Sentiment analysis and real-time microblog search
Bermingham, Adam (2012) Sentiment analysis and real-time microblog search. PhD thesis, Dublin City University.
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This thesis sets out to examine the role played by sentiment in real-time microblog search. The recent prominence of the real-time web is proving both challenging and disruptive for a number of areas of research, notably information retrieval and web data mining. User-generated content on the real-time web is perhaps best epitomised by content on microblogging platforms, such as Twitter. Given the substantial quantity of microblog posts that may be relevant to a user query at a given point in time, automated methods are required to enable users to sift through this information. As an area of research reaching maturity, sentiment analysis offers a promising direction for modelling the text content in microblog streams.
In this thesis we review the real-time web as a new area of focus for sentiment analysis, with a specific focus on microblogging. We propose a system and method for evaluating the effect of sentiment on perceived search quality in real-time microblog search scenarios. Initially we provide an evaluation of sentiment analysis using supervised learning for classi- fying the short, informal content in microblog posts. We then evaluate our sentiment-based filtering system for microblog search in a user study with simulated real-time scenarios. Lastly, we conduct real-time user studies for the live broadcast of the popular television programme, the X Factor, and for the Leaders Debate during the Irish General Election. We find that we are able to satisfactorily classify positive, negative and neutral sentiment in microblog posts. We also find a significant role played by sentiment in many microblog search scenarios, observing some detrimental effects in filtering out certain sentiment types. We make a series of observations regarding associations between document-level sentiment and user feedback, including associations with user profile attributes, and users’ prior topic sentiment.
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