Where Did the President Visit Last Week? Detecting Celebrity Trips from News Articles


  • Kai Peng ShanghaiTech University
  • Ying Zhang ShanghaiTech University
  • Shuai Ling ShanghaiTech University
  • Zhaoru Ke ShanghaiTech University
  • Haipeng Zhang ShanghaiTech University




Celebrities’ whereabouts are of pervasive importance. For instance, where politicians go, how often they visit, and who they meet, come with profound geopolitical and economic implications. Although news articles contain travel information of celebrities, it is not possible to perform large-scale and network-wise analysis due to the lack of automatic itinerary detection tools. To design such tools, we have to overcome difficulties from the heterogeneity among news articles: 1) One single article can be noisy, with irrelevant people and locations, especially when the articles are long. 2) Though it may be helpful if we consider multiple articles together to determine a particular trip, the key semantics are still scattered across different articles intertwined with various noises, making it hard to aggregate them effectively. 3) Over 20% of the articles refer to celebrity trips indirectly, instead of using the exact celebrity names or location names, leading to large portions of trips escaping regular detecting algorithms. We model text content across articles related to each candidate location as a graph to better associate essential information and cancel out the noises. Besides, we design a special pooling layer based on attention mechanism and node similarity, reducing irrelevant information from longer articles. To make up the missing information resulted from indirect mentions, we construct knowledge sub-graphs for named entities (person, organization, facility, etc.). Specifically, we dynamically update embeddings of event entities like the G7 summit from news descriptions since the properties (date and location) of the event change each time, which is not captured by pre-trained event representations. The proposed CeleTrip jointly trains these modules, which outperforms all baseline models and achieves 82.53% in the F1 metric. By open-sourcing the first tool and a carefully curated dataset for such a task, we hope to facilitate relevant research in celebrity itinerary mining as well as the social and political analysis built upon the extracted trips.




How to Cite

Peng, K., Zhang, Y., Ling, S., Ke, Z., & Zhang, H. (2024). Where Did the President Visit Last Week? Detecting Celebrity Trips from News Articles. Proceedings of the International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media, 18(1), 1193-1206. https://doi.org/10.1609/icwsm.v18i1.31382