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09/23/2018 HYU News > Academics


Big Data Suggests a New Paradigm in Social Problem Solving

Professor Cha Jae-hyuk (Department of Computer Science and Engineering)


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The first time Google attempted at predicting the outbreaks of flu using big data, the result was a failure. In their second attempt, however, by collaborating with social scientists, they produced a successful result. This particular incident shows the importance of fusion research. Professor Cha Jae-hyuk (Department of Computer Science and Engineering) and his team also stand on this point through their research in big data-based real-time social environment monitoring and simulation system development. The aim of the research was to combine the traditional social science and big data process technology to allow new insights of social problems.
Cha Jae-hyuk (Department of Computer Science and Engineering), September 22, at Office of Information and Communications Technology Services.
Today’s society forms one big network in which big data plays a crucial role in organizing complex social problems. Among these, Cha focused on three social problems. First, he studied the relationship between the welfare for the disabled and the mobility of the disabled. Big data processing made it possible to keep track of the mobility pattern of the disabled and the entailing satisfaction towards life. Cha found that it is how many places they visit, not how far they travel, that determines their satisfaction. This discovery will help suggest new and better paradigm in welfare for the disabled when it comes to their transportation.

Second, he studied the response of the government and the society to the infectious diseases. Through five mediums of news, he found that for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), the official response of the government and that of the society were vastly different. With more data, Cha intends to use it as an evaluation tool for later responses.

Last, Cha collected the data via social networking sites about how the anxiety in the society changes depending on time and region. He tried to look into its relationship with the social problems and found slight changes in the public sentiment. With further data, Cha plans to relate it with social problems such as suicide rate.
Cha advised to be interested in the convergence with other disciplines and in new keywords.

Cha anticipates that the combination of social science and big data technology could help draw more accurate interpretation of the social phenomena. In this regard, the research means more than the result itself. More importantly, it shows a hopeful prospect of the fusion research. Cha believes the three studies have shown that synergy effect of the fusion research can bring better results and solve bigger problems. As he suggests, fusion research “can be the new strength” in our society.

For that reason, Cha has set two goals. One is to establish a data processing system integration platform. The platform will be open to anyone to freely access the research results and reenact using the program. Another goal is to suggest a fusion research methodology of how the usage of fusion research may bring out a better result.

This is why Cha also encourages the students of Hanyang to engage themselves in the fusion research as well. “Take an active interest in converging with other disciplines.” Cha advises, “be interested in, participate in, and listen to the other newly appearing keywords in our society.” 

Lim Ji-woo
Photos by Lee Jin-myung
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