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Special Issue "Current Approaches and Applications in Natural Language Processing"

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Computing and Artificial Intelligence".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2022) | Viewed by 41911

Printed Edition Available!
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Arturo Montejo-Ráez
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
SINAI Research Group, CEATIC, Universidad de Jaén, 23071 Jaén, Spain
Interests: natural language processing; machine learning; deep NLP; text mining; knowledge engineering; linked data
Dr. Salud María Jiménez-Zafra
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
SINAI Research Group, Computer Science Department, CEATIC, Universidad de Jaén, 23071 Jaén, Spain
Interests: natural language processing; negation detection and treatment; semantics; text mining
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Current approaches in Natural Language Processing (NLP) have shown impressive improvements in many major tasks: machine translation, language modelling, text generation, sentiment/emotion analysis, natural language understanding, question answering, among others. The advent of new methods and techniques like graph-based approaches, reinforcement learning or deep learning have boosted many of the tasks in NLP to reach human-level (and even further) performance. This has attracted the interest of many companies, so new products and solutions can profit from the advances of this relevant area within the artificial intelligence domain.

This Special Issue focuses on emerging techniques and trendy applications of NLP methods is an opportunity to report on all these achievements, establishing a useful reference for industry and researchers on cutting edge human language technologies. Given the focus of the journal, we expect to receive works that propose new NLP algorithms and applications of current and novel NLP tasks. Also, updated overviews on the given topics will be considered, identifying trends, potential future research areas and new commercial products.

The topics of this Special Issue include but are not limited to:

  • Question answering: open-domain Q&A, knowledge-based Q&A...
  • Knowledge extraction: Relation extraction, fine-grained entity recognition...
  • Text generation: summarization, style transfer, dial...
  • Text classification: Sentiment/emotion analysis, semi-supervised and zero-shot learning...
  • Behaviour modelling: early risk detection, cyberbullying, customer modelling...
  • Dialogue systems: chatbots, voice assistants...
  • Reinforcement learning
  • Data augmentation
  • Graph based approaches
  • Adversarial approaches
  • Multi-modal approaches
  • Multi-lingual/cross-lingual approaches

Prof. Dr. Arturo Montejo-Ráez
Dr. Salud María Jiménez Zafra
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (26 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
Current Approaches and Applications in Natural Language Processing
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(10), 4859; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12104859 - 11 May 2022
Viewed by 835
Abstract
Artificial Intelligence has gained a lot of popularity in recent years thanks to the advent of, mainly, Deep Learning techniques [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Approaches and Applications in Natural Language Processing)

Research

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Article
FedQAS: Privacy-Aware Machine Reading Comprehension with Federated Learning
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(6), 3130; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12063130 - 18 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 869
Abstract
Machine reading comprehension (MRC) of text data is a challenging task in Natural Language Processing (NLP), with a lot of ongoing research fueled by the release of the Stanford Question Answering Dataset (SQuAD) and Conversational Question Answering (CoQA). It is considered to be [...] Read more.
Machine reading comprehension (MRC) of text data is a challenging task in Natural Language Processing (NLP), with a lot of ongoing research fueled by the release of the Stanford Question Answering Dataset (SQuAD) and Conversational Question Answering (CoQA). It is considered to be an effort to teach computers how to “understand” a text, and then to be able to answer questions about it using deep learning. However, until now, large-scale training on private text data and knowledge sharing has been missing for this NLP task. Hence, we present FedQAS, a privacy-preserving machine reading system capable of leveraging large-scale private data without the need to pool those datasets in a central location. The proposed approach combines transformer models and federated learning technologies. The system is developed using the FEDn framework and deployed as a proof-of-concept alliance initiative. FedQAS is flexible, language-agnostic, and allows intuitive participation and execution of local model training. In addition, we present the architecture and implementation of the system, as well as provide a reference evaluation based on the SQuAD dataset, to showcase how it overcomes data privacy issues and enables knowledge sharing between alliance members in a Federated learning setting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Approaches and Applications in Natural Language Processing)
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Article
Machine Learning Approach for Personality Recognition in Spanish Texts
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(6), 2985; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12062985 - 15 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1134
Abstract
Personality is a unique trait that distinguishes an individual. It includes an ensemble of peculiarities on how people think, feel, and behave that affects the interactions and relationships of people. Personality is useful in diverse areas such as marketing, training, education, and human [...] Read more.
