Proceedings of the 1st Workshop on Perspectivist Approaches to NLP @LREC2022

Gavin Abercrombie, Valerio Basile, Sara Tonelli, Verena Rieser, Alexandra Uma (Editors)

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Marseille, France
European Language Resources Association
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Proceedings of the 1st Workshop on Perspectivist Approaches to NLP @LREC2022
Gavin Abercrombie | Valerio Basile | Sara Tonelli | Verena Rieser | Alexandra Uma

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Disagreement Space in Argument Analysis
Annette Hautli-Janisz | Ella Schad | Chris Reed

For a highly subjective task such as recognising speaker intention and argumentation, the traditional way of generating gold standards is to aggregate a number of labels into a single one. However, this seriously neglects the underlying richness that characterises discourse and argumentation and is also, in some cases, straightforwardly impossible. In this paper, we present QT30nonaggr, the first corpus of non-aggregated argument annotation, which will be openly available upon publication. QT30nonaggr encompasses 10% of QT30, the largest corpus of dialogical argumentation and analysed broadcast political debate currently available with 30 episodes of BBC’s ‘Question Time’ from 2020 and 2021. Based on a systematic and detailed investigation of annotation judgements across all steps of the annotation process, we structure the disagreement space with a taxonomy of the types of label disagreements in argument annotation, identifying the categories of annotation errors, fuzziness and ambiguity.

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Analyzing the Effects of Annotator Gender across NLP Tasks
Laura Biester | Vanita Sharma | Ashkan Kazemi | Naihao Deng | Steven Wilson | Rada Mihalcea

Recent studies have shown that for subjective annotation tasks, the demographics, lived experiences, and identity of annotators can have a large impact on how items are labeled. We expand on this work, hypothesizing that gender may correlate with differences in annotations for a number of NLP benchmarks, including those that are fairly subjective (e.g., affect in text) and those that are typically considered to be objective (e.g., natural language inference). We develop a robust framework to test for differences in annotation across genders for four benchmark datasets. While our results largely show a lack of statistically significant differences in annotation by males and females for these tasks, the framework can be used to analyze differences in annotation between various other demographic groups in future work. Finally, we note that most datasets are collected without annotator demographics and released only in aggregate form; we call on the community to consider annotator demographics as data is collected, and to release dis-aggregated data to allow for further work analyzing variability among annotators.

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Predicting Literary Quality How Perspectivist Should We Be?
Yuri Bizzoni | Ida Marie Lassen | Telma Peura | Mads Rosendahl Thomsen | Kristoffer Nielbo

Approaches in literary quality tend to belong to two main grounds: one sees quality as completely subjective, relying on the idiosyncratic nature of individual perspectives on the apperception of beauty; the other is ground-truth inspired, and attempts to find one or two values that predict something like an objective quality: the number of copies sold, for example, or the winning of a prestigious prize. While the first school usually does not try to predict quality at all, the second relies on a single majority vote in one form or another. In this article we discuss the advantages and limitations of these schools of thought and describe a different approach to reader’s quality judgments, which moves away from raw majority vote, but does try to create intermediate classes or groups of annotators. Drawing on previous works we describe the benefits and drawbacks of building similar annotation classes. Finally we share early results from a large corpus of literary reviews for an insight into which classes of readers might make most sense when dealing with the appreciation of literary quality.

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Bias Discovery within Human Raters: A Case Study of the Jigsaw Dataset
Marta Marchiori Manerba | Riccardo Guidotti | Lucia Passaro | Salvatore Ruggieri

Understanding and quantifying the bias introduced by human annotation of data is a crucial problem for trustworthy supervised learning. Recently, a perspectivist trend has emerged in the NLP community, focusing on the inadequacy of previous aggregation schemes, which suppose the existence of single ground truth. This assumption is particularly problematic for sensitive tasks involving subjective human judgments, such as toxicity detection. To address these issues, we propose a preliminary approach for bias discovery within human raters by exploring individual ratings for specific sensitive topics annotated in the texts. Our analysis’s object consists of the Jigsaw dataset, a collection of comments aiming at challenging online toxicity identification.

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The Viability of Best-worst Scaling and Categorical Data Label Annotation Tasks in Detecting Implicit Bias
Parker Glenn | Cassandra L. Jacobs | Marvin Thielk | Yi Chu

Annotating workplace bias in text is a noisy and subjective task. In encoding the inherently continuous nature of bias, aggregated binary classifications do not suffice. Best-worst scaling (BWS) offers a framework to obtain real-valued scores through a series of comparative evaluations, but it is often impractical to deploy to traditional annotation pipelines within industry. We present analyses of a small-scale bias dataset, jointly annotated with categorical annotations and BWS annotations. We show that there is a strong correlation between observed agreement and BWS score (Spearman’s r=0.72). We identify several shortcomings of BWS relative to traditional categorical annotation: (1) When compared to categorical annotation, we estimate BWS takes approximately 4.5x longer to complete; (2) BWS does not scale well to large annotation tasks with sparse target phenomena; (3) The high correlation between BWS and the traditional task shows that the benefits of BWS can be recovered from a simple categorically annotated, non-aggregated dataset.

