• A cascaded unsupervised model for PoS tagging

      Bölücü, Necva; Can, Burcu (ACM, 2021-03-31)
      Part of speech (PoS) tagging is one of the fundamental syntactic tasks in Natural Language Processing (NLP), that assigns a syntactic category to each word within a given sentence or context (such as noun, verb, adjective etc). Those syntactic categories could be used to further analyze the sentence-level syntax (e.g. dependency parsing) and thereby extract the meaning of the sentence (e.g. semantic parsing). Various methods have been proposed for learning PoS tags in an unsupervised setting without using any annotated corpora. One of the widely used methods for the tagging problem is log-linear models. Initialization of the parameters in a log-linear model is very crucial for the inference. Different initialization techniques have been used so far. In this work, we present a log-linear model for PoS tagging that uses another fully unsupervised Bayesian model to initialize the parameters of the model in a cascaded framework. Therefore, we transfer some knowledge between two different unsupervised models to leverage the PoS tagging results, where a log-linear model benefits from a Bayesian model’s expertise. We present results for Turkish as a morphologically rich language and for English as a comparably morphologically poor language in a fully unsupervised framework. The results show that our framework outperforms other unsupervised models proposed for PoS tagging.
    • Multilingual offensive language identification for low-resource languages

      Ranasinghe, Tharindu; Zampieri, Marcos (Association for Computing Machinery, 2021-11-10)
      Offensive content is pervasive in social media and a reason for concern to companies and government organizations. Several studies have been recently published investigating methods to detect the various forms of such content (e.g., hate speech, cyberbullying, and cyberaggression). The clear majority of these studies deal with English partially because most annotated datasets available contain English data. In this article, we take advantage of available English datasets by applying cross-lingual contextual word embeddings and transfer learning to make predictions in low-resource languages. We project predictions on comparable data in Arabic, Bengali, Danish, Greek, Hindi, Spanish, and Turkish. We report results of 0.8415 F1 macro for Bengali in TRAC-2 shared task [23], 0.8532 F1 macro for Danish and 0.8701 F1 macro for Greek in OffensEval 2020 [58], 0.8568 F1 macro for Hindi in HASOC 2019 shared task [27], and 0.7513 F1 macro for Spanish in in SemEval-2019 Task 5 (HatEval) [7], showing that our approach compares favorably to the best systems submitted to recent shared tasks on these three languages. Additionally, we report competitive performance on Arabic and Turkish using the training and development sets of OffensEval 2020 shared task. The results for all languages confirm the robustness of cross-lingual contextual embeddings and transfer learning for this task.
    • Native language identification of fluent and advanced non-native writers

      Sarwar, Raheem; Rutherford, Attapol T; Hassan, Saeed-Ul; Rakthanmanon, Thanawin; Nutanong, Sarana (Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), 2020-04-30)
      Native Language Identification (NLI) aims at identifying the native languages of authors by analyzing their text samples written in a non-native language. Most existing studies investigate this task for educational applications such as second language acquisition and require the learner corpora. This article performs NLI in a challenging context of the user-generated-content (UGC) where authors are fluent and advanced non-native speakers of a second language. Existing NLI studies with UGC (i) rely on the content-specific/social-network features and may not be generalizable to other domains and datasets, (ii) are unable to capture the variations of the language-usage-patterns within a text sample, and (iii) are not associated with any outlier handling mechanism. Moreover, since there is a sizable number of people who have acquired non-English second languages due to the economic and immigration policies, there is a need to gauge the applicability of NLI with UGC to other languages. Unlike existing solutions, we define a topic-independent feature space, which makes our solution generalizable to other domains and datasets. Based on our feature space, we present a solution that mitigates the effect of outliers in the data and helps capture the variations of the language-usage-patterns within a text sample. Specifically, we represent each text sample as a point set and identify the top-k stylistically similar text samples (SSTs) from the corpus. We then apply the probabilistic k nearest neighbors’ classifier on the identified top-k SSTs to predict the native languages of the authors. To conduct experiments, we create three new corpora where each corpus is written in a different language, namely, English, French, and German. Our experimental studies show that our solution outperforms competitive methods and reports more than 80% accuracy across languages.
    • StyloThai: A scalable framework for stylometric authorship identification of Thai documents

