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Credibility Analysis of Textual Claimswith Explainable Evidence


Popat,  Kashyap
Databases and Information Systems, MPI for Informatics, Max Planck Society;
International Max Planck Research School, MPI for Informatics, Max Planck Society;

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Popat, K. (2019). Credibility Analysis of Textual Claimswith Explainable Evidence. PhD Thesis, Universität des Saarlandes, Saarbrücken. doi:10.22028/D291-30005.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0005-654D-4
Despite being a vast resource of valuable information, the Web has been polluted by the spread of false claims. Increasing hoaxes, fake news, and misleading information on the Web have given rise to many fact-checking websites that manually assess these doubtful claims. However, the rapid speed and large scale of misinformation spread have become the bottleneck for manual verification. This calls for credibility assessment tools that can automate this verification process. Prior works in this domain make strong assumptions about the structure of the claims and the communities where they are made. Most importantly, black-box techniques proposed in prior works lack the ability to explain why a certain statement is deemed credible or not. To address these limitations, this dissertation proposes a general framework for automated credibility assessment that does not make any assumption about the structure or origin of the claims. Specifically, we propose a feature-based model, which automatically retrieves relevant articles about the given claim and assesses its credibility by capturing the mutual interaction between the language style of the relevant articles, their stance towards the claim, and the trustworthiness of the underlying web sources. We further enhance our credibility assessment approach and propose a neural-network-based model. Unlike the feature-based model, this model does not rely on feature engineering and external lexicons. Both our models make their assessments interpretable by extracting explainable evidence from judiciously selected web sources. We utilize our models and develop a Web interface, CredEye, which enables users to automatically assess the credibility of a textual claim and dissect into the assessment by browsing through judiciously and automatically selected evidence snippets. In addition, we study the problem of stance classification and propose a neural-network-based model for predicting the stance of diverse user perspectives regarding the controversial claims. Given a controversial claim and a user comment, our stance classification model predicts whether the user comment is supporting or opposing the claim.