Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

'Twitterzombie' helps researchers examine bite-sized pieces of Twitterverse

Date:
October 31, 2012
Source:
Drexel University
Summary:
Researchers have created software that helps them capture and analyze the steady flow of data generated on Twitter.

Taking a close look at the steady flow of millions of 140-character messages per day generated on Twitter is akin to trying to take a drink from the torrent of a fire hydrant's discharge. But thanks to sophisticated software named in homage to the researcher, transfixed on a computer monitor, that it is designed to relieve -the "TwitterZombie" is helping researchers at Drexel collect tweets without being washed away.

Since tweets disappear from public access after six days or 1,500 total tweets on the same topic, it is difficult for researchers to examine more than a sampling of existing tweets. Drexel's program searches, sorts and stores high volumes of tweets, enabling iSchool researchers to focus on a variety of topics -- among them: the political debates and upcoming election, pop culture and sporting events.

Alan Black, a doctoral student at the iSchool-College of Information Science and Technology, wrote the TwitterZombie program to expand data collection capacity for the Big Social Data Warehouse developed by Dr. Sean Goggins, a professor in the iSchool, with masters student Michael Gallagher starting in late 2009. Since spring of 2012, the TwitterZombie has been used by several iSchool researchers who are studying social media.

"Previously collecting all that data was as unwieldy as trying to contain the flow of a fire hose," Black said. "The TwitterZombie is more like using a bunch of straws to suck out just the data flows that we want to examine."

The software gathers data generated from a series of searches that are schedule to be executed at regular intervals through Amazon's cloud computing platform. One of the advantages of the programs is that it's able to capture nearly all of the data from thousands of search phrases simultaneously.

Additionally, TwitterZombie can run searches for high-volume queries more frequently than queries that don't return as many results -- this helps to collect a more complete set of a data without missing tweets.

With millions of tweets collected by TwitterZombie, Drexel researchers are able to quickly run textual analyses and sift through the 140-character sets to discern such things as trends in communication, social network forming, frequency of tweets surrounding events and -in general- paint a picture of how society is reflected via twitter.

"Before we started using TwitterZombie, we were running queries on our laptops in a conference room," said doctoral student Christopher Mascaro. "Now when we need to gather data, we just tell the Zombie what to look for and it does the rest."

Black, Mascaro, Gallagher and Goggins will present their TwitterZombie at the ACM Group conference this fall and will continue to expand its usability by making the Zombie and its data accessible via cloud storage.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Drexel University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Drexel University. "'Twitterzombie' helps researchers examine bite-sized pieces of Twitterverse." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121031132718.htm>.
Drexel University. (2012, October 31). 'Twitterzombie' helps researchers examine bite-sized pieces of Twitterverse. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121031132718.htm
Drexel University. "'Twitterzombie' helps researchers examine bite-sized pieces of Twitterverse." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121031132718.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Let's Review Apple's Latest iPhone Reviews

Let's Review Apple's Latest iPhone Reviews

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) The tech press has shared its thoughts on the latest iterations of Apple's iPhone. We summarize the reactions to help you decide: iPhone 6 or 6 Plus? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Facebook Reportedly Building Another New Photo Sharing App

Facebook Reportedly Building Another New Photo Sharing App

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) Sources tell TechCrunch Facebook is working on Moments, an app for sharing photos with close friends and family. But why develop yet another new app? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Not To Do When Installing iOS 8

What Not To Do When Installing iOS 8

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) Several sites are warning early adopters not to enable Apple’s new iCloud Drive feature during the installation process. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
2K Drafts Face-Mapping Tech for New Game

2K Drafts Face-Mapping Tech for New Game

AP (Sep. 17, 2014) "NBA 2K15" is angling for a slam dunk with an innovative new way to put players in the game. Gamers will be able to digitally graft lifelike 3D renditions of their faces onto virtual players using the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One cameras. (Sept. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins