We present a preliminary study on predicting news values from headline text and emotions. We perform a multivariate analysis on a dataset manually annotated with news values and emotions, discovering interesting correlations among them. We then train two competitive machine learning models – an SVM and a CNN – to predict news values from headline text and emotions as features. We find that, while both models yield a satisfactory performance, some news values are more difficult to detect than others, while some profit more from including emotion information.
We analyze user viewing behavior on an online news site. We collect data from 64,000 news articles, and use text features to predict frequency of user views. We compare predictiveness of the headline and “teaser” (viewed before clicking) and the body (viewed after clicking). Both are predictive of clicking behavior, with the full article text being most predictive.
This paper addresses the task of identifying the bias in news articles published during a political or social conflict. We create a silver-standard corpus based on the actions of users in social media. Specifically, we reconceptualize bias in terms of how likely a given article is to be shared or liked by each of the opposing sides. We apply our methodology to a dataset of links collected in relation to the Russia-Ukraine Maidan crisis from 2013-2014. We show that on the task of predicting which side is likely to prefer a given article, a Naive Bayes classifier can record 90.3% accuracy looking only at domain names of the news sources. The best accuracy of 93.5% is achieved by a feed forward neural network. We also apply our methodology to gold-labeled set of articles annotated for bias, where the aforementioned Naive Bayes classifier records 82.6% accuracy and a feed-forward neural networks records 85.6% accuracy.
In this paper we present a recommender system, What To Write and Why, capable of suggesting to a journalist, for a given event, the aspects still uncovered in news articles on which the readers focus their interest. The basic idea is to characterize an event according to the echo it receives in online news sources and associate it with the corresponding readers’ communicative and informative patterns, detected through the analysis of Twitter and Wikipedia, respectively. Our methodology temporally aligns the results of this analysis and recommends the concepts that emerge as topics of interest from Twitter andWikipedia, either not covered or poorly covered in the published news articles.
News media typically present biased accounts of news stories, and different publications present different angles on the same event. In this research, we investigate how different publications differ in their approach to stories about climate change, by examining the sentiment and topics presented. To understand these attitudes, we find sentiment targets by combining Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) with SentiWordNet, a general sentiment lexicon. Using LDA, we generate topics containing keywords which represent the sentiment targets, and then annotate the data using SentiWordNet before regrouping the articles based on topic similarity. Preliminary analysis identifies clearly different attitudes on the same issue presented in different news sources. Ongoing work is investigating how systematic these attitudes are between different publications, and how these may change over time.
Faced with ever-growing news archives, media professionals are in need of advanced tools to explore the information surrounding specific events. This problem is most commonly answered by browsing news datasets, going from article to article and viewing unaltered original content. In this article, we introduce an efficient way to generate links between news items, allowing such browsing through an easily explorable graph, and enrich this graph by automatically typing links in order to inform the user on the nature of the relation between two news pieces. User evaluations are conducted on real world data with journalists in order to assess for the interest of both the graph representation and link typing in a press reviewing task, showing the system to be of significant help for their work.
Complexity of event data in texts makes it difficult to assess its content, especially when considering larger collections in which different sources report on the same or similar situations. We present a system that makes it possible to visually analyze complex event and emotion data extracted from texts. We show that we can abstract from different data models for events and emotions to a single data model that can show the complex relations in four dimensions. The visualization has been applied to analyze 1) dynamic developments in how people both conceive and express emotions in theater plays and 2) how stories are told from the perspectyive of their sources based on rich event data extracted from news or biographies.
We address the issue of the quality of journalism and analyze daily article revision logs from a Japanese newspaper company. The revision logs contain data that can help reveal the requirements of quality journalism such as the types and number of edit operations and aspects commonly focused in revision. This study also discusses potential applications such as quality assessment and automatic article revision as our future research directions.
Experimenting with a dataset of approximately 1.6M user comments from a Greek news sports portal, we explore how a state of the art RNN-based moderation method can be improved by adding user embeddings, user type embeddings, user biases, or user type biases. We observe improvements in all cases, with user embeddings leading to the biggest performance gains.
This paper discusses the problem of incongruent headlines: those which do not accurately represent the information contained in the article with which they occur. We emphasise that this phenomenon should be considered separately from recognised problematic headline types such as clickbait and sensationalism, arguing that existing natural language processing (NLP) methods applied to these related concepts are not appropriate for the automatic detection of headline incongruence, as an analysis beyond stylistic traits is necessary. We therefore suggest a number of alternative methodologies that may be appropriate to the task at hand as a foundation for future work in this area. In addition, we provide an analysis of existing data sets which are related to this work, and motivate the need for a novel data set in this domain.
In this paper, we present an unsupervised pipeline approach for clustering news articles based on identified event instances in their content. We leverage press agency newswire and monolingual word alignment techniques to build meaningful and linguistically varied clusters of articles from the web in the perspective of a broader event type detection task. We validate our approach on a manually annotated corpus of Web articles.
We present a prototypical content curation dashboard, to be used in the newsroom, and several of its underlying semantic content analysis components (such as named entity recognition, entity linking, summarisation and temporal expression analysis). The idea is to enable journalists (a) to process incoming content (agency reports, twitter feeds, reports, blog posts, social media etc.) and (b) to create new articles more easily and more efficiently. The prototype system also allows the automatic annotation of events in incoming content for the purpose of supporting journalists in identifying important, relevant or meaningful events and also to adapt the content currently in production accordingly in a semi-automatic way. One of our long-term goals is to support journalists building up entire storylines with automatic means. In the present prototype they are generated in a backend service using clustering methods that operate on the extracted events.
News verification and automated fact checking tend to be very important issues in our world. The research is initial. We collected a corpus for Russian (174 news reports, truthful and fake ones). We held two experiments, for both we applied SVMs algorithm (linear/rbf kernel) and Random Forest to classify the news reports into 2 classes: truthful/deceptive. In the first experiment, we used 18 markers on lexics level, mostly frequencies of POS tags in texts. In the second experiment, on discourse level we used frequencies of rhetorical relations types in texts. The classification task in the first experiment is solved better by SVMs (rbf kernel) (f-measure 0.65). The model based on RST features shows best results with Random Forest Classifier (f-measure 0.54) and should be modified. In the next research, the combination of different deception detection markers for the Russian language should be taken in order to make a better predictive model.
Fake news has become a hotly debated topic in journalism. In this paper, we present our entry to the 2017 Fake News Challenge which models the detection of fake news as a stance classification task that finished in 11th place on the leader board. Our entry is an ensemble system of classifiers developed by students in the context of their coursework. We show how we used the stacking ensemble method for this purpose and obtained improvements in classification accuracy exceeding each of the individual models’ performance on the development data. Finally, we discuss aspects of the experimental setup of the challenge.
We present a system for the detection of the stance of headlines with regard to their corresponding article bodies. The approach can be applied in fake news, especially clickbait detection scenarios. The component is part of a larger platform for the curation of digital content; we consider veracity and relevancy an increasingly important part of curating online information. We want to contribute to the debate on how to deal with fake news and related online phenomena with technological means, by providing means to separate related from unrelated headlines and further classifying the related headlines. On a publicly available data set annotated for the stance of headlines with regard to their corresponding article bodies, we achieve a (weighted) accuracy score of 89.59.
Previous work on the epistemology of fact-checking indicated the dilemma between the needs of binary answers for the public and ambiguity of political discussion. Determining concepts represented by terms in political discourse can be considered as a Word-Sense Disambiguation (WSD) task. The analysis of political discourse, however, requires identifying precise concepts of terms from relatively small data. This work attempts to provide a basic framework for revealing concepts of terms in political discourse with explicit contextual information. The framework consists of three parts: 1) extracting important terms, 2) generating concordance for each term with stipulative definitions and explanations, and 3) agglomerating similar information of the term by hierarchical clustering. Utterances made by Prime Minister Abe Shinzo in the Diet of Japan are used to examine our framework. Importantly, we revealed the conceptual inconsistency of the term Sonritsu-kiki-jitai. The framework was proved to work, but only for a small number of terms due to lack of explicit contextual information.
Chain construction is an important requirement for understanding news and establishing the context. A news chain can be defined as a coherent set of articles that explains an event or a story. There’s a lack of well-established methods in this area. In this work, we propose a methodology to evaluate the “goodness” of a given news chain and implement a concept lattice-based news chain construction method by Hossain et al.. The methodology part is vital as it directly affects the growth of research in this area. Our proposed methodology consists of collected news chains from different studies and two “goodness” metrics, minedge and dispersion coefficient respectively. We assess the utility of the lattice-based news chain construction method by our proposed methodology.
We examine the extent to which we are able to automatically identify constructive online comments. We build several classifiers using New York Times Picks as positive examples and non-constructive thread comments from the Yahoo News Annotated Comments Corpus as negative examples of constructive online comments. We evaluate these classifiers on a crowd-annotated corpus containing 1,121 comments. Our best classifier achieves a top F1 score of 0.84.
The discrepancy between science and media has been affecting the effectiveness of science communication. Original findings from science publications may be distorted with altered claim strength when reported to the public, causing misinformation spread. This study conducts an NLP analysis of exaggerated claims in science news, and then constructed prediction models for identifying claim strength levels in science reporting. The results demonstrate different writing styles journal articles and news/press releases use for reporting scientific findings. Preliminary prediction models reached promising result with room for further improvement.
Dependency parses are an effective way to inject linguistic knowledge into many downstream tasks, and many practitioners wish to efficiently parse sentences at scale. Recent advances in GPU hardware have enabled neural networks to achieve significant gains over the previous best models, these models still fail to leverage GPUs’ capability for massive parallelism due to their requirement of sequential processing of the sentence. In response, we propose Dilated Iterated Graph Convolutional Neural Networks (DIG-CNNs) for graph-based dependency parsing, a graph convolutional architecture that allows for efficient end-to-end GPU parsing. In experiments on the English Penn TreeBank benchmark, we show that DIG-CNNs perform on par with some of the best neural network parsers.
Standard approaches in entity identification hard-code boundary detection and type prediction into labels and perform Viterbi. This has two disadvantages: 1. the runtime complexity grows quadratically in the number of types, and 2. there is no natural segment-level representation. In this paper, we propose a neural architecture that addresses these disadvantages. We frame the problem as multitasking, separating boundary detection and type prediction but optimizing them jointly. Despite its simplicity, this architecture performs competitively with fully structured models such as BiLSTM-CRFs while scaling linearly in the number of types. Furthermore, by construction, the model induces type-disambiguating embeddings of predicted mentions.
Building models that take advantage of the hierarchical structure of language without a priori annotation is a longstanding goal in natural language processing. We introduce such a model for the task of machine translation, pairing a recurrent neural network grammar encoder with a novel attentional RNNG decoder and applying policy gradient reinforcement learning to induce unsupervised tree structures on both the source and target. When trained on character-level datasets with no explicit segmentation or parse annotation, the model learns a plausible segmentation and shallow parse, obtaining performance close to an attentional baseline.
We present an algorithm for structured prediction under online bandit feedback. The learner repeatedly predicts a sequence of actions, generating a structured output. It then observes feedback for that output and no others. We consider two cases: a pure bandit setting in which it only observes a loss, and more fine-grained feedback in which it observes a loss for every action. We find that the fine-grained feedback is necessary for strong empirical performance, because it allows for a robust variance-reduction strategy. We empirically compare a number of different algorithms and exploration methods and show the efficacy of BLS on sequence labeling and dependency parsing tasks.
In Semantic Role Labeling (SRL) task, the tree structured dependency relation is rich in syntax information, but it is not well handled by existing models. In this paper, we propose Syntax Aware Long Short Time Memory (SA-LSTM). The structure of SA-LSTM changes according to dependency structure of each sentence, so that SA-LSTM can model the whole tree structure of dependency relation in an architecture engineering way. Experiments demonstrate that on Chinese Proposition Bank (CPB) 1.0, SA-LSTM improves F1 by 2.06% than ordinary bi-LSTM with feature engineered dependency relation information, and gives state-of-the-art F1 of 79.92%. On English CoNLL 2005 dataset, SA-LSTM brings improvement (2.1%) to bi-LSTM model and also brings slight improvement (0.3%) when added to the state-of-the-art model.
This work is on a previously formalized semantic evaluation task of spatial role labeling (SpRL) that aims at extraction of formal spatial meaning from text. Here, we report the results of initial efforts towards exploiting visual information in the form of images to help spatial language understanding. We discuss the way of designing new models in the framework of declarative learning-based programming (DeLBP). The DeLBP framework facilitates combining modalities and representing various data in a unified graph. The learning and inference models exploit the structure of the unified graph as well as the global first order domain constraints beyond the data to predict the semantics which forms a structured meaning representation of the spatial context. Continuous representations are used to relate the various elements of the graph originating from different modalities. We improved over the state-of-the-art results on SpRL.
We present an architecture to boost the precision of existing information extraction systems. This is achieved by augmenting the existing parser, which may be constraint-based or hybrid statistical, with a character-level neural network. Our architecture combines the ability of constraint-based or hybrid extraction systems to easily incorporate domain knowledge with the ability of deep neural networks to leverage large amounts of data to learn complex features. The network is trained using a measure of consistency between extracted data and existing databases as a form of cheap, noisy supervision. Our architecture does not require large scale manual annotation or a system rewrite. It has led to large precision improvements over an existing, highly-tuned production information extraction system used at Bloomberg LP for financial language text.
Advances in neural variational inference have facilitated the learning of powerful directed graphical models with continuous latent variables, such as variational autoencoders. The hope is that such models will learn to represent rich, multi-modal latent factors in real-world data, such as natural language text. However, current models often assume simplistic priors on the latent variables - such as the uni-modal Gaussian distribution - which are incapable of representing complex latent factors efficiently. To overcome this restriction, we propose the simple, but highly flexible, piecewise constant distribution. This distribution has the capacity to represent an exponential number of modes of a latent target distribution, while remaining mathematically tractable. Our results demonstrate that incorporating this new latent distribution into different models yields substantial improvements in natural language processing tasks such as document modeling and natural language generation for dialogue.
With the prevalence of video sharing, there are increasing demands for automatic video digestion such as highlight detection. Recently, platforms with crowdsourced time-sync video comments have emerged worldwide, providing a good opportunity for highlight detection. However, this task is non-trivial: (1) time-sync comments often lag behind their corresponding shot; (2) time-sync comments are semantically sparse and noisy; (3) to determine which shots are highlights is highly subjective. The present paper aims to tackle these challenges by proposing a framework that (1) uses concept-mapped lexical-chains for lag-calibration; (2) models video highlights based on comment intensity and combination of emotion and concept concentration of each shot; (3) summarize each detected highlight using improved SumBasic with emotion and concept mapping. Experiments on large real-world datasets show that our highlight detection method and summarization method both outperform other benchmarks with considerable margins.
With the proliferation of Web-based social media, asynchronous conversations have become very common for supporting online communication and collaboration. Yet the increasing volume and complexity of conversational data often make it very difficult to get insights about the discussions. We consider combining textual summary with visual representation of conversational data as a promising way of supporting the user in exploring conversations. In this paper, we report our current work on developing visual interfaces that present multimedia summary combining text and visualization for online conversations and how our solutions have been tailored for a variety of domain problems. We then discuss the key challenges and opportunities for future work in this research space.
Recent neural headline generation models have shown great results, but are generally trained on very large datasets. We focus our efforts on improving headline quality on smaller datasets by the means of pretraining. We propose new methods that enable pre-training all the parameters of the model and utilize all available text, resulting in improvements by up to 32.4% relative in perplexity and 2.84 points in ROUGE.
Abstractive summarization, the task of rewriting and compressing a document into a short summary, has achieved considerable success with neural sequence-to-sequence models. However, these models can still benefit from stronger natural language inference skills, since a correct summary is logically entailed by the input document, i.e., it should not contain any contradictory or unrelated information. We incorporate such knowledge into an abstractive summarization model via multi-task learning, where we share its decoder parameters with those of an entailment generation model. We achieve promising initial improvements based on multiple metrics and datasets (including a test-only setting). The domain mismatch between the entailment (captions) and summarization (news) datasets suggests that the model is learning some domain-agnostic inference skills.
Sequence-to-sequence models with attention have been successful for a variety of NLP problems, but their speed does not scale well for tasks with long source sequences such as document summarization. We propose a novel coarse-to-fine attention model that hierarchically reads a document, using coarse attention to select top-level chunks of text and fine attention to read the words of the chosen chunks. While the computation for training standard attention models scales linearly with source sequence length, our method scales with the number of top-level chunks and can handle much longer sequences. Empirically, we find that while coarse-to-fine attention models lag behind state-of-the-art baselines, our method achieves the desired behavior of sparsely attending to subsets of the document for generation.
Summarization of spoken conversations is a challenging task, since it requires deep understanding of dialogs. Abstractive summarization techniques rely on linking the summary sentences to sets of original conversation sentences, i.e. communities. Unfortunately, such linking information is rarely available or requires trained annotators. We propose and experiment automatic community creation using cosine similarity on different levels of representation: raw text, WordNet SynSet IDs, and word embeddings. We show that the abstractive summarization systems with automatic communities significantly outperform previously published results on both English and Italian corpora.
We present a fully unsupervised, extractive text summarization system that leverages a submodularity framework introduced by past research. The framework allows summaries to be generated in a greedy way while preserving near-optimal performance guarantees. Our main contribution is the novel coverage reward term of the objective function optimized by the greedy algorithm. This component builds on the graph-of-words representation of text and the k-core decomposition algorithm to assign meaningful scores to words. We evaluate our approach on the AMI and ICSI meeting speech corpora, and on the DUC2001 news corpus. We reach state-of-the-art performance on all datasets. Results indicate that our method is particularly well-suited to the meeting domain.
Recent advances in automatic text summarization have used deep neural networks to generate high-quality abstractive summaries, but the performance of these models strongly depends on large amounts of suitable training data. We propose a new method for mining social media for author-provided summaries, taking advantage of the common practice of appending a “TL;DR” to long posts. A case study using a large Reddit crawl yields the Webis-TLDR-17 dataset, complementing existing corpora primarily from the news genre. Our technique is likely applicable to other social media sites and general web crawls.
We envisioned responsive generic hierarchical text summarization with summaries organized by section and paragraph based on hierarchical structure topic models. But we had to be sure that topic models were stable for the sampled corpora. To that end we developed a methodology for aligning multiple hierarchical structure topic models run over the same corpus under similar conditions, calculating a representative centroid model, and reporting stability of the centroid model. We ran stability experiments for standard corpora and a development corpus of Global Warming articles. We found flat and hierarchical structures of two levels plus the root offer stable centroid models, but hierarchical structures of three levels plus the root didn’t seem stable enough for use in hierarchical summarization.
The evaluation of summaries is a challenging but crucial task of the summarization field. In this work, we propose to learn an automatic scoring metric based on the human judgements available as part of classical summarization datasets like TAC-2008 and TAC-2009. Any existing automatic scoring metrics can be included as features, the model learns the combination exhibiting the best correlation with human judgments. The reliability of the new metric is tested in a further manual evaluation where we ask humans to evaluate summaries covering the whole scoring spectrum of the metric. We release the trained metric as an open-source tool.
The centroid-based model for extractive document summarization is a simple and fast baseline that ranks sentences based on their similarity to a centroid vector. In this paper, we apply this ranking to possible summaries instead of sentences and use a simple greedy algorithm to find the best summary. Furthermore, we show possibilities to scale up to larger input document collections by selecting a small number of sentences from each document prior to constructing the summary. Experiments were done on the DUC2004 dataset for multi-document summarization. We observe a higher performance over the original model, on par with more complex state-of-the-art methods.
We investigate the problem of reader-aware multi-document summarization (RA-MDS) and introduce a new dataset for this problem. To tackle RA-MDS, we extend a variational auto-encodes (VAEs) based MDS framework by jointly considering news documents and reader comments. To conduct evaluation for summarization performance, we prepare a new dataset. We describe the methods for data collection, aspect annotation, and summary writing as well as scrutinizing by experts. Experimental results show that reader comments can improve the summarization performance, which also demonstrates the usefulness of the proposed dataset.
We study the problem of domain adaptation for neural abstractive summarization. We make initial efforts in investigating what information can be transferred to a new domain. Experimental results on news stories and opinion articles indicate that neural summarization model benefits from pre-training based on extractive summaries. We also find that the combination of in-domain and out-of-domain setup yields better summaries when in-domain data is insufficient. Further analysis shows that, the model is capable to select salient content even trained on out-of-domain data, but requires in-domain data to capture the style for a target domain.
Silence is an integral part of the most frequent turn-taking phenomena in spoken conversations. Silence is sized and placed within the conversation flow and it is coordinated by the speakers along with the other speech acts. The objective of this analytical study is twofold: to explore the functions of silence with duration of one second and above, towards information flow in a dyadic conversation utilizing the sequences of dialog acts present in the turns surrounding the silence itself; and to design a feature space useful for clustering the silences using a hierarchical concept formation algorithm. The resulting clusters are manually grouped into functional categories based on their similarities. It is observed that the silence plays an important role in response preparation, also can indicate speakers’ hesitation or indecisiveness. It is also observed that sometimes long silences can be used deliberately to get a forced response from another speaker thus making silence a multi-functional and an important catalyst towards information flow.
This paper presents our novel method to encode word confusion networks, which can represent a rich hypothesis space of automatic speech recognition systems, via recurrent neural networks. We demonstrate the utility of our approach for the task of dialog state tracking in spoken dialog systems that relies on automatic speech recognition output. Encoding confusion networks outperforms encoding the best hypothesis of the automatic speech recognition in a neural system for dialog state tracking on the well-known second Dialog State Tracking Challenge dataset.
Written sentences can be more ambiguous than spoken sentences. We investigate this difference for two different types of ambiguity: prepositional phrase (PP) attachment and sentences where the addition of commas changes the meaning. We recorded a native English speaker saying several of each type of sentence both with and without disambiguating contextual information. These sentences were then presented either as text or audio and either with or without context to subjects who were asked to select the proper interpretation of the sentence. Results suggest that comma-ambiguous sentences are easier to disambiguate than PP-attachment-ambiguous sentences, possibly due to the presence of clear prosodic boundaries, namely silent pauses. Subject performance for sentences with PP-attachment ambiguity without context was 52% for text only while it was 72.4% for audio only, suggesting that audio has more disambiguating information than text. Using an analysis of acoustic features of two PP-attachment sentences, a simple classifier was implemented to resolve the PP-attachment ambiguity being early or late closure with a mean accuracy of 80%.
We present an analysis of parser performance on speech data, comparing word type and token frequency distributions with written data, and evaluating parse accuracy by length of input string. We find that parser performance tends to deteriorate with increasing length of string, more so for spoken than for written texts. We train an alternative parsing model with added speech data and demonstrate improvements in accuracy on speech-units, with no deterioration in performance on written text.
Parsing speech requires a richer representation than 1-best or n-best hypotheses, e.g. lattices. Moreover, previous work shows that part-of-speech (POS) tags are a valuable resource for parsing. In this paper, we therefore explore a joint modeling approach of automatic speech recognition (ASR) and POS tagging to enrich ASR word lattices. To that end, we manipulate the ASR process from the pronouncing dictionary onward to use word-POS pairs instead of words. We evaluate ASR, POS tagging and dependency parsing (DP) performance demonstrating a successful lattice-based integration of ASR and POS tagging.
Most state-of-the-art information extraction approaches rely on token-level labels to find the areas of interest in text. Unfortunately, these labels are time-consuming and costly to create, and consequently, not available for many real-life IE tasks. To make matters worse, token-level labels are usually not the desired output, but just an intermediary step. End-to-end (E2E) models, which take raw text as input and produce the desired output directly, need not depend on token-level labels. We propose an E2E model based on pointer networks, which can be trained directly on pairs of raw input and output text. We evaluate our model on the ATIS data set, MIT restaurant corpus and the MIT movie corpus and compare to neural baselines that do use token-level labels. We achieve competitive results, within a few percentage points of the baselines, showing the feasibility of E2E information extraction without the need for token-level labels. This opens up new possibilities, as for many tasks currently addressed by human extractors, raw input and output data are available, but not token-level labels.
Vast amounts of speech data collected for language documentation and research remain untranscribed and unsearchable, but often a small amount of speech may have text translations available. We present a method for partially labeling additional speech with translations in this scenario. We modify an unsupervised speech-to-translation alignment model and obtain prototype speech segments that match the translation words, which are in turn used to discover terms in the unlabelled data. We evaluate our method on a Spanish-English speech translation corpus and on two corpora of endangered languages, Arapaho and Ainu, demonstrating its appropriateness and applicability in an actual very-low-resource scenario.
This paper describes speech translation from Amharic-to-English, particularly Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) with post-editing feature and Amharic-English Statistical Machine Translation (SMT). ASR experiment is conducted using morpheme language model (LM) and phoneme acoustic model(AM). Likewise,SMT conducted using word and morpheme as unit. Morpheme based translation shows a 6.29 BLEU score at a 76.4% of recognition accuracy while word based translation shows a 12.83 BLEU score using 77.4% word recognition accuracy. Further, after post-edit on Amharic ASR using corpus based n-gram, the word recognition accuracy increased by 1.42%. Since post-edit approach reduces error propagation, the word based translation accuracy improved by 0.25 (1.95%) BLEU score. We are now working towards further improving propagated errors through different algorithms at each unit of speech translation cascading component.
We consider the automatic scoring of a task for which both the content of the response as well its spoken fluency are important. We combine features from a text-only content scoring system originally designed for written responses with several categories of acoustic features. Although adding any single category of acoustic features to the text-only system on its own does not significantly improve performance, adding all acoustic features together does yield a small but significant improvement. These results are consistent for responses to open-ended questions and to questions focused on some given source material.