Personality is a unique trait that distinguishes an individual. It includes an ensemble of peculiarities on how people think, feel, and behave that affects the interactions and relationships of people. Personality is useful in diverse areas such as marketing, training, education, and human resource management. There are various approaches for personality recognition and different psychological models. Preceding work indicates that linguistic analysis is a promising way to recognize personality. In this work, a proposal for personality recognition relying on the dominance, influence, steadiness, and compliance (DISC) model and statistical methods for language analysis is presented. To build the model, a survey was conducted with 120 participants. The survey consisted in the completion of a personality test and handwritten paragraphs. The study resulted in a dataset that was used to train several machine learning algorithms. It was found that the AdaBoost classifier achieved the best results followed by Random Forest. In both cases a feature selection pre-process with Pearson’s Correlation was conducted. AdaBoost classifier obtained the average scores: accuracy = 0.782, precision = 0.795, recall = 0.782, F-measure = 0.786, receiver operating characteristic (ROC) area = 0.939. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Approaches and Applications in Natural Language Processing)
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Article
Improving Entity Linking by Introducing Knowledge Graph Structure Information
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(5), 2702; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12052702 - 05 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1090
Abstract
Entity linking involves mapping ambiguous mentions in documents to the correct entities in a given knowledge base. Most of the current methods are a combination of local and global models. The local model uses the local context information around the entity mention to [...] Read more.
Entity linking involves mapping ambiguous mentions in documents to the correct entities in a given knowledge base. Most of the current methods are a combination of local and global models. The local model uses the local context information around the entity mention to independently resolve the ambiguity of each entity mention. The global model encourages thematic consistency across the target entities of all mentions in the document. However, the known global models calculate the correlation between entities from a semantic perspective, ignoring the correlation information between entities in nature. In this paper, we introduce knowledge graphs to enrich the correlation information between entities and propose an entity linking model that introduces the structural information of the knowledge graph (KGEL). The model can fully consider the relations between entities. To prove the importance of the knowledge graph structure, extensive experiments are conducted on multiple public datasets. Results illustrate that our model outperforms the baseline and achieves superior performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Approaches and Applications in Natural Language Processing)
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Article
Conversational AI over Military Scenarios Using Intent Detection and Response Generation
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(5), 2494; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12052494 - 27 Feb 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1141
Abstract
With the rise of artificial intelligence, conversational agents (CA) have found use in various applications in the commerce and service industries. In recent years, many conversational datasets have becomes publicly available, most relating to open-domain social conversations. However, it is difficult to obtain [...] Read more.
With the rise of artificial intelligence, conversational agents (CA) have found use in various applications in the commerce and service industries. In recent years, many conversational datasets have becomes publicly available, most relating to open-domain social conversations. However, it is difficult to obtain domain-specific or language-specific conversational datasets. This work focused on developing conversational systems based on the Chinese corpus over military scenarios. The soldier will need information regarding their surroundings and orders to carry out their mission in an unfamiliar environment. Additionally, using a conversational military agent will help soldiers obtain immediate and relevant responses while reducing labor and cost requirements when performing repetitive tasks. This paper proposes a system architecture for conversational military agents based on natural language understanding (NLU) and natural language generation (NLG). The NLU phase comprises two tasks: intent detection and slot filling. Detecting intent and filling slots involves predicting the user’s intent and extracting related entities. The goal of the NLG phase, in contrast, is to provide answers or ask questions to clarify the user’s needs. In this study, the military training task was when soldiers sought information via a conversational agent during the mission. In summary, we provide a practical approach to enabling conversational agents over military scenarios. Additionally, the proposed conversational system can be trained by other datasets for future application domains. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Approaches and Applications in Natural Language Processing)
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Article
Exploring Language Markers of Mental Health in Psychiatric Stories
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(4), 2179; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12042179 - 19 Feb 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1121
Abstract
Diagnosing mental disorders is complex due to the genetic, environmental and psychological contributors and the individual risk factors. Language markers for mental disorders can help to diagnose a person. Research thus far on language markers and the associated mental disorders has been done [...] Read more.
Diagnosing mental disorders is complex due to the genetic, environmental and psychological contributors and the individual risk factors. Language markers for mental disorders can help to diagnose a person. Research thus far on language markers and the associated mental disorders has been done mainly with the Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC) program. In order to improve on this research, we employed a range of Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques using LIWC, spaCy, fastText and RobBERT to analyse Dutch psychiatric interview transcriptions with both rule-based and vector-based approaches. Our primary objective was to predict whether a patient had been diagnosed with a mental disorder, and if so, the specific mental disorder type. Furthermore, the second goal of this research was to find out which words are language markers for which mental disorder. LIWC in combination with the random forest classification algorithm performed best in predicting whether a person had a mental disorder or not (accuracy: 0.952; Cohen’s kappa: 0.889). SpaCy in combination with random forest predicted best which particular mental disorder a patient had been diagnosed with (accuracy: 0.429; Cohen’s kappa: 0.304). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Approaches and Applications in Natural Language Processing)
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Article
AraConv: Developing an Arabic Task-Oriented Dialogue System Using Multi-Lingual Transformer Model mT5
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(4), 1881; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12041881 - 11 Feb 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1110
Abstract
Task-oriented dialogue systems (DS) are designed to help users perform daily activities using natural language. Task-oriented DS for English language have demonstrated promising performance outcomes; however, developing such systems to support Arabic remains a challenge. This challenge is mainly due to the lack [...] Read more.
