Disease discovery-based emotion lexicon: a heuristic approach to characterise sicknesses in microblogs

Samer Muthana Sarsam, Hosam Al-Samarraie, Ahmed Al-Sadi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
46 Downloads (Pure)


The analysis of microblogging data has been widely used to discover valuable resources for timely identification of critical illness-related incidents and serious epidemics. Despite the numerous efforts made in this field, making an accurate and timely prediction of incidents and outbreaks based on certain clinical symptoms remains a great challenge. Hence, providing an investigative method can be crucial in characterising a disease state. This study proposes a heuristic mechanism by using an unsupervised learning technique to efficiently detect disease incidents and outbreaks from the tweet content. We categorised the types of emotions that are highly linked to a specific disease and its related terminologies. Emotions (anger, fear, sadness, and joy) and diabetes-related terminologies were extracted using the NRC Affect Intensity Lexicon and part-of-speech tagging tool. A two-cluster solution was established and validated. The classification results showed that K-means clustering with two centroids had the highest classification accuracy (96.53%). The relationship between diabetes-related terms (in the form of tweets) and emotions were established and assessed using the association rules mining technique. The results showed that diabetes-related terms were exclusively associated with fear emotions. This study offers a novel mechanism for disease recognition and outbreak detection in microblogs that can be useful in making informed decisions about a disease state.

Original languageEnglish
Article number65
JournalNetwork Modeling Analysis in Health Informatics and Bioinformatics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 22 Sept 2020


  • Association rules mining
  • Diabetes
  • Disease detection
  • Emotion lexicon
  • Part-of-speech tagging
  • Twitter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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