AAAI Publications, Twenty-Ninth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence

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Exploring Social Context for Topic Identification in Short and Noisy Texts
Xin Wang, Ying Wang, Wanli Zuo, Guoyong Cai

Last modified: 2015-02-18


With the pervasion of social media, topic identification in short texts attracts increasing attention in  recent years. However, in nature the texts of social media are short and noisy, and the structures are sparse and dynamic, resulting in difficulty to identify topic categories exactly from online social media. Inspired by social science findings that preference consistency and social contagion are observed in social media, we investigate topic identification in short and noisy texts by exploring social context from the perspective of social sciences. In particular, we present a mathematical optimization formulation that incorporates the preference consistency and social contagion theories into a supervised learning method, and conduct feature selection to tackle short and noisy texts in social media, which result in a Sociological framework for Topic Identification (STI). Experimental results on real-world datasets from Twitter and Citation Network demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed framework. Further experiments are conducted to understand the importance of social context in topic identification.


Topic Identification; Short and Noisy Texts; Preference Consistency; Social Contagion; Lasso

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