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Journal of Medical Systems

, 38:88 | Cite as

Development and Application of a Chinese Webpage Suicide Information Mining System (Sims)

  • Penglai Chen
  • Jing Chai
  • Lu Zhang
  • Debin Wang
Systems-Level Quality Improvement
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Systems-Level Quality Improvement

Abstract

Objectives

This study aims at designing and piloting a convenient Chinese webpage suicide information mining system (SIMS) to help search and filter required data from the internet and discover potential features and trends of suicide.

Methods

SIMS utilizes Microsoft Visual Studio2008, SQL2008 and C# as development tools. It collects webpage data via popular search engines; cleans the data using trained models plus minimum manual help; translates the cleaned texts into quantitative data through models and supervised fuzzy recognition; analyzes and visualizes related variables by self-programmed algorithms.

Results

The SIMS developed comprises such functions as suicide news and blogs collection, data filtering, cleaning, extraction and translation, data analysis and presentation. SIMS-mediated mining of one-year webpage revealed that: peak months and hours of web-reported suicide events were June-July and 10–11 am respectively, and the lowest months and hours, September-October and 1–7 am; suicide reports came mostly from Soho, Tecent, Sina etc.; male suicide victims over counted female victims in most sub-regions but southwest China; homes, public places and rented houses were the top three places to commit suicide; poisoning, cutting vein and jumping from building were the most commonly used methods to commit suicide; love disputes, family disputes and mental diseases were the leading causes.

Conclusions

SIMS provides a preliminary and supplementary means for monitoring and understanding suicide. It proposes useful aspects as well as tools for analyzing the features and trends of suicide using data derived from Chinese webpages. Yet given the intrinsic “dual nature” of internet-based suicide information and the tremendous difficulties experienced by ourselves and other researchers, there is still a long way to go for us to expand, refine and evaluate the system.

Keywords

Suicide News Blogs Data mining Support system 

Abbreviations

SIMS

suicide information monitoring system

URL

Uniform Resource Locator

SQL

structured query language

SML

supervised machine learning

Notes

Acknowledgments

This paper was co-supported by the Natural Science Foundation of China (grant number 81172201) and Anhui Provincial Fund for Elite Youth (grant number 2011SQRL060). Penglai Chen and Jing Chai contributed equally to this manuscript.

Conflict interest

None declared.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Health Service ManagementAnhui Medical UniversityHefeiChina

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