Task-oriented dialogue systems (DS) are designed to help users perform daily activities using natural language. Task-oriented DS for English language have demonstrated promising performance outcomes; however, developing such systems to support Arabic remains a challenge. This challenge is mainly due to the lack of Arabic dialogue datasets. This study introduces the first Arabic end-to-end generative model for task-oriented DS (AraConv), which uses the multi-lingual transformer model mT5 with different settings. We also present an Arabic dialogue dataset (Arabic-TOD) and used it to train and test the proposed AraConv model. The results obtained are reasonable compared to those reported in the studies of English and Chinese using the same mono-lingual settings. To avoid problems associated with a small training dataset and to improve the AraConv model’s results, we suggest joint-training, in which the model is jointly trained on Arabic dialogue data and data from one or two high-resource languages such as English and Chinese. The findings indicate the AraConv model performed better in the joint-training setting than in the mono-lingual setting. The results obtained from AraConv on the Arabic dialogue dataset provide a baseline for other researchers to build robust end-to-end Arabic task-oriented DS that can engage with complex scenarios. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Approaches and Applications in Natural Language Processing)
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Article
FMFN: Fine-Grained Multimodal Fusion Networks for Fake News Detection
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(3), 1093; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12031093 - 21 Jan 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1616
Abstract
As one of the most popular social media platforms, microblogs are ideal places for news propagation. In microblogs, tweets with both text and images are more likely to attract attention than text-only tweets. This advantage is exploited by fake news producers to publish [...] Read more.
As one of the most popular social media platforms, microblogs are ideal places for news propagation. In microblogs, tweets with both text and images are more likely to attract attention than text-only tweets. This advantage is exploited by fake news producers to publish fake news, which has a devasting impact on individuals and society. Thus, multimodal fake news detection has attracted the attention of many researchers. For news with text and image, multimodal fake news detection utilizes both text and image information to determine the authenticity of news. Most of the existing methods for multimodal fake news detection obtain a joint representation by simply concatenating a vector representation of the text and a visual representation of the image, which ignores the dependencies between them. Although there are a small number of approaches that use the attention mechanism to fuse them, they are not fine-grained enough in feature fusion. The reason is that, for a given image, there are multiple visual features and certain correlations between these features. They do not use multiple feature vectors representing different visual features to fuse with textual features, and ignore the correlations, resulting in inadequate fusion of textual features and visual features. In this paper, we propose a novel fine-grained multimodal fusion network (FMFN) to fully fuse textual features and visual features for fake news detection. Scaled dot-product attention is utilized to fuse word embeddings of words in the text and multiple feature vectors representing different features of the image, which not only considers the correlations between different visual features but also better captures the dependencies between textual features and visual features. We conduct extensive experiments on a public Weibo dataset. Our approach achieves competitive results compared with other methods for fusing visual representation and text representation, which demonstrates that the joint representation learned by the FMFN (which fuses multiple visual features and multiple textual features) is better than the joint representation obtained by fusing a visual representation and a text representation in determining fake news. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Approaches and Applications in Natural Language Processing)
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Article
BERT-Based Transfer-Learning Approach for Nested Named-Entity Recognition Using Joint Labeling
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(3), 976; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12030976 - 18 Jan 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1991
Abstract
Named-entity recognition (NER) is one of the primary components in various natural language processing tasks such as relation extraction, information retrieval, question answering, etc. The majority of the research work deals with flat entities. However, it was observed that the entities were often [...] Read more.
Named-entity recognition (NER) is one of the primary components in various natural language processing tasks such as relation extraction, information retrieval, question answering, etc. The majority of the research work deals with flat entities. However, it was observed that the entities were often embedded within other entities. Most of the current state-of-the-art models deal with the problem of embedded/nested entity recognition with very complex neural network architectures. In this research work, we proposed to solve the problem of nested named-entity recognition using the transfer-learning approach. For this purpose, different variants of fine-tuned, pretrained, BERT-based language models were used for the problem using the joint-labeling modeling technique. Two nested named-entity-recognition datasets, i.e., GENIA and GermEval 2014, were used for the experiment, with four and two levels of annotation, respectively. Also, the experiments were performed on the JNLPBA dataset, which has flat annotation. The performance of the above models was measured using F1-score metrics, commonly used as the standard metrics to evaluate the performance of named-entity-recognition models. In addition, the performance of the proposed approach was compared with the conditional random field and the Bi-LSTM-CRF model. It was found that the fine-tuned, pretrained, BERT-based models outperformed the other models significantly without requiring any external resources or feature extraction. The results of the proposed models were compared with various other existing approaches. The best-performing BERT-based model achieved F1-scores of 74.38, 85.29, and 80.68 for the GENIA, GermEval 2014, and JNLPBA datasets, respectively. It was found that the transfer learning (i.e., pretrained BERT models after fine-tuning) based approach for the nested named-entity-recognition task could perform well and is a more generalized approach in comparison to many of the existing approaches. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Approaches and Applications in Natural Language Processing)
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Article
Question Difficulty Estimation Based on Attention Model for Question Answering
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(24), 12023; https://doi.org/10.3390/app112412023 - 17 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1429
Abstract
This paper addresses a question difficulty estimation of which goal is to estimate the difficulty level of a given question in question-answering (QA) tasks. Since a question in the tasks is composed of a questionary sentence and a set of information components such [...] Read more.
