Revealing Hidden Concepts in Social Media

The world of media and communication is currently experiencing enormous disruptions: from one-way communication and word of mouth exchanges, we have moved to bi- or multi directional communication patterns. No longer can selected few (e.g. media organizations and controllers of communication channels) act as gatekeepers, deciding what is communicated to whom and what not. Individuals now have the opportunity to access information directly from primary sources, through a channel we label e’-word of mouth’, or what we commonly call ‘Social Media’.

A key problem: it takes a lot of effort to distinguish useful information from the ‘noise’ (e.g. useless or misleading information). Finding relevant information is often tedious. This challenge has become the focus of various research efforts. Many concentrate on the automatic discovery of information by adapting semantic search and retrieval technologies to the particularities of Social Media content. REVEAL, however, aimed to discover higher level concepts hidden within information. In Social Media we do not only have bare content; we also have interconnected sources. We have to deal with interactions between them, and we have many indicators about the context within which content is used, and interactions taking place. A core challenge is to decipher interactions of individuals in permanently changing constellations, and do so in real time. This is what REVEAL aimed to.

We reveal much more than bare content. Further to discovering what is being said, we determine how trustworthy that information is. We predict contributor impact and how much or to what extent all this affects reputation or influence. This allows us to judge the quality and accuracy of content, and brings us to predicting future trends with greater accuracy. We label all these Social Media modalities. The core of our work was to reveal hidden modalities for the benefit of a better understanding and utilization of the Social Media world.

REVEAL was composed of 11 partners: Intrasoft International (Luxemburg), Alcatel-Lucent (France), Software AG (Germany), Athens Technology Center (Greece), University of Koblenz-Landau (Germany), The Centre for Research and Technology Hellas (Greece), The IT Innovation Centre (UK), The National Center for Scientific Research “Demokritos” (Greece), SINTEF (Norway), Deutsche Welle (Germany) and the University of Leuven (Belgium).

ATC was the technical and scientific coordinator in REVEAL and led the integration and pilot applications, contributing strongly to the transition from user requirements to the architectural implementation of the REVEAL framework and applications. ATC also offered guidance to the evaluation and exploitation planning.

The outcome of ATC’s work is now a commercial service. See more at

REVEAL was a project co-funded by the European Commission under the FP7 ICT programme. The project started on 1 November 2013 and will last for 3 years.

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