Viktor Hangya


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Multilingual Word Embeddings for Low-Resource Languages using Anchors and a Chain of Related Languages
Viktor Hangya | Silvia Severini | Radoslav Ralev | Alexander Fraser | Hinrich Schütze
Proceedings of the 3rd Workshop on Multi-lingual Representation Learning (MRL)


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Comparative Analysis of Cross-lingual Contextualized Word Embeddings
Hossain Shaikh Saadi | Viktor Hangya | Tobias Eder | Alexander Fraser
Proceedings of the The 2nd Workshop on Multi-lingual Representation Learning (MRL)

Contextualized word embeddings have emerged as the most important tool for performing NLP tasks in a large variety of languages. In order to improve the cross- lingual representation and transfer learning quality, contextualized embedding alignment techniques, such as mapping and model fine-tuning, are employed. Existing techniques however are time-, data- and computational resource-intensive. In this paper we analyze these techniques by utilizing three tasks: bilingual lexicon induction (BLI), word retrieval and cross-lingual natural language inference (XNLI) for a high resource (German-English) and a low resource (Bengali-English) language pair. In contrast to previous works which focus only on a few popular models, we compare five multilingual and seven monolingual language models and investigate the effect of various aspects on their performance, such as vocabulary size, number of languages used for training and number of parameters. Additionally, we propose a parameter-, data- and runtime-efficient technique which can be trained with 10% of the data, less than 10% of the time and have less than 5% of the trainable parameters compared to model fine-tuning. We show that our proposed method is competitive with resource heavy models, even outperforming them in some cases, even though it relies on less resource

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Don’t Forget Cheap Training Signals Before Building Unsupervised Bilingual Word Embeddings
Silvia Severini | Viktor Hangya | Masoud Jalili Sabet | Alexander Fraser | Hinrich Schütze
Proceedings of the BUCC Workshop within LREC 2022

Bilingual Word Embeddings (BWEs) are one of the cornerstones of cross-lingual transfer of NLP models. They can be built using only monolingual corpora without supervision leading to numerous works focusing on unsupervised BWEs. However, most of the current approaches to build unsupervised BWEs do not compare their results with methods based on easy-to-access cross-lingual signals. In this paper, we argue that such signals should always be considered when developing unsupervised BWE methods. The two approaches we find most effective are: 1) using identical words as seed lexicons (which unsupervised approaches incorrectly assume are not available for orthographically distinct language pairs) and 2) combining such lexicons with pairs extracted by matching romanized versions of words with an edit distance threshold. We experiment on thirteen non-Latin languages (and English) and show that such cheap signals work well and that they outperform using more complex unsupervised methods on distant language pairs such as Chinese, Japanese, Kannada, Tamil, and Thai. In addition, they are even competitive with the use of high-quality lexicons in supervised approaches. Our results show that these training signals should not be neglected when building BWEs, even for distant languages.

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Improving Low-Resource Languages in Pre-Trained Multilingual Language Models
Viktor Hangya | Hossain Shaikh Saadi | Alexander Fraser
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Pre-trained multilingual language models are the foundation of many NLP approaches, including cross-lingual transfer solutions. However, languages with small available monolingual corpora are often not well-supported by these models leading to poor performance. We propose an unsupervised approach to improve the cross-lingual representations of low-resource languages by bootstrapping word translation pairs from monolingual corpora and using them to improve language alignment in pre-trained language models. We perform experiments on nine languages, using contextual word retrieval and zero-shot named entity recognition to measure both intrinsic cross-lingual word representation quality and downstream task performance, showing improvements on both tasks. Our results show that it is possible to improve pre-trained multilingual language models by relying only on non-parallel resources.


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Cross-Lingual Transfer Learning for Hate Speech Detection
Irina Bigoulaeva | Viktor Hangya | Alexander Fraser
Proceedings of the First Workshop on Language Technology for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

We address the task of automatic hate speech detection for low-resource languages. Rather than collecting and annotating new hate speech data, we show how to use cross-lingual transfer learning to leverage already existing data from higher-resource languages. Using bilingual word embeddings based classifiers we achieve good performance on the target language by training only on the source dataset. Using our transferred system we bootstrap on unlabeled target language data, improving the performance of standard cross-lingual transfer approaches. We use English as a high resource language and German as the target language for which only a small amount of annotated corpora are available. Our results indicate that cross-lingual transfer learning together with our approach to leverage additional unlabeled data is an effective way of achieving good performance on low-resource target languages without the need for any target-language annotations.

