A feasibility study on extracting twitter users'interests using NLP tools for serendipitous connections

Scott Piao, Jon Whittle

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper presents our research on the feasibility of extracting Twitter users'interests for suggesting serendipitous connections using natural language processing (NLP) technology. Defined by Andel Error! Reference source not found. as the art of making an unsought finding, serendipity has a positive role in scientific research and people's daily lives. Applications that facilitate serendipity would bring various benefits to us. In this work, we focus on the mining of users'interests from Twitter messages (tweets hereafter) to support the detection of serendipitous connections. To address the challenge, we explore a set of NLP tools to develop a real-time system for automatically extracting the users'interests in the form of named entities and core terms. We also examine the different contributions of three different information sources with regard to the user's interests. Furthermore, we examine the issue of determining the additional attribute of surprisingness/ unexpectedness of the terms and entities of interest which we deem critical for detecting serendipitous connections. Our prototype system was tested with a group of Twitter users involving approximately 2,300 tweets. Our algorithm achieved varying degrees of success on each of the users, demonstrating feasibility of identifying serendipitous interest terms and entities. For example, 27.5% of terms extracted for one of the users were judged to be serendipitous.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2011 IEEE International Conference on Privacy, Security, Risk and Trust and IEEE International Conference on Social Computing, PASSAT/SocialCom 2011
PublisherIEEE, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Pages910-915
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9780769545783
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes
Event2011 IEEE International Conference on Privacy, Security, Risk and Trust and 2011 IEEE International Conference on Social Computing - Boston, United States of America
Duration: 9 Oct 201111 Oct 2011

Conference

Conference2011 IEEE International Conference on Privacy, Security, Risk and Trust and 2011 IEEE International Conference on Social Computing
Abbreviated titlePASSAT 2011 & SocialCom 2011
Country/TerritoryUnited States of America
CityBoston
Period9/10/1111/10/11

Keywords

  • Interest extraction
  • Named entity
  • Natural langauge processing
  • Serendipity
  • Social computing
  • Twitter analysis

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