Extracting Diurnal Patterns of Real World Activity from Social Media

Published on March 30, 2013.

Our most recent work got accepted to ICWSM 2013! See the publications page for the full paper.

Here is the abstract:
In this study, we develop methods to identify verbal expressions in social media streams that refer to real-world activities. Using aggregate daily patterns of Foursquare checkins, our methods extract similar patterns from Twitter, extending the amount of available content while preserving high relevance. We devise and test several methods to extract such content, using time-series and semantic similarity. Evaluating on key activity categories available from Foursquare (coffee, food, shopping and nightlife), we show that our extraction methods are able to capture equivalent patterns in Twitter. By examining rudimentary categories of activity such as nightlife, food or shopping we peek at the fundamental rhythm of human behavior and observe when it is disrupted. We use data compiled during the abnormal conditions in New York City throughout Hurricane Sandy to examine the outcome of our methods.

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