MULTISENSOR: DEVELOPMENT OF MULTIMEDIA CONTENT INTEGRATION
TECHNOLOGIES FOR JOURNALISM, MEDIA MONITORING AND INTERNATIONAL
EXPORTING DECISION SUPPORT
Stefanos Vrochidis1, Ioannis Kompatsiaris1, Gerard Casamayor2, Ioannis Arapakis3, Reinhard Busch4,
Vladimir Alexiev5, Emmanuel Jamin6, Michael Jugov7, Nicolaus Heise8, Teresa Forrellat9,
Dimitrios Liparas1, Leo Wanner2,10, Iris Miliaraki3, Vera Aleksic4, Kiril Simov5, Alan Mas Soro6,
Mirja Eckhoff7, Tilman Wagner8, Martí Puigbó9
1Centre for Research and Technology Hellas, 2Pompeu Fabra University, 3Barcelona Media-Yahoo!
Labs, 4Linguatec, 5Ontotext, 6everis, 7pressrelations, 8Deutsche Welle, 9PIMEC, 10ICREA
email@example.com (Corresponding author)
This paper presents an overview and the first results of the
FP7 MULTISENSOR project, which deals with
multidimensional content integration of multimedia content
for intelligent sentiment enriched and context oriented
interpretation. MULTISENSOR aims at providing unified
access to multilingual, multimedia and multicultural
economic, news story material across borders in order to
support journalism and media monitoring tasks and provide
decision support for internationalisation of companies.
Index Terms — content integration, sentiment,
summarisation, multimedia, social media, mining, context
During the past decade, the rapid development of digital
technologies and the low cost of recording media have led to
a great increase in the availability of multilingual and
multimedia content worldwide. In the best case, this content
is repetitive or complementary across political, cultural, or
linguistic borders. However, the reality shows that it is also
often contradictive and in some cases unreliable. The
consumption of such large amounts of content regardless of
its reliability and cross-validation can have important
consequences on the society and especially on journalism,
media monitoring and international investments.
In order to break this isolation, there is a need for
technologies that are capable of capturing, interpreting and
relating economic information and news from various
subjective views as disseminated via TV, radio, newspapers,
blogs and social media. MULTISENSOR aims at bridging
this gap by envisaging at an integrated view of
heterogeneous resources sensing the world (i.e. sensors),
such as international TV, newspapers, radio and social
media. The approach of MULTISENSOR builds upon the
concept of multidimensional content integration (Fig. 1) by
considering the following dimensions for mining, linking,
understanding and summarising heterogeneous material:
language, multimedia, semantics, context, emotion, time and
location. Thus, the overall goal of MULTISENSOR is to
research and develop a unified platform, which will allow
for the multidimensional content integration from
heterogeneous sensors, with a view to providing end-user
services such as journalism and media monitoring, and
decision support for SME internationalisation.
Fig. 1: The MULTISENSOR concept
Towards the development of a unified platform that
allows for multidimensional content integration considering
the aforementioned dimensions, MULTISENSOR addresses
the following scientific objectives:
Mining and content distillation of unstructured
heterogeneous and distributed multimedia and
multilingual data, including semantic concept extraction.
User- and context-centric analysis of multimedia and
multilingual content. This objective aims at analysing
content from the user perspective to extract sentiment
and context, as well as analysing computer-mediated
interaction in the web and specifically in social media.
Semantic integration of heterogeneous multimedia and
Development of hybrid reasoning techniques for
intelligent decision support.
Context-aware multimodal aggregation and multilingual
summarisation, as well as adequate presentation of the
information to the user.
2. USER PERSPECTIVE
In order to ensure that the proposed work is guided by a
user-centric view and in order to grant general usability and
exploitability of the project results, three pilot use cases
(UC) have been defined and specific requirements have
been extracted for each of them:
UC1: Journalism: Journalists need to master large
heterogeneous amounts of multimedia and multilingual data
when writing a new article. On the basis of a market
analysis that was conducted and from a journalistic point of
view, MULTISENSOR should be able to provide an
automatic summarisation of heterogeneous and multilingual
digital information. The platform should also automatically
suggest related content and information that allows
journalists to enrich their coverage of a specific topic.
UC2: Commercial media monitoring: Professional clients
of media monitoring portals require direct access to
comprehensive and targeted business and consumer
information. This could include information on consumption
habits, competitors and opinions. From a media monitoring
point of view, it is important that the MULTISENSOR
system follows the usual workflow for the creation of a
media analysis. In a first step, the user needs to define the
sources and time frame that is to be monitored, along with
the search terms he wants to use. In a second step, the search
results need to be curated and validated. The
MULTISENSOR system should present the results of these
queries in different output formats and visualisations.
