Semiodiscursive analysis of TV newscasts based on data mining and image processing/Analise semiodiscursiva de telejornais, baseada em mineracao de dados e processamento de imagens.
Study of TV newscasts is of great importance for media analysts in several domains, such as journalism, brand monitoring and law enforcement (Stegmeier, 2012; Van-Dijk, 2013). Because a TV newscast constitutes a particular type of discourse and a specific type of sociocultural practice (Van-Dijk, 2013), discourse analysis techniques (Charaudeau, 2002) have been applied to analyze the newscast structure at various levels of description, considering properties such as the overall topics addressed, schematic forms used and its stylistic and rhetorical dimensions (Cheng, 2012; Silva, 2008).
Traditionally, discourses have been analyzed without the support of computational tools, such as automated annotation software and information retrieval programs. However, with the fast development of computational linguistics, information retrieval and computer vision, novel methods have been frequently proposed to support discourse analysis, especially of multimedia content (e.g., TV newscasts) (Culpeper, Archer, & Davies, 2008; Baker, 2006).
As a step toward this goal, we present a corpusbased computational approach for discourse analysis of newscasts, which uses a specific newscast structure to describe its main components by means of the here named Newscast Discursive Metadata (NDM), as well as techniques from image analysis and data mining domains. The NDM describes aspects such as screen time and field size of newscasts' participants and the theme addressed in each newscast component. The proposed approach was developed in partnership with the Brazilian TV channel Rede Minas in an attempt to provide media analysts with tools to assist their work, consisting in one of the components of an information system and created to support the discourse analysis of television programs (Pereira et al., 2015). As far as we know, it is the first methodology and approach for dealing with this demand for TV newscasts. Another contribution of this work was to develop a new methodology for registration and indexing of multimedia content, implemented in a Web information system.
Most computational studies of discourse have focused on written texts, such as the work of Biber and Jones (2005) and Marcu (2000), to cite just a few. In the work of Biber and Jones (2005), the authors use computational techniques based on a multidimensional analysis that combines corpus-linguistic with discourse-analytic perspectives to analyze the discourse patterns in a large corpus of biology research articles. Marcu (2000) explores the extent to which rhetorical structures can be automatically derived by means of surface-form-based algorithms. Conversely, a smaller group of computational studies on discourse have focused on spoken discourse or multimodal discourse (e.g., television broadcasts) (Rey, 2001; Passonneau & Litman, 1997; Al-surmi, 2012). Al-surmi (2012) adopts a corpus-based register analysis tool to investigate the extent to which soap operas, compared to sitcoms, reflect the linguistic representation of natural conversation. Rey (2001), in turn, performed a corpus-based study of dialogue spoken in the television series Star Trek, looking for differences between male and female language use. Passonneau and Litman (1997) proposes a method based on machine learning algorithms to automatically segment spontaneous, narrative monologues into units of discourse. The present work belongs to this last group of computational studies on discourse because it proposes a corpus-based approach for discourse analysis of newscasts, which are ultimately videos. Video data mining techniques are used to extract knowledge from the newscasts' editions to be studied under the discourse analysis perspective.
The remainder of this paper is organized as follows: The second section covers the material and methods proposed to support the discourse analysis of newscasts. Experimental results are presented in the third section, followed by the conclusions in the fourth section.
Material and methods
This section describes the proposed approach for discourse analysis of newscasts, which is divided in four steps, as illustrated in Figure 1. The first step consists of solving one of the main methodological problems of any corpus-based analysis of discourse structure, namely, the identification of the internal segments or units of the document to be analyzed, which are responsible for distinct communicative functions. Those discourse segments or, more specifically, their metadata are further used in the subsequent discourse analysis.
The second step comprises describing each discourse unit of the newscast by using the here-named Newscast Discursive Metadata (NDM). In the third step, data mining techniques are applied to extract knowledge from the newscasts' editions and detect patterns, which are finally evaluated in the fourth step under the discourse analysis perspective. The four steps of the proposed approach are described below.
