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Innovative Approaches in Sports Science—Lexicon-Based Sentiment Analysis as a Tool to Analyze Sports-Related Twitter Communication

Institute of Exercise Training and Sport Informatics, German Sport University Cologne, Am Sportpark Müngersdorf 6, 50933 Cologne, Germany
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Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(2), 431; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10020431
Received: 12 November 2019 / Revised: 23 December 2019 / Accepted: 30 December 2019 / Published: 7 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Collection Computer Science in Sport)
Sentiment analysis refers to the algorithmic extraction of subjective information from textual data and—driven by the increasing amount of online communication—has become one of the fastest growing research areas in computer science with applications in several domains. Although sports events such as football matches are accompanied by a huge public interest and large amount of related online communication, social media analysis in general and sentiment analysis in particular are almost unused tools in sports science so far. The present study tests the feasibility of lexicon-based tools of sentiment analysis with regard to football-related textual data on the microblogging platform Twitter. The sentiment of a total of 10,000 tweets with reference to ten top-level football matches was analyzed both manually by human annotators and algorithmically by means of publicly available sentiment analysis tools. Results show that the general sentiment of realistic sets (1000 tweets with a proportion of 60% having the same polarity) can be classified correctly with more than 95% accuracy. The present paper demonstrates that sentiment analysis can be an effective and useful tool for sports-related content and is intended to stimulate the increased use of and discussion on sentiment analysis in sports science. View Full-Text
Keywords: sentiment analysis; opinion mining; social media; Twitter; computer science in sports; football sentiment analysis; opinion mining; social media; Twitter; computer science in sports; football
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Wunderlich, F.; Memmert, D. Innovative Approaches in Sports Science—Lexicon-Based Sentiment Analysis as a Tool to Analyze Sports-Related Twitter Communication. Appl. Sci. 2020, 10, 431.

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