Now showing 1 - 10 of 18
  • Publication
    On Supporting Digital Journalism: Case Studies in Co-Designing Journalistic Tools
    Since 2013 researchers at University College Dublin in the Insight Centre for Data Analytics have been involved in a significant research programme in digital journalism, specifically targeting tools and social media guidelines to support the work of journalists. Most of this programme was undertaken in collaboration with The Irish Times. This collaboration involved identifying key problems currently faced by digital journalists, developing tools as solutions to these problems, and then iteratively co-designing these tools with feedback from journalists. This paper reports on our experiences and learnings from this research programme, with a view to informing similar efforts in the future.
  • Publication
    Background Knowledge Injection for Interpretable Sequence Classification
    Sequence classification is the supervised learning task of building models that predict class labels of unseen sequences of symbols. Although accuracy is paramount, in certain scenarios interpretability is a must. Unfortunately, such trade-off is often hard to achieve since we lack human-independent interpretability metrics. We introduce a novel sequence learning algorithm, that combines (i) linear classifiers - which are known to strike a good balance between predictive power and interpretability, and (ii) background knowledge embeddings. We extend the classic subsequence feature space with groups of symbols which are generated by background knowledge injected via word or graph embeddings, and use this new feature space to learn a linear classifier. We also present a new measure to evaluate the interpretability of a set of symbolic features based on the symbol embeddings. Experiments on human activity recognition from wearables and amino acid sequence classification show that our classification approach preserves predictive power, while delivering more interpretable models.
  • Publication
    Event Detection in Twitter using Aggressive Filtering and Hierarchical Tweet Clustering
    Twitter has become as much of a news media as a social network, and much research has turned to analysing its content for tracking real-world events, from politics to sports and natural disasters. This paper describes the techniques we employed for the SNOW Data Challenge 2014, described in [16]. We show that aggressive lettering of tweets based on length and structure, combined with hierarchical clustering of tweets and ranking of the resulting clusters, achieves encouraging results. We present empirical results and discussion for two different Twitter streams focusing on the US presidential elections in 2012 and the recent events about Ukraine, Syria and the Bitcoin, in February 2014.
  • Publication
    Constructing Subsumption Hierarchies of Web Queries
    In this work, we present an approach for automatically identifying subsumption relations between web queries, a difficult (due to feature sparseness and ambiguity), but extremely useful task for many applications, ranging from user profiling and semantic enhancement of query logs, to traffic minimisation in distributed search environments (e.g., federations of digital libraries or cloud-based systems). We start by matching each query to the topics of a comprehensive web directory, and use these topics to apply query expansion in an iterative fashion. Subsequently, all expanded queries are mapped onto the DMOZ hierarchy, and the resulting subsumption relations are directly inferred from the directory structure once conflicts in the hierarchy are resolved. We evaluate our technique on real-world queries, and show that our approach is effective under all settings.
  • Publication
    Be In The Know: Connecting News Articles to Relevant Twitter Conversations
    In this paper we propose a framework for tracking and automatically connecting news articles to Twitter conversations as captured by Twitter hashtags. For example, such a system could alert journalists about news that get a lot of Twitter reaction, so they can investigate those conversations for new developments in the story, promote their article to a set of interested consumers, or discover general sentiment towards the story. Mapping articles to hashtags is nevertheless challenging, due to different language style of articles versus tweets, the streaming aspect, and user behavior when marking tweet-terms as hashtags. We track the Irish Times RSS-feed and a focused Twitter stream over a two months period, and present a system that assigns hashtags to each article, based on its Twitter echo. We propose a machine learning approach for classifying article hashtag pairs. Our empirical study shows that our system delivers high precision for this task.
  • Publication
    Examining the State-of-the-Art in News Timeline Summarization
    Previous work on automatic news timeline summarization (TLS) leaves an unclear picture about how this task can generally be approached and how well it is currently solved. This is mostly due to the focus on individual subtasks, such as date selection and date summarization, and to the previous lack of appropriate evaluation metrics for the full TLS task. In this paper, we compare different TLS strategies using appropriate evaluation frameworks, and propose a simple and effective combination of methods that improves over the state-of-the-art on all tested benchmarks. For a more robust evaluation, we also present a new TLS dataset, which is larger and spans longer time periods than previous datasets.