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Anchor-based Bilingual Word Embeddings for Low-Resource Languages
Tobias Eder | Viktor Hangya | Alexander Fraser
Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 2: Short Papers)

Good quality monolingual word embeddings (MWEs) can be built for languages which have large amounts of unlabeled text. MWEs can be aligned to bilingual spaces using only a few thousand word translation pairs. For low resource languages training MWEs monolingually results in MWEs of poor quality, and thus poor bilingual word embeddings (BWEs) as well. This paper proposes a new approach for building BWEs in which the vector space of the high resource source language is used as a starting point for training an embedding space for the low resource target language. By using the source vectors as anchors the vector spaces are automatically aligned during training. We experiment on English-German, English-Hiligaynon and English-Macedonian. We show that our approach results not only in improved BWEs and bilingual lexicon induction performance, but also in improved target language MWE quality as measured using monolingual word similarity.

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Improving Machine Translation of Rare and Unseen Word Senses
Viktor Hangya | Qianchu Liu | Dario Stojanovski | Alexander Fraser | Anna Korhonen
Proceedings of the Sixth Conference on Machine Translation

The performance of NMT systems has improved drastically in the past few years but the translation of multi-sense words still poses a challenge. Since word senses are not represented uniformly in the parallel corpora used for training, there is an excessive use of the most frequent sense in MT output. In this work, we propose CmBT (Contextually-mined Back-Translation), an approach for improving multi-sense word translation leveraging pre-trained cross-lingual contextual word representations (CCWRs). Because of their contextual sensitivity and their large pre-training data, CCWRs can easily capture word senses that are missing or very rare in parallel corpora used to train MT. Specifically, CmBT applies bilingual lexicon induction on CCWRs to mine sense-specific target sentences from a monolingual dataset, and then back-translates these sentences to generate a pseudo parallel corpus as additional training data for an MT system. We test the translation quality of ambiguous words on the MuCoW test suite, which was built to test the word sense disambiguation effectiveness of MT systems. We show that our system improves on the translation of difficult unseen and low frequency word senses.

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Do not neglect related languages: The case of low-resource Occitan cross-lingual word embeddings
Lisa Woller | Viktor Hangya | Alexander Fraser
Proceedings of the 1st Workshop on Multilingual Representation Learning

Cross-lingual word embeddings (CLWEs) have proven indispensable for various natural language processing tasks, e.g., bilingual lexicon induction (BLI). However, the lack of data often impairs the quality of representations. Various approaches requiring only weak cross-lingual supervision were proposed, but current methods still fail to learn good CLWEs for languages with only a small monolingual corpus. We therefore claim that it is necessary to explore further datasets to improve CLWEs in low-resource setups. In this paper we propose to incorporate data of related high-resource languages. In contrast to previous approaches which leverage independently pre-trained embeddings of languages, we (i) train CLWEs for the low-resource and a related language jointly and (ii) map them to the target language to build the final multilingual space. In our experiments we focus on Occitan, a low-resource Romance language which is often neglected due to lack of resources. We leverage data from French, Spanish and Catalan for training and evaluate on the Occitan-English BLI task. By incorporating supporting languages our method outperforms previous approaches by a large margin. Furthermore, our analysis shows that the degree of relatedness between an incorporated language and the low-resource language is critically important.

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Adapting Entities across Languages and Cultures
Denis Peskov | Viktor Hangya | Jordan Boyd-Graber | Alexander Fraser
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2021

How would you explain Bill Gates to a German? He is associated with founding a company in the United States, so perhaps the German founder Carl Benz could stand in for Gates in those contexts. This type of translation is called adaptation in the translation community. Until now, this task has not been done computationally. Automatic adaptation could be used in natural language processing for machine translation and indirectly for generating new question answering datasets and education. We propose two automatic methods and compare them to human results for this novel NLP task. First, a structured knowledge base adapts named entities using their shared properties. Second, vector-arithmetic and orthogonal embedding mappings methods identify better candidates, but at the expense of interpretable features. We evaluate our methods through a new dataset of human adaptations.


