There is often the need to perform sentiment classification in a particular domain where no labeled document is available. Although we could make use of a general-purpose off-the-shelf sentiment classifier or a pre-built one for a different domain, the effectiveness would be inferior. In this paper, we explore the possibility of building domain-specific sentiment classifiers with unlabeled documents only. Our investigation indicates that in the word embeddings learned from the unlabeled corpus of a given domain, the distributed word representations (vectors) for opposite sentiments form distinct clusters, though those clusters are not transferable across domains. Exploiting such a clustering structure, we are able to utilize machine learning algorithms to induce a quality domain-specific sentiment lexicon from just a few typical sentiment words (“seeds”). An important finding is that simple linear model based supervised learning algorithms (such as linear SVM) can actually work better than more sophisticated semi-supervised/transductive learning algorithms which represent the state-of-the-art technique for sentiment lexicon induction. The induced lexicon could be applied directly in a lexicon-based method for sentiment classification, but a higher performance could be achieved through a two-phase bootstrapping method which uses the induced lexicon to assign positive/negative sentiment scores to unlabeled documents first, a nd t hen u ses those documents found to have clear sentiment signals as pseudo-labeled examples to train a document sentiment classifier v ia supervised learning algorithms (such as LSTM). On several benchmark datasets for document sentiment classification, our end-to-end pipelined approach which is overall unsupervised (except for a tiny set of seed words) outperforms existing unsupervised approaches and achieves an accuracy comparable to that of fully supervised approaches.
In data-to-text Natural Language Generation (NLG) systems, computers need to find the right words to describe phenomena seen in the data. This paper focuses on the problem of choosing appropriate verbs to express the direction and magnitude of a percentage change (e.g., in stock prices). Rather than simply using the same verbs again and again, we present a principled data-driven approach to this problem based on Shannon’s noisy-channel model so as to bring variation and naturalness into the generated text. Our experiments on three large-scale real-world news corpora demonstrate that the proposed probabilistic model can be learned to accurately imitate human authors’ pattern of usage around verbs, outperforming the state-of-the-art method significantly.