Design and Maintenance of Event Forecasting Systems

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Virginia Tech


With significant growth in modern forms of communication such as social media and micro- blogs we are able to gain a real-time understanding into events happening in many parts of the world. In addition, these modern forms of communication have helped shed light into the increasing instabilities across the world via the design of anticipatory intelligence systems [45, 43, 20] that can forecast population level events like civil unrest, disease occurrences with reasonable accuracy. Event forecasting systems are generally prone to become outdated (model drift) as they fail to keep-up with constantly changing patterns and thus require regular re-training in order to sustain their accuracy and reliability. In this dissertation we try to address some of the issues associated with design and maintenance of event forecasting systems in general. We propose and showcase performance results for a drift adaptation technique in event forecasting systems and also build a hybrid system for event coding which is cognizant of and seeks human intervention in uncertain prediction contexts to maintain a good balance between prediction-fidelity and cost of human effort. Specifically we identify several micro-tasks for event coding and build separate pipelines for each with uncertainty estimation capabilities and thereby be able to seek human feedback whenever required for each micro-task independent of the rest.



Machine learning, Event Extraction, Forecasting