Researcher analyses election ‘sentiment’ twitter trends

23 Feb 2011

DCU computing researcher Adam Bermingham has developed a system for real-time analysis of tweets posted in connection with the Irish General Election campaign.

Bermingham is working on tweets associated with the campaign and is running a real-time analysis on their content.

By taking short snippets of text from the tweets and categorising them as either positive, neutral or negative, he is able to provide information on the current ‘trending’ sentiment.

The output from the analysis can be viewed on website, which is offering real-time news updates to a growing audience.

Real-time sentiment analysis

The ‘twitter tracker’ is able to break the information down and provide information on the sentiment and volume for individual parties and their leaders, the top 10 terms associated with each party and their leader, and a top 10 retweet chart where you can see the most popular tweets at any given time, or overall.

The work is being carried out as part of CLARITY: Centre for Sensor Web Technologies, a partnership between Dublin City University, University College Dublin and the Tyndall National Institute.

Bermingham has already carried out ‘sentiment analysis’ of blogs on stocks and shares in the financial domain, on finalists in the recent X-Factor TV show, and now on the General Election campaign.

He recently hosted “tweetfests” for almost 40 researchers in connection with the X-Factor final and for the leaders’ TV debate, during which his real-time sentiment analysis selected tweets which were routed to the 40 users.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years