HindustanTimes Sat,20 Dec 2014


Software deciphers human behaviour on Twitter
New York, August 28, 2014
First Published: 13:10 IST(28/8/2014)
Last Updated: 13:12 IST(28/8/2014)

Researchers have developed a software that deciphers trends on social media by analysing event-based tweets and measures the context of tweets rather than just the quantity.

The programme will help Twitter analysts gain better insight into human behaviour associated with trends and events.

"Trends on Twitter are almost always associated with hashtags which only gives you part of the story," said Sean Goggins, an assistant professor in school of information science and learning technologies at University of Missouri (MU).

"When analysing tweets that are connected to an action or event, looking for specific words at the beginning of the tweets gives us a better indication of what is occurring, rather than only looking at hashtags," he commented.

Trending topics on the social media platform Twitter show the quantity of tweets associated with a specific event.

However, trends only show the highest volume keywords and may not give qualitative information about the tweets themselves.

Using data associated with the Super Bowl and World Series, researchers developed a software which analyses tweets based on the words found within the tweets.

By programming a bag of words or tags they felt would be associated with the Super Bowl and World Series, the software analysed the words and their placement within the 140 character tweets.

"The software is able to detect more nuanced occurrences within the tweet," added Ian Graves from college of engineering at MU.

This method can help authorities investigate the causes of major events like the Boston bombing or to help predict future events, concluded the study that was published in the journal New Media and Strategy.

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