Research Extra September 2015

Classified text

There are billions of documents on the web, sites, wikis, blog posts, Facebook pages, Twitter streams and much, much more. Document indexing based on controlled vocabulary, word sense disambiguation, hierarchical categorization is possible, we can filter spam from legitimate emails with great precision, topics can extracted, languages ascertained, sentiments classified, scientific data pulled out and more besides. Now, an Indian research team has developed an approach to text classification that uses feature selection as an effective preprocessing technique to accelerate the overall data mining process. Their approach is a hybrid of Zipf’s curve law with the ranking of features using linear support vector machine (SVM) weights and successfully operated on four well-known benchmark corpuses for testing data mining techniques.

Seetha, H., Murty, M.N. and Saravanan, R. (2015) ‘Effective feature selection technique for text classification’, Int. J. Data Mining, Modelling and Management, Vol. 7, No. 3, pp.165–184.


Movie stars and the teenage dream

Social scientists in India have carried out an empirical study of the socio-cultural impact of film celebrities on teenagers. Movie stars have a special place in the hearts of young and old alike, perhaps nowhere more so than among the fans of movies from perhaps the most prolific film-maker, India; Bollywood is now world famous. Movies reflect society but are also instrumental in setting trends in fashion and lifestyle. The leading actors in those movies are raised on a pedestal and often seen as the heroic icons of the age. Indian teenagers, the team reports, are quite obsessed by film celebrities, holding up their material aspirations to these people and fantasizing about the imagined life of the movie star. The team reports on a small study of teenagers and reveals just how their lifestyles and aspirations are influenced by their favorite movie stars. One has to imagine that a similar phenomenon was seen in the heyday of the US film industry, encapsulated in Hollywood, and will perhaps happen too with the growing Nollywood phenomenon of the Nigerian film industry.

Jain, A., Lata, P., Goyal, A.R., Khandelwal, S. and Jain, G. (2015) ‘Socio-cultural impact of film celebrities on teenagers: an empirical study’, Int. J. Indian Culture and Business Management, Vol. 11, No. 3, pp.308–322.


Global knowledge hubs

Industrial clusters can boost competitiveness, stimulate economic growth, and improve the local employment rate. As capitalism edges increasingly towards knowledge-intensive businesses, researchers in Singapore ask whether the emergence of global knowledge hubs will have the same positive effects as more traditional industrial clusters. As such, the team has developed a model of the global knowledge hub to help them answer that question. The model encompasses geographical aspects of those within the hub, its local networks, the local knowledge base and information flow all of which feed the local cluster and thence the global linkages via multiple-location dynamics and global production networks. From that one might then extract the organizational pipelines and the personal relationships and how all of this meshes together to enhance the knowledge economy at different levels.

Tan, B.S.Y. and Thai, V.V. (2015) ‘Global knowledge hubs: introducing a new conceptual model’, Int. J. Knowledge-Based Development, Vol. 6, No. 2, pp.131–151.


Penetrative broadband

Greek researchers are looking to broadband internet services as a potential source of economic improvement in the present climate of severe economic depression. They assume that increased broadband penetration across the public and private sectors and into people’s homes will be associated with increased income. They then investigated 86 countries (45 developed and 41 developing) to discover whether or not this is indeed the case. The analysis looked for a correlation either one-way or bidirectional between gross national income per capita and broadband penetration level. It also separated the data for the developed and developing world. They conclude that all countries seem to be better off with greater broadband penetration, but for those whose internet industry is still in its infancy the focus should be on first increasing demand for broadband as the nature of the causality is not proven.

Kyriakidou, V., Michalakelis, C. and Sphicopoulos, T. (2015) ‘Broadband penetration as an economic growth accelerator’, Int. J. Electronic Governance, Vol. 7, No. 3, pp.253–265.

Author: David Bradley

Award-winning, freelance science writer based in Cambridge, England.