Document Type



This item is available under a Creative Commons License for non-commercial use only


Computer Sciences

Publication Details

A dissertation submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of Technological University Dublin for the degree of M.Sc. in Computing (Data Analytics) April 2017


Due to its persistence spam remains as one of the biggest problems facing users and suppliers of email communication services. Machine learning techniques have been very successful at preventing many spam mails from arriving in user mailboxes, however they still account for over 50% of all emails sent. Despite this relative success the economic cost of spam has been estimated as high as $50 billion in 2005 and more recently at $20 billion so spam can still be considered a considerable problem. In essence a spam email is a commercial communication trying to entice the receiver to take some positive action. This project uses the text from emails and creates personality insight and language tone scores through the use of IBM Watsons’ Tone Analyzer API. Those scores are used to investigate whether the language used in emails can be transformed into useful features that can be used to correctly classify them as spam or genuine emails. And during the course of this investigation a range of machine learning techniques are applied. Results from this experiment found that where just the personality insight and language tone features are used in the model some promising results with one dataset were shown. However over all datasets results were inconclusive with this model. Furthermore it was found that in a model where these features were used in combination with a normalised term-frequency feature-set no real improvement in the classification performance was shown.