Predicting Subjectivity Orientation of Online Forum Threads Page: 1
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Predicting Subjectivity Orientation of Online
Prakhar Biyanit, Cornelia Carageat, and Prasenjit Mitrat
The Pennsylvania State University, US
$ University of North Texas, US
email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Abstract. Online forums contain huge amounts of valuable information
in the form of discussions between forum users. The topics of discus-
sions can be subjective seeking opinions of other users on some issue
or non-subjective seeking factual answer to specific questions. Internet
users search these forums for different types of information such as opin-
ions, evaluations, speculations, facts, etc. Hence, knowing subjectivity
orientation of forum threads would improve information search in online
forums. In this paper, we study methods to analyze subjectivity of online
forum threads. We build binary classifiers on textual features extracted
from thread content to classify threads as subjective or non-subjective.
We demonstrate the effectiveness of our methods on two popular online
Online forums contain huge amounts of discussions between Internet users on
various domain-specific problems such as Mac OS products, cameras, operating
systems, music, traveling, health, as well as daily life experiences. Such informa-
tion is difficult to find in other online sources (e.g., product manuals, Wikipedia,
etc), and hence, these forums are increasingly becoming popular among Internet
users. Topics of discussion in online forum threads can be subjective or non-
subjective. Subjective topics seek personal opinions or viewpoints, whereas non-
subjective topics seek factual information.
Different users have different needs. Some search the web for subjective infor-
mation like discussions on a certain topic to educate themselves about multiple
points of view related to the topic, people's emotions, etc. Others pose queries
that are objective and have short factual answers. Specifically, a user may want to
learn what other people think about some problem, e.g., "which is the best cam-
era for beginners?" or they may want un-opinionated information such as facts
or verifiable information, e.g., "what do the numbers on camera lenses mean?".
We call the former question as subjective and the latter as non-subjective.
Subjective information needs are more likely to be satisfied by forum threads
discussing subjective topics and non-subjective information needs are more likely
to be satisfied by forum threads discussing non-subjective topics. Let us consider
this example. A user has two information needs related to Canon 7D camera that
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Biyani, Prakhar; Caragea, Cornelia & Mitra, Prasenjit. Predicting Subjectivity Orientation of Online Forum Threads, chapter, March 2013; [Berlin, Germany]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc725770/m1/1/: accessed October 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT College of Engineering.