Implicit emotion detection in text

  • Udochukwu Orizu

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


In text, emotion can be expressed explicitly, using emotion-bearing words (e.g. happy, guilty) or implicitly without emotion-bearing words. Existing approaches focus on the detection of explicitly expressed emotion in text. However, there are various ways to express and convey emotions without the use of these emotion-bearing words. For example, given two sentences: “The outcome of my exam makes me happy” and “I passed my exam”, both sentences express happiness, with the first expressing it explicitly and the other implying it.

In this thesis, we investigate implicit emotion detection in text. We propose a rule-based approach for implicit emotion detection, which can be used without labeled corpora for training. Our results show that our approach outperforms the lexicon matching method consistently and gives competitive performance in comparison to supervised classifiers. Given that emotions such as guilt and admiration which often require the identification of blameworthiness and praiseworthiness, we also propose an approach for the detection of blame and praise in text, using an adapted psychology model, Path model to blame. Lack of benchmarking dataset led us to construct a corpus containing comments of individuals’ emotional experiences annotated as blame, praise or others.

Since implicit emotion detection might be useful for conflict-of-interest (CoI) detection in Wikipedia articles, we built a CoI corpus and explored various features including linguistic and stylometric, presentation, bias and emotion features. Our results show that emotion features are important when using Nave Bayes, but the best performance is obtained with SVM on linguistic and stylometric features only.

Overall, we show that a rule-based approach can be used to detect implicit emotion in the absence of labelled data; it is feasible to adopt the psychology path model to blame for blame/praise detection from text, and implicit emotion detection is beneficial for CoI detection in Wikipedia articles.
Date of Award28 Sep 2018
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorYulan He (Supervisor) & David Lowe (Supervisor)


  • implicit emotion detection
  • OCC model
  • blame and praise detection
  • conflict-of-interest detection
  • rule-based approaches

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