Heidar Davoudi


Affective and Contextual Embedding for Sarcasm Detection
Nastaran Babanejad | Heidar Davoudi | Aijun An | Manos Papagelis
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Automatic sarcasm detection from text is an important classification task that can help identify the actual sentiment in user-generated data, such as reviews or tweets. Despite its usefulness, sarcasm detection remains a challenging task, due to a lack of any vocal intonation or facial gestures in textual data. To date, most of the approaches to addressing the problem have relied on hand-crafted affect features, or pre-trained models of non-contextual word embeddings, such as Word2vec. However, these models inherit limitations that render them inadequate for the task of sarcasm detection. In this paper, we propose two novel deep neural network models for sarcasm detection, namely ACE 1 and ACE 2. Given as input a text passage, the models predict whether it is sarcastic (or not). Our models extend the architecture of BERT by incorporating both affective and contextual features. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first attempt to directly alter BERT’s architecture and train it from scratch to build a sarcasm classifier. Extensive experiments on different datasets demonstrate that the proposed models outperform state-of-the-art models for sarcasm detection with significant margins.


Content-based Dwell Time Engagement Prediction Model for News Articles
Heidar Davoudi | Aijun An | Gordon Edall
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 2 (Industry Papers)

The article dwell time (i.e., expected time that users spend on an article) is among the most important factors showing the article engagement. It is of great interest to predict the dwell time of an article before its release. This allows digital newspapers to make informed decisions and publish more engaging articles. In this paper, we propose a novel content-based approach based on a deep neural network architecture for predicting article dwell times. The proposed model extracts emotion, event and entity features from an article, learns interactions among them, and combines the interactions with the word-based features of the article to learn a model for predicting the dwell time. The experimental results on a real dataset from a major newspaper show that the proposed model outperforms other state-of-the-art baselines.