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Durham University

Computer Science


Publication details for Professor Alexandra Cristea

Tsakalidis, Adam Liakata, Maria Damoulas, Theo & Cristea, Alexandra I. (2019), Can We Assess Mental Health through Social Media and Smart Devices? Addressing Bias in Methodology and Evaluation, in Brefeld, Ulf, Curry, Edward, Daly, Elizabeth, MacNamee, Brian, Marascu, Alice, Pinelli, Fabio, Berlingerio, Michele & Hurley, Neil eds, Lecture Notes in Computer Science 11053: European Conference on Machine Learning and Principles and Practice of Knowledge Discovery in Databases (ECML-PKDD 2018 Applied Data Science Track). Dublin, Springer, Cham, 407-423.

Author(s) from Durham


Predicting mental health from smartphone and social media data on a longitudinal basis has recently attracted great interest, with very promising results being reported across many studies. Such approaches have the potential to revolutionise mental health assessment, if their development and evaluation follows a real world deployment setting. In this work we take a closer look at state-of-the-art approaches, using different mental health datasets and indicators, different feature sources and multiple simulations, in order to assess their ability to generalise. We demonstrate that under a pragmatic evaluation framework, none of the approaches deliver or even approach the reported performances. In fact, we show that current state-of-the-art approaches can barely outperform the most na\"ive baselines in the real-world setting, posing serious questions not only about their deployment ability, but also about the contribution of the derived features for the mental health assessment task and how to make better use of such data in the future.


Also part of the Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence book sub series (LNAI, volume 11053).