TASC:Topic-Adaptive Sentiment Classification on Dynamic Tweets

Sentiment classification is a topic-sensitive task, i.e., a classifier trained from one topic will perform worse on another. This is especially a problem for the tweets sentiment analysis. Since the topics in Twitter are very diverse, it is impossible to train a universal classifier for all topics. Moreover, compared to product review, Twitter lacks data labeling and a rating mechanism to acquire sentiment labels. The extremely sparse text of tweets also brings down the performance of a sentiment classifier. In this paper, we propose a semi-supervised topic-adaptive sentiment classification (TASC) model, which starts with a classifier built on common features and mixed labeled data from various topics. It minimizes the hinge loss to adapt to unlabeled data and features including topic-related sentiment words, authors’ sentiments and sentiment connections derived from “@” mentions of tweets, named as topic-adaptive features. Text and non-text features are extracted and naturally split into two views for co-training. The TASC learning algorithm updates topic-adaptive features based on the collaborative selection of unlabeled data, which in turn helps to select more reliable tweets to boost the performance. We also design the adapting model along a timeline (TASC-t) for dynamic tweets. An experiment on 6 topics from published tweet corpuses demonstrates that TASC outperforms other well-known supervised and ensemble classifiers. It also beats those semi-supervised learning methods without feature adaption. Meanwhile, TASC-t can also achieve impressive accuracy and F-score. Finally, with timeline visualization of “river” graph, people can intuitively grasp the ups and downs of sentiments’ evolvement, and the intensity by color gradation.