Discourse & Dialogue

Sentiment Analysis


This 3-month course is an intro to data science for beginners. In this video, I'll explain how a popular data science technique called sentiment analysis works using a real-world scenario. We'll play the role of a data scientist working at a startup making a personal healthcare device. Using sentiment analysis, we'll understand how consumers feel about a competitors product. That'll help us make decisions on how to promote our own product, and what feature we can focus on the most.

Rethinking Action Spaces for Reinforcement Learning in End-to-end Dialog Agents with Latent Variable Models

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Defining action spaces for conversational agents and optimizing their decision-making process with reinforcement learning is an enduring challenge. Common practice has been to use handcrafted dialog acts, or the output vocabulary, e.g. in neural encoder decoders, as the action spaces. Both have their own limitations. This paper proposes a novel latent action framework that treats the action spaces of an end-to-end dialog agent as latent variables and develops unsupervised methods in order to induce its own action space from the data. Comprehensive experiments are conducted examining both continuous and discrete action types and two different optimization methods based on stochastic variational inference. Results show that the proposed latent actions achieve superior empirical performance improvement over previous word-level policy gradient methods on both DealOrNoDeal and MultiWoz dialogs. Our detailed analysis also provides insights about various latent variable approaches for policy learning and can serve as a foundation for developing better latent actions in future research.

LDA for Text Summarization and Topic Detection - DZone AI


Machine learning clustering techniques are not the only way to extract topics from a text data set. Text mining literature has proposed a number of statistical models, known as probabilistic topic models, to detect topics from an unlabeled set of documents. One of the most popular models is the latent Dirichlet allocation (LDA) algorithm developed by Blei, Ng, and Jordan [i]. LDA is a generative unsupervised probabilistic algorithm that isolates the top K topics in a data set as described by the most relevant N keywords. In other words, the documents in the data set are represented as random mixtures of latent topics, where each topic is characterized by a Dirichlet distribution over a fixed vocabulary.

Data augmentation for low resource sentiment analysis using generative adversarial networks

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Sentiment analysis is a task that may suffer from a lack of data in certain cases, as the datasets are often generated and annotated by humans. In cases where data is inadequate for training discriminative models, generate models may aid training via data augmentation. Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) are one such model that has advanced the state of the art in several tasks, including as image and text generation. In this paper, I train GAN models on low resource datasets, then use them for the purpose of data augmentation towards improving sentiment classifier generalization. Given the constraints of limited data, I explore various techniques to train the GAN models. I also present an analysis of the quality of generated GAN data as more training data for the GAN is made available. In this analysis, the generated data is evaluated as a test set (against a model trained on real data points) as well as a training set to train classification models. Finally, I also conduct a visual analysis by projecting the generated and the real data into a two-dimensional space using the t-Distributed Stochastic Neighbor Embedding (t-SNE) method.

Multi-task Learning for Target-dependent Sentiment Classification

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Detecting and aggregating sentiments toward people, organizations, and events expressed in unstructured social media have become critical text mining operations. Early systems detected sentiments over whole passages, whereas more recently, target-specific sentiments have been of greater interest. In this paper, we present MTTDSC, a multi-task target-dependent sentiment classification system that is informed by feature representation learnt for the related auxiliary task of passage-level sentiment classification. The auxiliary task uses a gated recurrent unit (GRU) and pools GRU states, followed by an auxiliary fully-connected layer that outputs passage-level predictions. In the main task, these GRUs contribute auxiliary per-token representations over and above word embeddings. The main task has its own, separate GRUs. The auxiliary and main GRUs send their states to a different fully connected layer, trained for the main task. Extensive experiments using two auxiliary datasets and three benchmark datasets (of which one is new, introduced by us) for the main task demonstrate that MTTDSC outperforms state-of-the-art baselines. Using word-level sensitivity analysis, we present anecdotal evidence that prior systems can make incorrect target-specific predictions because they miss sentiments expressed by words independent of target.

