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Yanjie Fu, Yong Ge, Yu Zheng, Yao, Yanchi Liu, Hui Xiong, and Nicholas Jing Yuan

Ranking residential real estates based on investment values can provide decision making support for home buyers and thus plays an important role in estate marketplace. In this paper, we aim to develop methods for ranking estates based on investment values by mining users opinions about estates from online user reviews and offline moving behaviors (e.g., taxi traces, smart card transactions, check-ins). While a variety of features could be extracted from these data, these features are intercorrelated and...

Publication details
Date: 1 December 2015
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: IEEE – Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Helen J. Wang, Alexander Moshchuk, Michael Gamon, Mona Haraty, Shamsi Iqbal, Eli T. Brown, Ashish Kapoor, Chris Meek, Eric Chen, Yuan Tian, Jaime Teevan, Mary Czerwinski, and Susan Dumais

In this paper, we advocate “activity” to be a central abstraction between people and computing instead of applications. We outline the vision of the activity platform as the next-generation social platform.

Publication details
Date: 8 May 2015
Type: Technical report
Publisher: Microsoft Research
Number: MSR-TR-2015-38
Alex S Taylor, Siân Lindley, Tim Regan, David Sweeney, Vasillis Vlachokyriakos, Lillie Grainger, and Jessica Lingel

We present findings from a year-long engagement with a street and its community. The work explores how the production and use of data is bound up with place, both in terms of physical and social geography. We detail three strands of the project. First, we consider how residents have sought to curate existing data about the street in the form of an archive with physical and digital components. Second, we report endeavours to capture data about the street’s environment, especially of vehicle traffic....

Publication details
Date: 1 April 2015
Type: Proceedings
Publisher: ACM – Association for Computing Machinery
Awards: Honorable Mention
Tim Regan, David Sweeney, John Helmes, Vasilis Vlachokyriakos, Siân Lindey, and Alex S. Taylor

We present two sets of ‘data technologies’ that we have designed to collect and display local data, both derived from our engagement with a community. The first, Bullfrog, is a bespoke voting device. The second, a series of physical charts, respond to the increasing sophistication of data visualisations by making playful use of pie charts and bar graphs, reimagining them in mechanical forms that are compelling but easily readable.

Publication details
Date: 1 April 2015
Type: Proceedings
Publisher: ACM – Association for Computing Machinery
Emre Kıcıman

While today’s structured knowledge bases (e.g., Freebase) contain a sizable collection of information about entities, from celebrities and locations to concepts and common objects, there is a class of knowledge that has minimal coverage: actions. A large-scale knowledge base of actions would provide an opportunity for computing devices to aid and support people’s reasoning about their own actions and outcomes, leading to improved decision-making and goal achievement. In this short paper, we...

Publication details
Date: 23 March 2015
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: AAAI - Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence
Gloria Mark, shamsi iqbal, mary czerwinski, and paul johns

While distractions using digital media have received

attention in HCI, understanding engagement in workplace

activities has been little explored. We logged digital activity

and continually probed perspectives of 32 information

workers for five days in situ to understand how attentional

states change with context. We present a framework of how

engagement and challenge in work relate to focus, boredom,

and rote work. Overall, we find more focused...

Publication details
Date: 1 March 2015
Type: Proceedings
Publisher: Proceedings of ACM CSCW 2014
Kathryn Zyskowski, Meredith Ringel Morris, Jeffrey P. Bigham, Mary L. Gray, and Shaun Kane

We present the first formal study of crowdworkers who have disabilities via in-depth open-ended interviews of 17 people (disabled crowdworkers and job coaches for people with disabilities) and a survey of 631 adults with disabilities. Our findings establish that people with a variety of disabilities currently participate in the crowd labor marketplace, despite challenges such as crowdsourcing workflow designs that inadvertently prohibit participation by, and may negatively affect the worker reputations...

Publication details
Date: 1 March 2015
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: ACM – Association for Computing Machinery
Asta Roseway, Yuliya Lutchyn, Paul Johns, Elizabeth Mynatt, and Mary Czerwinski

In this paper we present the BioCrystal – a biofeedback device that uses physiological data to evaluate user’s affective states in real-time and signals the states via an ambient display. We evaluated the BioCrystal during a 2-week, in situ multi-method study during which ten users collected over 115 hours of usable data. Users’ comments suggested high utility of such a biofeedback device for self-awareness, stress-management and interpersonal communication. Quantitative data confirmed that the...

