Political discourse in the United States is getting increasingly polarized. This polarization frequently causes different communities to react very differently to the same news events. Political blogs as a form of social media provide an unique insight into this phenomenon. We present a multitarget, semisupervised latent variable model, MCR-LDA to model this process by analyzing political blogs posts and their comment sections from different political communities jointly to predict the degree of polarization that news topics cause. Inspecting the model after inference reveals topics and the degree to which it triggers polarization. In this approach, community responses to news topics are observed using sentiment polarity and comment volume which serves as a proxy for the level of interest in the topic. In this context, we also present computational methods to assign sentiment polarity to the comments which serve as targets for latent variable models that predict the polarity based on the topics in the blog content. Our results show that the joint modeling of communities with different political beliefs using MCR-LDA does not sacrifice accuracy in sentiment polarity prediction when compared to approaches that are tailored to specific communities and additionally provides a view of the polarization in responses from the different communities.
Many common events in our daily life affect us in positive and negative ways. For example, going on vacation is typically an enjoyable event, while being rushed to the hospital is an undesirable event. In narrative stories and personal conversations, recognizing that some events have a strong affective polarity is essential to understand the discourse and the emotional states of the affected people. However, current NLP systems mainly depend on sentiment analysis tools, which fail to recognize many events that are implicitly affective based on human knowledge about the event itself and cultural norms. Our goal is to automatically acquire knowledge of stereotypically positive and negative events from personal blogs. Our research creates an event context graph from a large collection of blog posts and uses a sentiment classifier and semi-supervised label propagation algorithm to discover affective events. We explore several graph configurations that propagate affective polarity across edges using local context, discourse proximity, and event-event co-occurrence. We then harvest highly affective events from the graph and evaluate the agreement of the polarities with human judgements.
We present a supervised framework for expanding an opinion lexicon for tweets. The lexicon contains part-of-speech (POS) disambiguated entries with a three-dimensional probability distribution for positive, negative, and neutral polarities. To obtain this distribution using machine learning, we propose word-level attributes based on POS tags and information calculated from streams of emoticon-annotated tweets. Our experimental results show that our method outperforms the three-dimensional word-level polarity classification performance obtained by semantic orientation, a state-of-the-art measure for establishing world-level sentiment.
This paper addresses the problem of automatically generating domain-specific sentiment clues. The main idea is to bootstrap from a small seed set and generate new clues by using dependencies and collocation information between sentiment clues and sentence-level topics that would be a primary subject of sentiment expression (e.g., event, company, and person). The experiments show that the aggregated clues are effective for sentiment classification.
Research examining the predictive power of social media (especially Twitter) displays conflicting results, particularly in the domain of political elections. This paper applies methods used in studies that have shown a direct correlation between volume/sentiment of Twitter chatter and future electoral results in a new dataset about political elections. We show that these methods display a series of shortcomings that make them inadequate for determining whether social media messages can predict the outcome of elections.