Solving text classification in a weakly supervised manner is important for real-world applications where human annotations are scarce. In this paper, we propose to query a masked language model with cloze style prompts to obtain supervision signals. We design a prompt which combines the document itself and “this article is talking about [MASK].” A masked language model can generate words for the [MASK] token. The generated words which summarize the content of a document can be utilized as supervision signals. We propose a latent variable model to learn a word distribution learner which associates generated words to pre-defined categories and a document classifier simultaneously without using any annotated data. Evaluation on three datasets, AGNews, 20Newsgroups, and UCINews, shows that our method can outperform baselines by 2%, 4%, and 3%.
Sentiment analysis is an important task in natural language processing (NLP). Most of existing state-of-the-art methods are under the supervised learning paradigm. However, human annotations can be scarce. Thus, we should leverage more weak supervision for sentiment analysis. In this paper, we propose a posterior regularization framework for the variational approach to the weakly supervised sentiment analysis to better control the posterior distribution of the label assignment. The intuition behind the posterior regularization is that if extracted opinion words from two documents are semantically similar, the posterior distributions of two documents should be similar. Our experimental results show that the posterior regularization can improve the original variational approach to the weakly supervised sentiment analysis and the performance is more stable with smaller prediction variance.
In this paper, we propose a variational approach to weakly supervised document-level multi-aspect sentiment classification. Instead of using user-generated ratings or annotations provided by domain experts, we use target-opinion word pairs as “supervision.” These word pairs can be extracted by using dependency parsers and simple rules. Our objective is to predict an opinion word given a target word while our ultimate goal is to learn a sentiment polarity classifier to predict the sentiment polarity of each aspect given a document. By introducing a latent variable, i.e., the sentiment polarity, to the objective function, we can inject the sentiment polarity classifier to the objective via the variational lower bound. We can learn a sentiment polarity classifier by optimizing the lower bound. We show that our method can outperform weakly supervised baselines on TripAdvisor and BeerAdvocate datasets and can be comparable to the state-of-the-art supervised method with hundreds of labels per aspect.