Ana Sabina Uban

Also published as: Ana Sabina Uban


Multi-Aspect Transfer Learning for Detecting Low Resource Mental Disorders on Social Media
Ana Sabina Uban | Berta Chulvi | Paolo Rosso
Proceedings of the Thirteenth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

Mental disorders are a serious and increasingly relevant public health issue. NLP methods have the potential to assist with automatic mental health disorder detection, but building annotated datasets for this task can be challenging; moreover, annotated data is very scarce for disorders other than depression. Understanding the commonalities between certain disorders is also important for clinicians who face the problem of shifting standards of diagnosis. We propose that transfer learning with linguistic features can be useful for approaching both the technical problem of improving mental disorder detection in the context of data scarcity, and the clinical problem of understanding the overlapping symptoms between certain disorders. In this paper, we target four disorders: depression, PTSD, anorexia and self-harm. We explore multi-aspect transfer learning for detecting mental disorders from social media texts, using deep learning models with multi-aspect representations of language (including multiple types of interpretable linguistic features). We explore different transfer learning strategies for cross-disorder and cross-platform transfer, and show that transfer learning can be effective for improving prediction performance for disorders where little annotated data is available. We offer insights into which linguistic features are the most useful vehicles for transferring knowledge, through ablation experiments, as well as error analysis.

Investigating the Relationship Between Romanian Financial News and Closing Prices from the Bucharest Stock Exchange
Ioan-Bogdan Iordache | Ana Sabina Uban | Catalin Stoean | Liviu P. Dinu
Proceedings of the Thirteenth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

A new data set is gathered from a Romanian financial news website for the duration of four years. It is further refined to extract only information related to one company by selecting only paragraphs and even sentences that referred to it. The relation between the extracted sentiment scores of the texts and the stock prices from the corresponding dates is investigated using various approaches like the lexicon-based Vader tool, Financial BERT, as well as Transformer-based models. Automated translation is used, since some models could be only applied for texts in English. It is encouraging that all models, be that they are applied to Romanian or English texts, indicate a correlation between the sentiment scores and the increase or decrease of the stock closing prices.

CoToHiLi at LSCDiscovery: the Role of Linguistic Features in Predicting Semantic Change
Ana Sabina Uban | Alina Maria Cristea | Anca Daniela Dinu | Liviu P Dinu | Simona Georgescu | Laurentiu Zoicas
Proceedings of the 3rd Workshop on Computational Approaches to Historical Language Change

This paper presents the contributions of the CoToHiLi team for the LSCDiscovery shared task on semantic change in the Spanish language. We participated in both tasks (graded discovery and binary change, including sense gain and sense loss) and proposed models based on word embedding distances combined with hand-crafted linguistic features, including polysemy, number of neological synonyms, and relation to cognates in English. We find that models that include linguistically informed features combined using weights assigned manually by experts lead to promising results.


jurBERT: A Romanian BERT Model for Legal Judgement Prediction
Mihai Masala | Radu Cristian Alexandru Iacob | Ana Sabina Uban | Marina Cidota | Horia Velicu | Traian Rebedea | Marius Popescu
Proceedings of the Natural Legal Language Processing Workshop 2021

Transformer-based models have become the de facto standard in the field of Natural Language Processing (NLP). By leveraging large unlabeled text corpora, they enable efficient transfer learning leading to state-of-the-art results on numerous NLP tasks. Nevertheless, for low resource languages and highly specialized tasks, transformer models tend to lag behind more classical approaches (e.g. SVM, LSTM) due to the lack of aforementioned corpora. In this paper we focus on the legal domain and we introduce a Romanian BERT model pre-trained on a large specialized corpus. Our model outperforms several strong baselines for legal judgement prediction on two different corpora consisting of cases from trials involving banks in Romania.

Understanding Patterns of Anorexia Manifestations in Social Media Data with Deep Learning
Ana Sabina Uban | Berta Chulvi | Paolo Rosso
Proceedings of the Seventh Workshop on Computational Linguistics and Clinical Psychology: Improving Access

Eating disorders are a growing problem especially among young people, yet they have been under-studied in computational research compared to other mental health disorders such as depression. Computational methods have a great potential to aid with the automatic detection of mental health problems, but state-of-the-art machine learning methods based on neural networks are notoriously difficult to interpret, which is a crucial problem for applications in the mental health domain. We propose leveraging the power of deep learning models for automatically detecting signs of anorexia based on social media data, while at the same time focusing on interpreting their behavior. We train a hierarchical attention network to detect people with anorexia and use its internal encodings to discover different clusters of anorexia symptoms. We interpret the identified patterns from multiple perspectives, including emotion expression, psycho-linguistic features and personality traits, and we offer novel hypotheses to interpret our findings from a psycho-social perspective. Some interesting findings are patterns of word usage in some users with anorexia which show that they feel less as being part of a group compared to control cases, as well as that they have abandoned explanatory activity as a result of a greater feeling of helplessness and fear.

