Effective cyber threat recognition and prevention demand comprehensible forecasting systems, as prior approaches commonly offer limited and, ultimately, unconvincing information. We introduce Simplified Plaintext Language (SPLAIN), a natural language generator that converts warning data into user-friendly cyber threat explanations. SPLAIN is designed to generate clear, actionable outputs, incorporating hierarchically organized explanatory details about input data and system functionality. Given the inputs of individual sensor-induced forecasting signals and an overall warning from a fusion module, SPLAIN queries each signal for information on contributing sensors and data signals. This collected data is processed into a coherent English explanation, encompassing forecasting, sensing, and data elements for user review. SPLAIN's template-based approach ensures consistent warning structure and vocabulary. SPLAIN's hierarchical output structure allows each threat and its components to be expanded to reveal underlying explanations on demand. Our conclusions emphasize the need for designers to specify the "how" and "why" behind cyber warnings, advocate for simple structured templates in generating consistent explanations, and recognize that direct causal links in Machine Learning approaches may not always be identifiable, requiring some explanations to focus on general methodologies, such as model and training data.
Automated negotiation support systems aim to help human negotiators reach more favorable outcomes in multi-issue negotiations (e.g., an employer and a candidate negotiating over issues such as salary, hours, and promotions before a job offer). To be successful, these systems must accurately track agreements reached by participants in real-time. Existing approaches either focus on task-oriented dialogues or produce unstructured outputs, rendering them unsuitable for this objective. Our work introduces the novel task of agreement tracking for two-party multi-issue negotiations, which requires continuous monitoring of agreements within a structured state space. To address the scarcity of annotated corpora with realistic multi-issue negotiation dialogues, we use GPT-3 to build GPT-Negochat, a synthesized dataset that we make publicly available. We present a strong initial baseline for our task by transfer-learning a T5 model trained on the MultiWOZ 2.4 corpus. Pre-training T5-small and T5-base on MultiWOZ 2.4's DST task enhances results by 21% and 9% respectively over training solely on GPT-Negochat. We validate our method's sample-efficiency via smaller training subset experiments. By releasing GPT-Negochat and our baseline models, we aim to encourage further research in multi-issue negotiation dialogue agreement tracking.
Social media is a potential source of information that infers latent mental states through Natural Language Processing (NLP). While narrating real-life experiences, social media users convey their feeling of loneliness or isolated lifestyle, impacting their mental well-being. Existing literature on psychological theories points to loneliness as the major consequence of interpersonal risk factors, propounding the need to investigate loneliness as a major aspect of mental disturbance. We formulate lonesomeness detection in social media posts as an explainable binary classification problem, discovering the users at-risk, suggesting the need of resilience for early control. To the best of our knowledge, there is no existing explainable dataset, i.e., one with human-readable, annotated text spans, to facilitate further research and development in loneliness detection causing mental disturbance. In this work, three experts: a senior clinical psychologist, a rehabilitation counselor, and a social NLP researcher define annotation schemes and perplexity guidelines to mark the presence or absence of lonesomeness, along with the marking of text-spans in original posts as explanation, in 3,521 Reddit posts. We expect the public release of our dataset, LonXplain, and traditional classifiers as baselines via GitHub.
The advent of social media has given rise to numerous ethical challenges, with hate speech among the most significant concerns. Researchers are attempting to tackle this problem by leveraging hate-speech detection and employing language models to automatically moderate content and promote civil discourse. Unfortunately, recent studies have revealed that hate-speech detection systems can be misled by adversarial attacks, raising concerns about their resilience. While previous research has separately addressed the robustness of these models under adversarial attacks and their interpretability, there has been no comprehensive study exploring their intersection. The novelty of our work lies in combining these two critical aspects, leveraging interpretability to identify potential vulnerabilities and enabling the design of targeted adversarial attacks. We present a comprehensive and comparative analysis of adversarial robustness exhibited by various hate-speech detection models. Our study evaluates the resilience of these models against adversarial attacks using explainability techniques. To gain insights into the models' decision-making processes, we employ the Local Interpretable Model-agnostic Explanations (LIME) framework. Based on the explainability results obtained by LIME, we devise and execute targeted attacks on the text by leveraging the TextAttack tool. Our findings enhance the understanding of the vulnerabilities and strengths exhibited by state-of-the-art hate-speech detection models. This work underscores the importance of incorporating explainability in the development and evaluation of such models to enhance their resilience against adversarial attacks. Ultimately, this work paves the way for creating more robust and reliable hate-speech detection systems, fostering safer online environments and promoting ethical discourse on social media platforms.
