Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Sentiment analysis in the Arabic language using machine learning
by Alotaibi, Saud Saleh, Ph.D., Colorado State University, 2015, 204; 3720340
Abstract (Summary)

Sentiment analysis has recently become one of the growing areas of research related to natural language processing and machine learning. Much opinion and sentiment about specific topics are available online, which allows several parties such as customers, companies and even governments, to explore these opinions. The first task is to classify the text in terms of whether or not it expresses opinion or factual information. Polarity classification is the second task, which distinguishes between polarities (positive, negative or neutral) that sentences may carry. The analysis of natural language text for the identification of subjectivity and sentiment has been well studied in terms of the English language. Conversely, the work that has been carried out in terms of Arabic remains in its infancy; thus, more cooperation is required between research communities in order for them to offer a mature sentiment analysis system for Arabic. There are recognized challenges in this field; some of which are inherited from the nature of the Arabic language itself, while others are derived from the scarcity of tools and sources.

This dissertation provides the rationale behind the current work and proposed methods to enhance the performance of sentiment analysis in the Arabic language. The first step is to increase the resources that help in the analysis process; the most important part of this task is to have annotated sentiment corpora. Several free corpora are available for the English language, but these resources are still limited in other languages, such as Arabic. This dissertation describes the work undertaken by the author to enrich sentiment analysis in Arabic by building a new Arabic Sentiment Corpus. The data is labeled not only with two polarities (positive and negative), but the neutral sentiment is also used during the annotation process.

The second step includes the proposal of features that may capture sentiment orientation in the Arabic language, as well as using different machine learning classifiers that may be able to work better and capture the non-linearity with a richly morphological and highly inflectional language, such as Arabic. Different types of features are proposed. These proposed features try to capture different aspects and characteristics of Arabic. Morphological, Semantic, Stylistic features are proposed and investigated. In regard with the classifier, the performance of using linear and nonlinear machine learning approaches was compared. The results are promising for the continued use of nonlinear ML classifiers for this task. Learning knowledge from a particular dataset domain and applying it to a different domain is one useful method in the case of limited resources, such as with the Arabic language. This dissertation shows and discussed the possibility of applying cross-domain in the field of Arabic sentiment analysis. It also indicates the feasibility of using different mechanisms of the cross-domain method.

Other work in this dissertation includes the exploration of the effect of negation in Arabic subjectivity and polarity classification. The negation word lists were devised to help in this and other natural language processing tasks. These words include both types of Arabic, Modern Standard and some of Dialects. Two methods of dealing with the negation in sentiment analysis in Arabic were proposed. The first method is based on a static approach that assumes that each sentence containing negation words is considered a negated sentence. When determining the effect of negation, different techniques were proposed, using different word window sizes, or using base phrase chunk. The second approach depends on a dynamic method that needs an annotated negation dataset in order to build a model that can determine whether or not the sentence is negated by the negation words and to establish the effect of the negation on the sentence. The results achieved by adding negation to Arabic sentiment analysis were promising and indicate that the negation has an effect on this task. Finally, the experiments and evaluations that were conducted in this dissertation encourage the researchers to continue in this direction of research.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Anderson, Charles W.
Commitee: Ben-Hur, Asa, Peterson, Chris, Ray, Indrakshi
School: Colorado State University
Department: Computer Science
School Location: United States -- Colorado
Source: DAI-B 77/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Computer science
Keywords: Arabic sentiment, Machine learning, Polarity classificaion, Sentiment analysis, Subjectivity classification
Publication Number: 3720340
ISBN: 9781339013107
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