Workshop on Events and Stories in the News (2017)


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Proceedings of the Events and Stories in the News Workshop

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Proceedings of the Events and Stories in the News Workshop
Tommaso Caselli | Ben Miller | Marieke van Erp | Piek Vossen | Martha Palmer | Eduard Hovy | Teruko Mitamura | David Caswell

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newsLens: building and visualizing long-ranging news stories
Philippe Laban | Marti Hearst

We propose a method to aggregate and organize a large, multi-source dataset of news articles into a collection of major stories, and automatically name and visualize these stories in a working system. The approach is able to run online, as new articles are added, processing 4 million news articles from 20 news sources, and extracting 80000 major stories, some of which span several years. The visual interface consists of lanes of timelines, each annotated with information that is deemed important for the story, including extracted quotations. The working system allows a user to search and navigate 8 years of story information.

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Detecting Changes in Twitter Streams using Temporal Clusters of Hashtags
Yunli Wang | Cyril Goutte

Detecting events from social media data has important applications in public security, political issues, and public health. Many studies have focused on detecting specific or unspecific events from Twitter streams. However, not much attention has been paid to detecting changes, and their impact, in online conversations related to an event. We propose methods for detecting such changes, using clustering of temporal profiles of hashtags, and three change point detection algorithms. The methods were tested on two Twitter datasets: one covering the 2014 Ottawa shooting event, and one covering the Sochi winter Olympics. We compare our approach to a baseline consisting of detecting change from raw counts in the conversation. We show that our method produces large gains in change detection accuracy on both datasets.

Event Detection Using Frame-Semantic Parser
Evangelia Spiliopoulou | Eduard Hovy | Teruko Mitamura

Recent methods for Event Detection focus on Deep Learning for automatic feature generation and feature ranking. However, most of those approaches fail to exploit rich semantic information, which results in relatively poor recall. This paper is a small & focused contribution, where we introduce an Event Detection and classification system, based on deep semantic information retrieved from a frame-semantic parser. Our experiments show that our system achieves higher recall than state-of-the-art systems. Further, we claim that enhancing our system with deep learning techniques like feature ranking can achieve even better results, as it can benefit from both approaches.

Improving Shared Argument Identification in Japanese Event Knowledge Acquisition
Yin Jou Huang | Sadao Kurohashi

Event knowledge represents the knowledge of causal and temporal relations between events. Shared arguments of event knowledge encode patterns of role shifting in successive events. A two-stage framework was proposed for the task of Japanese event knowledge acquisition, in which related event pairs are first extracted, and shared arguments are then identified to form the complete event knowledge. This paper focuses on the second stage of this framework, and proposes a method to improve the shared argument identification of related event pairs. We constructed a gold dataset for shared argument learning. By evaluating our system on this gold dataset, we found that our proposed model outperformed the baseline models by a large margin.

Tracing armed conflicts with diachronic word embedding models
Andrey Kutuzov | Erik Velldal | Lilja Øvrelid

Recent studies have shown that word embedding models can be used to trace time-related (diachronic) semantic shifts in particular words. In this paper, we evaluate some of these approaches on the new task of predicting the dynamics of global armed conflicts on a year-to-year basis, using a dataset from the conflict research field as the gold standard and the Gigaword news corpus as the training data. The results show that much work still remains in extracting ‘cultural’ semantic shifts from diachronic word embedding models. At the same time, we present a new task complete with an evaluation set and introduce the ‘anchor words’ method which outperforms previous approaches on this set.

The Circumstantial Event Ontology (CEO)
Roxane Segers | Tommaso Caselli | Piek Vossen

In this paper we describe the ongoing work on the Circumstantial Event Ontology (CEO), a newly developed ontology for calamity events that models semantic circumstantial relations between event classes. The circumstantial relations are designed manually, based on the shared properties of each event class. We discuss and contrast two types of event circumstantial relations: semantic circumstantial relations and episodic circumstantial relations. Further, we show the metamodel and the current contents of the ontology and outline the evaluation of the CEO.

