Opinion Mining — Top 8 Useful Tools More Than Sentiment Analysis

by | Jan 17, 2023 | Data Science, Natural Language Processing

Opinion mining is a field that is growing quickly. It uses natural language processing and text analysis to gather subjective information from sources. The main goal of opinion mining is to find and pull out subjective information automatically from news articles, blogs, social media posts, customer reviews, and more. This includes opinions, evaluations, appraisals, sentiments, and emotions.

This information can then be used to gain insights into public opinion, track changes in sentiment over time, and make data-driven decisions in marketing, customer service, and political analysis. With more and more data from social media and other places, opinion mining has become an important way to determine people’s thoughts and make decisions based on facts.

What is opinion mining?

Opinion mining uses natural language processing, text analysis, and computational linguistics to find and extract subjective information from sources. This can include figuring out the overall tone of a document or passage (e.g., positive, negative, or neutral) and determining what specific thoughts or feelings are expressed in the text. Opinion mining is often used in marketing, customer service, and political analysis to gain insights into public opinion and make data-driven decisions.

Opinion mining can give insight into public opinion.

Public opinion can be determined by opinion mining.

Opinion mining vs sentiment analysis

Sentiment analysis and opinion mining are terms that are often used interchangeably. Both mean using natural language processing and text analysis techniques to find and pull out subjective information from sources.

Sentiment analysis is figuring out how positive, negative, or neutral a piece of writing is. This is often used to gauge public opinion on a particular topic, product, or event.

Opinion mining, on the other hand, can encompass a broader range of techniques, including sentiment analysis, but it also encompasses the extraction of specific opinions or emotions from the text. It is a broader concept that includes sentiment analysis as a subpart.

In conclusion, opinion mining is a broader term that includes techniques to get subjective information from text, and sentiment analysis is a type of opinion mining that focuses on figuring out the overall mood of a text.

Opinion mining techniques

Several techniques can be used for opinion mining, including:

  1. Sentiment analysis is figuring out how positive, negative, or neutral a piece of writing is.
  2. Opinion extraction identifies specific opinions or sentiments expressed in a text, such as feelings about a particular product or service.
  3. Emotion detection is figuring out feelings in a text, like happiness, anger, or fear.
  4. Subjectivity Detection: Determining whether a piece of text is subjective or objective.
  5. Detecting the text’s stance (e.g., agreement, disagreement, or neutrality) on an argument or topic.
  6. Text classification: categorising text into predefined classes or topics.
  7. Lexicon-based techniques: using a predefined lexicon of words and their corresponding polarity (positive, negative, or neutral) to classify the text.
  8. Machine learning-based techniques: using supervised or unsupervised machine learning algorithms to classify text based on features such as word frequency and grammatical structure.

These methods can be used alone or together to get a fuller picture of the thoughts and feelings expressed in a piece of writing.

Opinion mining for social networking platforms

Opinion mining for social networking platforms involves using natural language processing and text analysis techniques to extract and analyse the opinions and sentiments expressed by users on these platforms. This can include figuring out the overall tone of a post or comment, determining what specific opinions or feelings were expressed, and putting posts or comments into topics or classes that have already been set up.

Some examples of how it can be used on social networking platforms include:

  1. Measuring how people feel about a certain topic or event: Opinion mining can be used to look at social media posts and comments to determine how people feel about a certain topic or event.
  2. Identifying influencers: You can find influential people in shaping public opinion on a certain topic by looking at the thoughts and feelings people share on social media platforms.
  3. Improving customer service: Companies can use it to look at customer complaints and feedback on social media platforms to figure out where they need to improve their service.
  4. Marketing and advertising: Companies can use it to analyse customer feedback on their products and services on social media platforms to identify improvement areas and customer needs and preferences.
  5. Finding popular topics: Opinion mining can be used to look at posts and comments on social media to find popular topics and conversations.

Overall, opinion mining is a powerful tool for understanding public opinion on social networking platforms and can be used by businesses, organisations, and individuals to make data-driven decisions.

