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Algorithms and theory47205 (208)
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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 know...
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 a...
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
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 results are...
Publication details
Date: 7 January 2014
Type: Technical report
Number: MSR-TR-2014-3
Michael Massimi, Jackie L. Bender, Holly O. Witteman, and Osman H. Ahmed
Online health communities are places where people can come together in order to exchange social support at a particular point in an individual's life. There are, however, relatively few accounts that look across multiple communities across the lifespan. In this paper, we reflect on four case studies of research on different online health communities in order to identify patterns in how individuals selectively adopt, use, and disengage from these communities throughout their lives. We argue that users...
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
Robert Douglas Ferguson, Michael Massimi, Emily Anne Crist, and Karyn Anne Moffatt
Hospice is a medical setting for patients with terminal illnesses where active treatment is withdrawn in favor of providing comfort and dignity at the end of life. Providing comfort extends beyond managing physical pain to include social, emotional, spiritual, and environmental aspects of care. We studied technology's role in achieving these multifaceted dimensions of comfort through interviews with 16 family members of past hospice patients. Comfort was an ongoing pursuit, requiring the involvement of...
Publication details
Date: 1 January 2014
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: ACM
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) by...
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 with...
Publication details
Date: 1 January 2014
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: ACM
Edward Cutrell, Srinath Bala, Andrew Cross, Naren Datha, Rahul Kumar, Madhusudan Parthasarathy, Siddharth Prakash, Sriram Rajamani, William Thies, Chetan Bansal, and Aldo John
Students in the developing world are frequently cited as being among the most important beneficiaries of online education initiatives such as massive open online courses (MOOCs). However, very little research has actually been done on the effects of online education in developing contexts. We describe a case study of our experience building and deploying Massively Empowered Classroom (MEC), an experimental project designed to explore how online educational content and techniques in blended learning can be...
Publication details
Date: 31 December 2013
Type: Technical report
Publisher: Microsoft Technical Report
Number: MSR-TR-2013-127
Nimmi Rangaswamy and Melissa Densmore
This paper seeks to bring scrutiny to ‘Jugaad’ as concept of user driven innovation in the context of ICTD research. We collate and organize a variety of definitions denoting adoption and innovation of technology in constrained eco systems. We attempt to bring a nuanced understanding of contextual processes supporting or hindering use adoption and innovation of ICTs by probing the multi-meanings of Jugaad as ground-up processes of technology adoption
Publication details
Date: 1 December 2013
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: ACM
Rakesh Agrawal
This paper summarizes the results of our recent investigations into how information propagates, how people assimilate information, and how people form relationships to gain information in Internet-centric social settings. It includes key ideas related to the role of the nature of information items in information diffusion as well as the notion of receptivity on part of the receiver and how it affects information assimilation and opinion formation. It describes a system that incorporates availability,...
Publication details
Date: 1 November 2013
Type: Technical report
Publisher: Microsoft Technical Report
Number: MSR-TR-2013-115
Monojit Choudhury, Ranjita Bhagwan, and Kalika Bali
Hindi film music, which is commonly referred to as Bollywood music, is one of the most popular forms of music in the world today. One of the reasons for its popularity has been the willingness of Bollywood composers to adopt and be influenced by various musical forms including Western pop, jazz, rock, and classical music. However, till date, we are unaware of any systematic quantitative analysis of how this genre has changed and evolved over the years since its inception in the early 20th century. In this...
Publication details
Date: 1 November 2013
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: International Society for Music Information Retrieval
Nina Mishra, Daniel Romero, and Panayiotis Tsaparas
Link structure in online networks carry varying semantics. For example, Facebook links carry social semantics while LinkedIn links carry professional semantics. It has been shown that online networks are useful for predicting users’ future activities. In this paper, we introduce a new related problem: given a collection of networks, how can we learn the relative importance of each network for predicting user activities? We propose a framework that allows us to quantify the relative predictive value of each...
Publication details
Date: 27 October 2013
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management (CIKM)
Nimmi Rangaswamy and Payal Arora
Photoshopping of newlyweds, downloading the latest movies, teens flirting on social network sites and virtual gaming may seem like typical behavior in the West; yet in the context of a village in Mali or a slum in Mumbai, it is seen as unusual and perhaps an anomaly in their new media practice. In recent years, some studies (Ganesh, 2010; Mitra, 2005; Arora, 2010; 2012; Rangaswamy & Cutrell, 2012; Kavoori, Chadha & Arceneaux, 2006) have documented these leisure-oriented behaviors in the global south and...
