Expect the unexpected: harnessing sentence completion for sarcasm detection

Aditya Joshi, Samarth Agrawal, Pushpak Bhattacharyya, Mark J. Carman

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearch

    10 Citations (Scopus)


    The trigram ‘I love being’ is expected to be followed by positive words such as ‘happy’. In a sarcastic sentence, however, the word ‘ignored’ may be observed. The expected and the observed words are, thus, incongruous. We model sarcasm detection as the task of detecting incongruity between an observed and an expected word. In order to obtain the expected word, we use Context2Vec, a sentence completion library based on Bidirectional LSTM. However, since the exact word where such an incongruity occurs may not be known in advance, we present two approaches: an All-words approach (which consults sentence completion for every content word) and an Incongruous words-only approach (which consults sentence completion for the 50% most incongruous content words). The approaches outperform reported values for tweets but not for discussion forum posts. This is likely to be because of redundant consultation of sentence completion for discussion forum posts. Therefore, we consider an oracle case where the exact incongruous word is manually labeled in a corpus reported in past work. In this case, the performance is higher than the all-words approach. This sets up the promise for using sentence completion for sarcasm detection.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationComputational Linguistics
    Subtitle of host publication15th International Conference of the Pacific Association for Computational Linguistics, PACLING 2017, Yangon, Myanmar, August 16-18, 2017, Revised Selected Papers
    EditorsKôiti Hasida, Win Pa Pa
    Place of PublicationSingapore
    Number of pages13
    ISBN (Electronic)9789811084386
    ISBN (Print)9789811084379
    Publication statusPublished - 2018
    EventConference of the Pacific Association for Computational Linguistics 2017 - Yangon, Myanmar
    Duration: 16 Aug 201718 Aug 2017
    Conference number: 15th

    Publication series

    NameCommunications in Computer and Information Science
    ISSN (Print)1865-0929
    ISSN (Electronic)1865-0937


    ConferenceConference of the Pacific Association for Computational Linguistics 2017
    Abbreviated titlePACLING 2017
    Internet address


    • LSTM
    • Sarcasm detection
    • Sentence completion
    • Sentiment analysis

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