AAAI Publications, Sixth International AAAI Conference on Weblogs and Social Media

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A Systematic Investigation of Blocking Strategies for Real-Time Classification of Social Media Content into Events
Timo Reuter, Philipp Cimiano

Last modified: 2012-05-20


Events play a prominent role in our lives, such that many social media documents describe or are related to some event. Organizing social media documents with respect to events thus seems a promising approach to better manage and organize the ever-increasing amount of user-generated content in social media applications. It would support the navigation of data by events or allow one to get notified about new postings related to the events one is interested in, just to name two applications. A challenge is to automatize this process so that incoming documents can be assigned to their corresponding event without any user intervention. We present a system that is able to classify a stream of social media data into a growing and evolving set of events. In order to scale up to the data sizes and data rates in social media applications, the use of a candidate retrieval or blocking step is crucial to reduce the number of events that are considered as potential candidates to which the incoming data point could belong to.In this paper we present and experimentally compare different blocking strategies along their cost vs. effectiveness tradeoff.We show that using a blocking strategy that selects the 60 closest events with respect to upload time, we reach F-Measures of about 85.1% while being able to process the incoming documents within 32ms on average. We thus provide a principled approach supporting to scale up classification of social media documents into events and to process the incoming stream of documents in real time.


Blocking; Classification; Clustering; Social Media

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