Open Access
Zhang, Fan
Graduate Program:
Information Sciences and Technology
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
December 09, 2015
Committee Members:
  • Guoray Cai, Thesis Advisor
  • geocoding
  • geotagging
  • geocoding disambiguation
Online forum is a web space for people to share their knowledge and experiences. Discussions in online forum often refer to particular geographical locations and places. To extract the geographical knowledge embedded in these conversations, the first step is to understand the geographical references in the content. Although this problem has been investigated, online forum data presents new challenges to existing geotagging approaches. In particular, the linguistic context of online forum discussion threads available for disambiguating vague geographical references is not well understood and is not exploited in existing geocoding algorithms. In this thesis, we analyzed a number of episodes of online forum discussions to understand the intricacies of geocoding disambiguation of geotagging and the inadequacy of existing approaches in resolving geographical references in online forum discussion thread. We found that the development of forum discussion is closely related to its participants’ intentions and attention’s saliency, which are constantly changing during the course of the discussion. These characteristics of online forum discussion have not been considered in the geocoding disambiguation researches. Based on this finding, we propose a method that replies upon the intentional discourse model to improve existing geocoding approaches’ performance on online forum discussion contents.