Xijin Tang


Perception of Societal Risk from Online Community Concerns – PDF

Author: Xijin Tang

Academy of Mathematics and Systems Science
Chinese Academy of Sciences

Currently, China is undergoing great social transformations and facing emerging “wicked problems” across environment, food safety, governance, health, inequalities, national security, population, urbanization, etc., which cover all aspects of social living. The public is exposed to news of these developments in real time via internet search news, BBS posts, blogs and microblogs, especially in the Web 2.0 era. Using a catalogue of Chinese societal risk constructed by Chinese sociopsychologists, we map those online community concerns into respective societal risks and aggregate all risks so as to understand online societal risk perception. In this way we augment the traditional social psychological approach.

Basic ideas and five-year research results are addressed in this talk. Illustrations of measuring the societal risk level with the latest dataset of three-year daily hot search Baidu (the biggest Chinese search engine) news words are given, together with the difficulties of such a trial over BBS posts from the biggest Chinese BBS portal. Humans’ cognitive difference in societal risk perception, unbalanced samples of risk class, and continual emerging events are three principal challenges to the machine learning practice in this study. Though much effort has been put into these practical technical tasks via text mining, more consideration of the cognitive mechanism of societal risks, the identification of key factors, and risk evolution along a hazard development process based on advanced machine learning are expected.


Dr. Xijin Tang is a professor at the Key Lab on Management, Decision-Making and Information SystemsInstitute of Systems ScienceAcademy of Mathematics and Systems Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, P. R. China. Her current research interests include: creativity support systems, expert mining, knowledge synthesis, modeling and model integration, social network analysis that provide effective and intensive knowledge support for complex system modeling, unstructured problem solving and decision making.

She received the Bachelor’s degree in computer science and engineering from Zhejiang University in 1985, the Master’s degree in management science and engineering from the University of Science and Technology of China in 1992, and the Doctoral degree in management science and engineering from the Institute of Systems Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) in 1995. She developed several decision support systems for water resource management, weapon system evaluation, e-business evaluation, etc. during her early system research and practice. Her recent research interests include: meta-synthesis and advanced modeling, decision support systems, opinion dynamics and opinion mining, systems approaches to societal complex problems, knowledge management and creativity support systems. She co-authored and published two influential books on meta-synthesis system approach and an oriental systems approach in Chinese. She was one of 99 who won the 10th National Award for Youth in Science and Technology in China in 2007. Currently, Dr. Tang is the Vice President and General Secretary of the International Society for Knowledge and Systems Sciences.



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