Deep Learning for Relevance Filtering in Syndromic Surveillance: A Case Study in Asthma/Difficulty Breathing
Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Pattern Recognition Applications and Methods
In this paper, we investigate deep learning methods that may extract some word context for Twitter mining for syndromic surveillance. Most of the work on syndromic surveillance has been done on the flu or Influenza-Like Illnesses (ILIs). For this reason, we decided to look at a different but equally important syndrome, asthma/difficulty breathing, as this is quite topical given global concerns about the impact of air pollution. We also compare deep learning algorithms for the purpose of
... g Tweets relevant to our syndrome of interest, asthma/difficulty breathing. We make our comparisons using different variants of the F-measure as our evaluation metric because they allow us to emphasise recall over precision, which is important in the context of syndromic surveillance so that we do not lose relevant Tweets in the classification. We then apply our relevance filtering systems based on deep learning algorithms, to the task of syndromic surveillance and compare the results with real-world syndromic surveillance data provided by Public Health England (PHE).We find that the RNN performs best at relevance filtering but can also be slower than other architectures which is important for consideration in real-time application. We also found that the correlation between Twitter and the real-world asthma syndromic surveillance data was positive and improved with the use of the deeplearning-powered relevance filtering. Finally, the deep learning methods enabled us to gather context and word similarity information which we can use to fine tune the vocabulary we employ to extract relevant Tweets in the first place.