A Multitask Deep Learning Approach for User Depression Detection on Sina Weibo

08/26/2020 ∙ by Yiding Wang, et al. ∙ 0

In recent years, due to the mental burden of depression, the number of people who endanger their lives has been increasing rapidly. The online social network (OSN) provides researchers with another perspective for detecting individuals suffering from depression. However, existing studies of depression detection based on machine learning still leave relatively low classification performance, suggesting that there is significant improvement potential for improvement in their feature engineering. In this paper, we manually build a large dataset on Sina Weibo (a leading OSN with the largest number of active users in the Chinese community), namely Weibo User Depression Detection Dataset (WU3D). It includes more than 20,000 normal users and more than 10,000 depressed users, both of which are manually labeled and rechecked by professionals. By analyzing the user's text, social behavior, and posted pictures, ten statistical features are concluded and proposed. In the meantime, text-based word features are extracted using the popular pretrained model XLNet. Moreover, a novel deep neural network classification model, i.e. FusionNet (FN), is proposed and simultaneously trained with the above-extracted features, which are seen as multiple classification tasks. The experimental results show that FusionNet achieves the highest F1-Score of 0.9772 on the test dataset. Compared to existing studies, our proposed method has better classification performance and robustness for unbalanced training samples. Our work also provides a new way to detect depression on other OSN platforms.



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