CASA: Conversational Aspect Sentiment Analysis for Dialogue Understanding

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Linfeng Song
Chunlei Xin
Shaopeng Lai
Ante Wang
Jinsong Su
Kun Xu


Dialogue understanding has always been a bottleneck for many conversational tasks, such as dialogue response generation and conversational question answering. To expedite the progress in this area, we introduce the task of conversational aspect sentiment analysis (CASA) that can provide useful fine-grained sentiment information for dialogue understanding and planning. Overall, this task extends the standard aspect-based sentiment analysis to the conversational scenario with several major adaptations. To aid the training and evaluation of data-driven methods, we annotate 3,000 chit-chat dialogues (27,198 sentences) with fine-grained sentiment information, including all sentiment expressions, their polarities and the corresponding target mentions. We also annotate an out-of-domain test set of 200 dialogues for robustness evaluation. Besides, we develop multiple baselines based on either pretrained BERT or self-attention for preliminary study. Experimental results show that our BERT-based model has strong performances for both in-domain and out-of-domain datasets, and thorough analysis indicates several potential directions for further improvements.

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