Adding manually annotated prosodic information, specifically pitch accents and phrasing, to the typical text-based feature set for coreference resolution has previously been shown to have a positive effect on German data. Practical applications on spoken language, however, would rely on automatically predicted prosodic information. In this paper we predict pitch accents (and phrase boundaries) using a convolutional neural network (CNN) model from acoustic features extracted from the speech signal. After an assessment of the quality of these automatic prosodic annotations, we show that they also significantly improve coreference resolution.
This paper presents a summary of the first Workshop on Building Linguistically Generalizable Natural Language Processing Systems, and the associated Build It Break It, The Language Edition shared task. The goal of this workshop was to bring together researchers in NLP and linguistics with a carefully designed shared task aimed at testing the generalizability of NLP systems beyond the distributions of their training data. We describe the motivation, setup, and participation of the shared task, provide discussion of some highlighted results, and discuss lessons learned.
We report results on benchmarking Open Information Extraction (OIE) systems using RelVis, a toolkit for benchmarking Open Information Extraction systems. Our comprehensive benchmark contains three data sets from the news domain and one data set from Wikipedia with overall 4522 labeled sentences and 11243 binary or n-ary OIE relations. In our analysis on these data sets we compared the performance of four popular OIE systems, ClausIE, OpenIE 4.2, Stanford OpenIE and PredPatt. In addition, we evaluated the impact of five common error classes on a subset of 749 n-ary tuples. From our deep analysis we unreveal important research directions for a next generation on OIE systems.
Grapheme-to-phoneme conversion (g2p) is necessary for text-to-speech and automatic speech recognition systems. Most g2p systems are monolingual: they require language-specific data or handcrafting of rules. Such systems are difficult to extend to low resource languages, for which data and handcrafted rules are not available. As an alternative, we present a neural sequence-to-sequence approach to g2p which is trained on spelling–pronunciation pairs in hundreds of languages. The system shares a single encoder and decoder across all languages, allowing it to utilize the intrinsic similarities between different writing systems. We show an 11% improvement in phoneme error rate over an approach based on adapting high-resource monolingual g2p models to low-resource languages. Our model is also much more compact relative to previous approaches.
This paper describes our submission to the sentiment analysis sub-task of “Build It, Break It: The Language Edition (BIBI)”, on both the builder and breaker sides. As a builder, we use convolutional neural nets, trained on both phrase and sentence data. As a breaker, we use Q-learning to learn minimal change pairs, and apply a token substitution method automatically. We analyse the results to gauge the robustness of NLP systems.
This paper describes our “breaker” submission to the 2017 EMNLP “Build It Break It” shared task on sentiment analysis. In order to cause the “builder” systems to make incorrect predictions, we edited items in the blind test data according to linguistically interpretable strategies that allow us to assess the ease with which the builder systems learn various components of linguistic structure. On the whole, our submitted pairs break all systems at a high rate (72.6%), indicating that sentiment analysis as an NLP task may still have a lot of ground to cover. Of the breaker strategies that we consider, we find our semantic and pragmatic manipulations to pose the most substantial difficulties for the builder systems.
Lexical Simplification is the task of reducing the lexical complexity of textual documents by replacing difficult words with easier to read (or understand) expressions while preserving the original meaning. The development of robust pipelined multilingual architectures able to adapt to new languages is of paramount importance in lexical simplification. This paper describes and evaluates a modular hybrid linguistic-statistical Lexical Simplifier that deals with the four major Ibero-Romance Languages: Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, and Galician. The architecture of the system is the same for the four languages addressed, only the language resources used during simplification are language specific.
This paper challenges a cross-genre document retrieval task, where the queries are in formal writing and the target documents are in conversational writing. In this task, a query, is a sentence extracted from either a summary or a plot of an episode in a TV show, and the target document consists of transcripts from the corresponding episode. To establish a strong baseline, we employ the current state-of-the-art search engine to perform document retrieval on the dataset collected for this work. We then introduce a structure reranking approach to improve the initial ranking by utilizing syntactic and semantic structures generated by NLP tools. Our evaluation shows an improvement of more than 4% when the structure reranking is applied, which is very promising.
Sentiment analysis deals with the task of determining the polarity of a document or sentence and has received a lot of attention in recent years for the English language. With the rapid growth of social media these days, a lot of data is available in regional languages besides English. Telugu is one such regional language with abundant data available in social media, but it’s hard to find a labelled data of sentences for Telugu Sentiment Analysis. In this paper, we describe an effort to build a gold-standard annotated corpus of Telugu sentences to support Telugu Sentiment Analysis. The corpus, named ACTSA (Annotated Corpus for Telugu Sentiment Analysis) has a collection of Telugu sentences taken from different sources which were then pre-processed and manually annotated by native Telugu speakers using our annotation guidelines. In total, we have annotated 5457 sentences, which makes our corpus the largest resource currently available. The corpus and the annotation guidelines are made publicly available.
This paper describes a builder entry, named “strawman”, to the sentence-level sentiment analysis task of the “Build It, Break It” shared task of the First Workshop on Building Linguistically Generalizable NLP Systems. The goal of a builder is to provide an automated sentiment analyzer that would serve as a target for breakers whose goal is to find pairs of minimally-differing sentences that break the analyzer.
The current paper covers several strategies we used to ‘break’ predictions of sentiment analysis systems participating in the BLGNLP2017 workshop. Specifically, we identify difficulties of participating systems in understanding modals, subjective judgments, world-knowledge based references and certain differences in syntax and perspective.
We propose a novel method to bootstrap the construction of parallel corpora for new pairs of structurally different languages. We do so by combining the use of a pivot language and self-training. A pivot language enables the use of existing translation models to bootstrap the alignment and a self-training procedure enables to achieve better alignment, both at the document and sentence level. We also propose several evaluation methods for the resulting alignment.
Integrating Natural Language Processing (NLP) and computer vision is a promising effort. However, the applicability of these methods directly depends on the availability of a specific multimodal data that includes images and texts. In this paper, we present a collection of a Multimodal corpus of comparable texts and their images in 9 languages from the web news articles of Euronews website. This corpus has found widespread use in the NLP community in Multilingual and multimodal tasks. Here, we focus on its acquisition of the images and text data and their multilingual alignment.
Learning phrase representations has been widely explored in many Natural Language Processing tasks (e.g., Sentiment Analysis, Machine Translation) and has shown promising improvements. Previous studies either learn non-compositional phrase representations with general word embedding learning techniques or learn compositional phrase representations based on syntactic structures, which either require huge amounts of human annotations or cannot be easily generalized to all phrases. In this work, we propose to take advantage of large-scaled paraphrase database and present a pairwise-GRU framework to generate compositional phrase representations. Our framework can be re-used to generate representations for any phrases. Experimental results show that our framework achieves state-of-the-art results on several phrase similarity tasks.
A classifier for automatic detection of stance towards vaccination in online forums was trained and evaluated. Debate posts from six discussion threads on the British parental website Mumsnet were manually annotated for stance ‘against’ or ‘for’ vaccination, or as ‘undecided’. A support vector machine, trained to detect the three classes, achieved a macro F-score of 0.44, while a macro F-score of 0.62 was obtained by the same type of classifier on the binary classification task of distinguishing stance ‘against’ vaccination from stance ‘for’ vaccination. These results show that vaccine stance detection in online forums is a difficult task, at least for the type of model investigated and for the relatively small training corpus that was used. Future work will therefore include an expansion of the training data and an evaluation of other types of classifiers and features.
We develop a computational model to discover the potential causes of depression by analysing the topics in a usergenerated text. We show the most prominent causes, and how these causes evolve over time. Also, we highlight the differences in causes between students with low and high neuroticism. Our studies demonstrate that the topics reveal valuable clues about the causes contributing to depressed mood. Identifying causes can have a significant impact on improving the quality of depression care; thereby providing greater insights into a patient’s state for pertinent treatment recommendations. Hence, this study significantly expands the ability to discover the potential factors that trigger depression, making it possible to increase the efficiency of depression treatment.
To date, various Twitter-based event detection systems have been proposed. Most of their targets, however, share common characteristics. They are seasonal or global events such as earthquakes and flu pandemics. In contrast, this study targets unseasonal and local disease events. Our system investigates the frequencies of disease-related words such as “nausea”,“chill”,and “diarrhea” and estimates the number of patients using regression of these word frequencies. Experiments conducted using Japanese 47 areas from January 2017 to April 2017 revealed that the detection of small and unseasonal event is extremely difficult (overall performance: 0.13). However, we found that the event scale and the detection performance show high correlation in the specified cases (in the phase of patient increasing or decreasing). The results also suggest that when 150 and more patients appear in a high population area, we can expect that our social sensors detect this outbreak. Based on these results, we can infer that social sensors can reliably detect unseasonal and local disease events under certain conditions, just as they can for seasonal or global events.
The increasing popularity of social media lead users to share enormous information on the internet. This information has various application like, it can be used to develop models to understand or predict user behavior on social media platforms. For example, few online retailers have studied the shopping patterns to predict shopper’s pregnancy stage. Another interesting application is to use the social media platforms to analyze users’ health-related information. In this study, we developed a tree kernel-based model to classify tweets conveying pregnancy related information using this corpus. The developed pregnancy classification model achieved an accuracy of 0.847 and an F-score of 0.565. A new corpus from popular social media platform Twitter was developed for the purpose of this study. In future, we would like to improve this corpus by reducing noise such as retweets.
Traditional disease surveillance systems depend on outpatient reporting and virological test results released by hospitals. These data have valid and accurate information about emerging outbreaks but it’s often not timely. In recent years the exponential growth of users getting connected to social media provides immense knowledge about epidemics by sharing related information. Social media can now flag more immediate concerns related to out-breaks in real time. In this paper we apply the long short-term memory recurrent neural net-work (RNN) architecture to classify tweets conveyed influenza-related information and compare its performance with baseline algorithms including support vector machine (SVM), decision tree, naive Bayes, simple logistics, and naive Bayes multinomial. The developed RNN model achieved an F-score of 0.845 on the MedWeb task test set, which outperforms the F-score of SVM without applying the synthetic minority oversampling technique by 0.08. The F-score of the RNN model is within 1% of the highest score achieved by SVM with oversampling technique.
Effective response to infectious diseases outbreaks relies on the rapid and early detection of those outbreaks. Invalidated, yet timely and openly available digital information can be used for the early detection of outbreaks. Public health surveillance authorities can exploit these early warnings to plan and co-ordinate rapid surveillance and emergency response programs. In 2016, a digital disease detection competition named ZikaHack was launched. The objective of the competition was for multidisciplinary teams to design, develop and demonstrate innovative digital disease detection solutions to retrospectively detect the 2015-16 Brazilian Zika virus outbreak earlier than traditional surveillance methods. In this paper, an overview of the ZikaHack competition is provided. The challenges and lessons learned in organizing this competition are also discussed for use by other researchers interested in organizing similar competitions.
Biomedical Named Entity (NE) recognition is a core technique for various works in the biomedical domain. In previous studies, using machine learning algorithm shows better performance than dictionary-based and rule-based approaches because there are too many terminological variations of biomedical NEs and new biomedical NEs are constantly generated. To achieve the high performance with a machine-learning algorithm, good-quality corpora are required. However, it is difficult to obtain the good-quality corpora because an-notating a biomedical corpus for ma-chine-learning is extremely time-consuming and costly. In addition, most previous corpora are insufficient for high-level tasks because they cannot cover various domains. Therefore, we propose a method for generating a large amount of machine-labeled data that covers various domains. To generate a large amount of machine-labeled data, firstly we generate an initial machine-labeled data by using a chunker and MetaMap. The chunker is developed to extract only biomedical NEs with manually annotated data. MetaMap is used to annotate the category of bio-medical NE. Then we apply the self-training approach to bootstrap the performance of initial machine-labeled data. In our experiments, the biomedical NE recognition system that is trained with our proposed machine-labeled data achieves much high performance. As a result, our system outperforms biomedical NE recognition system that using MetaMap only with 26.03%p improvements on F1-score.
The study of drug-drug interaction (DDI) is important in the drug discovering. Both PubMed and DrugBank are rich resources to retrieve DDI information which is usually represented in plain text. Automatically extracting DDI pairs from text improves the quality of drug discov-ering. In this paper, we presented a study that focuses on the DDI classification. We normalized the drug names, and developed both sentence-level and corpus-level features for DDI classification. A classifier ensemble approach is used for the unbalance DDI labels problem. Our approach achieved an F-score of 65.4% on SemEval 2013 DDI test set. The experimental results also show the effects of proposed corpus-level features in the DDI task.
In this work, we introduce a novel feature engineering approach named “algebraic invariance” to identify discriminative patterns for learning relation pair features for the chemical-disease relation (CDR) task of BioCreative V. Our method exploits the existing structural similarity of the key concepts of relation descriptions from the CDR corpus to generate robust linguistic patterns for SVM tree kernel-based learning. Preprocessing of the training data classifies the entity pairs as either related or unrelated to build instance types for both inter-sentential and intra-sentential scenarios. An invariant function is proposed to process and optimally cluster similar patterns for both positive and negative instances. The learning model for CDR pairs is based on the SVM tree kernel approach, which generates feature trees and vectors and is modeled on suitable invariance based patterns, bringing brevity, precision and context to the identifier features. Results demonstrate that our method outperformed other compared approaches, achieved a high recall rate of 85.08%, and averaged an F1-score of 54.34% without the use of any additional knowledge bases.
In this paper, we use a new categorical form of multidimensional register analysis to identify the main dimensions of functional linguistic variation in a corpus of abusive language, consisting of racist and sexist Tweets. By analysing the use of a wide variety of parts-of-speech and grammatical constructions, as well as various features related to Twitter and computer-mediated communication, we discover three dimensions of linguistic variation in this corpus, which we interpret as being related to the degree of interactive, antagonistic and attitudinal language exhibited by individual Tweets. We then demonstrate that there is a significant functional difference between racist and sexist Tweets, with sexists Tweets tending to be more interactive and attitudinal than racist Tweets.
We discuss the characteristics of constructive news comments, and present methods to identify them. First, we define the notion of constructiveness. Second, we annotate a corpus for constructiveness. Third, we explore whether available argumentation corpora can be useful to identify constructiveness in news comments. Our model trained on argumentation corpora achieves a top accuracy of 72.59% (baseline=49.44%) on our crowd-annotated test data. Finally, we examine the relation between constructiveness and toxicity. In our crowd-annotated data, 21.42% of the non-constructive comments and 17.89% of the constructive comments are toxic, suggesting that non-constructive comments are not much more toxic than constructive comments.
This paper proposes a system that can detect and rephrase profanity in Chinese text. Rather than just masking detected profanity, we want to revise the input sentence by using inoffensive words while keeping their original meanings. 29 of such rephrasing rules were invented after observing sentences on real-word social websites. The overall accuracy of the proposed system is 85.56%
Experimenting with a new dataset of 1.6M user comments from a Greek news portal and existing datasets of EnglishWikipedia comments, we show that an RNN outperforms the previous state of the art in moderation. A deep, classification-specific attention mechanism improves further the overall performance of the RNN. We also compare against a CNN and a word-list baseline, considering both fully automatic and semi-automatic moderation.
Common approaches to text categorization essentially rely either on n-gram counts or on word embeddings. This presents important difficulties in highly dynamic or quickly-interacting environments, where the appearance of new words and/or varied misspellings is the norm. A paradigmatic example of this situation is abusive online behavior, with social networks and media platforms struggling to effectively combat uncommon or non-blacklisted hate words. To better deal with these issues in those fast-paced environments, we propose using the error signal of class-based language models as input to text classification algorithms. In particular, we train a next-character prediction model for any given class and then exploit the error of such class-based models to inform a neural network classifier. This way, we shift from the ‘ability to describe’ seen documents to the ‘ability to predict’ unseen content. Preliminary studies using out-of-vocabulary splits from abusive tweet data show promising results, outperforming competitive text categorization strategies by 4-11%.
Automatic abusive language detection is a difficult but important task for online social media. Our research explores a two-step approach of performing classification on abusive language and then classifying into specific types and compares it with one-step approach of doing one multi-class classification for detecting sexist and racist languages. With a public English Twitter corpus of 20 thousand tweets in the type of sexism and racism, our approach shows a promising performance of 0.827 F-measure by using HybridCNN in one-step and 0.824 F-measure by using logistic regression in two-steps.
In this paper we present the legal framework, dataset and annotation schema of socially unacceptable discourse practices on social networking platforms in Slovenia. On this basis we aim to train an automatic identification and classification system with which we wish contribute towards an improved methodology, understanding and treatment of such practices in the contemporary, increasingly multicultural information society.
In this paper, we present our work on detecting abusive language on Arabic social media. We extract a list of obscene words and hashtags using common patterns used in offensive and rude communications. We also classify Twitter users according to whether they use any of these words or not in their tweets. We expand the list of obscene words using this classification, and we report results on a newly created dataset of classified Arabic tweets (obscene, offensive, and clean). We make this dataset freely available for research, in addition to the list of obscene words and hashtags. We are also publicly releasing a large corpus of classified user comments that were deleted from a popular Arabic news site due to violations the site’s rules and guidelines.
A study of conversations on Twitter found that some arguments between strangers led to favorable change in discourse and even in attitudes. The authors propose that such exchanges can be usefully distinguished according to whether individuals or groups take part on each side, since the opportunity for a constructive exchange of views seems to vary accordingly.
Although social media has made it easy for people to connect on a virtually unlimited basis, it has also opened doors to people who misuse it to undermine, harass, humiliate, threaten and bully others. There is a lack of adequate resources to detect and hinder its occurrence. In this paper, we present our initial NLP approach to detect invective posts as a first step to eventually detect and deter cyberbullying. We crawl data containing profanities and then determine whether or not it contains invective. Annotations on this data are improved iteratively by in-lab annotations and crowdsourcing. We pursue different NLP approaches containing various typical and some newer techniques to distinguish the use of swear words in a neutral way from those instances in which they are used in an insulting way. We also show that this model not only works for our data set, but also can be successfully applied to different data sets.
This work is part of a new initiative to use machine learning to identify online harassment in social media and comment streams. Online harassment goes under-reported due to the reliance on humans to identify and report harassment, reporting that is further slowed by requirements to fill out forms providing context. In addition, the time for moderators to respond and apply human judgment can take days, but response times in terms of minutes are needed in the online context. Though some of the major social media companies have been doing proprietary work in automating the detection of harassment, there are few tools available for use by the public. In addition, the amount of labeled online harassment data and availability of cross-platform online harassment datasets is limited. We present the methodology used to create a harassment dataset and classifier and the dataset used to help the system learn what harassment looks like.
As the body of research on abusive language detection and analysis grows, there is a need for critical consideration of the relationships between different subtasks that have been grouped under this label. Based on work on hate speech, cyberbullying, and online abuse we propose a typology that captures central similarities and differences between subtasks and discuss the implications of this for data annotation and feature construction. We emphasize the practical actions that can be taken by researchers to best approach their abusive language detection subtask of interest.
The paper introduces a deep learning-based Twitter hate-speech text classification system. The classifier assigns each tweet to one of four predefined categories: racism, sexism, both (racism and sexism) and non-hate-speech. Four Convolutional Neural Network models were trained on resp. character 4-grams, word vectors based on semantic information built using word2vec, randomly generated word vectors, and word vectors combined with character n-grams. The feature set was down-sized in the networks by max-pooling, and a softmax function used to classify tweets. Tested by 10-fold cross-validation, the model based on word2vec embeddings performed best, with higher precision than recall, and a 78.3% F-score.
This paper focuses on a particular type of abusive language, targeting expressions in which typically neutral adjectives take on pejorative meaning when used as nouns - compare ‘gay people’ to ‘the gays’. We first collect and analyze a corpus of hand-curated, expert-annotated pejorative nominalizations for four target adjectives: female, gay, illegal, and poor. We then collect a second corpus of automatically-extracted and POS-tagged, crowd-annotated tweets. For both corpora, we find support for the hypothesis that some adjectives, when nominalized, take on negative meaning. The targeted constructions are non-standard yet widely-used, and part-of-speech taggers mistag some nominal forms as adjectives. We implement a tool called NomCatcher to correct these mistaggings, and find that the same tool is effective for identifying new adjectives subject to transformation via nominalization into abusive language.
In this paper we present the dataset of 200,000+ political arguments produced in the local phase of the 2016 Chilean constitutional process. We describe the human processing of this data by the government officials, and the manual tagging of arguments performed by members of our research group. Afterwards we focus on classification tasks that mimic the human processes, comparing linear methods with neural network architectures. The experiments show that some of the manual tasks are suitable for automatization. In particular, the best methods achieve a 90% top-5 accuracy in a multi-class classification of arguments, and 65% macro-averaged F1-score for tagging arguments according to a three-part argumentation model.
Argumentative text has been analyzed both theoretically and computationally in terms of argumentative structure that consists of argument components (e.g., claims, premises) and their argumentative relations (e.g., support, attack). Less emphasis has been placed on analyzing the semantic types of argument components. We propose a two-tiered annotation scheme to label claims and premises and their semantic types in an online persuasive forum, Change My View, with the long-term goal of understanding what makes a message persuasive. Premises are annotated with the three types of persuasive modes: ethos, logos, pathos, while claims are labeled as interpretation, evaluation, agreement, or disagreement, the latter two designed to account for the dialogical nature of our corpus. We aim to answer three questions: 1) can humans reliably annotate the semantic types of argument components? 2) are types of premises/claims positioned in recurrent orders? and 3) are certain types of claims and/or premises more likely to appear in persuasive messages than in non-persuasive messages?
We propose a method for the annotation of Japanese civil judgment documents, with the purpose of creating flexible summaries of these. The first step, described in the current paper, concerns content selection, i.e., the question of which material should be extracted initially for the summary. In particular, we utilize the hierarchical argument structure of the judgment documents. Our main contributions are a) the design of an annotation scheme that stresses the connection between legal points (called issue topics) and argument structure, b) an adaptation of rhetorical status to suit the Japanese legal system and c) the definition of a linked argument structure based on legal sub-arguments. In this paper, we report agreement between two annotators on several aspects of the overall task.
Stance classification is a core component in on-demand argument construction pipelines. Previous work on claim stance classification relied on background knowledge such as manually-composed sentiment lexicons. We show that both accuracy and coverage can be significantly improved through automatic expansion of the initial lexicon. We also developed a set of contextual features that further improves the state-of-the-art for this task.
This paper presents a method of extracting argumentative structure from natural language text. The approach presented is based on the way in which we understand an argument being made, not just from the words said, but from existing contextual knowledge and understanding of the broader issues. We leverage high-precision, low-recall techniques in order to automatically build a large corpus of inferential statements related to the text’s topic. These statements are then used to produce a matrix representing the inferential relationship between different aspects of the topic. From this matrix, we are able to determine connectedness and directionality of inference between statements in the original text. By following this approach, we obtain results that compare favourably to those of other similar techniques to classify premise-conclusion pairs (with results 22 points above baseline), but without the requirement of large volumes of annotated, domain specific data.
Computational argumentation is expected to play a critical role in the future of web search. To make this happen, many search-related questions must be revisited, such as how people query for arguments, how to mine arguments from the web, or how to rank them. In this paper, we develop an argument search framework for studying these and further questions. The framework allows for the composition of approaches to acquiring, mining, assessing, indexing, querying, retrieving, ranking, and presenting arguments while relying on standard infrastructure and interfaces. Based on the framework, we build a prototype search engine, called args, that relies on an initial, freely accessible index of nearly 300k arguments crawled from reliable web resources. The framework and the argument search engine are intended as an environment for collaborative research on computational argumentation and its practical evaluation.
In this paper, we address the problem of argument relation classification where argument units are from different texts. We design a joint inference method for the task by modeling argument relation classification and stance classification jointly. We show that our joint model improves the results over several strong baselines.
Argumentative corpora are costly to create and are available in only few languages with English dominating the area. In this paper we release the first publicly available Mandarin argumentative corpus. The corpus is created by exploiting the idea of comparable corpora from Statistical Machine Translation. We use existing corpora in English and manually map the claims and premises to comparable corpora in Mandarin. We also implement a simple solution to automate this approach with the view of creating argumentative corpora in other less-resourced languages. In this way we introduce a new task of multi-lingual argument mapping that can be evaluated using our English-Mandarin argumentative corpus. The preliminary results of our automatic argument mapper mirror the simplicity of our approach, but provide a baseline for further improvements.
This paper describes a pilot study to evaluate human analysts’ ability to identify the argumentation scheme and premises of an argument having an implicit conclusion. In preparation for the study, argumentation scheme definitions were crafted for genetics research articles. The schemes were defined in semantic terms, following a proposal to use semantic rules to mine arguments in that literature.
Automatic claim detection is a fundamental argument mining task that aims to automatically mine claims regarding a topic of consideration. Previous works on mining argumentative content have assumed that a set of relevant documents is given in advance. Here, we present a first corpus– wide claim detection framework, that can be directly applied to massive corpora. Using simple and intuitive empirical observations, we derive a claim sentence query by which we are able to directly retrieve sentences in which the prior probability to include topic-relevant claims is greatly enhanced. Next, we employ simple heuristics to rank the sentences, leading to an unsupervised corpus–wide claim detection system, with precision that outperforms previously reported results on the task of claim detection given relevant documents and labeled data.
This short paper presents a first implementation of a knowledge-driven argument mining approach. The major processing steps and language resources of the system are surveyed. An indicative evaluation outlines challenges and improvement directions.
