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Petascale Humanities: Supercomputing Global News Media (predicting human behavior from news media)

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OKIsItJustMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-06-11 04:07 PM
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Petascale Humanities: Supercomputing Global News Media (predicting human behavior from news media)
http://www.nics.tennessee.edu/leetaru

Petascale Humanities: Supercomputing Global News Media

Sep 05, 2011

University of Illinois scientist uses advanced computing to study how global news media can forecast human behavior

By Caitlin Elizabeth Rockett

News abounds at lightning speedson the Internet and T.V., in newspapers, magazines, blogs, and social networking sitesbut what do we get when we consume news? Scientist Kalev Leetaru believes news is capable of teaching us much more than just what happened in the world today.



Using a large, shared memory supercomputer called Nautilus, Leetaru has analyzed the tone and geographic dimensions of a 30-year archive of global news to produce real-time forecasts of human behavior such as national conflicts and the movement of specific individuals.



The first method counts the density of positive and negative words, subtracts the values and gets a measure of overall tone. The second method uses special dictionaries where each word has been assigned a numeric score from extremely negative to extremely positive, capturing the fact that loathe has a more negative connotation than dislike. The average score of all words found in a document is used to offer a slightly more nuanced understanding of its tone.



A third technique, network analysis, shows how global media groups the countries of Earth.
Using global news coverage, you count how many times every city on Earth is mentioned with every other city in an article, explained Leetaru. Group those results by country and you have a network of how the world news media relates and frames all the countries on Earth.



For complete details on this research, click here to read the full paper at First Monday.
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Eddie Haskell Donating Member (817 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-06-11 04:24 PM
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1. Yep, the 911 media hype should recruit just enough red-blooded
American boys to put troops on the ground in Syria.
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