An ontology-based Web mining method for unemployment rate prediction

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

34 Scopus Citations
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)114-122
Journal / PublicationDecision Support Systems
Online published20 Jun 2014
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014


Unemployment rate is one of the most critical economic indicators. By analyzing and predicting unemployment rate, government officials can develop appropriate labor market related policies in response to the current economic situation. Accordingly, unemployment rate prediction has attracted a lot of attention from researchers in recent years. Themain contribution of this paper is the illustration of a novel ontology-basedWebmining framework that leverages search engine queries to improve the accuracy of unemployment rate prediction. The proposed framework is underpinned by a domain ontology which captures unemployment related concepts and their semantic relationships to facilitate the extraction of useful prediction features from relevant search engine queries. In addition, state-of-the-art feature selection methods and data mining models such as neural networks and support vector regressions are exploited to enhance the effectiveness of unemployment rate prediction. Our experimental results show that the proposed framework outperforms other baseline forecasting approaches that have been widely used for unemployment rate prediction. Our empirical findings also confirm thatdomain ontology and search engine queries can be exploited to improve the effectiveness of unemployment rate prediction. A unique advantage of the proposed framework is that it not only improves prediction performance but also provides human comprehensible explanations for the changes of unemployment rate. The business implication of our researchwork is that government officials and human resources managers can utilize the proposed framework to effectively analyze unemployment rate, and hence to better develop labor market related policies.

Research Area(s)

  • Domain ontology, Neural networks, Search engine query data, Support vector regressions, Unemployment rate prediction, Web mining