Nils Rethmeier


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MoRTy: Unsupervised Learning of Task-specialized Word Embeddings by Autoencoding
Nils Rethmeier | Barbara Plank
Proceedings of the 4th Workshop on Representation Learning for NLP (RepL4NLP-2019)

Word embeddings have undoubtedly revolutionized NLP. However, pretrained embeddings do not always work for a specific task (or set of tasks), particularly in limited resource setups. We introduce a simple yet effective, self-supervised post-processing method that constructs task-specialized word representations by picking from a menu of reconstructing transformations to yield improved end-task performance (MORTY). The method is complementary to recent state-of-the-art approaches to inductive transfer via fine-tuning, and forgoes costly model architectures and annotation. We evaluate MORTY on a broad range of setups, including different word embedding methods, corpus sizes and end-task semantics. Finally, we provide a surprisingly simple recipe to obtain specialized embeddings that better fit end-tasks.


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Learning Comment Controversy Prediction in Web Discussions Using Incidentally Supervised Multi-Task CNNs
Nils Rethmeier | Marc Hübner | Leonhard Hennig
Proceedings of the 9th Workshop on Computational Approaches to Subjectivity, Sentiment and Social Media Analysis

Comments on web news contain controversies that manifest as inter-group agreement-conflicts. Tracking such rapidly evolving controversy could ease conflict resolution or journalist-user interaction. However, this presupposes controversy online-prediction that scales to diverse domains using incidental supervision signals instead of manual labeling. To more deeply interpret comment-controversy model decisions we frame prediction as binary classification and evaluate baselines and multi-task CNNs that use an auxiliary news-genre-encoder. Finally, we use ablation and interpretability methods to determine the impacts of topic, discourse and sentiment indicators, contextual vs. global word influence, as well as genre-keywords vs. per-genre-controversy keywords – to find that the models learn plausible controversy features using only incidentally supervised signals.


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Common Round: Application of Language Technologies to Large-Scale Web Debates
Hans Uszkoreit | Aleksandra Gabryszak | Leonhard Hennig | Jörg Steffen | Renlong Ai | Stephan Busemann | Jon Dehdari | Josef van Genabith | Georg Heigold | Nils Rethmeier | Raphael Rubino | Sven Schmeier | Philippe Thomas | He Wang | Feiyu Xu
Proceedings of the Software Demonstrations of the 15th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Web debates play an important role in enabling broad participation of constituencies in social, political and economic decision-taking. However, it is challenging to organize, structure, and navigate a vast number of diverse argumentations and comments collected from many participants over a long time period. In this paper we demonstrate Common Round, a next generation platform for large-scale web debates, which provides functions for eliciting the semantic content and structures from the contributions of participants. In particular, Common Round applies language technologies for the extraction of semantic essence from textual input, aggregation of the formulated opinions and arguments. The platform also provides a cross-lingual access to debates using machine translation.