Event Detection and Semantic Storytelling: Generating a Travelogue from a large Collection of Personal Letters
Georg Rehm | Julian Moreno Schneider | Peter Bourgonje | Ankit Srivastava | Jan Nehring | Armin Berger | Luca König | Sören Räuchle | Jens Gerth

We present an approach at identifying a specific class of events, movement action events (MAEs), in a data set that consists of ca. 2,800 personal letters exchanged by the German architect Erich Mendelsohn and his wife, Luise. A backend system uses these and other semantic analysis results as input for an authoring environment that digital curators can use to produce new pieces of digital content. In our example case, the human expert will receive recommendations from the system with the goal of putting together a travelogue, i.e., a description of the trips and journeys undertaken by the couple. We describe the components and architecture and also apply the system to news data.

Inference of Fine-Grained Event Causality from Blogs and Films
Zhichao Hu | Elahe Rahimtoroghi | Marilyn Walker

Human understanding of narrative is mainly driven by reasoning about causal relations between events and thus recognizing them is a key capability for computational models of language understanding. Computational work in this area has approached this via two different routes: by focusing on acquiring a knowledge base of common causal relations between events, or by attempting to understand a particular story or macro-event, along with its storyline. In this position paper, we focus on knowledge acquisition approach and claim that newswire is a relatively poor source for learning fine-grained causal relations between everyday events. We describe experiments using an unsupervised method to learn causal relations between events in the narrative genres of first-person narratives and film scene descriptions. We show that our method learns fine-grained causal relations, judged by humans as likely to be causal over 80% of the time. We also demonstrate that the learned event pairs do not exist in publicly available event-pair datasets extracted from newswire.

On the Creation of a Security-Related Event Corpus
Martin Atkinson | Jakub Piskorski | Hristo Tanev | Vanni Zavarella

This paper reports on an effort of creating a corpus of structured information on security-related events automatically extracted from on-line news, part of which has been manually curated. The main motivation behind this effort is to provide material to the NLP community working on event extraction that could be used both for training and evaluation purposes.

Inducing Event Types and Roles in Reverse: Using Function to Discover Theme
Natalie Ahn

With growing interest in automated event extraction, there is an increasing need to overcome the labor costs of hand-written event templates, entity lists, and annotated corpora. In the last few years, more inductive approaches have emerged, seeking to discover unknown event types and roles in raw text. The main recent efforts use probabilistic generative models, as in topic modeling, which are formally concise but do not always yield stable or easily interpretable results. We argue that event schema induction can benefit from greater structure in the process and in linguistic features that distinguish words’ functions and themes. To maximize our use of limited data, we reverse the typical schema induction steps and introduce new similarity measures, building an intuitive process for inducing the structure of unknown events.

The Event StoryLine Corpus: A New Benchmark for Causal and Temporal Relation Extraction
Tommaso Caselli | Piek Vossen

This paper reports on the Event StoryLine Corpus (ESC) v1.0, a new benchmark dataset for the temporal and causal relation detection. By developing this dataset, we also introduce a new task, the StoryLine Extraction from news data, which aims at extracting and classifying events relevant for stories, from across news documents spread in time and clustered around a single seminal event or topic. In addition to describing the dataset, we also report on three baselines systems whose results show the complexity of the task and suggest directions for the development of more robust systems.

The Rich Event Ontology
Susan Brown | Claire Bonial | Leo Obrst | Martha Palmer

In this paper we describe a new lexical semantic resource, The Rich Event On-tology, which provides an independent conceptual backbone to unify existing semantic role labeling (SRL) schemas and augment them with event-to-event causal and temporal relations. By unifying the FrameNet, VerbNet, Automatic Content Extraction, and Rich Entities, Relations and Events resources, the ontology serves as a shared hub for the disparate annotation schemas and therefore enables the combination of SRL training data into a larger, more diverse corpus. By adding temporal and causal relational information not found in any of the independent resources, the ontology facilitates reasoning on and across documents, revealing relationships between events that come together in temporal and causal chains to build more complex scenarios. We envision the open resource serving as a valuable tool for both moving from the ontology to text to query for event types and scenarios of interest, and for moving from text to the ontology to access interpretations of events using the combined semantic information housed there.

Integrating Decompositional Event Structures into Storylines
William Croft | Pavlína Pešková | Michael Regan

Storyline research links together events in stories and specifies shared participants in those stories. In these analyses, an atomic event is assumed to be a single clause headed by a single verb. However, many analyses of verbal semantics assume a decompositional analysis of events expressed in single clauses. We present a formalization of a decompositional analysis of events in which each participant in a clausal event has their own temporally extended subevent, and the subevents are related through causal and other interactions. This decomposition allows us to represent storylines as an evolving set of interactions between participants over time.