An integrated text analytic framework for product defect discovery

Alan S. Abrahams, Weiguo Fan, G. Alan Wang, Zhongju Zhang, Jian Jiao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

176 Scopus citations


The recent surge in the usage of social media has created an enormous amount of user-generated content (UGC). While there are streams of research that seek to mine UGC, these research studies seldom tackle analysis of this textual content from a quality management perspective. In this study, we synthesize existing research studies on text mining and propose an integrated text analytic framework for product defect discovery. The framework effectively leverages rich social media content and quantifies the text using various automatically extracted signal cues. These extracted signal cues can then be used as modeling inputs for product defect discovery. We showcase the usefulness of the framework by performing product defect discovery using UGC in both the automotive and the consumer electronics domains. We use principal component analysis and logistic regression to produce a multivariate explanatory analysis relating defects to quantitative measures derived from text. For our samples, we find that a selection of distinctive terms, product features, and semantic factors are strong indicators of defects, whereas stylistic, social, and sentiment features are not. For high sales volume products, we demonstrate that significant corporate value is derivable from a reduction in defect discovery time and consequently defective product units in circulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)975-990
Number of pages16
JournalProduction and Operations Management
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • quality management
  • social media analytics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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