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10.1080_0144929x.2019.1610908.pdf (7.58 MB)

Descriptive and visual summaries of disaster events using artificial intelligence techniques: case studies of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria

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journal contribution
submitted on 2024-03-05, 11:00 and posted on 2024-03-05, 11:01 authored by Firoj Alam, Ferda Ofli, Muhammad Imran

People increasingly use microblogging platforms such as Twitter during natural disasters and emergencies. Research studies have revealed the usefulness of the data available on Twitter for several disaster response tasks. However, making sense of social media data is a challenging task due to several reasons such as limitations of available tools to analyse high-volume and high-velocity data streams, dealing with information overload, among others. To eliminate such limitations, in this work, we first show that textual and imagery content on social media provide complementary information useful to improve situational awareness. We then explore ways in which various Artificial Intelligence techniques from Natural Language Processing and Computer Vision fields can exploit such complementary information generated during disaster events. Finally, we propose a methodological approach that combines several computational techniques effectively in a unified framework to help humanitarian organisations in their relief efforts. We conduct extensive experiments using textual and imagery content from millions of tweets posted during the three major disaster events in the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane season. Our study reveals that the distributions of various types of useful information can inform crisis managers and responders and facilitate the development of future automated systems for disaster management.

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Published in: Behaviour & Information Technology
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Open Access funding provided by the Qatar National Library.



  • English


Taylor & Francis

Publication Year

  • 2019

License statement

This Item is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Institution affiliated with

  • Hamad Bin Khalifa University
  • Qatar Computing Research Institute - HBKU

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