Twitter Watch: Leveraging Social media to Assess Collective Efficacy of Neighborhoods
DescriptionThe occurrence of criminal violence is uneven across urban communities.
Sociologists often associate this variation, with the concept of collective efficacy. The collective efficacy of a neighborhood is defined as social cohesion among neighbors combined with their willingness to intervene on behalf of the common good. Sociologists measure collective efficacy by conducting survey studies designed to measure individuals' perception of their community. In this work, we employ the curated data from a survey study (ground truth) and examine the effectiveness of substituting costly survey questionnaires with proxies derived from social media. We enrich a corpus of tweets mentioning a local venue with several linguistic and topological features. We then propose a pairwise learning to rank model with the goal of identifying a ranking of neighborhoods that is similar to the ranking obtained from the ground truth collective efficacy values. In our experiments, we find that our generated ranking of neighborhoods achieves 0.77 Kendall tau-x ranking agreement with the ground truth. Overall, our results are up to 37% better than the baselines.