A System Analytics Framework for Detecting Infrastructure-Related Topics in Disasters Using Social Sensing
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Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018. The objective of this paper is to propose and test a system analytics framework based on social sensing and text mining to detect topic evolution associated with the performance of infrastructure systems in disasters. Social media, like Twitter, as active channels of communication and information dissemination, provide insights into real-time information and first-hand experience from affected areas in mass emergencies. While the existing studies show the importance of social sensing in improving situational awareness and emergency response in disasters, the use of social sensing for detection and analysis of infrastructure systems and their resilience performance has been rather limited. This limitation is due to the lack of frameworks to model the events and topics (e.g., grid interruption and road closure) evolution associated with infrastructure systems (e.g., power, highway, airport, and oil) in times of disasters. The proposed framework detects infrastructure-related topics of the tweets posted in disasters and their evolutions by integrating searching relevant keywords, text lemmatization, Part-of-Speech (POS) tagging, TF-IDF vectorization, topic modeling by using Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA), and K-Means clustering. The application of the proposed framework was demonstrated in a study of infrastructure systems in Houston during Hurricane Harvey. In this case study, more than sixty thousand tweets were retrieved from 150-mile radius in Houston over 39 days. The analysis of topic detection and evolution from user-generated data were conducted, and the clusters of tweets pertaining to certain topics were mapped in networks over time. The results show that the proposed framework enables to summarize topics and track the movement of situations in different disaster phases. The analytics elements of the proposed framework can improve the recognition of infrastructure performance through text-based representation and provide evidence for decision-makers to take actionable measurements.