June 11, 2019 @ Munich, Germany

This workshop is a part of the International Conference on Web and Social Media Workshop day.

Applying web and social media analytics to monitor, study, and perform interventions in the health domain has been an active ongoing area of research. In this workshop, we focus on applying new data analytics to address the needs of the most vulnerable populations, introduce resilience in vulnerable situations, and help battle new sources of vulnerabilities. The aim is to highlight latest developments in the use of new sources of data, including web and social media, in the efforts to address the health and other needs of most vulnerable, including children, families, marginalized groups, and those at the threat of poverty, conflict, natural disaster, or epidemic risk. 

Invited Speakers

Elad Yom-Tov is a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research and a visiting scientist at the Technion, Israel. Foremost researcher in using Internet data to improve health and medicine through the application of Machine Learning and Information Retrieval tools, he recently published “Crowdsourced Health: How What You Do on the Internet Will Improve Medicine”.

[CANCELLED]  Dirk Brockmann is a Professor at the Institute for Biology at Humboldt University of Berlin and the Robert Koch Institute, Berlin. Brockmann is known for his work in complex systems, complex networks, computational epidemiology, human mobility and anomalous diffusion. His work has lead to the discovery of universal scaling laws in human mobility, the forecast of spreading routes of the 2009 flu pandemic in the United States and effective geographic borders in the United States. Brockmann also pioneered the development of computational models and forecast systems for the global spread of epidemics based on global air-transportation.


09:00 Welcome
09:10 Keynote 1: Elad Yom-Tov

10:15 Coffee (provided)

10:45 Introductions
11:00 Paper 1: Global Awareness Landscape for Ailments – A Twitter based Microscopic View into Thought Processes of People (Durga Toshniwal, Soumya Somani, Rohit Aggarwal and Preeti Malik)
11:30 Abstract 1: Emotional pulse of schools (Ivan Smirnov)
11:50 Abstract 2: Understanding societal well-being through the eyes of the news world media (Vasiliki Voukelatou, Luca Pappalardo, and Fosca Giannotti)
12:10 Abstract 3: A Study of the Potential Impact of Generative Models on Misinformation on Social Media (Vidya Narayanan and Philip N Howard)



14:00 Abstract 4: Can The Tweets of Vulnerable Groups Provide Reliable Windows into Their Vulnerability? A Corpus Analysis (Wajdi Zaghouani and David Kaufer)
14:30 Invited presentation: Chinese Social Credit System (Mo Chen)
15:15 Paper 2: Including Vulnerable Populations in the Assessment of Data from Vulnerable Populations (Latifa F. Jackson, Caitlin Kuhlman, Fatimah L.C. Jackson and Keolu Fox)


Coffee (provided)

16:15 Activity: case studies on developing data resources on vulnerable populations
18:30 Closing

Call for Contributions

The scale, reach, and real-time nature of the Internet is opening new frontiers for understanding the vulnerabilities in our societies, including inequalities and fragility in the face of a changing world. From tracking seasonal illnesses like the flu across countries and populations, to understanding the context of mental conditions such as anorexia and bulimia, web data has the potential to capture the struggles and wellbeing of diverse groups of people. Further, the very absence of these populations in data can reveal areas of concern, indicating potential lack of access to vital technologies, and potentially being overlooked by algorithms trained on such data.

Thus, the aim of this workshop is to encourage the community to use new sources of data to study the wellbeing of vulnerable populations including children, elderly, racial or ethnic minorities, socioeconomically disadvantaged, underinsured or those with certain medical conditions. The selection of appropriate data sources, identification of vulnerable groups, and ethical considerations in the subsequent analysis are of great importance in the extension the benefits of big data revolution to these populations. As such, the topic is highly multidisciplinary, bringing together researchers and practitioners in computer science, epidemiology, demography, linguistics, and many others.

We anticipate topics such as the below will be relevant:
  • Establishing cohorts, data de-biasing
  • Validation via individual-level or aggregate-level data
  • Linking data to disease and other well-being 
  • Population data sources for validation
  • Correlation analysis and other statistical methods
  • Longitudinal analysis on social media
  • Spatial, linguistic, and temporal analyses
  • Privacy, ethics, and informed consent
  • Data quality issues

Submission Instructions

April 1, 2019  Papers/Abstract Submission Deadline
April 12 17, 2019  Acceptance Notification
April 19, 2019  Early Bird Conference Registration Deadline
June 11, 2019  Workshop Day

We welcome both Abstracts, as well as Long and Short papers. The Long and Short papers will be published in ICWSM Workshop proceedings by Frontiers (Frontiers in Big Data, section Data Mining and Management). Note the publication will be free of charge.

File formatting requirements: https://www.frontiersin.org/about/author-guidelines#FileRequirements

To submit your manuscript:
1) If your institution does not have Open Access support, fill fee waiver form at https://frontiers.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_51IljifwFBXUzY1
2) Go to https://www.frontiersin.org/research-topics/9706
  • Create a Frontiers account, if you don’t already have one
  • For Abstracts, click on “Submit your Abstract”
  • For Short/Long papers, click on "Submit your Manuscript"
    • For Long Papers, select Original Research (max. 12,000 words)
    • For Short Papers, select Brief Research Report (max. 4,000 words)
  • All: select Yelena Mejova as the preferred editor (try different browsers, if it doesn’t work)
  • All: put any address for Billing, as you will not be billed if you submit fee waiver form
Note on Frontiers submission page:
Although it says Submission deadline is April 29, that is an internal Frontiers deadline. The deadline to submit to the workshop is March 25.


Yelena Mejova
ISI Foundation, 
Turin, Italy

Rumi Chunara
New York University, 

Kyriaki Kalimeri
ISI Foundation, 
Turin, Italy

Daniela Paolotti
ISI Foundation, 
Turin, Italy