Correlating Facts and Social Media Trends on Environmental Quantities Leveraging Commonsense Reasoning and Human Sentiments
Brad McNamee | Aparna Varde | Simon Razniewski
Proceedings of the 2nd Workshop on Sentiment Analysis and Linguistic Linked Data
As climate change alters the physical world we inhabit, opinions surrounding this hot-button issue continue to fluctuate. This is apparent on social media, particularly Twitter. In this paper, we explore concrete climate change data concerning the Air Quality Index (AQI), and its relationship to tweets. We incorporate commonsense connotations for appeal to the masses. Earlier work focuses primarily on accuracy and performance of sentiment analysis tools / models, much geared towards experts. We present commonsense interpretations of results, such that they are not impervious to the masses. Moreover, our study uses real data on multiple environmental quantities comprising AQI. We address human sentiments gathered from linked data on hashtagged tweets with geolocations. Tweets are analyzed using VADER, subtly entailing commonsense reasoning. Interestingly, correlations between climate change tweets and air quality data vary not only based upon the year, but also the specific environmental quantity. It is hoped that this study will shed light on possible areas to increase awareness of climate change, and methods to address it, by the scientists as well as the common public. In line with Linked Data initiatives, we aim to make this work openly accessible on a network, published with the Creative Commons license.
Sentiment Analysis and Topic Modeling for Public Perceptions of Air Travel: COVID Issues and Policy Amendments
Avery Field | Aparna Varde | Pankaj Lal
Proceedings of the Workshop on Ethical and Legal Issues in Human Language Technologies and Multilingual De-Identification of Sensitive Data In Language Resources within the 13th Language Resources and Evaluation Conference
Among many industries, air travel is impacted by the COVID pandemic. Airlines and airports rely on public sector information to enforce guidelines for ensuring health and safety of travelers. Such guidelines can be policy amendments or laws during the pandemic. In response to the inception of COVID preventive policies, travelers have exercised freedom of expression via the avenue of online reviews. This avenue facilitates voicing public concern while anonymizing / concealing user identity as needed. It is important to assess opinions on policy amendments to ensure transparency and openness, while also preserving confidentiality and ethics. Hence, this study leverages data science to analyze, with identity protection, the online reviews of airlines and airports since 2017, considering impacts of COVID issues and relevant policy amendments since 2020. Supervised learning with VADER sentiment analysis is deployed to predict changes in opinion from 2017 to date. Unsupervised learning with LDA topic modeling is employed to discover air travelers’ major areas of concern before and after the pandemic. This study reveals that COVID policies have worsened public perceptions of air travel and aroused notable new concerns, affecting economics, environment and health.