This paper offers a comparative analysis of the performance of different supervised machine learning methods and feature sets on argument mining tasks. Specifically, we address the tasks of extracting argumentative segments from texts and predicting the structure between those segments. Eight classifiers and different combinations of six feature types reported in previous work are evaluated. The results indicate that overall best performing features are the structural ones. Although the performance of classifiers varies depending on the feature combinations and corpora used for training and testing, Random Forest seems to be among the best performing classifiers. These results build a basis for further development of argument mining techniques and can guide an implementation of argument mining into different applications such as argument based search.
In this paper we present a new unsupervised approach, “Attraction to Topics” – A2T , for the detection of argumentative units, a sub-task of argument mining. Motivated by the importance of topic identification in manual annotation, we examine whether topic modeling can be used for performing unsupervised detection of argumentative sentences, and to what extend topic modeling can be used to classify sentences as claims and premises. Preliminary evaluation results suggest that topic information can be successfully used for the detection of argumentative sentences, at least for corpora used for evaluation. Our approach has been evaluated on two English corpora, the first of which contains 90 persuasive essays, while the second is a collection of 340 documents from user generated content.
In this paper we consider the insights that can be gained by considering large scale argument networks and the complex interactions between their constituent propositions. We investigate metrics for analysing properties of these networks, illustrating these using a corpus of arguments taken from the 2016 US Presidential Debates. We present techniques for determining these features directly from natural language text and show that there is a strong correlation between these automatically identified features and the argumentative structure contained within the text. Finally, we combine these metrics with argument mining techniques and show how the identification of argumentative relations can be improved by considering the larger context in which they occur.
The segmentation of an argumentative text into argument units and their non-argumentative counterparts is the first step in identifying the argumentative structure of the text. Despite its importance for argument mining, unit segmentation has been approached only sporadically so far. This paper studies the major parameters of unit segmentation systematically. We explore the effectiveness of various features, when capturing words separately, along with their neighbors, or even along with the entire text. Each such context is reflected by one machine learning model that we evaluate within and across three domains of texts. Among the models, our new deep learning approach capturing the entire text turns out best within all domains, with an F-score of up to 88.54. While structural features generalize best across domains, the domain transfer remains hard, which points to major challenges of unit segmentation.
Question difficulty estimates guide test creation, but are too costly for small-scale testing. We empirically verify that Bloom’s Taxonomy, a standard tool for difficulty estimation during question creation, reliably predicts question difficulty observed after testing in a short-answer corpus. We also find that difficulty is mirrored in the amount of variation in student answers, which can be computed before grading. We show that question difficulty and its approximations are useful for automated grading, allowing us to identify the optimal feature set for grading each question even in an unseen-question setting.
For medical students, virtual patient dialogue systems can provide useful training opportunities without the cost of employing actors to portray standardized patients. This work utilizes word- and character-based convolutional neural networks (CNNs) for question identification in a virtual patient dialogue system, outperforming a strong word- and character-based logistic regression baseline. While the CNNs perform well given sufficient training data, the best system performance is ultimately achieved by combining CNNs with a hand-crafted pattern matching system that is robust to label sparsity, providing a 10% boost in system accuracy and an error reduction of 47% as compared to the pattern-matching system alone.
This paper is a preliminary report on using text complexity measurement in the service of a new educational application. We describe a reading intervention where a child takes turns reading a book aloud with a virtual reading partner. Our ultimate goal is to provide meaningful feedback to the parent or the teacher by continuously tracking the child’s improvement in reading fluency. We show that this would not be a simple endeavor, due to an intricate relationship between text complexity from the point of view of comprehension and reading rate.
We investigate the utility of different auxiliary objectives and training strategies within a neural sequence labeling approach to error detection in learner writing. Auxiliary costs provide the model with additional linguistic information, allowing it to learn general-purpose compositional features that can then be exploited for other objectives. Our experiments show that a joint learning approach trained with parallel labels on in-domain data improves performance over the previous best error detection system. While the resulting model has the same number of parameters, the additional objectives allow it to be optimised more efficiently and achieve better performance.
The use of linked data within language-learning applications is an open research question. A research prototype is presented that applies linked-data principles to store linguistic annotation generated from language-learning content using a variety of NLP tools. The result is a database that links learning content, linguistic annotation and open-source resources, on top of which a diverse range of tools for language-learning applications can be built.
High quality classroom discussion is important to student development, enhancing abilities to express claims, reason about other students’ claims, and retain information for longer periods of time. Previous small-scale studies have shown that one indicator of classroom discussion quality is specificity. In this paper we tackle the problem of predicting specificity for classroom discussions. We propose several methods and feature sets capable of outperforming the state of the art in specificity prediction. Additionally, we provide a set of meaningful, interpretable features that can be used to analyze classroom discussions at a pedagogical level.
Native Language Identification (NLI) is the task of automatically identifying the native language (L1) of an individual based on their language production in a learned language. It is typically framed as a classification task where the set of L1s is known a priori. Two previous shared tasks on NLI have been organized where the aim was to identify the L1 of learners of English based on essays (2013) and spoken responses (2016) they provided during a standardized assessment of academic English proficiency. The 2017 shared task combines the inputs from the two prior tasks for the first time. There are three tracks: NLI on the essay only, NLI on the spoken response only (based on a transcription of the response and i-vector acoustic features), and NLI using both responses. We believe this makes for a more interesting shared task while building on the methods and results from the previous two shared tasks. In this paper, we report the results of the shared task. A total of 19 teams competed across the three different sub-tasks. The fusion track showed that combining the written and spoken responses provides a large boost in prediction accuracy. Multiple classifier systems (e.g. ensembles and meta-classifiers) were the most effective in all tasks, with most based on traditional classifiers (e.g. SVMs) with lexical/syntactic features.
This study provides a detailed analysis of evaluation of English pronoun reference questions which are created automatically by machine. Pronoun reference questions are multiple choice questions that ask test takers to choose an antecedent of a target pronoun in a reading passage from four options. The evaluation was performed from two perspectives: the perspective of English teachers and that of English learners. Item analysis suggests that machine-generated questions achieve comparable quality with human-made questions. Correlation analysis revealed a strong correlation between the scores of machine-generated questions and that of human-made questions.
Public speakings play important roles in schools and work places and properly using humor contributes to effective presentations. For the purpose of automatically evaluating speakers’ humor usage, we build a presentation corpus containing humorous utterances based on TED talks. Compared to previous data resources supporting humor recognition research, ours has several advantages, including (a) both positive and negative instances coming from a homogeneous data set, (b) containing a large number of speakers, and (c) being open. Focusing on using lexical cues for humor recognition, we systematically compare a newly emerging text classification method based on Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) with a well-established conventional method using linguistic knowledge. The advantages of the CNN method are both getting higher detection accuracies and being able to learn essential features automatically.
We present crowdsourced collection of error annotations for transcriptions of spoken learner English. Our emphasis in data collection is on fluency corrections, a more complete correction than has traditionally been aimed for in grammatical error correction research (GEC). Fluency corrections require improvements to the text, taking discourse and utterance level semantics into account: the result is a more naturalistic, holistic version of the original. We propose that this shifted emphasis be reflected in a new name for the task: ‘holistic error correction’ (HEC). We analyse crowdworker behaviour in HEC and conclude that the method is useful with certain amendments for future work.
Writing is a challenge, especially for at-risk students who may lack the prerequisite writing skills required to persist in U.S. 4-year postsecondary (college) institutions. Educators teaching postsecondary courses requiring writing could benefit from a better understanding of writing achievement and its role in postsecondary success. In this paper, novel exploratory work examined how automated writing evaluation (AWE) can inform our understanding of the relationship between postsecondary writing skill and broader success outcomes. An exploratory study was conducted using test-taker essays from a standardized writing assessment of postsecondary student learning outcomes. Findings showed that for the essays, AWE features were found to be predictors of broader outcomes measures: college success and learning outcomes measures. Study findings illustrate AWE’s potential to support educational analytics – i.e., relationships between writing skill and broader outcomes – taking a step toward moving AWE beyond writing assessment and instructional use cases.
Characterizing the content of a technical document in terms of its learning utility can be useful for applications related to education, such as generating reading lists from large collections of documents. We refer to this learning utility as the “pedagogical value” of the document to the learner. While pedagogical value is an important concept that has been studied extensively within the education domain, there has been little work exploring it from a computational, i.e., natural language processing (NLP), perspective. To allow a computational exploration of this concept, we introduce the notion of “pedagogical roles” of documents (e.g., Tutorial and Survey) as an intermediary component for the study of pedagogical value. Given the lack of available corpora for our exploration, we create the first annotated corpus of pedagogical roles and use it to test baseline techniques for automatic prediction of such roles.
Given the lack of large user-evaluated corpora in disability-related NLP research (e.g. text simplification or readability assessment for people with cognitive disabilities), the question of choosing suitable training data for NLP models is not straightforward. The use of large generic corpora may be problematic because such data may not reflect the needs of the target population. The use of the available user-evaluated corpora may be problematic because these datasets are not large enough to be used as training data. In this paper we explore a third approach, in which a large generic corpus is combined with a smaller population-specific corpus to train a classifier which is evaluated using two sets of unseen user-evaluated data. One of these sets, the ASD Comprehension corpus, is developed for the purposes of this study and made freely available. We explore the effects of the size and type of the training data used on the performance of the classifiers, and the effects of the type of the unseen test datasets on the classification performance.
Flashcard systems are effective tools for learning words but have their limitations in teaching word usage. To overcome this problem, we propose a novel flashcard system that shows a new example sentence on each repetition. This extension requires high-quality example sentences, automatically extracted from a huge corpus. To do this, we use a Determinantal Point Process which scales well to large data and allows to naturally represent sentence similarity and quality as features. Our human evaluation experiment on Japanese language indicates that the proposed method successfully extracted high-quality example sentences.
This paper reports the first study on automatic generation of distractors for fill-in-the-blank items for learning Chinese vocabulary. We investigate the quality of distractors generated by a number of criteria, including part-of-speech, difficulty level, spelling, word co-occurrence and semantic similarity. Evaluations show that a semantic similarity measure, based on the word2vec model, yields distractors that are significantly more plausible than those generated by baseline methods.
We propose a novel word embedding pre-training approach that exploits writing errors in learners’ scripts. We compare our method to previous models that tune the embeddings based on script scores and the discrimination between correct and corrupt word contexts in addition to the generic commonly-used embeddings pre-trained on large corpora. The comparison is achieved by using the aforementioned models to bootstrap a neural network that learns to predict a holistic score for scripts. Furthermore, we investigate augmenting our model with error corrections and monitor the impact on performance. Our results show that our error-oriented approach outperforms other comparable ones which is further demonstrated when training on more data. Additionally, extending the model with corrections provides further performance gains when data sparsity is an issue.
Neural approaches to automated essay scoring have recently shown state-of-the-art performance. The automated essay scoring task typically involves a broad notion of writing quality that encompasses content, grammar, organization, and conventions. This differs from the short answer content scoring task, which focuses on content accuracy. The inputs to neural essay scoring models – ngrams and embeddings – are arguably well-suited to evaluate content in short answer scoring tasks. We investigate how several basic neural approaches similar to those used for automated essay scoring perform on short answer scoring. We show that neural architectures can outperform a strong non-neural baseline, but performance and optimal parameter settings vary across the more diverse types of prompts typical of short answer scoring.
This paper is concerned with the task of automatically assessing the written proficiency level of non-native (L2) learners of English. Drawing on previous research on automated L2 writing assessment following the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), we investigate the possibilities and difficulties of deriving the CEFR level from short answers to open-ended questions, which has not yet been subjected to numerous studies up to date. The object of our study is twofold: to examine the intricacy involved with both human and automated CEFR-based grading of short answers. On the one hand, we describe the compilation of a learner corpus of short answers graded with CEFR levels by three certified Cambridge examiners. We mainly observe that, although the shortness of the answers is reported as undermining a clear-cut evaluation, the length of the answer does not necessarily correlate with inter-examiner disagreement. On the other hand, we explore the development of a soft-voting system for the automated CEFR-based grading of short answers and draw tentative conclusions about its use in a computer-assisted testing (CAT) setting.
The field of grammatical error correction (GEC) has made tremendous bounds in the last ten years, but new questions and obstacles are revealing themselves. In this position paper, we discuss the issues that need to be addressed and provide recommendations for the field to continue to make progress, and propose a new shared task. We invite suggestions and critiques from the audience to make the new shared task a community-driven venture.
Automated methods for essay scoring have made great progress in recent years, achieving accuracies very close to human annotators. However, a known weakness of such automated scorers is not taking into account the semantic relevance of the submitted text. While there is existing work on detecting answer relevance given a textual prompt, very little previous research has been done to incorporate visual writing prompts. We propose a neural architecture and several extensions for detecting off-topic responses to visual prompts and evaluate it on a dataset of texts written by language learners.
We summarize the involvement of our CEMI team in the ”NLI Shared Task 2017”, which deals with both textual and speech input data. We submitted the results achieved by using three different system architectures; each of them combines multiple supervised learning models trained on various feature sets. As expected, better results are achieved with the systems that use both the textual data and the spoken responses. Combining the input data of two different modalities led to a rather dramatic improvement in classification performance. Our best performing method is based on a set of feed-forward neural networks whose hidden-layer outputs are combined together using a softmax layer. We achieved a macro-averaged F1 score of 0.9257 on the evaluation (unseen) test set and our team placed first in the main task together with other three teams.
Native language identification (NLI) is the task of determining an author’s native language, based on a piece of his/her writing in a second language. In recent years, NLI has received much attention due to its challenging nature and its applications in language pedagogy and forensic linguistics. We participated in the NLI2017 shared task under the name UT-DSP. In our effort to implement a method for native language identification, we made use of a fusion of character and word N-grams, and achieved an optimal F1-Score of 77.64%, using both essay and speech transcription datasets.
Our team—Uvic-NLP—explored and evaluated a variety of lexical features for Native Language Identification (NLI) within the framework of ensemble methods. Using a subset of the highest performing features, we train Support Vector Machines (SVM) and Fully Connected Neural Networks (FCNN) as base classifiers, and test different methods for combining their outputs. Restricting our scope to the closed essay track in the NLI Shared Task 2017, we find that our best SVM ensemble achieves an F1 score of 0.8730 on the test set.
We describe a machine learning approach for the 2017 shared task on Native Language Identification (NLI). The proposed approach combines several kernels using multiple kernel learning. While most of our kernels are based on character p-grams (also known as n-grams) extracted from essays or speech transcripts, we also use a kernel based on i-vectors, a low-dimensional representation of audio recordings, provided by the shared task organizers. For the learning stage, we choose Kernel Discriminant Analysis (KDA) over Kernel Ridge Regression (KRR), because the former classifier obtains better results than the latter one on the development set. In our previous work, we have used a similar machine learning approach to achieve state-of-the-art NLI results. The goal of this paper is to demonstrate that our shallow and simple approach based on string kernels (with minor improvements) can pass the test of time and reach state-of-the-art performance in the 2017 NLI shared task, despite the recent advances in natural language processing. We participated in all three tracks, in which the competitors were allowed to use only the essays (essay track), only the speech transcripts (speech track), or both (fusion track). Using only the data provided by the organizers for training our models, we have reached a macro F1 score of 86.95% in the closed essay track, a macro F1 score of 87.55% in the closed speech track, and a macro F1 score of 93.19% in the closed fusion track. With these scores, our team (UnibucKernel) ranked in the first group of teams in all three tracks, while attaining the best scores in the speech and the fusion tracks.
We present the RUG-SU team’s submission at the Native Language Identification Shared Task 2017. We combine several approaches into an ensemble, based on spelling error features, a simple neural network using word representations, a deep residual network using word and character features, and a system based on a recurrent neural network. Our best system is an ensemble of neural networks, reaching an F1 score of 0.8323. Although our system is not the highest ranking one, we do outperform the baseline by far.
We report on our experiments with N-gram and embedding based feature representations for Native Language Identification (NLI) as a part of the NLI Shared Task 2017 (team name: NLI-ISU). Our best performing system on the test set for written essays had a macro F1 of 0.8264 and was based on word uni, bi and trigram features. We explored n-grams covering word, character, POS and word-POS mixed representations for this task. For embedding based feature representations, we employed both word and document embeddings. We had a relatively poor performance with all embedding representations compared to n-grams, which could be because of the fact that embeddings capture semantic similarities whereas L1 differences are more stylistic in nature.
This paper describes the systems submitted by GadjahMada team to the Native Language Identification (NLI) Shared Task 2017. Our models used a continuous representation of character n-grams which are learned jointly with feed-forward neural network classifier. Character n-grams have been proved to be effective for style-based identification tasks including NLI. Results on the test set demonstrate that the proposed model performs very well on essay and fusion tracks by obtaining more than 0.8 on both F-macro score and accuracy.
This paper describes our results at the NLI shared task 2017. We participated in essays, speech, and fusion task that uses text, speech, and i-vectors for the task of identifying the native language of the given input. In the essay track, a linear SVM system using word bigrams and character 7-grams performed the best. In the speech track, an LDA classifier based only on i-vectors performed better than a combination system using text features from speech transcriptions and i-vectors. In the fusion task, we experimented with systems that used combination of i-vectors with higher order n-grams features, combination of i-vectors with word unigrams, a mean probability ensemble, and a stacked ensemble system. Our finding is that word unigrams in combination with i-vectors achieve higher score than systems trained with larger number of n-gram features. Our best-performing systems achieved F1-scores of 87.16%, 83.33% and 91.75% on the essay track, the speech track and the fusion track respectively.
Learners need to find suitable documents to read and prioritize them in an appropriate order. We present a method of automatically generating reading lists, selecting documents based on their pedagogical value to the learner and ordering them using the structure of concepts in the domain. Resulting reading lists related to computational linguistics were evaluated by advanced learners and judged to be near the quality of those generated by domain experts. We provide an open-source implementation of our method to enable future work on reading list generation.
Eye tracking studies from the past few decades have shaped the way we think of word complexity and cognitive load: words that are long, rare and ambiguous are more difficult to read. However, online processing techniques have been scarcely applied to investigating the reading difficulties of people with autism and what vocabulary is challenging for them. We present parallel gaze data obtained from adult readers with autism and a control group of neurotypical readers and show that the former required higher cognitive effort to comprehend the texts as evidenced by three gaze-based measures. We divide all words into four classes based on their viewing times for both groups and investigate the relationship between longer viewing times and word length, word frequency, and four cognitively-based measures (word concreteness, familiarity, age of acquisition and imagability).
We present a very simple model for text quality assessment based on a deep convolutional neural network, where the only supervision required is one corpus of user-generated text of varying quality, and one contrasting text corpus of consistently high quality. Our model is able to provide local quality assessments in different parts of a text, which allows visual feedback about where potentially problematic parts of the text are located, as well as a way to evaluate which textual features are captured by our model. We evaluate our method on two corpora: a large corpus of manually graded student essays and a longitudinal corpus of language learner written production, and find that the text quality metric learned by our model is a fairly strong predictor of both essay grade and learner proficiency level.
Shortage of available training data is holding back progress in the area of automated error detection. This paper investigates two alternative methods for artificially generating writing errors, in order to create additional resources. We propose treating error generation as a machine translation task, where grammatically correct text is translated to contain errors. In addition, we explore a system for extracting textual patterns from an annotated corpus, which can then be used to insert errors into grammatically correct sentences. Our experiments show that the inclusion of artificially generated errors significantly improves error detection accuracy on both FCE and CoNLL 2014 datasets.
Using methods of statistical analysis, we investigate how semantic knowledge is acquired in English as a second language and evaluate the pace of development across a number of predicate types and content word combinations, as well as across the levels of language proficiency and native languages. Our exploratory study helps identify the most problematic areas for language learners with different backgrounds and at different stages of learning.
Ontologies provide a structured representation of concepts and the relationships which connect them. This work investigates how a pre-existing educational Biology ontology can be used to generate useful practice questions for students by using the connectivity structure in a novel way. It also introduces a novel way to generate multiple-choice distractors from the ontology, and compares this to a baseline of using embedding representations of nodes. An assessment by an experienced science teacher shows a significant advantage over a baseline when using the ontology for distractor generation. A subsequent study with three science teachers on the results of a modified question generation algorithm finds significant improvements. An in-depth analysis of the teachers’ comments yields useful insights for any researcher working on automated question generation for educational applications.
The paper presents first results of an ongoing project on text simplification focusing on linguistic metaphors. Based on an analysis of a parallel corpus of news text professionally simplified for different grade levels, we identify six types of simplification choices falling into two broad categories: preserving metaphors or dropping them. An annotation study on almost 300 source sentences with metaphors (grade level 12) and their simplified counterparts (grade 4) is conducted. The results show that most metaphors are preserved and when they are dropped, the semantic content tends to be preserved rather than dropped, however, it is reworded without metaphorical language. In general, some of the expected tendencies in complexity reduction, measured with psycholinguistic variables linked to metaphor comprehension, are observed, suggesting good prospect for machine learning-based metaphor simplification.
Knowledge of the association between assessment questions and the skills required to solve them is necessary for analysis of student learning. This association, often represented as a Q-matrix, is either hand-labeled by domain experts or learned as latent variables given a large student response data set. As a means of automating the match to formal standards, this paper uses neural text classification methods, leveraging the language in the standards documents to identify online text for a proxy training task. Experiments involve identifying the topic and crosscutting concepts of middle school science questions leveraging multi-task training. Results show that it is possible to automatically build a Q-matrix without student response data and using a modest number of hand-labeled questions.
We build a grammatical error correction (GEC) system primarily based on the state-of-the-art statistical machine translation (SMT) approach, using task-specific features and tuning, and further enhance it with the modeling power of neural network joint models. The SMT-based system is weak in generalizing beyond patterns seen during training and lacks granularity below the word level. To address this issue, we incorporate a character-level SMT component targeting the misspelled words that the original SMT-based system fails to correct. Our final system achieves 53.14% F 0.5 score on the benchmark CoNLL-2014 test set, an improvement of 3.62% F 0.5 over the best previous published score.
In Foreign Language Teaching and Learning (FLTL), questions are systematically used to assess the learner’s understanding of a text. Computational linguistic approaches have been developed to generate such questions automatically given a text (e.g., Heilman, 2011). In this paper, we want to broaden the perspective on the different functions questions can play in FLTL and discuss how automatic question generation can support the different uses. Complementing the focus on meaning and comprehension, we want to highlight the fact that questions can also be used to make learners notice form aspects of the linguistic system and their interpretation. Automatically generating questions that target linguistic forms and grammatical categories in a text in essence supports incidental focus-on-form (Loewen, 2005) in a meaning-focused reading task. We discuss two types of questions serving this purpose, how they can be generated automatically; and we report on a crowd-sourcing evaluation comparing automatically generated to manually written questions targeting particle verbs, a challenging linguistic form for learners of English.
n this work we adapt machine translation (MT) to grammatical error correction, identifying how components of the statistical MT pipeline can be modified for this task and analyzing how each modification impacts system performance. We evaluate the contribution of each of these components with standard evaluation metrics and automatically characterize the morphological and lexical transformations made in system output. Our model rivals the current state of the art using a fraction of the training data.
Automatic essay scoring is nowadays successfully used even in high-stakes tests, but this is mainly limited to holistic scoring of learner essays. We present a new dataset of essays written by highly proficient German native speakers that is scored using a fine-grained rubric with the goal to provide detailed feedback. Our experiments with two state-of-the-art scoring systems (a neural and a SVM-based one) show a large drop in performance compared to existing datasets. This demonstrates the need for such datasets that allow to guide research on more elaborate essay scoring methods.
We describe the submissions entered by the National Research Council Canada in the NLI-2017 evaluation. We mainly explored the use of voting, and various ways to optimize the choice and number of voting systems. We also explored the use of features that rely on no linguistic preprocessing. Long ngrams of characters obtained from raw text turned out to yield the best performance on all textual input (written essays and speech transcripts). Voting ensembles turned out to produce small performance gains, with little difference between the various optimization strategies we tried. Our top systems achieved accuracies of 87% on the essay track, 84% on the speech track, and close to 92% by combining essays, speech and i-vectors in the fusion track.
We present the CIC-FBK system, which took part in the Native Language Identification (NLI) Shared Task 2017. Our approach combines features commonly used in previous NLI research, i.e., word n-grams, lemma n-grams, part-of-speech n-grams, and function words, with recently introduced character n-grams from misspelled words, and features that are novel in this task, such as typed character n-grams, and syntactic n-grams of words and of syntactic relation tags. We use log-entropy weighting scheme and perform classification using the Support Vector Machines (SVM) algorithm. Our system achieved 0.8808 macro-averaged F1-score and shared the 1st rank in the NLI Shared Task 2017 scoring.
In this paper, we explore the performance of a linear SVM trained on language independent character features for the NLI Shared Task 2017. Our basic system (GRONINGEN) achieves the best performance (87.56 F1-score) on the evaluation set using only 1-9 character n-grams as features. We compare this against several ensemble and meta-classifiers in order to examine how the linear system fares when combined with other, especially non-linear classifiers. Special emphasis is placed on the topic bias that exists by virtue of the assessment essay prompt distribution.
This paper reports our contribution (team WLZ) to the NLI Shared Task 2017 (essay track). We first extract lexical and syntactic features from the essays, perform feature weighting and selection, and train linear support vector machine (SVM) classifiers each on an individual feature type. The output of base classifiers, as probabilities for each class, are then fed into a multilayer perceptron to predict the native language of the author. We also report the performance of each feature type, as well as the best features of a type. Our system achieves an accuracy of 86.55%, which is among the best performing systems of this shared task.
