Matej Martinc


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Tracking Changes in ESG Representation: Initial Investigations in UK Annual Reports
Matthew Purver | Matej Martinc | Riste Ichev | Igor Lončarski | Katarina Sitar Šuštar | Aljoša Valentinčič | Senja Pollak
Proceedings of the First Computing Social Responsibility Workshop within the 13th Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

We describe initial work into analysing the language used around environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues in UK company annual reports. We collect a dataset of annual reports from UK FTSE350 companies over the years 2012-2019; separately, we define a categorized list of core ESG terms (single words and multi-word expressions) by combining existing lists with manual annotation. We then show that this list can be used to analyse the changes in ESG language in the dataset over time, via a combination of language modelling and distributional modelling via contextual word embeddings. Initial findings show that while ESG discussion in annual reports is becoming significantly more likely over time, the increase varies with category and with individual terms, and that some terms show noticeable changes in usage.

Out of Thin Air: Is Zero-Shot Cross-Lingual Keyword Detection Better Than Unsupervised?
Boshko Koloski | Senja Pollak | Blaž Škrlj | Matej Martinc
Proceedings of the Thirteenth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

Keyword extraction is the task of retrieving words that are essential to the content of a given document. Researchers proposed various approaches to tackle this problem. At the top-most level, approaches are divided into ones that require training - supervised and ones that do not - unsupervised. In this study, we are interested in settings, where for a language under investigation, no training data is available. More specifically, we explore whether pretrained multilingual language models can be employed for zero-shot cross-lingual keyword extraction on low-resource languages with limited or no available labeled training data and whether they outperform state-of-the-art unsupervised keyword extractors. The comparison is conducted on six news article datasets covering two high-resource languages, English and Russian, and four low-resource languages, Croatian, Estonian, Latvian, and Slovenian. We find that the pretrained models fine-tuned on a multilingual corpus covering languages that do not appear in the test set (i.e. in a zero-shot setting), consistently outscore unsupervised models in all six languages.

Effectiveness of Data Augmentation and Pretraining for Improving Neural Headline Generation in Low-Resource Settings
Matej Martinc | Syrielle Montariol | Lidia Pivovarova | Elaine Zosa
Proceedings of the Thirteenth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

We tackle the problem of neural headline generation in a low-resource setting, where only limited amount of data is available to train a model. We compare the ideal high-resource scenario on English with results obtained on a smaller subset of the same data and also run experiments on two small news corpora covering low-resource languages, Croatian and Estonian. Two options for headline generation in a multilingual low-resource scenario are investigated: a pretrained multilingual encoder-decoder model and a combination of two pretrained language models, one used as an encoder and the other as a decoder, connected with a cross-attention layer that needs to be trained from scratch. The results show that the first approach outperforms the second one by a large margin. We explore several data augmentation and pretraining strategies in order to improve the performance of both models and show that while we can drastically improve the second approach using these strategies, they have little to no effect on the performance of the pretrained encoder-decoder model. Finally, we propose two new measures for evaluating the performance of the models besides the classic ROUGE scores.

Embeddings models for Buddhist Sanskrit
Ligeia Lugli | Matej Martinc | Andraž Pelicon | Senja Pollak
Proceedings of the Thirteenth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

The paper presents novel resources and experiments for Buddhist Sanskrit, broadly defined here including all the varieties of Sanskrit in which Buddhist texts have been transmitted. We release a novel corpus of Buddhist texts, a novel corpus of general Sanskrit and word similarity and word analogy datasets for intrinsic evaluation of Buddhist Sanskrit embeddings models. We compare the performance of word2vec and fastText static embeddings models, with default and optimized parameter settings, as well as contextual models BERT and GPT-2, with different training regimes (including a transfer learning approach using the general Sanskrit corpus) and different embeddings construction regimes (given the encoder layers). The results show that for semantic similarity the fastText embeddings yield the best results, while for word analogy tasks BERT embeddings work the best. We also show that for contextual models the optimal layer combination for embedding construction is task dependant, and that pretraining the contextual embeddings models on a reference corpus of general Sanskrit is beneficial, which is a promising finding for future development of embeddings for less-resourced languages and domains.

