The geographical identification of content in Social Networks have enabled to bridge the gap between online social platforms and the physical world. Although vast amounts of data in such networks are due to breaking news or global occurrences, local events witnessed by users in situ are also present in these streams and of great importance for many city entities. Nowadays, unsupervised machine learning techniques, such as Tweet-SCAN, are able to retrospectively detect these local events from tweets. However, these approaches have limited abilities to reason about unseen observations in a principled way due to the lack of a proper probabilistic foundation. Probabilistic models have also been proposed for the task, but their event identification capabilities are far from those of Tweet-SCAN. In this paper, we identify two key factors which, when combined, boost the accuracy of such models. As a first key factor, we notice that the large amount of meaningless social data requires explicitly modeling non-event observations.Therefore, we propose to incorporate a background model that captures spatio-temporal fluctuations of non-event tweets. As a second key factor, we observe that the shortness of tweets hampers the application of traditional topic models. Thus, we integrate event detection and topic modeling, assigning topic proportions to events instead of assigning them to individual tweets. As a result, we propose Warble, a new probabilistic model and learning scheme for retrospective event detection that incorporates these two key factors. We evaluate Warble in a data set of tweets located in Barcelona during its festivities. The empirical results show that the model outperforms other state-of-the-art techniques in detecting various types of events while relying on a principled probabilistic framework that enables to reason under uncertainty.
Twitter has become one of the most popular Location-based Social Networks (LBSNs) that bridges physical and virtual worlds. Tweets, 140-character-long messages, are aimed to give answer to the What’s happening? question. Occurrences and events in the real life (such as political protests, music concerts, natural disasters or terrorist acts) are usually reported through geo-located tweets by users on site. Uncovering event-related tweets from the rest is a challenging problem that necessarily requires exploiting different tweet features. With that in mind, we propose Tweet-SCAN, a novel event discovery technique based on the popular density-based clustering algorithm called DBSCAN. Tweet-SCAN takes into account four main features from a tweet, namely content, time, location and user to group together event-related tweets. The proposed technique models textual content through a probabilistic topic model called Hierarchical Dirichlet Process and introduces Jensen–Shannon distance for the task of neighborhood identification in the textual dimension. As a matter of fact, we show Tweet-SCAN performance in two real data sets of geo-located tweets posted during Barcelona local festivities in 2014 and 2015, for which some of the events were identified by domain experts beforehand. Through these tagged data sets, we are able to assess Tweet-SCAN capabilities to discover events, justify using a textual component and highlight the effects of several parameters.
With the advent of social networks and the rise of mobile technologies, users have become ubiquitous sensors capable of monitoring various real-world events in a crowd-sourced manner. Location-based social networks have proven to be faster than traditional media channels in reporting and geo-locating breaking news, i.e. Osama Bin Laden’s death was first confirmed on Twitter even before the announcement from the communication department at the White House. However, the deluge of user-generated data on these networks requires intelligent systems capable of identifying and characterizing such events in a comprehensive manner. The data mining community coined the term, event detection , to refer to the task of uncovering emerging patterns in data streams . Nonetheless, most data mining techniques do not reproduce the underlying data generation process, hampering to self-adapt in fast-changing scenarios. Because of this, we propose a probabilistic machine learning approach to event detection which explicitly models the data generation process and enables reasoning about the discovered events. With the aim to set forth the differences between both approaches, we present two techniques for the problem of event detection in Twitter : a data mining technique called Tweet-SCAN and a machine learning technique called Warble. We assess and compare both techniques in a dataset of tweets geo-located in the city of Barcelona during its annual festivities. Last but not least, we present the algorithmic changes and data processing frameworks to scale up the proposed techniques to big data workloads.
The increasing use of mobile social networks has lately transformed news media. Real-world events are nowadays reported in social networks much faster than in traditional channels. As a result, the autonomous detection of events from networks like Twitter has gained lot of interest in both research and media groups. DBSCAN-like algorithms constitute a well-known clustering approach to retrospective event detection. However, scaling such algorithms to geographically large regions and temporarily long periods present two major shortcomings. First, detecting real-world events from the vast amount of tweets cannot be performed anymore in a single machine. Second, the tweeting activity varies a lot within these broad space-time regions limiting the use of global parameters. Against this background, we propose to scale DBSCAN-like event detection techniques by parallelizing and distributing them through a novel density-aware MapReduce scheme. The proposed scheme partitions tweet data as per its spatial and temporal features and tailors local DBSCAN parameters to local tweet densities. We implement the scheme in Apache Spark and evaluate its performance in a dataset composed of geo-located tweets in the Iberian peninsula during the course of several football matches. The results pointed out to the benefits of our proposal against other state-of-the-art techniques in terms of speed-up and detection accuracy.
All right sreserved. We present GeoSRS, a hybrid recommender system for a popular location-based social network (LBSN), in which users are able to write short reviews on the places of interest they visit. Using state-of-the-art text mining techniques, our system recommends locations to users using as source the whole set of text reviews in addition to their geographical location. To evaluate our system, we have collected our own data sets by crawling the social network Foursquare. To do this efficiently, we propose the use of a parallel version of the Quadtree technique, which may be applicable to crawling/exploring other spatially distributed sources. Finally, we study the performance of GeoSRS on our collected data set and conclude that by combining sentiment analysis and text modeling, GeoSRS generates more accurate recommendations. The performance of the system improves as more reviews are available, which further motivates the use of large-scale crawling techniques such as the Quadtree.