Comparing deep learning architectures for sentiment analysis on drug reviews Articles uri icon

publication date

  • October 2020

start page

  • 1

end page

  • 11


  • 110

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1532-0464

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1532-0480


  • Since the turn of the century, as millions of user's opinions are available on the web, sentiment analysis has become one of the most fruitful research fields in Natural Language Processing (NLP). Research on sentiment analysis has covered a wide range of domains such as economy, polity, and medicine, among others. In the pharmaceutical field, automatic analysis of online user reviews allows for the analysis of large amounts of user's opinions and to obtain relevant information about the effectiveness and side effects of drugs, which could be used to improve pharmacovigilance systems. Throughout the years, approaches for sentiment analysis have progressed from simple rules to advanced machine learning techniques such as deep learning, which has become an emerging technology in many NLP tasks. Sentiment analysis is not oblivious to this success, and several systems based on deep learning have recently demonstrated their superiority over former methods, achieving state-of-the-art results on standard sentiment analysis datasets. However, prior work shows that very few attempts have been made to apply deep learning to sentiment analysis of drug reviews. We present a benchmark comparison of various deep learning architectures such as Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN) and Long short-term memory (LSTM) recurrent neural networks. We propose several combinations of these models and also study the effect of different pre-trained word embedding models. As transformers have revolutionized the NLP field achieving state-of-art results for many NLP tasks, we also explore Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers (BERT) with a Bi-LSTM for the sentiment analysis of drug reviews. Our experiments show that the usage of BERT obtains the best results, but with a very high training time. On the other hand, CNN achieves acceptable results while requiring less training time.


  • Computer Science


  • sentiment analysis; multi-class text classification; deep learning; convolutional neural network; long short-term memory; bidirectional encoder representations from transformers