This paper addresses a question difficulty estimation of which goal is to estimate the difficulty level of a given question in question-answering (QA) tasks. Since a question in the tasks is composed of a questionary sentence and a set of information components such as a description and candidate answers, it is important to model the relationship among the information components to estimate the difficulty level of the question. However, existing approaches to this task modeled a simple relationship such as a relationship between a questionary sentence and a description, but such simple relationships are insufficient to predict the difficulty level accurately. Therefore, this paper proposes an attention-based model to consider the complicated relationship among the information components. The proposed model first represents bi-directional relationships between a questionary sentence and each information component using a dual multi-head co-attention, since the questionary sentence is a key factor in the QA questions and it affects and is affected by information components. Then, the proposed model considers inter-information relationship over the bi-directional representations through a self-attention model. The inter-information relationship helps predict the difficulty of the questions accurately which require reasoning over multiple kinds of information components. The experimental results from three well-known and real-world QA data sets prove that the proposed model outperforms the previous state-of-the-art and pre-trained language model baselines. It is also shown that the proposed model is robust against the increase of the number of information components. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Approaches and Applications in Natural Language Processing)
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Article
Bert-Based Latent Semantic Analysis (Bert-LSA): A Case Study on Geospatial Data Technology and Application Trend Analysis
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(24), 11897; https://doi.org/10.3390/app112411897 - 14 Dec 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1831
Abstract
Geospatial data is an indispensable data resource for research and applications in many fields. The technologies and applications related to geospatial data are constantly advancing and updating, so identifying the technologies and applications among them will help foster and fund further innovation. Through [...] Read more.
Geospatial data is an indispensable data resource for research and applications in many fields. The technologies and applications related to geospatial data are constantly advancing and updating, so identifying the technologies and applications among them will help foster and fund further innovation. Through topic analysis, new research hotspots can be discovered by understanding the whole development process of a topic. At present, the main methods to determine topics are peer review and bibliometrics, however they just review relevant literature or perform simple frequency analysis. This paper proposes a new topic discovery method, which combines a word embedding method, based on a pre-trained model, Bert, and a spherical k-means clustering algorithm, and applies the similarity between literature and topics to assign literature to different topics. The proposed method was applied to 266 pieces of literature related to geospatial data over the past five years. First, according to the number of publications, the trend analysis of technologies and applications related to geospatial data in several leading countries was conducted. Then, the consistency of the proposed method and the existing method PLSA (Probabilistic Latent Semantic Analysis) was evaluated by using two similar consistency evaluation indicators (i.e., U-Mass and NMPI). The results show that the method proposed in this paper can well reveal text content, determine development trends, and produce more coherent topics, and that the overall performance of Bert-LSA is better than PLSA using NPMI and U-Mass. This method is not limited to trend analysis using the data in this paper; it can also be used for the topic analysis of other types of texts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Approaches and Applications in Natural Language Processing)
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Article
Achieving Semantic Consistency for Multilingual Sentence Representation Using an Explainable Machine Natural Language Parser (MParser)
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(24), 11699; https://doi.org/10.3390/app112411699 - 09 Dec 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 958
Abstract
In multilingual semantic representation, the interaction between humans and computers faces the challenge of understanding meaning or semantics, which causes ambiguity and inconsistency in heterogeneous information. This paper proposes a Machine Natural Language Parser (MParser) to address the semantic interoperability problem between users [...] Read more.
In multilingual semantic representation, the interaction between humans and computers faces the challenge of understanding meaning or semantics, which causes ambiguity and inconsistency in heterogeneous information. This paper proposes a Machine Natural Language Parser (MParser) to address the semantic interoperability problem between users and computers. By leveraging a semantic input method for sharing common atomic concepts, MParser represents any simple English sentence as a bag of unique and universal concepts via case grammar of an explainable machine natural language. In addition, it provides a human and computer-readable and -understandable interaction concept to resolve the semantic shift problems and guarantees consistent information understanding among heterogeneous sentence-level contexts. To evaluate the annotator agreement of MParser outputs that generates a list of English sentences under a common multilingual word sense, three expert participants manually and semantically annotated 75 sentences (505 words in total) in English. In addition, 154 non-expert participants evaluated the sentences’ semantic expressiveness. The evaluation results demonstrate that the proposed MParser shows higher compatibility with human intuitions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Approaches and Applications in Natural Language Processing)
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Article
Fine-Grained Named Entity Recognition Using a Multi-Stacked Feature Fusion and Dual-Stacked Output in Korean
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(22), 10795; https://doi.org/10.3390/app112210795 - 15 Nov 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 960
Abstract
Named entity recognition (NER) is a natural language processing task to identify spans that mention named entities and to annotate them with predefined named entity classes. Although many NER models based on machine learning have been proposed, their performance in terms of processing [...] Read more.
