Computational Controversy

  • Benjamin Timmermans
  • Tobias KuhnEmail author
  • Kaspar Beelen
  • Lora Aroyo
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10540)


Climate change, vaccination, abortion, Trump: Many topics are surrounded by fierce controversies. The nature of such heated debates and their elements have been studied extensively in the social science literature. More recently, various computational approaches to controversy analysis have appeared, using new data sources such as Wikipedia, which help us now better understand these phenomena. However, compared to what social sciences have discovered about such debates, the existing computational approaches mostly focus on just a few of the many important aspects around the concept of controversies. In order to link the two strands, we provide and evaluate here a controversy model that is both, rooted in the findings of the social science literature and at the same time strongly linked to computational methods. We show how this model can lead to computational controversy analytics that cover all of the crucial aspects that make up a controversy.



This publication was supported by the Dutch national program COMMIT/.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Benjamin Timmermans
    • 1
  • Tobias Kuhn
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kaspar Beelen
    • 2
  • Lora Aroyo
    • 1
  1. 1.Vrije Universiteit AmsterdamAmsterdamNetherlands
  2. 2.University of AmsterdamAmsterdamNetherlands

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