Distributional Footprints of Deceptive Product Reviews

author: Song Feng, Stony Brook University
published: July 6, 2012,   recorded: June 2012,   views: 3158


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This paper postulates that there are natural distributions of opinions in product reviews. In particular, we hypothesize that for a given domain, there is a set of representative distributions of review rating scores. A deceptive business entity that hires people to write fake reviews will necessarily distort its distribution of review scores, leaving distributional footprints behind. In order to validate this hypothesis, we introduce strategies to create dataset with pseudo-gold standard that is labeled automatically based on different types of distributional footprints. A range of experiments confirm the hypothesized connection between the distributional anomaly and deceptive reviews. This study also provides novel quantitative insights into the characteristics of natural distributions of opinions in the TripAdvisor hotel review and the Amazon product review domains.

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