Mohammadzaman Zamani


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Understanding Weekly COVID-19 Concerns through Dynamic Content-Specific LDA Topic Modeling
Mohammadzaman Zamani | H. Andrew Schwartz | Johannes Eichstaedt | Sharath Chandra Guntuku | Adithya Virinchipuram Ganesan | Sean Clouston | Salvatore Giorgi
Proceedings of the Fourth Workshop on Natural Language Processing and Computational Social Science

The novelty and global scale of the COVID-19 pandemic has lead to rapid societal changes in a short span of time. As government policy and health measures shift, public perceptions and concerns also change, an evolution documented within discourse on social media.We propose a dynamic content-specific LDA topic modeling technique that can help to identify different domains of COVID-specific discourse that can be used to track societal shifts in concerns or views. Our experiments show that these model-derived topics are more coherent than standard LDA topics, and also provide new features that are more helpful in prediction of COVID-19 related outcomes including social mobility and unemployment rate.


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Residualized Factor Adaptation for Community Social Media Prediction Tasks
Mohammadzaman Zamani | H. Andrew Schwartz | Veronica Lynn | Salvatore Giorgi | Niranjan Balasubramanian
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Predictive models over social media language have shown promise in capturing community outcomes, but approaches thus far largely neglect the socio-demographic context (e.g. age, education rates, race) of the community from which the language originates. For example, it may be inaccurate to assume people in Mobile, Alabama, where the population is relatively older, will use words the same way as those from San Francisco, where the median age is younger with a higher rate of college education. In this paper, we present residualized factor adaptation, a novel approach to community prediction tasks which both (a) effectively integrates community attributes, as well as (b) adapts linguistic features to community attributes (factors). We use eleven demographic and socioeconomic attributes, and evaluate our approach over five different community-level predictive tasks, spanning health (heart disease mortality, percent fair/poor health), psychology (life satisfaction), and economics (percent housing price increase, foreclosure rate). Our evaluation shows that residualized factor adaptation significantly improves 4 out of 5 community-level outcome predictions over prior state-of-the-art for incorporating socio-demographic contexts.

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Predicting Human Trustfulness from Facebook Language
Mohammadzaman Zamani | Anneke Buffone | H. Andrew Schwartz
Proceedings of the Fifth Workshop on Computational Linguistics and Clinical Psychology: From Keyboard to Clinic

Trustfulness — one’s general tendency to have confidence in unknown people or situations — predicts many important real-world outcomes such as mental health and likelihood to cooperate with others such as clinicians. While data-driven measures of interpersonal trust have previously been introduced, here, we develop the first language-based assessment of the personality trait of trustfulness by fitting one’s language to an accepted questionnaire-based trust score. Further, using trustfulness as a type of case study, we explore the role of questionnaire size as well as word count in developing language-based predictive models of users’ psychological traits. We find that leveraging a longer questionnaire can yield greater test set accuracy, while, for training, we find it beneficial to include users who took smaller questionnaires which offers more observations for training. Similarly, after noting a decrease in individual prediction error as word count increased, we found a word count-weighted training scheme was helpful when there were very few users in the first place.


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Using Twitter Language to Predict the Real Estate Market
Mohammadzaman Zamani | H. Andrew Schwartz
Proceedings of the 15th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Volume 2, Short Papers

We explore whether social media can provide a window into community real estate -foreclosure rates and price changes- beyond that of traditional economic and demographic variables. We find language use in Twitter not only predicts real estate outcomes as well as traditional variables across counties, but that including Twitter language in traditional models leads to a significant improvement (e.g. from Pearson r = :50 to r = :59 for price changes). We overcome the challenge of the relative sparsity and noise in Twitter language variables by showing that training on the residual error of the traditional models leads to more accurate overall assessments. Finally, we discover that it is Twitter language related to business (e.g. ‘company’, ‘marketing’) and technology (e.g. ‘technology’, ‘internet’), among others, that yield predictive power over economics.