16 November 2018 - Malvina Nissim: Seminar
The Power of Weak Signal
For language processing, we love supervised models: solid and accurate. What we love less is the effort to acquire labels, and the fact that porting these models to new domains, let alone new languages, is tricky (unless new labels are acquired, but we said we don't love it much). The balance between the advantages of fully-blown signal and the disadvantages of limited portability is as delicate as it is fundamental. In this talk, I will address these issues discussing three case studies in three different classification tasks in the field of language processing. In two of them, I will show how we can make up for missing signal, but we can successfully exploit what we get only if we use it in some indirect way. In the other one, I will show how we can get rid of too much signal to enhance portability, while preserving modelling power. If this abstract sounds too vague but you grasped something, it just goes to show that weak signal has some power (but maybe not enough). For the full signal, see you at the talk.
Malvina Nissim is Associate Professor in Language Technology at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands. She has extensive experience in sentiment analysis and author identification and profiling, as well as in modelling the interplay of lexical semantics and pragmatics, especially regarding the computational treatment of figurative language and modality. She is the author of 100+ publications in international venues, is member of the main associations in the field, and annually reviews for the major conferences and journals. She has recently co-chaired the Fourth Italian Conference on Computational Linguistics (CLiC-it 2017), and was the general chair of the Seventh Joint Conference on Lexical and Computational Semantics (*SEM 2018). She is also active in the field of resource and system evaluation, as both organiser and participant of shared tasks, and is interested in the philosophy behind them. She graduated in Linguistics from the University of Pisa, and obtained her PhD in Linguistics from the University of Pavia. Before joining the University of Groningen, she was a tenured researcher at the University of Bologna (2006-2014), and a post-doc at the Institute for Cognitive Science and Technology of the National Research Council in Rome (2006) and at the University of Edinburgh (2001-2005). In 2017, she was elected as the 2016 University of Groningen Lecturer of the Year.