      Sarwar, R; Porthaveepong, T; Rutherford, A; Rakthanmanon, T; Nutanong, S (Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), 2020-01-30)
      © 2020 Association for Computing Machinery. All rights reserved. Authorship identification helps to identify the true author of a given anonymous document from a set of candidate authors. The applications of this task can be found in several domains, such as law enforcement agencies and information retrieval. These application domains are not limited to a specific language, community, or ethnicity. However, most of the existing solutions are designed for English, and a little attention has been paid to Thai. These existing solutions are not directly applicable to Thai due to the linguistic differences between these two languages. Moreover, the existing solution designed for Thai is unable to (i) handle outliers in the dataset, (ii) scale when the size of the candidate authors set increases, and (iii) perform well when the number of writing samples for each candidate author is low.We identify a stylometric feature space for the Thai authorship identification task. Based on our feature space, we present an authorship identification solution that uses the probabilistic k nearest neighbors classifier by transforming each document into a collection of point sets. Specifically, this document transformation allows us to (i) use set distance measures associated with an outlier handling mechanism, (ii) capture stylistic variations within a document, and (iii) produce multiple predictions for a query document. We create a new Thai authorship identification corpus containing 547 documents from 200 authors, which is significantly larger than the corpus used by the existing study (an increase of 32 folds in terms of the number of candidate authors). The experimental results show that our solution can overcome the limitations of the existing solution and outperforms all competitors with an accuracy level of 91.02%. Moreover, we investigate the effectiveness of each stylometric features category with the help of an ablation study. We found that combining all categories of the stylometric features outperforms the other combinations. Finally, we cross compare the feature spaces and classification methods of all solutions. We found that (i) our solution can scale as the number of candidate authors increases, (ii) our method outperforms all the competitors, and (iii) our feature space provides better performance than the feature space used by the existing study.
    • Unsupervised joint PoS tagging and stemming for agglutinative languages

      Bolucu, Necva; Can, Burcu (Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), 2019-01-25)
      The number of possible word forms is theoretically infinite in agglutinative languages. This brings up the out-of-vocabulary (OOV) issue for part-of-speech (PoS) tagging in agglutinative languages. Since inflectional morphology does not change the PoS tag of a word, we propose to learn stems along with PoS tags simultaneously. Therefore, we aim to overcome the sparsity problem by reducing word forms into their stems. We adopt a Bayesian model that is fully unsupervised. We build a Hidden Markov Model for PoS tagging where the stems are emitted through hidden states. Several versions of the model are introduced in order to observe the effects of different dependencies throughout the corpus, such as the dependency between stems and PoS tags or between PoS tags and affixes. Additionally, we use neural word embeddings to estimate the semantic similarity between the word form and stem. We use the semantic similarity as prior information to discover the actual stem of a word since inflection does not change the meaning of a word. We compare our models with other unsupervised stemming and PoS tagging models on Turkish, Hungarian, Finnish, Basque, and English. The results show that a joint model for PoS tagging and stemming improves on an independent PoS tagger and stemmer in agglutinative languages.
    • Urdu AI: writeprints for Urdu authorship identification

      Sarwar, Raheem; Hassan, Saeed-Ul (Association for Computing Machinery, 2021-10-31)
      The authorship identification task aims at identifying the original author of an anonymous text sample from a set of candidate authors. It has several application domains such as digital text forensics and information retrieval. These application domains are not limited to a specific language. However, most of the authorship identification studies are focused on English and limited attention has been paid to Urdu. On the other hand, existing Urdu authorship identification solutions drop accuracy as the number of training samples per candidate author reduces, and when the number of candidate author increases. Consequently, these solutions are inapplicable to real-world cases. To overcome these limitations, we formulate a stylometric feature space. Based on this feature space we use an authorship identification solution that transforms each text sample into point set, retrieves candidate text samples, and relies the nearest neighbour classifier to predict the original author of the anonymous text sample. To evaluate our method, we create a significantly larger corpus than existing studies and conduct several experimental studies which show that our solution can overcome the limitations of existing studies and report an accuracy level of 94.03%, which is higher than all previous authorship identification works.