International Association of Computer Information Systems (IACIS) Conference

WARNER ROBINS, GEORGIA (October 3, 2014) – Mr. Michael Grayson, a Software Engineer in MERC’s Electronic Warfare Division, co-authored a paper which he presented at the International Association for Computer Information Systems Conference in Las Vegas, NV.  Michael’s paper was titled “Automated Platform for Aggregation and Topical Sentiment Analysis of News Articles, Blogs, and Other Online Publications” and was co-authored with Dr. Myungjae Kwak of Middle Georgia State College and Dr. Anthony Choi of Mercer University.  Michael also chaired the “Publications” Session of the conference in which the paper was presented.  An abstract of the paper follows.


Identifying the prevailing sentiment at a certain point in time regarding a certain product, company, or topic can be a powerful asset in many contexts. It can offer an edge in financial analysis, for example, or identify how well a particular product is being received by a given demographic. For these reasons, much research is currently devoted to the topic of using computer analysis to identify sentiment in various media outlets through the Internet. The current paper describes an automated platform for such analysis, specifically targeted at analyzing news websites, blogs, and other online publications. The platform consists of several components which work together in an automated, high-level way to allow the user to obtain and analyze sentiment scores on a given topic within a certain date range. The researcher can employ the described toolset to download large volumes of research data from a wide variety of Internet sources quickly and easily without requiring a subscription to a news aggregation service.

About Mercer Engineering Research Center

Mercer Engineering Research Center (MERC) is the research and applied engineering arm of Mercer University, a private university founded in 1833. For over 175 years the University has served Georgia as a highly-respected educational institution. In 1984, the School of Engineering was established at the Macon, Georgia campus, with the charter class beginning studies in 1985.

Two years later, in 1987, the Mercer Engineering Research Center was established under the School of Engineering to provide locally available engineering and scientific services and critical specialized technical skills. Today, MERC functions as a non-profit operating unit of the University, with the Executive Director, Dr. David Barwick, reporting directly to the University president, Mr. William D. Underwood.

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