Text mining Twitter social media for Covid-19 : Comparing latent semantic analysis and latent Dirichlet allocation

University essay from Högskolan i Gävle/Avdelningen för datavetenskap och samhällsbyggnad

Abstract: In this thesis, the Twitter social media is data mined for information about the covid-19 outbreak during the month of March, starting from the 3’rd and ending on the 31’st. 100,000 tweets were collected from Harvard’s opensource data and recreated using Hydrate. This data is analyzed further using different Natural Language Processing (NLP) methodologies, such as termfrequency inverse document frequency (TF-IDF), lemmatizing, tokenizing, Latent Semantic Analysis (LSA) and Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA). Furthermore, the results of the LSA and LDA algorithms is reduced dimensional data that will be clustered using clustering algorithms HDBSCAN and K-Means for later comparison. Different methodologies are used to determine the optimal parameters for the algorithms. This is all done in the python programing language, as there are libraries for supporting this research, the most important being scikit-learn. The frequent words of each cluster will then be displayed and compared with factual data regarding the outbreak to discover if there are any correlations. The factual data is collected by World Health Organization (WHO) and is then visualized in graphs in ourworldindata.org. Correlations with the results are also looked for in news articles to find any significant moments to see if that affected the top words in the clustered data. The news articles with good timelines used for correlating incidents are that of NBC News and New York Times. The results show no direct correlations with the data reported by WHO, however looking into the timelines reported by news sources some correlation can be seen with the clustered data. Also, the combination of LDA and HDBSCAN yielded the most desireable results in comparison to the other combinations of the dimnension reductions and clustering. This was much due to the use of GridSearchCV on LDA to determine the ideal parameters for the LDA models on each dataset as well as how well HDBSCAN clusters its data in comparison to K-Means.

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