Event Pulse

Principal Investigator(s): Prof. Todd Presner, Digital Humanities; Prof. Francis Steen, Communication Studies; Dr. David Shepard, CDH; Yoh Kawano, IDRE; Jonathan Solichin

“Event Pulse” is a digital humanities research project that brings together socialmedia data and broadcast news data in order to discover, track, visualize, and analyze theunderlying forces of world events and the multiple ways they are represented through themedia.  Focusing primarily on twitter and broadcast news, the project seeks to identify the“pulse” of an event through large-scale statistical metrics, sentiment analysis, topic modelling,semantic clustering, geographic information systems, and real-time analysis. We have workedon many events, big and small, ranging from the Arab Spring and the tsunami and nucleardisaster in Japan in 2011 to the Boston marathon bombings and the school shooting at UC SantaBarbara. The team uses a unique resource at UCLA, the NewsScape broadcast news mediaarchive, which records and marks up more than 140 news programs worldwide, in conjunctionwith social media data available through twitter’s public interface.  We are interested in howcentralized and decentralized media represent events in different ways, as well as how theyexplain what happened and provide causal reasoning.  We also attempt to identify “inflectionpoints” or “forks” in events, which indicate tipping points or changes in the nature of theevent.  Ultimately, the research will allow any user to delve into the true complexity of an eventusing feeds from hundreds of broadcast news stations in conjunction with millions of data

Todd Presner & Jonathan Solichin – lightning talk at project showcase event on April 8, 2015: