Fast Dawid-Skene: A Fast Vote Aggregation Scheme for Sentiment Classification

Vaibhav B Sinha, Sukrut Rao, Vineeth N Balasubramanian

Many real world problems can now be effectively solved using supervised machine learning. A major roadblock is often the lack of an adequate quantity of labeled data for training. A possible solution is to assign the task of labeling data to a crowd, and then infer the true label using aggregation methods. A well-known approach for aggregation is the Dawid-Skene (DS) algorithm, which is based on the principle of Expectation-Maximization (EM). We propose a new simple, yet effective, EM-based algorithm, which can be interpreted as a `hard' version of DS, that allows much faster convergence while maintaining similar accuracy in aggregation. We show the use of this algorithm as a quick and effective technique for online, real-time sentiment annotation. We also prove that our algorithm converges to the estimated labels at a linear rate. Our experiments on standard datasets show a significant speedup in time taken for aggregation - upto $\sim$8x over Dawid-Skene and $\sim$6x over other fast EM methods, at competitive accuracy performance. The code for the implementation of the algorithms can be found at https://github.com/GoodDeeds/Fast-Dawid-Skene

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