PhD defense Bart Desmet

Posted on Oct. 18, 2014

On October 17th 2014, Bart Desmet defended his PhD with success. In his dissertation, entitled Finding the online cry for help. Automatic text classification for suicide prevention, Bart studied the automatic detection of suicide-related messages. He presents the first classification-based approach to online suicidality detection of Dutch user-generated content. Focusing on two tasks: the detection of suicide-related posts, and of severe, high-risk content, Bart sought to determine how well these tasks can be carried out automatically. The experimental results show that both types of messages can be detected with high precision. Therefore, the amount of noise generated by the system is minimal, even on very large datasets, making it usable in a real-world prevention setting.