For bachelor students we offer German lectures on database systems in addition to paper- or project-oriented seminars. Within a one-year bachelor project, students finalize their studies in cooperation with external partners. For master students we offer courses on information integration, data profiling, and information retrieval enhanced by specialized seminars, master projects and we advise master theses.
Most of our research is conducted in the context of larger research projects, in collaboration across students, across groups, and across universities. We strive to make available most of our datasets and source code.
AbstractUnbiased and fair reporting is an integral part of ethical journalism. Yet, political propaganda and one-sided views can be found in the news and can cause distrust in media. Both accidental and deliberate political bias affect the readers and shape their views. We contribute to a trustworthy media ecosystem by automatically identifying politically biased news articles. We introduce novel corpora annotated by two communities, i.e., domain experts and crowd workers, and we also consider automatic article labels inferred by the newspapers’ ideologies. Our goal is to compare domain experts to crowd workers and also to prove that media bias can be detected automatically. We classify news articles with a neural network and we also improve our performance in a self-supervised manner.
Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? Detecting Person Locations via Social Media Discussions. Lazaridou, Konstantina; Gruetze, Toni; Naumann, Felix in 10th (2018).
AbstractIn today's social media, news often spread faster than in mainstream media, along with additional context and aspects about the current affairs. Consequently, users in social networks are up-to-date with the details of real-world events and the involved individuals. Examples include crime scenes and potential perpetrator descriptions, public gatherings with rumors about celebrities among the guests, rallies by prominent politicians, concerts by musicians, etc. We are interested in the problem of tracking persons mentioned in social media, namely detecting the locations of individuals by leveraging the online discussions about them. Existing literature focuses on the well-known and more convenient problem of user location detection in social media, mainly as the location discovery of the user profiles and their messages. In contrast, we track individuals with text mining techniques, regardless whether they hold a social network account or not. We observe what the community shares about them and estimate their locations. Our approach consists of two steps: firstly, we introduce a noise filter that prunes irrelevant posts using a recursive partitioning technique. Secondly, we build a model that reasons over the set of messages about an individual and determines his/her locations. In our experiments, we successfully trace the last U.S. presidential candidates through millions of tweets published from November 2015 until January 2017. Our results outperform previously introduced techniques and various baselines.
Identifying Media Bias by Analyzing Reported Speech. Lazaridou, Konstantina; Krestel, Ralf; Naumann, Felix (2017).
AbstractMedia analysis can reveal interesting patterns in the way newspapers report the news and how these patterns evolve over time. One example pattern is the quoting choices that media make, which could be used as bias indicators. Media slant can be expressed both with the choice of reporting an event, e.g. a person's statement, but also with the words used to describe the event. Thus, automatic discovery of systematic quoting patterns in the news could illustrate to the readers the media' beliefs, such as political preferences. In this paper, we aim to discover political media bias by demonstrating systematic patterns of reporting speech in two major British newspapers. To this end, we analyze news articles from 2000 to 2015. By taking into account different kinds of bias, such as selection, coverage and framing bias, we show that the quoting patterns of newspapers are predictable.
What was Hillary Clinton doing in Katy, Texas?. Gruetze, Toni; Krestel, Ralf; Lazaridou, Konstantina; Naumann, Felix (2017).
AbstractDuring the last presidential election in the United States of America, Twitter drew a lot of attention. This is because many leading persons and organizations, such as U.S. president Donald J. Trump, showed a strong affection to this medium. In this work we neglect the political contents and opinions shared on Twitter and focus on the question: Can we determine and track the physical location of the presidential candidates based on posts in the Twittersphere?
Classification of German Newspaper Comments. Godde, Christian; Lazaridou, Konstantina; Krestel, Ralf in CEUR Workshop Proceedings (2016). (Vol. 1670) 299–310.
AbstractOnline news has gradually become an inherent part of many people’s every day life, with the media enabling a social and interactive consumption of news as well. Readers openly express their perspectives and emotions for a current event by commenting news articles. They also form online communities and interact with each other by replying to other users’ comments. Due to their active and significant role in the diffusion of information, automatically gaining insights of these comments’ content is an interesting task. We are especially interested in finding systematic differences among the user comments from different newspapers. To this end, we propose the following classification task: Given a news comment thread of a particular article, identify the newspaper it comes from. Our corpus consists of six well-known German newspapers and their comments. We propose two experimental settings using SVM classifiers build on comment- and article-based features. We achieve precision of up to 90% for individual newspapers.
Identifying Political Bias in News Articles. Lazaridou, Konstantina; Krestel, Ralf in International Conference on Theory and Practice of Digital Libraries (2016). (Vol. 12)
AbstractIndividuals' political leaning, such as journalists', politicians' etc. often shapes the public opinion over several issues. In the case of online journalism, due to the numerous ongoing events, newspapers have to choose which stories to cover, emphasize on and possibly express their opinion about. These choices depict their profile and could reveal a potential bias towards a certain perspective or political position. Likewise, politicians' choice of language and the issues they broach are an indication of their beliefs and political orientation. Given the amount of user-generated text content online, such as news articles, blog posts, politician statements etc., automatically analyzing this information becomes increasingly interesting, in order to understand what people stand for and how they influence the general public. In this PhD thesis, we analyze UK news corpora along with parliament speeches in order to identify potential political media bias. We currently examine the politicians' mentions and their quotes in news articles and how this referencing pattern evolves in time.