Named entity recognition (NER) is a natural language processing task to identify spans that mention named entities and to annotate them with predefined named entity classes. Although many NER models based on machine learning have been proposed, their performance in terms of processing fine-grained NER tasks was less than acceptable. This is because the training data of a fine-grained NER task is much more unbalanced than those of a coarse-grained NER task. To overcome the problem presented by unbalanced data, we propose a fine-grained NER model that compensates for the sparseness of fine-grained NEs by using the contextual information of coarse-grained NEs. From another viewpoint, many NER models have used different levels of features, such as part-of-speech tags and gazetteer look-up results, in a nonhierarchical manner. Unfortunately, these models experience the feature interference problem. Our solution to this problem is to adopt a multi-stacked feature fusion scheme, which accepts different levels of features as its input. The proposed model is based on multi-stacked long short-term memories (LSTMs) with a multi-stacked feature fusion layer for acquiring multilevel embeddings and a dual-stacked output layer for predicting fine-grained NEs based on the categorical information of coarse-grained NEs. Our experiments indicate that the proposed model is capable of state-of-the-art performance. The results show that the proposed model can effectively alleviate the unbalanced data problem that frequently occurs in a fine-grained NER task. In addition, the multi-stacked feature fusion layer contributes to the improvement of NER performance, confirming that the proposed model can alleviate the feature interference problem. Based on this experimental result, we conclude that the proposed model is well-designed to effectively perform NER tasks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Approaches and Applications in Natural Language Processing)
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Article
A Language Model for Misogyny Detection in Latin American Spanish Driven by Multisource Feature Extraction and Transformers
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(21), 10467; https://doi.org/10.3390/app112110467 - 08 Nov 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1526
Abstract
Creating effective mechanisms to detect misogyny online automatically represents significant scientific and technological challenges. The complexity of recognizing misogyny through computer models lies in the fact that it is a subtle type of violence, it is not always explicitly aggressive, and it can [...] Read more.
Creating effective mechanisms to detect misogyny online automatically represents significant scientific and technological challenges. The complexity of recognizing misogyny through computer models lies in the fact that it is a subtle type of violence, it is not always explicitly aggressive, and it can even hide behind seemingly flattering words, jokes, parodies, and other expressions. Currently, it is even difficult to have an exact figure for the rate of misogynistic comments online because, unlike other types of violence, such as physical violence, these events are not registered by any statistical systems. This research contributes to the development of models for the automatic detection of misogynistic texts in Latin American Spanish and contributes to the design of data augmentation methodologies since the amount of data required for deep learning models is considerable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Approaches and Applications in Natural Language Processing)
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Article
Causal Pathway Extraction from Web-Board Documents
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(21), 10342; https://doi.org/10.3390/app112110342 - 03 Nov 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 818
Abstract
This research aim is to extract causal pathways, particularly disease causal pathways, through cause-effect relation (CErel) extraction from web-board documents. The causal pathways benefit people with a comprehensible representation approach to disease complication. A causative/effect-concept expression is based on a verb phrase of [...] Read more.
This research aim is to extract causal pathways, particularly disease causal pathways, through cause-effect relation (CErel) extraction from web-board documents. The causal pathways benefit people with a comprehensible representation approach to disease complication. A causative/effect-concept expression is based on a verb phrase of an elementary discourse unit (EDU) or a simple sentence. The research has three main problems; how to determine CErel on an EDU-concept pair containing both causative and effect concepts in one EDU, how to extract causal pathways from EDU-concept pairs having CErel and how to indicate and represent implicit effect/causative-concept EDUs as implicit mediators with comprehension on extracted causal pathways. Therefore, we apply EDU’s word co-occurrence concept (wrdCoc) as an EDU-concept and the self-Cartesian product of a wrdCoc set from the documents for extracting wrdCoc pairs having CErel into a wrdCoc-pair set from the documents after learning CErel on wrdCoc pairs by supervised-machine learning. The wrdCoc-pair set is used for extracting the causal pathways by wrdCoc-pair matching through the documents. We then propose transitive closure and a dynamic template to indicate and represent the implicit mediators with the explicit ones. In contrast to previous works, the proposed approach enables causal-pathway extraction with high accuracy from the documents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Approaches and Applications in Natural Language Processing)
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Article
A Query Expansion Method Using Multinomial Naive Bayes
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(21), 10284; https://doi.org/10.3390/app112110284 - 02 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 890
Abstract
Information retrieval (IR) aims to obtain relevant information according to a certain user need and involves a great diversity of data such as texts, images, or videos. Query expansion techniques, as part of information retrieval (IR), are used to obtain more items, particularly [...] Read more.
