish a new dataset for code-switched NER benchmarks. In addition to the CS phenomenon, the diversity of the entities and the social media challenges make the task considerably hard to process. As a result, the best scores of the competitions are 63.76% and 71.61% for ENG-SPA and MSA-EGY, respectively. We present the scores of 9 participants and discuss the most common challenges among submissions.
This paper presents our system for “TRAC 2018 Shared Task on Aggression Identification”. Our best systems for the English dataset use a combination of lexical and semantic features. However, for Hindi data using only lexical features gave us the best results. We obtained weighted F1-measures of 0.5921 for the English Facebook task (ranked 12th), 0.5663 for the English Social Media task (ranked 6th), 0.6292 for the Hindi Facebook task (ranked 1st), and 0.4853 for the Hindi Social Media task (ranked 2nd).
Although social media has made it easy for people to connect on a virtually unlimited basis, it has also opened doors to people who misuse it to undermine, harass, humiliate, threaten and bully others. There is a lack of adequate resources to detect and hinder its occurrence. In this paper, we present our initial NLP approach to detect invective posts as a first step to eventually detect and deter cyberbullying. We crawl data containing profanities and then determine whether or not it contains invective. Annotations on this data are improved iteratively by in-lab annotations and crowdsourcing. We pursue different NLP approaches containing various typical and some newer techniques to distinguish the use of swear words in a neutral way from those instances in which they are used in an insulting way. We also show that this model not only works for our data set, but also can be successfully applied to different data sets.
Named Entity Recognition for social media data is challenging because of its inherent noisiness. In addition to improper grammatical structures, it contains spelling inconsistencies and numerous informal abbreviations. We propose a novel multi-task approach by employing a more general secondary task of Named Entity (NE) segmentation together with the primary task of fine-grained NE categorization. The multi-task neural network architecture learns higher order feature representations from word and character sequences along with basic Part-of-Speech tags and gazetteer information. This neural network acts as a feature extractor to feed a Conditional Random Fields classifier. We were able to obtain the first position in the 3rd Workshop on Noisy User-generated Text (WNUT-2017) with a 41.86% entity F1-score and a 40.24% surface F1-score.
In this paper, we present our systems for the “SemEval-2017 Task-5 on Fine-Grained Sentiment Analysis on Financial Microblogs and News”. In our system, we combined hand-engineered lexical, sentiment and metadata features, the representations learned from Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN) and Bidirectional Gated Recurrent Unit (Bi-GRU) with Attention model applied on top. With this architecture we obtained weighted cosine similarity scores of 0.72 and 0.74 for subtask-1 and subtask-2, respectively. Using the official scoring system, our system ranked the second place for subtask-2 and eighth place for the subtask-1. It ranked first for both of the subtasks by the scores achieved by an alternate scoring system.
We investigate the value of feature engineering and neural network models for predicting successful writing. Similar to previous work, we treat this as a binary classification task and explore new strategies to automatically learn representations from book contents. We evaluate our feature set on two different corpora created from Project Gutenberg books. The first presents a novel approach for generating the gold standard labels for the task and the other is based on prior research. Using a combination of hand-crafted and recurrent neural network learned representations in a dual learning setting, we obtain the best performance of 73.50% weighted F1-score.
We present a model to perform authorship attribution of tweets using Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) over character n-grams. We also present a strategy that improves model interpretability by estimating the importance of input text fragments in the predicted classification. The experimental evaluation shows that text CNNs perform competitively and are able to outperform previous methods.
Health support forums have become a rich source of data that can be used to improve health care outcomes. A user profile, including information such as age and gender, can support targeted analysis of forum data. But users might not always disclose their age and gender. It is desirable then to be able to automatically extract this information from users’ content. However, to the best of our knowledge there is no such resource for author profiling of health forum data. Here we present a large corpus, with close to 85,000 users, for profiling and also outline our approach and benchmark results to automatically detect a user’s age and gender from their forum posts. We use a mix of features from a user’s text as well as forum specific features to obtain accuracy well above the baseline, thus showing that both our dataset and our method are useful and valid.
This paper describes our system submission to the CogALex-2016 Shared Task on Corpus-Based Identification of Semantic Relations. Our system won first place for Task-1 and second place for Task-2. The evaluation results of our system on the test set is 88.1% (79.0% for TRUE only) f-measure for Task-1 on detecting semantic similarity, and 76.0% (42.3% when excluding RANDOM) for Task-2 on identifying finer-grained semantic relations. In our experiments, we try word analogy, linear regression, and multi-task Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) with word embeddings from publicly available word vectors. We found that linear regression performs better in the binary classification (Task-1), while CNNs have better performance in the multi-class semantic classification (Task-2). We assume that word analogy is more suited for deterministic answers rather than handling the ambiguity of one-to-many and many-to-many relationships. We also show that classifier performance could benefit from balancing the distribution of labels in the training data.
This paper describes a corpus of sockpuppet cases from Wikipedia. A sockpuppet is an online user account created with a fake identity for the purpose of covering abusive behavior and/or subverting the editing regulation process. We used a semi-automated method for crawling and curating a dataset of real sockpuppet investigation cases. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first corpus available on real-world deceptive writing. We describe the process for crawling the data and some preliminary results that can be used as baseline for benchmarking research. The dataset has been released under a Creative Commons license from our project website (http://docsig.cis.uab.edu/tools-and-datasets/).