Proceedings of the 18th Joint ACL - ISO Workshop on Interoperable Semantic Annotation within LREC2022

Harry Bunt (Editor)

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Marseille, France
European Language Resources Association
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Proceedings of the 18th Joint ACL - ISO Workshop on Interoperable Semantic Annotation within LREC2022
Harry Bunt

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What Is Going through Your Mind? Metacognitive Events Classification in Human-Agent Interactions
Hafiza Erum Manzoor | Volha Petukhova

For an agent, either human or artificial, to show intelligent interactive behaviour implies assessments of the reliability of own and others’ thoughts, feelings and beliefs. Agents capable of these robust evaluations are able to adequately interpret their own and others’ cognitive and emotional processes, anticipate future actions, and improve their decision-making and interactive performances across domains and contexts. Reliable instruments to assess interlocutors’ mindful capacities for monitoring and regulation - metacognition - in human-agent interaction in real-time and continuously are of crucial importance however challenging to design. The presented study reports Concurrent Think Aloud (CTA) experiments in order to access and evaluate metacognitive dispositions and attitudes of participants in human-agent interactions. A typology of metacognitive events related to the ‘verbalized’ monitoring, interpretation, reflection and regulation activities observed in a multimodal dialogue has been designed, and serves as a valid tool to identify relation between participants’ behaviour analysed in terms of ISO 24617-2 compliant dialogue acts and the corresponding metacognitive indicators.

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Assessment of Sales Negotiation Strategies with ISO 24617-2 Dialogue Act Annotations
Jutta Stock | Volha Petukhova | Dietrich Klakow

Call centres endeavour to achieve the highest possible level of transparency with regard to the factors influencing sales success. Existing approaches to the quality assessment of customer-agent sales negotiations do not enable in-depths analysis of sales behaviour. This study addresses this gap and presents a conceptual and operational framework applying the ISO 24617-2 dialogue act annotation scheme, a multidimensional taxonomy of interoperable semantic concepts. We hypothesise that the ISO 24617-2 dialogue act annotation framework adequately supports sales negotiation assessment in the domain of call centre conversations. Authentic call centre conversations are annotated and a range of extensions/modifications are proposed making the annotation scheme better fit this new domain. We concluded that ISO 24617-2 serves as a powerful instrument for the analysis and assessment of sales negotiation and strategies applied by a call centre agent.

Guidelines and a Corpus for Extracting Biographical Events
Marco Antonio Stranisci | Enrico Mensa | Rossana Damiano | Daniele Radicioni | Ousmane Diakite

Despite biographies are widely spread within the Semantic Web, resources and approaches to automatically extract biographical events are limited. Such limitation reduces the amount of structured, machine-readable biographical information, especially about people belonging to underrepresented groups. Our work challenges this limitation by providing a set of guidelines for the semantic annotation of life events. The guidelines are designed to be interoperable with existing ISO-standards for semantic annotation: ISO-TimeML (SO-24617-1), and SemAF (ISO-24617-4). Guidelines were tested through an annotation task of Wikipedia biographies of underrepresented writers, namely authors born in non-Western countries, migrants, or belonging to ethnic minorities. 1,000 sentences were annotated by 4 annotators with an average Inter-Annotator Agreement of 0.825. The resulting corpus was mapped on OntoNotes. Such mapping allowed to to expand our corpus, showing that already existing resources may be exploited for the biographical event extraction task.

Levels of Non-Fictionality in Fictional Texts
Florian Barth | Hanna Varachkina | Tillmann Dönicke | Luisa Gödeke

The annotation and automatic recognition of non-fictional discourse within a text is an important, yet unresolved task in literary research. While non-fictional passages can consist of several clauses or sentences, we argue that 1) an entity-level classification of fictionality and 2) the linking of Wikidata identifiers can be used to automatically identify (non-)fictional discourse. We query Wikidata and DBpedia for relevant information about a requested entity as well as the corresponding literary text to determine the entity’s fictionality status and assign a Wikidata identifier, if unequivocally possible. We evaluate our methods on an exemplary text from our diachronic literary corpus, where our methods classify 97% of persons and 62% of locations correctly as fictional or real. Furthermore, 75% of the resolved persons and 43% of the resolved locations are resolved correctly. In a quantitative experiment, we apply the entity-level fictionality tagger to our corpus and conclude that more non-fictional passages can be identified when information about real entities is available.

