Caitlyn Chen


FastKASSIM: A Fast Tree Kernel-Based Syntactic Similarity Metric
Maximillian Chen | Caitlyn Chen | Xiao Yu | Zhou Yu
Proceedings of the 17th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Syntax is a fundamental component of language, yet few metrics have been employed to capture syntactic similarity or coherence at the utterance- and document-level. The existing standard document-level syntactic similarity metric is computationally expensive and performs inconsistently when faced with syntactically dissimilar documents. To address these challenges, we present FastKASSIM, a metric for utterance- and document-level syntactic similarity which pairs and averages the most similar constituency parse trees between a pair of documents based on tree kernels. FastKASSIM is more robust to syntactic dissimilarities and runs up to to 5.32 times faster than its predecessor over documents in the r/ChangeMyView corpus. FastKASSIM’s improvements allow us to examine hypotheses in two settings with large documents. We find that syntactically similar arguments on r/ChangeMyView tend to be more persuasive, and that syntax is predictive of authorship attribution in the Australian High Court Judgment corpus.