Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Periodic Report Summary 2 - SUPER (Social sensors for secUrity Assessments and Proactive EmeRgencies management)

Project Context and Objectives:
Social media (SM) statistics during recent disasters (e.g., the 20 million tweets relating to «Sandy» storm and the sharing of related photos in Instagram at a rate of 10/sec) provide tangible evidence that security forces and civil protection agencies could greatly benefit from the effective blending of SM information into their processes. However, despite the widespread use of SM in various domains (e.g., marketing/branding/finance), there is still no easy, structured and effective way to leverage several SM in security/emergency management applications.

SUPER is a joint effort of social media experts (incl. social network providers) and security experts (incl. security and civil protection agencies), towards introducing a holistic, integrated and privacy-friendly approach to the use of social media in emergencies and security incidents. The approach will operate at multiple time-scales (before/during/after events), while serving both strategic and tactical level operations. It will be characterized by: a. Intelligent information gathering from SM based on novel algorithms (sentiment analysis, topic tracking, real-time event detection), b. Quantitative assessment of the credibility of SM information towards alleviating manipulation, c. Integrated search over multiple SM towards deriving non-obvious information, d. Gathering/analysis of the citizens’ and the forces’ opinions as part of policy modelling processes, e. Use of SM as an effective way for conveying information to stakeholders. Modular integration of the above functionalities within existing processes for strategic planning, management of operations, generation of operational picture and management of policies for emergencies, g. Compliance with privacy laws/regulations. SUPER will be validated in two complementary scenarios spanning civil protection activities (earthquakes) and police activities (unrest). The partners will build on their rich SM background (incl. robust SM processing systems), thereby maximizing the value for EC money.
The SUPER project will research and introduce an integrated framework enabling the optimal blending of social media in security and emergency management processes. The framework will comprise tools, techniques, policies and best practices for exploiting social media in the scope of the management of security incidents and emergency situations. It will emphasize on the advancement and use of leading edge social media processing algorithms, as a means of understanding people attitudes against security events and emergencies, while at the same time it will leverage real-time event detection in order to boost security/emergency management operations. Furthermore, it will exploit popular social media (such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram) as an output and actuation channel in order to coordinate operations, while also providing vital information to citizens. Note that the exploitation of social media for emergencies requires (research) efforts far beyond the adaptation, customization and effective blending of existing social media processing algorithms in the emergencies and security domains. This is mainly due to several special characteristics of security and emergency management applications, in particular:
• The sensitive nature of security incidents and emergencies, which is likely to cause a variety of different feelings to the citizens, while at the same leading to different (and in many cases unexpected) reactions.
• Their real-time nature, which asks for significant improvements in the speed of detection of events associated with security incidents and emergencies.
• The fact that they are (more) susceptible to social networks compromise and manipulation. Social networks manipulation efforts (such as the malicious spreading of rumours) can have severe impact on security and emergency management applications given that the later are in several cases associated with the protection of key assets and/or human lives.
• The need to combine multiple social media platforms and processing algorithms, as a means of increasing the richness and the accuracy of context identification in the security domain.
• The dynamism of security and emergency management applications, which asks for continuous improvement and enrichment of the set of insights that social media can provide.
Project Results:
The aim of this report is to inform the Project Officer and the partners on the Project activities that were taken place in the Second Progress report and covers the period from 1st April 2015 to 31th March 2016.

For the aforemrentioned period the most relevant objectives for the project were:
- Functional analysis and documentation of requirements associated with the use/exploitation of social media in emergencies and implementation in the developed systems of the requirements of all stakeholders that are associated with the implementation, deployment and use of the SUPER framework.
- Prioritiziation of the reference scenarios that will be used for the specification, elaboration, validation and evaluation of the SUPER framework.
- Consolidation of specifications of the SUPER framework, implementation of the functionalities of the SUPER platform and the individual components which have been developed as part of the project (WP3, WP4, WP5 outcomes) and their interactions and integration (WP6) towards the final prototype system implementation and demonstration (WP7)
- Analysis of policies and regulation on ethical issues related to the identified scenarios and appointment of the Indipendent Ethical Expert for supporting the Consortium in the Analysis of best practices and policy development guidelines associated with the exploitation and use of social media in the scope of security and emergencies management applications.