TV Newscast structuring
A newscast is one of the most relevant programs within a television schedule and is considered in this work as a complex genre (Bakhtin, 1986), where several elements are organized according to a specific timeline. Newscasts are traditionally broken into familiar blocks (e.g., lead stories), whose structures are composed by content formats (Behnke & Miller, 1992), as well as compositional elements, such as an opening vignette and kicker.
Figure 1 illustrates a typical newscast edition, composed of a set of n blocks [b.sub.1], ..., [b.sub.n]. The newscast's structure is considered based on the content formats usually presented in the genre, disregarding the compositional elements. These content formats, understood here as discourse units, are represented in Figure 1 by a set of k possible distinct units [u.sub.1], ... [u.sub.k]. Specifically, this work considers the eight content formats (k = 8) in the following:
1--News Headlines: short summaries of stories that will follow in full in the newscast;
2--Teaser: material promoting a story which 'teases' the viewer by hinting at, but not revealing, the real story that will be presented in the next block;
3--Interview: a formal and structured conversation between a journalist and a source;
4--News Report: the broadcast of a news sequence related to one or more themes;
5--Float: a picture that is presented while the anchor is talking or interviewing a guest;
6--Live Shot: a news story during which a reporter is live at a remote location;
7--News Voiceover: a script read live by the anchor. In parallel, a video is shown;
8--Standup: when a reporter speaks directly into the camera at the scene of the story.
The first step of the proposed approach is to identify those discourse units in each one of the newscasts blocks. Currently, this segmentation step is manually performed by a group of documentalists using specific tools of a multimedia information system that were specially created to support the discourse analysis of video recordings of television programs (Pereira et al., 2015). Those discourse units or, more specifically, their corresponding metadata are further used in the subsequent discourse analysis.
Newscasts Discursive Metadata (NDM)
At the heart of the proposed approach lies the concept of Newscast Discursive Metadata (NDM), which is used to describe the discourse units of a newscast's block. The NDM is determined during the second step and is essential to provide the means to describe, search and manage the videos of newscasts, ensuring maximum potential for their analysis.
The NDM is composed of two groups of metadata, namely, (i) a group that is automatically estimated and (ii) a group that is manually determined by documentalists using a specific annotation tool developed for this purpose. The metadata framework proposed by Pereira et al. (2015), based on the Dublin Core and MPEG-7 metadata schema, is used to store and manage the NDM. The two groups of metadata proposed are described in the next sections.
--Automatic Estimation. Two types of NDM are automatically estimated in this work: the screen time and the field size of each newscast's anchor and each newscast's reporter. To achieve this goal, image analysis techniques are proposed, as described in the following. Different from the current methodologies, those techniques are not prone to human error and do not place a significant demand on time or financial costs.
--Screen Time. The screen time of a newscast's participant is defined as his/her time of appearance during the newscast (Soulages, 2005). It may be considered as a strategy of the discursive staging and its estimation contributes to correlate the participant's discursive role with its relevance in the newscast. The automatic estimation of a participant's screen time is accomplished through a four-step methodology, as illustrated in Figure 2.
First, the participants' faces are detected in each frame of the discourse unit analyzed using the robust real-time algorithm proposed by Viola and Jones (2004). As a result, a list of faces with their corresponding frame labels is generated.
The second step, in turn, is to estimate a visual signature for each detected face, by using color, shape and texture information. To compute this visual signature, we use the approach proposed by Souza, Padua, Nunes, Assis, and Silva (2014), which obtains a visual signature containing 79 components representing each face image (54 refer to color, 18 refer to texture, and seven refer to shape positions).
The third step is essentially based on a clustering strategy to group the set of faces in such a way that faces in the same group are more similar to each other than to those in other groups. The fourth and final step consists of estimating the screen time for the newscast's participants of interest. The screen time of a participant in a specific discourse unit is directly estimated as the ratio between the number of his/her detected faces and the corresponding video's frame rate. The unit of measurement defined for screen time in this work is the second.
