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ERIC Number: ED554172
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 174
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3031-7153-6
Liberal or Conservative: Evaluation and Classification with Distribution as Ground Truth
Zhou, Daniel Xiaodan
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Michigan
The ability to classify the political leaning of a large number of articles and items is valuable to both academic research and practical applications. The challenge, though, is not only about developing innovative classification algorithms, which constitutes a "classifier" theme in this thesis, but also about how to define the "ground truth" of items' political leaning, how to elicit labels when labelers do not agree, and how to evaluate classifiers with unreliable labeled data, which constitutes a "ground truth" theme in the thesis. The "ground truth" theme argues for the use of distributions (e.g., 0.6 conservative, 0.4 liberal) instead of labels (e.g, conservative, liberal) as the underlying ground truth of items' political leaning, where disagreements among labelers are not human errors but rather useful information reflecting the distribution of people's subjective opinions. Empirical data demonstrate that distributions are dispersed: there are many items upon which labelers simply do not agree. Therefore, mapping distributions into single labels requires more than just majority vote. Also, one can no longer assume the labels from a few labelers are reliable because a different small sample of labelers might yield a very different picture. However, even though individual labeled items are not reliable, simulation suggests that we may still reliably evaluate and rank classifiers, as long as we have a large number of labeled items for evaluation. The optimal way is to obtain one label per item with many items (e.g., 1000~3000) for evaluation. The "classifier" theme proposes the LabelPropagator algorithm that propagates the political leaning of known articles and users to the target nodes in order to classify them. LabelPropagator achieves higher accuracy than the alternative classifiers based on text analysis, suggesting that a relatively small number of labeled people and stories, together with a large number of people to item votes, can be used to classify the other people and items. An article's source is useful as an input for propagation, while text similarities, users' friendship, and "href" links to articles are not. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A