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Deploying nEmesis: Preventing Foodborne Illness by Data Mining Social Media

AAAI Conferences

Foodborne illness afflicts 48 million people annually in the U.S.alone. Over 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die from the infection.While preventable with proper food safety practices, the traditional restaurant inspection process has limited impact given the predictability and low frequency of inspections, and the dynamic nature of the kitchen environment. Despite this reality, the inspection process has remained largely unchanged for decades. We apply machine learning to Twitter data and develop a system that automatically detects venues likely to pose a public health hazard.Health professionals subsequently inspect individual flagged venues in a double blind experiment spanning the entire Las Vegas metropolitan area over three months. By contrast, previous research in this domain has been limited to indirect correlative validation using only aggregate statistics. We show that adaptive inspection process is 63% more effective at identifying problematic venues than the current state of the art. The live deployment shows that if every inspection in Las Vegas became adaptive, we can prevent over 9,000 cases of foodborne illness and 557 hospitalizations annually. Additionally,adaptive inspections result in unexpected benefits, including the identification of venues lacking permits, contagious kitchen staff,and fewer customer complaints filed with the Las Vegas health department.


Deploying nEmesis: Preventing Foodborne Illness by Data Mining Social Media

AI Magazine

CDC has even identified food safety as one of seven "winnable battles"; however, progress to date has been limited. We show that adaptive inspection process is 64 percent more effective at identifying problematic venues than the current state of the art. If fully deployed, our approach could prevent over 9,000 cases of foodborne illness and 557 hospitalizations annually in Las Vegas alone. Additionally, adaptive inspections result in unexpected benefits, including the identification of venues lacking permits, contagious kitchen staff, and fewer customer complaints filed with the Las Vegas health department.



Sadilek

AAAI Conferences

Foodborne illness afflicts 48 million people annually in the U.S.alone. Over 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die from the infection.While preventable with proper food safety practices, the traditional restaurant inspection process has limited impact given the predictability and low frequency of inspections, and the dynamic nature of the kitchen environment. Despite this reality, the inspection process has remained largely unchanged for decades. We apply machine learning to Twitter data and develop a system that automatically detects venues likely to pose a public health hazard.Health professionals subsequently inspect individual flagged venues in a double blind experiment spanning the entire Las Vegas metropolitan area over three months. By contrast, previous research in this domain has been limited to indirect correlative validation using only aggregate statistics. We show that adaptive inspection process is 63% more effective at identifying problematic venues than the current state of the art. The live deployment shows that if every inspection in Las Vegas became adaptive, we can prevent over 9,000 cases of foodborne illness and 557 hospitalizations annually. Additionally,adaptive inspections result in unexpected benefits, including the identification of venues lacking permits, contagious kitchen staff,and fewer customer complaints filed with the Las Vegas health department.


Twitter911: A Cautionary Tale

AAAI Conferences

Researchers have argued that social media, and in particular, Twitter, can be searched to improve “situational awareness” in emergency situations; that is, to provide objective, actionable real-time information to first-responders. Prior studies have examined cases of very rare, catastrophic emergencies that took place over many days, such as the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. We asked instead if Twitter could pro- vide useful information for first-responders on a more regular basis, by conducting an exhaustive analysis of tweets and fire department data for medium-sized county (population 1 million), and for two larger-scale single-day emergencies in New York City. Our results are resoundingly negative: useful tweets were extraordinarily rare or nonexistence. This study provides a cautionary note as to the potential of Twitter and similar platforms for emergency situational awareness.