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Combining Word Embeddings with Bilingual Orthography Embeddings for Bilingual Dictionary Induction
Silvia Severini | Viktor Hangya | Alexander Fraser | Hinrich Schütze
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Bilingual dictionary induction (BDI) is the task of accurately translating words to the target language. It is of great importance in many low-resource scenarios where cross-lingual training data is not available. To perform BDI, bilingual word embeddings (BWEs) are often used due to their low bilingual training signal requirements. They achieve high performance, but problematic cases still remain, such as the translation of rare words or named entities, which often need to be transliterated. In this paper, we enrich BWE-based BDI with transliteration information by using Bilingual Orthography Embeddings (BOEs). BOEs represent source and target language transliteration word pairs with similar vectors. A key problem in our BDI setup is to decide which information source – BWEs (or semantics) vs. BOEs (or orthography) – is more reliable for a particular word pair. We propose a novel classification-based BDI system that uses BWEs, BOEs and a number of other features to make this decision. We test our system on English-Russian BDI and show improved performance. In addition, we show the effectiveness of our BOEs by successfully using them for transliteration mining based on cosine similarity.

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Exploring Bilingual Word Embeddings for Hiligaynon, a Low-Resource Language
Leah Michel | Viktor Hangya | Alexander Fraser
Proceedings of the Twelfth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

This paper investigates the use of bilingual word embeddings for mining Hiligaynon translations of English words. There is very little research on Hiligaynon, an extremely low-resource language of Malayo-Polynesian origin with over 9 million speakers in the Philippines (we found just one paper). We use a publicly available Hiligaynon corpus with only 300K words, and match it with a comparable corpus in English. As there are no bilingual resources available, we manually develop a English-Hiligaynon lexicon and use this to train bilingual word embeddings. But we fail to mine accurate translations due to the small amount of data. To find out if the same holds true for a related language pair, we simulate the same low-resource setup on English to German and arrive at similar results. We then vary the size of the comparable English and German corpora to determine the minimum corpus size necessary to achieve competitive results. Further, we investigate the role of the seed lexicon. We show that with the same corpus size but with a smaller seed lexicon, performance can surpass results of previous studies. We release the lexicon of 1,200 English-Hiligaynon word pairs we created to encourage further investigation.

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The LMU Munich System for the WMT 2020 Unsupervised Machine Translation Shared Task
Alexandra Chronopoulou | Dario Stojanovski | Viktor Hangya | Alexander Fraser
Proceedings of the Fifth Conference on Machine Translation

This paper describes the submission of LMU Munich to the WMT 2020 unsupervised shared task, in two language directions, German↔Upper Sorbian. Our core unsupervised neural machine translation (UNMT) system follows the strategy of Chronopoulou et al. (2020), using a monolingual pretrained language generation model (on German) and fine-tuning it on both German and Upper Sorbian, before initializing a UNMT model, which is trained with online backtranslation. Pseudo-parallel data obtained from an unsupervised statistical machine translation (USMT) system is used to fine-tune the UNMT model. We also apply BPE-Dropout to the low resource (Upper Sorbian) data to obtain a more robust system. We additionally experiment with residual adapters and find them useful in the Upper Sorbian→German direction. We explore sampling during backtranslation and curriculum learning to use SMT translations in a more principled way. Finally, we ensemble our best-performing systems and reach a BLEU score of 32.4 on German→Upper Sorbian and 35.2 on Upper Sorbian→German.

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The LMU Munich System for the WMT20 Very Low Resource Supervised MT Task
Jindřich Libovický | Viktor Hangya | Helmut Schmid | Alexander Fraser
Proceedings of the Fifth Conference on Machine Translation

We present our systems for the WMT20 Very Low Resource MT Task for translation between German and Upper Sorbian. For training our systems, we generate synthetic data by both back- and forward-translation. Additionally, we enrich the training data with German-Czech translated from Czech to Upper Sorbian by an unsupervised statistical MT system incorporating orthographically similar word pairs and transliterations of OOV words. Our best translation system between German and Sorbian is based on transfer learning from a Czech-German system and scores 12 to 13 BLEU higher than a baseline system built using the available parallel data only.

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Towards Handling Compositionality in Low-Resource Bilingual Word Induction
Viktor Hangya | Alexander Fraser
Proceedings of the 14th Conference of the Association for Machine Translation in the Americas (Volume 1: Research Track)

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LMU Bilingual Dictionary Induction System with Word Surface Similarity Scores for BUCC 2020
Silvia Severini | Viktor Hangya | Alexander Fraser | Hinrich Schütze
Proceedings of the 13th Workshop on Building and Using Comparable Corpora

The task of Bilingual Dictionary Induction (BDI) consists of generating translations for source language words which is important in the framework of machine translation (MT). The aim of the BUCC 2020 shared task is to perform BDI on various language pairs using comparable corpora. In this paper, we present our approach to the task of English-German and English-Russian language pairs. Our system relies on Bilingual Word Embeddings (BWEs) which are often used for BDI when only a small seed lexicon is available making them particularly effective in a low-resource setting. On the other hand, they perform well on high frequency words only. In order to improve the performance on rare words as well, we combine BWE based word similarity with word surface similarity methods, such as orthography In addition to the often used top-n translation method, we experiment with a margin based approach aiming for dynamic number of translations for each source word. We participate in both the open and closed tracks of the shared task and we show improved results of our method compared to simple vector similarity based approaches. Our system was ranked in the top-3 teams and achieved the best results for English-Russian.


