User generated content is extremely valuable for mining market intelligence because it is unsolicited. We study the problem of analyzing users' sentiment and opinion in their blog, message board, etc. posts with respect to topics expressed as a search query. In the scenario we consider the matches of the search query terms are expanded through coreference and meronymy to produce a set of mentions. The mentions are contextually evaluated for sentiment and their scores are aggregated (using a data structure we introduce call the sentiment propagation graph) to produce an aggregate score for the input entity. An extremely crucial part in the contextual evaluation of individual mentions is finding which sentiment expressions are semantically related to (target) which mentions --- this is the focus of our paper. We present an approach where potential target mentions for a sentiment expression are ranked using supervised machine learning (Support Vector Machines) where the main features are the syntactic configurations (typed dependency paths) connecting the sentiment expression and the mention. We have created a large English corpus of product discussions blogs annotated with semantic types of mentions, coreference, meronymy and sentiment targets. The corpus proves that coreference and meronymy are not marginal phenomena but are really central to determining the overall sentiment for the top-level entity. We evaluate a number of techniques for sentiment targeting and present results which we believe push the current state-of-the-art.
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.
Political discourse in the United States is getting increasingly polarized. This polarization frequently causes different communities to react very differently to the same news events. Political blogs as a form of social media provide an unique insight into this phenomenon. We present a multitarget, semisupervised latent variable model, MCR-LDA to model this process by analyzing political blogs posts and their comment sections from different political communities jointly to predict the degree of polarization that news topics cause. Inspecting the model after inference reveals topics and the degree to which it triggers polarization. In this approach, community responses to news topics are observed using sentiment polarity and comment volume which serves as a proxy for the level of interest in the topic. In this context, we also present computational methods to assign sentiment polarity to the comments which serve as targets for latent variable models that predict the polarity based on the topics in the blog content. Our results show that the joint modeling of communities with different political beliefs using MCR-LDA does not sacrifice accuracy in sentiment polarity prediction when compared to approaches that are tailored to specific communities and additionally provides a view of the polarization in responses from the different communities.
W e present a systematic study of biases in natural language generation (NLG) by analyzing text generated from prompts that contain mentions of different demographic groups. In this work, we introduce the notion of the regard towards a demographic, use the varying levels of regard towards different demographics as a defining metric for bias in NLG, and analyze the extent to which sentiment scores are a relevant proxy metric for regard. To this end, we collect strategically-generated text from language models and manually annotate the text with both sentiment and regard scores. Additionally, we build an automatic regard classifier through transfer learning, so that we can analyze biases in unseen text. Together, these methods reveal the extent of the biased nature of language model generations. Our analysis provides a study of biases in NLG, bias metrics and correlated human judgments, and empirical evidence on the usefulness of our annotated dataset.
Multilingual parallel text corpora provide a powerful means for propagating linguistic knowledge across languages. We present a model which jointly learns linguistic structure for each language while inducing links between them. Our model supports fully symmetrical knowledge transfer, utilizing any combination of supervised and unsupervised data across language barriers. The proposed nonparametric Bayesian model effectively combines cross-lingual alignment with target language predictions. This architecture is a potent alternative to projection methods which decompose these decisions into two separate stages. We apply this approach to the task of morphological segmentation, where the goal is to separate a word into its individual morphemes. When tested on a parallel corpus of Hebrew and Arabic, our joint bilingual model effectively incorporates all available evidence from both languages, yielding significant performance gains.