Event Sequencing Annotation with TIE-ML
Damir Cavar | Ali Aljubailan | Ludovic Mompelat | Yuna Won | Billy Dickson | Matthew Fort | Andrew Davis | Soyoung Kim

TIE-ML (Temporal Information Event Markup Language) first proposed by Cavar et al. (2021) provides a radically simplified temporal annotation schema for event sequencing and clause level temporal properties even in complex sentences. TIE-ML facilitates rapid annotation of essential tense features at the clause level by labeling simple or periphrastic tense properties, as well as scope relations between clauses, and temporal interpretation at the sentence level. This paper presents the first annotation samples and empirical results. The application of the TIE-ML strategy on the sentences in the Penn Treebank (Marcus et al., 1993) and other non-English language data is discussed in detail. The motivation, insights, and future directions for TIE-ML are discussed, too. The aim is to develop a more efficient annotation strategy and a formalism for clause-level tense and aspect labeling, event sequencing, and tense scope relations that boosts the productivity of tense and event-level corpus annotation. The central goal is to facilitate the production of large data sets for machine learning and quantitative linguistic studies of intra- and cross-linguistic semantic properties of temporal and event logic.

Measuring Similarity by Linguistic Features rather than Frequency
Rodolfo Delmonte | Nicolò Busetto

In the use and creation of current Deep Learning Models the only number that is used for the overall computation is the frequency value associated with the current word form in the corpus, which is used to substitute it. Frequency values come in two forms: absolute and relative. Absolute frequency is used indirectly when selecting the vocabulary against which the word embeddings are created: the cutoff threshold is usually fixed at 30/50K entries of the most frequent words. Relative frequency comes in directly when computing word embeddings based on co-occurrence values of the tokens included in a window size 2/5 adjacent tokens. The latter values are then used to compute similarity, mostly based on cosine distance. In this paper we will evaluate the impact of these two frequency parameters on a small corpus of Italian sentences whose main features are two: presence of very rare words and of non-canonical structures. Rather than basing our evaluation on cosine measure alone, we propose a graded scale of scores which are linguistically motivated. The results computed on the basis of a perusal of BERT’s raw embeddings shows that the two parameters conspire to decide the level of predictability.

Testing the Annotation Consistency of Hallidayan Transitivity Processes: A Multi-variable Structural Approach
Min Dong | Xiaoyan Liu | Alex Chengyu Fang

SFL seeks to explain identifiable, observable phenomena of language use in context through the application of a theoretical framework which models language as a functional, meaning making system (Halliday & Matthiessen 2004). Due to the lack of explicit annotation criteria and the divide between conceptual vs. syntactic criteria in practice, it has been a tough job to achieve consistency in the annotation of Hallidayn transitivity processes. The present study proposed that explicit structural and syntactic criteria should be adopted as a basis. Drawing on syntactic and grammatical features as judgement cues, we applied structurally oriented criteria for the annotation of the process categories and participant roles combining a set of interrelated syntactic variables and established the annotation criteria for contextualised circumstantial categories in structural as well as semantic terms. An experiment was carried out to test the usefulness of these annotation criteria, applying percent agreement and Cohen’s kappa as measurements of interrater reliability between the two annotators in each of the five pairs. The results verified our assumptions, albeit rather mildly, and, more significantly, offered some first empirical indications about the practical consistency of transitivity analysis in SFL. In the future work, the research team expect to draw on the insights and experience from some of the ISO standards devoted to semantic annotation such as dialogue acts (Bunt et al. 2012) and semantic roles (ISO-24617-4, 2014).

The place of ISO-Space in Text2Story multilayer annotation scheme
António Leal | Purificação Silvano | Evelin Amorim | Inês Cantante | Fátima Silva | Alípio Mario Jorge | Ricardo Campos

Reasoning about spatial information is fundamental in natural language to fully understand relationships between entities and/or between events. However, the complexity underlying such reasoning makes it hard to represent formally spatial information. Despite the growing interest on this topic, and the development of some frameworks, many problems persist regarding, for instance, the coverage of a wide variety of linguistic constructions and of languages. In this paper, we present a proposal of integrating ISO-Space into a ISO-based multilayer annotation scheme, designed to annotate news in European Portuguese. This scheme already enables annotation at three levels, temporal, referential and thematic, by combining postulates from ISO 24617-1, 4 and 9. Since the corpus comprises news articles, and spatial information is relevant within this kind of texts, a more detailed account of space was required. The main objective of this paper is to discuss the process of integrating ISO-Space with the existing layers of our annotation scheme, assessing the compatibility of the aforementioned parts of ISO 24617, and the problems posed by the harmonization of the four layers and by some specifications of ISO-Space.

