Classification of endogenous and exogenous bursts in collective emotions based on Weibo comments during COVID-19

Sci Rep. 2022 Feb 24;12(1):3120. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-07067-w.


Bursts and collective emotion have been widely studied in social physics field where researchers use mathematical models to understand human social dynamics. However, few researches recognize and separately analyze the internal and external influence on burst behaviors. To bridge this gap, we introduce a non-parametric approach to classify an interevent time series into five scenarios: random arrival, endogenous burst, endogenous non-burst, exogenous burst and exogenous non-burst. In order to process large-scale social media data, we first segment the interevent time series into sections by detecting change points. Then we use the rule-based algorithm to classify the time series based on its distribution. To validate our model, we analyze 27.2 million COVID-19 related comments collected from Chinese social media between January to October 2020. We adopt the emotion category called Profile of Mood States which consists of six emotions: Anger, Depression, Fatigue, Vigor, Tension and Confusion. This enables us to compare the burst features of different collective emotions during the COVID-19 period. The burst detection and classification approach introduced in this paper can also be applied to analyzing other complex systems, including but not limited to social media, financial market and signal processing.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*