Updated: 13August 2021

Communication students win the national data mining competition

A team of five postgraduate students from the School of Communication won the national championship, and therefore the first prize, in the Third Communication Data Mining Competition by creating machine learning algorithms that can identify suspicious “social bots” on social media.

The winning team consisted of five students from the Master of Science in AI and Digital Media programme, including Hu Wenli, Luo Yifeng, Fu Ziru, Shi Xinrui, and Liang Zixin. They collected and analysed social media data on popular public events and developed different machine learning algorithms to identify the “social bots”. The team not only examined the communication behaviours of these social bots, such as reposting, commenting, and liking, but they also compared these behaviours with regular human accounts.

Dr Zhang Xinzhi, the team coach and Assistant Professor of the Department of Journalism, said that the excellent performance of the students demonstrated their strength in the emerging field of computational communication research, as well as their ability to analyse human communication behaviours with big data and machine learning tools.

The Third Communication Data Mining Competition is a national six-month data mining challenge organised by the Chinese Association for History of Journalism and Mass Communication and the Sina Corporation. This year, 158 teams from 88 universities in mainland China, Hong Kong and the United States participated in the competition. Among them, only four teams were honoured with the first prize.

(From left) Liang Zixin and Hu Wenli, two members of the winning HKBU team, attend the data mining competition award presentation cermony and conference.

The HKBU team was one of only four teams to win the first prize.



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