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Towards Answering Opinion Questions: Separating Facts from Opinions
and Identifying the Polarity of Opinion Sentences

Yu, Hong; Hatzivassiloglou, Vasileios

Opinion question answering is a challenging task for natural language processing. In this paper, we discuss a necessary component for an opinion question answering system: separating opinions from fact, at both the document and sentence level. We present a Bayesian classifier for discriminating between documents with a preponderance of opinions such as editorials from regular news stories, and describe three unsupervised, statistical techniques for the significantly harder task of detecting opinions at the sentence level. We also present a first model for classifying opinion sentences as positive or negative in terms of the main perspective being expressed in the opinion. Results from a large collection of news stories and a human evaluation of 400 sentences are reported, indicating that we achieve very high performance in document classification (upwards of 97% precision and recall), and respectable performance in detecting opinions and classifying them at the sentence level as positive, negative, or neutral (up to 91% accuracy).


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Computer Science
Proceedings of EMNLP'03
Published Here
May 17, 2013