Meryem M’hamdi


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Contextualized Cross-Lingual Event Trigger Extraction with Minimal Resources
Meryem M’hamdi | Marjorie Freedman | Jonathan May
Proceedings of the 23rd Conference on Computational Natural Language Learning (CoNLL)

Event trigger extraction is an information extraction task of practical utility, yet it is challenging due to the difficulty of disambiguating word sense meaning. Previous approaches rely extensively on hand-crafted language-specific features and are applied mainly to English for which annotated datasets and Natural Language Processing (NLP) tools are available. However, the availability of such resources varies from one language to another. Recently, contextualized Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers (BERT) models have established state-of-the-art performance for a variety of NLP tasks. However, there has not been much effort in exploring language transfer using BERT for event extraction. In this work, we treat event trigger extraction as a sequence tagging problem and propose a cross-lingual framework for training it without any hand-crafted features. We experiment with different flavors of transfer learning from high-resourced to low-resourced languages and compare the performance of different multilingual embeddings for event trigger extraction. Our results show that training in a multilingual setting outperforms language-specific models for both English and Chinese. Our work is the first to experiment with two event architecture variants in a cross-lingual setting, to show the effectiveness of contextualized embeddings obtained using BERT, and to explore and analyze its performance on Arabic.


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Churn Intent Detection in Multilingual Chatbot Conversations and Social Media
Christian Abbet | Meryem M’hamdi | Athanasios Giannakopoulos | Robert West | Andreea Hossmann | Michael Baeriswyl | Claudiu Musat
Proceedings of the 22nd Conference on Computational Natural Language Learning

We propose a new method to detect when users express the intent to leave a service, also known as churn. While previous work focuses solely on social media, we show that this intent can be detected in chatbot conversations. As companies increasingly rely on chatbots they need an overview of potentially churny users. To this end, we crowdsource and publish a dataset of churn intent expressions in chatbot interactions in German and English. We show that classifiers trained on social media data can detect the same intent in the context of chatbots. We introduce a classification architecture that outperforms existing work on churn intent detection in social media. Moreover, we show that, using bilingual word embeddings, a system trained on combined English and German data outperforms monolingual approaches. As the only existing dataset is in English, we crowdsource and publish a novel dataset of German tweets. We thus underline the universal aspect of the problem, as examples of churn intent in English help us identify churn in German tweets and chatbot conversations.