The outbreak of COVID-19 has become a major public health emergency worldwide. How to effectively guide public opinion and implement precise prevention and control is a hot topic in current research. Mining the spatiotemporal coupling between online public opinion and offline epidemics can provide decision support for the precise management and control of future emergencies.
This study focuses on analyzing the spatiotemporal coupling relationship between public opinion and the epidemic. First, based on Weibo information and confirmed case information, a field framework is constructed using field theory. Second, SnowNLP is used for sentiment mining and LDA is utilized for topic extraction to analyze the topic evolution and the sentiment evolution of public opinion in each coupling stage. Finally, the spatial model is used to explore the coupling relationship between public opinion and the epidemic in space.
The findings show that there is a certain coupling between online public opinion sentiment and offline epidemics, with a significant coupling relationship in the time dimension, while there is no remarkable coupling relationship in space. In addition, the core topics of public concern are different at different coupling stages.
This study deeply explores the spatiotemporal coupling relationship between online public opinion and offline epidemics, adding a new research perspective to related research. The result can help the government and relevant departments understand the dynamic development of epidemic events and achieve precise control while mastering the dynamics of online public opinion.
This research was supported by: the National Social Science Foundation of China (Grant # 21BTQ046).
Sun, J., Zeng, Z., Li, T. and Sun, S. (2023), "Analyzing the spatiotemporal coupling relationship between public opinion and the epidemic during COVID-19", Library Hi Tech, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/LHT-10-2022-0462
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