Constructing Flow Graphs from Procedural Cybersecurity Texts

Kuntal Kumar Pal, Kazuaki Kashihara, Pratyay Banerjee, Swaroop Mishra, Ruoyu Wang, Chitta Baral

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

3 Scopus citations


Following procedural texts written in natural languages is challenging. We must read the whole text to identify the relevant information or identify the instruction-flow to complete a task, which is prone to failures. If such texts are structured, we can readily visualize instruction-flows, reason or infer a particular step, or even build automated systems to help novice agents achieve a goal. However, this structure recovery task is a challenge because of such texts' diverse nature. This paper proposes to identify relevant information from such texts and generate information flows between sentences. We built a large annotated procedural text dataset (CTFW) in the cybersecurity domain (3154 documents). This dataset contains valuable instructions regarding software vulnerability analysis experiences. We performed extensive experiments on CTFW with our LM-GNN model variants in multiple settings. To show the generalizability of both this task and our method, we also experimented with procedural texts from two other domains (Maintenance Manual and Cooking), which are substantially different from cybersecurity. Our experiments show that Graph Convolution Network with BERT sentence embeddings outperforms BERT in all three domains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFindings of the Association for Computational Linguistics
Subtitle of host publicationACL-IJCNLP 2021
EditorsChengqing Zong, Fei Xia, Wenjie Li, Roberto Navigli
PublisherAssociation for Computational Linguistics (ACL)
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781954085541
StatePublished - 2021
EventFindings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL-IJCNLP 2021 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Aug 1 2021Aug 6 2021

Publication series

NameFindings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL-IJCNLP 2021


ConferenceFindings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL-IJCNLP 2021
CityVirtual, Online

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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