Learning Similarity Metrics for Event Identification in Social Media

author: Hila Becker, Department of Computer Science, Columbia University
published: Oct. 12, 2010,   recorded: February 2010,   views: 3849


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Social media sites (e.g., Flickr, YouTube, and Facebook) are a popular distribution outlet for users looking to share their experiences and interests on the Web. These sites host substantial amounts of user-contributed materials (e.g., photographs, videos, and textual content) for a wide variety of real-world events of different type and scale. By automatically identifying these events and their associated user-contributed social media documents, which is the focus of this paper, we can enable event browsing and search in state-of-the-art search engines. To address this problem, we exploit the rich “context” associated with social media con- tent, including user-provided annotations (e.g., title, tags) and automatically generated information (e.g., content creation time). Using this rich context, which includes both textual and non-textual features, we can define appropriate document similarity metrics to enable online clustering of media to events. As a key contribution of this paper, we explore a variety of techniques for learning multi-feature similarity metrics for social media documents in a principled manner. We evaluate our techniques on large-scale, real- world datasets of event images from Flickr. Our evaluation results suggest that our approach identifies events, and their associated social media documents, more effectively than the state-of-the-art strategies on which we build.

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