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Characterizing the Discussion of Antibiotics in the Twittersphere: What is the Bigger Picture?

Kendra RL, Karki S, Eickholt JL, Gandy L - J. Med. Internet Res. (2015)

Bottom Line: Most of the existing work surrounding Twitter and health care has shown Twitter to be an effective medium for these problems but more could be done to provide finer and more efficient access to all pertinent data.Furthermore, using newer machine learning techniques and a limited number of manually labeled tweets, an entire body of collected tweets can be classified to indicate what topics are driving the virtual, online discussion.The resulting classifier can also be used to efficiently explore collected tweets by category and search for messages of interest or exemplary content.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Computer Science, Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, MI, United States.

ABSTRACT

Background: User content posted through Twitter has been used for biosurveillance, to characterize public perception of health-related topics, and as a means of distributing information to the general public. Most of the existing work surrounding Twitter and health care has shown Twitter to be an effective medium for these problems but more could be done to provide finer and more efficient access to all pertinent data. Given the diversity of user-generated content, small samples or summary presentations of the data arguably omit a large part of the virtual discussion taking place in the Twittersphere. Still, managing, processing, and querying large amounts of Twitter data is not a trivial task. This work describes tools and techniques capable of handling larger sets of Twitter data and demonstrates their use with the issue of antibiotics.

Objective: This work has two principle objectives: (1) to provide an open-source means to efficiently explore all collected tweets and query health-related topics on Twitter, specifically, questions such as what users are saying and how messages are spread, and (2) to characterize the larger discourse taking place on Twitter with respect to antibiotics.

Methods: Open-source software suites Hadoop, Flume, and Hive were used to collect and query a large number of Twitter posts. To classify tweets by topic, a deep network classifier was trained using a limited number of manually classified tweets. The particular machine learning approach used also allowed the use of a large number of unclassified tweets to increase performance.

Results: Query-based analysis of the collected tweets revealed that a large number of users contributed to the online discussion and that a frequent topic mentioned was resistance. A number of prominent events related to antibiotics led to a number of spikes in activity but these were short in duration. The category-based classifier developed was able to correctly classify 70% of manually labeled tweets (using a 10-fold cross validation procedure and 9 classes). The classifier also performed well when evaluated on a per category basis.

Conclusions: Using existing tools such as Hive, Flume, Hadoop, and machine learning techniques, it is possible to construct tools and workflows to collect and query large amounts of Twitter data to characterize the larger discussion taking place on Twitter with respect to a particular health-related topic. Furthermore, using newer machine learning techniques and a limited number of manually labeled tweets, an entire body of collected tweets can be classified to indicate what topics are driving the virtual, online discussion. The resulting classifier can also be used to efficiently explore collected tweets by category and search for messages of interest or exemplary content.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

HiveQL query to determine the number of tweets containing "#antibioticresistance", sorted by date.
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figure2: HiveQL query to determine the number of tweets containing "#antibioticresistance", sorted by date.

Mentions: To illustrate the relative ease by which the data can be queried, two sample queries are provided. Figure 1 is an example of a simple HiveQL query. This query finds the number of total tweets within the table of filtered antibiotics tweets. Figure 2 is a more complex query and finds the number of tweets that contain the hashtag “#antibioticresistance”. It then sorts the tweets by day to get a count of the number of tweets that contained the hashtag on each day in our collection period. This query required a nested select statement, which, when converted as a MapReduce, requires two passes through the data. With Hive, large amounts of data can be efficiently queried by anyone familiar with an SQL style database.


Characterizing the Discussion of Antibiotics in the Twittersphere: What is the Bigger Picture?

Kendra RL, Karki S, Eickholt JL, Gandy L - J. Med. Internet Res. (2015)

HiveQL query to determine the number of tweets containing "#antibioticresistance", sorted by date.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4526952&req=5

figure2: HiveQL query to determine the number of tweets containing "#antibioticresistance", sorted by date.
Mentions: To illustrate the relative ease by which the data can be queried, two sample queries are provided. Figure 1 is an example of a simple HiveQL query. This query finds the number of total tweets within the table of filtered antibiotics tweets. Figure 2 is a more complex query and finds the number of tweets that contain the hashtag “#antibioticresistance”. It then sorts the tweets by day to get a count of the number of tweets that contained the hashtag on each day in our collection period. This query required a nested select statement, which, when converted as a MapReduce, requires two passes through the data. With Hive, large amounts of data can be efficiently queried by anyone familiar with an SQL style database.

Bottom Line: Most of the existing work surrounding Twitter and health care has shown Twitter to be an effective medium for these problems but more could be done to provide finer and more efficient access to all pertinent data.Furthermore, using newer machine learning techniques and a limited number of manually labeled tweets, an entire body of collected tweets can be classified to indicate what topics are driving the virtual, online discussion.The resulting classifier can also be used to efficiently explore collected tweets by category and search for messages of interest or exemplary content.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Computer Science, Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, MI, United States.

ABSTRACT

Background: User content posted through Twitter has been used for biosurveillance, to characterize public perception of health-related topics, and as a means of distributing information to the general public. Most of the existing work surrounding Twitter and health care has shown Twitter to be an effective medium for these problems but more could be done to provide finer and more efficient access to all pertinent data. Given the diversity of user-generated content, small samples or summary presentations of the data arguably omit a large part of the virtual discussion taking place in the Twittersphere. Still, managing, processing, and querying large amounts of Twitter data is not a trivial task. This work describes tools and techniques capable of handling larger sets of Twitter data and demonstrates their use with the issue of antibiotics.

Objective: This work has two principle objectives: (1) to provide an open-source means to efficiently explore all collected tweets and query health-related topics on Twitter, specifically, questions such as what users are saying and how messages are spread, and (2) to characterize the larger discourse taking place on Twitter with respect to antibiotics.

Methods: Open-source software suites Hadoop, Flume, and Hive were used to collect and query a large number of Twitter posts. To classify tweets by topic, a deep network classifier was trained using a limited number of manually classified tweets. The particular machine learning approach used also allowed the use of a large number of unclassified tweets to increase performance.

Results: Query-based analysis of the collected tweets revealed that a large number of users contributed to the online discussion and that a frequent topic mentioned was resistance. A number of prominent events related to antibiotics led to a number of spikes in activity but these were short in duration. The category-based classifier developed was able to correctly classify 70% of manually labeled tweets (using a 10-fold cross validation procedure and 9 classes). The classifier also performed well when evaluated on a per category basis.

Conclusions: Using existing tools such as Hive, Flume, Hadoop, and machine learning techniques, it is possible to construct tools and workflows to collect and query large amounts of Twitter data to characterize the larger discussion taking place on Twitter with respect to a particular health-related topic. Furthermore, using newer machine learning techniques and a limited number of manually labeled tweets, an entire body of collected tweets can be classified to indicate what topics are driving the virtual, online discussion. The resulting classifier can also be used to efficiently explore collected tweets by category and search for messages of interest or exemplary content.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus