Measuring the semantic uncertainty of news events for evolution potential estimation

Publication Type:
Journal Article
ACM Transactions on Information Systems, 2016, 34 (4)
Issue Date:
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© 2016 ACM. The evolution potential estimation of news events can support the decision making of both corporations and governments. For example, a corporation could manage its public relations crisis in a timely manner if a negative news event about this corporation is known with large evolution potential in advance. However, existing state-of-the-art methods are mainly based on time series historical data, which are not suitable for the news events with limited historical data and bursty properties. In this article, we propose a purely content-based method to estimate the evolution potential of the news events. The proposed method considers a news event at a given time point as a system composed of different keywords, and the uncertainty of this system is defined and measured as the Semantic Uncertainty of this news event. At the same time, an uncertainty space is constructed with two extreme states: the most uncertain state and the most certain state. We believe that the Semantic Uncertainty has correlation with the content evolution of the news events, so it can be used to estimate the evolution potential of the news events. In order to verify the proposed method, we present detailed experimental setups and results measuring the correlation of the Semantic Uncertainty with the Content Change of news events using collected news events data. The results show that the correlation does exist and is stronger than the correlation of value from the time-series-based method with the Content Change. Therefore, we can use the Semantic Uncertainty to estimate the evolution potential of news events.
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