Span Extraction Aided Improved Code-mixed Sentiment Classification

Sentiment classification is a fundamental NLP task of detecting the sentiment polarity of a given text. In this paper we show how solving sentiment span extraction as an auxiliary task can help improve final sentiment classification performance in a low-resource code-mixed setup. To be precise, we don’t solve a simple multi-task learning objective, but rather design a unified transformer framework that exploits the bidirectional connection between the two tasks simultaneously. To facilitate research in this direction we release gold-standard human-annotated sentiment span extraction dataset for Tamil-english code-switched texts. Extensive experiments and strong baselines show that our proposed approach outperforms sentiment and span prediction by 1.27% and 2.78% respectively when compared to the best performing MTL baseline. We also establish the generalizability of our approach on the Twitter Sentiment Extraction dataset. We make our code and data publicly available on GitHub

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