Publication details
Date: 1 September 2013
Type: Article
Anna Macaranas, Gina Venolia, Kori Inkpen, and John Tang
While video communication is becoming quite popular among remote friends and family, recent usage practices have been extending beyond just talking heads to remotely sharing an experience by doing an activity together. However, current video chat tools are aimed at sharing talking heads and need to be reconsidered to support remotely sharing activities. We explore a specific remote shared activity – watching video programs – through a three-phase study. We surveyed people’s interest in watching video...
Publication details
Date: 1 September 2013
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: Springer
Abhimanyu Das, Sreenivas Gollapudi, Rina Panigrahy, and Mahyar Salek
With the explosive growth of social networks, many applications are increasingly harnessing the pulse of online crowds for a variety of tasks such as marketing, advertising, and opinion mining. An important example is the wisdom of crowd effect that has been well studied for such tasks when the crowd is non-interacting. However, these studies don't explicitly address the network effects in social networks. A key difference in this setting is the presence of social influences that arise from these...
Publication details
Date: 1 August 2013
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: ACM International Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining
Yuezhou Lv and Thomas Moscibroda
We study Incentive Trees for motivating the participation of people in crowdsourcing or human tasking systems. In an Incentive Tree, each participant is rewarded for contributing to the system, as well as for soliciting new participants into the system, who then themselves contribute to it and/or themselves solicit new participants. An Incentive Tree mechanism is an algorithm that determines how much reward each individual participant receives based on all the participants’ contributions, as well as the...
Publication details
Date: 1 July 2013
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: ACM
Andres Monroy-Hernandez, Shelly Farnham, Emre Kiciman, Munmun De Choudhury, and Scott Counts
Publication details
Date: 1 July 2013
Type: Article
Publisher: ACM
R.Harper, L.Hamill, and N.Gilbert
This paper reports the use of agent-based modelling to explore the impact of the internet on the density and duration of friendship. It uses data from the pre-internet era to validate a model that is then used to compare the dynamic process of friendship with and without the internet. It concludes that the internet is likely to increase the stability of social ties. The paper also affirms the importance of examining the dynamics of social processes, and the usefulness of agent-based modelling as a...
Publication details
Date: 1 June 2013
Type: Technical report
Publisher: Microsoft Research
Number: MSR-TR-2013-67
Kshipra Bhawalkar, Sreenivas Gollapudi, and Kamesh Munagala
We present game-theoretic models of opinion formation in social networks where opinions themselves co-evolve with friendships. In these models, nodes form their opinions by maximizing agreements with friends weighted by the strength of the relationships, which in turn depend on difference in opinion with the respective friends. We define a social cost of this process by generalizing recent work of Bindel et al., FOCS 2011. We tightly bound the price of anarchy of the resulting dynamics via local smoothness...
Publication details
Date: 1 June 2013
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: ACM
Nimmi Rangaswamy and Ed Cutrell
Abstract In this article, we present results from an anthropological study of everyday mobile Internet adoption among teenagers in a low-income urban setting. We use this study to explore how information about everyday ICT use may be relevant for development research, even if it is largely dominated by entertainment uses. To understand how ICT tools are used, we need to study the spaces users inhabit, even if these spaces are dominated by mundane, non-instrumental, and entertainment-driven needs. The...
Publication details
Date: 1 June 2013
Type: Article
Publisher: MIT Press
Nimmi Rangaswamy and Ed Cutrell
As Web 2.0 technologies penetrate the world and as more people are spurred to go online, the digital literacy gap shrinks yet differences persist: mainly between users who have infrastructural supports and those who do not to acess, use and persist with ICTs. Technologies in developing countries like India have found new ways to immerse and embed into the social milieu of users. Our paper offers a Developemnt 2.0 framework to investigate Facebook in India as social media with developemnt impacts on...
Publication details
Date: 1 May 2013
Type: Inproceeding
Publisher: IFIP 9th International Conference on Social Implications of Computers in Developing Countries
Benjamin Mako Hill and Andres Monroy-Hernandez
In this article we argue that there is a trade-off between generativity and originality in online communities that support open collaboration. We build on foundational theoretical work in peer production to formulate and test a series of hypotheses suggesting that the generativity of creative works is associated with moderate complexity, prominent authors, and cumulativeness. We also formulate and test three hypotheses that these qualities are associated with decreased originality in resulting derivatives....
Publication details
Date: 1 May 2013
Type: Article
Publisher: American Behavioral Scientist
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