Computing Student Adam Bermingham wins Irish Software Association Award


Adam Bermingham, a PhD student working under the supervision of Professor Alan Smeaton, has won this year's Irish Software Association award for a student project with the greatest commercial potential. This is the second year in a row that a CLARITY student has won the award.

Adam has researched, designed and implemented a real-time sentiment monitoring system, SentiSense, to provide methods to conduct real-time user studies which determine how people value different types of opinion when they are monitoring real-time social media content. At the core is a machine learning-based sentiment analysis engine which uses high quality training data, feature extraction and visualisation methods to derive and present sentiment statistics. The applications that Adam has developed have ranged from monitoring financial sentiment about FT500 companies, searching for opinion in blogs on political radicalisation, analysing sentiment during sports matches and reality television programmes like X-factor and, most recently, analysis of political sentiment during the Irish general election campaign and in real-time during political debates.

To demonstrate his work, Adam developed a publicly accessible #GE11 Twitter Tracker which was on the online news website, (, during the Irish General Election, 2011. This system was the first of its kind, providing the electorate with automated sentiment analysis, visualisation and aggregation of social media in real-time for the electorate. The Twitter Tracker received attention on television (e.g. Tonight with Vincent Browne), radio (e.g. The Right Hook), online news (e.g. Silicon Republic), print news (e.g. Examiner, Irish Times), as well as international acclaim from the Niemann Journalism Lab at Harvard University.

The possible commercialisation of Adam's work is now being funded by Enterprise Ireland under the EI Commercialisation Fund which will allow him to explore the next steps to bring this technology to market.