Modeling Event Importance for Ranking Daily News Events

, , , and . Proceedings of the Tenth ACM International Conference on Web Search and Data Mining, page 231--240. New York, NY, USA, ACM, (2017)


We deal with the problem of ranking news events on a daily basis for large news corpora, an essential building block for news aggregation. News ranking has been addressed in the literature before but with individual news articles as the unit of ranking. However, estimating event importance accurately requires models to quantify current day event importance as well as its significance in the historical context. Consequently, in this paper we show that a cluster of news articles representing an event is a better unit of ranking as it provides an improved estimation of popularity, source diversity and authority cues. In addition, events facilitate quantifying their historical significance by linking them with long-running topics and recent chain of events. Our main contribution in this paper is to provide effective models for improved news event ranking. To this end, we propose novel event mining and feature generation approaches for improving estimates of event importance. Finally, we conduct extensive evaluation of our approaches on two large real-world news corpora each of which span for more than a year with a large volume of up to tens of thousands of daily news articles. Our evaluations are large-scale and based on a clean human curated ground-truth from Wikipedia Current Events Portal. Experimental comparison with a state-of-the-art news ranking technique based on language models demonstrates the effectiveness of our approach.

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