Helping Crisis Responders Find the Informative Needle in the Tweet Haystack

Leon Derczynski, Kenny Meesters, Diana Maynard, Kalina Bontcheva

Research output: Conference Article in Proceeding or Book/Report chapterArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Crisis responders are increasingly using social media, data and other digital sources of information to build a situational understanding of a crisis situation in order to design an effective response. However with the increased availability of such data, the challenge of identifying relevant information from it also increases. This paper presents a successful automatic approach to handling this problem. Messages are filtered for informativeness based on a definition of the concept drawn from prior research and crisis response experts. Informative messages are tagged for actionable data -- for example, people in need, threats to rescue efforts, changes in environment, and so on. In all, eight categories of actionability are identified. The two components -- informativeness and actionability classification -- are packaged together as an openly-available tool called Emina (Emergent Informativeness and Actionability).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 15th ISCRAM Conference
Place of PublicationRochester, NY (USA)
PublisherRIT Scholar Works / Rochester Institute of Technology
Publication date2018
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-692-12760-5
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


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