JSI at SemEval-2022 Task 1: CODWOE - Reverse Dictionary: Monolingual and cross-lingual approaches
Thi Hong Hanh Tran | Matej Martinc | Matthew Purver | Senja Pollak
Proceedings of the 16th International Workshop on Semantic Evaluation (SemEval-2022)

The reverse dictionary task is a sequence-to-vector task in which a gloss is provided as input, and the output must be a semantically matching word vector. The reverse dictionary is useful in practical applications such as solving the tip-of-the-tongue problem, helping new language learners, etc. In this paper, we evaluate the effect of a Transformer-based model with cross-lingual zero-shot learning to improve the reverse dictionary performance. Our experiments are conducted in five languages in the CODWOE dataset, including English, French, Italian, Spanish, and Russian. Even if we did not achieve a good ranking in the CODWOE competition, we show that our work partially improves the current baseline from the organizers with a hypothesis on the impact of LSTM in monolingual, multilingual, and zero-shot learning. All the codes are available at

IJS at TextGraphs-16 Natural Language Premise Selection Task: Will Contextual Information Improve Natural Language Premise Selection?
Thi Hong Hanh Tran | Matej Martinc | Antoine Doucet | Senja Pollak
Proceedings of TextGraphs-16: Graph-based Methods for Natural Language Processing

Natural Language Premise Selection (NLPS) is a mathematical Natural Language Processing (NLP) task that retrieves a set of applicable relevant premises to support the end-user finding the proof for a particular statement. In this research, we evaluate the impact of Transformer-based contextual information and different fundamental similarity scores toward NLPS. The results demonstrate that the contextual representation is better at capturing meaningful information despite not being pretrained in the mathematical background compared to the statistical approach (e.g., the TF-IDF) with a boost of around 3.00% MAP@500.


Supervised and Unsupervised Neural Approaches to Text Readability
Matej Martinc | Senja Pollak | Marko Robnik-Šikonja
Computational Linguistics, Volume 47, Issue 1 - March 2021

Abstract We present a set of novel neural supervised and unsupervised approaches for determining the readability of documents. In the unsupervised setting, we leverage neural language models, whereas in the supervised setting, three different neural classification architectures are tested. We show that the proposed neural unsupervised approach is robust, transferable across languages, and allows adaptation to a specific readability task and data set. By systematic comparison of several neural architectures on a number of benchmark and new labeled readability data sets in two languages, this study also offers a comprehensive analysis of different neural approaches to readability classification. We expose their strengths and weaknesses, compare their performance to current state-of-the-art classification approaches to readability, which in most cases still rely on extensive feature engineering, and propose possibilities for improvements.

Scalable and Interpretable Semantic Change Detection
Syrielle Montariol | Matej Martinc | Lidia Pivovarova
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Several cluster-based methods for semantic change detection with contextual embeddings emerged recently. They allow a fine-grained analysis of word use change by aggregating embeddings into clusters that reflect the different usages of the word. However, these methods are unscalable in terms of memory consumption and computation time. Therefore, they require a limited set of target words to be picked in advance. This drastically limits the usability of these methods in open exploratory tasks, where each word from the vocabulary can be considered as a potential target. We propose a novel scalable method for word usage-change detection that offers large gains in processing time and significant memory savings while offering the same interpretability and better performance than unscalable methods. We demonstrate the applicability of the proposed method by analysing a large corpus of news articles about COVID-19.

