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Syntactic Patterns versus Word Alignment: Extracting Opinion Targets from Online Reviews

Kang Liu, Liheng Xu and Jun Zhao

The 51st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL 2013)
Sofia, Bulgaria, August 4-9, 2013


Mining opinion targets is an fundamental and important task for opinion mining from online reviews. To this end, there are usually two kinds of methods: syntax based and alignment based methods. Syntax based methods usually exploited syntactic patterns to extract opinion targets, which were however prone to suffer from parsing errors when dealing with online informal texts. In contrast, alignment based methods used word alignment model to fulfill this task, which could avoid parsing errors without using parsing. However, there is no research focusing on which kind of method is more better when given a certain amount of reviews. To fill this gap, this paper empirically studies how the performance of these two kinds of methods vary when changing the size, domain and language of the corpus. We further combine syntactic patterns with alignment model by using a partially supervised framework and investigate whether this combination is useful or not. In our experiments, we verify that our combination is effective on the corpus with small and medium size.

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