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  • 1.
    Martins, Rafael Messias
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of computer science and media technology (CM), Department of Computer Science.
    Simaki, Vasiliki
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of computer science and media technology (CM), Department of Computer Science. Lund University.
    Kucher, Kostiantyn
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of computer science and media technology (CM), Department of Computer Science.
    Paradis, Carita
    Lund University.
    Kerren, Andreas
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of computer science and media technology (CM), Department of Computer Science.
    StanceXplore: Visualization for the Interactive Exploration of Stance in Social Media2017Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The use of interactive visualization techniques in Digital Humanities research can be a useful addition when traditional automated machine learning techniques face difficulties, as is often the case with the exploration of large volumes of dynamic—and in many cases, noisy and conflicting—textual data from social media. Recently, the field of stance analysis has been moving from a predominantly binary approach—either pro or con—to a multifaceted one, where each unit of text may be classified as one (or more) of multiple possible stance categories. This change adds more layers of complexity to an already hard problem, but also opens up new opportunities for obtaining richer and more relevant results from the analysis of stancetaking in social media. In this paper we propose StanceXplore, a new visualization for the interactive exploration of stance in social media. Our goal is to offer DH researchers the chance to explore stance-classified text corpora from different perspectives at the same time, using coordinated multiple views including user-defined topics, content similarity and dissimilarity, and geographical and temporal distribution. As a case study, we explore the activity of Twitter users in Sweden, analyzing their behavior in terms of topics discussed and the stances taken. Each textual unit (tweet) is labeled with one of eleven stance categories from a cognitive-functional stance framework based on recent work. We illustrate how StanceXplore can be used effectively to investigate multidimensional patterns and trends in stance-taking related to cultural events, their geographical distribution, and the confidence of the stance classifier. 

  • 2.
    Simaki, Vasiliki
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of computer science and media technology (CM), Department of Computer Science. Lund University.
    Aravantinou, Christina
    University of Patras, Greece.
    Mporas, Iosif
    University of Hertfordshire, UK.
    Kondyli, Marianna
    University of Patras, Greece.
    Megalooikonomou, Vasileios
    University of Patras, Greece.
    Sociolinguistic Features for Author Gender Identification: From Qualitative Evidence to Quantitative Analysis2017In: Journal of Quantitative Linguistics, ISSN 0929-6174, E-ISSN 1744-5035, Vol. 24, no 1, p. 65-84Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Theoretical and empirical studies prove the strong relationship between social factors and the individual linguistic attitudes. Different social categories, such as gender, age, education, profession and social status, are strongly related with the linguistic diversity of people's everyday spoken and written interaction. In this paper, sociolinguistic studies addressed to gender differentiation are overviewed in order to identify how various linguistic characteristics differ between women and men. Thereafter, it is examined if and how these qualitative features can become quantitative metrics for the task of gender identification from texts on web blogs. The evaluation results showed that the "syntactic complexity", the "tag questions", the "period length", the "adjectives" and the "vocabulary richness" characteristics seem to be significantly distinctive with respect to the author's gender.

  • 3.
    Simaki, Vasiliki
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of computer science and media technology (CM), Department of Computer Science. Lund University, Sweden.
    Mporas, Iosif
    University of Hertfordshire, UK.
    Megalooikonomou, Vasileios
    University of Patras, Greece.
    Evaluation and sociolinguistic analysis of text features for gender and age identification2016In: American Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences, ISSN 1941-7020, E-ISSN 1941-7039, Vol. 9, no 4, p. 868-876Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The paper presents an interdisciplinary study in the field of automatic gender and age identification, under the scope of sociolinguistic knowledge on gendered and age linguistic choices that social media users make. The authors investigated and gathered standard and novel text features used in text mining approaches on the author’s demographic information and profiling and they examined their efficacy in gender and age detection tasks on a corpus consisted of social media texts. An analysis of the most informative features is attempted according to the nature of each feature and the information derived after the characteristics’ score of importance is discussed. © 2016 Vasiliki Simaki, Iosif Mporas and Vasileios Megalooikonomou.

