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User-level sentiment analysis incorporating social networks

Wed, 05 Oct 2011 15:36:41 GMT

We show that information about social relationships can be used to improve user-level sentiment analysis. The main motivation behind our approach is that users that are somehow "connected" may be more likely to hold similar opinions; therefore, relationship information can complement what we can extract about a user's viewpoints from their utterances. Employing Twitter as a source for our experimental data, and working within a semi-supervised framework, we propose models that are induced either from the Twitter follower/followee network or from the network in Twitter formed by users referring to each other using "@" mentions. Our transductive learning results reveal that incorporating social-network information can indeed lead to statistically significant sentiment-classification improvements over the performance of an approach based on Support Vector Machines having access only to textual features.

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