Neural attention with character embeddings for hay fever detection from twitter

Jiahua Du, Sandra Michalska, Sudha Subramani, Hua Wang, Yanchun Zhang
2019 Health Information Science and Systems  
The paper aims to leverage the highly unstructured user-generated content in the context of pollen allergy surveillance using neural networks with character embeddings and the attention mechanism. Currently, there is no accurate representation of hay fever prevalence, particularly in real-time scenarios. Social media serves as an alternative to extract knowledge about the condition, which is valuable for allergy sufferers, general practitioners, and policy makers. Despite tremendous potential
more » ... fered, conventional natural language processing methods prove limited when exposed to the challenging nature of user-generated content. As a result, the detection of actual hay fever instances among the number of false positives, as well as the correct identification of non-technical expressions as pollen allergy symptoms poses a major problem. We propose a deep architecture enhanced with character embeddings and neural attention to improve the performance of hay fever-related content classification from Twitter data. Improvement in prediction is achieved due to the character-level semantics introduced, which effectively addresses the out-of-vocabulary problem in our dataset where the rate is approximately 9%. Overall, the study is a step forward towards improved real-time pollen allergy surveillance from social media with state-of-art technology.
doi:10.1007/s13755-019-0084-2 pmid:31656594 pmcid:PMC6790203 fatcat:sih35mxanvdorf4nbclkwz2kvu