UC3: SME (Small and Medium Enterprises)
internationalisation: This UC deals with SME
internationalisation, which refers to small or medium-sized
companies that want to start or are in the process of
expanding from a regional or a national market to a new and
foreign market in order to increase turnover and profit. This
process is of particular importance as it is often the only
option to achieve growth. But it is also aligned with
considerable challenges such as a lack in knowledge about
market conditions or the spoken language in the targeted
countries. From the aforementioned, in order for the
MULTISENSOR platform to be fully helpful in SME
internationalisation cases and improve the decision-making
process, it should provide information about several related
indicators, regarding the condition of the market, the
political and financial situation of the countries, potential
competitors, consumption habits, etc. Furthermore, two very
important requirements from this UC are summarisation (to
reduce the amount of information that the
internationalisation expert will need to read and study) and
automatic language detection and translation.
All three UC reflect the challenge of having to deal with
a large amount of heterogeneous data and information from
many different sources and in many different languages.
However, there are also very significant differences. For
example, journalists and commercial media monitors are
interested in continuously tracking a specific topic, brand or
campaign. The ultimate goal is to update their audience or
clients on a regular basis. Although this information will
ultimately lead to specific decisions, the priority is
information gathering and analysis.
On the other hand, the SME internationalisation UC
focuses mainly on decision support. In order to make a
decision about whether a company should move into a new
market, owners and managers need to know about all
relevant market indicators, opportunities and barriers. This
includes information about consumption, competition,
socio-economic indicators, as well as information about
legal restrictions or other statutory requirements.
The functionality of the MULTISENSOR framework
considers all the requirements imposed by the three UC.
3. MULTISENSOR FRAMEWORK
The architecture of the MULTISENSOR framework is
depicted in Fig. 2. In this architecture, a periodic process of
content harvesting takes place, which retrieves source
material by crawling a set of sources for news, multimedia
and social network content. Next, the different components
of the framework, as well as the functionality of the
modules that they contain and provide are described.
Fig. 2: Architecture of the MULTISENSOR framework
3.1. Multimedia content extraction
This component aims at extracting knowledge from
multimedia input data and presenting the extracted
knowledge in a way that subsequent components can
operate on it. It includes the following technologies:
1) Language Identification: Before a text is stored in the
repository, it is analysed in which language it is written and
the text is annotated accordingly. The languages considered
in MULTISENSOR are English, German, Spanish,
Bulgarian and French.
2) Named entities extraction: This module aims at
identifying names (named entities) in texts. Names are
words which uniquely identify objects, like ‘Berlin‘,
‘Siemens‘, etc. The module incorporates two linguistic
components that allow all analysis modules to operate on
the same input: sentence segmentation and tokenisation.
3) Concept extraction from text: Concept extraction starts
from the results of the named entities extraction task. The
goal of this module is to identify in the text mentions to
concepts that belong to the project domains. Candidate
concepts are identified through analysis of multilingual
corpora. When processing new documents, the module
attempts disambiguation of mentions of concepts against
relevant ontologies and datasets.
4) Concept linking and relations: This module aims at
identifying in texts relations between mentions of named
entities and concepts. Two relation types are considered: i)
coreference relations i.e. several mentions make reference to
the same entity, and ii) n-ary relations describing situations
and events involving multiple entities and concepts. To this
end, a deep dependency parser  that delivers deep-
syntactic dependency structures from sentences in nature
language has been developed. This parser uses the output of
an optimised dependency parser  as input.
5) Audio recognition and analysis: Automatic speech
recognition (ASR) is employed in order to provide a channel
for analysis of spoken language in audio and video files.
The transcripts produced follow the same analysis procedure
as the input from other text sources. The languages covered
by the ASR component are English and German.
6) Multimedia concept and event detection: This module
receives as input a multimedia file (i.e. image or video) and
computes degrees of confidence for a predefined set of
visual concepts. The module performs video decoding
(applicable for video files only), feature extraction and
classification in order to assign a confidence value for a
concept or event existence in an image or video shot .
7) Machine translation: Automatic machine translation
(MT) has two main goals: to provide the translation of the
summarisation results in the end of the content analysis and
summarisation chain and to enable full-text translation on-
demand during the development of language dependent
analysis tools in the project, in case a subset of required
languages is not supported by these tools.
3.2. User and context-centric analysis
The objectives of this component are to model and represent
contextual, sentiment and online social interaction features,
as well as deploy linguistic processing at different levels of
accuracy and completeness.
1) Extraction of contextual features: This module provides
a set of contextual indicators characterising the content
items and a framework for measuring their impact in the
context of the UC. Moreover, it provides representation
techniques to be used in effective context-based search.