--Field Size. The field size refers to how much of a newscast's participant and his/her surrounding area is visible within the camera's field of view (Soulages, 2005) and is determined by two factors: the distance of the participant from the camera and the focal length of the lens used. This concept is usually applied in filmmaking and video production. Six types of field sizes are considered in this work, namely, Close-up (effect of intimacy), Medium Close-up (effect of personalization), Medium Shot (effect of sociability), American Shot (effect of sociability), Full Shot (effect of public space) and Long Shot (effect of public space). Those field sizes are illustrated in Figure 3.
Usually, the field size is only qualitatively defined (Soulages, 2005), as illustrated in Figure 3. In this scenario, to develop an automatic quantitative method to estimate a participant's field size at a given moment of the newscast, it was created a ground-truth. To achieve this goal, three discourse analysts classified 200 image samples belonging to three of the most popular Brazilian newscasts, namely, Jornal Nacional, Reporter Brasil and Jornal da Record. Each image sample was associated with one of the six types of field sizes considered. Next, the ratio a between the face area and the complete area of the image plane was computed. Again, faces were detected using the method of Viola and Jones (2004). From the analysis of these ratio values, a set of ranges was proposed to determine the field size of a participant at a given instant, as shown in Table 1. The ranges estimated for the field sizes were successfully validated, achieving overall accuracy as high as 95%.
--NDM Annotation Tool. An annotation tool has been developed and incorporated into the multimedia information system proposed by Pereira et al. (2015) in order to describe the discourse units of a newscast's block by providing their corresponding NDM. In this case, NDM sets that must be manually provided have been proposed for all types of discourse units, as described in Table 2. Those NDM sets, as well as the screen time and field size of a participant, are jointly processed in the knowledge discovery step, when data mining techniques are applied to detect patterns and support the discourse analysis of the newscast's edition.
Knowledge discovery is the process of characterizing, mining and processing data, aiming to extract relevant patterns in large data sets (Tan, Steinbach, & Kumar, 2005). Data characterization is critical because it allows identifying the real needs of end-users of a system. Conversely, the data mining phase is also responsible for finding patterns in the data, providing relevant information to users. As illustrated in Figure 1, a knowledge discovery process is performed during the third step of the proposed approach for discourse analysis of TV newscasts. In the following, data characterization and data mining techniques are applied in order to answer those issues.
--Issues Definition. The first step in the knowledge discovery process is the definition of the issues to be answered. Those issues are raised considering the NDM sets, as well as the information demands of media analysts regarding the investigation of TV newscasts. Table 3 presents the main issues considered by the proposed approach, which are especially related to the following aspects:
a) Themes addressed: the proposed solution can highlight the quantification of the frequency or the order of how news themes are presented in a specific period of time;
b) Discourse Units: a study of the temporal distribution of discourse units throughout the editions of a TV newscast allows to understand how the contents are reported;
c) Screen Time: allows the media analyst to correlate the discursive role of a specific participant with his/her relevance in the newscast;
d) Differences between TV newscasts: if common features allow the identification of patterns in newscasts and their characterization, the differences, in contrast, may support the definition of discursive identities to each newscast individually.
--Data Characterization. This step is performed in order to understand the users' needs (Tan et al., 2005). It works as a tool for statistical and quantitative analysis, which aims to answer the investigation issues. The characterized data can be visualized using statistical measures and graphical tools, such as histograms and probability distribution functions (PDF).
--Data Mining. Data mining is the computational process of discovering patterns in large datasets involving methods at the intersection of statistics, artificial intelligence and machine learning (Tan et al., 2005). Aiming to assist the analysis of the issues presented at the beginning of this section, three data mining techniques are used in the knowledge discovery process, specifically, (1) classification, (2) association rules and (3) sequence mining.
The final step of the approach is the task of analyzing the newscast discourse from the knowledge and patterns extracted in the knowledge discovery step. Such an analysis provides quantitative as well as qualitative alternatives to traditional methods of content analysis, allowing a systematic and interesting way to study this type of media (Colombo, 2004).
