UNIB takes part in a model for predicting the intensity of depression in X posts

March 20, 2024
UNIB takes part in a model for predicting the intensity of depression in X posts

Dr. Helena Garay, researcher at the Universidad Internacional Iberoamericana (International Iberoamerican University, UNIB), is taking part in a study that designs a model to predict the intensity of depression from short comments on social media such as X.

Depressive disorders are a worldwide concern. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 264 million people suffer from depression, which is considered the second leading cause of suicide. This disorder is shown in different ways, with symptoms ranging from lack of interest to physical and mental problems. In this regard, it is crucial to have an automatic method for detecting and assessing the severity of depression.

The use of social media data, such as X messages, is a useful tool in the early detection of mental illness. It has been shown that early warning signs of mental illness can be detected from online activities. People suffering from depression do not always directly report their condition. However, they express their depressive feelings and thoughts on social media platforms, rather than sharing it with their family members and physicians.

So far, most research has focused on the binary detection of depression rather than on the intensity of depression. Therefore, the aim of this study was to design a model that can predict the intensity of depression in X posts. To achieve this, a dataset was created using hashtags associated with depression. These posts were manually classified into three levels of depressive intensity: mild, moderate, and severe. From this data, the FastText algorithm was applied to classify the intensity of depression, significantly improving the results obtained compared to other base models.

In addition, a further improvement was achieved, thanks to a weighted soft voting ensemble, which combines multiple models, including FastText, to further optimize the prediction accuracy and score. This makes the study a promising tool in detecting the severity of depression in social network users, allowing to provide them with early attention to create a healthier society.

If you want to know more about this fascinating study, click here.

For further research, check the UNIB repository.

The Universidad Internacional Iberoamericana (UNIB) offers the Master in Strategic Management with a Specialty in Information Technology. A program that develops students' skills and capabilities to manage a systems and ICT management position or lead an organizational change project.