[AI Seminar] 08/28 Mounica Maddela on Multi-task Pairwise Neural Ranking for Hashtag Segmentation

Talk Title:
Multi-task Pairwise Neural Ranking for Hashtag Segmentation

Hashtags are often employed on social media and beyond to add metadata to a textual utterance with the goal of increasing discoverability, aiding search, or providing additional semantics. However, the semantic content of hashtags is not straightforward to infer as these represent ad-hoc conventions which frequently include multiple words joined together and can include abbreviations and unorthodox spellings. We build a dataset of 12,594 hashtags split into individual segments and propose a set of approaches for hashtag segmentation by framing it as a pairwise ranking problem between candidate segmentations. Our novel neural approaches demonstrate 24.6% error reduction in hashtag segmentation accuracy compared to the current state-of-the-art method. Finally, we demonstrate that a deeper understanding of hashtag semantics obtained through segmentation is useful for downstream applications such as sentiment analysis, for which we achieved a 2.6% increase in average recall on the SemEval 2017 sentiment analysis dataset.

Mounica is a third-year Ph.D. student working with Professor Wei Xu. Her research interests lie in NLP and more specifically in stylistics and social media.