Publication details
Date: 1 March 2015
Type: Article
Gordon Stewart, Mahanth Gowda, Geoffrey Mainland, Bozidar Radunovic, Dimitrios Vytiniotis, and Cristina Luengo Agulló

Software-defined radio (SDR) brings the flexibility of software to wireless protocol design, promising an ideal platform for innovation and rapid protocol deployment. However, implementing modern wireless protocols on existing SDR platforms often requires careful hand-tuning of low-level code, which can undermine the advantages of software.

Ziria is a new domain-specific language (DSL) that offers programming abstractions suitable for wireless physical (PHY) layer tasks while emphasizing the...

Publication details
Date: 1 March 2015
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: ACM – Association for Computing Machinery
Nihar B. Shah and Dengyong Zhou

Human computation or crowdsourcing involves joint inference of the ground-truth-answers and the worker abilities by optimizing an objective function, for instance, by maximizing the data likelihood based on an assumed underlying model. A variety of methods have been proposed in the literature to address this inference problem. As far as we know, none of the objective functions in existing methods is convex. In machine learning and applied statistics, a convex function such as the objective function of...

Publication details
Date: 1 January 2015
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: AAAI - Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence
sadia ahmed, Greg McInerny, Kenton O'Hara, Richard Harper, Lara Salido, Stephen Emmott, and Lucas Joppa

Aim: Software use is ubiquitous in the species distribution modelling (SDM) domain; nearly every scientist working on SDM either uses or develops specialist SDM software; however, little is formally known about the prevalence or preference of one software over another. We seek to provide, for the first time, a ‘snapshot’ of SDM users, the methods they use and the questions they answer.

Location: Global.

Methods: We conducted a survey of over 300 SDM scientists to capture a snapshot of...

Publication details
Date: 1 January 2015
Type: Article
Publisher: Wiley
Kenton O'Hara, Gerardo Gonzalez, Abigail Sellen, Graeme Penney, Varnavas, Helena Mentis, Antonio Criminisi, Robert Corish, Mark Rouncefield, Neville Dastur, and Tom Carrell
Publication details
Date: 1 December 2014
Type: Article
Neha Gupta, David Martin, Ben Hanrahan, and Jacki O'Neill

Previous studies on Amazon Mechanical Turk (AMT), the most well-known marketplace for microtasks, show that the largest population of workers on AMT is U.S. based, while the second largest is based in India. In this paper, we present insights from an ethnographic study conducted in India to introduce some of these workers or ‘Turkers’ – who they are, how they work and what turking means to them. We examine the work they do to maintain their reputations and their work-life balance. In doing this, we...

Publication details
Date: 9 November 2014
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: ACM Conference on Supporting Groupwork
Benjamin Livshits and Todd Mytkowicz

Crowd-sourcing is increasingly being used for largescale polling and surveys. Companies such as SurveyMonkey and Instant.ly make crowd-sourced surveys commonplace by making the crowd accessible through an easy-to-use UI with easy to retrieve results. Further, they do so with a relatively low latency by having dedicated crowds at their disposal. In this paper we argue that the ease with which polls can be created conceals an inherent difficulty: the survey maker does not know how many workers to hire for...

Publication details
Date: 2 November 2014
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: AAAI - Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence
Stuart Schechter and Cristian Bravo-Lillo

We update the ethical-response survey we published in July [9] to broaden its reach in two dimensions. In addition to surveying workers on Amazon's Mechanical Turk, we also reached out to juror candidates who had been summoned to serve at the King County Superior Court in Seattle, WA. In addition to five experimental scenarios we examined in prior surveys, we added seven new scenarios: two designed to serve as baselines of innocuousness and concern; two censorship-detection experiments that the Internet...

Publication details
Date: 1 November 2014
Type: Technical report
Number: MSR-TR-2014-140
Alex Taylor, Jasmin Fisher, Byron Cook, Samin Ishtiaq, and Nir Piterman

Computational biology is a nascent field reliant on software coding and modelling to produce insights into biological phenomena. Extreme claims cast it as a field set to replace conventional forms of experimental biology, seeing software modelling as a (more convenient) proxy for bench-work in the wet-lab. In this article, we deepen and complicate the relations between computation and scientific ways of knowing by discussing a computational biology tool, BMA, that models gene regulatory networks. We...

