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A hybrid machine learning approach to measuring sentiment, credibility and influence on Twitter

Heeley, Robert (2017). A hybrid machine learning approach to measuring sentiment, credibility and influence on Twitter. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City, University of London)

Abstract

Current sentiment analysis on Twitter is hampered by two factors namely, not all accounts are genuine and not all users have the same level of influence. Including non credible and irrelevant Tweets in sentiment analysis dilutes the effectiveness of any sentiment produced. Similarly, counting a Tweet with a potential audience of 10 users as having the same impact as a Tweet that could reach 1 million users is not accurately reflecting its importance. In order to mitigate against these inherent problems a novel method was devised to account for credibility and to measure influence. The current definition of credibility on Twitter was redefined and expanded to incorporate the subtle nuances that exist beyond the simple variance between human or bot account. Once basic sentiment was produced it was filtered by removing non credible Tweets and the remaining sentiment was augmented by weighting it based upon both the user’s and the Tweet’s influence scores. Measuring one person’s opinion is costly and lacking in power, however, machine learning techniques allow us to capture and analyse millions of opinions. Combining a Tweet’s sentiment with the user’s influence score and their credibility rating greatly increases the understanding and usefulness of that sentiment. In order to gauge and measure the impact of this research and highlight its generalisability, this thesis examined 2 distinct real world datasets, the UK General Election 2015 and the Rugby World Cup 2015, which also served to validate the approach used. A better more accurate understanding of sentiment on Twitter has the potential for broad impact from providing targeted advertising that is in tune with people’s needs and desires to providing governments with a better understanding of the will and desire of the people.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: T Technology > T Technology (General)
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > ZA Information resources > ZA4050 Electronic information resources
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > ZA Information resources > ZA4450 Databases
Departments: Doctoral Theses
Doctoral Theses > School of Mathematics, Computer Science and Engineering Doctoral Theses
School of Mathematics, Computer Science & Engineering > Computer Science
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/20213
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