The knowledge extracted from the NDM sets contributes to understand the news-making process, especially the strategies used to represent the reality (Charaudeau, 2002). Moreover, by using those data, media analysts can map aspects, such as thematic organization, the themes addressed, the most frequent formats of the news-making process, shooting techniques and the representativeness of the anchor and reporter roles, among others. The discourse analysis approach (with the support of the NDM sets) may contribute to the comprehension of newscasts as a genre by establishing comparative analysis between distinct editions of a specific newscast or between editions of newscasts of distinct television stations.
Results and discussion
This section presents and discusses the experimental results obtained. The experiments in this work are divided into three parts. The first and second parts present the results obtained from the data characterization and data mining techniques, respectively, which are used to extract and analyze the NDM associated to a dataset containing 41 editions of two popular Brazilian newscasts, namely, Jornal Nacional (22 editions, from Oct. 24 to Nov. 22, 2012) and Reporter Brasil (19 editions, 12 from Oct. 24 to Nov. 22 and 7 from Jul. 20 to Jul. 30, 2012), broadcast by the TV channels Rede Globo and Rede Minas, respectively. The data characterization and data mining techniques were applied to assist the analysis of the investigation issues in Table 3. The third part discusses the results obtained from the standpoint of discourse analysis.
The data characterization was used to analyze issues Q1 to Q4 in Table 3. By using graphical tools in this step, the discourse analyst may analyze the NDM associated to the dataset. Figure 4, for instance, allows for evaluating how each newscast distributes its themes throughout each edition (as a percent of the whole edition's time).
Figure 5, in turn, presents the temporal distribution (as a percent of the whole edition's time) of the main discourse units of each newscast individually. From Figure 4, one may note, for example, that the police news theme was much more frequently addressed than the others in the Jornal Nacional during the period analyzed (from October 24 to November 22, 2012).
The data mining techniques were used to extract association rules and sequences that enable the identification of patterns in the dataset. Those techniques were set with a minimum confidence value of 70%. Table 4 presents, for example, some new knowledge determined using this approach regarding issues [Q.sub.5] to [Q.sub.7] in Table 3.
To answer issue [Q.sub.5], the algorithm CSPADE (Mohammed, 2001) (Constraints Sequence Pattern Discovery using Equivalence classes) was used for mining sequences. This scenario evaluated the thematic hierarchy in the editions of both newscasts Jornal Nacional and Reporter Brasil. Through CSPADE, it was possible to identify, for example, that the themes police and political issues always occur in editions of both newscasts. When considering only the news, it was noted that in 95% of cases, the police issue always occurred sometime after the policy along each edition of the news.
Thus it is possible to identify a form of hierarchy between the two themes in question, with a final evaluation depending on other information such as time.
For issues [Q.sub.6] and [Q.sub.7], association rules were used to extract patterns of the dataset. An a priori algorithm was used with support of 20% for the extraction of association rules. This scenario obtained interesting results, confirming the existence of patterns between the news. In the next section, a discourse analysis of the results of the investigation issues is presented.
From the discourse analysis perspective, the data obtained from the survey reveals interesting information regarding the examination of television news. For example, the subject 'policy' is recurrent; it deserves the proposal of these programs, which exposes the dynamics of the executive, the legislature and the judiciary of the Reporter Brasil attractions, because it is a program of a public broadcaster.
This statement emanates from the character of the contextual examination of Discourse Analysis. However, to the same extent, science is evidenced by detailed examination of the reports, which could indicate some positioning (sometimes partisan, sometimes as merely pro-government) in this communication vehicle--although the same can be done with the other news, whether with political themes or any of the others. The combination of "political" and "police" themes demonstrate a categorization of news, engendering prospects in semantic blocks. Such analysis should therefore be extended to verify if this has become a Brazilian scheme narrativization in newscasts. Already, sequencing (specifically the issue after the political police) can result from the predominance of political issues facing all others, as this entangles the responsibility for all social fronts.
The police theme, in turn, is notably higher in Jornal Nacional, which could represent a tendency of the vehicle to expose major ills of Brazil, in contrast to the intent of the government-controlled broadcaster that, although it should serve the interests of population, would not be interested by denouncing violence and just asks again. When analyzing the weather forecasting theme, we see almost double the attention in Jornal Nacional.