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Unsupervised Parallel Sentence Extraction with Parallel Segment Detection Helps Machine Translation
Viktor Hangya | Alexander Fraser
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Mining parallel sentences from comparable corpora is important. Most previous work relies on supervised systems, which are trained on parallel data, thus their applicability is problematic in low-resource scenarios. Recent developments in building unsupervised bilingual word embeddings made it possible to mine parallel sentences based on cosine similarities of source and target language words. We show that relying only on this information is not enough, since sentences often have similar words but different meanings. We detect continuous parallel segments in sentence pair candidates and rely on them when mining parallel sentences. We show better mining accuracy on three language pairs in a standard shared task on artificial data. We also provide the first experiments showing that parallel sentences mined from real life sources improve unsupervised MT. Our code is available, we hope it will be used to support low-resource MT research.

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Better OOV Translation with Bilingual Terminology Mining
Matthias Huck | Viktor Hangya | Alexander Fraser
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Unseen words, also called out-of-vocabulary words (OOVs), are difficult for machine translation. In neural machine translation, byte-pair encoding can be used to represent OOVs, but they are still often incorrectly translated. We improve the translation of OOVs in NMT using easy-to-obtain monolingual data. We look for OOVs in the text to be translated and translate them using simple-to-construct bilingual word embeddings (BWEs). In our MT experiments we take the 5-best candidates, which is motivated by intrinsic mining experiments. Using all five of the proposed target language words as queries we mine target-language sentences. We then back-translate, forcing the back-translation of each of the five proposed target-language OOV-translation-candidates to be the original source-language OOV. We show that by using this synthetic data to fine-tune our system the translation of OOVs can be dramatically improved. In our experiments we use a system trained on Europarl and mine sentences containing medical terms from monolingual data.

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The LMU Munich Unsupervised Machine Translation System for WMT19
Dario Stojanovski | Viktor Hangya | Matthias Huck | Alexander Fraser
Proceedings of the Fourth Conference on Machine Translation (Volume 2: Shared Task Papers, Day 1)

We describe LMU Munich’s machine translation system for German→Czech translation which was used to participate in the WMT19 shared task on unsupervised news translation. We train our model using monolingual data only from both languages. The final model is an unsupervised neural model using established techniques for unsupervised translation such as denoising autoencoding and online back-translation. We bootstrap the model with masked language model pretraining and enhance it with back-translations from an unsupervised phrase-based system which is itself bootstrapped using unsupervised bilingual word embeddings.


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Two Methods for Domain Adaptation of Bilingual Tasks: Delightfully Simple and Broadly Applicable
Viktor Hangya | Fabienne Braune | Alexander Fraser | Hinrich Schütze
Proceedings of the 56th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Bilingual tasks, such as bilingual lexicon induction and cross-lingual classification, are crucial for overcoming data sparsity in the target language. Resources required for such tasks are often out-of-domain, thus domain adaptation is an important problem here. We make two contributions. First, we test a delightfully simple method for domain adaptation of bilingual word embeddings. We evaluate these embeddings on two bilingual tasks involving different domains: cross-lingual twitter sentiment classification and medical bilingual lexicon induction. Second, we tailor a broadly applicable semi-supervised classification method from computer vision to these tasks. We show that this method also helps in low-resource setups. Using both methods together we achieve large improvements over our baselines, by using only additional unlabeled data.

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Unsupervised Parallel Sentence Extraction from Comparable Corpora
Viktor Hangya | Fabienne Braune | Yuliya Kalasouskaya | Alexander Fraser
Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Spoken Language Translation

Mining parallel sentences from comparable corpora is of great interest for many downstream tasks. In the BUCC 2017 shared task, systems performed well by training on gold standard parallel sentences. However, we often want to mine parallel sentences without bilingual supervision. We present a simple approach relying on bilingual word embeddings trained in an unsupervised fashion. We incorporate orthographic similarity in order to handle words with similar surface forms. In addition, we propose a dynamic threshold method to decide if a candidate sentence-pair is parallel which eliminates the need to fine tune a static value for different datasets. Since we do not employ any language specific engineering our approach is highly generic. We show that our approach is effective, on three language-pairs, without the use of any bilingual signal which is important because parallel sentence mining is most useful in low resource scenarios.

