Past Event! Note: this event has already taken place.

Detecting Signs of Mental Illness and Behavioural Issues from Online Communication

March 24, 2021 at 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Data Science Distinguished Speaker Seminar Series  

Title: Detecting Signs of Mental Illness and Behavioural Issues from Online Communication
Presented by: Dr. Diana Inkpen
Format: Online via Zoom

Abstract: Mental illness detection in social media is a complex task, mainly due to the complicated nature of mental disorders. We designed an automated system that can identify at-risk users from their public social media activity. For the first set of experiments, we collected tweets from the #BellLetsTalk campaign, which is a wide-reaching, multi-year program designed to break the silence around mental illness and support mental health across Canada. We designed user-level classifiers that can detect signs of mental illnesses (depression, negative emotions, aggressive behaviour, etc.) given limited unstructured text data extracted from various social media. We also propose a multi-task learning architecture based on deep learning, in order to take advantage of shared knowledge among tasks. We present experiments with two or more tasks, including classifiers for emotions, depression, and cyberbullying. We test on several datasets, in order to demonstrate the generality of our classifiers.

About the Speaker: Diana Inkpen is a Professor at the University of Ottawa, in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. She obtained her Ph.D. from the University of Toronto, Department of Computer Science. She has a M.Sc. and B.Eng. degree in Computer Science and Engineering from the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, Romania. Her research is in applications of Natural Language Processing and Text Mining. She organized seven international workshops and she was a program co-chair for the 25th Canadian Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AI 2012, Toronto, ON, May 2012) conference. She is the editor-in-chief of the Computational Intelligence journal and an associate editor for the Natural Language Engineering journal. She was an invited speaker for the Applied Natural Language Processing track at the 29th Florida Artificial Intelligence Research Society Conference (FLAIRS 2016, Key Largo, FL, May 2016), for  the 28th Canadian Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AI 2015, Halifax, NS, June 2015), and International Symposium on Information Management and Big Data (SimBig 2015, Cuzco, Peru, September 2015). She published a book on Natural Language Processing for Social Media (Morgan and Claypool Publishers, Synthesis Lectures on Human Language Technologies, the third edition appeared in 2020), 10 book chapters, more than 35 journal articles and more than 120 conference papers. She received many research grants, from which the majority include intensive industrial collaborations.

Seminar Moderator: Dr. Tracey P. Lauriault, Associate Professor, Critical Media and Big Data, School of Journalism and Communication, Carleton University

Zoom webinar information for the Data Science Distinguished Speaker Seminar Series is sent to our mailing list (sign up here). If you are not on our mailing list and would like to attend this virtual seminar, please e-mail