Focus Areas

Our main areas of focus in the Social Computing group are the following:

Mining Social Media for Socio-Political, Cultural, and Behavioral Patterns: We develop mining algorithms for crawling, sampling, and mining various online repositories, addressing challenges of scale and heterogeneity (e.g., structured and unstructured) of the underlying data, as well as access restrictions such as proprietary query views. Our focus is on methods that provide in-depth analysis that go beyond mere topical “trending now” analysis. One key application area is in understanding political opinion formation and interaction, both in the Arab world and elsewhere.

Social Media Intelligence for News: We develop methods that change the face of traditional news media by gathering usage- and content-based signals from social media around news stories. Our focus is on developing methods that leverage the strengths of social media and traditional media to provide a holistic view of a multitude of data sources and reactions around a developing news event. The integration of traditional and social media fills the gap between supply and demand of information; this integration has become essential to maintain the relevance and timeliness of traditional media, and to reinforce the credibility of social media.

Extracting Timely and Credible Information from Social Media for Crisis Response
(joint research with Arabic Language Technologies and Data Analytics): We apply social computing methods to crisis information communicated via social media to generate situational awareness for humanitarian response. We integrate tools for crowdsourcing/collaboration with an emphasis on crisis informatics. The aim is to extract relevant information that contributes to situational awareness, and to aggregate this content according to existing standards (such as the Humanitarian Cluster system) for further analysis. This research and development effort is currently focused on Twitter, and is coordinated in collaboration with the United Nations.

, Al-Nasr tower, Doha, Qatar.