This paper presents an ensemble system combining the output of multiple SVM classifiers to native language identification (NLI). The system was submitted to the NLI Shared Task 2017 fusion track which featured students essays and spoken responses in form of audio transcriptions and iVectors by non-native English speakers of eleven native languages. Our system competed in the challenge under the team name ZCD and was based on an ensemble of SVM classifiers trained on character n-grams achieving 83.58% accuracy and ranking 3rd in the shared task.
In this paper, we discuss the results of the IUCL system in the NLI Shared Task 2017. For our system, we explore a variety of phonetic algorithms to generate features for Native Language Identification. These features are contrasted with one of the most successful type of features in NLI, character n-grams. We find that although phonetic features do not perform as well as character n-grams alone, they do increase overall F1 score when used together with character n-grams.
This paper proposes a deep-learning based native-language identification (NLI) using a latent semantic analysis (LSA) as a participant (ETRI-SLP) of the NLI Shared Task 2017 where the NLI Shared Task 2017 aims to detect the native language of an essay or speech response of a standardized assessment of English proficiency for academic purposes. To this end, we use the six unit forms of a text data such as character 4/5/6-grams and word 1/2/3-grams. For each unit form of text data, we convert it into a count-based vector, extract a 2000-rank LSA feature, and perform a linear discriminant analysis (LDA) based dimension reduction. From the count-based vector or the LSA-LDA feature, we also obtain the output prediction values of a support vector machine (SVM) based classifier, the output prediction values of a deep neural network (DNN) based classifier, and the bottleneck values of a DNN based classifier. In order to incorporate the various kinds of text-based features and a speech-based i-vector feature, we design two DNN based ensemble classifiers for late fusion and early fusion, respectively. From the NLI experiments, the F1 (macro) scores are obtained as 0.8601, 0.8664, and 0.9220 for the essay track, the speech track, and the fusion track, respectively. The proposed method has comparable performance to the top-ranked teams for the speech and fusion tracks, although it has slightly lower performance for the essay track.
In this paper we describe the approaches we explored for the 2017 Native Language Identification shared task. We focused on simple word and sub-word units avoiding heavy use of hand-crafted features. Following recent trends, we explored linear and neural networks models to attempt to compensate for the lack of rich feature use. Initial efforts yielded f1-scores of 82.39% and 83.77% in the development and test sets of the fusion track, and were officially submitted to the task as team L2F. After the task was closed, we carried on further experiments and relied on a late fusion strategy for combining our simple proposed approaches with modifications of the baselines provided by the task. As expected, the i-vectors based sub-system dominates the performance of the system combinations, and results in the major contributor to our achieved scores. Our best combined system achieves 90.1% and 90.2% f1-score in the development and test sets of the fusion track, respectively.
In this paper, we describe the approach of the ItaliaNLP Lab team to native language identification and discuss the results we submitted as participants to the essay track of NLI Shared Task 2017. We introduce for the first time a 2-stacked sentence-document architecture for native language identification that is able to exploit both local sentence information and a wide set of general-purpose features qualifying the lexical and grammatical structure of the whole document. When evaluated on the official test set, our sentence-document stacked architecture obtained the best result among all the participants of the essay track with an F1 score of 0.8818.
We show that text readability prediction improves significantly from hard parameter sharing with models predicting first pass duration, total fixation duration and regression duration. Specifically, we induce multi-task Multilayer Perceptrons and Logistic Regression models over sentence representations that capture various aggregate statistics, from two different text readability corpora for English, as well as the Dundee eye-tracking corpus. Our approach leads to significant improvements over Single task learning and over previous systems. In addition, our improvements are consistent across train sample sizes, making our approach especially applicable to small datasets.
NLP applications for learners often rely on annotated learner corpora. Thereby, it is important that the annotations are both meaningful for the task, and consistent and reliable. We present a new longitudinal L1 learner corpus for German (handwritten texts collected in grade 2–4), which is transcribed and annotated with a target hypothesis that strictly only corrects orthographic errors, and is thereby tailored to research and tool development for orthographic issues in primary school. While for most corpora, transcription and target hypothesis are not evaluated, we conducted a detailed inter-annotator agreement study for both tasks. Although we achieved high agreement, our discussion of cases of disagreement shows that even with detailed guidelines, annotators differ here and there for different reasons, which should also be considered when working with transcriptions and target hypotheses of other corpora, especially if no explicit guidelines for their construction are known.
We explore various supervised learning strategies for automated scoring of content knowledge for a large corpus of 130 different content-based questions spanning four subject areas (Science, Math, English Language Arts, and Social Studies) and containing over 230,000 responses scored by human raters. Based on our analyses, we provide specific recommendations for content scoring. These are based on patterns observed across multiple questions and assessments and are, therefore, likely to generalize to other scenarios and prove useful to the community as automated content scoring becomes more popular in schools and classrooms.
We present a system for automatically detecting and classifying phonologically anomalous productions in the speech of individuals with aphasia. Working from transcribed discourse samples, our system identifies neologisms, and uses a combination of string alignment and language models to produce a lattice of plausible words that the speaker may have intended to produce. We then score this lattice according to various features, and attempt to determine whether the anomalous production represented a phonemic error or a genuine neologism. This approach has the potential to be expanded to consider other types of paraphasic errors, and could be applied to a wide variety of screening and therapeutic applications.
We propose a novel attention mechanism for a Convolutional Neural Network (CNN)-based Drug-Drug Interaction (DDI) extraction model. CNNs have been shown to have a great potential on DDI extraction tasks; however, attention mechanisms, which emphasize important words in the sentence of a target-entity pair, have not been investigated with the CNNs despite the fact that attention mechanisms are shown to be effective for a general domain relation classification task. We evaluated our model on the Task 9.2 of the DDIExtraction-2013 shared task. As a result, our attention mechanism improved the performance of our base CNN-based DDI model, and the model achieved an F-score of 69.12%, which is competitive with the state-of-the-art models.
Analogy completion has been a popular task in recent years for evaluating the semantic properties of word embeddings, but the standard methodology makes a number of assumptions about analogies that do not always hold, either in recent benchmark datasets or when expanding into other domains. Through an analysis of analogies in the biomedical domain, we identify three assumptions: that of a Single Answer for any given analogy, that the pairs involved describe the Same Relationship, and that each pair is Informative with respect to the other. We propose modifying the standard methodology to relax these assumptions by allowing for multiple correct answers, reporting MAP and MRR in addition to accuracy, and using multiple example pairs. We further present BMASS, a novel dataset for evaluating linguistic regularities in biomedical embeddings, and demonstrate that the relationships described in the dataset pose significant semantic challenges to current word embedding methods.
State-of-the-art methods for protein-protein interaction (PPI) extraction are primarily feature-based or kernel-based by leveraging lexical and syntactic information. But how to incorporate such knowledge in the recent deep learning methods remains an open question. In this paper, we propose a multichannel dependency-based convolutional neural network model (McDepCNN). It applies one channel to the embedding vector of each word in the sentence, and another channel to the embedding vector of the head of the corresponding word. Therefore, the model can use richer information obtained from different channels. Experiments on two public benchmarking datasets, AIMed and BioInfer, demonstrate that McDepCNN provides up to 6% F1-score improvement over rich feature-based methods and single-kernel methods. In addition, McDepCNN achieves 24.4% relative improvement in F1-score over the state-of-the-art methods on cross-corpus evaluation and 12% improvement in F1-score over kernel-based methods on “difficult” instances. These results suggest that McDepCNN generalizes more easily over different corpora, and is capable of capturing long distance features in the sentences.
Linking spans of natural language text to concepts in a structured source is an important task for many problems. It allows intelligent systems to leverage rich knowledge available in those sources (such as concept properties and relations) to enhance the semantics of the mentions of these concepts in text. In the medical domain, it is common to link text spans to medical concepts in large, curated knowledge repositories such as the Unified Medical Language System. Different approaches have different strengths: some are precision-oriented, some recall-oriented; some better at considering context but more prone to hallucination. The variety of techniques suggests that ensembling could outperform component technologies at this task. In this paper, we describe our process for building a Stacking ensemble using additional, auxiliary features for Entity Linking in the medical domain. We report experiments that show that naive ensembling does not always outperform component Entity Linking systems, that stacking usually outperforms naive ensembling, and that auxiliary features added to the stacker further improve its performance on three distinct datasets. Our best model produces state-of-the-art results on several medical datasets.
The goal of the BioASQ challenge is to engage researchers into creating cuttingedge biomedical information systems. Specifically, it aims at the promotion of systems and methodologies that are able to deal with a plethora of different tasks in the biomedical domain. This is achieved through the organization of challenges. The fifth challenge consisted of three tasks: semantic indexing, question answering and a new task on information extraction. In total, 29 teams with more than 95 systems participated in the challenge. Overall, as in previous years, the best systems were able to outperform the strong baselines. This suggests that state-of-the art systems are continuously improving, pushing the frontier of research.
In this paper, we describe our participation in phase B of task 5b of the fifth edition of the annual BioASQ challenge, which includes answering factoid, list, yes-no and summary questions from biomedical data. We describe our techniques with an emphasis on ideal answer generation, where the goal is to produce a relevant, precise, non-redundant, query-oriented summary from multiple relevant documents. We make use of extractive summarization techniques to address this task and experiment with different biomedical ontologies and various algorithms including agglomerative clustering, Maximum Marginal Relevance (MMR) and sentence compression. We propose a novel word embedding based tf-idf similarity metric and a soft positional constraint which improve our system performance. We evaluate our techniques on test batch 4 from the fourth edition of the challenge. Our best system achieves a ROUGE-2 score of 0.6534 and ROUGE-SU4 score of 0.6536.
Macquarie University’s contribution to the BioASQ challenge (Task 5b Phase B) focused on the use of query-based extractive summarisation techniques for the generation of the ideal answers. Four runs were submitted, with approaches ranging from a trivial system that selected the first n snippets, to the use of deep learning approaches under a regression framework. Our experiments and the ROUGE results of the five test batches of BioASQ indicate surprisingly good results for the trivial approach. Overall, most of our runs on the first three test batches achieved the best ROUGE-SU4 results in the challenge.
This paper describes our submission to the 2017 BioASQ challenge. We participated in Task B, Phase B which is concerned with biomedical question answering (QA). We focus on factoid and list question, using an extractive QA model, that is, we restrict our system to output substrings of the provided text snippets. At the core of our system, we use FastQA, a state-of-the-art neural QA system. We extended it with biomedical word embeddings and changed its answer layer to be able to answer list questions in addition to factoid questions. We pre-trained the model on a large-scale open-domain QA dataset, SQuAD, and then fine-tuned the parameters on the BioASQ training set. With our approach, we achieve state-of-the-art results on factoid questions and competitive results on list questions.
We introduce an end-to-end system capable of named-entity detection, normalization and relation extraction for extracting information about bacteria and their habitats from biomedical literature. Our system is based on deep learning, CRF classifiers and vector space models. We train and evaluate the system on the BioNLP 2016 Shared Task Bacteria Biotope data. The official evaluation shows that the joint performance of our entity detection and relation extraction models outperforms the winning team of the Shared Task by 19pp on F1-score, establishing a new top score for the task. We also achieve state-of-the-art results in the normalization task. Our system is open source and freely available at https://github.com/TurkuNLP/BHE.
ext mining automatically extracts information from the literature with the goal of making it available for further analysis, for example by incorporating it into biomedical databases. A key first step towards this goal is to identify and normalize the named entities, such as proteins and species, which are mentioned in text. Despite the large detrimental impact that viruses have on human and agricultural health, very little previous text-mining work has focused on identifying virus species and proteins in the literature. Here, we present an improved dictionary-based system for viral species and the first dictionary for viral proteins, which we benchmark on a new corpus of 300 manually annotated abstracts. We achieve 81.0% precision and 72.7% recall at the task of recognizing and normalizing viral species and 76.2% precision and 34.9% recall on viral proteins. These results are achieved despite the many challenges involved with the names of viral species and, especially, proteins. This work provides a foundation that can be used to extract more complicated relations about viruses from the literature.
We propose in this paper a semi-supervised method for labeling terms of texts with concepts of a domain ontology. The method generates continuous vector representations of complex terms in a semantic space structured by the ontology. The proposed method relies on a distributional semantics approach, which generates initial vectors for each of the extracted terms. Then these vectors are embedded in the vector space constructed from the structure of the ontology. This embedding is carried out by training a linear model. Finally, we apply a distance calculation to determine the proximity between vectors of terms and vectors of concepts and thus to assign ontology labels to terms. We have evaluated the quality of these representations for a normalization task by using the concepts of an ontology as semantic labels. Normalization of terms is an important step to extract a part of the information containing in texts, but the vector space generated might find other applications. The performance of this method is comparable to that of the state of the art for this task of standardization, opening up encouraging prospects.
Vector space methods that measure semantic similarity and relatedness often rely on distributional information such as co–occurrence frequencies or statistical measures of association to weight the importance of particular co–occurrences. In this paper, we extend these methods by incorporating a measure of semantic similarity based on a human curated taxonomy into a second–order vector representation. This results in a measure of semantic relatedness that combines both the contextual information available in a corpus–based vector space representation with the semantic knowledge found in a biomedical ontology. Our results show that incorporating semantic similarity into a second order co-occurrence matrices improves correlation with human judgments for both similarity and relatedness, and that our method compares favorably to various different word embedding methods that have recently been evaluated on the same reference standards we have used.
The goal of active learning is to minimise the cost of producing an annotated dataset, in which annotators are assumed to be perfect, i.e., they always choose the correct labels. However, in practice, annotators are not infallible, and they are likely to assign incorrect labels to some instances. Proactive learning is a generalisation of active learning that can model different kinds of annotators. Although proactive learning has been applied to certain labelling tasks, such as text classification, there is little work on its application to named entity (NE) tagging. In this paper, we propose a proactive learning method for producing NE annotated corpora, using two annotators with different levels of expertise, and who charge different amounts based on their levels of experience. To optimise both cost and annotation quality, we also propose a mechanism to present multiple sentences to annotators at each iteration. Experimental results for several corpora show that our method facilitates the construction of high-quality NE labelled datasets at minimal cost.
We propose a novel, Abstract Meaning Representation (AMR) based approach to identifying molecular events/interactions in biomedical text. Our key contributions are: (1) an empirical validation of our hypothesis that an event is a subgraph of the AMR graph, (2) a neural network-based model that identifies such an event subgraph given an AMR, and (3) a distant supervision based approach to gather additional training data. We evaluate our approach on the 2013 Genia Event Extraction dataset and show promising results.
Social media sites (e.g., Twitter) have been used for surveillance of drug safety at the population level, but studies that focus on the effects of medications on specific sets of individuals have had to rely on other sources of data. Mining social media data for this in-formation would require the ability to distinguish indications of personal medication in-take in this media. Towards that end, this paper presents an annotated corpus that can be used to train machine learning systems to determine whether a tweet that mentions a medication indicates that the individual posting has taken that medication at a specific time. To demonstrate the utility of the corpus as a training set, we present baseline results of supervised classification.
We present an unsupervised context-sensitive spelling correction method for clinical free-text that uses word and character n-gram embeddings. Our method generates misspelling replacement candidates and ranks them according to their semantic fit, by calculating a weighted cosine similarity between the vectorized representation of a candidate and the misspelling context. We greatly outperform two baseline off-the-shelf spelling correction tools on a manually annotated MIMIC-III test set, and counter the frequency bias of an optimized noisy channel model, showing that neural embeddings can be successfully exploited to include context-awareness in a spelling correction model.
Approximately 80% to 95% of patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) eventually develop speech impairments, such as defective articulation, slow laborious speech and hypernasality. The relationship between impaired speech and asymptomatic speech may be seen as a divergence from a baseline. This relationship can be characterized in terms of measurable combinations of phonological characteristics that are indicative of the degree to which the two diverge. We demonstrate that divergence measurements based on phonological characteristics of speech correlate with physiological assessments of ALS. Speech-based assessments offer benefits over commonly-used physiological assessments in that they are inexpensive, non-intrusive, and do not require trained clinical personnel for administering and interpreting the results.
In clinical dictation, speakers try to be as concise as possible to save time, often resulting in utterances without explicit punctuation commands. Since the end product of a dictated report, e.g. an out-patient letter, does require correct orthography, including exact punctuation, the latter need to be restored, preferably by automated means. This paper describes a method for punctuation restoration based on a state-of-the-art stack of NLP and machine learning techniques including B-RNNs with an attention mechanism and late fusion, as well as a feature extraction technique tailored to the processing of medical terminology using a novel vocabulary reduction model. To the best of our knowledge, the resulting performance is superior to that reported in prior art on similar tasks.
Detecting negated concepts in clinical texts is an important part of NLP information extraction systems. However, generalizability of negation systems is lacking, as cross-domain experiments suffer dramatic performance losses. We examine the performance of multiple unsupervised domain adaptation algorithms on clinical negation detection, finding only modest gains that fall well short of in-domain performance.
The Precision Medicine Track in BioCre-ative VI aims to bring together the Bi-oNLP community for a novel challenge focused on mining the biomedical litera-ture in search of mutations and protein-protein interactions (PPI). In order to support this track with an effective train-ing dataset with limited curator time, the track organizers carefully reviewed Pub-Med articles from two different sources: curated public PPI databases, and the re-sults of state-of-the-art public text mining tools. We detail here the data collection, manual review and annotation process and describe this training corpus charac-teristics. We also describe a corpus per-formance baseline. This analysis will provide useful information to developers and researchers for comparing and devel-oping innovative text mining approaches for the BioCreative VI challenge and other Precision Medicine related applica-tions.
Relation extraction methods are essential for creating robust text mining tools to help researchers find useful knowledge in the vast published literature. Easy-to-use and generalizable methods are needed to encourage an ecosystem in which researchers can easily use shared resources and build upon each others’ methods. We present the Kindred Python package for relation extraction. It builds upon methods from the most successful tools in the recent BioNLP Shared Task to predict high-quality predictions with low computational cost. It also integrates with PubAnnotation, PubTator, and BioNLP Shared Task data in order to allow easy development and application of relation extraction models.
Distant supervision has been applied to automatically generate labeled data for biomedical relation extraction. Noise exists in both positively and negatively-labeled data and affects the performance of supervised machine learning methods. In this paper, we propose three novel heuristics based on the notion of proximity, trigger word and confidence of patterns to leverage lexical and syntactic information to reduce the level of noise in the distantly labeled data. Experiments on three different tasks, extraction of protein-protein-interaction, miRNA-gene regulation relation and protein-localization event, show that the proposed methods can improve the F-score over the baseline by 6, 10 and 14 points for the three tasks, respectively. We also show that when the models are configured to output high-confidence results, high precisions can be obtained using the proposed methods, making them promising for facilitating manual curation for databases.
Electronic medical records (EMR) have largely replaced hand-written patient files in healthcare. The growing pool of EMR data presents a significant resource in medical research, but the U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) mandates redacting medical records before performing any analysis on the same. This process complicates obtaining medical data and can remove much useful information from the record. As part of a larger project involving ontology-driven medical processing, we employ a method of recognizing protected health information (PHI) that maps to ontological terms. We then use the relationships defined in the ontology to redact medical texts so that roles and semantics of terms are retained without compromising anonymity. The method is evaluated by clinical experts on several hundred medical documents, achieving up to a 98.8% f-score, and has already shown promise for retaining semantic information in later processing.
Pain and anesthesia information are crucial elements to identifying surgery-related processes and outcomes. However pain is not consistently recorded in the electronic medical record. Even when recorded, the rich complex granularity of the pain experience may be lost. Similarly, anesthesia information is recorded using local electronic collection systems; though the accuracy and completeness of the information is unknown. We propose an annotation schema to capture pain, pain management, and anesthesia event information.
Comparison sentences are very commonly used by authors in biomedical literature to report results of experiments. In such comparisons, authors typically make observations under two different scenarios. In this paper, we present a system to automatically identify such comparative sentences and their components i.e. the compared entities, the scale of the comparison and the aspect on which the entities are being compared. Our methodology is based on dependencies obtained by applying a parser to extract a wide range of comparison structures. We evaluated our system for its effectiveness in identifying comparisons and their components. The system achieved a F-score of 0.87 for comparison sentence identification and 0.77-0.81 for identifying its components.
In this paper we present a solution for tagging funding bodies and grants in scientific articles using a combination of trained sequential learning models, namely conditional random fields (CRF), hidden markov models (HMM) and maximum entropy models (MaxEnt), on a benchmark set created in-house. We apply the trained models to address the BioASQ challenge 5c, which is a newly introduced task that aims to solve the problem of funding information extraction from scientific articles. Results in the dry-run data set of BioASQ task 5c show that the suggested approach can achieve a micro-recall of more than 85% in tagging both funding bodies and grants.
We describe a Deep Learning approach to modeling the relevance of a document’s text to a query, applied to biomedical literature. Instead of mapping each document and query to a common semantic space, we compute a variable-length difference vector between the query and document which is then passed through a deep convolution stage followed by a deep regression network to produce the estimated probability of the document’s relevance to the query. Despite the small amount of training data, this approach produces a more robust predictor than computing similarities between semantic vector representations of the query and document, and also results in significant improvements over traditional IR text factors. In the future, we plan to explore its application in improving PubMed search.
We investigate if writers with dementia can be automatically distinguished from those without by analyzing linguistic markers in written text, in the form of blog posts. We have built a corpus of several thousand blog posts, some by people with dementia and others by people with loved ones with dementia. We use this dataset to train and test several machine learning methods, and achieve prediction performance at a level far above the baseline.
Literature in Molecular Biology is abundant with linguistic metaphors. There have been works in the past that attempt to draw parallels between linguistics and biology, driven by the fundamental premise that proteins have a language of their own. Since word detection is crucial to the decipherment of any unknown language, we attempt to establish a problem mapping from natural language text to protein sequences at the level of words. Towards this end, we explore the use of an unsupervised text segmentation algorithm to the task of extracting “biological words” from protein sequences. In particular, we demonstrate the effectiveness of using domain knowledge to complement data driven approaches in the text segmentation task, as well as in its biological counterpart. We also propose a novel extrinsic evaluation measure for protein words through protein family classification.
This paper evaluates the impact of various event extraction systems on automatic pathway curation using the popular mTOR pathway. We quantify the impact of training data sets as well as different machine learning classifiers and show that some improve the quality of automatically extracted pathways.
Severe sepsis and septic shock are conditions that affect millions of patients and have close to 50% mortality rate. Early identification of at-risk patients significantly improves outcomes. Electronic surveillance tools have been developed to monitor structured Electronic Medical Records and automatically recognize early signs of sepsis. However, many sepsis risk factors (e.g. symptoms and signs of infection) are often captured only in free text clinical notes. In this study, we developed a method for automatic monitoring of nursing notes for signs and symptoms of infection. We utilized a creative approach to automatically generate an annotated dataset. The dataset was used to create a Machine Learning model that achieved an F1-score ranging from 79 to 96%.
Assigning a standard ICD-9-CM code to disease symptoms in medical texts is an important task in the medical domain. Automating this process could greatly reduce the costs. However, the effectiveness of an automatic ICD-9-CM code classifier faces a serious problem, which can be triggered by unbalanced training data. Frequent diseases often have more training data, which helps its classification to perform better than that of an infrequent disease. However, a disease’s frequency does not necessarily reflect its importance. To resolve this training data shortage problem, we propose to strategically draw data from PubMed to enrich the training data when there is such need. We validate our method on the CMC dataset, and the evaluation results indicate that our method can significantly improve the code assignment classifiers’ performance at the macro-averaging level.
In this paper, we present an analysis of feature extraction methods via dimensionality reduction for the task of biomedical Word Sense Disambiguation (WSD). We modify the vector representations in the 2-MRD WSD algorithm, and evaluate four dimensionality reduction methods: Word Embeddings using Continuous Bag of Words and Skip Gram, Singular Value Decomposition (SVD), and Principal Component Analysis (PCA). We also evaluate the effects of vector size on the performance of each of these methods. Results are evaluated on five standard evaluation datasets (Abbrev.100, Abbrev.200, Abbrev.300, NLM-WSD, and MSH-WSD). We find that vector sizes of 100 are sufficient for all techniques except SVD, for which a vector size of 1500 is referred. We also show that SVD performs on par with Word Embeddings for all but one dataset.
In this paper, we present pilot work on characterising the documentation of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) in the United States Veterans Administration Electronic Health Record. The Veterans Health Administration is the largest health care system in the United States with 1,233 health care facilities nationwide, serving 8.9 million veterans per year. We identified a random sample of 2000 Veterans Administration patients, coded as current tobacco users, from 2008 to 2014. Using simple keyword matching techniques combined with qualitative analysis, we investigated the prevalence and distribution of e-cigarette terms in these clinical notes, discovering that for current smokers, 11.9% of patient records contain an e-cigarette related term.
Dictated medical reports very often feature a preamble containing metainformation about the report such as patient and physician names, location and name of the clinic, date of procedure, and so on. In the medical transcription process, the preamble is usually omitted from the final report, as it contains information already available in the electronic medical record. We present a method which is able to automatically identify preambles in medical dictations. The method makes use of state-of-the-art NLP techniques including word embeddings and Bi-LSTMs and achieves preamble detection performance superior to humans.
