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David MS Rodrigues Reading the News Through its Structure New Hybrid Connectivity Based ApproachesFigure – Two simplicies a and b connected by the 2-dimensional face, the triangle {1;2;3}. In the analysis of the time-line of The Guardian newspaper (link) the system used feature vectors based on frequency of words and them computed similarity between documents based on those feature vectors. This is a purely statistical approach that requires great computational power and that is difficult for problems that have large feature vectors and many documents. Feature vectors with 100,000 or more items are common and computing similarities between these documents becomes cumbersome. Instead of computing distance (or similarity) matrices between documents from feature vectors, the present approach explores the possibility of inferring the distance between documents from the Q-analysis description. Q-analysis is a very natural notion of connectivity between the simplicies of the structure and in the relation studied, documents are connected to each other through shared sets of tags entered by the journalists. Also in this framework, eccentricity is defined as a measure of the relatedness of one simplex in relation to another [7].

David M.S. Rodrigues and Vitorino Ramos, “Traversing News with Ant Colony Optimisation and Negative Pheromones” [PDF], accepted as preprint for oral presentation at the European Conference on Complex SystemsECCS14 in Lucca, Sept. 22-26, 2014, Italy.

Abstract: The past decade has seen the rapid development of the online newsroom. News published online are the main outlet of news surpassing traditional printed newspapers. This poses challenges to the production and to the consumption of those news. With those many sources of information available it is important to find ways to cluster and organise the documents if one wants to understand this new system. Traditional approaches to the problem of clustering documents usually embed the documents in a suitable similarity space. Previous studies have reported on the impact of the similarity measures used for clustering of textual corpora [1]. These similarity measures usually are calculated for bag of words representations of the documents. This makes the final document-word matrix high dimensional. Feature vectors with more than 10,000 dimensions are common and algorithms have severe problems with the high dimensionality of the data. A novel bio inspired approach to the problem of traversing the news is presented. It finds Hamiltonian cycles over documents published by the newspaper The Guardian. A Second Order Swarm Intelligence algorithm based on Ant Colony Optimisation was developed [2, 3] that uses a negative pheromone to mark unrewarding paths with a “no-entry” signal. This approach follows recent findings of negative pheromone usage in real ants [4].

In this case study the corpus of data is represented as a bipartite relation between documents and keywords entered by the journalists to characterise the news. A new similarity measure between documents is presented based on the Q-analysis description [5, 6, 7] of the simplicial complex formed between documents and keywords. The eccentricity between documents (two simplicies) is then used as a novel measure of similarity between documents. The results prove that the Second Order Swarm Intelligence algorithm performs better in benchmark problems of the travelling salesman problem, with faster convergence and optimal results. The addition of the negative pheromone as a non-entry signal improves the quality of the results. The application of the algorithm to the corpus of news of The Guardian creates a coherent navigation system among the news. This allows the users to navigate the news published during a certain period of time in a semantic sequence instead of a time sequence. This work as broader application as it can be applied to many cases where the data is mapped to bipartite relations (e.g. protein expressions in cells, sentiment analysis, brand awareness in social media, routing problems), as it highlights the connectivity of the underlying complex system.

Keywords: Self-Organization, Stigmergy, Co-Evolution, Swarm Intelligence, Dynamic Optimization, Foraging, Cooperative Learning, Hamiltonian cycles, Text Mining, Textual Corpora, Information Retrieval, Knowledge Discovery, Sentiment Analysis, Q-Analysis, Data Mining, Journalism, The Guardian.

