Arabic NLP: infectious disease ontology with non-standard terminology & metaphorical expressions in sentiment analysis

Lama Alsudias & Israa Alsiyat

SCC, Lancaster University

Part 1: Developing an Arabic Infectious Disease Ontology to Include Non-Standard Terminology (Lama Alsudias and Paul Rayson)

Building ontologies is a crucial part of the semantic web endeavour. In recent years, research interest has grown rapidly in supporting languages such as Arabic in NLP in general but there has been very little research on medical ontologies for Arabic. We present a new Arabic ontology in the infectious disease domain to support various important applications including the monitoring of infectious disease spread via social media. This ontology meaningfully integrates the scientific vocabularies of infectious diseases with their informal equivalents. We use ontology learning strategies with manual checking to build the ontology. We applied three statistical methods for term extraction from selected Arabic infectious diseases articles: TF-IDF, C-value, and YAKE. We also conducted a study, by consulting around 100 individuals, to discover the informal terms related to infectious diseases in Arabic. In future work, we will automatically extract the relations for infectious disease concepts but for now these are manually created. We report two complementary experiments to evaluate the ontology. First, a quantitative evaluation of the term extraction results and an additional qualitative evaluation by a domain expert.

Part 2: Metaphorical Expressions in Automatic Arabic Sentiment Analysis (Israa Alsiyat and Scott Piao)

Over the recent years, Arabic language resources and NLP tools have been under rapid development. One of the important tasks for Arabic natural language processing is the sentiment analysis. While a significant improvement has been achieved in this research area, the existing computational models and tools still suffer from the lack of capability of dealing with Arabic metaphorical expressions. Metaphor has an important role in Arabic language due to its unique history and culture. Metaphors provide a linguistic mechanism for expressing ideas and notions that can be different from their surface form. Therefore, in order to efficiently identify true sentiment of Arabic language data, a computational model needs to be able to "read between lines". In this paper, we examine the issue of metaphors in automatic Arabic sentiment analysis by carrying out an experiment, in which we observe the performance of a state-of-art Arabic sentiment tool on metaphors and analyse the result to gain a deeper insight into the issue. Our experiment evidently shows that metaphors have a significant impact on the performance of current Arabic sentiment tools, and it is an important task to develop Arabic language resources and computational models for Arabic metaphors.

Week 25 2019/2020

Thursday 21st May 2020

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