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Algorithms and theory47205 (270)
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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
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 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
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
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
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
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
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
Alice Marwick and danah boyd

Contemporary youth conflict often plays out through social media like Facebook and Twitter. ‘Drama’ is an emergent concept describing performative, interpersonal conflict that takes place in front of an active, engaged audience, often on social media. Using ethnographic data, this paper examines how American teenagers conceptualize the term drama; the relationship between drama and social media; and the implications drama has for understanding contemporary teenage conflict. The emic use of drama...

Publication details
Date: 17 February 2014
Type: Article
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Meredith Ringel Morris

In this paper, we present the first formal study of how mothers of young children (aged three and under) use social networking sites, particularly Facebook and Twitter, including mothers’ perceptions of which SNSes are appropriate for sharing information about their children, changes in post style and frequency after birth, and the volume and nature of child-related content shared in these venues. Our findings have implications for improving the utility and usability of SNS tools for mothers of young...

Publication details
Date: 1 February 2014
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: ACM
Benjamin Livshits and Todd Mytkowicz

Crowd-sourcing is increasingly being used for providing answers to online polls and surveys. However, existing systems, while taking care of the mechanics of attracting crowd workers, poll building, and payment, provide little that would help the survey-maker or pollster to obtain statistically significant results devoid of even the obvious selection biases.

This paper proposes InterPoll, a platform for programming of crowd-sourced polls. Polls are expressed as embedded LINQ queries, whose...

Publication details
Date: 7 January 2014
Type: Technical report
Number: MSR-TR-2014-3
Michael Massimi, Richard Harper, and Abigail Sellen

Planning a wedding is arguably one of the most complicated collaborative tasks people ever undertake. Despite the commonplace use of technologies in “wedding work,” little research has looked at this from an HCI perspective. Based on an interview study, we illustrate how technology is used to deliver the sought-after fantasy and a practical, yet entertaining, affair. We identify four ways that technology helps people do this: (a) by allowing much of the practical planning work to become “invisible;” (b)...

Publication details
Date: 1 January 2014
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: ACM
Michael Massimi and Carman Neustaedter

Video chat programs for home and personal use (e.g., Skype) are becoming increasingly popular for doing more than simply conversing with a remote friend or family member. This creates a need to understand the broader use of video chat that moves “beyond talking heads.” In this paper, we investigate one emergent scenario: major life events where video chat is used to connect remote participants to a ritual gathering (e.g., a wedding, a funeral). To explore this scenario, we conducted an online survey...

Publication details
Date: 1 January 2014
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: ACM
Munmun De Choudhury, Andres Monroy-Hernandez, and Gloria Mark

Social media platforms have emerged as prominent information sharing ecosystems in the context of a variety of recent crises, ranging from mass emergencies, to wars and political conflicts. We study affective responses in social media and how they might indicate desensitization to violence experienced in communities embroiled in an armed conflict. Specifically, we examine three established affect measures: negative affect, activation, and dominance as observed on Twitter in relation to a number of...

Publication details
Date: 1 January 2014
Type: Proceedings
Publisher: ACM
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