Aspect-based sentiment analysis of review texts is of great value for understanding user feedback in a fine-grained manner. It has in general two sub-tasks: (i) extracting aspects from each review, and (ii) classifying aspect-based reviews by sentiment polarity. In this paper, we propose a weakly-supervised approach for aspect-based sentiment analysis, which uses only a few keywords describing each aspect/sentiment without using any labeled examples. Existing methods are either designed only for one of the sub-tasks, or are based on topic models that may contain overlapping concepts. We propose to first learn <sentiment, aspect> joint topic embeddings in the word embedding space by imposing regularizations to encourage topic distinctiveness, and then use neural models to generalize the word-level discriminative information by pre-training the classifiers with embedding-based predictions and self-training them on unlabeled data. Our comprehensive performance analysis shows that our method generates quality joint topics and outperforms the baselines significantly (7.4% and 5.1% F1-score gain on average for aspect and sentiment classification respectively) on benchmark datasets.
Current text classification methods typically require a good number of human-labeled documents as training data, which can be costly and difficult to obtain in real applications. Humans can perform classification without seeing any labeled examples but only based on a small set of words describing the categories to be classified. In this paper, we explore the potential of only using the label name of each class to train classification models on unlabeled data, without using any labeled documents. We use pre-trained neural language models both as general linguistic knowledge sources for category understanding and as representation learning models for document classification. Our method (1) associates semantically related words with the label names, (2) finds category-indicative words and trains the model to predict their implied categories, and (3) generalizes the model via self-training. We show that our model achieves around 90% accuracy on four benchmark datasets including topic and sentiment classification without using any labeled documents but learning from unlabeled data supervised by at most 3 words (1 in most cases) per class as the label name.