References:

[1] Alexander Strehl, Joydeep Ghosh, and Raymond Mooney. Impact of similarity measures on web-page clustering.  In Workshop on Artifcial Intelligence for Web Search (AAAI 2000), pages 58-64, 2000.
[2] David M. S. Rodrigues, Jorge Louçã, and Vitorino Ramos. From standard to second-order Swarm Intelligence  phase-space maps. In Stefan Thurner, editor, 8th European Conference on Complex Systems, Vienna, Austria,  9 2011.
[3] Vitorino Ramos, David M. S. Rodrigues, and Jorge Louçã. Second order Swarm Intelligence. In Jeng-Shyang  Pan, Marios M. Polycarpou, Micha l Wozniak, André C.P.L.F. Carvalho, Hector Quintian, and Emilio Corchado,  editors, HAIS’13. 8th International Conference on Hybrid Artificial Intelligence Systems, volume 8073 of Lecture  Notes in Computer Science, pages 411-420. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, Salamanca, Spain, 9 2013.
[4] Elva J.H. Robinson, Duncan Jackson, Mike Holcombe, and Francis L.W. Ratnieks. No entry signal in ant  foraging (hymenoptera: Formicidae): new insights from an agent-based model. Myrmecological News, 10(120), 2007.
[5] Ronald Harry Atkin. Mathematical Structure in Human A ffairs. Heinemann Educational Publishers, 48 Charles  Street, London, 1 edition, 1974.
[6] J. H. Johnson. A survey of Q-analysis, part 1: The past and present. In Proceedings of the Seminar on Q-analysis  and the Social Sciences, Universty of Leeds, 9 1983.
[7] David M. S. Rodrigues. Identifying news clusters using Q-analysis and modularity. In Albert Diaz-Guilera,  Alex Arenas, and Alvaro Corral, editors, Proceedings of the European Conference on Complex Systems 2013, Barcelona, 9 2013.

“The first serious infowar is now engaged. The field of battle is WikiLeaks. You are the troops”. ~ WikiLeaks, Dec. 3, 2010. / “It’s not wrong to lie, cheat, steal, corrupt, and torture. It’s wrong to let people know about it”. ~ Robby Pickert (@zerocl). / “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.” ~ Voltaire

One thing that WikiLeaks have shown, among many others, is that the (“corporate“) United States of America are no longer worried about open democracies along with their 1st amendment free speech. What WikiLeaks is doing, is just part of what any proper journalism should be doing, but scarcely does. So, here’s a simple piece of advise: if WikiLeaks goes down, we all (as open free democracies) go down. Do not doubt one second about it…, We are all Julian Assange, now…; So do please stop with that “You can’t handle the truth” anecdote idiosyncrasy shit. The sad irony of all these, is that Assange himself, is now the most persecuted hunted man on planet Earth, instead of Bin Laden

note – As I have twitted this morning, 10 AM GMT time at https://twitter.com/#!/ViRAms/status/10638501351530496, WikiLeaks were still available at http://wikileaks.ch after a 48h trial succession of WWW host places, including Amazon.com, who left them on the string very badly. Let’s now see how much that endures…)

note II (Dec. 5) – On Dec. 4, WikiLeaks.ch was down but soon 3 new mirror sites were available at http://wikileaks.de http://wikileaks.fi http://wikileaks.nl . It’s a cat and mice game.

Video – “Journalism in the age of data” is a 50-minute documentary by Geoff McGhee on information visualization, data as medium, and its use in journalism. Produced during a 2009-2010 John S. Knight Journalism Fellowship at Stanford University.

Pensar por imagens é talvez o único processo eficaz de que a inteligência dispõe para perscrutar os altos problemas da filosofia, da
ciência e da arte
” ~ Manuel Teixeira-Gomes, Escritor nascido em Portimão. 7º Presidente da Rép. Portuguesa, in Carnaval Literário, 1938.

Journalists are coping with the rising information flood by borrowing data visualization techniques from computer scientists, researchers and artists. Some newsrooms are already beginning to retool their staffs and systems to prepare for a future in which data becomes a medium. But how do we communicate with data, how can traditional narratives be fused with sophisticated, interactive information displays? For more, watch the full version with annotations and links at datajournalism.stanford.edu.

[...] People should learn how to play Lego with their minds. Concepts are building bricks [...] V. Ramos, 2002.

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