Agreement Prediction of Arguments in Cyber Argumentation for Detecting Stance Polarity and Intensity

ACL 2020  ·  Joseph Sirrianni, Xiaoqing Liu, Douglas Adams ·

In online debates, users express different levels of agreement/disagreement with one another{'}s arguments and ideas. Often levels of agreement/disagreement are implicit in the text, and must be predicted to analyze collective opinions. Existing stance detection methods predict the polarity of a post{'}s stance toward a topic or post, but don{'}t consider the stance{'}s degree of intensity. We introduce a new research problem, stance polarity and intensity prediction in response relationships between posts. This problem is challenging because differences in stance intensity are often subtle and require nuanced language understanding. Cyber argumentation research has shown that incorporating both stance polarity and intensity data in online debates leads to better discussion analysis. We explore five different learning models: Ridge-M regression, Ridge-S regression, SVR-RF-R, pkudblab-PIP, and T-PAN-PIP for predicting stance polarity and intensity in argumentation. These models are evaluated using a new dataset for stance polarity and intensity prediction collected using a cyber argumentation platform. The SVR-RF-R model performs best for prediction of stance polarity with an accuracy of 70.43{\%} and intensity with RMSE of 0.596. This work is the first to train models for predicting a post{'}s stance polarity and intensity in one combined value in cyber argumentation with reasonably good accuracy.

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