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Visual Analytic Tools for Geo-Genealogy and Geo-Demographics

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This work explores the development of a visual analytics tool for geodemographic exploration in an online environment. We mine 78 million records from the United States white pages, link the location data to demographic data (specifically income) from the United

This work explores the development of a visual analytics tool for geodemographic exploration in an online environment. We mine 78 million records from the United States white pages, link the location data to demographic data (specifically income) from the United States Census Bureau, and allow users to interactively compare distributions of names with regards to spatial location similarity and income. In order to enable interactive similarity exploration, we explore methods of pre-processing the data as well as on-the-fly lookups. As data becomes larger and more complex, the development of appropriate data storage and analytics solutions has become even more critical when enabling online visualization. We discuss problems faced in implementation, design decisions and directions for future work.

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2014-05

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Surgical instrument reprocessing in a hospital setting analyzed with statistical process control and data mining techniques

Description

In a healthcare setting, the Sterile Processing Department (SPD) provides ancillary services to the Operating Room (OR), Emergency Room, Labor & Delivery, and off-site clinics. SPD's function is to reprocess reusable surgical instruments and return them to their home departments.

In a healthcare setting, the Sterile Processing Department (SPD) provides ancillary services to the Operating Room (OR), Emergency Room, Labor & Delivery, and off-site clinics. SPD's function is to reprocess reusable surgical instruments and return them to their home departments. The management of surgical instruments and medical devices can impact patient safety and hospital revenue. Any time instrumentation or devices are not available or are not fit for use, patient safety and revenue can be negatively impacted. One step of the instrument reprocessing cycle is sterilization. Steam sterilization is the sterilization method used for the majority of surgical instruments and is preferred to immediate use steam sterilization (IUSS) because terminally sterilized items can be stored until needed. IUSS Items must be used promptly and cannot be stored for later use. IUSS is intended for emergency situations and not as regular course of action. Unfortunately, IUSS is used to compensate for inadequate inventory levels, scheduling conflicts, and miscommunications. If IUSS is viewed as an adverse event, then monitoring IUSS incidences can help healthcare organizations meet patient safety goals and financial goals along with aiding in process improvement efforts. This work recommends statistical process control methods to IUSS incidents and illustrates the use of control charts for IUSS occurrences through a case study and analysis of the control charts for data from a health care provider. Furthermore, this work considers the application of data mining methods to IUSS occurrences and presents a representative example of data mining to the IUSS occurrences. This extends the application of statistical process control and data mining in healthcare applications.

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Date Created
2014

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Spatio-temporal data mining to detect changes and clusters in trajectories

Description

With the rapid development of mobile sensing technologies like GPS, RFID, sensors in smartphones, etc., capturing position data in the form of trajectories has become easy. Moving object trajectory analysis is a growing area of interest these days owing to

With the rapid development of mobile sensing technologies like GPS, RFID, sensors in smartphones, etc., capturing position data in the form of trajectories has become easy. Moving object trajectory analysis is a growing area of interest these days owing to its applications in various domains such as marketing, security, traffic monitoring and management, etc. To better understand movement behaviors from the raw mobility data, this doctoral work provides analytic models for analyzing trajectory data. As a first contribution, a model is developed to detect changes in trajectories with time. If the taxis moving in a city are viewed as sensors that provide real time information of the traffic in the city, a change in these trajectories with time can reveal that the road network has changed. To detect changes, trajectories are modeled with a Hidden Markov Model (HMM). A modified training algorithm, for parameter estimation in HMM, called m-BaumWelch, is used to develop likelihood estimates under assumed changes and used to detect changes in trajectory data with time. Data from vehicles are used to test the method for change detection. Secondly, sequential pattern mining is used to develop a model to detect changes in frequent patterns occurring in trajectory data. The aim is to answer two questions: Are the frequent patterns still frequent in the new data? If they are frequent, has the time interval distribution in the pattern changed? Two different approaches are considered for change detection, frequency-based approach and distribution-based approach. The methods are illustrated with vehicle trajectory data. Finally, a model is developed for clustering and outlier detection in semantic trajectories. A challenge with clustering semantic trajectories is that both numeric and categorical attributes are present. Another problem to be addressed while clustering is that trajectories can be of different lengths and also have missing values. A tree-based ensemble is used to address these problems. The approach is extended to outlier detection in semantic trajectories.

