Theses Doctoral

Cross-Lingual and Low-Resource Sentiment Analysis

Farra, Noura

Identifying sentiment in a low-resource language is essential for understanding opinions internationally and for responding to the urgent needs of locals affected by disaster incidents in different world regions. While tools and resources for recognizing sentiment in high-resource languages are plentiful, determining the most effective methods for achieving this task in a low-resource language which lacks annotated data is still an open research question. Most existing approaches for cross-lingual sentiment analysis to date have relied on high-resource machine translation systems, large amounts of parallel data, or resources only available for Indo-European languages.
This work presents methods, resources, and strategies for identifying sentiment cross-lingually in a low-resource language. We introduce a cross-lingual sentiment model which can be trained on a high-resource language and applied directly to a low-resource language. The model offers the feature of lexicalizing the training data using a bilingual dictionary, but can perform well without any translation into the target language.
Through an extensive experimental analysis, evaluated on 17 target languages, we show that the model performs well with bilingual word vectors pre-trained on an appropriate translation corpus. We compare in-genre and in-domain parallel corpora, out-of-domain parallel corpora, in-domain comparable corpora, and monolingual corpora, and show that a relatively small, in-domain parallel corpus works best as a transfer medium if it is available. We describe the conditions under which other resources and embedding generation methods are successful, and these include our strategies for leveraging in-domain comparable corpora for cross-lingual sentiment analysis.
To enhance the ability of the cross-lingual model to identify sentiment in the target language, we present new feature representations for sentiment analysis that are incorporated in the cross-lingual model: bilingual sentiment embeddings that are used to create bilingual sentiment scores, and a method for updating the sentiment embeddings during training by lexicalization of the target language. This feature configuration works best for the largest number of target languages in both untargeted and targeted cross-lingual sentiment experiments.
The cross-lingual model is studied further by evaluating the role of the source language, which has traditionally been assumed to be English. We build cross-lingual models using 15 source languages, including two non-European and non-Indo-European source languages: Arabic and Chinese. We show that language families play an important role in the performance of the model, as does the morphological complexity of the source language.
In the last part of the work, we focus on sentiment analysis towards targets. We study Arabic as a representative morphologically complex language and develop models and morphological representation features for identifying entity targets and sentiment expressed towards them in Arabic open-domain text. Finally, we adapt our cross-lingual sentiment models for the detection of sentiment towards targets. Through cross-lingual experiments on Arabic and English, we demonstrate that our findings regarding resources, features, and language also hold true for the transfer of targeted sentiment.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Computer Science
Thesis Advisors
McKeown, Kathleen
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
September 30, 2019