Machines that learn how to code open-ended survey data

We describe an industrial-strength software system for automatically coding open-ended survey responses.

Machines that learn how to code open-ended survey data

Andrea Esuli and Fabrizio Sebastiani

Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche


Open-ended questions are an important way to obtain informative data in surveys, and this is so for a variety of applications, including market research, customer relationship management, enterprise relationship management, and opinion research in the social and political sciences (Schuman & Presser 1979; Reja et al. 2003). Closed questions generate data that are certainly more manageable, but suffer from several shortcomings, since they straitjacket the respondent into conveying her thoughts and opinions into categories that the questionnaire...

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