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2012

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Spatiotemporal data mining, analysis, and visualization of human activity data

Description

This dissertation addresses the research challenge of developing efficient new methods for discovering useful patterns and knowledge in large volumes of electronically collected spatiotemporal activity data. I propose to analyze three types of such spatiotemporal activity data in a methodological

This dissertation addresses the research challenge of developing efficient new methods for discovering useful patterns and knowledge in large volumes of electronically collected spatiotemporal activity data. I propose to analyze three types of such spatiotemporal activity data in a methodological framework that integrates spatial analysis, data mining, machine learning, and geovisualization techniques. Three different types of spatiotemporal activity data were collected through different data collection approaches: (1) crowd sourced geo-tagged digital photos, representing people's travel activity, were retrieved from the website Panoramio.com through information retrieval techniques; (2) the same techniques were used to crawl crowd sourced GPS trajectory data and related metadata of their daily activities from the website OpenStreetMap.org; and finally (3) preschool children's daily activities and interactions tagged with time and geographical location were collected with a novel TabletPC-based behavioral coding system. The proposed methodology is applied to these data to (1) automatically recommend optimal multi-day and multi-stay travel itineraries for travelers based on discovered attractions from geo-tagged photos, (2) automatically detect movement types of unknown moving objects from GPS trajectories, and (3) explore dynamic social and socio-spatial patterns of preschool children's behavior from both geographic and social perspectives.

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2012

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Assessing Influential Users in Live Streaming Social Networks

Description

Live streaming has risen to significant popularity in the recent past and largely this live streaming is a feature of existing social networks like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. However, there does exist at least one social network entirely devoted to

Live streaming has risen to significant popularity in the recent past and largely this live streaming is a feature of existing social networks like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. However, there does exist at least one social network entirely devoted to live streaming, and specifically the live streaming of video games, Twitch. This social network is unique for a number of reasons, not least because of its hyper-focus on live content and this uniqueness has challenges for social media researchers.

Despite this uniqueness, almost no scientific work has been performed on this public social network. Thus, it is unclear what user interaction features present on other social networks exist on Twitch. Investigating the interactions between users and identifying which, if any, of the common user behaviors on social network exist on Twitch is an important step in understanding how Twitch fits in to the social media ecosystem. For example, there are users that have large followings on Twitch and amass a large number of viewers, but do those users exert influence over the behavior of other user the way that popular users on Twitter do?

This task, however, will not be trivial. The same hyper-focus on live content that makes Twitch unique in the social network space invalidates many of the traditional approaches to social network analysis. Thus, new algorithms and techniques must be developed in order to tap this data source. In this thesis, a novel algorithm for finding games whose releases have made a significant impact on the network is described as well as a novel algorithm for detecting and identifying influential players of games. In addition, the Twitch network is described in detail along with the data that was collected in order to power the two previously described algorithms.

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Date Created
2019

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The role of teamwork in predicting movie earnings

Description

Intelligence analysts’ work has become progressively complex due to increasing security threats and data availability. In order to study “big” data exploration within the intelligence domain the intelligence analyst task was abstracted and replicated in a laboratory (controlled environment).

Intelligence analysts’ work has become progressively complex due to increasing security threats and data availability. In order to study “big” data exploration within the intelligence domain the intelligence analyst task was abstracted and replicated in a laboratory (controlled environment). Participants used a computer interface and movie database to determine the opening weekend gross movie earnings of three pre-selected movies. Data consisted of Twitter tweets and predictive models. These data were displayed in various formats such as graphs, charts, and text. Participants used these data to make their predictions. It was expected that teams (a team is a group with members who have different specialties and who work interdependently) would outperform individuals and groups. That is, teams would be significantly better at predicting “Opening Weekend Gross” than individuals or groups. Results indicated that teams outperformed individuals and groups in the first prediction, under performed in the second prediction, and performed better than individuals in the third prediction (but not better than groups). Insights and future directions are discussed.

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Date Created
2016

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Detecting Frames and Causal Relationships in Climate Change Related Text Databases Based on Semantic Features

Description

The subliminal impact of framing of social, political and environmental issues such as climate change has been studied for decades in political science and communications research. Media framing offers an “interpretative package" for average citizens on how to make sense

The subliminal impact of framing of social, political and environmental issues such as climate change has been studied for decades in political science and communications research. Media framing offers an “interpretative package" for average citizens on how to make sense of climate change and its consequences to their livelihoods, how to deal with its negative impacts, and which mitigation or adaptation policies to support. A line of related work has used bag of words and word-level features to detect frames automatically in text. Such works face limitations since standard keyword based features may not generalize well to accommodate surface variations in text when different keywords are used for similar concepts.

This thesis develops a unique type of textual features that generalize triplets extracted from text, by clustering them into high-level concepts. These concepts are utilized as features to detect frames in text. Compared to uni-gram and bi-gram based models, classification and clustering using generalized concepts yield better discriminating features and a higher classification accuracy with a 12% boost (i.e. from 74% to 83% F-measure) and 0.91 clustering purity for Frame/Non-Frame detection.

