Eliminating Sentiment Bias for Aspect-Level Sentiment Classification with Unsupervised Opinion Extraction

Association for Computational Linguistics
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Findings of ACL: EMNLP 2021, 2021, pp. 3002-3012
Issue Date:
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Aspect-level sentiment classification (ALSC) aims at identifying the sentiment polarity of a specified aspect in a sentence. ALSC is a practical setting in aspect-based sentiment analysis due to no opinion term labeling needed, but it fails to interpret why a sentiment polarity is derived for the aspect. To address this problem, recent works fine-tune pre-trained Transformer encoders for ALSC to extract an aspectcentric dependency tree that can locate the opinion words. However, the induced opinion words only provide an intuitive cue far below human-level interpretability. Besides, the pre-trained encoder tends to internalize an aspect's intrinsic sentiment, causing sentiment bias and thus affecting model performance. In this paper, we propose a span-based anti-bias aspect representation learning framework. It first eliminates the sentiment bias in the aspect embedding by adversarial learning against aspects' prior sentiment. Then, it aligns the distilled opinion candidates with the aspect by span-based dependency modeling to highlight the interpretable opinion terms. Our method achieves new state-of-the-art performance on five benchmarks, with the capability of unsupervised opinion extraction.
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