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What If Ground Truth Is Subjective? Personalized Deep Neural Hate Speech Detection
Kamil Kanclerz | Marcin Gruza | Konrad Karanowski | Julita Bielaniewicz | Piotr Milkowski | Jan Kocon | Przemyslaw Kazienko

A unified gold standard commonly exploited in natural language processing (NLP) tasks requires high inter-annotator agreement. However, there are many subjective problems that should respect users individual points of view. Therefore in this paper, we evaluate three different personalized methods on the task of hate speech detection. The user-centered techniques are compared to the generalizing baseline approach. We conduct our experiments on three datasets including single-task and multi-task hate speech detection. For validation purposes, we introduce a new data-split strategy, preventing data leakage between training and testing. In order to better understand the model behavior for individual users, we carried out personalized ablation studies. Our experiments revealed that all models leveraging user preferences in any case provide significantly better results than most frequently used generalized approaches. This supports our overall observation that personalized models should always be considered in all subjective NLP tasks, including hate speech detection.

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StudEmo: A Non-aggregated Review Dataset for Personalized Emotion Recognition
Anh Ngo | Agri Candri | Teddy Ferdinan | Jan Kocon | Wojciech Korczynski

Humans’ emotional perception is subjective by nature, in which each individual could express different emotions regarding the same textual content. Existing datasets for emotion analysis commonly depend on a single ground truth per data sample, derived from majority voting or averaging the opinions of all annotators. In this paper, we introduce a new non-aggregated dataset, namely StudEmo, that contains 5,182 customer reviews, each annotated by 25 people with intensities of eight emotions from Plutchik’s model, extended with valence and arousal. We also propose three personalized models that use not only textual content but also the individual human perspective, providing the model with different approaches to learning human representations. The experiments were carried out as a multitask classification on two datasets: our StudEmo dataset and GoEmotions dataset, which contains 28 emotional categories. The proposed personalized methods significantly improve prediction results, especially for emotions that have low inter-annotator agreement.

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Annotator Response Distributions as a Sampling Frame
Christopher Homan | Tharindu Cyril Weerasooriya | Lora Aroyo | Chris Welty

Annotator disagreement is often dismissed as noise or the result of poor annotation process quality. Others have argued that it can be meaningful. But lacking a rigorous statistical foundation, the analysis of disagreement patterns can resemble a high-tech form of tea-leaf-reading. We contribute a framework for analyzing the variation of per-item annotator response distributions to data for humans-in-the-loop machine learning. We provide visualizations for, and use the framework to analyze the variance in, a crowdsourced dataset of hard-to-classify examples from the OpenImages archive.

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Variation in the Expression and Annotation of Emotions: A Wizard of Oz Pilot Study
Sofie Labat | Naomi Ackaert | Thomas Demeester | Veronique Hoste

This pilot study employs the Wizard of Oz technique to collect a corpus of written human-computer conversations in the domain of customer service. The resulting dataset contains 192 conversations and is used to test three hypotheses related to the expression and annotation of emotions. First, we hypothesize that there is a discrepancy between the emotion annotations of the participant (the experiencer) and the annotations of our external annotator (the observer). Furthermore, we hypothesize that the personality of the participants has an influence on the emotions they expressed, and on the way they evaluated (annotated) these emotions. We found that for an external, trained annotator, not all emotion labels were equally easy to work with. We also noticed that the trained annotator had a tendency to opt for emotion labels that were more centered in the valence-arousal space, while participants made more ‘extreme’ annotations. For the second hypothesis, we discovered a positive correlation between the personality trait extraversion and the emotion dimensions valence and dominance in our sample. Finally, for the third premise, we observed a positive correlation between the internal-external agreement on emotion labels and the personality traits conscientiousness and extraversion. Our insights and findings will be used in future research to conduct a larger Wizard of Oz experiment.

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Beyond Explanation: A Case for Exploratory Text Visualizations of Non-Aggregated, Annotated Datasets
Lucy Havens | Benjamin Bach | Melissa Terras | Beatrice Alex

This paper presents an overview of text visualization techniques relevant for data perspectivism, aiming to facilitate analysis of annotated datasets for the datasets’ creators and stakeholders. Data perspectivism advocates for publishing non-aggregated, annotated text data, recognizing that for highly subjective tasks, such as bias detection and hate speech detection, disagreements among annotators may indicate conflicting yet equally valid interpretations of a text. While the publication of non-aggregated, annotated data makes different interpretations of text corpora available, barriers still exist to investigating patterns and outliers in annotations of the text. Techniques from text visualization can overcome these barriers, facilitating intuitive data analysis for NLP researchers and practitioners, as well as stakeholders in NLP systems, who may not have data science or computing skills. In this paper we discuss challenges with current dataset creation practices and annotation platforms, followed by a discussion of text visualization techniques that enable open-ended, multi-faceted, and iterative analysis of annotated data.