2) Polarity and sentiment extraction: The polarity and
sentiment extraction module aims at modelling a robust
opinion mining system that is based on linguistic analysis
and is applicable to large datasets. Moreover, models that
take into account the presence of named entities in different
sentences have been designed within the module.
3) Contributor analysis: This module deals with online
social interaction. Its functionality focuses on analysing
complex networks in order to retrieve the social interactions
and the social profile of a specific contributor (e.g. author).
3.3. Multidimensional content integration and retrieval
The objective of this component is to achieve integration
and retrieval of content along different dimensions.
1) Multimodal indexing and retrieval: In this module, a
multimedia data representation framework that allows for
the efficient storage and retrieval of socially connected
multimedia objects is developed. The representation model
is called SIMMO (Socially Interconnected MultiMedia-
enriched Objects)  and has the ability to fully capture all
the content information of interconnected multimedia
objects, while at the same time avoiding the complexity of
previously proposed models.
2) Topic-based modelling: In this module, two subtasks are
considered: a) category-based classification and b) topic-
event detection. The module receives as input multimodal
features that are created in the multimedia content extraction
component and provides as output the degree of confidence
of a number of categories for a specific content item (for
category-based classification) or a grouping for a list of
content items based on the existence or not of a number of
topics / events (for topic-event detection).
3.4. Semantic representation and reasoning
MULTISENSOR includes a semantic layer in order to
represent in a unified way heterogeneous content. The
following technologies are involved:
1) Semantic representation: This representation includes a
number of ontologies that are integrated in a common
framework, such as DBpedia, GeoNames and FreeBase.
2) Ontology alignment: The ontology alignment module
discovers candidate semantic correspondences between
heterogeneous information descriptions and terminologies
and verifies the correctness and consistency of the
discovered mappings in an automatic way.
3) Content alignment: This module deals with the semantic
processing of the multimodal content, in order to identify
near duplicate and contradictory information relying on
4) Hybrid reasoning and decision support: In the hybrid
reasoning and decision support module, four reasoning
techniques are developed: hybrid reasoning (consists of a
combination of forward and backward chaining), multi-
threaded reasoning (allows parallel inference calculation),
temporal reasoning (ensures inference based on temporal
entities and sequence in time) and geo-spatial reasoning
(provides the ability to reason based on latitude, longitude
and altitude of a given location). Additionally, a reasoning-
based recommendation system with two main functionalities
is developed: firstly, it determines relevant facts by
navigating the graph and secondly, it advises the user by
interpreting these facts through the use of the
aforementioned hybrid reasoning techniques and the
assignment of relevance weights for each selected fact.
3.5. Content summarisation
The content summarisation component implements
procedures for producing multilingual briefings. Two
established strategies in the field of text summarization are
considered in MULTISENSOR:
1) Extractive summarisation: Text-to-text summarization,
where the relevance of sentences in the original documents
is assessed based on shallow linguistic features in order to
decide on its inclusion of a summary. A module following
this strategy is used in order to establish a basic
infrastructure for summarisation services and implement a
2) Abstractive summarisation: Documents are analysed and
the information extracted from them is used to generate a
summary that is not composed of fragments of the original
documents, but is generated directly from data. A module
implementing abstractive methods operates on the semantic
layer in order to select contents extracted from multimedia
documents and also coming from other datasets integrated
into the MULTISENSOR system. Contents are selected and
organized into a text plan that guarantees the coherent
presentation of information. This is achieved by using
models derived from corpora of texts annotated with data
(e.g. topic, entities and concepts, sentiment analysis). These
corpora are produced by the multimedia content extraction
pipelines by enriching texts with annotations of the contents
extracted from them. A multilingual linguistic generation
system renders text plans into the final summaries.
3.6. Final platform
The aforementioned technologies are integrated in a service-
oriented platform. A screenshot of the MULTISENSOR
platform can be seen in Fig. 3.
Fig. 3: The MULTISENSOR platform
4. CONCLUSIONS AND FUTURE WORK
During the first 1,5 year of its lifetime, MULTISENSOR
has achieved considerable progress regarding all of the
objectives mentioned in Section 1. Specifically, the first
MULTISENSOR prototype integrating the initial versions
of the research modules has been implemented.
In the remaining 1,5 year, MULTISENSOR will carry on
the research and development tasks related to the individual
objectives and the accomplishment of the corresponding
milestones. More specifically, for the remainder of this year
MULTISENSOR will move towards the implementation of
the second MULTISENSOR prototype, which will integrate
the advanced versions of the research modules. Finally,
during the third and final year, the project will focus on the
development of the final platform and its evaluation.
This work was supported by MULTISENSOR project
partially funded by the European Commission, under the
contract number FP7-610411.
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