Do machines dream of artificial agreement?
Anna Lindahl

In this paper the (assumed) inconsistency between F1-scores and annotator agreement measures is discussed. This is exemplified in five corpora from the field of argumentation mining. High agreement is important in most annotation tasks and also often deemed important for an annotated dataset to be useful for machine learning. However, depending on the annotation task, achieving high agreement is not always easy. This is especially true in the field of argumentation mining, because argumentation can be complex as well as implicit. There are also many different models of argumentation, which can be seen in the increasing number of argumentation annotated corpora. Many of these reach moderate agreement but are still used in machine learning tasks, reaching high F1-score. In this paper we describe five corpora, in particular how they have been created and used, to see how they have handled disagreement. We find that agreement can be raised post-production, but that more discussion regarding evaluating and calculating agreement is needed. We conclude that standardisation of the models and the evaluation methods could help such discussions.

CroaTPAS: A Survey-based Evaluation
Costanza Marini

The Croatian Typed Predicate Argument Structures resource is a Croatian/English bilingual digital dictionary of corpus-derived verb valency structures, whose argument slots have been annotated with Semantic Types labels following the CPA methodology. CroaTPAS is tailor-made to represent verb polysemy and currently contains 180 Croatian verbs for a total of 683 different verbs senses. In order to evaluate the resource both in terms of identified Croatian verb senses, as well as of the English descriptions explaining them, an online survey based on a multiple-choice sense disambiguation task was devised, pilot tested and distributed among respondents following a snowball sampling methodology. Answers from 30 respondents were collected and compared against a yardstick set of answers in line with CroaTPAS’s sense distinctions. Jaccard similarity index was used as a measure of agreement. Since the multiple-choice items respondents answered to were based on a representative selection of CroaTPAS verbs, they allowed for a generalization of the results to the whole of the resource.

Simplifying Semantic Annotations of SMCalFlow
Joram Meron

SMCalFlow (Semantic Machines et al., 2020) is a large corpus of semantically detailed annotations of task-oriented natural dialogues. The annotations use a dataflow approach, in which the annotations are programs which represent user requests. Despite the availability, size and richness of this annotated corpus, it has seen only very limited use in dialogue systems research work, at least in part due to the difficulty in understanding and using the annotations. To address these difficulties, this paper suggests a simplification of the SMCalFlow annotations, as well as releases code needed to inspect the execution of the annotated dataflow programs, which should allow researchers of dialogue systems an easy entry point to experiment with various dataflow based implementations and annotations.

Multilingual Reference Annotation: A Case between English and Mandarin Chinese
Ut Seong Sio | Luís Morgado da Costa

This paper presents the on-going effort to annotate a cross-lingual corpus on nominal referring expressions in English and Mandarin Chinese. The annotation includes referential forms and referential (information) statuses. We adopt the RefLex annotation scheme (Baumann and Riester, 2012) for the classification of referential statuses. The data focus of this paper is restricted to [the-X] phrases in English (where X stands for any nominal) and their translation equivalents in Mandarin Chinese. The original English and translated Mandarin versions of ‘The Adventure of the Dancing Men’ and ‘The Adventure of Speckled Band’ from the Sherlock Holmes series were annotated. It contains 1090 instances of [the-X] phrases in English. Our study uncovers the following: (i) bare nouns are the most common Mandarin translation for [the-X] phrases in English, followed by demonstrative phrases, with the exception that when the noun phrase refers to locations/places, in such cases, demonstrative phrases are almost never used; (ii) [the-X] phrases in English are more likely to be translated as demonstrative phrases in Mandarin if they have the referential status of ‘given’ (previously mentioned) or ‘given-displaced’(antecedent of an expression occurs earlier than the previous five clauses). In these Mandarin demonstrative phrases, the proximal demonstrative is more often used and it is almost exclusively used for ‘given’ while the distal demonstrative can be used for both ‘given’ and ‘given-displaced’.

Graph Querying for Semantic Annotations
Maxime Amblard | Bruno Guillaume | Siyana Pavlova | Guy Perrier

This paper presents how the online tool Grew-match can be used to make queries and visualise data from existing semantically annotated corpora. A dedicated syntax is available to construct simple to complex queries and execute them against a corpus. Such queries give transverse views of the annotated data, this views can help for checking the consistency of annotations in one corpus or across several corpora. Grew-match can then be seen as an error mining tool: when inconsistencies are detected, it helps finding the sentences which should be fixed. Finally, Grew-match can also be used as a side tool to assist annotation task helping to find annotations examples in existing corpora to be compare to the data to be annotated.