In second period the project transformed all the plans and requirements defined during the first part of the project in a working prototype. Technologies and algorithms have been translated into software developed and integrated into the modular platform. Additional components will be developed in the first part of 3rd period in order to improve and extend SUPER platform capabilities. In particular:
• Automatic sentiment classification can be applied for detecting both overall and targeted sentiments in social media posts. The sentiment analysis method that uses N-Gram graphs (NTUA) performs better than other state of the art methods.
• An improved explicit diversification approach for sub-event detection was developed that better enables the SUPER end users to track information of interest during crisis events in different languages
• The component of multimodal topic detection and tracking method was implemented based on the specified API of SUPER framework This component can capture the time evolution of the communities in a better fashion than other methods
• A novel classification approach for estimating credibility of social media posts using evidence from content hyperlinked from those posts was developed and tested.
• developed a reasoning methodology that leverage the outcomes of the data fusion process to identify the motives that urge SN users to spread a rumour or to have a sentiment disposition
• the SUPER social sensors data model and the definition and implementation of the persistence interfaces for the centralized data storage
• Design and implementation of the proof of concept version of the dynamic discovery service prototype
• Specifications of the framework for bringing social media data to the platform. Definition of the Processing Components Network (PCN) topology. Definition of SM processing components orchestration solution for the SUPER runtime by using a Configuration User Interface.
• SUPER Common Operational Picture framework capabilities for the support of strategic and operation planning. Integration of outcomes from WP3, WP4 for event visualisation. Different technologies for classification and prediction were analysed, strategy for next reporting year has been defined. COP visualization is effectively and rapidly presenting information generated by underlying modules developed by other WP
• A preliminary analysis of the market and of the exploitation plans has been done. The partners of the projects have updated their individual exploitation plans
• Has been described the framework to ensure that all the results of the project are legal, ethical and can be used in conjunction with privacy laws/regulation. Has been established an effective and continuous review of policies and procedures applied with project and platform implementationfor data management, by the Indipendent ethics expert. Refined scenarios are defined to limit ethics problem by design and information are managed accordly
• Validation of information management approach and procedures in an ethical view. The work has extended the study regarding privacy and ethical information management, going to make of a more advanced evaluation of ethical information management and including emergent problems like the right to be forgotten. Has been defined a contingency plan for the ethics management. In case of unpredictable situations and uncontrollable information that the SUPER Platform may be going to manage, a control system is in place and the situation can be managed accordingly.
• A security stakeholder’s workshop, with over 100 participants, provided the basics for the organization of a validation action of the SUPER platform in connection with a civil protection simulation. The platform was presented to civil protection organization responsible and local administration authorities providing the basics for the inclusion of the platform in their simulation.
• A questionnaire presented during the security stakeholder’s workshop provided information regarding the population, the knowledge and the use of social network in the area that will be the ground for the validation, providing valuable information in order to properly implement the validation platform. The input from the first security stakeholder workshops were described in D8.2. The deliverable D8.3. will describe the outcomes from the security stakeholder workshops that took place between M19 and M33 of the project.

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Potential Impact:
The achievement of the project’s impacts (both social and economic) will be based on the successful implementation of the project’s workplan, as well as in the execution of appropriate exploitation actions following the completion of the project. Specifically, the final expected result of the project will be the development, integration and showcase of a prototype of the SUPER security and emergencies management Platform and services, which will be integrated within an integrated security toolkit. First prototype implementation will be ready for the second reporting period, as scheduled in the DoW. The potential of the prototype will be manifested in the scope of simulated (yet as realistic as possible) use cases, which will be deployed using the most popular social networks/media such Twitter, as well as testbed environments to be provided by social network partners (i.e. IN2) of the project in conjunction with the end-users (who will drive the relevant organization of realistic scenarios). The successful integration and demonstration of the use cases in 2 prominent events will provide visibility to the project results, while also facilitating the successful execution of the partners’exploitation plans. Along with the prototype development and showcasing of the SUPER framework, the project will instigate the creation of a community of interested parties/stakeholders around the main results of the project (starting from the consortium partners, the organizations of the End-User Advisory Board (EUAB), the business networks of these organization, as well as liaisons with other EU projects). With a set of demonstration/showcases and the above community of interested parties (i.e. interest group) at hand, the following actions/steps will be undertaken in order to realize the above-mentioned (socio-economic) impacts: - Enhancing and mobilizing the interest groups comprising stakeholders of the project’s results. - Raising awareness about the project’s results through targeted presentations to relevant stakeholders outside the consortium, with a view to expanding the scope and the size of the interest groups. - Transforming the SUPER prototype models, components and services from prototypes to robust enterprise ready products and services, based on additional development efforts.

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