PASCAL - Pattern Analysis, Statistical Modelling and Computational Learning

Modelling and Predicting News Popularity
Elena Hensinger, Ilias Flaounas and Nello Cristianini
Pattern Analysis and Applications 2011.


We explore the problem of learning and predicting popularity of articles in online news media. We exploit the articles’ textual content, and the information whether they became popular – by users clicking on them – or not. First we show that this problem cannot be solved satisfactorily by modelling it naively as a binary classification problem. Next, we cast this problem as a Learning to Rank task of pairs of popular and non-popular articles and show that this approach can reach accuracy of up to 75%. We explore how prediction performance can be improved by adding more content-based features, which represent prior topic knowledge available to human users. For both approaches, different flavours of Support Vector Machines are used. Furthermore, we try a different technique, the Lasso, which aims at sparse solutions. This allows to generate lists of keywords of manageable size, which would most likely trigger the readers’ attention. Finally, we present an in-depth investigation and application example for the outlet “BBC”.

EPrint Type:Article
Project Keyword:Project Keyword UNSPECIFIED
Subjects:User Modelling for Computer Human Interaction
Learning/Statistics & Optimisation
ID Code:8750
Deposited By:Elena Hensinger
Deposited On:21 February 2012