Fascinating New Humor Study: Unsupervised Funniness Detection in the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest
This study, Humor In Collective Discourse: Unsupervised Funniness Detection in the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest, from Cornell University compares a dozen automatic methods for selecting the funniest caption. They utilize Amazon Mechanical Turks to analyze New Yorker cartoons. Their findings show that "negative sentiment, human-centeredness, and lexical centrality most strongly match the funniest captions, followed by positive sentiment."
The study also offers the public access to 50 New Yorker cartoons as well as thousands of past caption entries.