Sebastian Cojocariu


UnibucKernel: Geolocating Swiss German Jodels Using Ensemble Learning
Gaman Mihaela | Sebastian Cojocariu | Radu Tudor Ionescu
Proceedings of the Eighth Workshop on NLP for Similar Languages, Varieties and Dialects

In this work, we describe our approach addressing the Social Media Variety Geolocation task featured in the 2021 VarDial Evaluation Campaign. We focus on the second subtask, which is based on a data set formed of approximately 30 thousand Swiss German Jodels. The dialect identification task is about accurately predicting the latitude and longitude of test samples. We frame the task as a double regression problem, employing an XGBoost meta-learner with the combined power of a variety of machine learning approaches to predict both latitude and longitude. The models included in our ensemble range from simple regression techniques, such as Support Vector Regression, to deep neural models, such as a hybrid neural network and a neural transformer. To minimize the prediction error, we approach the problem from a few different perspectives and consider various types of features, from low-level character n-grams to high-level BERT embeddings. The XGBoost ensemble resulted from combining the power of the aforementioned methods achieves a median distance of 23.6 km on the test data, which places us on the third place in the ranking, at a difference of 6.05 km and 2.9 km from the submissions on the first and second places, respectively.