In the last years, there has been an ever-increasing interest in profiling various aspects of city life, especially in the context of smart cities. This interest has become even more relevant recently when we have realised how dramatic events, such as the Covid-19 pandemic, can deeply affect the city life, producing drastic changes. Identifying and analyzing such changes, both at the city level and within single neighborhoods, may be a fundamental tool to better manage the current situation and provide sound strategies for future planning. Furthermore, such fine-grained and up-to-date characterization can represent a valuable asset for other tools and services, e.g. web mapping applications or real estate agency platforms. In this paper, we propose a framework featuring a novel methodology to model and track changes in areas of the city by extracting information from online newspaper articles. The problem of uncovering clusters of news at specific times is tackled by means of the joint use of state-of-the-art language models to represent the articles, and of a density-based streaming clustering algorithm, properly shaped to deal with high-dimensional text embeddings. Further, we propose a method to automatically label the obtained clusters in a semantically meaningful way, and we introduce a set of metrics aimed to track the temporal evolution of clusters. A case study focusing on the city of Rome during the Covid-19 pandemic is illustrated and discussed to evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed approach.

A News-based Framework for Uncovering and Tracking City Area Profiles: Assessment in Covid-19 Setting

Bechini, Alessio;Bondielli, Alessandro;Bárcena, José Luis Corcuera;Ducange, Pietro;Marcelloni, Francesco;Renda, Alessandro
2022

Abstract

In the last years, there has been an ever-increasing interest in profiling various aspects of city life, especially in the context of smart cities. This interest has become even more relevant recently when we have realised how dramatic events, such as the Covid-19 pandemic, can deeply affect the city life, producing drastic changes. Identifying and analyzing such changes, both at the city level and within single neighborhoods, may be a fundamental tool to better manage the current situation and provide sound strategies for future planning. Furthermore, such fine-grained and up-to-date characterization can represent a valuable asset for other tools and services, e.g. web mapping applications or real estate agency platforms. In this paper, we propose a framework featuring a novel methodology to model and track changes in areas of the city by extracting information from online newspaper articles. The problem of uncovering clusters of news at specific times is tackled by means of the joint use of state-of-the-art language models to represent the articles, and of a density-based streaming clustering algorithm, properly shaped to deal with high-dimensional text embeddings. Further, we propose a method to automatically label the obtained clusters in a semantically meaningful way, and we introduce a set of metrics aimed to track the temporal evolution of clusters. A case study focusing on the city of Rome during the Covid-19 pandemic is illustrated and discussed to evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed approach.
Bechini, Alessio; Bondielli, Alessandro; Bárcena, José Luis Corcuera; Ducange, Pietro; Marcelloni, Francesco; Renda, Alessandro
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11568/1141968
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