Friday, 8 February 2019

Teaching computers to understand the sentiment of tweets

As part of the EU SoBigData project, the GATE team hosts a number of short research visits, between 2 weeks and 2 months, for all kinds of data scientists (PhD students, researchers, academics, professionals) to come and work with us and to use our tools and/or datasets on a project involving text mining and social media analysis. Kristoffer Stensbo-Smidt visited us in the summer of 2018 from the University of Copenhagen, to work on developing machine learning tools for sentiment analysis of tweets, and was supervised by GATE team member Diana Maynard and by former team member Isabelle Augenstein, who is now at the University of Copenhagen. Kristoffer has a background in Machine Learning but had not worked in NLP before, so this visit helped him understand how to apply his skills to this kind of domain.

After his visit, Kristoffer wrote up an excellent summary of his research. He essentially tested a number of different approaches to processing text, and analysed how much of the sentiment they were able to identify. Given a tweet and an associated topic, the aim is to ascertain automatically whether the sentiment expressed about this topic is positive, negative or neutral. Kristoffer experimented different word embedding-based models in order to test how much information different word embeddings carry for the sentiment of a tweet. This involved choosing which embeddings models to test, and how to transform the topic vectors. The main conclusions he drew from the work were that in general, word embeddings contain a lot of useful information about sentiment, with newer embeddings containing significantly more. This is not particularly surprising, but shows the importance of advanced models for this task.



3rd International Workshop on Rumours and Deception in Social Media (RDSM)

June 11, 2019 in Munich, Germany
Collocated with ICWSM'2019

Abstract

The 3rd edition of the RDSM workshop will particularly focus on online information disorder and its interplay with public opinion formation.

Social media is a valuable resource for mining all kind of information varying from opinions to factual information. However, social media houses issues that are serious threats to the society. Online information disorder and its power on shaping public opinion lead the category of those issues. Among the known aspects are the spread of false rumours, fake news or even social attacks such as hate speech or other forms of harmful social posts. In this workshop the aim is to bring together researchers and practitioners interested in social media mining and analysis to deal with the emerging issues of information disorder and manipulation of public opinion. The focus of the workshop will be on themes such as the detection of fake news, verification of rumours and the understanding of their impact on public opinion.  Furthermore, we aim to put a great emphasis on the usefulness and trust aspects of automated solutions tackling the aforementioned themes.

Workshop Theme and Topics

The aim of this workshop is to bring together researchers and practitioners interested in social media mining and analysis to deal with the emerging issues of veracity assessment, fake news detection and manipulation of public opinion. We invite researchers and practitioners to submit papers reporting results on these issues. Qualitative studies performing user studies on the challenges encountered with the use of social media, such as the veracity of information and fake news detection, as well as papers reporting new data sets are also welcome. Finally, we also welcome studies reporting the usefulness and trust of social media tools tackling the aforementioned problems.


Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Detection and tracking of rumours.
  • Rumour veracity classification.
  • Fact-checking social media.
  • Detection and analysis of disinformation, hoaxes and fake news.
  • Stance detection in social media.
  • Qualitative user studies assessing the use of social media.
  • Bots detection in social media.
  • Measuring public opinion through social media.
  • Assessing the impact of social media in public opinion.
  • Political analyses of social media.
  • Real-time social media mining.
  • NLP for social media analysis.
  • Network analysis and diffusion of dis/misinformation.
  • Usefulness and trust analysis of social media tools.

Workshop Program Format


We will have 1-2 experts in the field delivering keynote speeches. We will then have a set of 8-10 presentations of peer-reviewed submissions, organised into 3 sessions by subject (the first two sessions about online information disorder and public opinion and the third session about the usefulness and trust aspects). After the session we also plan to have a group work (groups of size 4-5 attendances) where each group will sketch a social media tool for tackling e.g. rumour verification, fake news detection, etc. The emphasis of the sketch should be on aspects like usefulness and trust. This should take no longer than 120 minutes (sketching, presentation/discussion time).  We will close the workshop with a summary and take home messages (max. 15 minutes). Attendance will be open to all interested participants.

We welcome both full papers (5-8 pages) to be presented as oral talks and short papers (2-4 pages) to be presented as posters and demos.


