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FLORA: a hierarchical fuzzy system for online accommodation review analysis

Thara Angskun (Suranaree University of Technology, Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand)
Jitimon Angskun (Suranaree University of Technology, Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand)

Journal of Systems and Information Technology

ISSN: 1328-7265

Article publication date: 3 October 2019

Issue publication date: 21 October 2019

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to introduce a hierarchical fuzzy system for an online review analysis named FLORA. FLORA enables tourists to decide their destination without reading numerous reviews from experienced tourists. It summarizes reviews and visualizes them through a hierarchical structure. The visualization does not only present overall quality of an accommodation, but it also presents the condition of the bed, hospitality of the front desk receptionist and much more in a snap.

Design/methodology/approach

FLORA is a complete system which acquires online reviews, analyzes sentiments, computes feature scores and summarizes results in a hierarchical view. FLORA is designed to use an overall score, rated by real tourists as a baseline for accuracy comparison. The accuracy of FLORA has achieved by a novel sentiment analysis process (as part of a knowledge acquisition engine) based on semantic analysis and a novel rating technique, called hierarchical fuzzy calculation, in the knowledge inference engine.

Findings

The performance comparison of FLORA against related work has been assessed in two aspects. The first aspect focuses on review analysis with binary format representation. The results reveal that the hierarchical fuzzy method, with probability weighting of FLORA, is achieved with the highest values in precision, recall and F-measure. The second aspect looks at review analysis with a five-point rating scale rating by comparing with one of the most advanced research methods, called fuzzy domain ontology. The results reveal that the hierarchical fuzzy method, with probability weighting of FLORA, returns the closest results to the tourist-defined rating.

Research limitations/implications

This research advances knowledge of online review analysis by contributing a novel sentiment analysis process and a novel rating technique. The FLORA system has two limitations. First, the reviews are based on individual expression, which is an arbitrary distinction and not always grammatically correct. Consequently, some opinions may not be extracted because the context free grammar rules are insufficient. Second, natural languages evolve and diversify all the time. Many emerging words or phrases, including idioms, proverbs and slang, are often used in online reviews. Thus, those words or phrases need to be manually updated in the knowledge base.

Practical implications

This research contributes to the tourism business and assists travelers by introducing comprehensive and easy to understand information about each accommodation to travelers. Although the FLORA system was originally designed and tested with accommodation reviews, it can also be used with reviews of any products or services by updating data in the knowledge base. Thus, businesses, which have online reviews for their products or services, can benefit from the FLORA system.

Originality/value

This research proposes a FLORA system which analyzes sentiments from online reviews, computes feature scores and summarizes results in a hierarchical view. Moreover, this work is able to use the overall score, rated by real tourists, as a baseline for accuracy comparison. The main theoretical implication is a novel sentiment analysis process based on semantic analysis and a novel rating technique called hierarchical fuzzy calculation.

Keywords

Citation

Angskun, T. and Angskun, J. (2019), "FLORA: a hierarchical fuzzy system for online accommodation review analysis", Journal of Systems and Information Technology, Vol. 21 No. 3, pp. 347-367. https://doi.org/10.1108/JSIT-03-2018-0046

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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