Sentiment analysis is not solved! Assessing and probing sentiment classification

Jeremy Barnes, Lilja Øvrelid, Erik Velldal

Neural methods for SA have led to quantitative improvements over previous approaches, but these advances are not always accompanied with a thorough analysis of the qualitative differences. Therefore, it is not clear what outstanding conceptual challenges for sentiment analysis remain. In this work, we attempt to discover what challenges still prove a problem for sentiment classifiers for English and to provide a challenging dataset. We collect the subset of sentences that an (oracle) ensemble of state-of-the-art sentiment classifiers misclassify and then annotate them for 18 linguistic and paralinguistic phenomena, such as negation, sarcasm, modality, etc. The dataset is available at https://github.com/ltgoslo/assessing_and_probing_sentiment. Finally, we provide a case study that demonstrates the usefulness of the dataset to probe the performance of a given sentiment classifier with respect to linguistic phenomena.

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