Question answering, the identification of short accurate answers to users questions, is a longstanding challenge widely studied over the last decades in the open domain. However, it still requires further efforts in the biomedical domain. In this paper, we describe our participation in phase B of task 5b in the 2017 BioASQ challenge using our biomedical question answering system. Our system, dealing with four types of questions (i.e., yes/no, factoid, list, and summary), is based on (1) a dictionary-based approach for generating the exact answers of yes/no questions, (2) UMLS metathesaurus and term frequency metric for extracting the exact answers of factoid and list questions, and (3) the BM25 model and UMLS concepts for retrieving the ideal answers (i.e., paragraph-sized summaries). Preliminary results show that our system achieves good and competitive results in both exact and ideal answers extraction tasks as compared with the participating systems.
Word embeddings are a crucial component in modern NLP. Pre-trained embeddings released by different groups have been a major reason for their popularity. However, they are trained on generic corpora, which limits their direct use for domain specific tasks. In this paper, we propose a method to add task specific information to pre-trained word embeddings. Such information can improve their utility. We add information from medical coding data, as well as the first level from the hierarchy of ICD-10 medical code set to different pre-trained word embeddings. We adapt CBOW algorithm from the word2vec package for our purpose. We evaluated our approach on five different pre-trained word embeddings. Both the original word embeddings, and their modified versions (the ones with added information) were used for automated review of medical coding. The modified word embeddings give an improvement in f-score by 1% on the 5-fold evaluation on a private medical claims dataset. Our results show that adding extra information is possible and beneficial for the task at hand.
Many tasks in the biomedical domain require the assignment of one or more predefined labels to input text, where the labels are a part of a hierarchical structure (such as a taxonomy). The conventional approach is to use a one-vs.-rest (OVR) classification setup, where a binary classifier is trained for each label in the taxonomy or ontology where all instances not belonging to the class are considered negative examples. The main drawbacks to this approach are that dependencies between classes are not leveraged in the training and classification process, and the additional computational cost of training parallel classifiers. In this paper, we apply a new method for hierarchical multi-label text classification that initializes a neural network model final hidden layer such that it leverages label co-occurrence relations such as hypernymy. This approach elegantly lends itself to hierarchical classification. We evaluated this approach using two hierarchical multi-label text classification tasks in the biomedical domain using both sentence- and document-level classification. Our evaluation shows promising results for this approach.
Biomedical events describe complex interactions between various biomedical entities. Event trigger is a word or a phrase which typically signifies the occurrence of an event. Event trigger identification is an important first step in all event extraction methods. However many of the current approaches either rely on complex hand-crafted features or consider features only within a window. In this paper we propose a method that takes the advantage of recurrent neural network (RNN) to extract higher level features present across the sentence. Thus hidden state representation of RNN along with word and entity type embedding as features avoid relying on the complex hand-crafted features generated using various NLP toolkits. Our experiments have shown to achieve state-of-art F1-score on Multi Level Event Extraction (MLEE) corpus. We have also performed category-wise analysis of the result and discussed the importance of various features in trigger identification task.
Token sequences are often used as the input for Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) in natural language processing. However, they might not be an ideal representation for time expressions, which are long, highly varied, and semantically complex. We describe a method for representing time expressions with single pseudo-tokens for CNNs. With this method, we establish a new state-of-the-art result for a clinical temporal relation extraction task.
Diagnosis autocoding services and research intend to both improve the productivity of clinical coders and the accuracy of the coding. It is an important step in data analysis for funding and reimbursement, as well as health services planning and resource allocation. We investigate the applicability of deep learning at autocoding of radiology reports using International Classification of Diseases (ICD). Deep learning methods are known to require large training data. Our goal is to explore how to use these methods when the training data is sparse, skewed and relatively small, and how their effectiveness compares to conventional methods. We identify optimal parameters that could be used in setting up a convolutional neural network for autocoding with comparable results to that of conventional methods.
We present the work-in-progress of automating the classification of doctor-patient questions in the context of a simulated consultation with a virtual patient. We classify questions according to the computational strategy (rule-based or other) needed for looking up data in the clinical record. We compare ‘traditional’ machine learning methods (Gaussian and Multinomial Naive Bayes, and Support Vector Machines) and a neural network classifier (FastText). We obtained the best results with the SVM using semantic annotations, whereas the neural classifier achieved promising results without it.
Question answering (QA) can support physicians and biomedical researchers to find answers to their questions in the scientific literature. Such systems process large collections of documents in real time and include many natural language processing (NLP) procedures. We recently developed Olelo, a QA system for biomedicine which includes various NLP components, such as question processing, document and passage retrieval, answer processing and multi-document summarization. In this work, we present an evaluation of our system on the the fifth BioASQ challenge. We participated with the current state of the application and with an extension based on semantic role labeling that we are currently investigating. In addition to the BioASQ evaluation, we compared our system to other on-line biomedical QA systems in terms of the response time and the quality of the answers.
Event detection from clinical notes has been traditionally solved with rule based and statistical natural language processing (NLP) approaches that require extensive domain knowledge and feature engineering. In this paper, we have explored the feasibility of approaching this task with recurrent neural networks, clinical word embeddings and introduced a hybrid architecture to improve detection for entities with smaller representation in the dataset. A comparative analysis is also done which reveals the complementary behavior of neural networks and conditional random fields in clinical entity detection.
In this paper, we describe a system for automatic construction of user disease progression timelines from their posts in online support groups using minimal supervision. In recent years, several online support groups have been established which has led to a huge increase in the amount of patient-authored text available. Creating systems which can automatically extract important medical events and create disease progression timelines for users from such text can help in patient health monitoring as well as studying links between medical events and users’ participation in support groups. Prior work in this domain has used manually constructed keyword sets to detect medical events. In this work, our aim is to perform medical event detection using minimal supervision in order to develop a more general timeline construction system. Our system achieves an accuracy of 55.17%, which is 92% of the performance achieved by a supervised baseline system.
We study and compare two different approaches to the task of automatic assignment of predefined classes to clinical free-text narratives. In the first approach this is treated as a traditional mention-level named-entity recognition task, while the second approach treats it as a sentence-level multi-label classification task. Performance comparison across these two approaches is conducted in the form of sentence-level evaluation and state-of-the-art methods for both approaches are evaluated. The experiments are done on two data sets consisting of Finnish clinical text, manually annotated with respect to the topics pain and acute confusion. Our results suggest that the mention-level named-entity recognition approach outperforms sentence-level classification overall, but the latter approach still manages to achieve the best prediction scores on several annotation classes.
This paper describes the participation of USTB_PRIR team in the 2017 BioASQ 5B on question answering, including document retrieval, snippet retrieval, and concept retrieval task. We introduce different multimodal query processing strategies to enrich query terms and assign different weights to them. Specifically, sequential dependence model (SDM), pseudo-relevance feedback (PRF), fielded sequential dependence model (FSDM) and Divergence from Randomness model (DFRM) are respectively performed on different fields of PubMed articles, sentences extracted from relevant articles, the five terminologies or ontologies (MeSH, GO, Jochem, Uniprot and DO) to achieve better search performances. Preliminary results show that our systems outperform others in the document and snippet retrieval task in the first two batches.
There is great variation in the amount of NLP resources available for Slavonic languages. For example, the Universal Dependency treebank (Nivre et al., 2016) has about 2 MW of training resources for Czech, more than 1 MW for Russian, while only 950 words for Ukrainian and nothing for Belorussian, Bosnian or Macedonian. Similarly, the Autodesk Machine Translation dataset only covers three Slavonic languages (Czech, Polish and Russian). In this talk I will discuss a general approach, which can be called Language Adaptation, similarly to Domain Adaptation. In this approach, a model for a particular language processing task is built by lexical transfer of cognate words and by learning a new feature representation for a lesser-resourced (recipient) language starting from a better-resourced (donor) language. More specifically, I will demonstrate how language adaptation works in such training scenarios as Translation Quality Estimation, Part-of-Speech tagging and Named Entity Recognition.
This paper presents a method of automatic construction extraction from a large corpus of Russian. The term ‘construction’ here means a multi-word expression in which a variable can be replaced with another word from the same semantic class, for example, ‘a glass of [water/juice/milk]’. We deal with constructions that consist of a noun and its adjective modifier. We propose a method of grouping such constructions into semantic classes via 2-step clustering of word vectors in distributional models. We compare it with other clustering techniques and evaluate it against A Russian-English Collocational Dictionary of the Human Body that contains manually annotated groups of constructions with nouns meaning human body parts. The best performing method is used to cluster all adjective-noun bigrams in the Russian National Corpus. Results of this procedure are publicly available and can be used for building Russian construction dictionary as well as to accelerate theoretical studies of constructions.
Lexical substitution is a task of determining a meaning-preserving replacement for a word in context. We report on a preliminary study of this task for the Croatian language on a small-scale lexical sample dataset, manually annotated using three different annotation schemes. We compare the annotations, analyze the inter-annotator agreement, and observe a number of interesting language specific details in the obtained lexical substitutes. Furthermore, we apply a recently-proposed, dependency-based lexical substitution model to our dataset. The model achieves a P@3 score of 0.35, which indicates the difficulty of the task.
Multiword expressions (MWEs) are linguistic objects containing two or more words and showing idiosyncratic behavior at different levels. Treebanks with annotated MWEs enable studies of such properties, as well as training and evaluation of MWE-aware parsers. However, few treebanks contain full-fledged MWE annotations. We show how this gap can be bridged in Polish by projecting 3 MWE resources on a constituency treebank.
This paper reports on challenges and results in developing NLP resources for spoken Rusyn. Being a Slavic minority language, Rusyn does not have any resources to make use of. We propose to build a morphosyntactic dictionary for Rusyn, combining existing resources from the etymologically close Slavic languages Russian, Ukrainian, Slovak, and Polish. We adapt these resources to Rusyn by using vowel-sensitive Levenshtein distance, hand-written language-specific transformation rules, and combinations of the two. Compared to an exact match baseline, we increase the coverage of the resulting morphological dictionary by up to 77.4% relative (42.9% absolute), which results in a tagging recall increased by 11.6% relative (9.1% absolute). Our research confirms and expands the results of previous studies showing the efficiency of using NLP resources from neighboring languages for low-resourced languages.
This paper introduces the Universal Dependencies Treebank for Slovenian. We overview the existing dependency treebanks for Slovenian and then detail the conversion of the ssj200k treebank to the framework of Universal Dependencies version 2. We explain the mapping of part-of-speech categories, morphosyntactic features, and the dependency relations, focusing on the more problematic language-specific issues. We conclude with a quantitative overview of the treebank and directions for further work.
The paper documents the procedure of building a new Universal Dependencies (UDv2) treebank for Serbian starting from an existing Croatian UDv1 treebank and taking into account the other Slavic UD annotation guidelines. We describe the automatic and manual annotation procedures, discuss the annotation of Slavic-specific categories (case governing quantifiers, reflexive pronouns, question particles) and propose an approach to handling deverbal nouns in Slavic languages.
We present an algorithm for automatic correction of spelling errors on the sentence level, which uses noisy channel model and feature-based reranking of hypotheses. Our system is designed for Russian and clearly outperforms the winner of SpellRuEval-2016 competition. We show that language model size has the greatest influence on spelling correction quality. We also experiment with different types of features and show that morphological and semantic information also improves the accuracy of spellchecking.
Sentiment lexicons are widely used as an intuitive and inexpensive way of tackling sentiment classification, often within a simple lexicon word-counting approach or as part of a supervised model. However, it is an open question whether these approaches can compete with supervised models that use only word-representation features. We address this question in the context of domain-specific sentiment classification for Croatian. We experiment with the graph-based acquisition of sentiment lexicons, analyze their quality, and investigate how effectively they can be used in sentiment classification. Our results indicate that, even with as few as 500 labeled instances, a supervised model substantially outperforms a word-counting model. We also observe that adding lexicon-based features does not significantly improve supervised sentiment classification.
In this paper we present the adaptations of a state-of-the-art tagger for South Slavic languages to non-standard texts on the example of the Slovene language. We investigate the impact of introducing in-domain training data as well as additional supervision through external resources or tools like word clusters and word normalization. We remove more than half of the error of the standard tagger when applied to non-standard texts by training it on a combination of standard and non-standard training data, while enriching the data representation with external resources removes additional 11 percent of the error. The final configuration achieves tagging accuracy of 87.41% on the full morphosyntactic description, which is, nevertheless, still quite far from the accuracy of 94.27% achieved on standard text.
We focus on the task of supervised sentiment classification of short and informal texts in Croatian, using two simple yet effective methods: word embeddings and string kernels. We investigate whether word embeddings offer any advantage over corpus- and preprocessing-free string kernels, and how these compare to bag-of-words baselines. We conduct a comparison on three different datasets, using different preprocessing methods and kernel functions. Results show that, on two out of three datasets, word embeddings outperform string kernels, which in turn outperform word and n-gram bag-of-words baselines.
This paper describes the outcomes of the first challenge on multilingual named entity recognition that aimed at recognizing mentions of named entities in web documents in Slavic languages, their normalization/lemmatization, and cross-language matching. It was organised in the context of the 6th Balto-Slavic Natural Language Processing Workshop, co-located with the EACL 2017 conference. Although eleven teams signed up for the evaluation, due to the complexity of the task(s) and short time available for elaborating a solution, only two teams submitted results on time. The reported evaluation figures reflect the relatively higher level of complexity of named entity-related tasks in the context of processing texts in Slavic languages. Since the duration of the challenge goes beyond the date of the publication of this paper and updated picture of the participating systems and their corresponding performance can be found on the web page of the challenge.
In the paper we present an adaptation of Liner2 framework to solve the BSNLP 2017 shared task on multilingual named entity recognition. The tool is tuned to recognize and lemmatize named entities for Polish.
The 2017 shared task at the Balto-Slavic NLP workshop requires identifying coarse-grained named entities in seven languages, identifying each entity’s base form, and clustering name mentions across the multilingual set of documents. The fact that no training data is provided to systems for building supervised classifiers further adds to the complexity. To complete the task we first use publicly available parallel texts to project named entity recognition capability from English to each evaluation language. We ignore entirely the subtask of identifying non-inflected forms of names. Finally, we create cross-document entity identifiers by clustering named mentions using a procedure-based approach.
In this paper we address the problem of filtering obscene lexis in Russian texts. We use string similarity measures to find words similar or identical to words from a stop list and establish both a test collection and a baseline for the task. Our experiments show that a novel string similarity measure based on the notion of an annotated suffix tree outperforms some of the other well known measures.
Relation between gender and language has been studied by many authors, however, there is still some uncertainty left regarding gender influence on language usage in the professional environment. Often, the studied data sets are too small or texts of individual authors are too short in order to capture differences of language usage wrt gender successfully. This study draws from a larger corpus of speeches transcripts of the Lithuanian Parliament (1990-2013) to explore language differences of political debates by gender via stylometric analysis. Experimental set up consists of stylistic features that indicate lexical style and do not require external linguistic tools, namely the most frequent words, in combination with unsupervised machine learning algorithms. Results show that gender differences in the language use remain in professional environment not only in usage of function words, preferred linguistic constructions, but in the presented topics as well.
This work deals with ontology learning from unstructured Russian text. We implement one of components Never Ending Language Learner and introduce the algorithm extensions aimed to gather specificity of morphologicaly rich free-word-order language. We demonstrate that this method may be successfully applied to Russian data. In addition we perform several additional experiments comparing different settings of the training process. We demonstrate that utilizing of morphological features significantly improves the system precision while using of seed patterns helps to improve the coverage.
We present results of the first gender classification experiments on Slovene text to our knowledge. Inspired by the TwiSty corpus and experiments (Verhoeven et al., 2016), we employed the Janes corpus (Erjavec et al., 2016) and its gender annotations to perform gender classification experiments on Twitter text comparing a token-based and a lemma-based approach. We find that the token-based approach (92.6% accuracy), containing gender markings related to the author, outperforms the lemma-based approach by about 5%. Especially in the lemmatized version, we also observe stylistic and content-based differences in writing between men (e.g. more profane language, numerals and beer mentions) and women (e.g. more pronouns, emoticons and character flooding). Many of our findings corroborate previous research on other languages.
Despite numerous studies devoted to mining parallel material from bilingual data, we have yet to see the resulting technologies wholeheartedly adopted by professional translators and terminologists alike. I argue that this state of affairs is mainly due to two factors: the emphasis published authors put on models (even though data is as important), and the conspicuous lack of concern for actual end-users.
This paper is a deep investigation of cross-language plagiarism detection methods on a new recently introduced open dataset, which contains parallel and comparable collections of documents with multiple characteristics (different genres, languages and sizes of texts). We investigate cross-language plagiarism detection methods for 6 language pairs on 2 granularities of text units in order to draw robust conclusions on the best methods while deeply analyzing correlations across document styles and languages.
In this paper, we propose a novel two step algorithm for sentence alignment in monolingual corpora using Unfolding Recursive Autoencoders. First, we use unfolding recursive auto-encoders (RAE) to learn feature vectors for phrases in syntactical tree of the sentence. To compare two sentences we use a similarity matrix which has dimensions proportional to the size of the two sentences. Since the similarity matrix generated to compare two sentences has varying dimension due to different sentence lengths, a dynamic pooling layer is used to map it to a matrix of fixed dimension. The resulting matrix is used to calculate the similarity scores between the two sentences. The second step of the algorithm captures the contexts in which the sentences occur in the document by using a dynamic programming algorithm for global alignment.
With the advent of informal electronic communications such as social media, colloquial languages that were historically unwritten are being written for the first time in heavily code-switched environments. We present a method for inducing portions of translation lexicons through the use of expert knowledge in these settings where there are approximately zero resources available other than a language informant, potentially not even large amounts of monolingual data. We investigate inducing a Moroccan Darija-English translation lexicon via French loanwords bridging into English and find that a useful lexicon is induced for human-assisted translation and statistical machine translation.
Twitter has become a rich source for linguistic data. Here, a possibility of building a trilingual Latvian-Russian-English corpus of tweets from Riga, Latvia is investigated. Such a corpus, once constructed, might be of great use for multiple purposes including training machine translation models, examining cross-lingual phenomena and studying the population of Riga. This pilot study shows that it is feasible to build such a resource by collecting and analysing a pilot corpus, which is made publicly available and can be used to construct a large comparable corpus.
This paper presents a methodology to extract parallel speech corpora based on any language pair from dubbed movies, together with an application framework in which some corresponding prosodic parameters are extracted. The obtained parallel corpora are especially suitable for speech-to-speech translation applications when a prosody transfer between source and target languages is desired.
Parallel collections of documents are crucial resources for training and evaluating machine translation (MT) systems. Even though large collections are available for certain domains and language pairs, these are still scarce in the biomedical domain. We developed a parallel corpus of clinical trials in Portuguese and English. The documents are derived from the Brazilian Clinical Trials Registry and the corpus currently contains a total of 1188 documents. In this paper, we describe the corpus construction and discuss the quality of the translation and the sentence alignment that we obtained.
This article presents the STACCw system for the BUCC 2017 shared task on parallel sentence extraction from comparable corpora. The original STACC approach, based on set-theoretic operations over bags of words, had been previously shown to be efficient and portable across domains and alignment scenarios. Wedescribe an extension of this approach with a new weighting scheme and show that it provides significant improvements on the datasets provided for the shared task.
This paper describes our participation in BUCC 2017 shared task: identifying parallel sentences in comparable corpora. Our goal is to leverage continuous vector representations and distributional semantics with a minimal use of external preprocessing and postprocessing tools. We report experiments that were conducted after transmitting our results.
This paper describes the zNLP system for the BUCC 2017 shared task. Our system identifies parallel sentence pairs in Chinese-English comparable corpora by translating word-by-word Chinese sentences into English, using the search engine Solr to select near-parallel sentences and then by using an SVM classifier to identify true parallel sentences from the previous results. It obtains an F1-score of 45% (resp. 32%) on the test (training) set.
A Statistical Machine Translation (SMT) system is always trained using large parallel corpus to produce effective translation. Not only is the corpus scarce, it also involves a lot of manual labor and cost. Parallel corpus can be prepared by employing comparable corpora where a pair of corpora is in two different languages pointing to the same domain. In the present work, we try to build a parallel corpus for French-English language pair from a given comparable corpus. The data and the problem set are provided as part of the shared task organized by BUCC 2017. We have proposed a system that first translates the sentences by heavily relying on Moses and then group the sentences based on sentence length similarity. Finally, the one to one sentence selection was done based on Cosine Similarity algorithm.
This paper presents the BUCC 2017 shared task on parallel sentence extraction from comparable corpora. It recalls the design of the datasets, presents their final construction and statistics and the methods used to evaluate system results. 13 runs were submitted to the shared task by 4 teams, covering three of the four proposed language pairs: French-English (7 runs), German-English (3 runs), and Chinese-English (3 runs). The best F-scores as measured against the gold standard were 0.84 (German-English), 0.80 (French-English), and 0.43 (Chinese-English). Because of the design of the dataset, in which not all gold parallel sentence pairs are known, these are only minimum values. We examined manually a small sample of the false negative sentence pairs for the most precise French-English runs and estimated the number of parallel sentence pairs not yet in the provided gold standard. Adding them to the gold standard leads to revised estimates for the French-English F-scores of at most +1.5pt. This suggests that the BUCC 2017 datasets provide a reasonable approximate evaluation of the parallel sentence spotting task.
Automatic detection of depression has attracted increasing attention from researchers in psychology, computer science, linguistics, and related disciplines. As a result, promising depression detection systems have been reported. This paper surveys these efforts by presenting the first cross-modal review of depression detection systems and discusses best practices and most promising approaches to this task.
In this paper, we provide the first quantified exploration of the structure of the language of dreams, their linguistic style and emotional content. We present a collection of digital dream logs as a viable corpus for the growing study of mental health through the lens of language, complementary to the work done examining more traditional social media. This paper is largely exploratory in nature to lay the groundwork for subsequent research in mental health, rather than optimizing a particular text classification task.
Social connection and social isolation are associated with depressive symptoms, particularly in adolescents and young adults, but how these concepts are documented in clinical notes is unknown. This pilot study aimed to identify the topics relevant to social connection and isolation by analyzing 145 clinical notes from patients with depression diagnosis. We found that providers, including physicians, nurses, social workers, and psychologists, document descriptions of both social connection and social isolation.
We propose an automated system that can identify at-risk users from their public social media activity, more specifically, from Twitter. The data that we collected is from the #BellLetsTalk campaign, which is a wide-reaching, multi-year program designed to break the silence around mental illness and support mental health across Canada. To achieve our goal, we trained a user-level classifier that can detect at-risk users that achieves a reasonable precision and recall. We also trained a tweet-level classifier that predicts if a tweet indicates depression. This task was much more difficult due to the imbalanced data. In the dataset that we labeled, we came across 5% depression tweets and 95% non-depression tweets. To handle this class imbalance, we used undersampling methods. The resulting classifier had high recall, but low precision. Therefore, we only use this classifier to compute the estimated percentage of depressed tweets and to add this value as a feature for the user-level classifier.
In this paper, we use qualitative research methods to investigate the attitudes of social media users towards the (opt-in) integration of social media data with routine mental health care and diagnosis. Our investigation was based on secondary analysis of a series of five focus groups with Twitter users, including three groups consisting of participants with a self-reported history of depression, and two groups consisting of participants without a self reported history of depression. Our results indicate that, overall, research participants were enthusiastic about the possibility of using social media (in conjunction with automated Natural Language Processing algorithms) for mood tracking under the supervision of a mental health practitioner. However, for at least some participants, there was skepticism related to how well social media represents the mental health of users, and hence its usefulness in the clinical context.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety-based disorder that affects around 2.5% of the population. A common treatment for OCD is exposure therapy, where the patient repeatedly confronts a feared experience, which has the long-term effect of decreasing their anxiety. Some exposures consist of reading and writing stories about an imagined anxiety-provoking scenario. In this paper, we present a technology that enables patients to interactively contribute to exposure stories by supplying natural language input (typed or spoken) that advances a scenario. This interactivity could potentially increase the patient’s sense of immersion in an exposure and contribute to its success. We introduce the NLP task behind processing inputs to predict new events in the scenario, and describe our initial approach. We then illustrate the future possibility of this work with an example of an exposure scenario authored with our application.
Previous investigations into detecting mental illnesses through social media have predominately focused on detecting depression through Twitter corpora. In this paper, we study anxiety disorders through personal narratives collected through the popular social media website, Reddit. We build a substantial data set of typical and anxiety-related posts, and we apply N-gram language modeling, vector embeddings, topic analysis, and emotional norms to generate features that accurately classify posts related to binary levels of anxiety. We achieve an accuracy of 91% with vector-space word embeddings, and an accuracy of 98% when combined with lexicon-based features.
Individuals on social media may reveal themselves to be in various states of crisis (e.g. suicide, self-harm, abuse, or eating disorders). Detecting crisis from social media text automatically and accurately can have profound consequences. However, detecting a general state of crisis without explaining why has limited applications. An explanation in this context is a coherent, concise subset of the text that rationalizes the crisis detection. We explore several methods to detect and explain crisis using a combination of neural and non-neural techniques. We evaluate these techniques on a unique data set obtained from Koko, an anonymous emotional support network available through various messaging applications. We annotate a small subset of the samples labeled with crisis with corresponding explanations. Our best technique significantly outperforms the baseline for detection and explanation.
People typically assume that killers are mentally ill or fundamentally different from the rest of humanity. Similarly, people often associate mental health conditions (such as schizophrenia or autism) with violence and otherness - treatable perhaps, but not empathically understandable. We take a dictionary approach to explore word use in a set of autobiographies, comparing the narratives of 2 killers (Adolf Hitler and Elliot Rodger) and 39 non-killers. Although results suggest several dimensions that differentiate these autobiographies - such as sentiment, temporal orientation, and references to death - they appear to reflect subject matter rather than psychology per se. Additionally, the Rodger text shows roughly typical developmental arcs in its use of words relating to friends, family, sex, and affect. From these data, we discuss the challenges of understanding killers and people in general.
