Sentiment analysis research has predominantly been on English texts. Thus there exist many sentiment resources for English, but less so for other languages. Approaches to improve sentiment analysis in a resource-poor focus language include: (a) translate the focus language text into a resource-rich language such as English, and apply a powerful English sentiment analysis system on the text, and (b) translate resources such as sentiment labeled corpora and sentiment lexicons from English into the focus language, and use them as additional resources in the focus-language sentiment analysis system. In this paper we systematically examine both options. We use Arabic social media posts as stand-in for the focus language text. We show that sentiment analysis of English translations of Arabic texts produces competitive results, w.r.t. Arabic sentiment analysis. We show that Arabic sentiment analysis systems benefit from the use of automatically translated English sentiment lexicons. We also conduct manual annotation studies to examine why the sentiment of a translation is different from the sentiment of the source word or text. This is especially relevant for building better automatic translation systems. In the process, we create a state-of-the-art Arabic sentiment analysis system, a new dialectal Arabic sentiment lexicon, and the first Arabic-English parallel corpus that is independently annotated for sentiment by Arabic and English speakers.
Sentiment analysis (SA) is a task related to understanding people's feelings in written text; the starting point would be to identify the polarity level (positive, neutral or negative) of a given text, moving on to identify emotions or whether a text is humorous or not. This task has been the subject of several research competitions in a number of languages, e.g., English, Spanish, and Arabic, among others. In this contribution, we propose an SA system, namely EvoMSA, that unifies our participating systems in various SA competitions, making it domain independent and multilingual by processing text using only language-independent techniques. EvoMSA is a classifier, based on Genetic Programming, that works by combining the output of different text classifiers and text models to produce the final prediction. We analyze EvoMSA, with its parameters fixed, on different SA competitions to provide a global overview of its performance, and as the results show, EvoMSA is competitive obtaining top rankings in several SA competitions. Furthermore, we performed an analysis of EvoMSA's components to measure their contribution to the performance; the idea is to facilitate a practitioner or newcomer to implement a competitive SA classifier. Finally, it is worth to mention that EvoMSA is available as open source software.
Sentiment analysis is a highly subjective and challenging task. Its complexity further increases when applied to the Arabic language, mainly because of the large variety of dialects that are unstandardized and widely used in the Web, especially in social media. While many datasets have been released to train sentiment classifiers in Arabic, most of these datasets contain shallow annotation, only marking the sentiment of the text unit, as a word, a sentence or a document. In this paper, we present the Arabic Sentiment Twitter Dataset for the Levantine dialect (ArSenTD-LEV). Based on findings from analyzing tweets from the Levant region, we created a dataset of 4,000 tweets with the following annotations: the overall sentiment of the tweet, the target to which the sentiment was expressed, how the sentiment was expressed, and the topic of the tweet. Results confirm the importance of these annotations at improving the performance of a baseline sentiment classifier. They also confirm the gap of training in a certain domain, and testing in another domain.
Arabic is the 4th most-used language on the Internet, and its growing presence on social media is providing ample resources for the study of Arabic-language online communities at scale. There are however few tools currently available that can derive valuable insights from this data for decision making, guiding policies, aiding in responses, etc. Is that about to change? The performance of natural language processing (NLP) systems has dramatically improved on tasks such as reading comprehension and natural language inference, and with these advances have come many new application scenarios for the tech. Unsurprisingly, English is where most NLP R&D has been focused.