Using time-sensitive interactions to improve topic derivation in twitter

Robertus Nugroho*, Weiliang Zhao, Jian Yang, Cecile Paris, Surya Nepal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Twitter has become one of the most popular social media platforms, widely used for discussion and information dissemination on all kinds of topics. As a result, both business and academics have researched methods to identify the topics being discussed on Twitter. Those methods can be employed for a number of applications, including emergency management, advertisements, and corporate/government communication. However, deriving topics from this short text based and highly dynamic environment remains a huge challenge. Most current methods use the content of tweets as the only source for topic derivation. Recently, tweet interactions have been considered for improving the quality of topic derivation. In this paper, we propose a method that considers both content and interactions with a temporal aspect to further improve the quality of topic derivation. The impact of the temporal aspect in user/tweet interactions is analyzed based on several Twitter datasets. The proposed method incorporates time when it clusters tweets and identifies representative terms for each topic. Experimental results show that the inclusion of the temporal aspect in the interactions results in a significant improvement in the quality of topic derivation comparing to existing baseline methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-87
Number of pages27
JournalWorld Wide Web
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • topic derivation
  • temporal aspect in twitter
  • joint matrix factorization


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