Objective: The Internet has become a platform to express individual moods/feelings of daily life, where authors share their thoughts in web blogs, micro-blogs, forums, bulletin board systems or other media. In this work, we investigate text-mining technology to analyze and predict the depression tendency of web posts. Methods: In this paper, we defined depression factors, which include negative events, negative emotions, symptoms, and negative thoughts from web posts. We proposed an enhanced event extraction (E3) method to automatically extract negative event terms. In addition, we also proposed an event-driven depression tendency warning (EDDTW) model to predict the depression tendency of web bloggers or post authors by analyzing their posted articles. Results: We compare the performance among the proposed EDDTW model, negative emotion evaluation (NEE) model, and the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders-based depression tendency evaluation method. The EDDTW model obtains the best recall rate and F-measure at 0.668 and 0.624, respectively, while the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders-based method achieves the best precision rate of 0.666. The main reason is that our enhanced event extraction method can increase recall rate by enlarging the negative event lexicon at the expense of precision. Our EDDTW model can also be used to track the change or trend of depression tendency for each post author. The depression tendency trend can help doctors to diagnose and even track depression of web post authors more efficiently. Conclusions: This paper presents an E3 method to automatically extract negative event terms in web posts. We also proposed a new EDDTW model to predict the depression tendency of web posts and possibly help bloggers or post authors to early detect major depressive disorder.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes