Collaborating Authors

Multi-task Learning for Target-dependent Sentiment Classification 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.

Attention Based LSTM for Target Dependent Sentiment Classification

AAAI Conferences

We present an attention-based bidirectional LSTM approach to improve the target-dependent sentiment classification. Our method learns the alignment between the target entities and the most distinguishing features. We conduct extensive experiments on a real-life dataset. The experimental results show that our model achieves state-of-the-art results.

GIRNet: Interleaved Multi-Task Recurrent State Sequence Models Machine Learning

In several natural language tasks, labeled sequences are available in separate domains (say, languages), but the goal is to label sequences with mixed domain (such as code-switched text). Or, we may have available models for labeling whole passages (say, with sentiments), which we would like to exploit toward better position-specific label inference (say, target-dependent sentiment annotation). A key characteristic shared across such tasks is that different positions in a primary instance can benefit from different `experts' trained from auxiliary data, but labeled primary instances are scarce, and labeling the best expert for each position entails unacceptable cognitive burden. We propose GITNet, a unified position-sensitive multi-task recurrent neural network (RNN) architecture for such applications. Auxiliary and primary tasks need not share training instances. Auxiliary RNNs are trained over auxiliary instances. A primary instance is also submitted to each auxiliary RNN, but their state sequences are gated and merged into a novel composite state sequence tailored to the primary inference task. Our approach is in sharp contrast to recent multi-task networks like the cross-stitch and sluice network, which do not control state transfer at such fine granularity. We demonstrate the superiority of GIRNet using three applications: sentiment classification of code-switched passages, part-of-speech tagging of code-switched text, and target position-sensitive annotation of sentiment in monolingual passages. In all cases, we establish new state-of-the-art performance beyond recent competitive baselines.

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.


AAAI Conferences

Structural correspondence learning (SCL) is an effective method for cross-lingual sentiment classification. This approach uses unlabeled documents along with a word translation oracle to automatically induce task specific, cross-lingual correspondences. It transfers knowledge through identifying important features, i.e., pivot features. For simplicity, however, it assumes that the word translation oracle maps each pivot feature in source language to exactly only one word in target language. This one-to-one mapping between words in different languages is too strict. Also the context is not considered at all. In this paper, we propose a cross-lingual SCL based on distributed representation of words; it can learn meaningful one-to-many mappings for pivot words using large amounts of monolingual data and a small dictionary. We conduct experiments on NLP&CC 2013 cross-lingual sentiment analysis dataset, employing English as source language, and Chinese as target language. Our method does not rely on the parallel corpora and the experimental results show that our approach is more competitive than the state-of-the-art methods in cross-lingual sentiment classification.