Negative Confidence-Aware Weakly Supervised Binary Classification for Effective Review Helpfulness Classification

Wang, X., Ounis, I. and Macdonald, C. (2020) Negative Confidence-Aware Weakly Supervised Binary Classification for Effective Review Helpfulness Classification. In: 29th ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management (CIKM2020), 19-23 Oct 2020, pp. 1565-1574. ISBN 9781450368599 (doi: 10.1145/3340531.3411978)

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The incompleteness of positive labels and the presence of many unlabelled instances are common problems in binary classification applications such as in review helpfulness classification. Various studies from the classification literature consider all unlabelled instances as negative examples. However, a classification model that learns to classify binary instances with incomplete positive labels while assuming all unlabelled data to be negative examples will often generate a biased classifier. In this work, we propose a novel Negative Confidence-aware Weakly Supervised approach (NCWS), which customises a binary classification loss function by discriminating the unlabelled examples with different negative confidences during the classifier's training. NCWS allows to effectively, unbiasedly identify and separate positive and negative instances after its integration into various binary classifiers from the literature, including SVM, CNN and BERT-based classifiers. We use the review helpfulness classification as a test case for examining the effectiveness of our NCWS approach. We thoroughly evaluate NCWS by using three different datasets, namely one from Yelp (venue reviews), and two from Amazon (Kindle and Electronics reviews). Our results show that NCWS outperforms strong baselines from the literature including an existing SVM-based approach (i.e. SVM-P), the positive and unlabelled learning-based approach (i.e. C-PU) and the positive confidence-based approach (i.e. P-conf) in addressing the classifier's bias problem. Moreover, we further examine the effectiveness of NCWS by using its classified helpful reviews in a state-of-the-art review-based venue recommendation model (i.e. DeepCoNN) and demonstrate the benefits of using NCWS in enhancing venue recommendation effectiveness in comparison to the baselines.

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Additional Information:Online conference
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Macdonald, Professor Craig and Ounis, Professor Iadh
Authors: Wang, X., Ounis, I., and Macdonald, C.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Computing Science
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 Association for Computing Machinery
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher
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