Research papers and code for "Giovanni Da San Martino":
The availability of graph data with node attributes that can be either discrete or real-valued is constantly increasing. While existing kernel methods are effective techniques for dealing with graphs having discrete node labels, their adaptation to non-discrete or continuous node attributes has been limited, mainly for computational issues. Recently, a few kernels especially tailored for this domain, and that trade predictive performance for computational efficiency, have been proposed. In this paper, we propose a graph kernel for complex and continuous nodes' attributes, whose features are tree structures extracted from specific graph visits. The kernel manages to keep the same complexity of state-of-the-art kernels while implicitly using a larger feature space. We further present an approximated variant of the kernel which reduces its complexity significantly. Experimental results obtained on six real-world datasets show that the kernel is the best performing one on most of them. Moreover, in most cases the approximated version reaches comparable performances to current state-of-the-art kernels in terms of classification accuracy while greatly shortening the running times.

* This work has been submitted to the IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks and Learning Systems for possible publication. Copyright may be transferred without notice, after which this version may no longer be accessible
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Kernel methods are considered an effective technique for on-line learning. Many approaches have been developed for compactly representing the dual solution of a kernel method when the problem imposes memory constraints. However, in literature no work is specifically tailored to streams of graphs. Motivated by the fact that the size of the feature space representation of many state-of-the-art graph kernels is relatively small and thus it is explicitly computable, we study whether executing kernel algorithms in the feature space can be more effective than the classical dual approach. We study three different algorithms and various strategies for managing the budget. Efficiency and efficacy of the proposed approaches are experimentally assessed on relatively large graph streams exhibiting concept drift. It turns out that, when strict memory budget constraints have to be enforced, working in feature space, given the current state of the art on graph kernels, is more than a viable alternative to dual approaches, both in terms of speed and classification performance.

* Author's version of the manuscript, to appear in Neurocomputing (ELSEVIER)
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In this paper, we show how the Ordered Decomposition DAGs (ODD) kernel framework, a framework that allows the definition of graph kernels from tree kernels, allows to easily define new state-of-the-art graph kernels. Here we consider a fast graph kernel based on the Subtree kernel (ST), and we propose various enhancements to increase its expressiveness. The proposed DAG kernel has the same worst-case complexity as the one based on ST, but an improved expressivity due to an augmented set of features. Moreover, we propose a novel weighting scheme for the features, which can be applied to other kernels of the ODD framework. These improvements allow the proposed kernels to improve on the classification performances of the ST-based kernel for several real-world datasets, reaching state-of-the-art performances.

* Neurocomputing, Volume 192, 5 June 2016, Pages 92--103
* Paper accepted for publication in Neurocomputing
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In this paper we present a novel graph kernel framework inspired the by the Weisfeiler-Lehman (WL) isomorphism tests. Any WL test comprises a relabelling phase of the nodes based on test-specific information extracted from the graph, for example the set of neighbours of a node. We defined a novel relabelling and derived two kernels of the framework from it. The novel kernels are very fast to compute and achieve state-of-the-art results on five real-world datasets.

* Neural Information Processing, Volume 8835 of the series Lecture Notes in Computer Science pp 93-100, 2014 Springer International Publishing
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We propose to use question answering (QA) data from Web forums to train chatbots from scratch, i.e., without dialog training data. First, we extract pairs of question and answer sentences from the typically much longer texts of questions and answers in a forum. We then use these shorter texts to train seq2seq models in a more efficient way. We further improve the parameter optimization using a new model selection strategy based on QA measures. Finally, we propose to use extrinsic evaluation with respect to a QA task as an automatic evaluation method for chatbots. The evaluation shows that the model achieves a MAP of 63.5% on the extrinsic task. Moreover, it can answer correctly 49.5% of the questions when they are similar to questions asked in the forum, and 47.3% of the questions when they are more conversational in style.

* RANLP-2017
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In this paper, we describe our submission to SemEval-2019 Task 4 on Hyperpartisan News Detection. Our system relies on a variety of engineered features originally used to detect propaganda. This is based on the assumption that biased messages are propagandistic in the sense that they promote a particular political cause or viewpoint. We trained a logistic regression model with features ranging from simple bag-of-words to vocabulary richness and text readability features. Our system achieved 72.9% accuracy on the test data that is annotated manually and 60.8% on the test data that is annotated with distant supervision. Additional experiments showed that significant performance improvements can be achieved with better feature pre-processing.

* Hyperpartisanship, propaganda, news media, fake news, SemEval-2018
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We study how to find relevant questions in community forums when the language of the new questions is different from that of the existing questions in the forum. In particular, we explore the Arabic-English language pair. We compare a kernel-based system with a feed-forward neural network in a scenario where a large parallel corpus is available for training a machine translation system, bilingual dictionaries, and cross-language word embeddings. We observe that both approaches degrade the performance of the system when working on the translated text, especially the kernel-based system, which depends heavily on a syntactic kernel. We address this issue using a cross-language tree kernel, which compares the original Arabic tree to the English trees of the related questions. We show that this kernel almost closes the performance gap with respect to the monolingual system. On the neural network side, we use the parallel corpus to train cross-language embeddings, which we then use to represent the Arabic input and the English related questions in the same space. The results also improve to close to those of the monolingual neural network. Overall, the kernel system shows a better performance compared to the neural network in all cases.

* SIGIR 2017: 1145-1148
* SIGIR-2017; Community Question Answering; Cross-language Approaches; Question Retrieval; Kernel-based Methods; Neural Networks; Distributed Representations
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We present an overview of the CLEF-2018 CheckThat! Lab on Automatic Identification and Verification of Political Claims, with focus on Task 1: Check-Worthiness. The task asks to predict which claims in a political debate should be prioritized for fact-checking. In particular, given a debate or a political speech, the goal was to produce a ranked list of its sentences based on their worthiness for fact checking. We offered the task in both English and Arabic, based on debates from the 2016 US Presidential Campaign, as well as on some speeches during and after the campaign. A total of 30 teams registered to participate in the Lab and seven teams actually submitted systems for Task~1. The most successful approaches used by the participants relied on recurrent and multi-layer neural networks, as well as on combinations of distributional representations, on matchings claims' vocabulary against lexicons, and on measures of syntactic dependency. The best systems achieved mean average precision of 0.18 and 0.15 on the English and on the Arabic test datasets, respectively. This leaves large room for further improvement, and thus we release all datasets and the scoring scripts, which should enable further research in check-worthiness estimation.

* CLEF-2018
* Computational journalism, Check-worthiness, Fact-checking, Veracity
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This paper studies the impact of different types of features applied to learning to re-rank questions in community Question Answering. We tested our models on two datasets released in SemEval-2016 Task 3 on "Community Question Answering". Task 3 targeted real-life Web fora both in English and Arabic. Our models include bag-of-words features (BoW), syntactic tree kernels (TKs), rank features, embeddings, and machine translation evaluation features. To the best of our knowledge, structural kernels have barely been applied to the question reranking task, where they have to model paraphrase relations. In the case of the English question re-ranking task, we compare our learning to rank (L2R) algorithms against a strong baseline given by the Google-generated ranking (GR). The results show that i) the shallow structures used in our TKs are robust enough to noisy data and ii) improving GR is possible, but effective BoW features and TKs along with an accurate model of GR features in the used L2R algorithm are required. In the case of the Arabic question re-ranking task, for the first time we applied tree kernels on syntactic trees of Arabic sentences. Our approaches to both tasks obtained the second best results on SemEval-2016 subtasks B on English and D on Arabic.

* presented at Second WebQA workshop, SIGIR2016 (
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