Professor of Information Science, within the Mathematics
department was asked to lend his expertise to the project to
create the stunning spectacle.
Professor Thelwall is one of the leading experts worldwide in
infometrics- the science of measuring information to assess the
importance of a set of documents, and Mike specialises in the
newest area – measuring the value of web pages.
Every tweet is analysed for its sentiment, whether it’s
positive, negative or neutral. These are then filtered through a
computer program, which converts them into a light show using the
London Eye. The colours reflect the mood of people
tweeting such as purple for negative, yellow for positive and green
The shows use 24 hours of data and transforms it into a 24
minutes event which run every night during the Olympics and
Paralympics, (see video)
Mike has developed a specific related dictionary of 2,750 terms
using a system he developed called SentiStrength, which can
determine the positivity or negativity of tweets.
He said: “We saw big increases in both positivity and the
amount of tweeting at every major event in the Olympics, Colton,
the opening ceremony and the first UK gold. Jessica Ennis and
Bradley Wiggins got particularly hugh levels of positivity.
Overall, the Olympic tweeting was highly positive, with relatively
little negativity, so the games seem to have been a huge
Mike's research team are also developing it so
computers and even computer generated characters in virtual worlds
can respond to human emotion.
Tweets by @wlv_uni
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