Topic-Guided Sampling For Data-Efficient Multi-Domain Stance Detection


The task of Stance Detection is concerned with identifying the attitudes expressed by an author towards a target of interest. This task spans a variety of domains ranging from social media opinion identification to detecting the stance for a legal claim. However, the framing of the task varies within these domains, in terms of the data collection protocol, the label dictionary and the number of available annotations. Furthermore, these stance annotations are significantly imbalanced on a per-topic and inter-topic basis. These make multi-domain stance detection a challenging task, requiring standardization and domain adaptation. To overcome this challenge, we propose Topic Efficient StancE Detection (TESTED), consisting of a topic-guided diversity sampling technique and a contrastive objective that is used for fine-tuning a stance classifier. We evaluate the method on an existing benchmark of 16 datasets with in-domain, i.e. all topics seen and out-of-domain, i.e. unseen topics, experiments. The results show that the method outperforms the state-of-the-art with an average of 3.5 F1 points increase in-domain, and is more generalizable with an averaged 10.2 F1 on out-of-domain evaluation while using 10% of the training data. We show that our sampling technique mitigates both inter- and per-topic class imbalances. Finally, our analysis demonstrates that the contrastive learning objective allows the model for a more pronounced segmentation of samples with varying labels.

In Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL 2023)