Crisis and Disaster Situations on Social Media Streams: An Ontology-Based Knowledge Harvesting Approach

SenthilKumar Narayanasamy, Dinakaran Muruganantham, Atilla Elçi
Interdisciplinary Journal of Information, Knowledge, and Management  •  Volume 14  •  2019  •  pp. 343-366

Vis-à-vis management of crisis and disaster situations, this paper focuses on important use cases of social media functions, such as information collection & dissemination, disaster event identification & monitoring, collaborative problem-solving mechanism, and decision-making process. With the prolific utilization of disaster-based ontological framework, a strong disambiguation system is realized, which further enhances the searching capabilities of the user request and provides a solution of unambiguous in nature.

Even though social media is information-rich, it has created a challenge for deriving a decision in critical crisis-related cases. In order to make the whole process effective and avail quality decision making, sufficiently clear semantics of such information is necessary, which can be supplemented through employing semantic web technologies.

This paper evolves a disaster ontology-based system availing a framework model for monitoring uses of social media during risk and crisis-related events. The proposed system monitors a discussion thread discovering whether it has reached its peak or decline after its root in the social forum like Twitter. The content in social media can be accessed through two typical ways: Search Application Program Interfaces (APIs) and Streaming APIs. These two kinds of API processes can be used interchangeably. News content may be filtered by time, geographical region, keyword occurrence and availability ratio. With the support of disaster ontology, domain knowledge extraction and comparison against all possible concepts are availed. Besides, the proposed method makes use of SPARQL to disambiguate the query and yield the results which produce high precision.

The model provides for the collection of crisis-related temporal data and decision making through semantic mapping of entities over concepts in a disaster ontology we developed, thereby disambiguating potential named entities. Results of empirical testing and analysis indicate that the proposed model outperforms similar other models.

Crucial findings of this research lie in three aspects: (1) Twitter streams and conventional news media tend to offer almost similar types of news coverage for a specified event, but the rate of distribution among topics/categories differs. (2) On specific events such as disaster, crisis or any emergency situations, the volume of information that has been accumulated between the two news media stands divergent and filtering the most potential information poses a challenging task. (3) Relational mapping/co-occurrence of terms has been well designed for conventional news media, but due to shortness and sparseness of tweets, there remains a bottleneck for researchers.

Though metadata avails collaborative details of news content and it has been conventionally used in many areas like information retrieval, natural language processing, and pattern recognition, there is still a lack of fulfillment in semantic aspects of data. Hence, the pervasive use of ontology is highly suggested that build semantic-oriented metadata for concept-based modeling, information flow searching and knowledge exchange.

The strong recommendation for researchers is that instead of heavily relying on conventional Information Retrieval (IR) systems, one can focus more on ontology for improving the accuracy rate and thereby reducing ambiguous terms persisting in the result sets. In order to harness the potential information to derive the hidden facts, this research recommends clustering the information from diverse sources rather than pruning a single news source. It is advisable to use a domain ontology to segregate the entities which pose ambiguity over other candidate sets thus strengthening the outcome.

The objective of this research is to provide informative summarization of happenings such as crisis, disaster, emergency and havoc-based situations in the real world. A system is proposed which provides the summarized views of such happenings and corroborates the news by interrelating with one another. Its major task is to monitor the events which are very booming and deemed important from a crowd’s perspective.

In the future, one shall strive to help to summarize and to visualize the potential information which is ranked high by the model.

disaster management, social media, ontological support, semantic search, SPARQL, RDF
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