Extending Neural Keyword Extraction with TF-IDF tagset matching
Boshko Koloski | Senja Pollak | Blaž Škrlj | Matej Martinc
Proceedings of the EACL Hackashop on News Media Content Analysis and Automated Report Generation

Keyword extraction is the task of identifying words (or multi-word expressions) that best describe a given document and serve in news portals to link articles of similar topics. In this work, we develop and evaluate our methods on four novel data sets covering less-represented, morphologically-rich languages in European news media industry (Croatian, Estonian, Latvian, and Russian). First, we perform evaluation of two supervised neural transformer-based methods, Transformer-based Neural Tagger for Keyword Identification (TNT-KID) and Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers (BERT) with an additional Bidirectional Long Short-Term Memory Conditional Random Fields (BiLSTM CRF) classification head, and compare them to a baseline Term Frequency - Inverse Document Frequency (TF-IDF) based unsupervised approach. Next, we show that by combining the keywords retrieved by both neural transformer-based methods and extending the final set of keywords with an unsupervised TF-IDF based technique, we can drastically improve the recall of the system, making it appropriate for usage as a recommendation system in the media house environment.

Zero-shot Cross-lingual Content Filtering: Offensive Language and Hate Speech Detection
Andraž Pelicon | Ravi Shekhar | Matej Martinc | Blaž Škrlj | Matthew Purver | Senja Pollak
Proceedings of the EACL Hackashop on News Media Content Analysis and Automated Report Generation

We present a system for zero-shot cross-lingual offensive language and hate speech classification. The system was trained on English datasets and tested on a task of detecting hate speech and offensive social media content in a number of languages without any additional training. Experiments show an impressive ability of both models to generalize from English to other languages. There is however an expected gap in performance between the tested cross-lingual models and the monolingual models. The best performing model (offensive content classifier) is available online as a REST API.

EMBEDDIA Tools, Datasets and Challenges: Resources and Hackathon Contributions
Senja Pollak | Marko Robnik-Šikonja | Matthew Purver | Michele Boggia | Ravi Shekhar | Marko Pranjić | Salla Salmela | Ivar Krustok | Tarmo Paju | Carl-Gustav Linden | Leo Leppänen | Elaine Zosa | Matej Ulčar | Linda Freienthal | Silver Traat | Luis Adrián Cabrera-Diego | Matej Martinc | Nada Lavrač | Blaž Škrlj | Martin Žnidaršič | Andraž Pelicon | Boshko Koloski | Vid Podpečan | Janez Kranjc | Shane Sheehan | Emanuela Boros | Jose G. Moreno | Antoine Doucet | Hannu Toivonen
Proceedings of the EACL Hackashop on News Media Content Analysis and Automated Report Generation

This paper presents tools and data sources collected and released by the EMBEDDIA project, supported by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program. The collected resources were offered to participants of a hackathon organized as part of the EACL Hackashop on News Media Content Analysis and Automated Report Generation in February 2021. The hackathon had six participating teams who addressed different challenges, either from the list of proposed challenges or their own news-industry-related tasks. This paper goes beyond the scope of the hackathon, as it brings together in a coherent and compact form most of the resources developed, collected and released by the EMBEDDIA project. Moreover, it constitutes a handy source for news media industry and researchers in the fields of Natural Language Processing and Social Science.

EMBEDDIA hackathon report: Automatic sentiment and viewpoint analysis of Slovenian news corpus on the topic of LGBTIQ+
Matej Martinc | Nina Perger | Andraž Pelicon | Matej Ulčar | Andreja Vezovnik | Senja Pollak
Proceedings of the EACL Hackashop on News Media Content Analysis and Automated Report Generation

We conduct automatic sentiment and viewpoint analysis of the newly created Slovenian news corpus containing articles related to the topic of LGBTIQ+ by employing the state-of-the-art news sentiment classifier and a system for semantic change detection. The focus is on the differences in reporting between quality news media with long tradition and news media with financial and political connections to SDS, a Slovene right-wing political party. The results suggest that political affiliation of the media can affect the sentiment distribution of articles and the framing of specific LGBTIQ+ specific topics, such as same-sex marriage.