  • Publication
    Real time News Story Detection and Tracking with Hashtags
    Topic Detection and Tracking (TDT) is an important research topic in data mining and information retrieval and has been explored for many years. Most of the studies have approached the problem from the event tracking point of view. We argue that the definition of stories as events is not reflecting the full picture. In this work we propose a story tracking method built on crowd-tagging in social media, where news articles are labeled with hashtags in real-time. The social tags act as rich metadata for news articles, with the advantage that, if carefully employed, they can capture emerging concepts and address concept drift in a story. We present an approach for employing social tags for the purpose of story detection and tracking and show initial empirical results. We compare our method to classic keyword query retrieval and discuss an example of story tracking over time.
  • Publication
    A Large-Scale Multi-Document Summarization Dataset from the Wikipedia Current Events Portal
    Multi-document summarization (MDS) aims to compress the content in large document collections into short summaries and has important applications in story clustering for newsfeeds, presentation of search results, and timeline generation. However, there is a lack of datasets that realistically address such use cases at a scale large enough for training supervised models for this task. This work presents a new dataset for MDS that is large both in the total number of document clusters and in the size of individual clusters. We build this dataset by leveraging the Wikipedia Current Events Portal (WCEP), which provides concise and neutral human-written summaries of news events, with links to external source articles. We also automatically extend these source articles by looking for related articles in the Common Crawl archive. We provide a quantitative analysis of the dataset and empirical results for several state-of-the-art MDS techniques.
  • Publication
    Time Series Classification by Sequence Learning in All-Subsequence Space
    Existing approaches to time series classification can be grouped into shape-based (numeric) and structure-based (symbolic). Shape-based techniques use the raw numeric time series with Euclidean or Dynamic Time Warping distance and a 1-Nearest Neighbor classifier. They are accurate, but computationally intensive. Structure-based methods discretize the raw data into symbolic representations, then extract features for classifiers. Recent symbolic methods have outperformed numeric ones regarding both accuracy and efficiency. Most approaches employ a bag-of-symbolic-words representation, but typically the word-length is fixed across all time series, an issue identified as a major weakness in the literature. Also, there are no prior attempts to use efficient sequence learning techniques to go beyond single words, to features based on variable-length sequences of words or symbols. We study an efficient linear classification approach, SEQL, originally designed for classification of symbolic sequences. SEQL learns discriminative subsequences from training data by exploiting the all-subsequence space using greedy gradient descent. We explore different discretization approaches, from none at all to increasing smoothing of the original data, and study the effect of these transformations on the accuracy of SEQL classifiers. We propose two adaptations of SEQL for time series data, SAX-VSEQL, can deal with X-axis offsets by learning variable-length symbolic words, and SAX-VFSEQL, can deal with X-axis and Y-axis offsets, by learning fuzzy variable-length symbolic words. Our models are linear classifiers in rich feature spaces. Their predictions are based on the most discriminative subsequences learned during training, and can be investigated for interpreting the classification decision.
      884Scopus© Citations 29
  • Publication
    Learning-to-Rank for Real-Time High-Precision Hashtag Recommendation for Streaming News
    We address the problem of real-time recommendation ofstreaming Twitter hashtags to an incoming stream of newsarticles. The technical challenge can be framed as largescale topic classication where the set of topics (i.e., hashtags)is huge and highly dynamic. Our main applicationscome from digital journalism, e.g., for promoting originalcontent to Twitter communities and for social indexing ofnews to enable better retrieval, story tracking and summarisation.In contrast to state-of-the-art methods that focus onmodelling each individual hashtag as a topic, we propose alearning-to-rank approach for modelling hashtag relevance,and present methods to extract time-aware features fromhighly dynamic content. We present the data collection andprocessing pipeline, as well as our methodology for achievinglow latency, high precision recommendations. Our empiricalresults show that our method outperforms the state-of-theart,delivering more than 80% precision. Our techniques areimplemented in a real-time system1, and are currently underuser trial with a big news organisation.
      2246Scopus© Citations 28