  • 4.
    Simaki, Vasiliki
    et al.
    Lancaster University, UK ; Lund University.
    Panagiotis, Simakis
    XPLAIN, Greece.
    Paradis, Carita
    Lund University.
    Kerren, Andreas
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of computer science and media technology (CM).
    Detection of Stance-Related Characteristics in Social Media Text2018In: Proceedings of the 10th Hellenic Conference on Artificial Intelligence (SETN '18), ACM Publications, 2018, article id 38Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper, we present a study for the identification of stance-related features in text data from social media. Based on our previous work on stance and our findings on stance patterns, we detected stance-related characteristics in a data set from Twitter and Facebook. We extracted various corpus-, quantitative- and computational-based features that proved to be significant for six stance categories (contrariety, hypotheticality, necessity, prediction, source of knowledge, and uncertainty), and we tested them in our data set. The results of a preliminary clustering method are presented and discussed as a starting point for future contributions in the field. The results of our experiments showed a strong correlation between different characteristics and stance constructions, which can lead us to a methodology for automatic stance annotation of these data.

  • 5.
    Simaki, Vasiliki
    et al.
    Lancaster University, UK ; Lund University.
    Paradis, Carita
    Lund University.
    Kerren, Andreas
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of computer science and media technology (CM).
    A two-step procedure to identify stance constructions in discourse from political blogs2019In: Corpora, ISSN 1749-5032, E-ISSN 1755-1676, Vol. 14, no 3Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The Brexit Blog Corpus (BBC) is a collection of texts extracted from political blogs, which, in a recent study, was annotated according to a cognitive-functional stance framework by two independent annotators (Annotator A and B) using semantic criteria (Simaki et al. 2017). The goal was to label the stance or stances taken based on the overall meaning of a set of utterances. The annotators were not instructed to identify the lexical forms that were used to express the stances. In this study, we make use of those stance labelled utterances as a springboard to approach stance-taking in text from the opposite point of view, namely from how stance is realised through language. Our aim is to provide a description of the specific lexical elements used to express six stance categories, i.e., CONTRARIETY, HYPOTHETICALITY,  NECESSITY, PREDICTION, SOURCE OF KNOWLEDGE, and UNCERTAINTY. To this end, we followed a two-step experimental procedure. First, we performed a quantitative analysis of the stance labelled utterances in order to identify the lexical realisations of each stance category. Second, we carried out a meta-annotation of the data. Annotator B was instructed to single out the actual lexical forms of the constructions that triggered his semantic stance category decisions. This meta-annotation procedure made it possible for us to sift out the most salient lexical realisations of the constructions of each of the six category types on the basis of the qualitative assessments made by Annotator B. We then compared the results of the quantitative and the qualitative approaches, and we present a list of shared stance expressions for each stance category type.

  • 6.
    Simaki, Vasiliki
    et al.
    Lancaster University,UK ; Lund University.
    Paradis, Carita
    Lund University.
    Kerren, Andreas
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of computer science and media technology (CM), Department of Computer Science.
    Evaluating stance-annotated sentences from the Brexit Blog Corpus: A quantitative linguistic analysis2018In: ICAME Journal/International Computer Archive of Modern English, ISSN 0801-5775, E-ISSN 1502-5462, Vol. 42, no 1, p. 133-166Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper offers a formally driven quantitative analysis of stance-annotated sentences in the Brexit Blog Corpus (BBC). Our goal is to highlight linguistic features that determine the formal profiles of six stance categories (contrariety, hypotheticality, necessity, prediction, source of knowledge and uncertainty) in a subset of the BBC. The study has two parts: firstly, it examines a large number of formal linguistic features that occur in the sentences in order to describe the specific characteristics of each category, and secondly, it compares characteristics in the entire data set in order to determine linguistic similarities throughout the data set. We show that among the six stance categories in the corpus, contrariety and necessity are the most discriminative ones, with the former using longer sentences, more conjunctions, more repetitions and shorter forms than the sentences expressing other stances. The latter has longer lexical forms but shorter sentences, which are syntactically more complex. We show that stance in our data set is expressed in sentences with around 21 words per sentence. The sentences consist mainly of alphabetical characters forming a varied vocabulary without special forms, such as digits or special characters.

  • 7.
    Simaki, Vasiliki
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Computer Science. Lund University.
    Paradis, Carita
    Lund University.
    Kerren, Andreas
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Computer Science.
    Stance Classification in Texts from Blogs on the 2016 British Referendum2017In: Speech and Computer: 19th International Conference, SPECOM 2017, Hatfield, UK, September 12-16, 2017, Proceedings / [ed] Alexey Karpov, Rodmonga Potapova, and Iosif Mporas, Springer International Publishing , 2017, p. 700-709Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The problem of identifying and correctly attributing speaker stance in human communication is addressed in this paper. The data set consists of political blogs dealing with the 2016 British referendum. A cognitive-functional framework is adopted with data annotated for six notional stance categories: concession/contrariness, hypotheticality, need/ requirement, prediction, source of knowledge, and uncertainty. We show that these categories can be implemented in a text classification task and automatically detected. To this end, we propose a large set of lexical and syntactic linguistic features. These features were tested and classification experiments were implemented using different algorithms. We achieved accuracy of up to 30% for the six-class experiments, which is not fully satisfactory. As a second step, we calculated the pair-wise combinations of the stance categories. The concession/contrariness and need/requirement binary classification achieved the best results with up to 71% accuracy. 

