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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
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 consequences, leading to improved decision-making and goal achievement. In this short paper,...

Publication details
Date: 23 March 2015
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: AAAI - Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence
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
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
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
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 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
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, Sian Lindley, Tim Regan, and David Sweeney

What does the abundance of data and proliferation of data-making the street? And, what could they come to mean? In this paper, just such questions and complicate, in some ways, what it is to – a mixture of social scientists, designers and makers – and those Tenison Road, are working to think through how data might better understand the specificities and contingencies that arise through the project, we use this commentary to give some troubles we have encountered in putting locally relevant data to are...

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
Alex Bigelow, Steven Drucker, Danyel Fisher, and Miriah Meyer

In recent years many popular data visualizations have emerged that are created largely by designers whose main area of expertise is not computer science. Designers generate these visualizations using a handful of design tools and environments. To better inform the development of tools intended for designers working with data, we set out to understand designers' challenges and perspectives. We interviewed professional designers, conducted observations of designers working with data in the lab, and...

Publication details
Date: 1 May 2014
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: ACM
Abhimanyu Das, Sreenivas Gollapudi, and Emre Kıcıman

One of the key factors guiding the act of communication between individuals in a social network is the desire to persuade or influence one another. In this paper, we study the interplay between a person writing (selecting) a message to send to another and the effect that the message has on its recipient. Using large-scale online user studies, we focus on a single effect (persuading or changing a recipient’s opinion about a topic) and its relationship to various measurable properties of the written...

Publication details
Date: 1 May 2014
Type: Technical report
Number: MSR-TR-2014-69
Mitali Thakor and danah boyd

In this essay, we offer field notes from our ongoing ethnographic research on sex trafficking in the United States. Recent efforts to regulate websites such as Craigslist and Backpage have illuminated activist concerns regarding the role of networked technologies in the trafficking of persons and images for the purposes of sexual exploitation. We frame our understanding of trafficking and technology through a network studies approach, by describing anti-trafficking as a counter-network to the sex...

Publication details
Date: 24 April 2014
Type: Article
Publisher: Springer
Benjamin Livshits and Todd Mytkowicz

Crowd-sourcing is increasingly being used for providing responses to polls and surveys on a large scale. Companies such as SurveyMonkey and Instant.ly are attempting to make crowd-sourced surveys commonplace, by making it easy to pose survey questions using an easy-to-use UI and retrieve results 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...

Publication details
Date: 15 April 2014
Type: Technical report
Number: MSR-TR-2014-50
Rakesh Agrawal, Behzad Golshan, and Evimaria Terzi

Given a class of large number of students, each exhibiting a different ability level, how can we form teams of students so that the expected performance of team members improves due to team participation? We take a computational perspective and formally define two versions of such team-formation problem: the MaxTeam and the MaxPartition problems. The first asks for the identification of a single team of students that improves the performance of most of the participating team members. The second asks for...

Publication details
Date: 1 March 2014
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: ACM
Aaron Shaw, Haoqi Zhang, Andres Monroy-Hernandez, Sean Munson, Benjamin Mako Hill, Elizabeth Gerber, Peter Kinnaird, and Patrick Minder
Publication details
Date: 1 March 2014
Type: Article
Publisher: ACM
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