ConversAtion level Syntax SImilarity Metric (CASSIM)

Friday, April 7, 2017, 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm PDTiCal
11th Flr Conf Room-CR #1135
This event is open to the public.
NL Seminar
Reihane Boghrati (USC)

Abstract: The syntax and semantics of human language can illuminate many individual psychological differences and important dimensions of social interaction. Thus, analysis of language provides important insights into the underlying psychological properties of individuals and groups. Accordingly, psychological and psycholinguistic research has begun incorporating sophisticated representations of semantic content to better understand the connection between word choice and psychological processes. While the majority of language analysis work in psychology has focused on semantics, psychological information is encoded not just in what people say, but how they say it. We introduce ConversAtion level Syntax SImilarity Metric (CASSIM), a novel method for calculating conversation-level syntax similarity. CASSIM estimates the syntax similarity between conversations by automatically generating syntactical representations of the sentences in conversations, estimating the structural differences between them, and calculating an optimized estimate of the conversation-level syntax similarity. Also, we conduct a series of analyses with CASSIM to investigate syntax accommodation in social media discourse. Further, building off of CASSIM, we propose ConversAtion level Syntax SImilarity Metric-Group Representations (CASSIM-GR). This extension builds generalized representations of syntactic structures of documents, thus allowing researchers to distinguish between people and groups based on syntactic differences.

Bio: Reihane is a forth year Ph.D student at USC, working with Morteza Dehghani in Computational Social Science Laboratory. She is interested in introducing new methods and computational models to psychology, and more broadly to social sciences. Her work spans the boundary between natural language processing and psychology, as does her intellectual curiosity.

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