Luca Dini, president of Ho2S has been invited to give a speech on Opinion Mining on Social Media in the context of the First Workshop on Text Mining on Social Web. The conference was organized by the Web Intelligence Project  and ARC 6, with the sponsorship of Imaginove. Dini’s talk stressed the importance of semantic analysis techniques as a more reliable alternative to numeric score appreciation used on many rating sites. Here it is the abstract of the talk:


In recent years we have observed two parallel trends in computational linguistics research and e-commerce development. On the research side, there has been an increasing interest in algorithms and approaches that are able to capture the polarity of opinions expressed by users on products, institutions and services. On the other hand, almost all big e-commerce and aggregator sites are by now providing users the possibility of writing comments and expressing their appreciation with a numeric score (usually represented as a number of stars). This talk will describe a large scale experiment aimed to detect the reliability of users when converting their written opinions on product into a numerical score (number of stars). We will shows that, due to a number of factors, such a judgment is highly unreliable and, confronted with a uniform gold standard, provides accuracy inferior to a state of art system for opinion detection.