National Research Council of Canada. Digital Technologies
Tenth Workshop on NLP for Similar Languages, Varieties and Dialects (VarDial 2023), May 5-6, 2023, Dubrovnik, Croatia
We argue that dialect identification should be treated as a multi-label classification problem rather than the single-class setting prevalent in existing collections and evaluations. In order to avoid extensive human re-labelling of the data, we propose an analysis of ambiguous near-duplicates in an existing collection covering four variants of French. We show how this analysis helps us provide multiple labels for a significant subset of the original data, therefore enriching the annotation with minimal human intervention. The resulting data can then be used to train dialect identifiers in a multi-label setting. Experimental results show that on the enriched dataset, the multi-label classifier produces similar accuracy to the single-label classifier on test cases that are unambiguous (single label), but it increases the macro-averaged F1- score by 0.225 absolute (71% relative gain) on ambiguous texts with multiple labels. On the original data, gains on the ambiguous test cases are smaller but still considerable (+0.077 absolute, 20% relative gain), and accuracy on nonambiguous test cases is again similar in this case. This supports our thesis that modelling dialect identification as a multi-label problem potentially has a positive impact.