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Computational Linguistics

Paola Merlo, Editor
September 2014, Vol. 40, No. 3, Pages 539-562.
(doi: 10.1162/COLI_a_00192)
@ 2014 Association for Computational Linguistics
A Random Walk–Based Model for Identifying Semantic Orientation
Article PDF (742.66 KB)

Automatically identifying the sentiment polarity of words is a very important task that has been used as the essential building block of many natural language processing systems such as text classification, text filtering, product review analysis, survey response analysis, and on-line discussion mining. We propose a method for identifying the sentiment polarity of words that applies a Markov random walk model to a large word relatedness graph, and produces a polarity estimate for any given word. The model can accurately and quickly assign a polarity sign and magnitude to any word. It can be used both in a semi-supervised setting where a training set of labeled words is used, and in a weakly supervised setting where only a handful of seed words is used to define the two polarity classes. The method is experimentally tested using a gold standard set of positive and negative words from the General Inquirer lexicon. We also show how our method can be used for three-way classification which identifies neutral words in addition to positive and negative words. Our experiments show that the proposed method outperforms the state-of-the-art methods in the semi-supervised setting and is comparable to the best reported values in the weakly supervised setting. In addition, the proposed method is faster and does not need a large corpus. We also present extensions of our methods for identifying the polarity of foreign words and out-of-vocabulary words.