The automatic discovery of complex causal chains among interlinked events and their participating actors has not yet been thoroughly studied. Previous studies related to extracting causal relationships from text were based on laborious and incomplete hand-developed lists of explicit causal verbs, such as “causes" and “results in." Such approaches result in limited recall because standard causal verbs may not generalize well to accommodate surface variations in texts when different keywords and phrases are used to express similar causal effects. Therefore, I present a system that utilizes generalized concepts to extract causal relationships. The proposed algorithms overcome surface variations in written expressions of causal relationships and discover the domino effects between climate events and human security. This semi-supervised approach alleviates the need for labor intensive keyword list development and annotated datasets. Experimental evaluations by domain experts achieve an average precision of 82%. Qualitative assessments of causal chains show that results are consistent with the 2014 IPCC report illuminating causal mechanisms underlying the linkages between climatic stresses and social instability.

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Date Created
2018

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Learning from task heterogeneity in social media

Description

In recent years, the rise in social media usage both vertically in terms of the number of users by platform and horizontally in terms of the number of platforms per user has led to data explosion.

User-generated social media content provides

In recent years, the rise in social media usage both vertically in terms of the number of users by platform and horizontally in terms of the number of platforms per user has led to data explosion.

User-generated social media content provides an excellent opportunity to mine data of interest and to build resourceful applications. The rise in the number of healthcare-related social media platforms and the volume of healthcare knowledge available online in the last decade has resulted in increased social media usage for personal healthcare. In the United States, nearly ninety percent of adults, in the age group 50-75, have used social media to seek and share health information. Motivated by the growth of social media usage, this thesis focuses on healthcare-related applications, study various challenges posed by social media data, and address them through novel and effective machine learning algorithms.

The major challenges for effectively and efficiently mining social media data to build functional applications include: (1) Data reliability and acceptance: most social media data (especially in the context of healthcare-related social media) is not regulated and little has been studied on the benefits of healthcare-specific social media; (2) Data heterogeneity: social media data is generated by users with both demographic and geographic diversity; (3) Model transparency and trustworthiness: most existing machine learning models for addressing heterogeneity are considered as black box models, not many providing explanations for why they do what they do to trust them.

In response to these challenges, three main research directions have been investigated in this thesis: (1) Analyzing social media influence on healthcare: to study the real world impact of social media as a source to offer or seek support for patients with chronic health conditions; (2) Learning from task heterogeneity: to propose various models and algorithms that are adaptable to new social media platforms and robust to dynamic social media data, specifically on modeling user behaviors, identifying similar actors across platforms, and adapting black box models to a specific learning scenario; (3) Explaining heterogeneous models: to interpret predictive models in the presence of task heterogeneity. In this thesis, novel algorithms with theoretical analysis from various aspects (e.g., time complexity, convergence properties) have been proposed. The effectiveness and efficiency of the proposed algorithms is demonstrated by comparison with state-of-the-art methods and relevant case studies.

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Date Created
2019

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Understanding Disinformation: Learning with Weak Social Supervision

Description

Social media has become an important means of user-centered information sharing and communications in a gamut of domains, including news consumption, entertainment, marketing, public relations, and many more. The low cost, easy access, and rapid dissemination of information on social

Social media has become an important means of user-centered information sharing and communications in a gamut of domains, including news consumption, entertainment, marketing, public relations, and many more. The low cost, easy access, and rapid dissemination of information on social media draws a large audience but also exacerbate the wide propagation of disinformation including fake news, i.e., news with intentionally false information. Disinformation on social media is growing fast in volume and can have detrimental societal effects. Despite the importance of this problem, our understanding of disinformation in social media is still limited. Recent advancements of computational approaches on detecting disinformation and fake news have shown some early promising results. Novel challenges are still abundant due to its complexity, diversity, dynamics, multi-modality, and costs of fact-checking or annotation.

Social media data opens the door to interdisciplinary research and allows one to collectively study large-scale human behaviors otherwise impossible. For example, user engagements over information such as news articles, including posting about, commenting on, or recommending the news on social media, contain abundant rich information. Since social media data is big, incomplete, noisy, unstructured, with abundant social relations, solely relying on user engagements can be sensitive to noisy user feedback. To alleviate the problem of limited labeled data, it is important to combine contents and this new (but weak) type of information as supervision signals, i.e., weak social supervision, to advance fake news detection.

The goal of this dissertation is to understand disinformation by proposing and exploiting weak social supervision for learning with little labeled data and effectively detect disinformation via innovative research and novel computational methods. In particular, I investigate learning with weak social supervision for understanding disinformation with the following computational tasks: bringing the heterogeneous social context as auxiliary information for effective fake news detection; discovering explanations of fake news from social media for explainable fake news detection; modeling multi-source of weak social supervision for early fake news detection; and transferring knowledge across domains with adversarial machine learning for cross-domain fake news detection. The findings of the dissertation significantly expand the boundaries of disinformation research and establish a novel paradigm of learning with weak social supervision that has important implications in broad applications in social media.

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2020