Multi-Class Sentiment Analysis in Twitter: What if Classification is Not the Answer

Mondher Bouazizi, Tomoaki Ohtsuki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


With the rapid growth of online social media content, and the impact these have made on people's behavior, many researchers have been interested in studying these media platforms. A major part of their work focused on sentiment analysis and opinion mining. These refer to the automatic identification of opinions of people toward specific topics by analyzing their posts and publications. Multi-class sentiment analysis, in particular, addresses the identification of the exact sentiment conveyed by the user rather than the overall sentiment polarity of his text message or post. That being the case, we introduce a task different from the conventional multi-class classification, which we run on a data set collected from Twitter. We refer to this task as 'quantification.' By the term 'quantification,' we mean the identification of all the existing sentiments within an online post (i.e., tweet) instead of attributing a single sentiment label to it. For this sake, we propose an approach that automatically attributes different scores to each sentiment in a tweet, and selects the sentiments with the highest scores which we judge as conveyed in the text. To reach this target, we added to our previously introduced tool SENTA the necessary components to run and perform such a task. Throughout this work, we present the added components; we study the feasibility of quantification, and propose an approach to perform it on a data set made of tweets for 11 different sentiment classes. The data set was manually labeled and the results of the automatic analysis were checked against the human annotation. Our experiments show the feasibility of this task and reach an F1 score equal to 45.9%.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8496747
Pages (from-to)64486-64502
Number of pages17
JournalIEEE Access
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Twitter
  • machine learning
  • sentiment analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)


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