Yujing Huang


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Evaluating the Performance of Transformer-based Language Models for Neuroatypical Language
Duanchen Liu | Zoey Liu | Qingyun Yang | Yujing Huang | Emily Prud’hommeaux
Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Difficulties with social aspects of language are among the hallmarks of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). These communication differences are thought to contribute to the challenges that adults with ASD experience when seeking employment, underscoring the need for interventions that focus on improving areas of weakness in pragmatic and social language. In this paper, we describe a transformer-based framework for identifying linguistic features associated with social aspects of communication using a corpus of conversations between adults with and without ASD and neurotypical conversational partners produced while engaging in collaborative tasks. While our framework yields strong accuracy overall, performance is significantly worse for the language of participants with ASD, suggesting that they use a more diverse set of strategies for some social linguistic functions. These results, while showing promise for the development of automated language analysis tools to support targeted language interventions for ASD, also reveal weaknesses in the ability of large contextualized language models to model neuroatypical language.