Identifying Intention Posts in Discussion Forums

Zhiyuan Chen, Bing Liu, Meichun Hsu, Malu Castellanos and Riddhiman Ghosh

This paper proposes to study the problem of identifying intention posts in online discussion forums. For example, in a discussion forum, a user wrote “I plan to buy a camera,” which indicates a buying intention. This intention can be easily exploited by advertisers. To the best of our knowledge, there is still no reported study of this problem. Our research found that this problem is particularly suited to transfer learning because in different domains, people express the same intention in similar ways. We then propose a new transfer learning method which, unlike a general transfer learning algorithm, exploits several special characteristics of the problem. Experimental results show that the proposed method outperforms several strong baselines, including supervised learning in the target domain and a recent transfer learning method.

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