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The Measuring Hate Speech Corpus: Leveraging Rasch Measurement Theory for Data Perspectivism
Pratik Sachdeva | Renata Barreto | Geoff Bacon | Alexander Sahn | Claudia von Vacano | Chris Kennedy

We introduce the Measuring Hate Speech corpus, a dataset created to measure hate speech while adjusting for annotators’ perspectives. It consists of 50,070 social media comments spanning YouTube, Reddit, and Twitter, labeled by 11,143 annotators recruited from Amazon Mechanical Turk. Each observation includes 10 ordinal labels: sentiment, disrespect, insult, attacking/defending, humiliation, inferior/superior status, dehumanization, violence, genocide, and a 3-valued hate speech benchmark label. The labels are aggregated using faceted Rasch measurement theory (RMT) into a continuous score that measures each comment’s location on a hate speech spectrum. The annotation experimental design assigned comments to multiple annotators in order to yield a linked network, allowing annotator disagreement (perspective) to be statistically summarized. Annotators’ labeling strictness was estimated during the RMT scaling, projecting their perspective onto a linear measure that was adjusted for the hate speech score. Models that incorporate this annotator perspective parameter as an auxiliary input can generate label- and score-level predictions conditional on annotator perspective. The corpus includes the identity group targets of each comment (8 groups, 42 subgroups) and annotator demographics (6 groups, 40 subgroups), facilitating analyses of interactions between annotator- and comment-level identities, i.e. identity-related annotator perspective.

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Improving Label Quality by Jointly Modeling Items and Annotators
Tharindu Cyril Weerasooriya | Alexander Ororbia | Christopher Homan

We propose a fully Bayesian framework for learning ground truth labels from noisy annotators. Our framework ensures scalability by factoring a generative, Bayesian soft clustering model over label distributions into the classic David and Skene joint annotator-data model. Earlier research along these lines has neither fully incorporated label distributions nor explored clustering by annotators only or data only. Our framework incorporates all of these properties within a graphical model designed to provide better ground truth estimates of annotator responses as input to any black box supervised learning algorithm. We conduct supervised learning experiments with variations of our models and compare them to the performance of several baseline models.

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Lutma: A Frame-Making Tool for Collaborative FrameNet Development
Tiago Timponi Torrent | Arthur Lorenzi | Ely Edison Matos | Frederico Belcavello | Marcelo Viridiano | Maucha Andrade Gamonal

This paper presents Lutma, a collaborative, semi-constrained, tutorial-based tool for contributing frames and lexical units to the Global FrameNet initiative. The tool parameterizes the process of frame creation, avoiding consistency violations and promoting the integration of frames contributed by the community with existing frames. Lutma is structured in a wizard-like fashion so as to provide users with text and video tutorials relevant for each step in the frame creation process. We argue that this tool will allow for a sensible expansion of FrameNet coverage in terms of both languages and cultural perspectives encoded by them, positioning frames as a viable alternative for representing perspective in language models.

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The Case for Perspective in Multimodal Datasets
Marcelo Viridiano | Tiago Timponi Torrent | Oliver Czulo | Arthur Lorenzi | Ely Matos | Frederico Belcavello

This paper argues in favor of the adoption of annotation practices for multimodal datasets that recognize and represent the inherently perspectivized nature of multimodal communication. To support our claim, we present a set of annotation experiments in which FrameNet annotation is applied to the Multi30k and the Flickr 30k Entities datasets. We assess the cosine similarity between the semantic representations derived from the annotation of both pictures and captions for frames. Our findings indicate that: (i) frame semantic similarity between captions of the same picture produced in different languages is sensitive to whether the caption is a translation of another caption or not, and (ii) picture annotation for semantic frames is sensitive to whether the image is annotated in presence of a caption or not.

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Change My Mind: How Syntax-based Hate Speech Recognizer Can Uncover Hidden Motivations Based on Different Viewpoints
Michele Mastromattei | Valerio Basile | Fabio Massimo Zanzotto

Hate speech recognizers may mislabel sentences by not considering the different opinions that society has on selected topics. In this paper, we show how explainable machine learning models based on syntax can help to understand the motivations that induce a sentence to be offensive to a certain demographic group. By comparing and contrasting the results, we show the key points that make a sentence labeled as hate speech and how this varies across different ethnic groups.