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Weakly Supervised Induction of Affective Events by Optimizing Semantic Consistency

AAAI Conferences

To understand narrative text, we must comprehend how people are affected by the events that they experience. For example, readers understand that graduating from college is a positive event (achievement) but being fired from one's job is a negative event (problem). NLP researchers have developed effective tools for recognizing explicit sentiments, but affective events are more difficult to recognize because the polarity is often implicit and can depend on both a predicate and its arguments. Our research investigates the prevalence of affective events in a personal story corpus, and introduces a weakly supervised method for large scale induction of affective events. We present an iterative learning framework that constructs a graph with nodes representing events and initializes their affective polarities with sentiment analysis tools as weak supervision. The events are then linked based on three types of semantic relations: (1) semantic similarity, (2) semantic opposition, and (3) shared components. The learning algorithm iteratively refines the polarity values by optimizing semantic consistency across all events in the graph. Our model learns over 100,000 affective events and identifies their polarities more accurately than other methods.


Extracting Diverse Sentiment Expressions with Target-Dependent Polarity from Twitter

AAAI Conferences

The problem of automatic extraction of sentiment expressions from informal text, as in microblogs such as tweets is a recent area of investigation. Compared to formal text, such as in product reviews or news articles, one of the key challenges lies in the wide diversity and informal nature of sentiment expressions that cannot be trivially enumerated or captured using predefined lexical patterns. In this work, we present an optimization-based approach to automatically extract sentiment expressions for a given target (e.g., movie, or person) from a corpus of unlabeled tweets. Specifically, we make three contributions: (i) we recognize a diverse and richer set of sentiment-bearing expressions in tweets, including formal and slang words/phrases, not limited to pre-specified syntactic patterns; (ii) instead of associating sentiment with an entire tweet, we assess the target-dependent polarity of each sentiment expression. The polarity of sentiment expression is determined by the nature of its target; (iii) we provide a novel formulation of assigning polarity to a sentiment expression as a constrained optimization problem over the tweet corpus. Experiments conducted on two domains, tweets mentioning movie and person entities, show that our approach improves accuracy in comparison with several baseline methods, and that the improvement becomes more prominent with increasing corpus sizes.


Unsupervised Sentiment Analysis with Signed Social Networks

AAAI Conferences

Huge volumes of opinion-rich data is user-generated in social media at an unprecedented rate, easing the analysis of individual and public sentiments. Sentiment analysis has shown to be useful in probing and understanding emotions, expressions and attitudes in the text. However, the distinct characteristics of social media data present challenges to traditional sentiment analysis. First, social media data is often noisy, incomplete and fast-evolved which necessitates the design of a sophisticated learning model. Second, sentiment labels are hard to collect which further exacerbates the problem by not being able to discriminate sentiment polarities. Meanwhile, opportunities are also unequivocally presented. Social media contains rich sources of sentiment signals in textual terms and user interactions, which could be helpful in sentiment analysis. While there are some attempts to leverage implicit sentiment signals in positive user interactions, little attention is paid on signed social networks with both positive and negative links. The availability of signed social networks motivates us to investigate if negative links also contain useful sentiment signals. In this paper, we study a novel problem of unsupervised sentiment analysis with signed social networks. In particular, we incorporate explicit sentiment signals in textual terms and implicit sentiment signals from signed social networks into a coherent model SignedSenti for unsupervised sentiment analysis. Empirical experiments on two real-world datasets corroborate its effectiveness.


Acquiring Knowledge of Affective Events from Blogs Using Label Propagation

AAAI Conferences

Many common events in our daily life affect us in positive and negative ways. For example, going on vacation is typically an enjoyable event, while being rushed to the hospital is an undesirable event. In narrative stories and personal conversations, recognizing that some events have a strong affective polarity is essential to understand the discourse and the emotional states of the affected people. However, current NLP systems mainly depend on sentiment analysis tools, which fail to recognize many events that are implicitly affective based on human knowledge about the event itself and cultural norms. Our goal is to automatically acquire knowledge of stereotypically positive and negative events from personal blogs. Our research creates an event context graph from a large collection of blog posts and uses a sentiment classifier and semi-supervised label propagation algorithm to discover affective events. We explore several graph configurations that propagate affective polarity across edges using local context, discourse proximity, and event-event co-occurrence. We then harvest highly affective events from the graph and evaluate the agreement of the polarities with human judgements.


Extracting all Aspect-polarity Pairs Jointly in a Text with Relation Extraction Approach

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Extracting aspect-polarity pairs from texts is an important task of fine-grained sentiment analysis. While the existing approaches to this task have gained many progresses, they are limited at capturing relationships among aspect-polarity pairs in a text, thus degrading the extraction performance. Moreover, the existing state-of-the-art approaches, namely token-based se-quence tagging and span-based classification, have their own defects such as polarity inconsistency resulted from separately tagging tokens in the former and the heterogeneous categorization in the latter where aspect-related and polarity-related labels are mixed. In order to remedy the above defects, in-spiring from the recent advancements in relation extraction, we propose to generate aspect-polarity pairs directly from a text with relation extraction technology, regarding aspect-pairs as unary relations where aspects are enti-ties and the corresponding polarities are relations. Based on the perspective, we present a position- and aspect-aware sequence2sequence model for joint extraction of aspect-polarity pairs. The model is characterized with its ability to capture not only relationships among aspect-polarity pairs in a text through the sequence decoding, but also correlations between an aspect and its polarity through the position- and aspect-aware attentions. The experi-ments performed on three benchmark datasets demonstrate that our model outperforms the existing state-of-the-art approaches, making significant im-provement over them.