Monthly Archives: October 2017

Phil 10.11.17

7:00 – 3:30 ASRC MKT

  • Call ACK today about landing pad 7s. Nope – closed today
  • The Thirteenth International Conference on Spatial Information Theory (COSIT 2017)
  • Topic-Relevance Map: Visualization for Improving Search Result Comprehension
    • We introduce topic-relevance map, an interactive search result visualization that assists rapid information comprehension across a large ranked set of results. The topic-relevance map visualizes a topical overview of the search result space as keywords with respect to two essential information retrieval measures: relevance and topical similarity. Non-linear dimensionality reduction is used to embed high-dimensional keyword representations of search result data into angles on a radial layout. Relevance of keywords is estimated by a ranking method and visualized as radiuses on the radial layout. As a result, similar keywords are modeled by nearby points, dissimilar keywords are modeled by distant points, more relevant keywords are closer to the center of the radial display, and less relevant keywords are distant from the center of the radial display. We evaluated the effect of the topic-relevance map in a search result comprehension task where 24 participants were summarizing search results and produced a conceptualization of the result space. The results show that topic-relevance map significantly improves participants’ comprehension capability compared to a conventional ranked list presentation.
  • Important to remember for the Research Browser: Where to Add Actions in Human-in-the-Loop Reinforcement Learning
    • In order for reinforcement learning systems to learn quickly in vast action spaces such as the space of all possible pieces of text or the space of all images, leveraging human intuition and creativity is key. However, a human-designed action space is likely to be initially imperfect and limited; furthermore, humans may improve at creating useful actions with practice or new information. Therefore, we propose a framework in which a human adds actions to a reinforcement learning system over time to boost performance. In this setting, however, it is key that we use human effort as efficiently as possible, and one significant danger is that humans waste effort adding actions at places (states) that aren’t very important. Therefore, we propose Expected Local Improvement (ELI), an automated method which selects states at which to query humans for a new action. We evaluate ELI on a variety of simulated domains adapted from the literature, including domains with over a million actions and domains where the simulated experts change over time. We find ELI demonstrates excellent empirical performance, even in settings where the synthetic “experts” are quite poor.
  • This is interesting. DARPA had a Memex project that they open-sourced
  • Got PHP and xdebug set up on my home machines, mostly following these instructions. The dll that matches the PHP install needs to be downloaded from here and placed in the /php directory. Then add the following to the php.ini file:
    zend_extension = "C:\xampp\php\ext\php_xdebug.dll"
    xdebug.profiler_append = 0
    xdebug.profiler_enable = 1
    xdebug.profiler_enable_trigger = 1
    xdebug.profiler_output_dir = "C:\xampp\tmp"
    xdebug.profiler_output_name = "cachegrind.out.%t-%s"
    xdebug.remote_enable = 0
    xdebug.remote_handler = "dbgp"
    xdebug.remote_host = ""
    xdebug.remote_port = "9876"
    xdebug.trace_output_dir = "C:\xampp\tmp"

    Then go to settings->Languages & Frameworks -> PHP, and either attach to the php CLI or refresh. The debugger should become visible: PHPsetup

  • Reworking the CHI DC to a CHIIR DC
    • There is a new version of the LaTex templates as of Oct 2 here. I wonder if that fixes the CHI problems?
    • Put things in the right format, got the pix in the columns. Four pages! Working on fixing text.
    • Finished first pass (time for multiple passes! Woohoo!)
    • Working on paragraph
    • Start schema for PolarizationGame
  • Theresa asked me to set up a new set of CSEs. Will need a credit card and the repository location. Waiting for that.

