Journal article Open Access

Public opinion monitoring through collective semantic analysis of tweets

Dionysios Karamouzas; Ioannis Mademlis; Ioannis Pitas

The high popularity of Twitter renders it an excellent tool for political research, while opinion mining through semantic analysis of individual tweets has proven valuable. However, exploiting relevant scientific advances for collective analysis of Twitter messages in order to quantify general public opinion has not been explored. This paper presents such a novel, automated public opinion monitoring mechanism , consisting of a semantic descriptor that relies on Natural Language Processing (NLP) algorithms. A four-dimensional descriptor is first extracted for each tweet independently, quantifying text polarity, offensiveness, bias and figurativeness. Subsequently, it is summarized across multiple tweets, according to a desired aggregation strategy and aggregation target. This can then be exploited in various ways, such as training machine learning models for forecasting day-by-day public opinion predictions. The proposed mechanism is applied to the 2016/2020 US Presidential Elections tweet datasets and the resulting succinct public opinion descriptions are explored as a case study.

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