Performance of social network sensors during Hurricane Sandy

Yury Kryvasheyeu, Haohui Chen, Esteban Moro, Pascal Van Hentenryck, Manuel Cebrian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Information flow during catastrophic events is a critical aspect of disaster management. Modern communication platforms, in particular online social networks, provide an opportunity to study such flow and derive early-warning sensors, thus improving emergency preparedness and response. Performance of the social networks sensor method, based on topological and behavioral properties derived from the "friendship paradox", is studied here for over 50 million Twitter messages posted before, during, and after Hurricane Sandy. We find that differences in users' network centrality effectively translate into moderate awareness advantage (up to 26 hours); and that geo-location of users within or outside of the hurricaneaffected area plays a significant role in determining the scale of such an advantage. Emotional response appears to be universal regardless of the position in the network topology, and displays characteristic, easily detectable patterns, opening a possibility to implement a simple "sentiment sensing" technique that can detect and locate disasters.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0117288
Number of pages19
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume10
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Feb 2015
Externally publishedYes

Cite this

Kryvasheyeu, Y., Chen, H., Moro, E., Van Hentenryck, P., & Cebrian, M. (2015). Performance of social network sensors during Hurricane Sandy. PLoS ONE, 10(2), [e0117288]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0117288