Analysis of popular social media topics regarding plastic pollution

Teh, Phoey Lee * and Piao, S. and Almansour, M. and Ong, H. F. and Ahad, Abdul * (2022) Analysis of popular social media topics regarding plastic pollution. Sustainability, 14 (3). p. 1709. ISSN 2071-1050

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Plastic pollution is one of the most significant environmental issues in the world. The rapid increase of the cumulative amount of plastic waste has caused alarm, and the public have called for actions to mitigate its impacts on the environment. Numerous governments and social activists from various non-profit organisations have set up policies and actively promoted awareness and have engaged the public in discussions on this issue. Nevertheless, social responsibility is the key to a sustainable environment, and individuals are accountable for performing their civic duty and commit to behavioural changes that can reduce the use of plastics. This paper explores a set of topic modelling techniques to assist policymakers and environment communities in understanding public opinions about the issues related to plastic pollution by analysing social media data. We report on an experiment in which a total of 274,404 tweets were collected from Twitter that are related to plastic pollution, and five topic modelling techniques, including (a) Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA), (b) Hierarchical Dirichlet Process (HDP), (c) Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI), (d) Non-Negative Matrix Factorisation (NMF), and (e) extension of LDA—Structural Topic Model (STM), were applied to the data to identify popular topics of online conversations, considering topic coherence, topic prevalence, and topic correlation. Our experimental results show that some of these topic modelling techniques are effective in detecting and identifying important topics surrounding plastic pollution, and potentially different techniques can be combined to develop an efficient system for mining important environment-related topics from social media data on a large scale.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: plastic pollution; environment; topic modelling; structural topic model; natural language processing; social media; public opinion
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA76 Computer software
Divisions: Others > Non Sunway Academics
Sunway University > School of Engineering and Technology [formerly School of Science and Technology until 2020] > Dept. Computing and Information Systems
Depositing User: Dr Janaki Sinnasamy
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 08 Mar 2022 08:20
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2022 08:20

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