Sentimental spidering: Leveraging opinion information in focused crawlers

Tianjun Fu, Ahmed Abbasi, Daniel Zeng, Hsinchun Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Despite the increased prevalence of sentiment-related information on the Web, there has been limited work on focused crawlers capable of effectively collecting not only topic-relevant but also sentiment-relevant content. In this article, we propose a novel focused crawler that incorporates topic and sentiment information as well as a graph-based tunneling mechanism for enhanced collection of opinion-rich Web content regarding a particular topic. The graph-based sentiment (GBS) crawler uses a text classifier that employs both topic and sentiment categorization modules to assess the relevance of candidate pages. This information is also used to label nodes in web graphs that are employed by the tunneling mechanism to improve collection recall. Experimental results on two test beds revealed that GBS was able to provide better precision and recall than seven comparison crawlers. Moreover, GBS was able to collect a large proportion of the relevant content after traversing far fewer pages than comparison methods. GBS outperformed comparison methods on various categories of Web pages in the test beds, including collection of blogs, Web forums, and social networking Web site content. Further analysis revealed that both the sentiment classification module and graph-based tunneling mechanism played an integral role in the overall effectiveness of the GBS crawler.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number24
JournalACM Transactions on Information Systems
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Computer Science Applications


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