Information retrieval (IR) aims to obtain relevant information according to a certain user need and involves a great diversity of data such as texts, images, or videos. Query expansion techniques, as part of information retrieval (IR), are used to obtain more items, particularly documents, that are relevant to the user requirements. The user initial query is reformulated, adding meaningful terms with similar significance. In this study, a supervised query expansion technique based on an innovative use of the Multinomial Naive Bayes to extract relevant terms from the first documents retrieved by the initial query is presented. The proposed method was evaluated using MAP and R-prec on the first 5, 10, 15, and 100 retrieved documents. The improved performance of the expanded queries increased the number of relevant retrieved documents in comparison to the baseline method. We achieved more accurate document retrieval results (MAP 0.335, R-prec 0.369, P5 0.579, P10 0.469, P15 0.393, P100 0.175) as compared to the top performers in TREC2017 Precision Medicine Track. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Approaches and Applications in Natural Language Processing)
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Article
Enhance Text-to-Text Transfer Transformer with Generated Questions for Thai Question Answering
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(21), 10267; https://doi.org/10.3390/app112110267 - 01 Nov 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1496
Abstract
Question Answering (QA) is a natural language processing task that enables the machine to understand a given context and answer a given question. There are several QA research trials containing high resources of the English language. However, Thai is one of the languages [...] Read more.
Question Answering (QA) is a natural language processing task that enables the machine to understand a given context and answer a given question. There are several QA research trials containing high resources of the English language. However, Thai is one of the languages that have low availability of labeled corpora in QA studies. According to previous studies, while the English QA models could achieve more than 90% of F1 scores, Thai QA models could obtain only 70% in our baseline. In this study, we aim to improve the performance of Thai QA models by generating more question-answer pairs with Multilingual Text-to-Text Transfer Transformer (mT5) along with data preprocessing methods for Thai. With this method, the question-answer pairs can synthesize more than 100 thousand pairs from provided Thai Wikipedia articles. Utilizing our synthesized data, many fine-tuning strategies were investigated to achieve the highest model performance. Furthermore, we have presented that the syllable-level F1 is a more suitable evaluation measure than Exact Match (EM) and the word-level F1 for Thai QA corpora. The experiment was conducted on two Thai QA corpora: Thai Wiki QA and iApp Wiki QA. The results show that our augmented model is the winner on both datasets compared to other modern transformer models: Roberta and mT5. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Approaches and Applications in Natural Language Processing)
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Article
Classification of Problem and Solution Strings in Scientific Texts: Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Machine Learning Classifiers and Deep Neural Networks
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(21), 9997; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11219997 - 26 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1146
Abstract
One of the central aspects of science is systematic problem-solving. Therefore, problem and solution statements are an integral component of the scientific discourse. The scientific analysis would be more successful if the problem–solution claims in scientific texts were automatically classified. It would help [...] Read more.
One of the central aspects of science is systematic problem-solving. Therefore, problem and solution statements are an integral component of the scientific discourse. The scientific analysis would be more successful if the problem–solution claims in scientific texts were automatically classified. It would help in knowledge mining, idea generation, and information classification from scientific texts. It would also help to compare scientific papers and automatically generate review articles in a given field. However, computational research on problem–solution patterns has been scarce. The linguistic analysis, instructional-design research, theory, and empirical methods have not paid enough attention to the study of problem–solution patterns. This paper tries to solve this issue by applying the computational techniques of machine learning classifiers and neural networks to a set of features to intelligently classify a problem phrase from a non-problem phrase and a solution phrase from a non-solution phrase. Our analysis shows that deep learning networks outperform machine learning classifiers. Our best model was able to classify a problem phrase from a non-problem phrase with an accuracy of 90.0% and a solution phrase from a non-solution phrase with an accuracy of 86.0%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Approaches and Applications in Natural Language Processing)
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Article
NASca and NASes: Two Monolingual Pre-Trained Models for Abstractive Summarization in Catalan and Spanish
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(21), 9872; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11219872 - 22 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 903
Abstract
Most of the models proposed in the literature for abstractive summarization are generally suitable for the English language but not for other languages. Multilingual models were introduced to address that language constraint, but despite their applicability being broader than that of the monolingual [...] Read more.
Most of the models proposed in the literature for abstractive summarization are generally suitable for the English language but not for other languages. Multilingual models were introduced to address that language constraint, but despite their applicability being broader than that of the monolingual models, their performance is typically lower, especially for minority languages like Catalan. In this paper, we present a monolingual model for abstractive summarization of textual content in the Catalan language. The model is a Transformer encoder-decoder which is pretrained and fine-tuned specifically for the Catalan language using a corpus of newspaper articles. In the pretraining phase, we introduced several self-supervised tasks to specialize the model on the summarization task and to increase the abstractivity of the generated summaries. To study the performance of our proposal in languages with higher resources than Catalan, we replicate the model and the experimentation for the Spanish language. The usual evaluation metrics, not only the most used ROUGE measure but also other more semantic ones such as BertScore, do not allow to correctly evaluate the abstractivity of the generated summaries. In this work, we also present a new metric, called content reordering, to evaluate one of the most common characteristics of abstractive summaries, the rearrangement of the original content. We carried out an exhaustive experimentation to compare the performance of the monolingual models proposed in this work with two of the most widely used multilingual models in text summarization, mBART and mT5. The experimentation results support the quality of our monolingual models, especially considering that the multilingual models were pretrained with many more resources than those used in our models. Likewise, it is shown that the pretraining tasks helped to increase the degree of abstractivity of the generated summaries. To our knowledge, this is the first work that explores a monolingual approach for abstractive summarization both in Catalan and Spanish. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Approaches and Applications in Natural Language Processing)
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Article
Ternion: An Autonomous Model for Fake News Detection
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(19), 9292; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11199292 - 06 Oct 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3151
Abstract
In recent years, the consumption of social media content to keep up with global news and to verify its authenticity has become a considerable challenge. Social media enables us to easily access news anywhere, anytime, but it also gives rise to the spread [...] Read more.