  • 8.
    Simaki, Vasiliki
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of computer science and media technology (CM), Department of Computer Science. Lund University.
    Paradis, Carita
    Lund University.
    Skeppstedt, Maria
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of computer science and media technology (CM), Department of Computer Science.
    Sahlgren, Magnus
    Swedish Research Institute (RISE SICS).
    Kucher, Kostiantyn
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of computer science and media technology (CM), Department of Computer Science.
    Kerren, Andreas
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of computer science and media technology (CM), Department of Computer Science.
    Annotating speaker stance in discourse: the Brexit Blog Corpus2017In: Corpus linguistics and linguistic theory, ISSN 1613-7027, E-ISSN 1613-7035Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this study is to explore the possibility of identifying speaker stance in discourse, provide an analytical resource for it and an evaluation of the level of agreement across speakers. We also explore to what extent language users agree about what kind of stances are expressed in natural language use or whether their interpretations diverge. In order to perform this task, a comprehensive cognitive-functional framework of ten stance categories was developed based on previous work on speaker stance in the literature. A corpus of opinionated texts was compiled, the Brexit Blog Corpus (BBC). An analytical protocol and interface (ALVA) for the annotations was set up and the data were independently annotated by two annotators. The annotation procedure, the annotation agreements and the co-occurrence of more than one stance in the utterances are described and discussed. The careful, analytical annotation process has returned satisfactory inter- and intra-annotation agreement scores, resulting in a gold standard corpus, the final version of the BBC. 

  • 9.
    Simaki, Vasiliki
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of computer science and media technology (CM), Department of Computer Science. Lund University, Sweden.
    Simakis, Panagiotis
    XPLAIN, Greece.
    Paradis, Carita
    Lund University, Sweden.
    Kerren, Andreas
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of computer science and media technology (CM), Department of Computer Science.
    Identifying the Authors' National Variety of English in Social Media Texts2017In: Proceedings of the International Conference on Recent Advances in Natural Language Processing, RANLP 2017 / [ed] Galia Angelova, Kalina Bontcheva, Ruslan Mitkov, Ivelina Nikolova, and Irina Temnikova, Stroudsburg, PA: Association for Computational Linguistics, 2017, p. 671-678Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper, we present a study for the identification of authors’ national variety of English in texts from social media. In data from Facebook and Twitter, information about the author’s social profile is annotated, and the national English variety (US, UK, AUS, CAN, NNS) that each author uses is attributed. We tested four feature types: formal linguistic features, POS features, lexicon-based features related to the different varieties, and databased features from each English variety. We used various machine learning algorithms for the classification experiments, and we implemented a feature selection process. The classification accuracy achieved, when the 31 highest ranked features were used, was up to 77.32%. The experimental results are evaluated, and the efficacy of the ranked features discussed.

  • 10.
    Skeppstedt, Maria
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Computer Science.
    Simaki, Vasiliki
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Computer Science. Lund University.
    Paradis, Carita
    Lund University.
    Kerren, Andreas
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Computer Science.
    Detection of Stance and Sentiment Modifiers in Political Blogs2017In: Speech and Computer: 19th International Conference, SPECOM 2017, Hatfield, UK, September 12-16, 2017, Proceedings / [ed] Alexey Karpov, Rodmonga Potapova, and Iosif Mporas, Springer International Publishing , 2017, p. 302-311Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The automatic detection of seven types of modifiers was studied: Certainty, Uncertainty, Hypotheticality, Prediction, Recommendation, Concession/Contrast and Source. A classifier aimed at detecting local cue words that signal the categories was the most successful method for five of the categories. For Prediction and Hypotheticality, however, better results were obtained with a classifier trained on tokens and bi-grams present in the entire sentence. Unsupervised cluster features were shown useful for the categories Source and Uncertainty, when a subset of the training data available was used. However, when all of the 2,095 sentences that had been actively selected and manually annotated were used as training data, the cluster features had a very limited effect. Some of the classification errors made by the models would be possible to avoid by extending the training data set, while other features and feature representations, as well as the incorporation of pragmatic knowledge, would be required for other error types. 

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