Rapid relevance classification of social media posts in disasters and emergencies: A system and evaluation featuring active, incremental and online learning

AutorKaufhold, Marc-André; Bayer, Markus; Reuter, Christian
ArtJournal Article
AbstraktThe research field of crisis informatics examines, amongst others, the potentials and barriers of social media use during disasters and emergencies. Social media allow emergency services to receive valuable information (e.g., eyewitness reports, pictures, or videos) from social media. However, the vast amount of data generated during large-scale incidents can lead to issue of information overload. Research indicates that supervised machine learning techniques are sui- table for identifying relevant messages and filter out irrelevant messages, thus mitigating in- formation overload. Still, they require a considerable amount of labeled data, clear criteria for relevance classification, a usable interface to facilitate the labeling process and a mechanism to rapidly deploy retrained classifiers. To overcome these issues, we present (1) a system for social media monitoring, analysis and relevance classification, (2) abstract and precise criteria for re- levance classification in social media during disasters and emergencies, (3) the evaluation of a well-performing Random Forest algorithm for relevance classification incorporating metadata from social media into a batch learning approach (e.g., 91.28%/89.19% accuracy, 98.3%/89.6% precision and 80.4%/87.5% recall with a fast training time with feature subset selection on the European floods/BASF SE incident datasets), as well as (4) an approach and preliminary eva- luation for relevance classification including active, incremental and online learning to reduce the amount of required labeled data and to correct misclassifications of the algorithm by feed- back classification. Using the latter approach, we achieved a well-performing classifier based on the European floods dataset by only requiring a quarter of labeled data compared to the tradi- tional batch learning approach. Despite a lesser effect on the BASF SE incident dataset, still a substantial improvement could be determined.
InInformation Processing & Management