Affective, linguistic and topic patterns in online autism communities

Thin Nguyen, Thi Duong, Dinh Phung, Svetha Venkatesh

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

7 Citations (Scopus)


Online communities offer a platform to support and discuss health issues. They provide a more accessible way to bring people of the same concerns or interests. This paper aims to study the characteristics of online autism communities (called Clinical) in comparison with other online communities (called Control) using data from 110 Live Journal weblog communities. Using machine learning techniques, we comprehensively analyze these online autism communities. We study three key aspects expressed in the blog posts made by members of the communities: sentiment, topics and language style. Sentiment analysis shows that the sentiment of the clinical group has lower valence, indicative of poorer moods than people in control. Topics and language styles are shown to be good predictors of autism posts. The result shows the potential of social media in medical studies for a broad range of purposes such as screening, monitoring and subsequently providing supports for online communities of individuals with special needs.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWeb Information Systems Engineering – WISE 2014
Subtitle of host publication15th International Conference Thessaloniki, Greece, October 12-14, 2014 Proceedings, Part II
EditorsBoualem Benatallah, Azer Bestavros, Yannis Manolopoulos, Athena Vakali, Yanchun Zhang
Place of PublicationCham Switzerland
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9783319117461
ISBN (Print)9783319117454
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Conference on Web Information Systems Engineering 2014 - Thessaloniki , Greece
Duration: 12 Oct 201414 Oct 2014
Conference number: 15th (Proceedings)

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


ConferenceInternational Conference on Web Information Systems Engineering 2014
Abbreviated titleWISE 2014
Internet address


  • Affective computing
  • Mental health
  • Web mining
  • Weblog

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