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Research of social media users’ messages based on relational concept analysis


E.V. Kotelnikov – Ph.D. (Eng.), Associate Professor, Head of Department of fundamental informatics, Vyatka State University
V.R. Milov – Dr.Sc. (Eng.), Professor, Head of Department “Electronics and Computers Networks”, Nizhny Novgorod State Technical University n.a. R.E. Alekseev

Currently, various types of social media, such as blogs and microblogs, social networks and forums, are of considerable research interest: big data sets containing opinions of users on different objects (public persons, organizations, goods) are available in electronic form and can be analyzed using automatic methods.
The article proposes an approach for extracting the opinions of social media users on the basis of the Relational Concept Analysis (RCA) method, which is an extension of the Formal Concept Analysis (FCA) method by taking into account the relationships between objects, which allows to identify more complex structures and dependencies. When analyzing relational concepts, the family of lattices is formed using the Multi-FCA iterative algorithm.
An example of the analysis of the social media users’ opinions is given on the basis of the study of text messages from various Internet sources about Kirov region’s monotowns. The input data in this case are user messages in which the sentiment of the opinion (positive, negative, neutral or contradictory) and aspects of life in a monotown (authorities, education, road conditions, cultural events) are marked out. Social-demographic characteristics of users (for example, gender) and connections (authorship) between users and messages are also given. The result of the RCA method is a concept lattice, the analysis of which allows to reveal the hidden dependencies associated with the opinions of socio-demographic groups in relation to various aspects of life in monotowns.
In the future a perspective research direction is the ways to evaluate the finding concepts, for example, by the degree of significance and explanatory ability, which would allow in the automated mode to put forward and rank the corresponding hypotheses regarding the initial data, including the opinions of users of social media.

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