We present a new fact-checking benchmark, Check-COVID, that requires systems to verify claims about COVID-19 from news using evidence from scientific articles. This approach to fact-checking is particularly challenging as it requires checking internet text written in everyday language against evidence from journal articles written in formal academic language. Check-COVID contains 1, 504 expert-annotated news claims about the coronavirus paired with sentence-level evidence from scientific journal articles and veracity labels. It includes both extracted (journalist-written) and composed (annotator-written) claims. Experiments using both a fact-checking specific system and GPT-3.5, which respectively achieve F1 scores of 76.99 and 69.90 on this task, reveal the difficulty of automatically fact-checking both claim types and the importance of in-domain data for good performance. Our data and models are released publicly at https://github.com/posuer/Check-COVID.
Environmental health researchers often aim to identify sources/behaviors that give rise to potentially harmful exposures. We adapted principal component pursuit (PCP)-a robust technique for dimensionality reduction in computer vision and signal processing-to identify patterns in environmental mixtures. PCP decomposes the exposure mixture into a low-rank matrix containing consistent exposure patterns across pollutants and a sparse matrix isolating unique exposure events. We adapted PCP to accommodate non-negative and missing data, and values below a given limit of detection (LOD). We simulated data to represent environmental mixtures of two sizes with increasing proportions <LOD and three noise structures. We compared PCP-LOD to principal component analysis (PCA) to evaluate performance. We next applied PCP-LOD to a mixture of 21 persistent organic pollutants (POPs) measured in 1,000 U.S. adults from the 2001-2002 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. We applied singular value decomposition to the estimated low-rank matrix to characterize the patterns. PCP-LOD recovered the true number of patterns through cross-validation for all simulations; based on an a priori specified criterion, PCA recovered the true number of patterns in 32% of simulations. PCP-LOD achieved lower relative predictive error than PCA for all simulated datasets with up to 50% of the data <LOD. When 75% of values were <LOD, PCP-LOD outperformed PCA only when noise was low. In the POP mixture, PCP-LOD identified a rank-three underlying structure and separated 6% of values as unique events. One pattern represented comprehensive exposure to all POPs. The other patterns grouped chemicals based on known structure and toxicity. PCP-LOD serves as a useful tool to express multi-dimensional exposures as consistent patterns that, if found to be related to adverse health, are amenable to targeted interventions.