Why your Twitter analysis sucks – and what you can do about it


My colleagues, friends, and students are at the point of rolling their eyes when I say it. But it is so important and the main reason your Twitter analysis sucks. What do I mean by context? If you are going to datafy something – turn a tweet, a representation of a thought, emotion, idea into data –, then you need to think about the context of a) the user and why they tweeted, b) the dataset you are looking at, c) the problem you are trying to solve by datafying that tweet in the first place, and d) the tools you are using. BECAUSE NATURAL LANGUAGE PROCESSING NEEDS TO BE BESPOKE AND YOUR PRECONCEIVED ASSUMPTIONS WILL TRIP YOU UP.

Dialogue Design and Management for Multi-Session Casual Conversation with Older Adults

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

We address the problem of designing a conversational avatar capable of a sequence of casual conversations with older adults. Users at risk of loneliness, social anxiety or a sense of ennui may benefit from practicing such conversations in private, at their convenience. We describe an automatic spoken dialogue manager for LISSA, an on-screen virtual agent that can keep older users involved in conversations over several sessions, each lasting 10-20 minutes. The idea behind LISSA is to improve users' communication skills by providing feedback on their non-verbal behavior at certain points in the course of the conversations. In this paper, we analyze the dialogues collected from the first session between LISSA and each of 8 participants. We examine the quality of the conversations by comparing the transcripts with those collected in a WOZ setting. LISSA's contributions to the conversations were judged by research assistants who rated the extent to which the contributions were "natural", "on track", "encouraging", "understanding", "relevant", and "polite". The results show that the automatic dialogue manager was able to handle conversation with the users smoothly and naturally.

Large-Scale Joint Topic, Sentiment & User Preference Analysis for Online Reviews

arXiv.org Machine Learning

This paper presents a non-trivial reconstruction of a previous joint topic-sentiment-preference review model TSPRA with stick-breaking representation under the framework of variational inference (VI) and stochastic variational inference (SVI). TSPRA is a Gibbs Sampling based model that solves topics, word sentiments and user preferences altogether and has been shown to achieve good performance, but for large data set it can only learn from a relatively small sample. We develop the variational models vTSPRA and svTSPRA to improve the time use, and our new approach is capable of processing millions of reviews. We rebuild the generative process, improve the rating regression, solve and present the coordinate-ascent updates of variational parameters, and show the time complexity of each iteration is theoretically linear to the corpus size, and the experiments on Amazon data sets show it converges faster than TSPRA and attains better results given the same amount of time. In addition, we tune svTSPRA into an online algorithm ovTSPRA that can monitor oscillations of sentiment and preference overtime. Some interesting fluctuations are captured and possible explanations are provided. The results give strong visual evidence that user preference is better treated as an independent factor from sentiment.

Sentiment Analysis of Airline Tweets


People around the globe are more actively using social media platform such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram etc. They share information, opinions, ideas, experiences and other details in the social media. The business communities have become more aware of these developments and they want to use the available information in their favor. One of the ways to understand the people opinions on the product they are using is by collecting tweets related to those products. Then performing the sentiment analysis on the tweets collected on a particular topic.

A Reduction for Efficient LDA Topic Reconstruction

Neural Information Processing Systems

We present a novel approach for LDA (Latent Dirichlet Allocation) topic reconstruction. The main technical idea is to show that the distribution over the documents generated by LDA can be transformed into a distribution for a much simpler generative model in which documents are generated from {\em the same set of topics} but have a much simpler structure: documents are single topic and topics are chosen uniformly at random. Furthermore, this reduction is approximation preserving, in the sense that approximate distributions-- the only ones we can hope to compute in practice-- are mapped into approximate distribution in the simplified world. This opens up the possibility of efficiently reconstructing LDA topics in a roundabout way. Compute an approximate document distribution from the given corpus, transform it into an approximate distribution for the single-topic world, and run a reconstruction algorithm in the uniform, single topic world-- a much simpler task than direct LDA reconstruction. Indeed, we show the viability of the approach by giving very simple algorithms for a generalization of two notable cases that have been studied in the literature, $p$-separability and Gibbs sampling for matrix-like topics.