Workshop Schedule/Important Dates
  • Submission deadline: March 25th 2019
  • Notification of Acceptance: April 12th 2019
  • Camera-Ready Versions Due: April 26th 2019
  • Workshop date: June 11, 2019  

 

Submission Procedure


We invite two kinds of submissions:

-  Long papers/Brief Research Report (max 8 pages + 2 references)
-  Demos and poster (short papers) (max 4 pages + 2 references)

Proceedings of the workshop will be published jointly with other ICWSM workshops in a special 
issue of Frontiers in Big Data.


Papers must be submitted electronically in PDF format or any format that is supported by the 
submission site through https://www.frontiersin.org/research-topics/9706 (click on "Submit your manuscript"). 
Note, submitting authors should choose one of the specific track organizers as their preferred Editor.

You can find detailed information on the file submission requirements here:
https://www.frontiersin.org/about/author-guidelines#FileRequirements

Submissions will be peer-reviewed by at least three members of the programme
committee. The accepted papers will appear in the proceedings published at 
 https://www.frontiersin.org/research-topics/9706



Workshop Organizers

Programme Committee (Tentative)

  • Nikolas Aletras, University of Sheffield, UK
  • Jisun An, QCRI, Qatar
  • Pablo Aragón, Eurecat, Spain
  • Nicholas Diakopoulos, Northwestern University, USA
  • Emilio Ferrara, University of Southern California, USA
  • Bahareh Heravi, University College Dublin, Ireland
  • Haewoon Kwak, QCRI, Qatar
  • Vasileios Lampos, UCL, UK
  • Piroska Lendvai, University of Göttingen, Germany
  • Michal Lukasik, Google, Switzerland
  • Matteo Magnini, Uppsala University, Sweden
  • Miguel Martinez-Alvarez, Signal Media Ltd., UK
  • Petya Osenova, Ontotext, Bulgaria
  • Leysia Palen, University of Colorado Boulder, USA
  • Sara Rosenthal, Columbia University, USA
  • Damiano Spina, RMIT University, Australia
  • Peter Tolmie, Universität Siegen, Germany
  • Sumithra Velupillai, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden
  • Andreas Vlachos, University of Sheffield, UK
  • Bo Wang, Alan Turing Institute, UK
  • Marcos Zampieri, University of Wolverhampton, UK

 

Invited Speaker(s)

To be announced

Sponsors

This workshop is  supported by the European Union under grant agreement No. 654024, SoBigData.
 


And the EU co-funded horizon 2020 project that deals with algorithm-supported verification of digital content


WeVerify

Monday, 21 January 2019

SoBigData funded travel grant for short-term visiting Scholar

As a part of SoBigData's Transnational Access (TNA) activities, the Department of Computer Science at Sheffield University is keen to host scholars from non-UK universities who would like to visit Sheffield to undertake a short period of research as part of a scheme to promote international cooperation and the dissemination of knowledge. Grants are made available to cover 1-2 month research for scholars at non-UK universities/organisations. During the visit scholars will join in one of the following research projects:

       • Social media part of speech tagging in multiple languages
           — Part of Speech is one of the most widely used linguistic features to analyse social media content. The project aims to build models to tag social media content with the universal POS tag set.

       • Social media named entity recognition in multiple languages
           — The presentation of named entities in social media is generally different from the presentation of named entities in news articles. NER systems trained on news articles cannot perform well in social media analysis. The aim of this project is to build NER models for social media in different European languages

       • Sentiment Analysis for Twitter posts
          — Sentiment analysis is one of the basic components used to analyse societal debates. This project aims to build a sentiment analysis model based on short and noisy twitter posts.


 What is covered (up to 4500 euros):
 Return flight/train tickets to Sheffield
 Accommodation during the visiting period
 Daily subsistence
 GATE Summer School
 Mentor from GATE members 

 Deadlines:
 Application before: 30 March 2019
 Notification: within 2 months after submission


 Eligibility Requirements:
 Candidates must:
       • have PhD degree or be enrolled in a doctoral programme offered by an educational institution recognised by that country’s authorities
       • not be enrolled as a student or worked in a higher education institution of the United Kingdom
       • resume studies/work in their home country after the end of the grant period

 How to apply:
Applicants should apply though SoBigData TransNationalAccess (http://www.sobigdata.eu/content/open-call-sobigdata-funded-transnational-access)


Any question related to the projects please contact: Xingyi Song (x.song@sheffield.ac.uk)