Combining Text-mining Analysis and Agent-based Modeling Methods : A Case Study to Address a Controversy
Bulletin de méthodologie sociologique
84 - 98 p.
Text-mining Analysis, Modeling Methods
The methodological approach proposed here combines textual statistical analysis and agent-based simulations. The controversy concerning the unusual disappearance of pollinating bees (Apis mellifera) covered in the French press over a period of 13 years was chosen to describe the different stages of this heuristic framework. First, the articles are categorized according to the origin they attribute to the phenomenon as a univariate cause, a multivariate cause or a lack of understanding. Then, the different proportions of agents supporting either of these causes are obtained and reproduced from a dynamic opinion model, which shows the existence of agents with pre-determined choices. The change in the proportions over time leads to questionning the consistency of the data concerning the independence of all agents. In particular, it becomes possible to assume the existence of networks of influence, a hypothesis that could be verified by other techniques such as qualitative, ethnographic or interview methods.