Thread Specific Features Are Helpful For Identifying Subjectivity Orientation of Online Forum Threads Page: 1
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Thread Specific Features Are Helpful For Identifying
Subjectivity Orientation of Online Forum Threads
Prakhar Biyani1 Sumit Bhatia2 Cornelia Caragea Prasenjit Mitra1
(1) College of Information Sciences and Technology, The Pennsylvania State University, USA
(2) Department of Computer Science, The Pennsylvania State University, USA
prakharbiyani@gmail. com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com,
Subjectivity analysis has been actively used in various applications such as opinion mining
of customer reviews in online review sites, question-answering in CQA sites, multi-document
summarization, etc. However, there has been very little focus on subjectivity analysis in the
domain of online forums. Online forums contain huge amounts of user-generated data in the
form of discussions between forum members on specific topics and are a valuable source of
information. In this work, we perform subjectivity analysis of online forum threads. We model
the task as a binary classification of threads in one of the two classes: subjective and non-
subjective. Unlike previous works on subjectivity analysis, we use several non-lexical thread-
specific features for identifying subjectivity orientation of threads. We evaluate our methods by
comparing them with several state-of-the-art subjectivity analysis techniques. Experimental re-
sults on two popular online forums demonstrate that our methods outperform strong baselines
in most of the cases.
KEYWORDS: Online Forums, subjecitivity, dialogue act.
A large number of online forums in various domains (e.g., health, sports, travel, camera, lap-
tops, etc.) exists today, containing huge volumes of user-generated data in the form of discus-
sions between members. The topics discussed in the threads of these forums are very unique
in nature as they are often related to practical aspects of life (e.g., How much to tip after
bad service?). Since such information is not available in other webpages, online forums are
increasingly becoming very popular among internet users for discussing real life problems.
In this work, we analyze subjectivity of online forum threads. We identify two types of threads
in an online forum: subjective and non-subjective and we model the subjectivity analysis task as
a binary classification problem. Subjective threads discuss subjective topics that seek opinions,
viewpoints, evaluations, and other private states of people, whereas non-subjective threads
discuss non-subjective topics that seek factual information. Figure 1 shows a subjective thread
from an online forum, Trip-Advisor New York. Figure 2 shows a non-subjective thread from
the same forum. In the former, the topic of discussion is whether to tip or not after bad service?,
which seeks opinions, whereas the latter seeks factual information about bands/artists playing
in December in Madison Square Gardens. To the best of our knowledge, previous work on
subjectivity analysis has not tackled the problem of identifying subjectivity orientation of online
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Biyani, Prakhar; Bhatia, Sumit; Caragea, Cornelia & Mitra, Prasenjit. Thread Specific Features Are Helpful For Identifying Subjectivity Orientation of Online Forum Threads, paper, October 2012; [New York, New York]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc181701/m1/1/: accessed October 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT College of Engineering.