The paper presents an intelligent system to automatically infer trends in the public opinion regarding the stance towards the vaccination topic: it enables the detection of significant opinion shifts, which can be possibly explained with the occurrence of specific social context-related events. The Italian setting has been taken as the reference use case. The source of information exploited by the system is represented by the collection of vaccine-related tweets, fetched from Twitter according to specific criteria; subsequently, tweets undergo a textual elaboration and a final classification to detect the expressed stance towards vaccination (i.e. in favor, not in favor, and neutral). In tuning the system, we tested multiple combinations of different text representations and classification approaches: the best accuracy was achieved by the scheme that adopts the bag-of-words, with stemmed n-grams as tokens, for text representation and the support vector machine model for the classification. By presenting the results of a monitoring campaign lasting 10 months, we show that the system may be used to track and monitor the public opinion about vaccination decision making, in a low-cost, real-time, and quick fashion. Finally, we also verified that the proposed scheme for continuous tweet classification does not seem to suffer particularly from concept drift, considering the time span of the monitoring campaign.

Monitoring the Public Opinion about the Vaccination Topic from Tweets Analysis

D'Andrea, Eleonora;Ducange, Pietro;Bechini, Alessio;Renda, Alessandro;Marcelloni, Francesco
2019-01-01

Abstract

The paper presents an intelligent system to automatically infer trends in the public opinion regarding the stance towards the vaccination topic: it enables the detection of significant opinion shifts, which can be possibly explained with the occurrence of specific social context-related events. The Italian setting has been taken as the reference use case. The source of information exploited by the system is represented by the collection of vaccine-related tweets, fetched from Twitter according to specific criteria; subsequently, tweets undergo a textual elaboration and a final classification to detect the expressed stance towards vaccination (i.e. in favor, not in favor, and neutral). In tuning the system, we tested multiple combinations of different text representations and classification approaches: the best accuracy was achieved by the scheme that adopts the bag-of-words, with stemmed n-grams as tokens, for text representation and the support vector machine model for the classification. By presenting the results of a monitoring campaign lasting 10 months, we show that the system may be used to track and monitor the public opinion about vaccination decision making, in a low-cost, real-time, and quick fashion. Finally, we also verified that the proposed scheme for continuous tweet classification does not seem to suffer particularly from concept drift, considering the time span of the monitoring campaign.
2019
D'Andrea, Eleonora; Ducange, Pietro; Bechini, Alessio; Renda, Alessandro; Marcelloni, Francesco
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/927671
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