Publication details
Date: 1 November 2014
Type: Article
Stuart Schechter and Cristian Bravo-Lillo

We introduce a survey instrument for anticipating otherwise-unforeseen risks resulting from research experiments. We present experiments hypothetically, then ask: "If someone you cared about were a candidate participant for this experiment, would you want that person to be included as a participant?" (Q1) and "Do you believe the researchers should be allowed to proceed with this experiment?' (Q2). Having honed this approach over multiple studies, and multiple years, we have aborted proposed studies due...

Publication details
Date: 1 November 2014
Type: Technical report
Number: MSR-TR-2014-139
Abhimanyu Das, Sreenivas Gollapudi, Arindam Khan, and Renato Paes Leme

Social networks serve as important platforms for users to express, exchange and form opinions on various topics. Several opinion dynamics models have been proposed to characterize how a user iteratively updates her expressed opinion based on her innate opinion and the opinion of her neighbors. The extent to how much a user is influenced by her neighboring opinions, as opposed to her own innate opinion, is governed by a measure of her “conformity’ parameter. Characterizing this degree of conformity for...

Publication details
Date: 1 October 2014
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: Proc. Intl. Conference on Social Networks (COSN)
Edith Cohen, Daniel Delling, Thomas Pajor, and Renato F. Werneck

Closeness centrality, first considered by Bavelas (1948), is an importance measure of a node in a network which is based on the distances from the node to all other nodes. The classic definition, proposed by Bavelas (1950), Beauchamp (1965), and Sabidussi (1966), is (the inverse of) the average distance to all other nodes.

We propose the first highly scalable (near linear-time processing and linear space overhead) algorithm for estimating, within a small relative error, the classic closeness...

Publication details
Date: 29 August 2014
Type: Technical report
Number: MSR-TR-2014-71
Jennifer Musto and danah boyd

Within some public policy and scholarly accounts, human trafficking is increasingly understood as a technological problem that invites collaborative anti-trafficking solutions. A growing cohort of state, non-governmental, and corporate actors in the United States have come together around the shared contention that technology functions as both a facilitator and disrupting force of trafficking, specifically sex trafficking. Despite increased attention to the trafficking-technology nexus, scant research...

Publication details
Date: 26 August 2014
Type: Article
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Andres Monroy-Hernandez and Luis Daniel Palacios

The anonymous Blog del Narco serves as an invaluable outlet for information about Mexico’s ongoing drug war. How has the site both challenged and augmented traditional journalism, and how does it represent a shift in notions of what constitutes a news organization?

Publication details
Date: 1 August 2014
Type: Article
Publisher: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
Stuart Schechter and Cristian Bravo-Lillo

We surveyed 3,539 workers on Amazon's Mechanical Turk to gauge their response to five scenarios describing scientific experiments---including one scenario based on Facebook's emotional contagion experiment. Respondents who reported being already aware of Facebook's experiment responded very differently to the scenario based on it than those who reported being unaware, so we focused on 2,102 respondents who reported being unaware. We asked these respondents whether they would want someone they cared...

Publication details
Date: 15 July 2014
Type: Technical report
Number: MSR-TR-2014-97
Alex Taylor, Siân Lindley, Tim Regan, and David Sweeney

What does the abundance of data and proliferation of data-making methods mean for the ordinary person, the person on the street? And, what could they come to mean? In this paper, we present an overview of a year-long project to examine just such questions and complicate, in some ways, what it is to ask them. The project is a collective exercise in which we—a mixture of social scientists, designers and makers—and those living and working on one street in Cambridge (UK), Tenison Road, are working to...

Publication details
Date: 1 July 2014
Type: Article
Publisher: Sage
Winter Mason, Siddharth Suri, and Duncan J. Watts

Cooperation in repeated games has been widely studied in experimental settings; however, the duration over which players participate in such experiments is typically confined to at most hours, and often to a single game. Given that in real world settings people may have years of experience, it is natural to ask how behavior in cooperative games evolves over the long run. Here we analyze behavioral data from three distinct games involving 571 individual experiments conducted over a two-year interval....

Publication details
Date: 8 June 2014
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: ACM
Daniel G. Goldstein, R. Preston McAfee, and Siddharth Suri

The “wisdom of crowds” refers to the phenomenon that aggregated predictions from a large group of people can rival or even beat the accuracy of experts. In domains with substantial stochastic elements, such as stock picking, crowd strategies (e.g. indexing) are difficult to beat. However, in domains in which some crowd members have demonstrably more skill than others, smart sub-crowds could possibly outperform the whole. The central question this work addresses is whether such smart subsets of a crowd...

Publication details
Date: 8 June 2014
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: ACM
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