College of Engineering and Computer Science - Department of

Computer Science & Engineering

Student Hemant Purohit Spoke at the 5th ICCM Conference United Nations – Nairobi

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

In November 2013 PhD. Student Hemant Purohit spoke at the 5th ICCM Conference United Nations – Nairobi as one of eight international fellows. His Ignite Talk covered his research into “Leveraging Social Media Communities to Assist Coordination” and focused on crisis response coordination.

Online social networks and always-connected mobile devices have created an immense opportunity that empowers citizens and organizations to communicate and coordinate effectively in the wake of critical events. Specifically, there have been many isolated examples of using Twitter to provide timely and situational information about emergencies to relief organizations, and to conduct ad-hoc coordination. However, there are few attempts that try to understand the full ramifications of using social networks in a more concerted manner for effective organizational sensemaking in such contexts. The SoCS: Social Media Enhanced Organizational Sensemaking in Emergency Response project, spanning computational and social sciences, funded by the National Science Foundation seeks to fill this gap. Hemant’s PhD advisor, Prof. Amit Sheth is the PI of this interdisciplinary project involving collaborators at Wright State University’s Department of Psychology as well as Ohio State University.

This project seeks to leverage Twitter posts (tweets) as the primary source of citizen inputs and couple relevant content and network information along with microworld simulations involving human role players to measure effectiveness of various organized sensemaking strategies. To arrive at meaningful summaries of citizen input, tweet content is analyzed using a semantic content analysis by combining natural language techniques that are suitably fused with existing knowledge bases (GeoNames, Wikipedia). Content analysis is further enhanced by innovatively combining it with the dynamic analysis of the twitter network to realize concise and trustworthy information nuggets of potential interest to organizations and citizens. The resulting summaries will be fed to a suitably designed microworld simulation involving human actors to derive realistic settings for modeling disaster situations and typical organizational structures.

Hemant Purohit from Kno.e.sis & Wright State University discusses how to leverage social media communities to assist crisis response coordination. Watch the video:

Hemant’s Ignite Talk Slides

More on SoCS project: