Measuring, Predicting and Visualizing Short-Term Change in Word Representation and Usage in VKontakte Social Network
Language in social media is extremely dynamic: new words emerge, trend and disappear, while the meaning of existing words can fluctuate over time. This work addresses several important tasks of visualizing and predicting short term text representation shift, i.e. the change in a word's contextual semantics. We study the relationship between short-term concept drift and representation shift on a large social media corpus — VKontakte collected during the Russia-Ukraine crisis in 2014 — 2015. We visualize short-term representation shift for example keywords and build predictive models to forecast short-term shifts in meaning from previous meaning as well as from concept drift. We show that short-term representation shift can be accurately predicted up to several weeks in advance and that visualization provides insight into meaning change. Our approach can be used to explore and characterize specific aspects of the streaming corpus during crisis events and potentially improve other downstream classification tasks including real-time event forecasting in social media.