A Cross-Genre Ensemble Approach to Robust Reddit Part of Speech Tagging

Shabnam Behzad, Amir Zeldes

Part of speech tagging is a fundamental NLP task often regarded as solved for high-resource languages such as English. Current state-of-the-art models have achieved high accuracy, especially on the news domain. However, when these models are applied to other corpora with different genres, and especially user-generated data from the Web, we see substantial drops in performance. In this work, we study how a state-of-the-art tagging model trained on different genres performs on Web content from unfiltered Reddit forum discussions. More specifically, we use data from multiple sources: OntoNotes, a large benchmark corpus with 'well-edited' text, the English Web Treebank with 5 Web genres, and GUM, with 7 further genres other than Reddit. We report the results when training on different splits of the data, tested on Reddit. Our results show that even small amounts of in-domain data can outperform the contribution of data an order of magnitude larger coming from other Web domains. To make progress on out-of-domain tagging, we also evaluate an ensemble approach using multiple single-genre taggers as input features to a meta-classifier. We present state of the art performance on tagging Reddit data, as well as error analysis of the results of these models, and offer a typology of the most common error types among them, broken down by training corpus.

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