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In Applied soft computing

Public sentiments towards global pandemics are important for public health assessment and disease control. This study develops a modularized deep learning framework to quantify public sentiments towards COVID-19, followed by leveraging the predicted sentiments to model and forecast the daily growth rate of confirmed COVID-19 cases globally, via a proposed G parameter. In the proposed framework, public sentiments are first modeled via a valence dimensional indicator, instead of discrete schemas, and are classified into 4 primary emotional categories: (a) neutral; (b) negative; (c) positive; (d) ambivalent, by using multiple word embedding models and classifiers for text sentiments analyses and classification. The trained model is subsequently applied to analyze large volumes (millions in quantity) of daily Tweets pertaining to COVID-19, ranging from 22 Jan 2020 to 10 May 2020. The results demonstrate that the global community gradually evokes both positive and negative sentiments towards COVID-19 over time compared to the dominant neural emotion at its inception. The predicted time-series sentiments are then leveraged to train a deep neural network (DNN) to model and forecast the G parameter by achieving the lowest possible mean absolute percentage error (MAPE) score of around 17.0% during the model's testing step with the optimal model configuration.

Wang Ying, Chew Alvin Wei Ze, Zhang Limao


COVID-19 transmission, Deep learning, Global sentiment evolution, Natural language processing, Text sentiment classification, Twitter data