Many psychological phenomena occur in small time windows, measured in minutes or hours. However, most computational linguistic techniques look at data on the order of weeks, months, or years. We explore micropatterns in sequences of messages occurring over a short time window for their prevalence and power for quantifying psychological phenomena, specifically, patterns in affect. We examine affective micropatterns in social media posts from users with anxiety, eating disorders, panic attacks, schizophrenia, suicidality, and matched controls.
Using the Entropy Reduction incremental complexity metric, we relate high gamma power signals from the brains of epileptic patients to incremental stages of syntactic analysis in English and French. We find that signals recorded intracranially from the anterior Inferior Temporal Sulcus (aITS) and the posterior Inferior Temporal Gyrus (pITG) correlate with word-by-word Entropy Reduction values derived from phrase structure grammars for those languages. In the anterior region, this correlation persists even in combination with surprisal co-predictors from PCFG and ngram models. The result confirms the idea that the brain’s temporal lobe houses a parsing function, one whose incremental processing difficulty profile reflects changes in grammatical uncertainty.
How do children learn a verb’s argument structure when their input contains nonbasic clauses that obscure verb transitivity? Here we present a new model that infers verb transitivity by learning to filter out non-basic clauses that were likely parsed in error. In simulations with child-directed speech, we show that this model accurately categorizes the majority of 50 frequent transitive, intransitive and alternating verbs, and jointly learns appropriate parameters for filtering parsing errors. Our model is thus able to filter out problematic data for verb learning without knowing in advance which data need to be filtered.
An important predictor of historical sound change, functional load, fails to capture insights from speech perception. Building on ideal observer models of word recognition, we devise a new definition of functional load that incorporates both a priori predictability and perceptual information. We explore this new measure with a simple model and find that it outperforms traditional measures.
Human listeners are able to quickly and robustly adapt to new accents and do so by using information about speaker’s identities. This paper will present experimental evidence that, even considering information about speaker’s identities, listeners retain a strong bias towards the acoustics of their own dialect after dialect learning. Participants’ behaviour was accurately mimicked by a classifier which was trained on more cases from the base dialect and fewer from the target dialect. This suggests that imbalanced training data may result in automatic speech recognition errors consistent with those of speakers from populations over-represented in the training data.
A recurrent neural network model of phonological pattern learning is proposed. The model is a relatively simple neural network with one recurrent layer, and displays biases in learning that mimic observed biases in human learning. Single-feature patterns are learned faster than two-feature patterns, and vowel or consonant-only patterns are learned faster than patterns involving vowels and consonants, mimicking the results of laboratory learning experiments. In non-recurrent models, capturing these biases requires the use of alpha features or some other representation of repeated features, but with a recurrent neural network, these elaborations are not necessary.
Japanese speakers have a choice between canonical SOV and scrambled OSV word order to express the same meaning. Although previous experiments examine the influence of one or two factors for scrambling in a controlled setting, it is not yet known what kinds of multiple effects contribute to scrambling. This study uses naturally distributed data to test the multiple effects on scrambling simultaneously. A regression analysis replicates the NP length effect and suggests the influence of noun types, but it provides no evidence for syntactic priming, given-new ordering, and the animacy effect. These findings only show evidence for sentence-internal factors, but we find no evidence that discourse level factors play a role.
Only a year ago, all state-of-the-art coreference resolvers were using an extensive amount of surface features. Recently, there was a paradigm shift towards using word embeddings and deep neural networks, where the use of surface features is very limited. In this paper, we show that a simple SVM model with surface features outperforms more complex neural models for detecting anaphoric mentions. Our analysis suggests that using generalized representations and surface features have different strength that should be both taken into account for improving coreference resolution.
In this paper we present a Basque coreference resolution system enriched with semantic knowledge. An error analysis carried out revealed the deficiencies that the system had in resolving coreference cases in which semantic or world knowledge is needed. We attempt to improve the deficiencies using two semantic knowledge sources, specifically Wikipedia and WordNet.
This paper presents results of an experiment integrating information from valency dictionary of Polish into a mention detection system. Two types of information is acquired: positions of syntactic schemata for nominal and verbal constructs and secondary prepositions present in schemata. The syntactic schemata are used to prevent (for verbal realizations) or encourage (for nominal groups) constructing mentions from phrases filling multiple schema positions, the secondary prepositions – to filter out artificial mentions created from their nominal components. Mention detection is evaluated against the manual annotation of the Polish Coreference Corpus in two settings: taking into account only mention heads or exact borders.
This article presents the first collection of French Winograd Schemas. Winograd Schemas form anaphora resolution problems that can only be resolved with extensive world knowledge. For this reason the Winograd Schema Challenge has been proposed as an alternative to the Turing Test. A very important feature of Winograd Schemas is that it should be impossible to resolve them with statistical information about word co-occurrences: they should be Google-proof. We propose a measure of Google-proofness based on Mutual Information, and demonstrate the method on our collection of French Winograd Schemas.
In this paper, we present a proof-of-concept implementation of a coreference-aware decoder for document-level machine translation. We consider that better translations should have coreference links that are closer to those in the source text, and implement this criterion in two ways. First, we define a similarity measure between source and target coreference structures, by projecting the target ones onto the source and reusing existing coreference metrics. Based on this similarity measure, we re-rank the translation hypotheses of a baseline system for each sentence. Alternatively, to address the lack of diversity of mentions in the MT hypotheses, we focus on mention pairs and integrate their coreference scores with MT ones, resulting in post-editing decisions for mentions. The experimental results for Spanish to English MT on the AnCora-ES corpus show that the second approach yields a substantial increase in the accuracy of pronoun translation, with BLEU scores remaining constant.
In this paper, we examine the possibility of using annotation projection from multiple sources for automatically obtaining coreference annotations in the target language. We implement a multi-source annotation projection algorithm and apply it on an English-German-Russian parallel corpus in order to transfer coreference chains from two sources to the target side. Operating in two settings – a low-resource and a more linguistically-informed one – we show that automatic coreference transfer could benefit from combining information from multiple languages, and assess the quality of both the extraction and the linking of target coreference mentions.
The CORBON 2017 Shared Task, organised as part of the Coreference Resolution Beyond OntoNotes workshop at EACL 2017, presented a new challenge for multilingual coreference resolution: we offer a projection-based setting in which one is supposed to build a coreference resolver for a new language exploiting little or even no knowledge of it, with our languages of interest being German and Russian. We additionally offer a more traditional setting, targeting the development of a multilingual coreference resolver without any restrictions on the resources and methods used. In this paper, we describe the task setting and provide the results of one participant who successfully completed the task, comparing their results to the closely related previous research. Analysing the task setting and the results, we discuss the major challenges and make suggestions on the future directions of coreference evaluation.
The paper describes the system for coreference resolution in German and Russian, trained exclusively on coreference relations project ed through a parallel corpus from English. The resolver operates on the level of deep syntax and makes use of multiple specialized models. It achieves 32 and 22 points in terms of CoNLL score for Russian and German, respectively. Analysis of the evaluation results show that the resolver for Russian is able to preserve 66% of the English resolver’s quality in terms of CoNLL score. The system was submitted to the Closed track of the CORBON 2017 Shared task.
We describe the design, the setup, and the evaluation results of the DiscoMT 2017 shared task on cross-lingual pronoun prediction. The task asked participants to predict a target-language pronoun given a source-language pronoun in the context of a sentence. We further provided a lemmatized target-language human-authored translation of the source sentence, and automatic word alignments between the source sentence words and the target-language lemmata. The aim of the task was to predict, for each target-language pronoun placeholder, the word that should replace it from a small, closed set of classes, using any type of information that can be extracted from the entire document. We offered four subtasks, each for a different language pair and translation direction: English-to-French, English-to-German, German-to-English, and Spanish-to-English. Five teams participated in the shared task, making submissions for all language pairs. The evaluation results show that most participating teams outperformed two strong n-gram-based language model-based baseline systems by a sizable margin.
In this paper, we define and assess a reference-based metric to evaluate the accuracy of pronoun translation (APT). The metric automatically aligns a candidate and a reference translation using GIZA++ augmented with specific heuristics, and then counts the number of identical or different pronouns, with provision for legitimate variations and omitted pronouns. All counts are then combined into one score. The metric is applied to the results of seven systems (including the baseline) that participated in the DiscoMT 2015 shared task on pronoun translation from English to French. The APT metric reaches around 0.993-0.999 Pearson correlation with human judges (depending on the parameters of APT), while other automatic metrics such as BLEU, METEOR, or those specific to pronouns used at DiscoMT 2015 reach only 0.972-0.986 Pearson correlation.
Although coherence is an important aspect of any text generation system, it has received little attention in the context of machine translation (MT) so far. We hypothesize that the quality of document-level translation can be improved if MT models take into account the semantic relations among sentences during translation. We integrate the graph-based coherence model proposed by Mesgar and Strube, (2016) with Docent (Hardmeier et al., 2012, Hardmeier, 2014) a document-level machine translation system. The application of this graph-based coherence modeling approach is novel in the context of machine translation. We evaluate the coherence model and its effects on the quality of the machine translation. The result of our experiments shows that our coherence model slightly improves the quality of translation in terms of the average Meteor score.
We present work on handling XML markup in Statistical Machine Translation (SMT). The methods we propose can be used to effectively preserve markup (for instance inline formatting or structure) and to place markup correctly in a machine-translated segment. We evaluate our approaches with parallel data that naturally contains markup or where markup was inserted to create synthetic examples. In our experiments, hybrid reinsertion has proven the most accurate method to handle markup, while alignment masking and alignment reinsertion should be regarded as viable alternatives. We provide implementations of all the methods described and they are freely available as an open-source framework.
We describe the Uppsala system for the 2017 DiscoMT shared task on cross-lingual pronoun prediction. The system is based on a lower layer of BiLSTMs reading the source and target sentences respectively. Classification is based on the BiLSTM representation of the source and target positions for the pronouns. In addition we enrich our system with dependency representations from an external parser and character representations of the source sentence. We show that these additions perform well for German and Spanish as source languages. Our system is competitive and is in first or second place for all language pairs.
In this paper we present our systems for the DiscoMT 2017 cross-lingual pronoun prediction shared task. For all four language pairs, we trained a standard attention-based neural machine translation system as well as three variants that incorporate information from the preceding source sentence. We show that our systems, which are not specifically designed for pronoun prediction and may be used to generate complete sentence translations, generally achieve competitive results on this task.
This paper describes the UU-Hardmeier system submitted to the DiscoMT 2017 shared task on cross-lingual pronoun prediction. The system is an ensemble of convolutional neural networks combined with a source-aware n-gram language model.
In this paper we present our system in the DiscoMT 2017 Shared Task on Crosslingual Pronoun Prediction. Our entry builds on our last year’s success, our system based on deep recurrent neural networks outperformed all the other systems with a clear margin. This year we investigate whether different pre-trained word embeddings can be used to improve the neural systems, and whether the recently published Gated Convolutions outperform the Gated Recurrent Units used last year.
Although parallel coreference corpora can to a high degree support the development of SMT systems, there are no large-scale parallel datasets available due to the complexity of the annotation task and the variability in annotation schemes. In this study, we exploit an annotation projection method to combine the output of two coreference resolution systems for two different source languages (English, German) in order to create an annotated corpus for a third language (Russian). We show that our technique is superior to projecting annotations from a single source language, and we provide an in-depth analysis of the projected annotations in order to assess the perspectives of our approach.
In this paper, we analyse alignment discrepancies for discourse structures in English-German parallel data – sentence pairs, in which discourse structures in target or source texts have no alignment in the corresponding parallel sentences. The discourse-related structures are designed in form of linguistic patterns based on the information delivered by automatic part-of-speech and dependency annotation. In addition to alignment errors (existing structures left unaligned), these alignment discrepancies can be caused by language contrasts or through the phenomena of explicitation and implicitation in the translation process. We propose a new approach including new type of resources for corpus-based language contrast analysis and apply it to study and classify the contrasts found in our English-German parallel corpus. As unaligned discourse structures may also result in the loss of discourse information in the MT training data, we hope to deliver information in support of discourse-aware machine translation (MT).
We investigate the use of extended context in attention-based neural machine translation. We base our experiments on translated movie subtitles and discuss the effect of increasing the segments beyond single translation units. We study the use of extended source language context as well as bilingual context extensions. The models learn to distinguish between information from different segments and are surprisingly robust with respect to translation quality. In this pilot study, we observe interesting cross-sentential attention patterns that improve textual coherence in translation at least in some selected cases.
Implicit discourse connectives and relations are distributed more widely in Chinese texts, when translating into English, such connectives are usually translated explicitly. Towards Chinese-English MT, in this paper we describe cross-lingual annotation and alignment of dis-course connectives in a parallel corpus, describing related surveys and findings. We then conduct some evaluation experiments to testify the translation of implicit connectives and whether representing implicit connectives explicitly in source language can improve the final translation performance significantly. Preliminary results show it has little improvement by just inserting explicit connectives for implicit relations.
Currently under review for EMNLP 2017 The phrase-based Statistical Machine Translation (SMT) approach deals with sentences in isolation, making it difficult to consider discourse context in translation. This poses a challenge for ambiguous words that need discourse knowledge to be correctly translated. We propose a method that benefits from the semantic similarity in lexical chains to improve SMT output by integrating it in a document-level decoder. We focus on word embeddings to deal with the lexical chains, contrary to the traditional approach that uses lexical resources. Experimental results on German-to-English show that our method produces correct translations in up to 88% of the changes, improving the translation in 36%-48% of them over the baseline.
As the quality of Machine Translation (MT) improves, research on improving discourse in automatic translations becomes more viable. This has resulted in an increase in the amount of work on discourse in MT. However many of the existing models and metrics have yet to integrate these insights. Part of this is due to the evaluation methodology, based as it is largely on matching to a single reference. At a time when MT is increasingly being used in a pipeline for other tasks, the semantic element of the translation process needs to be properly integrated into the task. Moreover, in order to take MT to another level, it will need to judge output not based on a single reference translation, but based on notions of fluency and of adequacy – ideally with reference to the source text.
Researchers and practitioners in natural-language processing (NLP) and related fields should attend to ethical principles in study design, ascription of categories/variables to study participants, and reporting of findings or results. This paper discusses theoretical and ethical frameworks for using gender as a variable in NLP studies and proposes four guidelines for researchers and practitioners. The principles outlined here should guide practitioners, researchers, and peer reviewers, and they may be applicable to other social categories, such as race, applied to human beings connected to NLP research.
Stylometric and text categorization results show that author gender can be discerned in texts with relatively high accuracy. However, it is difficult to explain what gives rise to these results and there are many possible confounding factors, such as the domain, genre, and target audience of a text. More fundamentally, such classification efforts risk invoking stereotyping and essentialism. We explore this issue in two datasets of Dutch literary novels, using commonly used descriptive (LIWC, topic modeling) and predictive (machine learning) methods. Our results show the importance of controlling for variables in the corpus and we argue for taking care not to overgeneralize from the results.
We present results on a quantitative analysis of publications in the NLP domain on collecting, publishing and availability of research data. We find that a wide range of publications rely on data crawled from the web, but few give details on how potentially sensitive data was treated. Additionally, we find that while links to repositories of data are given, they often do not work even a short time after publication. We put together several suggestions on how to improve this situation based on publications from the NLP domain, but also other research areas.
Natural language processing (NLP) systems analyze and/or generate human language, typically on users’ behalf. One natural and necessary question that needs to be addressed in this context, both in research projects and in production settings, is the question how ethical the work is, both regarding the process and its outcome. Towards this end, we articulate a set of issues, propose a set of best practices, notably a process featuring an ethics review board, and sketch and how they could be meaningfully applied. Our main argument is that ethical outcomes ought to be achieved by design, i.e. by following a process aligned by ethical values. We also offer some response options for those facing ethics issues. While a number of previous works exist that discuss ethical issues, in particular around big data and machine learning, to the authors’ knowledge this is the first account of NLP and ethics from the perspective of a principled process.
Automated scoring of written and spoken responses is an NLP application that can significantly impact lives especially when deployed as part of high-stakes tests such as the GRE® and the TOEFL®. Ethical considerations require that automated scoring algorithms treat all test-takers fairly. The educational measurement community has done significant research on fairness in assessments and automated scoring systems must incorporate their recommendations. The best way to do that is by making available automated, non-proprietary tools to NLP researchers that directly incorporate these recommendations and generate the analyses needed to help identify and resolve biases in their scoring systems. In this paper, we attempt to provide such a solution.
This project evaluates the accuracy of YouTube’s automatically-generated captions across two genders and five dialect groups. Speakers’ dialect and gender was controlled for by using videos uploaded as part of the “accent tag challenge”, where speakers explicitly identify their language background. The results show robust differences in accuracy across both gender and dialect, with lower accuracy for 1) women and 2) speakers from Scotland. This finding builds on earlier research finding that speaker’s sociolinguistic identity may negatively impact their ability to use automatic speech recognition, and demonstrates the need for sociolinguistically-stratified validation of systems.
We examine the impact of the EU General Data Protection Regulation and the push from research funders to provide open access research data on the current practices in Language Technology Research. We analyse the challenges that arise and the opportunities to address many of them through the use of existing open data practices. We discuss the impact of this also on current practice in research ethics.
Shared tasks are increasingly common in our field, and new challenges are suggested at almost every conference and workshop. However, as this has become an established way of pushing research forward, it is important to discuss how we researchers organise and participate in shared tasks, and make that information available to the community to allow further research improvements. In this paper, we present a number of ethical issues along with other areas of concern that are related to the competitive nature of shared tasks. As such issues could potentially impact on research ethics in the Natural Language Processing community, we also propose the development of a framework for the organisation of and participation in shared tasks that can help mitigate against these issues arising.
We analyze the Stanford Natural Language Inference (SNLI) corpus in an investigation of bias and stereotyping in NLP data. The SNLI human-elicitation protocol makes it prone to amplifying bias and stereotypical associations, which we demonstrate statistically (using pointwise mutual information) and with qualitative examples.
Clinical NLP has an immense potential in contributing to how clinical practice will be revolutionized by the advent of large scale processing of clinical records. However, this potential has remained largely untapped due to slow progress primarily caused by strict data access policies for researchers. In this paper, we discuss the concern for privacy and the measures it entails. We also suggest sources of less sensitive data. Finally, we draw attention to biases that can compromise the validity of empirical research and lead to socially harmful applications.
The argument made in this paper is that to act ethically in machine learning and NLP requires focusing on goals. NLP projects are often classificatory systems that deal with human subjects, which means that goals from people affected by the systems should be included. The paper takes as its core example a model that detects criminality, showing the problems of training data, categories, and outcomes. The paper is oriented to the kinds of critiques on power and the reproduction of inequality that are found in social theory, but it also includes concrete suggestions on how to put goal-oriented design into practice.
Social media have transformed data-driven research in political science, the social sciences, health, and medicine. Since health research often touches on sensitive topics that relate to ethics of treatment and patient privacy, similar ethical considerations should be acknowledged when using social media data in health research. While much has been said regarding the ethical considerations of social media research, health research leads to an additional set of concerns. We provide practical suggestions in the form of guidelines for researchers working with social media data in health research. These guidelines can inform an IRB proposal for researchers new to social media health research.
We discuss the ethical implications of Natural Language Generation systems. We use one particular system as a case study to identify and classify issues, and we provide an ethics checklist, in the hope that future system designers may benefit from conducting their own ethics reviews based on our checklist.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In this paper, we study AMR-to-text generation, framing it as a translation task and comparing two different MT approaches (Phrase-based and Neural MT). We systematically study the effects of 3 AMR preprocessing steps (Delexicalisation, Compression, and Linearisation) applied before the MT phase. Our results show that preprocessing indeed helps, although the benefits differ for the two MT models.
Poetry generation is becoming popular among researchers of Natural Language Generation, Computational Creativity and, broadly, Artificial Intelligence. To produce text that may be regarded as poetry, poetry generation systems are typically knowledge-intensive and have to deal with several levels of language, from lexical to semantics. Interest on the topic resulted in the development of several poetry generators described in the literature, with different features covered or handled differently, by a broad range of alternative approaches, as well as different perspectives on evaluation, another challenging aspect due the underlying subjectivity. This paper surveys intelligent poetry generators around a set of relevant axis for poetry generation – targeted languages, form and content features, techniques, reutilisation of material, and evaluation – and aims to organise work developed on this topic so far.
Automatic image description systems are commonly trained and evaluated on large image description datasets. Recently, researchers have started to collect such datasets for languages other than English. An unexplored question is how different these datasets are from English and, if there are any differences, what causes them to differ. This paper provides a cross-linguistic comparison of Dutch, English, and German image descriptions. We find that these descriptions are similar in many respects, but the familiarity of crowd workers with the subjects of the images has a noticeable influence on the specificity of the descriptions.
We study the task of constructing sports news report automatically from live commentary and focus on content selection. Rather than receiving every piece of text of a sports match before news construction, as in previous related work, we novelly verify the feasibility of a more challenging but more useful setting to generate news report on the fly by treating live text input as a stream. Specifically, we design various scoring functions to address different requirements of the task. The near submodularity of scoring functions makes it possible to adapt efficient greedy algorithms even in stream data settings. Experiments suggest that our proposed framework can already produce comparable results compared with previous work that relies on a supervised learning-to-rank model with heavy feature engineering.
We present a flexible Natural Language Generation approach for Spanish, focused on the surface realisation stage, which integrates an inflection module in order to improve the naturalness and expressivity of the generated language. This inflection module inflects the verbs using an ensemble of trainable algorithms whereas the other types of words (e.g. nouns, determiners, etc) are inflected using hand-crafted rules. We show that our approach achieves 2% higher accuracy than two state-of-art inflection generation approaches. Furthermore, our proposed approach also predicts an extra feature: the inflection of the imperative mood, which was not taken into account by previous work. We also present a user evaluation, where we demonstrate that the proposed method significantly improves the perceived naturalness of the generated language.
Image captioning has evolved into a core task for Natural Language Generation and has also proved to be an important testbed for deep learning approaches to handling multimodal representations. Most contemporary approaches rely on a combination of a convolutional network to handle image features, and a recurrent network to encode linguistic information. The latter is typically viewed as the primary “generation” component. Beyond this high-level characterisation, a CNN+RNN model supports a variety of architectural designs. The dominant model in the literature is one in which visual features encoded by a CNN are “injected” as part of the linguistic encoding process, driving the RNN’s linguistic choices. By contrast, it is possible to envisage an architecture in which visual and linguistic features are encoded separately, and merged at a subsequent stage. In this paper, we address two related questions: (1) Is direct injection the best way of combining multimodal information, or is a late merging alternative better for the image captioning task? (2) To what extent should a recurrent network be viewed as actually generating, rather than simply encoding, linguistic information?
Describing people and characters can be very useful in different contexts, such as computational narrative or image description for the visually impaired. However, a review of the existing literature shows that the automatic generation of people descriptions has not received much attention. Our work focuses on the description of people in snapshots from a 3D environment. First, we have conducted a survey to identify the way in which people describe other people under different conditions. We have used the information extracted from this survey to design several Referring Expression Generation algorithms which produce similar results. We have evaluated these algorithms with users in order to identify which ones generate the best description for specific characters in different situations. The evaluation has shown that, in order to generate good descriptions, a combination of different algorithms has to be used depending on the features and situation of the person to be described.
Co-PoeTryMe is a web application for poetry composition, guided by the user, though with the help of automatic features, such as the generation of full (editable) drafts, as well as the acquisition of additional well-formed lines, or semantically-related words, possibly constrained by the number of syllables, rhyme, or polarity. Towards the final poem, the latter can replace lines or words in the draft.
Current referring expression generation systems mostly deliver their output as one-shot, written expressions. We present on-going work on incremental generation of spoken expressions referring to objects in real-world images. This approach extends upon previous work using the words-as-classifier model for generation. We implement this generator in an incremental dialogue processing framework such that we can exploit an existing interface to incremental text-to-speech synthesis. Our system generates and synthesizes referring expressions while continuously observing non-verbal user reactions.
This talk will present a few NLG systems developed within Thomson Reuters providing information to professionals such as lawyers, accountants or traders. Based on the experience developing these system, I will discuss the usefulness of automatic metrics, crowd-sourced evaluation, corpora studies and expert reviews. I will conclude with exploring the question of whether developers of NLG systems need to follow ethical guidelines and how those guidelines could be established.
For situated agents to effectively engage in natural-language interactions with humans, they must be able to refer to entities such as people, locations, and objects. While classic referring expression generation (REG) algorithms like the Incremental Algorithm (IA) assume perfect, complete, and accessible knowledge of all referents, this is not always possible. In this work, we show how a previously presented consultant framework (which facilitates reference resolution when knowledge is uncertain, heterogeneous and distributed) can be used to extend the IA to produce DIST-PIA, a domain-independent algorithm for REG under uncertain, heterogeneous, and distributed knowledge. We also present a novel framework that can be used to evaluate such REG algorithms without conflating the performance of the algorithm with the performance of classifiers it employs.