Intuitive and Formal Transparency in Annotation Schemes
Harry Bunt

This paper explores the application of the notion of ‘transparency’ to annotation schemes, understood as the properties that make it easy for potential users to see the scope of the scheme, the main concepts used in annotations, and the ways these concepts are interrelated. Based on an analysis of annotation schemes in the ISO Semantic Annotation Framework, it is argued that the way these schemes make use of ‘metamodels’ is not optimal, since these models are often not entirely clear and not directly related to the formal specification of the scheme. It is shown that by formalizing the relation between metamodels and annotations, by formalizing the relation between metamodels and annotations, both can benefit and can be made simpler, and the annotation scheme becomes intuitively more transparent.

How much of UCCA can be predicted from AMR?
Siyana Pavlova | Maxime Amblard | Bruno Guillaume

In this paper, we consider two of the currently popular semantic frameworks: Abstract Meaning Representation (AMR) - a more abstract framework, and Universal Conceptual Cognitive Annotation (UCCA) - an anchored framework. We use a corpus-based approach to build two graph rewriting systems, a deterministic and a non-deterministic one, from the former to the latter framework. We present their evaluation and a number of ambiguities that we discovered while building our rules. Finally, we provide a discussion and some future work directions in relation to comparing semantic frameworks of different flavors.

Towards Practical Semantic Interoperability in NLP Platforms
Julian Moreno-Schneider | Rémi Calizzano | Florian Kintzel | Georg Rehm | Dimitris Galanis | Ian Roberts

Interoperability is a necessity for the resolution of complex tasks that require the interconnection of several NLP services. This article presents the approaches that were adopted in three scenarios to address the respective interoperability issues. The first scenario describes the creation of a common REST API for a specific platform, the second scenario presents the interconnection of several platforms via mapping of different representation formats and the third scenario shows the complexities of interoperability through semantic schema mapping or automatic translation.

Annotating Japanese Numeral Expressions for a Logical and Pragmatic Inference Dataset
Kana Koyano | Hitomi Yanaka | Koji Mineshima | Daisuke Bekki

Numeral expressions in Japanese are characterized by the flexibility of quantifier positions and the variety of numeral suffixes. However, little work has been done to build annotated corpora focusing on these features and datasets for testing the understanding of Japanese numeral expressions. In this study, we build a corpus that annotates each numeral expression in an existing phrase structure-based Japanese treebank with its usage and numeral suffix types. We also construct an inference test set for numerical expressions based on this annotated corpus. In this test set, we particularly pay attention to inferences where the correct label differs between logical entailment and implicature and those contexts such as negations and conditionals where the entailment labels can be reversed. The baseline experiment with Japanese BERT models shows that our inference test set poses challenges for inference involving various types of numeral expressions.

Annotating complex words to investigate the semantics of derivational processes
Rossella Varvara | Justine Salvadori | Richard Huyghe

In this paper, we present and test an annotation scheme designed to analyse the semantic properties of derived nouns in context. Aiming at a general semantic comparison of morphological processes, we use a descriptive model that seeks to capture semantic regularities among lexemes and affixes, rather than match occurrences to word sense inventories. We annotate two distinct features of target words: the ontological type of the entity they denote and their semantic relationship with the word they derive from. As illustrated through an annotation experiment on French corpus data, this procedure allows us to highlight semantic differences and similarities between affixes by investigating the number and frequency of their semantic functions, as well as the relation between affix polyfunctionality and lexical ambiguity.

Annotating Propositional Attitude Verbs and their Arguments
Marta Ricchiardi | Elisabetta Jezek

This paper describes the results of an empirical study on attitude verbs and propositional attitude reports in Italian. Within the framework of a project aiming at acquiring argument structures for Italian verbs from corpora, we carried out a systematic annotation that aims at individuating which verbs are actually attitude verbs in Italian. The result is a list of 179 argument structures based on corpus-derived pattern of use for 126 verbs that behave as attitude verbs. The distribution of these verbs in the corpus suggests that not only the canonical that-clauses, i.e. subordinates introduced by the complementizerte che, but also direct speech, infinitives introduced by the complementizer di, and some nominals are good candidates to express propositional contents in propositional attitude reports. The annotation also enlightens some issues between semantics and ontology, concerning the relation between events and propositions.