IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering

IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering (TKDE) is an archival journal published monthly designed to inform researchers, developers, managers, strategic planners, users, and others interested in state-of-the-art and state-of-the-practice activities in the knowledge and data engineering area. Read the full scope of TKDE

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From the August 2018 issue

Health Monitoring on Social Media over Time

By Sumit Sidana, Sihem Amer-Yahia, Marianne Clausel, Majdeddine Rebai, Son T. Mai, and Massih-Reza Amini

Featured ArticleSocial media has become a major source for analyzing all aspects of daily life. Thanks to dedicated latent topic analysis methods such as the Ailment Topic Aspect Model (ATAM), public health can now be observed on Twitter. In this work, we are interested in using social media to monitor people’s health over time. The use of tweets has several benefits including instantaneous data availability at virtually no cost. Early monitoring of health data is complementary to post-factum studies and enables a range of applications such as measuring behavioral risk factors and triggering health campaigns. We formulate two problems: health transition detection and health transition prediction. We first propose the Temporal Ailment Topic Aspect Model (TM–ATAM), a new latent model dedicated to solving the first problem by capturing transitions that involve health-related topics. TM–ATAM is a non-obvious extension to ATAM that was designed to extract health-related topics. It learns health-related topic transitions by minimizing the prediction error on topic distributions between consecutive posts at different time and geographic granularities. To solve the second problem, we develop T–ATAM, a Temporal Ailment Topic Aspect Model where time is treated as a random variable natively inside ATAM. Our experiments on an 8-month corpus of tweets show that TM–ATAM outperforms TM–LDA in estimating health-related transitions from tweets for different geographic populations. We examine the ability of TM–ATAM to detect transitions due to climate conditions in different geographic regions. We then show how T–ATAM can be used to predict the most important transition and additionally compare T–ATAM with CDC (Center for Disease Control) data and Google Flu Trends.

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Editorials and Announcements


  • TKDE now offers authors access to Code Ocean. Code Ocean is a cloud-based executable research platform that allows authors to share their algorithms in an effort to make the world’s scientific code more open and reproducible. Learn more or sign up for free.
  • We are pleased to announce that Xuemin Lin, a Scientia Professor in the School of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of New South Wales, Australia, has been named the new Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering starting in 2017.


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