There has been continuous growth in the volume and ubiquity of video material. It has become essential to define video semantics in order to aid the searchability and retrieval of this data. We present a framework that produces textual descriptions of video, based on the visual semantic content. Detected action classes rendered as verbs, participant objects converted to noun phrases, visual properties of detected objects rendered as adjectives and spatial relations between objects rendered as prepositions. Further, in cases of zero-shot action recognition, a language model is used to infer a missing verb, aided by the detection of objects and scene settings. These extracted features are converted into textual descriptions using a template-based approach. The proposed video descriptions framework evaluated on the NLDHA dataset using ROUGE scores and human judgment evaluation.
We present PASS, a data-to-text system that generates Dutch soccer reports from match statistics. One of the novel elements of PASS is the fact that the system produces corpus-based texts tailored towards fans of one club or the other, which can most prominently be observed in the tone of voice used in the reports. Furthermore, the system is open source and uses a modular design, which makes it relatively easy for people to add extensions. Human-based evaluation shows that people are generally positive towards PASS in regards to its clarity and fluency, and that the tailoring is accurately recognized in most cases.
Natural Language Generation (NLG) can be used to generate personalized health information, which is especially useful when provided in one’s own language. However, the NLG technique widely used in different domains and languages—templates—was shown to be inapplicable to Bantu languages, due to their characteristic agglutinative structure. We present here our use of the grammar engine NLG technique to generate text in Runyankore, a Bantu language indigenous to Uganda. Our grammar engine adds to previous work in this field with new rules for cardinality constraints, prepositions in roles, the passive, and phonological conditioning. We evaluated the generated text with linguists and non-linguists, who regarded most text as grammatically correct and understandable; and over 60% of them regarded all the text generated by our system to have been authored by a human being.
We use language to talk about the world, and so reference is a crucial property of language. However, modeling reference is particularly difficult, as it involves both continuous and discrete as-pects of language. For instance, referring expressions like “the big mug” or “it” typically contain content words (“big”, “mug”), which are notoriously fuzzy or vague in their meaning, and also fun-ction words (“the”, “it”) that largely serve as discrete pointers. Data-driven, distributed models based on distributional semantics or deep learning excel at the former, but struggle with the latter, and the reverse is true for symbolic models. I present ongoing work on modeling reference with a distribu-ted model aimed at capturing both aspects, and learns to refer directly from reference acts.
We propose a new shared task for tactical data-to-text generation in the domain of source code libraries. Specifically, we focus on text generation of function descriptions from example software projects. Data is drawn from existing resources used for studying the related problem of semantic parser induction, and spans a wide variety of both natural languages and programming languages. In this paper, we describe these existing resources, which will serve as training and development data for the task, and discuss plans for building new independent test sets.
We propose a shared task on multilingual Surface Realization, i.e., on mapping unordered and uninflected universal dependency trees to correctly ordered and inflected sentences in a number of languages. A second deeper input will be available in which, in addition, functional words, fine-grained PoS and morphological information will be removed from the input trees. The first shared task on Surface Realization was carried out in 2011 with a similar setup, with a focus on English. We think that it is time for relaunching such a shared task effort in view of the arrival of Universal Dependencies annotated treebanks for a large number of languages on the one hand, and the increasing dominance of Deep Learning, which proved to be a game changer for NLP, on the other hand.
The WebNLG challenge consists in mapping sets of RDF triples to text. It provides a common benchmark on which to train, evaluate and compare “microplanners”, i.e. generation systems that verbalise a given content by making a range of complex interacting choices including referring expression generation, aggregation, lexicalisation, surface realisation and sentence segmentation. In this paper, we introduce the microplanning task, describe data preparation, introduce our evaluation methodology, analyse participant results and provide a brief description of the participating systems.
I briefly describe some of the commercial work which XXX is doing in referring expression algorithms, and highlight differences between what is commercially important (at least to XXX) and the NLG research literature. In particular, XXX is less interested in generic reference algorithms than in high-quality algorithms for specific types of references, such as components of machines, named entities, and dates.
Integrating surface realization and the generation of referring expressions into a single algorithm can improve the quality of the generated sentences. Existing algorithms for doing this, such as SPUD and CRISP, are search-based and can be slow or incomplete. We offer a chart-based algorithm for integrated sentence generation and demonstrate its runtime efficiency.
We describe SimpleNLG-ES, an adaptation of the SimpleNLG realization library for the Spanish language. Our implementation is based on the bilingual English-French SimpleNLG-EnFr adaptation. The library has been tested using a battery of examples that ensure that the most common syntax, morphology and orthography rules for Spanish are met. The library is currently being used in three different projects for the development of data-to-text systems in the meteorological, statistical data information, and business intelligence application domains.
Corpora of referring expressions elicited from human participants in a controlled environment are an important resource for research on automatic referring expression generation. We here present G-TUNA, a new corpus of referring expressions for German. Using the furniture stimuli set developed for the TUNA and D-TUNA corpora, our corpus extends on these corpora by providing data collected in a simulated driving dual-task setting, and additionally provides exact duration annotations for the spoken referring expressions. This corpus will hence allow researchers to analyze the interaction between referring expression length and speech rate, under conditions where the listener is under high vs. low cognitive load.
There are many domain-specific and language-specific NLG systems, of which it may be possible to adapt to related domains and languages. The languages in the Bantu language family have their own set of features distinct from other major groups, which therefore severely limits the options to bootstrap an NLG system from existing ones. We present here our first proof-of-concept application for knowledge-to-text NLG as a plugin to the Protege 5.x ontology development system, tailored to Runyankore, a Bantu language indigenous to Uganda. It comprises a basic annotation model for linguistic information such as noun class, an implementation of existing verbalisation rules and a CFG for verbs, and a basic interface for data entry.
A fully fledged practical working application for a rule-based NLG system is presented that is able to create non-trivial, human sounding narrative from structured data, in any language and for any topic.
We present two approaches to generate titles for browse pages in five different languages, namely English, German, French, Italian and Spanish. These browse pages are structured search pages in an e-commerce domain. We first present a rule-based approach to generate these browse page titles. In addition, we also present a hybrid approach which uses a phrase-based statistical machine translation engine on top of the rule-based system to assemble the best title. For the two languages English and German we have access to a large amount of already available rule-based generated and curated titles. For these languages we present an automatic post-editing approach which learns how to post-edit the rule-based titles into curated titles.
Data-to-text generation is very essential and important in machine writing applications. The recent deep learning models, like Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs), have shown a bright future for relevant text generation tasks. However, rare work has been done for automatic generation of long reviews from user opinions. In this paper, we introduce a deep neural network model to generate long Chinese reviews from aspect-sentiment scores representing users’ opinions. We conduct our study within the framework of encoder-decoder networks, and we propose a hierarchical structure with aligned attention in the Long-Short Term Memory (LSTM) decoder. Experiments show that our model outperforms retrieval based baseline methods, and also beats the sequential generation models in qualitative evaluations.
Most work on automatic generation of narratives, and more specifically suspenseful narrative, has focused on detailed domain-specific modelling of character psychology and plot structure. Recent work in computational linguistics on the automatic learning of narrative schemas suggests an alternative approach that exploits such schemas as a starting point for modelling and measuring suspense. We propose a domain-independent model for tracking suspense in a story which can be used to predict the audience’s suspense response on a sentence-by-sentence basis at the content determination stage of narrative generation. The model lends itself as the theoretical foundation for a suspense module that is compatible with alternative narrative generation theories. The proposal is evaluated by human judges’ normalised average scores correlate strongly with predicted values.
Despite increasing amounts of data and ever improving natural language generation techniques, work on automated journalism is still relatively scarce. In this paper, we explore the field and challenges associated with building a journalistic natural language generation system. We present a set of requirements that should guide system design, including transparency, accuracy, modifiability and transferability. Guided by the requirements, we present a data-driven architecture for automated journalism that is largely domain and language independent. We illustrate its practical application in the production of news articles about the 2017 Finnish municipal elections in three languages, demonstrating the successfulness of the data-driven, modular approach of the design. We then draw some lessons for future automated journalism.
Data augmentation is widely used to train deep neural networks for image classification tasks. Simply flipping images can help learning tremendously by increasing the number of training images by a factor of two. However, little work has been done studying data augmentation in natural language processing. Here, we describe two methods for data augmentation for Visual Question Answering (VQA). The first uses existing semantic annotations to generate new questions. The second method is a generative approach using recurrent neural networks. Experiments show that the proposed data augmentation improves performance of both baseline and state-of-the-art VQA algorithms.
This work proposes an organization of knowledge to facilitate the generation of personalized questions, answers and grammars from web documents. To reduce the human effort needed in the generation of the linguistic resources for a new domain, the general aspects that can be reuse across domains are separated from those more specific. The proposed approach is based on the representation of the main domain concepts as a set of attributes. These attributes are related to a syntactico-semantic taxonomy representing the general relationships between conceptual and linguistic knowledge. User models are incorporated by distinguishing different user groups and relating each group to the appropriate conceptual attributes. Then, the data is extracted from the web documents and represented as instances of the domain concepts. Questions, answers and grammars are generated from these instances.
We compare several language models for the word-ordering task and propose a new bag-to-sequence neural model based on attention-based sequence-to-sequence models. We evaluate the model on a large German WMT data set where it significantly outperforms existing models. We also describe a novel search strategy for LM-based word ordering and report results on the English Penn Treebank. Our best model setup outperforms prior work both in terms of speed and quality.
East Asian languages are thought to handle reference differently from languages such as English, particularly in terms of the marking of definiteness and number. We present the first Data-Text corpus for Referring Expressions in Mandarin, and we use this corpus to test some initial hypotheses inspired by the theoretical linguistics literature. Our findings suggest that function words deserve more attention in Referring Expressions Generation than they have so far received, and they have a bearing on the debate about whether different languages make different trade-offs between clarity and brevity.
We propose sentence chunking as a way to reduce the time and memory costs of realization of long sentences. During chunking we divide the semantic representation of a sentence into smaller components which can be processed and recombined without loss of information. Our meaning representation of choice is the Dependency Minimal Recursion Semantics (DMRS). We show that realizing chunks of a sentence and combining the results of such realizations increases the coverage for long sentences, significantly reduces the resources required and does not affect the quality of the realization.
Every time we buy something online, we are confronted with Terms of Services. However, only a few people actually read these terms, before accepting them, often to their disadvantage. In this paper, we present the SaToS browser plugin which summarises and simplifies Terms of Services from German webshops.
Many data-to-text NLG systems work with data sets which are incomplete, ie some of the data is missing. We have worked with data journalists to understand how they describe incomplete data, and are building NLG algorithms based on these insights. A pilot evaluation showed mixed results, and highlighted several areas where we need to improve our system.
Referring expression generation (REG) models that use speaker-dependent information require a considerable amount of training data produced by every individual speaker, or may otherwise perform poorly. In this work we propose a simple personalised method for this task, in which speakers are grouped into profiles according to their referential behaviour. Intrinsic evaluation shows that the use of speaker’s profiles generally outperforms the personalised method found in previous work.
A generation system can only be as good as the data it is trained on. In this short paper, we propose a methodology for analysing data-to-text corpora used for training Natural Language Generation (NLG) systems. We apply this methodology to three existing benchmarks. We conclude by eliciting a set of criteria for the creation of a data-to-text benchmark which could help better support the development, evaluation and comparison of linguistically sophisticated data-to-text generators.
Monitoring and analysis of complex phenomena attract the attention of both academy and industry. Dealing with data produced by complex phenomena requires the use of advance computational intelligence techniques. Namely, linguistic description of complex phenomena constitutes a mature research line. It is supported by the Computational Theory of Perceptions grounded on the Fuzzy Sets Theory. Its aim is the development of computational systems with the ability to generate vague descriptions of the world in a similar way how humans do. This is a human-centric and multi-disciplinary research work. Moreover, its success is a matter of careful design; thus, developers play a key role. The rLDCP R package was designed to facilitate the development of new applications. This demo introduces the use of rLDCP, for both beginners and advance developers, in practical use cases.
This demo paper presents the multilingual deep sentence generator developed by the TALN group at Universitat Pompeu Fabra, implemented as a series of rule-based graph-transducers for the syntacticization of the input graphs, the resolution of morphological agreements, and the linearization of the trees.
We introduce the properties to be satisfied by measures of referential success of set referring expressions with fuzzy properties. We define families of measures on the basis of n-cardinality measures and we illustrate some of them with a toy example.
We present a neural response generation model that generates responses conditioned on a target personality. The model learns high level features based on the target personality, and uses them to update its hidden state. Our model achieves performance improvements in both perplexity and BLEU scores over a baseline sequence-to-sequence model, and is validated by human judges.
Progress in statistical paraphrase generation has been hindered for a long time by the lack of large monolingual parallel corpora. In this paper, we adapt the neural machine translation approach to paraphrase generation and perform transfer learning from the closely related task of entailment generation. We evaluate the model on the Microsoft Research Paraphrase (MSRP) corpus and show that the model is able to generate sentences that capture part of the original meaning, but fails to pick up on important words or to show large lexical variation.
This paper presents a joint model for morphological and dependency analysis based on automatically acquired lexical knowledge. This model takes advantage of rich lexical knowledge to simultaneously resolve word segmentation, POS, and dependency ambiguities. In our experiments on Japanese, we show the effectiveness of our joint model over conventional pipeline models.
In this paper, we present an approach to improve the accuracy of a strong transition-based dependency parser by exploiting dependency language models that are extracted from a large parsed corpus. We integrated a small number of features based on the dependency language models into the parser. To demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed approach, we evaluate our parser on standard English and Chinese data where the base parser could achieve competitive accuracy scores. Our enhanced parser achieved state-of-the-art accuracy on Chinese data and competitive results on English data. We gained a large absolute improvement of one point (UAS) on Chinese and 0.5 points for English.
We present a systematic analysis of lexicalized vs. delexicalized parsing in low-resource scenarios, and propose a methodology to choose one method over another under certain conditions. We create a set of simulation experiments on 41 languages and apply our findings to 9 low-resource languages. Experimental results show that our methodology chooses the best approach in 8 out of 9 cases.
Neural part-of-speech tagging has achieved competitive results with the incorporation of character-based and pre-trained word embeddings. In this paper, we show that a state-of-the-art bi-LSTM tagger can benefit from using information from morphosyntactic lexicons as additional input. The tagger, trained on several dozen languages, shows a consistent, average improvement when using lexical information, even when also using character-based embeddings, thus showing the complementarity of the different sources of lexical information. The improvements are particularly important for the smaller datasets.
We present a low-rank multi-linear model for the task of solving prepositional phrase attachment ambiguity (PP task). Our model exploits tensor products of word embeddings, capturing all possible conjunctions of latent embeddings. Our results on a wide range of datasets and task settings show that tensor products are the best compositional operation and that a relatively simple multi-linear model that uses only word embeddings of lexical features can outperform more complex non-linear architectures that exploit the same information. Our proposed model gives the current best reported performance on an out-of-domain evaluation and performs competively on out-of-domain dependency parsing datasets.
This opinion paper proposes the use of parallel treebank as learner corpus. We show how an L1-L2 parallel treebank — i.e., parse trees of non-native sentences, aligned to the parse trees of their target hypotheses — can facilitate retrieval of sentences with specific learner errors. We argue for its benefits, in terms of corpus re-use and interoperability, over a conventional learner corpus annotated with error tags. As a proof of concept, we conduct a case study on word-order errors made by learners of Chinese as a foreign language. We report precision and recall in retrieving a range of word-order error categories from L1-L2 tree pairs annotated in the Universal Dependency framework.
This paper applies parsing technology to the task of syntactic simplification of English sentences, focusing on the identification of text spans that can be removed from a complex sentence. We report the most comprehensive evaluation to-date on this task, using a dataset of sentences that exhibit simplification based on coordination, subordination, punctuation/parataxis, adjectival clauses, participial phrases, and appositive phrases. We train a decision tree with features derived from text span length, POS tags and dependency relations, and show that it significantly outperforms a parser-only baseline.
In applying word-based dependency parsing such as Universal Dependencies (UD) to Japanese, the uncertainty of word segmentation emerges for defining a word unit of the dependencies. We introduce the following hierarchical word structures to dependency parsing in Japanese: morphological units (a short unit word, SUW) and syntactic units (a long unit word, LUW). An SUW can be used to segment a sentence consistently, while it is too short to represent syntactic construction. An LUW is a unit including functional multiwords and LUW-based analysis facilitates the capturing of syntactic structure and makes parsing results more precise than SUW-based analysis. This paper describes the results of a feasibility study on the ability and the effectiveness of parsing methods based on hierarchical word structure (LUW chunking+parsing) in comparison to single layer word structure (SUW parsing). We also show joint analysis of LUW-chunking and dependency parsing improves the performance of identifying predicate-argument structures, while there is not much difference between overall results of them. not much difference between overall results of them.
We investigate the problem of parsing conversational data of morphologically-rich languages such as Hindi where argument scrambling occurs frequently. We evaluate a state-of-the-art non-linear transition-based parsing system on a new dataset containing 506 dependency trees for sentences from Bollywood (Hindi) movie scripts and Twitter posts of Hindi monolingual speakers. We show that a dependency parser trained on a newswire treebank is strongly biased towards the canonical structures and degrades when applied to conversational data. Inspired by Transformational Generative Grammar (Chomsky, 1965), we mitigate the sampling bias by generating all theoretically possible alternative word orders of a clause from the existing (kernel) structures in the treebank. Training our parser on canonical and transformed structures improves performance on conversational data by around 9% LAS over the baseline newswire parser.
Syntactic annotation is costly and not available for the vast majority of the world’s languages. We show that sometimes we can do away with less labeled data by exploiting more readily available forms of mark-up. Specifically, we revisit an idea from Valentin Spitkovsky’s work (2010), namely that hyperlinks typically bracket syntactic constituents or chunks. We strengthen his results by showing that not only can hyperlinks help in low resource scenarios, exemplified here by Quechua, but learning from hyperlinks can also improve state-of-the-art NLP models for English newswire. We also present out-of-domain evaluation on English Ontonotes 4.0.
PP-attachments are an important source of errors in parsing natural language. We propose in this article to use data coming from a multimodal corpus, combining textual, visual and conceptual information, as well as a correction strategy, to propose alternative attachments in the output of a parser.
Deep dependency parsing can be cast as the search for maximum acyclic subgraphs in weighted digraphs. Because this search problem is intractable in the general case, we consider its restriction to the class of 1-endpoint-crossing (1ec) graphs, which has high coverage on standard data sets. Our main contribution is a characterization of 1ec graphs as a subclass of the graphs with pagenumber at most 3. Building on this we show how to extend an existing parsing algorithm for 1-endpoint-crossing trees to the full class. While the runtime complexity of the extended algorithm is polynomial in the length of the input sentence, it features a large constant, which poses a challenge for practical implementations.
We present a new transition system with word reordering for unrestricted non-projective dependency parsing. Our system is based on decomposed arc-eager rather than arc-standard, which allows more flexible ambiguity resolution between a local projective and non-local crossing attachment. In our experiment on Universal Dependencies 2.0, we find our parser outperforms the ordinary swap-based parser particularly on languages with a large amount of non-projectivity.
In this paper, we extend the arc-hybrid system for transition-based parsing with a swap transition that enables reordering of the words and construction of non-projective trees. Although this extension breaks the arc-decomposability of the transition system, we show how the existing dynamic oracle for this system can be modified and combined with a static oracle only for the swap transition. Experiments on 5 languages show that the new system gives competitive accuracy and is significantly better than a system trained with a purely static oracle.
Encoder-decoder neural networks have been used for many NLP tasks, such as neural machine translation. They have also been applied to constituent parsing by using bracketed tree structures as a target language, translating input sentences into syntactic trees. A more commonly used method to linearize syntactic trees is the shift-reduce system, which uses a sequence of transition-actions to build trees. We empirically investigate the effectiveness of applying the encoder-decoder network to transition-based parsing. On standard benchmarks, our system gives comparable results to the stack LSTM parser for dependency parsing, and significantly better results compared to the aforementioned parser for constituent parsing, which uses bracketed tree formats.
We present a neural transition-based parser for spinal trees, a dependency representation of constituent trees. The parser uses Stack-LSTMs that compose constituent nodes with dependency-based derivations. In experiments, we show that this model adapts to different styles of dependency relations, but this choice has little effect for predicting constituent structure, suggesting that LSTMs induce useful states by themselves.
We generalize coarse-to-fine parsing to grammar formalisms that are more expressive than PCFGs and/or describe languages of trees or graphs. We evaluate our algorithm on PCFG, PTAG, and graph parsing. While we achieve the expected performance gains on PCFGs, coarse-to-fine does not help for PTAG and can even slow down parsing for graphs. We discuss the implications of this finding.
To improve grammatical function labelling for German, we augment the labelling component of a neural dependency parser with a decision history. We present different ways to encode the history, using different LSTM architectures, and show that our models yield significant improvements, resulting in a LAS for German that is close to the best result from the SPMRL 2014 shared task (without the reranker).
Metaphor is indispensable in poetry. It showcases the poet’s creativity, and contributes to the overall emotional pertinence of the poem while honing its specific rhetorical impact. Previous work on metaphor detection relies on either rule-based or statistical models, none of them applied to poetry. Our method focuses on metaphor detection in a poetry corpus. It combines rule-based and statistical models (word embeddings) to develop a new classification system. Our system has achieved a precision of 0.759 and a recall of 0.804 in identifying one type of metaphor in poetry.
This paper presents a newly funded international project for machine translation and automated analysis of ancient cuneiform languages where NLP specialists and Assyriologists collaborate to create an information retrieval system for Sumerian. This research is conceived in response to the need to translate large numbers of administrative texts that are only available in transcription, in order to make them accessible to a wider audience. The methodology includes creation of a specialized NLP pipeline and also the use of linguistic linked open data to increase access to the results.
Literary genres are commonly viewed as being defined in terms of content and stylistic features. In this paper, we focus on one particular class of lexical features, namely emotion information, and investigate the hypothesis that emotion-related information correlates with particular genres. Using genre classification as a testbed, we compare a model that computes lexicon-based emotion scores globally for complete stories with a model that tracks emotion arcs through stories on a subset of Project Gutenberg with five genres. Our main findings are: (a), the global emotion model is competitive with a large-vocabulary bag-of-words genre classifier (80%F1); (b), the emotion arc model shows a lower performance (59 % F1) but shows complementary behavior to the global model, as indicated by a very good performance of an oracle model (94 % F1) and an improved performance of an ensemble model (84 % F1); (c), genres differ in the extent to which stories follow the same emotional arcs, with particularly uniform behavior for anger (mystery) and fear (adventures, romance, humor, science fiction).
Enjambment takes place when a syntactic unit is broken up across two lines of poetry, giving rise to different stylistic effects. In Spanish literary studies, there are unclear points about the types of stylistic effects that can arise, and under which linguistic conditions. To systematically gather evidence about this, we developed a system to automatically identify enjambment (and its type) in Spanish. For evaluation, we manually annotated a reference corpus covering different periods. As a scholarly corpus to apply the tool, from public HTML sources we created a diachronic corpus covering four centuries of sonnets (3750 poems), and we analyzed the occurrence of enjambment across stanzaic boundaries in different periods. Besides, we found examples that highlight limitations in current definitions of enjambment.
The post-modern novel “Wittgenstein’s Mistress” by David Markson (1988) presents the reader with a very challenging non-linear narrative, that itself appears to one of the novel’s themes. We present a distant reading of this work designed to complement a close reading of it by David Foster Wallace (1990). Using a combination of text analysis, entity recognition and networks, we plot repetitive structures in the novel’s narrative relating them to its critical analysis.
In this paper, we present the annotation challenges we have encountered when working on a historical language that was undergoing elaboration processes. We especially focus on syntactic ambiguity and gradience in Middle Low German, which causes uncertainty to some extent. Since current annotation tools consider construction contexts and the dynamics of the grammaticalization only partially, we plan to extend CorA - a web-based annotation tool for historical and other non-standard language data - to capture elaboration phenomena and annotator unsureness. Moreover, we seek to interactively learn morphological as well as syntactic annotations.
The oral component of medieval poetry was integral to its performance and reception. Yet many believe that the medieval voice has been forever lost, and any attempts at rediscovering it are doomed to failure due to scribal practices, manuscript mouvance, and linguistic normalization in editing practices. This paper offers a method to abstract from this noise and better understand relative differences in phonological soundscapes by considering syllable qualities. The presented syllabification method and soundscape analysis offer themselves as cross-disciplinary tools for low-resource languages. As a case study, we examine medieval German lyric and argue that the heavily debated lyrical ‘I’ follows a unique trajectory through soundscapes, shedding light on the performance and practice of these poets.
This paper presents an approach to extract co-occurrence networks from literary texts. It is a deliberate decision not to aim for a fully automatic pipeline, as the literary research questions need to guide both the definition of the nature of the things that co-occur as well as how to decide co-occurrence. We showcase the approach on a Middle High German romance, Parzival. Manual inspection and discussion shows the huge impact various choices have.
We present a data-driven approach to investigate intra-textual variation by combining entropy and surprisal. With this approach we detect linguistic variation based on phrasal lexico-grammatical patterns across sections of research articles. Entropy is used to detect patterns typical of specific sections. Surprisal is used to differentiate between more and less informationally-loaded patterns as well as type of information (topical vs. stylistic). While we here focus on research articles in biology/genetics, the methodology is especially interesting for digital humanities scholars, as it can be applied to any text type or domain and combined with additional variables (e.g. time, author or social group).
We investigate in this paper the problem of classifying the stylome of characters in a literary work. Previous research in the field of authorship attribution has shown that the writing style of an author can be characterized and distinguished from that of other authors automatically. In this paper we take a look at the less approached problem of how the styles of different characters can be distinguished, trying to verify if an author managed to create believable characters with individual styles. We present the results of some initial experiments developed on the novel “Liaisons Dangereuses”, showing that a simple bag of words model can be used to classify the characters.