Challenges

There are several challenges, including:

  1. Language and Grammar: opinion mining is based on natural language processing techniques, which can be tricky because language and grammar are complicated.
  2. Subjectivity is about getting subjective information out of the text, which can be hard because opinions and feelings are often expressed subtly or implicitly.
  3. The irony, sarcasm, and negations: Texts with sarcasm, irony, and negations are hard to mine for opinions because the polarity of the text is the opposite of what it means.
  4. Handling ambiguity: algorithms may have trouble because the exact words or phrases can mean different things depending on the context in which they are used.
  5. Handling Emojis and Emoticons: algorithms may have trouble understanding emojis and emoticons because the same emoticon or emoji can have different meanings depending on the context in which it is used.
  6. Handling differences in language: algorithms may have trouble dealing with differences in language across regions and cultures. The exact words or phrases can have different meanings or connotations in different languages or cultures.
  7. Misinformation and fake news can be hard for algorithms because the text may be misleading or inaccurate.
  8. Handling multilingual texts: algorithms may have trouble with multilingual texts because the exact words or phrases may have different meanings or connotations in different languages.

Overall, opinion mining is a difficult task that requires a mix of natural language processing techniques, machine learning algorithms, and human expertise.

Top 8 Opinion Mining Tools

There are several tools available for opinion mining, including:

  1. NLTK: The Natural Language Toolkit (NLTK) is a Python library for working with human language data. It has tools for text pre-processing, tokenization, stemming, part-of-speech tagging, sentiment analysis, and opinion mining.
  2. Gensim: Gensim is an open-source Python library for topic modelling and document similarity analysis. It can be used for opinion mining by training a model on a dataset of labelled text and then using the model to classify new text.
  3. TextBlob: TextBlob is a Python library for processing textual data. It provides simple APIs for common natural language processing tasks such as part-of-speech tagging, noun phrase extraction, sentiment analysis, and more.
  4. CoreNLP: CoreNLP is a Java-based natural language processing toolkit. It includes tools for tokenization, part-of-speech tagging, named entity recognition, sentiment analysis, and more.
  5. VADER: The VADER (Valence Aware Dictionary and sEntiment Reasoner) is a lexicon and rule-based sentiment analysis tool specifically attuned to social media sentiments.
  6. IBM Watson Natural Language Understanding: IBM Watson has a cloud-based natural language processing service that can be used for sentiment analysis, emotion detection, and entity recognition.
  7. Google Cloud Natural Language is a service for processing natural language that can be used for sentiment analysis, recognising entities, and analysing syntax.
  8. Microsoft Azure Text Analytics: Microsoft Azure has a natural language processing service that can analyse feelings, pull out key phrases, and find languages.

These tools can perform various natural language processing tasks and can be integrated into a larger opinion mining pipeline to extract, analyse, and visualise the opinions and sentiments expressed in text data.

Conclusion

Opinion mining is the process of using natural language processing, text analysis, and computational linguistics to find and extract subjective information from sources.

It can determine the overall sentiment of a text, identify specific opinions or emotions expressed within the text, classify the text into predefined classes or topics, and more.

Opinion mining can be used in marketing, customer service, and political analysis to gain insights into public opinion.

However, it can be challenging due to the complexity of human language, subjectivity of opinion, and language variations across regions and cultures.

There are several tools available for opinion-mining, such as NLTK, Gensim, TextBlob, CoreNLP, VADER, IBM Watson Natural Language Understanding, Google Cloud Natural Language, and Microsoft Azure Text Analytics, that can be used to perform various natural language processing tasks and can be integrated into a larger opinion-mining pipeline.

About the Author

Neri Van Otten

Neri Van Otten

Neri Van Otten is the founder of Spot Intelligence, a machine learning engineer with over 12 years of experience specialising in Natural Language Processing (NLP) and deep learning innovation. Dedicated to making your projects succeed.

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1 Comment

  1. Warren Kimbrough

    WOW just what I was searching for.

    Reply

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