Alleviating data sparsity for Twitter sentiment analysis

Saif, Hassan; He, Yulan and Alani, Harith (2012). Alleviating data sparsity for Twitter sentiment analysis. In: 2nd Workshop on Making Sense of Microposts (#MSM2012): Big things come in small packages at the 21st International Conference on theWorld Wide Web (WWW'12), 16 Apr 2012, Lyon, France, CEUR Workshop Proceedings (, pp. 2–9.



Twitter has brought much attention recently as a hot research topic in the domain of sentiment analysis. Training sentiment classifiers from tweets data often faces the data sparsity problem partly due to the large variety of short and irregular forms introduced to tweets because of the 140-character limit. In this work we propose using two different sets of features to alleviate the data sparseness problem. One is the semantic feature set where we extract semantically hidden concepts from tweets and then incorporate them into classifier training through interpolation. Another is the sentiment-topic feature set where we extract latent topics and the associated topic sentiment from tweets, then augment the original feature space with these sentiment-topics. Experimental results on the Stanford Twitter Sentiment Dataset show that both feature sets outperform the baseline model using unigrams only. Moreover, using semantic features rivals the previously reported best result. Using sentiment topic features achieves 86.3% sentiment classification accuracy, which outperforms existing approaches.

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