This happens because the TV channel Rede Globo invests in strategies to attract audiences with this entry; technological scenarios, with colors, animations, and a beautiful reporter indicating temperatures, are captivating the eyes of the viewer, rather than mere information strategies--this is fundamental to the operation of commercial media machinery (Charaudeau, 2002).
An important addendum, regarding the beauty of the weather reporters: concerning issue [Q.sub.2], which addresses the screen time, an increasing emergence of the presence of the presenters and reporters in enunciative news scenes is found in Brazil. This streamlines and humanizes programs, generating reciprocity with the viewing public--like the visual of capital holders (or managers), the information is, again, a targeted audience of apprehension, the assemblage of images with increasingly shorter takes and interviews with witnesses of the increasingly rapid events.
It is seen from the data obtained that sports stories have a place in the editions of television news--despite being smaller; these stories are usually the last block and represent the cosmos--a bit of stretching on the news, after all. News programs need to talk about what is important, that is information that is factual, emerging and impactful to ordinary life, at the end of which complementary information may be presented as a tactic to attract viewers.
To this end, news reports are the main mechanisms for the submission of information, occupying much of the display time for the news. That is, more than half of Reporter Brasil consists of reports, while Jornal Nacional devotes approximately one-third of its presentation to this type of input.
This distribution indicates a wider range of entries in the Rede Gobo program, stimulating more news. The program of the public broadcaster has more material, and more detailed material--contrasting the pace of private commercial networks of journalistic practice of broadcast television in Brazil, which otherwise may perhaps represent a limitation of teams and equipment or even, as expected, only an editorial choice.
This paper supports the work of researchers on Brazilian television systems, assists in preserving audiovisual memory, provides another important action to incorporate new services into the multimedia information system from the Center for Research Support on Television (CAPTE/CEFET-MG), provides a new methodology for registration and indexing of multimedia content, and implements a Web information system. In future work, we plan to validate our methodology in other datasets, especially from distinct newscasts, extend its application to other media genres and, finally, apply other types of promising computational approaches, such as machine learning and sentiment analysis.
The authors thank the support of Rede Minas, CNPq, FAPEMIG, CAPES and CEFET-MG.
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Received on November 11, 2015.
Accepted on February 26, 2016.
Felipe Leandro Andrade Conceicao (1) *, Flavio Luis Cardeal Padua (2), Adriano Cesar Machado Pereira (3), Guilherme Tavares de Assis (4), Giani David Silva (5) and Antonio Augusto Braighi Andrade (5)
(1) Instituto de Engenharia e Tecnologia, Centro Universitario de Belo Horizonte, Av. Professor Mario Werneck, 1685, 30455-610, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil. (2) Departamento de Computacao, Centro Federal de Educacao Tecnologica de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil. (3) Departamento de Ciencia da Computacao, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil. (4) Departamento de Computacao, Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto, Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais, Brazil. (5) Departamento de Linguagem e Tecnologia, Centro Federal de Educacao Tecnologica de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil. * Author for correspondence. E-mail: felipe. firstname.lastname@example.org
Caption: Figure 1. Overview of the proposed approach.
Caption: Figure 2. Methodology used to estimate the screen time of a newscast's participant.
Caption: Figure 3. Basic types of field sizes for newscast participants.