In this paper, we present our preliminary study on an ontology-based method to extract and classify compositional nominal compounds in specific domains of knowledge. This method is based on the assumption that, applying a conceptual model to represent knowledge domain, it is possible to improve the extraction and classification of lexicon occurrences for that domain in a semi-automatic way. We explore the possibility of extracting and classifying a specific construction type (nominal compounds) spanning a specific domain (Cultural Heritage) and a specific language (Italian).
In this paper, we present ongoing work for developing language resources and basic NLP tools for an undocumented variety of Romansh, in the context of a language documentation and language acquisition project. Our tools are meant to improve the speed and reliability of corpus annotations for noisy data involving large amounts of code-switching, occurrences of child-speech and orthographic noise. Being able to increase the efficiency of language resource development for language documentation and acquisition research also constitutes a step towards solving the data sparsity issues with which researchers have been struggling.
This paper presents a statistical approach to automatic morphosyntactic annotation of Hittite transcripts. Hittite is an extinct Indo-European language using the cuneiform script. There are currently no morphosyntactic annotations available for Hittite, so we explored methods of distant supervision. The annotations were projected from parallel German translations of the Hittite texts. In order to reduce data sparsity, we applied stemming of German and Hittite texts. As there is no off-the-shelf Hittite stemmer, a stemmer for Hittite was developed for this purpose. The resulting annotation projections were used to train a POS tagger, achieving an accuracy of 69% on a test sample. To our knowledge, this is the first attempt of statistical POS tagging of a cuneiform language.
The last decade saw a surge in digitisation efforts for ancient manuscripts in Sanskrit. Due to various linguistic peculiarities inherent to the language, even the preliminary tasks such as word segmentation are non-trivial in Sanskrit. Elegant models for Word Segmentation in Sanskrit are indispensable for further syntactic and semantic processing of the manuscripts. Current works in word segmentation for Sanskrit, though commendable in their novelty, often have variations in their objective and evaluation criteria. In this work, we set the record straight. We formally define the objectives and the requirements for the word segmentation task. In order to encourage research in the field and to alleviate the time and effort required in pre-processing, we release a dataset of 115,000 sentences for word segmentation. For each sentence in the dataset we include the input character sequence, ground truth segmentation, and additionally lexical and morphological information about all the phonetically possible segments for the given sentence. In this work, we also discuss the linguistic considerations made while generating the candidate space of the possible segments.
Language processing architectures are often evaluated in near-to-perfect conditions with respect to processed content. The tools which perform sufficiently well on electronic press, books and other type of non-interactive content may poorly handle littered, colloquial and multilingual textual data which make the majority of communication today. This paper aims at investigating how Polish Twitter data (in a slightly controlled ‘political’ flavour) differs from expectation of linguistic tools and how they could be corrected to be ready for processing by standard language processing chains available for Polish. The setting includes specialised components for spelling correction of tweets as well as hashtag and username decoding.
We here examine how different perspectives of understanding written discourse, like the reader’s, the writer’s or the text’s point of view, affect the quality of emotion annotations. We conducted a series of annotation experiments on two corpora, a popular movie review corpus and a genre- and domain-balanced corpus of standard English. We found statistical evidence that the writer’s perspective yields superior annotation quality overall. However, the quality one perspective yields compared to the other(s) seems to depend on the domain the utterance originates from. Our data further suggest that the popular movie review data set suffers from an atypical bimodal distribution which may decrease model performance when used as a training resource.
This work presents a dataset and annotation scheme for the new task of identifying “good” conversations that occur online, which we call ERICs: Engaging, Respectful, and/or Informative Conversations. We develop a taxonomy to reflect features of entire threads and individual comments which we believe contribute to identifying ERICs; code a novel dataset of Yahoo News comment threads (2.4k threads and 10k comments) and 1k threads from the Internet Argument Corpus; and analyze the features characteristic of ERICs. This is one of the largest annotated corpora of online human dialogues, with the most detailed set of annotations. It will be valuable for identifying ERICs and other aspects of argumentation, dialogue, and discourse.
Traditional discourse annotation tasks are considered costly and time-consuming, and the reliability and validity of these tasks is in question. In this paper, we investigate whether crowdsourcing can be used to obtain reliable discourse relation annotations. We also examine the influence of context on the reliability of the data. The results of a crowdsourced connective insertion task showed that the method can be used to obtain reliable annotations: The majority of the inserted connectives converged with the original label. Further, the method is sensitive to the fact that multiple senses can often be inferred for a single relation. Regarding the presence of context, the results show no significant difference in distributions of insertions between conditions overall. However, a by-item comparison revealed several characteristics of segments that determine whether the presence of context makes a difference in annotations. The findings discussed in this paper can be taken as evidence that crowdsourcing can be used as a valuable method to obtain insights into the sense(s) of relations.
We present a code-switching corpus of Turkish-German that is collected by recording conversations of bilinguals. The recordings are then transcribed in two layers following speech and orthography conventions, and annotated with sentence boundaries and intersentential, intrasentential, and intra-word switch points. The total amount of data is 5 hours of speech which corresponds to 3614 sentences. The corpus aims at serving as a resource for speech or text analysis, as well as a collection for linguistic inquiries.
We focus on the identification of omission in statement pairs. We compare three annotation schemes, namely two different crowdsourcing schemes and manual expert annotation. We show that the simplest of the two crowdsourcing approaches yields a better annotation quality than the more complex one. We use a dedicated classifier to assess whether the annotators’ behavior can be explained by straightforward linguistic features. The classifier benefits from a modeling that uses lexical information beyond length and overlap measures. However, for our task, we argue that expert and not crowdsourcing-based annotation is the best compromise between annotation cost and quality.
We present REPORTS, an annotation scheme for the annotation of speech, attitude and perception reports. Such a scheme makes it possible to annotate the various text elements involved in such reports (e.g. embedding entity, complement, complement head) and their relations in a uniform way, which in turn facilitates the automatic extraction of information on, for example, complementation and vocabulary distribution. We also present the Ancient Greek corpus RAG (Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War), to which we have applied this scheme using the annotation tool BRAT. We discuss some of the issues, both theoretical and practical, that we encountered, show how the corpus helps in answering specific questions, and conclude that REPORTS fitted in well with our needs.
Consistency is a crucial requirement in text annotation. It is especially important in educational applications, as lack of consistency directly affects learners’ motivation and learning performance. This paper presents a quality assessment scheme for English-to-Japanese translations produced by learner translators at university. We constructed a revision typology and a decision tree manually through an application of the OntoNotes method, i.e., an iteration of assessing learners’ translations and hypothesizing the conditions for consistent decision making, as well as re-organizing the typology. Intrinsic evaluation of the created scheme confirmed its potential contribution to the consistent classification of identified erroneous text spans, achieving visibly higher Cohen’s kappa values, up to 0.831, than previous work. This paper also describes an application of our scheme to an English-to-Japanese translation exercise course for undergraduate students at a university in Japan.
For decades, most self-respecting linguistic engineering initiatives have designed and implemented custom representations for various layers of, for example, morphological, syntactic, and semantic analysis. Despite occasional efforts at harmonization or even standardization, our field today is blessed with a multitude of ways of encoding and exchanging linguistic annotations of these types, both at the levels of ‘abstract syntax’, naming choices, and of course file formats. To a large degree, it is possible to work within and across design plurality by conversion, and often there may be good reasons for divergent design reflecting differences in use. However, it is likely that some abstract commonalities across choices of representation are obscured by more superficial differences, and conversely there is no obvious procedure to tease apart what actually constitute contentful vs. mere technical divergences. In this study, we seek to conceptually align three representations for common types of morpho-syntactic analysis, pinpoint what in our view constitute contentful differences, and reflect on the underlying principles and specific requirements that led to individual choices. We expect that a more in-depth understanding of these choices across designs may led to increased harmonization, or at least to more informed design of future representations.
This paper presents the recent developments on Turkish Discourse Bank (TDB). First, the resource is summarized and an evaluation is presented. Then, TDB 1.1, i.e. enrichments on 10% of the corpus are described (namely, senses for explicit discourse connectives, and new annotations for three discourse relation types - implicit relations, entity relations and alternative lexicalizations). The method of annotation is explained and the data are evaluated.
In this paper, we describe our preliminary study on annotating event mention as a part of our research on high-precision news event extraction models. To this end, we propose a two-layer annotation scheme, designed to separately capture the functional and conceptual aspects of event mentions. We hypothesize that the precision of models can be improved by modeling and extracting separately the different aspects of news events, and then combining the extracted information by leveraging the complementarities of the models. In addition, we carry out a preliminary annotation using the proposed scheme and analyze the annotation quality in terms of inter-annotator agreement.
With the advent of word representations, word similarity tasks are becoming increasing popular as an evaluation metric for the quality of the representations. In this paper, we present manually annotated monolingual word similarity datasets of six Indian languages - Urdu, Telugu, Marathi, Punjabi, Tamil and Gujarati. These languages are most spoken Indian languages worldwide after Hindi and Bengali. For the construction of these datasets, our approach relies on translation and re-annotation of word similarity datasets of English. We also present baseline scores for word representation models using state-of-the-art techniques for Urdu, Telugu and Marathi by evaluating them on newly created word similarity datasets.
Language of cause and effect captures an essential component of the semantics of a text. However, causal language is also intertwined with other semantic relations, such as temporal precedence and correlation. This makes it difficult to determine when causation is the primary intended meaning. This paper presents BECauSE 2.0, a new version of the BECauSE corpus with exhaustively annotated expressions of causal language, but also seven semantic relations that are frequently co-present with causation. The new corpus shows high inter-annotator agreement, and yields insights both about the linguistic expressions of causation and about the process of annotating co-present semantic relations.
In this paper, we present a simple, yet effective method for the automatic identification and extraction of causal relations from text, based on a large English-German parallel corpus. The goal of this effort is to create a lexical resource for German causal relations. The resource will consist of a lexicon that describes constructions that trigger causality as well as the participants of the causal event, and will be augmented by a corpus with annotated instances for each entry, that can be used as training data to develop a system for automatic classification of causal relations. Focusing on verbs, our method harvested a set of 100 different lexical triggers of causality, including support verb constructions. At the moment, our corpus includes over 1,000 annotated instances. The lexicon and the annotated data will be made available to the research community.
We present the first experiment-based study that explicitly contrasts the three major semantic role labeling frameworks. As a prerequisite, we create a dataset labeled with parallel FrameNet-, PropBank-, and VerbNet-style labels for German. We train a state-of-the-art SRL tool for German for the different annotation styles and provide a comparative analysis across frameworks. We further explore the behavior of the frameworks with automatic training data generation. VerbNet provides larger semantic expressivity than PropBank, and we find that its generalization capacity approaches PropBank in SRL training, but it benefits less from training data expansion than the sparse-data affected FrameNet.
We present a semi-supervised clustering approach to induce script structure from crowdsourced descriptions of event sequences by grouping event descriptions into paraphrase sets (representing event types) and inducing their temporal order. Our approach exploits semantic and positional similarity and allows for flexible event order, thus overcoming the rigidity of previous approaches. We incorporate crowdsourced alignments as prior knowledge and show that exploiting a small number of alignments results in a substantial improvement in cluster quality over state-of-the-art models and provides an appropriate basis for the induction of temporal order. We also show a coverage study to demonstrate the scalability of our approach.
We propose to move from Open Information Extraction (OIE) ahead to Open Knowledge Representation (OKR), aiming to represent information conveyed jointly in a set of texts in an open text-based manner. We do so by consolidating OIE extractions using entity and predicate coreference, while modeling information containment between coreferring elements via lexical entailment. We suggest that generating OKR structures can be a useful step in the NLP pipeline, to give semantic applications an easy handle on consolidated information across multiple texts.
Causal relations play a key role in information extraction and reasoning. Most of the times, their expression is ambiguous or implicit, i.e. without signals in the text. This makes their identification challenging. We aim to improve their identification by implementing a Feedforward Neural Network with a novel set of features for this task. In particular, these are based on the position of event mentions and the semantics of events and participants. The resulting classifier outperforms strong baselines on two datasets (the Penn Discourse Treebank and the CSTNews corpus) annotated with different schemes and containing examples in two languages, English and Portuguese. This result demonstrates the importance of events for identifying discourse relations.
We argue that in order to detect stance, not only the explicit attitudes of the stance holder towards the targets are crucial. It is the whole narrative the writer drafts that counts, including the way he hypostasizes the discourse referents: as benefactors or villains, as victims or beneficiaries. We exemplify the ability of our system to identify targets and detect the writer’s stance towards them on the basis of about 100 000 Facebook posts of a German right-wing party. A reader and writer model on top of our verb-based attitude extraction directly reveal stance conflicts.
This paper analyzes the narrative event cloze test and its recent evolution. The test removes one event from a document’s chain of events, and systems predict the missing event. Originally proposed to evaluate learned knowledge of event scenarios (e.g., scripts and frames), most recent work now builds ngram-like language models (LM) to beat the test. This paper argues that the test has slowly/unknowingly been altered to accommodate LMs.5 Most notably, tests are auto-generated rather than by hand, and no effort is taken to include core script events. Recent work is not clear on evaluation goals and contains contradictory results. We implement several models, and show that the test’s bias to high-frequency events explains the inconsistencies. We conclude with recommendations on how to return to the test’s original intent, and offer brief suggestions on a path forward.
The LSDSem’17 shared task is the Story Cloze Test, a new evaluation for story understanding and script learning. This test provides a system with a four-sentence story and two possible endings, and the system must choose the correct ending to the story. Successful narrative understanding (getting closer to human performance of 100%) requires systems to link various levels of semantics to commonsense knowledge. A total of eight systems participated in the shared task, with a variety of approaches including.
This paper describes University of Washington NLP’s submission for the Linking Models of Lexical, Sentential and Discourse-level Semantics (LSDSem 2017) shared task—the Story Cloze Task. Our system is a linear classifier with a variety of features, including both the scores of a neural language model and style features. We report 75.2% accuracy on the task. A further discussion of our results can be found in Schwartz et al. (2017).
The Story Cloze test is a recent effort in providing a common test scenario for text understanding systems. As part of the LSDSem 2017 shared task, we present a system based on a deep learning architecture combined with a rich set of manually-crafted linguistic features. The system outperforms all known baselines for the task, suggesting that the chosen approach is promising. We additionally present two methods for generating further training data based on stories from the ROCStories corpus.
We present two NLP components for the Story Cloze Task – dictionary-based sentiment analysis and lexical cohesion. While previous research found no contribution from sentiment analysis to the accuracy on this task, we demonstrate that sentiment is an important aspect. We describe a new approach, using a rule that estimates sentiment congruence in a story. Our sentiment-based system achieves strong results on this task. Our lexical cohesion system achieves accuracy comparable to previously published baseline results. A combination of the two systems achieves better accuracy than published baselines. We argue that sentiment analysis should be considered an integral part of narrative comprehension.
We present a resource-lean neural recognizer for modeling coherence in commonsense stories. Our lightweight system is inspired by successful attempts to modeling discourse relations and stands out due to its simplicity and easy optimization compared to prior approaches to narrative script learning. We evaluate our approach in the Story Cloze Test demonstrating an absolute improvement in accuracy of 4.7% over state-of-the-art implementations.
The Story Cloze Test consists of choosing a sentence that best completes a story given two choices. In this paper we present a system that performs this task using a supervised binary classifier on top of a recurrent neural network to predict the probability that a given story ending is correct. The classifier is trained to distinguish correct story endings given in the training data from incorrect ones that we artificially generate. Our experiments evaluate different methods for generating these negative examples, as well as different embedding-based representations of the stories. Our best result obtains 67.2% accuracy on the test set, outperforming the existing top baseline of 58.5%.
This paper describes an ensemble system submitted as part of the LSDSem Shared Task 2017 - the Story Cloze Test. The main conclusion from our results is that an approach based on semantic similarity alone may not be enough for this task. We test various approaches and compare them with two ensemble systems. One is based on voting and the other on logistic regression based classifier. Our final system is able to outperform the previous state of the art for the Story Cloze test. Another very interesting observation is the performance of sentiment based approach which works almost as well on its own as our final ensemble system.
This paper describes two supervised baseline systems for the Story Cloze Test Shared Task (Mostafazadeh et al., 2016a). We first build a classifier using features based on word embeddings and semantic similarity computation. We further implement a neural LSTM system with different encoding strategies that try to model the relation between the story and the provided endings. Our experiments show that a model using representation features based on average word embedding vectors over the given story words and the candidate ending sentences words, joint with similarity features between the story and candidate ending representations performed better than the neural models. Our best model based on achieves an accuracy of 72.42, ranking 3rd in the official evaluation.
In this brief report we present an overview of the MultiLing 2017 effort and workshop, as implemented within EACL 2017. MultiLing is a community-driven initiative that pushes the state-of-the-art in Automatic Summarization by providing data sets and fostering further research and development of summarization systems. This year the scope of the workshop was widened, bringing together researchers that work on summarization across sources, languages and genres. We summarize the main tasks planned and implemented this year, the contributions received, and we also provide insights on next steps.
Abstractive document summarization seeks to automatically generate a summary for a document, based on some abstract “understanding” of the original document. State-of-the-art techniques traditionally use attentive encoder–decoder architectures. However, due to the large number of parameters in these models, they require large training datasets and long training times. In this paper, we propose decoupling the encoder and decoder networks, and training them separately. We encode documents using an unsupervised document encoder, and then feed the document vector to a recurrent neural network decoder. With this decoupled architecture, we decrease the number of parameters in the decoder substantially, and shorten its training time. Experiments show that the decoupled model achieves comparable performance with state-of-the-art models for in-domain documents, but less well for out-of-domain documents.
The textual similarity is a crucial aspect for many extractive text summarization methods. A bag-of-words representation does not allow to grasp the semantic relationships between concepts when comparing strongly related sentences with no words in common. To overcome this issue, in this paper we propose a centroid-based method for text summarization that exploits the compositional capabilities of word embeddings. The evaluations on multi-document and multilingual datasets prove the effectiveness of the continuous vector representation of words compared to the bag-of-words model. Despite its simplicity, our method achieves good performance even in comparison to more complex deep learning models. Our method is unsupervised and it can be adopted in other summarization tasks.
Query-based text summarization is aimed at extracting essential information that answers the query from original text. The answer is presented in a minimal, often predefined, number of words. In this paper we introduce a new unsupervised approach for query-based extractive summarization, based on the minimum description length (MDL) principle that employs Krimp compression algorithm (Vreeken et al., 2011). The key idea of our approach is to select frequent word sets related to a given query that compress document sentences better and therefore describe the document better. A summary is extracted by selecting sentences that best cover query-related frequent word sets. The approach is evaluated based on the DUC 2005 and DUC 2006 datasets which are specifically designed for query-based summarization (DUC, 2005 2006). It competes with the best results.
Multiple grammatical and semantic features are adopted in content linking and argument/sentiment labeling for online forums in this paper. There are mainly two different methods for content linking. First, we utilize the deep feature obtained from Word Embedding Model in deep learning and compute sentence similarity. Second, we use multiple traditional features to locate candidate linking sentences, and then adopt a voting method to obtain the final result. LDA topic modeling is used to mine latent semantic feature and K-means clustering is implemented for argument labeling, while features from sentiment dictionaries and rule-based sentiment analysis are integrated for sentiment labeling. Experimental results have shown that our methods are valid.
The electronic Word of Mouth has become the most powerful communication channel thanks to the wide usage of the Social Media. Our research proposes an approach towards the production of automatic ultra-concise summaries from multiple Web 2.0 sources. We exploit user-generated content from reviews and microblogs in different domains, and compile and analyse four types of ultra-concise summaries: a)positive information, b) negative information; c) both or d) objective information. The appropriateness and usefulness of our model is demonstrated by its successful results and great potential in real-life applications, thus meaning a relevant advancement of the state-of-the-art approaches.
The present paper introduces a new MultiLing text summary evaluation method. This method relies on machine learning approach which operates by combining multiple features to build models that predict the human score (overall responsiveness) of a new summary. We have tried several single and “ensemble learning” classifiers to build the best model. We have experimented our method in summary level evaluation where we evaluate each text summary separately. The correlation between built models and human score is better than the correlation between baselines and manual score.
We present a new freely available dictionary of paraphrases of Czech complex predicates with light verbs, ParaDi. Candidates for single predicative paraphrases of selected complex predicates have been extracted automatically from large monolingual data using word2vec. They have been manually verified and further refined. We demonstrate one of many possible applications of ParaDi in an experiment with improving machine translation quality.
This paper describes an approach for the classification of millions of existing multi-word entities (MWEntities), such as organisation or event names, into thirteen category types, based only on the tokens they contain. In order to classify our very large in-house collection of multilingual MWEntities into an application-oriented set of entity categories, we trained and tested distantly-supervised classifiers in 43 languages based on MWEntities extracted from BabelNet. The best-performing classifier was the multi-class SVM using a TF.IDF-weighted data representation. Interestingly, one unique classifier trained on a mix of all languages consistently performed better than classifiers trained for individual languages, reaching an averaged F1-value of 88.8%. In this paper, we present the training and test data, including a human evaluation of its accuracy, describe the methods used to train the classifiers, and discuss the results.
This paper presents a new strategy for multilingual collocation extraction which takes advantage of parallel corpora to learn bilingual word-embeddings. Monolingual collocation candidates are retrieved using Universal Dependencies, while the distributional models are then applied to search for equivalents of the elements of each collocation in the target languages. The proposed method extracts not only collocation equivalents with direct translation between languages, but also other cases where the collocations in the two languages are not literal translations of each other. Several experiments -evaluating collocations with three syntactic patterns- in English, Spanish, and Portuguese show that our approach can effectively extract large pairs of bilingual equivalents with an average precision of about 90%. Moreover, preliminary results on comparable corpora suggest that the distributional models can be applied for identifying new bilingual collocations in different domains.
Multiword expressions (MWEs) are known as a “pain in the neck” for NLP due to their idiosyncratic behaviour. While some categories of MWEs have been addressed by many studies, verbal MWEs (VMWEs), such as to take a decision, to break one’s heart or to turn off, have been rarely modelled. This is notably due to their syntactic variability, which hinders treating them as “words with spaces”. We describe an initiative meant to bring about substantial progress in understanding, modelling and processing VMWEs. It is a joint effort, carried out within a European research network, to elaborate universal terminologies and annotation guidelines for 18 languages. Its main outcome is a multilingual 5-million-word annotated corpus which underlies a shared task on automatic identification of VMWEs. This paper presents the corpus annotation methodology and outcome, the shared task organisation and the results of the participating systems.
The paper describes our system submitted for the Workshop on Multiword Expressions’ shared task on automatic identification of verbal multiword expressions. It uses POS tagging and dependency parsing to identify single- and multi-token verbal MWEs in text. Our system is language independent and competed on nine of the eighteen languages. Our paper describes how our system works and gives its error analysis for the languages it was submitted for.
Identifying multiword expressions (MWEs) in a sentence in order to ensure their proper processing in subsequent applications, like machine translation, and performing the syntactic analysis of the sentence are interrelated processes. In our approach, priority is given to parsing alternatives involving collocations, and hence collocational information helps the parser through the maze of alternatives, with the aim to lead to substantial improvements in the performance of both tasks (collocation identification and parsing), and in that of a subsequent task (machine translation). In this paper, we are going to present our system and the procedure that we have followed in order to participate to the open track of the PARSEME shared task on automatic identification of verbal multiword expressions (VMWEs) in running texts.
In this paper we describe the MUMULS system that participated to the 2017 shared task on automatic identification of verbal multiword expressions (VMWEs). The MUMULS system was implemented using a supervised approach based on recurrent neural networks using the open source library TensorFlow. The model was trained on a data set containing annotated VMWEs as well as morphological and syntactic information. The MUMULS system performed the identification of VMWEs in 15 languages, it was one of few systems that could categorize VMWEs type in nearly all languages.
Ambiguity represents an obstacle for distributional semantic models(DSMs), which typically subsume the contexts of all word senses within one vector. While individual vector space approaches have been concerned with sense discrimination (e.g., Schütze 1998, Erk 2009, Erk and Pado 2010), such discrimination has rarely been integrated into DSMs across semantic tasks. This paper presents a soft-clustering approach to sense discrimination that filters sense-irrelevant features when predicting the degrees of compositionality for German noun-noun compounds and German particle verbs.
Multiword expressions (MWEs) pose a problem for lexicalist theories like Lexical Functional Grammar (LFG), since they are prima facie counterexamples to a strong form of the lexical integrity principle, which entails that a lexical item can only be realised as a single, syntactically atomic word. In this paper, I demonstrate some of the problems facing any strongly lexicalist account of MWEs, and argue that the lexical integrity principle must be weakened. I conclude by sketching a formalism which integrates a Tree Adjoining Grammar into the LFG architecture, taking advantage of this relaxation.
This study investigates the processing of idiomatic variants through an eye-tracking experiment. Four types of idiom variants were included, in addition to the canonical form and the literal meaning. Results suggest that modifications to idioms, modulo obvious effects of length differences, are not more difficult to process than the canonical forms themselves. This fits with recent corpus findings.
We propose a method for joint unsupervised discovery of multiword expressions (MWEs) and their translations from parallel corpora. First, we apply independent monolingual MWE extraction in source and target languages simultaneously. Then, we calculate translation probability, association score and distributional similarity of co-occurring pairs. Finally, we rank all translations of a given MWE using a linear combination of these features. Preliminary experiments on light verb constructions show promising results.