Evaluating the Impact of Social Media in Detecting Health-Violating Restaurants

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Conference Proceeding

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Nowadays, detecting health-violating restaurants is a serious problem due to the limited number of health inspectors in a city as compared to the number of restaurants. Rarely inspectors are helped by formal complains, but many complaints are reported as reviews on social media such as Yelp.

In this paper we propose new predictors to detect health-violating restaurants based on restaurant sub-area location, previous inspections history, Yelp reviews content, and Yelp users behavior. The resulting method outperforms past work, with a percentage of improvement in Cohen’s kappa and Matthews correlation coefficient of at least 16%. In addition, we define a new method that directly evaluates the benefit of a classifier on the ability of an inspector in detecting health-violating restaurants. We show that our classification method really improves the ability of the inspector and outperforms previous solutions.