Studying the Evolution of Scientific Topics and their Relationships
Ana Sabina Uban | Cornelia Caragea | Liviu P. Dinu
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL-IJCNLP 2021

Automatic Discrimination between Inherited and Borrowed Latin Words in Romance Languages
Alina Maria Cristea | Liviu P. Dinu | Simona Georgescu | Mihnea-Lucian Mihai | Ana Sabina Uban
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2021

In this paper, we address the problem of automatically discriminating between inherited and borrowed Latin words. We introduce a new dataset and investigate the case of Romance languages (Romanian, Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Catalan), where words directly inherited from Latin coexist with words borrowed from Latin, and explore whether automatic discrimination between them is possible. Having entered the language at a later stage, borrowed words are no longer subject to historical sound shift rules, hence they are presumably less eroded, which is why we expect them to have a different intrinsic structure distinguishable by computational means. We employ several machine learning models to automatically discriminate between inherited and borrowed words and compare their performance with various feature sets. We analyze the models’ predictive power on two versions of the datasets, orthographic and phonetic. We also investigate whether prior knowledge of the etymon provides better results, employing n-gram character features extracted from the word-etymon pairs and from their alignment.

A Computational Exploration of Pejorative Language in Social Media
Liviu P. Dinu | Ioan-Bogdan Iordache | Ana Sabina Uban | Marcos Zampieri
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2021

In this paper we study pejorative language, an under-explored topic in computational linguistics. Unlike existing models of offensive language and hate speech, pejorative language manifests itself primarily at the lexical level, and describes a word that is used with a negative connotation, making it different from offensive language or other more studied categories. Pejorativity is also context-dependent: the same word can be used with or without pejorative connotations, thus pejorativity detection is essentially a problem similar to word sense disambiguation. We leverage online dictionaries to build a multilingual lexicon of pejorative terms for English, Spanish, Italian, and Romanian. We additionally release a dataset of tweets annotated for pejorative use. Based on these resources, we present an analysis of the usage and occurrence of pejorative words in social media, and present an attempt to automatically disambiguate pejorative usage in our dataset.

Towards an Etymological Map of Romanian
Alina Maria Cristea | Anca Dinu | Liviu P. Dinu | Simona Georgescu | Ana Sabina Uban | Laurentiu Zoicas
Proceedings of the International Conference on Recent Advances in Natural Language Processing (RANLP 2021)

In this paper we investigate the etymology of Romanian words. We start from the Romanian lexicon and automatically extract information from multiple etymological dictionaries. We evaluate the results and perform extensive quantitative and qualitative analyses with the goal of building an etymological map of the language.

Tracking Semantic Change in Cognate Sets for English and Romance Languages
Ana Sabina Uban | Alina Maria Cristea | Anca Dinu | Liviu P. Dinu | Simona Georgescu | Laurentiu Zoicas
Proceedings of the 2nd International Workshop on Computational Approaches to Historical Language Change 2021

Semantic divergence in related languages is a key concern of historical linguistics. We cross-linguistically investigate the semantic divergence of cognate pairs in English and Romance languages, by means of word embeddings. To this end, we introduce a new curated dataset of cognates in all pairs of those languages. We describe the types of errors that occurred during the automated cognate identification process and manually correct them. Additionally, we label the English cognates according to their etymology, separating them into two groups: old borrowings and recent borrowings. On this curated dataset, we analyse word properties such as frequency and polysemy, and the distribution of similarity scores between cognate sets in different languages. We automatically identify different clusters of English cognates, setting a new direction of research in cognates, borrowings and possibly false friends analysis in related languages.


Automatically Building a Multilingual Lexicon of False Friends With No Supervision
Ana Sabina Uban | Liviu P. Dinu
Proceedings of the Twelfth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

Cognate words, defined as words in different languages which derive from a common etymon, can be useful for language learners, who can leverage the orthographical similarity of cognates to more easily understand a text in a foreign language. Deceptive cognates, or false friends, do not share the same meaning anymore; these can be instead deceiving and detrimental for language acquisition or text understanding in a foreign language. We use an automatic method of detecting false friends from a set of cognates, in a fully unsupervised fashion, based on cross-lingual word embeddings. We implement our method for English and five Romance languages, including a low-resource language (Romanian), and evaluate it against two different gold standards. The method can be extended easily to any language pair, requiring only large monolingual corpora for the involved languages and a small bilingual dictionary for the pair. We additionally propose a measure of “falseness” of a false friends pair. We publish freely the database of false friends in the six languages, along with the falseness scores for each cognate pair. The resource is the largest of the kind that we are aware of, both in terms of languages covered and number of word pairs.


Finding a Character’s Voice: Stylome Classification on Literary Characters
Liviu P. Dinu | Ana Sabina Uban
Proceedings of the Joint SIGHUM Workshop on Computational Linguistics for Cultural Heritage, Social Sciences, Humanities and Literature

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.


Cross-lingual Synonymy Overlap
Anca Dinu | Liviu P. Dinu | Ana Sabina Uban
Proceedings of the International Conference Recent Advances in Natural Language Processing