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Title: A series of case studies to enhance the social utility of RSS
Author: O'Shea, Martin
ISNI:       0000 0004 6349 7640
Awarding Body: Birkbeck, University of London
Current Institution: Birkbeck (University of London)
Date of Award: 2016
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RSS (really simple syndication, rich site summary or RDF site summary) is a dialect of XML that provides a method of syndicating on-line content, where postings consist of frequently updated news items, blog entries and multimedia. RSS feeds, produced by organisations or individuals, are often aggregated, and delivered to users for consumption via readers. The semi-structured format of RSS also allows the delivery/exchange of machine-readable content between different platforms and systems. Articles on web pages frequently include icons that represent social media services which facilitate social data. Amongst these, RSS feeds deliver data which is typically presented in the journalistic style of headline, story and snapshot(s). Consequently, applications and academic research have employed RSS on this basis. Therefore, within the context of social media, the question arises: can the social function, i.e. utility, of RSS be enhanced by producing from it data which is actionable and effective? This thesis is based upon the hypothesis that the fluctuations in the keyword frequencies present in RSS can be mined to produce actionable and effective data, to enhance the technology's social utility. To this end, we present a series of laboratory-based case studies which demonstrate two novel and logically consistent RSS-mining paradigms. Our first paradigm allows users to define mining rules to mine data from feeds. The second paradigm employs a semi-automated classification of feeds and correlates this with sentiment. We visualise the outputs produced by the case studies for these paradigms, where they can benefit users in real-world scenarios, varying from statistics and trend analysis to mining financial and sporting data. The contributions of this thesis to web engineering and text mining are the demonstration of the proof of concept of our paradigms, through the integration of an array of open-source, third-party products into a coherent and innovative, alpha-version prototype software implemented in a Java JSP/servlet-based web application architecture.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available