Exploiting Coarse-to-Fine Task Transfer for Aspect-Level Sentiment Classification

  • Zheng Li Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
  • Ying Wei Tencent AI Lab
  • Yu Zhang The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
  • Xiang Zhang Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
  • Xin Li The Chinese University of Hong Kong


Aspect-level sentiment classification (ASC) aims at identifying sentiment polarities towards aspects in a sentence, where the aspect can behave as a general Aspect Category (AC) or a specific Aspect Term (AT). However, due to the especially expensive and labor-intensive labeling, existing public corpora in AT-level are all relatively small. Meanwhile, most of the previous methods rely on complicated structures with given scarce data, which largely limits the efficacy of the neural models. In this paper, we exploit a new direction named coarse-to-fine task transfer, which aims to leverage knowledge learned from a rich-resource source domain of the coarse-grained AC task, which is more easily accessible, to improve the learning in a low-resource target domain of the fine-grained AT task. To resolve both the aspect granularity inconsistency and feature mismatch between domains, we propose a Multi-Granularity Alignment Network (MGAN). In MGAN, a novel Coarse2Fine attention guided by an auxiliary task can help the AC task modeling at the same finegrained level with the AT task. To alleviate the feature false alignment, a contrastive feature alignment method is adopted to align aspect-specific feature representations semantically. In addition, a large-scale multi-domain dataset for the AC task is provided. Empirically, extensive experiments demonstrate the effectiveness of the MGAN.