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  1. Demeniconi ; Carlotta ; Nitesh V. Chawla (Ed.)
    The motives and means of explicit state censorship have been well studied, both quantitatively and qualitatively. Self-censorship by media outlets, however, has not received nearly as much attention, mostly because it is difficult to systematically detect. We develop a novel approach to identify news media self-censorship by using social media as a sensor. We develop a hypothesis testing framework to identify and evaluate censored clusters of keywords and a near-linear-time algorithm (called GraphDPD) to identify the highest-scoring clusters as indicators of censorship. We evaluate the accuracy of our framework, versus other state-of-the-art algorithms, using both semi-synthetic and real-world data from Mexico and Venezuela during Year 2014. These tests demonstrate the capacity of our framework to identify self-censorship and provide an indicator of broader media freedom. The results of this study lay the foundation for detection, study, and policy-response to self-censorship.
  2. Stochastic optimization algorithms update models with cheap per-iteration costs sequentially, which makes them amenable for large-scale data analysis. Such algorithms have been widely studied for structured sparse models where the sparsity information is very specific, e.g., convex sparsity-inducing norms or ℓ0-norm. However, these norms cannot be directly applied to the problem of complex (non-convex) graph-structured sparsity models, which have important application in disease outbreak and social networks, etc. In this paper, we propose a stochastic gradient-based method for solving graph-structured sparsity constraint problems, not restricted to the least square loss. We prove that our algorithm enjoys a linear convergence up to a constant error, which is competitive with the counterparts in the batch learning setting. We conduct extensive experiments to show the efficiency and effectiveness of the proposed algorithms.