Sentiment analysis in multiple languages: Feature selection for opinion classification in Web forums

Ahmed Abbasi, Hsinchun Chen, Arab Salem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

732 Scopus citations


The Internet is frequently used as a medium for exchange of information and opinions, as well as propaganda dissemination. In this study the use of sentiment analysis methodologies is proposed for classification of Web forum opinions in multiple languages. The utility of stylistic and syntactic features is evaluated for sentiment classification of English and Arabic content. Specific feature extraction components are integrated to account for the linguistic characteristics of Arabic. The entropy weighted genetic algorithm (EWGA) is also developed, which is a hybridized genetic algorithm that incorporates the information-gain heuristic for feature selection. EWGA is designed to improve performance and get a better assessment of key features. The proposed features and techniques are evaluated on a benchmark movie review dataset and U.S. and Middle Eastern Web forum postings. The experimental results using EWGA with SVM indicate high performance levels, with accuracies of over 91% on the benchmark dataset as well as the U.S. and Middle Eastern forums. Stylistic features significantly enhanced performance across all testbeds while EWGA also outperformed other feature selection methods, indicating the utility of these features and techniques for document-level classification of sentiments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number12
JournalACM Transactions on Information Systems
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2008


  • Feature selection
  • Opinion mining
  • Sentiment analysis
  • Text classification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Computer Science Applications


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