Speaker: Janos Borst, Jannis Klaehn and Manuel Burghardt
Affiliation: Computational Humanities, Leipzig University, Germany
Title: Death of the Dictionary? – The Rise of Zero-Shot Sentiment Classification
Abstract: In our study, we conduct a comparative analysis between dictionary-based sentiment analysis and entailment zero-shot text classification for German sentiment analysis. We evaluate the performance of a selection of dictionaries on eleven data sets, including four domain-specific data sets with a focus on historic German language. Our results demonstrate that, in the majority of cases, zero-shot text classification outperforms general-purpose dictionary-based approaches but falls short of the performance achieved by specifically fine-tuned models. Notably, the zero-shot approach exhibits superior performance, particularly in historic German cases, surpassing both general-purpose dictionaries and even a broadly trained sentiment model. These findings indicate that zero-shot text classification holds significant promise as an alternative, reducing the necessity for domain-specific sentiment dictionaries and narrowing the availability gap of off-the-shelf methods for German sentiment analysis. Additionally, we thoroughly discuss the inherent trade-offs associated with the application of these approaches.