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The LMU Munich Unsupervised Machine Translation Systems
Dario Stojanovski | Viktor Hangya | Matthias Huck | Alexander Fraser
Proceedings of the Third Conference on Machine Translation: Shared Task Papers

We describe LMU Munich’s unsupervised machine translation systems for English↔German translation. These systems were used to participate in the WMT18 news translation shared task and more specifically, for the unsupervised learning sub-track. The systems are trained on English and German monolingual data only and exploit and combine previously proposed techniques such as using word-by-word translated data based on bilingual word embeddings, denoising and on-the-fly backtranslation.

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LMU Munich’s Neural Machine Translation Systems at WMT 2018
Matthias Huck | Dario Stojanovski | Viktor Hangya | Alexander Fraser
Proceedings of the Third Conference on Machine Translation: Shared Task Papers

We present the LMU Munich machine translation systems for the English–German language pair. We have built neural machine translation systems for both translation directions (English→German and German→English) and for two different domains (the biomedical domain and the news domain). The systems were used for our participation in the WMT18 biomedical translation task and in the shared task on machine translation of news. The main focus of our recent system development efforts has been on achieving improvements in the biomedical domain over last year’s strong biomedical translation engine for English→German (Huck et al., 2017a). Considerable progress has been made in the latter task, which we report on in this paper.

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An Unsupervised System for Parallel Corpus Filtering
Viktor Hangya | Alexander Fraser
Proceedings of the Third Conference on Machine Translation: Shared Task Papers

In this paper we describe LMU Munich’s submission for the WMT 2018 Parallel Corpus Filtering shared task which addresses the problem of cleaning noisy parallel corpora. The task of mining and cleaning parallel sentences is important for improving the quality of machine translation systems, especially for low-resource languages. We tackle this problem in a fully unsupervised fashion relying on bilingual word embeddings created without any bilingual signal. After pre-filtering noisy data we rank sentence pairs by calculating bilingual sentence-level similarities and then remove redundant data by employing monolingual similarity as well. Our unsupervised system achieved good performance during the official evaluation of the shared task, scoring only a few BLEU points behind the best systems, while not requiring any parallel training data.

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Evaluating bilingual word embeddings on the long tail
Fabienne Braune | Viktor Hangya | Tobias Eder | Alexander Fraser
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 2 (Short Papers)

Bilingual word embeddings are useful for bilingual lexicon induction, the task of mining translations of given words. Many studies have shown that bilingual word embeddings perform well for bilingual lexicon induction but they focused on frequent words in general domains. For many applications, bilingual lexicon induction of rare and domain-specific words is of critical importance. Therefore, we design a new task to evaluate bilingual word embeddings on rare words in different domains. We show that state-of-the-art approaches fail on this task and present simple new techniques to improve bilingual word embeddings for mining rare words. We release new gold standard datasets and code to stimulate research on this task.


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A Hungarian Sentiment Corpus Manually Annotated at Aspect Level
Martina Katalin Szabó | Veronika Vincze | Katalin Ilona Simkó | Viktor Varga | Viktor Hangya
Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC'16)

In this paper we present a Hungarian sentiment corpus manually annotated at aspect level. Our corpus consists of Hungarian opinion texts written about different types of products. The main aim of creating the corpus was to produce an appropriate database providing possibilities for developing text mining software tools. The corpus is a unique Hungarian database: to the best of our knowledge, no digitized Hungarian sentiment corpus that is annotated on the level of fragments and targets has been made so far. In addition, many language elements of the corpus, relevant from the point of view of sentiment analysis, got distinct types of tags in the annotation. In this paper, on the one hand, we present the method of annotation, and we discuss the difficulties concerning text annotation process. On the other hand, we provide some quantitative and qualitative data on the corpus. We conclude with a description of the applicability of the corpus.


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SZTE-NLP: Aspect level opinion mining exploiting syntactic cues
Viktor Hangya | Gábor Berend | István Varga | Richárd Farkas
Proceedings of the 8th International Workshop on Semantic Evaluation (SemEval 2014)


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SZTE-NLP: Sentiment Detection on Twitter Messages
Viktor Hangya | Gábor Berend | Richárd Farkas
Second Joint Conference on Lexical and Computational Semantics (*SEM), Volume 2: Proceedings of the Seventh International Workshop on Semantic Evaluation (SemEval 2013)