Arabian Journal for Science and Engineering

, Volume 43, Issue 2, pp 857–877 | Cite as

RIFT: A Rule Induction Framework for Twitter Sentiment Analysis

  • Muhammad Zubair AsgharEmail author
  • Aurangzeb Khan
  • Furqan Khan
  • Fazal Masud Kundi
Research Article - Computer Engineering and Computer Science


The rapid evolution of microblogging and the emergence of sites such as Twitter have propelled online communities to flourish by enabling people to create, share and disseminate free-flowing messages and information globally. The exponential growth of product-based user reviews has become an ever-increasing resource playing a key role in emerging Twitter-based sentiment analysis (SA) techniques and applications to collect and analyse customer trends and reviews. Existing studies on supervised black-box sentiment analysis systems do not provide adequate information, regarding rules as to why a certain review was classified to a class or classification. The accuracy in some ways is less than our personal judgement. To address these shortcomings, alternative approaches, such as supervised white-box classification algorithms, need to be developed to improve the classification of Twitter-based microblogs. The purpose of this study was to develop a supervised white-box microblogging SA system to analyse user reviews on certain products using rough set theory (RST)-based rule induction algorithms. RST classifies microblogging reviews of products into positive, negative, or neutral class using different rules extracted from training decision tables using RST-centric rule induction algorithms. The primary focus of this study is also to perform sentiment classification of microblogs (i.e. also known as tweets) of product reviews using conventional, and RST-based rule induction algorithms. The proposed RST-centric rule induction algorithm, namely Learning from Examples Module version: 2, and LEM2 \(+\) Corpus-based rules (LEM2 \(+\) CBR),which is an extension of the traditional LEM2 algorithm, are used. Corpus-based rules are generated from tweets, which are unclassified using other conventional LEM2 algorithm rules. Experimental results show the proposed method, when compared with baseline methods, is excellent, with regard to accuracy, coverage and the number of rules employed. The approach using this method achieves an average accuracy of 92.57% and an average coverage of 100%, with an average number of rules of 19.14.


Twitter Sentiment analysis Rule induction Slang Emoticons Rough set theory LEM2 


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We are grateful to Dr. Shakeel Ahmad, Institute of Computing, Gomal University, for facilitating us by providing a licensed software and manuals during the execution of this project.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Muhammad Zubair Asghar, Aurangzeb Khan, Furqan Khan and Fazal Masud Kundi, declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Informed Consent

All procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2008 (5). Additional informed consent was obtained from all patients for which identifying information is included in this article.

Human and Animal Rights

This study did not involve any experimental research on humans or animals; hence, an approval from an ethics committee was not applicable in this regard. The data collected from the online forums are publicly available data, and no personally identifiable information of the forum users was collected or used for this study.


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Copyright information

© King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Computing and Information TechnologyGomal UniversityDera Ismail KhanPakistan
  2. 2.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of Science and TechnologyBannuPakistan

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