Soufian Jebbara


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Zero-Shot Cross-Lingual Opinion Target Extraction
Soufian Jebbara | Philipp Cimiano
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 1 (Long and Short Papers)

Aspect-based sentiment analysis involves the recognition of so called opinion target expressions (OTEs). To automatically extract OTEs, supervised learning algorithms are usually employed which are trained on manually annotated corpora. The creation of these corpora is labor-intensive and sufficiently large datasets are therefore usually only available for a very narrow selection of languages and domains. In this work, we address the lack of available annotated data for specific languages by proposing a zero-shot cross-lingual approach for the extraction of opinion target expressions. We leverage multilingual word embeddings that share a common vector space across various languages and incorporate these into a convolutional neural network architecture for OTE extraction. Our experiments with 5 languages give promising results: We can successfully train a model on annotated data of a source language and perform accurate prediction on a target language without ever using any annotated samples in that target language. Depending on the source and target language pairs, we reach performances in a zero-shot regime of up to 77% of a model trained on target language data. Furthermore, we can increase this performance up to 87% of a baseline model trained on target language data by performing cross-lingual learning from multiple source languages.


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Learning Compositionality Functions on Word Embeddings for Modelling Attribute Meaning in Adjective-Noun Phrases
Matthias Hartung | Fabian Kaupmann | Soufian Jebbara | Philipp Cimiano
Proceedings of the 15th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Volume 1, Long Papers

Word embeddings have been shown to be highly effective in a variety of lexical semantic tasks. They tend to capture meaningful relational similarities between individual words, at the expense of lacking the capabilty of making the underlying semantic relation explicit. In this paper, we investigate the attribute relation that often holds between the constituents of adjective-noun phrases. We use CBOW word embeddings to represent word meaning and learn a compositionality function that combines the individual constituents into a phrase representation, thus capturing the compositional attribute meaning. The resulting embedding model, while being fully interpretable, outperforms count-based distributional vector space models that are tailored to attribute meaning in the two tasks of attribute selection and phrase similarity prediction. Moreover, as the model captures a generalized layer of attribute meaning, it bears the potential to be used for predictions over various attribute inventories without re-training.

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Improving Opinion-Target Extraction with Character-Level Word Embeddings
Soufian Jebbara | Philipp Cimiano
Proceedings of the First Workshop on Subword and Character Level Models in NLP

Fine-grained sentiment analysis is receiving increasing attention in recent years. Extracting opinion target expressions (OTE) in reviews is often an important step in fine-grained, aspect-based sentiment analysis. Retrieving this information from user-generated text, however, can be difficult. Customer reviews, for instance, are prone to contain misspelled words and are difficult to process due to their domain-specific language. In this work, we investigate whether character-level models can improve the performance for the identification of opinion target expressions. We integrate information about the character structure of a word into a sequence labeling system using character-level word embeddings and show their positive impact on the system’s performance. Specifically, we obtain an increase by 3.3 points F1-score with respect to our baseline model. In further experiments, we reveal encoded character patterns of the learned embeddings and give a nuanced view of the performance differences of both models.