In recent years, the consumption of social media content to keep up with global news and to verify its authenticity has become a considerable challenge. Social media enables us to easily access news anywhere, anytime, but it also gives rise to the spread of fake news, thereby delivering false information. This also has a negative impact on society. Therefore, it is necessary to determine whether or not news spreading over social media is real. This will allow for confusion among social media users to be avoided, and it is important in ensuring positive social development. This paper proposes a novel solution by detecting the authenticity of news through natural language processing techniques. Specifically, this paper proposes a novel scheme comprising three steps, namely, stance detection, author credibility verification, and machine learning-based classification, to verify the authenticity of news. In the last stage of the proposed pipeline, several machine learning techniques are applied, such as decision trees, random forest, logistic regression, and support vector machine (SVM) algorithms. For this study, the fake news dataset was taken from Kaggle. The experimental results show an accuracy of 93.15%, precision of 92.65%, recall of 95.71%, and F1-score of 94.15% for the support vector machine algorithm. The SVM is better than the second best classifier, i.e., logistic regression, by 6.82%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Approaches and Applications in Natural Language Processing)
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Article
A Corpus-Based Study of Linguistic Deception in Spanish
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(19), 8817; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11198817 - 23 Sep 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1181
Abstract
In the last decade, fields such as psychology and natural language processing have devoted considerable attention to the automatization of the process of deception detection, developing and employing a wide array of automated and computer-assisted methods for this purpose. Similarly, another emerging research [...] Read more.
In the last decade, fields such as psychology and natural language processing have devoted considerable attention to the automatization of the process of deception detection, developing and employing a wide array of automated and computer-assisted methods for this purpose. Similarly, another emerging research area is focusing on computer-assisted deception detection using linguistics, with promising results. Accordingly, in the present article, the reader is firstly provided with an overall review of the state of the art of corpus-based research exploring linguistic cues to deception as well as an overview on several approaches to the study of deception and on previous research into its linguistic detection. In an effort to promote corpus-based research in this context, this study explores linguistic cues to deception in the Spanish written language with the aid of an automatic text classification tool, by means of an ad hoc corpus containing ground truth data. Interestingly, the key findings reveal that, although there is a set of linguistic cues which contributes to the global statistical classification model, there are some discursive differences across the subcorpora, yielding better classification results on the analysis conducted on the subcorpus containing emotionally loaded language. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Approaches and Applications in Natural Language Processing)
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Article
Incorporating Concreteness in Multi-Modal Language Models with Curriculum Learning
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(17), 8241; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11178241 - 06 Sep 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1108
Abstract
Over the last few years, there has been an increase in the studies that consider experiential (visual) information by building multi-modal language models and representations. It is shown by several studies that language acquisition in humans starts with learning concrete concepts through images [...] Read more.
Over the last few years, there has been an increase in the studies that consider experiential (visual) information by building multi-modal language models and representations. It is shown by several studies that language acquisition in humans starts with learning concrete concepts through images and then continues with learning abstract ideas through the text. In this work, the curriculum learning method is used to teach the model concrete/abstract concepts through images and their corresponding captions to accomplish multi-modal language modeling/representation. We use the BERT and Resnet-152 models on each modality and combine them using attentive pooling to perform pre-training on the newly constructed dataset, which is collected from the Wikimedia Commons based on concrete/abstract words. To show the performance of the proposed model, downstream tasks and ablation studies are performed. The contribution of this work is two-fold: A new dataset is constructed from Wikimedia Commons based on concrete/abstract words, and a new multi-modal pre-training approach based on curriculum learning is proposed. The results show that the proposed multi-modal pre-training approach contributes to the success of the model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Approaches and Applications in Natural Language Processing)
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Article
Named Entity Correction in Neural Machine Translation Using the Attention Alignment Map
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(15), 7026; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11157026 - 29 Jul 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1878
Abstract
Neural machine translation (NMT) methods based on various artificial neural network models have shown remarkable performance in diverse tasks and have become mainstream for machine translation currently. Despite the recent successes of NMT applications, a predefined vocabulary is still required, meaning that it [...] Read more.
