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Top-k Publish-Subscribe for Social Annotation of News

Alexander Shraer
Maxim Gurevich
Marcus Fontoura
Vanja Josifovski
Proceedings of the 39th International Conference on Very Large Data Bases, VLDB Endowment (2013)


Social content, such as Twitter updates, often have the quickest first-hand reports of news events, as well as numerous commentaries that are indicative of public view of such events. As such, social updates provide a good complement to professionally written news articles. In this paper we consider the problem of automatically annotating news stories with social updates (tweets), at a news website serving high volume of pageviews. The high rate of both the pageviews (millions to billions a day) and of the incoming tweets (more than 100 millions a day) make real-time indexing of tweets ineffective, as this requires an index that is both queried and updated extremely frequently. The rate of tweet updates makes caching techniques almost unusable since the cache would become stale very quickly. We propose a novel architecture where each story is treated as a subscription for tweets relevant to the story's content, and new algorithms that efficiently match tweets to stories, proactively maintaining the top-k tweets for each story. Such {\em top-k pub-sub} consumes only a small fraction of the resource cost of alternative solutions, and can be applicable to other large scale content-based publish-subscribe problems. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach on real-world data: a corpus of news stories from Yahoo! News and a log of Twitter updates.