Snippext: Semi-supervised Opinion Mining with Augmented Data

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Publications: arXiv Add/Edit

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Online services are interested in solutions to opinion mining, which is the problem of extracting aspects, opinions, and sentiments from text. One method to mine opinions is to leverage the recent success of pre-trained language models which can be fine-tuned to obtain high-quality extractions from reviews. However, fine-tuning language models still requires a non-trivial amount of training data. In this paper, we study the problem of how to significantly reduce the amount of labeled training data required in fine-tuning language models for opinion mining. We describe Snippext, an opinion mining system developed over a language model that is fine-tuned through semi-supervised learning with augmented data. A novelty of Snippext is its clever use of a two-prong approach to achieve state-of-the-art (SOTA) performance with little labeled training data through: (1) data augmentation to automatically generate more labeled training data from existing ones, and (2) a semi-supervised learning technique to leverage the massive amount of unlabeled data in addition to the (limited amount of) labeled data. We show with extensive experiments that Snippext performs comparably and can even exceed previous SOTA results on several opinion mining tasks with only half the training data required. Furthermore, it achieves new SOTA results when all training data are leveraged. By comparison to a baseline pipeline, we found that Snippext extracts significantly more fine-grained opinions which enable new opportunities of downstream applications.

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