We describe Panacea, a system that supports natural language processing (NLP) components for active defenses against social engineering attacks. We deploy a pipeline of human language technology, including Ask and Framing Detection, Named Entity Recognition, Dialogue Engineering, and Stylometry. Panacea processes modern message formats through a plug-in architecture to accommodate innovative approaches for message analysis, knowledge representation and dialogue generation. The novelty of the Panacea system is that uses NLP for cyber defense and engages the attacker using bots to elicit evidence to attribute to the attacker and to waste the attacker's time and resources.
We present a paradigm for extensible lexicon development based on Lexical Conceptual Structure to support social engineering detection and response generation. We leverage the central notions of ask (elicitation of behaviors such as providing access to money) and framing (risk/reward implied by the ask). We demonstrate improvements in ask/framing detection through refinements to our lexical organization and show that response generation qualitatively improves as ask/framing detection performance improves. The paradigm presents a systematic and efficient approach to resource adaptation for improved task-specific performance.
Social engineers attempt to manipulate users into undertaking actions such as downloading malware by clicking links or providing access to money or sensitive information. Natural language processing, computational sociolinguistics, and media-specific structural clues provide a means for detecting both the ask (e.g., buy gift card) and the risk/reward implied by the ask, which we call framing (e.g., lose your job, get a raise). We apply linguistic resources such as Lexical Conceptual Structure to tackle ask detection and also leverage structural clues such as links and their proximity to identified asks to improve confidence in our results. Our experiments indicate that the performance of ask detection, framing detection, and identification of the top ask is improved by linguistically motivated classes coupled with structural clues such as links. Our approach is implemented in a system that informs users about social engineering risk situations.
This paper describes the resource- and system-building efforts of an eight-week Johns Hopkins University Human Language Technology Center of Excellence Summer Camp for Applied Language Exploration (SCALE-2009) on Semantically-Informed Machine Translation (SIMT). We describe a new modality/negation (MN) annotation scheme, the creation of a (publicly available) MN lexicon, and two automated MN taggers that we built using the annotation scheme and lexicon. Our annotation scheme isolates three components of modality and negation: a trigger (a word that conveys modality or negation), a target (an action associated with modality or negation) and a holder (an experiencer of modality). We describe how our MN lexicon was semi-automatically produced and we demonstrate that a structure-based MN tagger results in precision around 86% (depending on genre) for tagging of a standard LDC data set. We apply our MN annotation scheme to statistical machine translation using a syntactic framework that supports the inclusion of semantic annotations. Syntactic tags enriched with semantic annotations are assigned to parse trees in the target-language training texts through a process of tree grafting. While the focus of our work is modality and negation, the tree grafting procedure is general and supports other types of semantic information. We exploit this capability by including named entities, produced by a pre-existing tagger, in addition to the MN elements produced by the taggers described in this paper. The resulting system significantly outperformed a linguistically naive baseline model (Hiero), and reached the highest scores yet reported on the NIST 2009 Urdu-English test set. This finding supports the hypothesis that both syntactic and semantic information can improve translation quality.
This paper describes our resource-building results for an eight-week JHU Human Language Technology Center of Excellence Summer Camp for Applied Language Exploration (SCALE-2009) on Semantically-Informed Machine Translation. Specifically, we describe the construction of a modality annotation scheme, a modality lexicon, and two automated modality taggers that were built using the lexicon and annotation scheme. Our annotation scheme is based on identifying three components of modality: a trigger, a target and a holder. We describe how our modality lexicon was produced semi-automatically, expanding from an initial hand-selected list of modality trigger words and phrases. The resulting expanded modality lexicon is being made publicly available. We demonstrate that one tagger---a structure-based tagger---results in precision around 86% (depending on genre) for tagging of a standard LDC data set. In a machine translation application, using the structure-based tagger to annotate English modalities on an English-Urdu training corpus improved the translation quality score for Urdu by 0.3 Bleu points in the face of sparse training data.
We describe a unified and coherent syntactic framework for supporting a semantically-informed syntactic approach to statistical machine translation. Semantically enriched syntactic tags assigned to the target-language training texts improved translation quality. The resulting system significantly outperformed a linguistically naive baseline model (Hiero), and reached the highest scores yet reported on the NIST 2009 Urdu-English translation task. This finding supports the hypothesis (posed by many researchers in the MT community, e.g., in DARPA GALE) that both syntactic and semantic information are critical for improving translation quality---and further demonstrates that large gains can be achieved for low-resource languages with different word order than English.