Neural machine translation (NMT) methods based on various artificial neural network models have shown remarkable performance in diverse tasks and have become mainstream for machine translation currently. Despite the recent successes of NMT applications, a predefined vocabulary is still required, meaning that it cannot cope with out-of-vocabulary (OOV) or rarely occurring words. In this paper, we propose a postprocessing method for correcting machine translation outputs using a named entity recognition (NER) model to overcome the problem of OOV words in NMT tasks. We use attention alignment mapping (AAM) between the named entities of input and output sentences, and mistranslated named entities are corrected using word look-up tables. The proposed method corrects named entities only, so it does not require retraining of existing NMT models. We carried out translation experiments on a Chinese-to-Korean translation task for Korean historical documents, and the evaluation results demonstrated that the proposed method improved the bilingual evaluation understudy (BLEU) score by 3.70 from the baseline. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Approaches and Applications in Natural Language Processing)
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Article
Comparative Analysis of Current Approaches to Quality Estimation for Neural Machine Translation
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(14), 6584; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11146584 - 17 Jul 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1692
Abstract
Quality estimation (QE) has recently gained increasing interest as it can predict the quality of machine translation results without a reference translation. QE is an annual shared task at the Conference on Machine Translation (WMT), and most recent studies have applied the multilingual [...] Read more.
Quality estimation (QE) has recently gained increasing interest as it can predict the quality of machine translation results without a reference translation. QE is an annual shared task at the Conference on Machine Translation (WMT), and most recent studies have applied the multilingual pretrained language model (mPLM) to address this task. Recent studies have focused on the performance improvement of this task using data augmentation with finetuning based on a large-scale mPLM. In this study, we eliminate the effects of data augmentation and conduct a pure performance comparison between various mPLMs. Separate from the recent performance-driven QE research involved in competitions addressing a shared task, we utilize the comparison for sub-tasks from WMT20 and identify an optimal mPLM. Moreover, we demonstrate QE using the multilingual BART model, which has not yet been utilized, and conduct comparative experiments and analyses with cross-lingual language models (XLMs), multilingual BERT, and XLM-RoBERTa. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Approaches and Applications in Natural Language Processing)
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Article
English–Welsh Cross-Lingual Embeddings
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(14), 6541; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11146541 - 16 Jul 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1357
Abstract
Cross-lingual embeddings are vector space representations where word translations tend to be co-located. These representations enable learning transfer across languages, thus bridging the gap between data-rich languages such as English and others. In this paper, we present and evaluate a suite of cross-lingual [...] Read more.
Cross-lingual embeddings are vector space representations where word translations tend to be co-located. These representations enable learning transfer across languages, thus bridging the gap between data-rich languages such as English and others. In this paper, we present and evaluate a suite of cross-lingual embeddings for the English–Welsh language pair. To train the bilingual embeddings, a Welsh corpus of approximately 145 M words was combined with an English Wikipedia corpus. We used a bilingual dictionary to frame the problem of learning bilingual mappings as a supervised machine learning task, where a word vector space is first learned independently on a monolingual corpus, after which a linear alignment strategy is applied to map the monolingual embeddings to a common bilingual vector space. Two approaches were used to learn monolingual embeddings, including word2vec and fastText. Three cross-language alignment strategies were explored, including cosine similarity, inverted softmax and cross-domain similarity local scaling (CSLS). We evaluated different combinations of these approaches using two tasks, bilingual dictionary induction, and cross-lingual sentiment analysis. The best results were achieved using monolingual fastText embeddings and the CSLS metric. We also demonstrated that by including a few automatically translated training documents, the performance of a cross-lingual text classifier for Welsh can increase by approximately 20 percent points. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Approaches and Applications in Natural Language Processing)
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Review

Jump to: Editorial, Research

Review
A Survey on Recent Named Entity Recognition and Relationship Extraction Techniques on Clinical Texts
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(18), 8319; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11188319 - 08 Sep 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3722
Abstract
Significant growth in Electronic Health Records (EHR) over the last decade has provided an abundance of clinical text that is mostly unstructured and untapped. This huge amount of clinical text data has motivated the development of new information extraction and text mining techniques. [...] Read more.
Significant growth in Electronic Health Records (EHR) over the last decade has provided an abundance of clinical text that is mostly unstructured and untapped. This huge amount of clinical text data has motivated the development of new information extraction and text mining techniques. Named Entity Recognition (NER) and Relationship Extraction (RE) are key components of information extraction tasks in the clinical domain. In this paper, we highlight the present status of clinical NER and RE techniques in detail by discussing the existing proposed NLP models for the two tasks and their performances and discuss the current challenges. Our comprehensive survey on clinical NER and RE encompass current challenges, state-of-the-art practices, and future directions in information extraction from clinical text. This is the first attempt to discuss both of these interrelated topics together in the clinical context. We identified many research articles published based on different approaches and looked at applications of these tasks. We also discuss the evaluation metrics that are used in the literature to measure the effectiveness of the two these NLP methods and future research directions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Approaches and Applications in Natural Language Processing)
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