Soft Computing

, Volume 23, Issue 7, pp 2147–2166 | Cite as

A distributed argumentation algorithm for mining consistent opinions in weighted Twitter discussions

  • Teresa AlsinetEmail author
  • Josep Argelich
  • Ramón Béjar
  • Joel Cemeli


Twitter is one of the most powerful social media platforms, reflecting both support and contrary opinions among people who use it. In a recent work, we developed an argumentative approach for analyzing the major opinions accepted and rejected in Twitter discussions. A Twitter discussion is modeled as a weighted argumentation graph where each node denotes a tweet, each edge denotes a relationship between a pair of tweets of the discussion and each node is attached to a weight that denotes the social relevance of the corresponding tweet in the discussion. In the social network Twitter, a tweet always refers to previous tweets in the discussion, and therefore the underlying argument graph obtained is acyclic. However, when in a discussion we group the tweets by author, the graph that we obtain can contain cycles. Based on the structure of graphs, in this work we introduce a distributed algorithm to compute the set of globally accepted opinions of a Twitter discussion based on valued argumentation. To understand the usefulness of our distributed algorithm, we study cases of argumentation graphs that can be solved efficiently with it. Finally, we present an experimental investigation that shows that when solving acyclic argumentation graphs associated with Twitter discussions our algorithm scales at most with linear time with respect to the size of the discussion. For argumentation graphs with cycles, we study tractable cases and we analyze how frequent are these cases in Twitter. Moreover, for the non-tractable cases we analyze how close is the solution of the distributed algorithm with respect to the one computed with the general sequential algorithm, that we have previously developed, that solves any argumentation graph.


Twitter discussions Valued argumentation Probability values Distributed algorithm Tractable cases 



This work was partially funded by Spanish Project TIN2015-71799-C2-2-P (MINECO/FEDER), by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement 723596 and Grant Agreement 768824, and by 2017 SGR 1537. This research article has received a grant for its linguistic revision from the Language Institute of the University of Lleida (2018 call).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Author J. Cemeli has a contract with Company Starloop Studios. Authors T. Alsinet, J. Argelich, and R. Béjar declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.INSPIRES Research CenterUniversity of LleidaLleidaSpain
  2. 2.Starloop StudiosLleidaSpain

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