Students analyze Arabic data, explain attitudes on Facebook

Arabic language is recognized as the fourth most common language in the world. Nevertheless, the number of researches and studies that seeks to generate Arabic information generated from social web users such as Facebook is considered low. Students at the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Birzeit University; Aya Abu Thaher, Mariam Hamdan and Lara Abu-Jaish are seeking to be one of the few contributors in developing systems that generate Arabic Data from social media networks.

Supervised by the professor at Birzeit University Wasel Ghanem and researcher at Aix-Marseille University Ismail Badache, the students developed a system that could enhance the Facebook search and retrieval of data in Arabic by more than 76%.

This new project helps to automatically analyze people’s sentiments, opinions, emoticons, attitudes and emotions towards different topics on Facebook. Through analyzing the sentiment of users’ comments and questions, and retrieved content, this innovative idea took into consideration the interaction of users of with the data retrieved by search engines on Facebook and the social signals.

The results showed that social signals and content analysis had a significant impact on the process of improving the retrieval of information from Facebook's search engine. It has also proven a strong relationship between what the user is looking for, and the interaction of other users.

 Despite the challenges that might face the implementation of the project, which requires the approval of the Facebook management, the students are looking forward to expanding the areas of analysis to include videos, images and other multimedia materials.