Table 1. Field sizes and corresponding ratios between face area and the complete area of the image plane. Types of Ratio ([alpha]) Field Size Close-up ([alpha]) > 0.40 Medium 0.28 < ([alpha]) [less than or equal to] 0.40 Close-up Medium 0.22 < ([alpha]) [less than or equal to] 0.28 Shot American 0.19< ([alpha]) [less than or equal to] 0.22 Shot Full Shot 0.12< ([alpha]) [less than or equal to] 0.19 Long Shot ([alpha]) [less than or equal to] 0.12 Table 2. NDM sets for some newscast's discourse units: News Headlines, Teaser, Interview and Float. Discourse NDM Type Description Unit News Slug Text Titles of headlines Headlines Time Slot Time Time slot of this Or Teaser [mm:ss] discourse unit Underlay Boolean Indicates if the presenters image is replaced by a picture when talking Interview Slug Text Title of interview Summary Text Interviews summary Interviewers Text Interviewers names Location Text Indicates if the interview is in a studio or outside Theme Text List of possible themes addressed Time Slot Time Time slot of this [mm:ss] discourse unit Underlay Boolean Participants images are replaced by a picture when talking Float Slug Text Title assigned to the float Time Slot Time Time slot of this [mm:ss] discourse unit Summary Text Float's summary Location Text Float occurs nationally or internationally Theme Text List of possible themes addressed Discourse NDM Type Vocabulary Unit News Slug Text Uncontrolled Headlines Time Slot Time [0 ... 60 : 0 ... 60] Or Teaser [mm:ss] Underlay Boolean True: replaced False: not replaced Interview Slug Text Uncontrolled Summary Text Uncontrolled Interviewers Text Uncontrolled Location Text Studio, Outside Theme Text Politics, economy, police news, daily news, sport, behavior, education, culture, science and technology, weather, environment Time Slot Time [0 ... 60 : 0 ... 60] [mm:ss] Underlay Boolean True: replaced False: not replaced Float Slug Text Uncontrolled Time Slot Time [0 ... 60 : 0 ... 60] [mm:ss] Summary Text Uncontrolled Location Text National, International Theme Text Politics, economy, police news, daily news, sport, behavior, education, culture, science and technology, weather, environment Table 3. Issues addressed by the proposed approach. Issues Dimension What? Objectives Q1 Themes Identify the temporal Realize the theme distribution of themes organization Q2 Screen Time Identify the Correlate hierarchies, sequences participant's and usages of discursive role characters in the with its relevance themes Q3 News Report Identify the Realize the discursive roles structural of news report's organization of participants news reports Q4 News Report Identify the temporal Realize the distribution of news structural reports in a period organization of news reports Q5 General Identify ordering Realize the theme patterns of themes hierarchy Q6 General Identify matching Realize the rules between relations between discourse units, different themes and durations discursive metadata Q7 General Identify matching Realize the rules between field relations between size, discursive different role of each discursive participant and themes metadata Issues Dimension Approach Q1 Themes Data Characterization Q2 Screen Time Data Characterization Q3 News Report Data Characterization Q4 News Report Data Characterization Q5 General Data Mining Q6 General Data Mining Q7 General Data Mining Table 4. New Knowledge extracted in the data mining step. Issues New Knowledge In 100% of cases, the themes police and politics occurred in editions of both newscasts. In 100 % of cases, the police theme occurred after editing thematic policy be reported. Q5 In 95 % of cases, the police and political issues always occur in editions of both newscasts. In 95 % of cases, the police issue occurred after editing thematic policy be reported. In 54 % of cases, the thematic economy lasted less than one minute. In 90 % of the time, when the first issue was police, its duration was between 3 and 4 minutes. Q6 In 45 % of cases, the themes addressed in the second block lasted less than a minute. In 57 % of cases, the materials that approach the police issue occurred in the first block. In 100 % of cases, the first report was transmitted in the first block. In 95 % of the cases, the second report was transmitted in the first block. Q7 In 81 % of the cases, the third story was conveyed in the first block. In 57 % of the cases, the subject of police officers was reported in the first block. Figure 4. Temporal distribution of themes of two TV newscasts in Brazil: Jornal Nacional and Reporter Brasil. Journal Nacional Reporter Brazil Police News 77 3 Environment 4 8 Economy 6 5 Weather 7 4 Sport 3 4 Behavior 4 5 Education, 3 0 culture and arts Science 5 1 and technology Daily news 0 5 Note: Table made from bar graph. Figure 5. Temporal distribution of discourse units for each TV newscast, separately. Journal Nacional Reporter Brazil NEW HEADLINES 26 13 TEASER 16 13 INTERVIEW 0 2 NEWS REPORT 29 53 FLOAT 5 18 LIVE SHOT 21 0 NEWS VOICEOVER 0 0 STAND-UP 8 2 Note: Table made from bar graph.