Mining Semantic Relations from Comparable Corpora through Intersections of Word Embeddings
Špela Vintar | Larisa Grčić Simeunović | Matej Martinc | Senja Pollak | Uroš Stepišnik
Proceedings of the 13th Workshop on Building and Using Comparable Corpora

We report an experiment aimed at extracting words expressing a specific semantic relation using intersections of word embeddings. In a multilingual frame-based domain model, specific features of a concept are typically described through a set of non-arbitrary semantic relations. In karstology, our domain of choice which we are exploring though a comparable corpus in English and Croatian, karst phenomena such as landforms are usually described through their FORM, LOCATION, CAUSE, FUNCTION and COMPOSITION. We propose an approach to mine words pertaining to each of these relations by using a small number of seed adjectives, for which we retrieve closest words using word embeddings and then use intersections of these neighbourhoods to refine our search. Such cross-language expansion of semantically-rich vocabulary is a valuable aid in improving the coverage of a multilingual knowledge base, but also in exploring differences between languages in their respective conceptualisations of the domain.

Discovery Team at SemEval-2020 Task 1: Context-sensitive Embeddings Not Always Better than Static for Semantic Change Detection
Matej Martinc | Syrielle Montariol | Elaine Zosa | Lidia Pivovarova
Proceedings of the Fourteenth Workshop on Semantic Evaluation

This paper describes the approaches used by the Discovery Team to solve SemEval-2020 Task 1 - Unsupervised Lexical Semantic Change Detection. The proposed method is based on clustering of BERT contextual embeddings, followed by a comparison of cluster distributions across time. The best results were obtained by an ensemble of this method and static Word2Vec embeddings. According to the official results, our approach proved the best for Latin in Subtask 2.

Leveraging Contextual Embeddings for Detecting Diachronic Semantic Shift
Matej Martinc | Petra Kralj Novak | Senja Pollak
Proceedings of the Twelfth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

We propose a new method that leverages contextual embeddings for the task of diachronic semantic shift detection by generating time specific word representations from BERT embeddings. The results of our experiments in the domain specific LiverpoolFC corpus suggest that the proposed method has performance comparable to the current state-of-the-art without requiring any time consuming domain adaptation on large corpora. The results on the newly created Brexit news corpus suggest that the method can be successfully used for the detection of a short-term yearly semantic shift. And lastly, the model also shows promising results in a multilingual settings, where the task was to detect differences and similarities between diachronic semantic shifts in different languages.


Embeddia at SemEval-2019 Task 6: Detecting Hate with Neural Network and Transfer Learning Approaches
Andraž Pelicon | Matej Martinc | Petra Kralj Novak
Proceedings of the 13th International Workshop on Semantic Evaluation

SemEval 2019 Task 6 was OffensEval: Identifying and Categorizing Offensive Language in Social Media. The task was further divided into three sub-tasks: offensive language identification, automatic categorization of offense types, and offense target identification. In this paper, we present the approaches used by the Embeddia team, who qualified as fourth, eighteenth and fifth on the tree sub-tasks. A different model was trained for each sub-task. For the first sub-task, we used a BERT model fine-tuned on the OLID dataset, while for the second and third tasks we developed a custom neural network architecture which combines bag-of-words features and automatically generated sequence-based features. Our results show that combining automatically and manually crafted features fed into a neural architecture outperform transfer learning approach on more unbalanced datasets.


Reusable workflows for gender prediction
Matej Martinc | Senja Pollak
Proceedings of the Eleventh International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC 2018)

Er ... well, it matters, right? On the role of data representations in spoken language dependency parsing
Kaja Dobrovoljc | Matej Martinc
Proceedings of the Second Workshop on Universal Dependencies (UDW 2018)

Despite the significant improvement of data-driven dependency parsing systems in recent years, they still achieve a considerably lower performance in parsing spoken language data in comparison to written data. On the example of Spoken Slovenian Treebank, the first spoken data treebank using the UD annotation scheme, we investigate which speech-specific phenomena undermine parsing performance, through a series of training data and treebank modification experiments using two distinct state-of-the-art parsing systems. Our results show that utterance segmentation is the most prominent cause of low parsing performance, both in parsing raw and pre-segmented transcriptions. In addition to shorter utterances, both parsers perform better on normalized transcriptions including basic markers of prosody and excluding disfluencies, discourse markers and fillers. On the other hand, the effects of written training data addition and speech-specific dependency representations largely depend on the parsing system selected.