Simple But Not Na\"\ive: Fine-Grained Arabic Dialect Identification Using Only N-Grams

WS 2019  ·  Sohaila Eltanbouly, May Bashendy, Tamer Elsayed ·

This paper presents the participation of Qatar University team in MADAR shared task, which addresses the problem of sentence-level fine-grained Arabic Dialect Identification over 25 different Arabic dialects in addition to the Modern Standard Arabic. Arabic Dialect Identification is not a trivial task since different dialects share some features, e.g., utilizing the same character set and some vocabularies. We opted to adopt a very simple approach in terms of extracted features and classification models; we only utilize word and character n-grams as features, and Na ̈{\i}ve Bayes models as classifiers. Surprisingly, the simple approach achieved non-na ̈{\i}ve performance. The official results, reported on a held-out testing set, show that the dialect of a given sentence can be identified at an accuracy of 64.58{\%} by our best submitted run.

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