Phil 10.10.17

6:30 – 5:30 ASRC MKT

  • Spent about an hour going over Aaron’s presentation for tomorrow
  • DC submission is tomorrow at 3:00. No word back from Wayne about an AM meeting, so I guess it will be this afternoon?
  • Read Cindy’s comments. Interesting and perceptive.
  • More followup on yesterday’s discussions. Here are some strawman screen mockups for the game:
    • Design thoughts
    • Design thoughts2
    • Roughly, the idea is to turn a chat room into a “polarization game”. For phase 1,
      • Players are randomly chosen from the pool of available players. If we have cross-platform texting, we could handle this in a cross-platform way. Some of the controls from the browser version would have to be implemented in some compatible way. Maybe emoji characters? (Arrows, etc)
      • There is some scenario that the users discuss.
      • The game ends when all players agree on an outcome.
      • Something to evaluate is how much of the discussion should be visible.
        • Should it “fade out” (as shown), or should there be a searchable history? Parallel Version with History
        • Should all threads be shown simultaniously
      • Points are given to participants of a game that unanimously agree
      • Double points are given to the person who comes up with the agreed-upon outcome
      • Points are retained across games. Honor, glory, and prizes are awarded the winners.
        • This means leaderboards and other associated social promotion mechanisms.
        • Registration page, icon choice, etc
      • Might as well build in biometrics and ip address tracking so that we can flag suspicious games (E.g. where one person plays all roles)
    • The initial runs will be in a controlled setting (at UMBC), so we can evaluate more aspects of the player’s experience.
      • Semi-structured interviews
      • Surveys (which could be an add-on to the game that pays in points)
  • Starting to do a deep dive into the Twillo API. Starting with a chat app.
  • Discussion with the interns about ways they would like to use the system, just to see if there was a strong need to support chat. Here’s the whiteboard: whiteboard
    • Some discussion about how long the game would last. If it were quick/real-time-ish, then it could live on a browser. Long term needs push notifications.
    • Although the user has a login, create anonymous discussants so that a history doesn’t build up that other users can react against
    • How do the posts get displayed? Time? Score?
    • Is there feedback on who’s arguments are getting the most votes?
    • To keep things playable, there may need to be a character cap. More than 140, less than xxx.
    • Cut scenes of the resolution of the dilemma would be cool.
  • Looking at the setup of the umbc server
    • Got the vpn ( set up and running
    • As configured, the box is PHP/mysql. I can live with that. I can’t remember the mySQL password though. Doh!
  • Meeting with Wayne
    • Got the edits back for the CHI DC. Leaning towards the CHIIR DC though. Amy agrees – says that the CHI DC is a ‘cattle call’
  • Some discussion about my review. Discovered that the article process for a journal is much more relaxed. There is time for multiple interactions with the authors.

Phil 10.9.17

7:00 – 9:30, 5:00 – 7:00 ASRC MKT

  • Writing up review. I also stumbled across a good book on Complex Systems in Finance and Economics that is tangentially related to the paper. They have a chart on page 764 that shows the development trajectories of the multiple threads in the related fields.
  • Radiolab did a revisit to the trolley problem with respect to self-driving cars. In the end discussion, they state that the problem is a small edge condition. I think under normal conditions that’s true. Under catastrophic conditions like a post earthquake evacuation, every trip could be the trolley problem. With TaaS, who gets picked up first? who has priority on the road? Pinged Radiolab about that. Curious if they will respond.
  • Good chat with Cindy. She found a bunch of stuff, including this part about moral dilemmas. We also started thinking about the chat game design. And we found her comments! Seems like WordPress isn’t alerting me when they get submitted.
  • Nvivo for Mac

Phil 10.6.17

ASRC MKT 7:00 – 4:00

Phil 10.5.17

7:00 – 9:00, 10:00 – 5:00 ASRC MKT

  • Playing with getting LaTex to do the correct formatting without using the new template. Getting pretty far, and starting to think that maybe the way to do this is from scratch? Yeah, I know, this way leads to madness…
  • What I should be doing is looking into the way to build the game and save the data. Should this be a browser plugin? A standalone web page? Where does the back end live?
  • Possible platforms to use
  • Studies that used created chatrooms and gamification.
    • Designing for reportability: sustainable gamification, public engagement, and promoting environmental debate
      • There is a growing emphasis in many countries on matters such as participation in e-government, e-democracy, the provision of forums for online debate, and so on. A critical issue in all of these cases is one of encouraging engagement across a broad spectrum of potentially interested parties and stakeholders. In this paper, we use an ethnographic study of an online event, designed to encourage debate, to explore some critical issues in how the mechanisms productive of debate have shifted in company with the Web 2.0 phenomenon. By contrasting this with a prior study of how players managed their gameplay in a multiplayer pervasive game, we focus upon how different ways of constructing games and events can have serious implications for their ordinary everyday reportability in routine face-to-face interactions. We conclude that designing for reportability should be an active consideration when designing the resources for online debate and consider some ways in which that might be accomplished.
    • Bicker Manor: a cross-media environmental campaign using missions
      • In this paper, we describe the design and implementation of a cross-media environmental campaign called Bicker Manor. We describe how the experience allowed players to participate using mobile phones by sending SMS and MMS messages, the web and interactive television. We describe how the experience used characters to playfully challenge players to complete missions with an environmental twist, before describing a generic, reusable mission framework and implementation with associated authoring and orchestration tools. Finally, we briefly describe the pilot of the experience and initial findings from an ongoing evaluation.
    • Analysing How People Orient to and Spread Rumours in Social Media by Looking at Conversational Threads
      • As breaking news unfolds people increasingly rely on social media to stay abreast of the latest updates. The use of social media in such situations comes with the caveat that new information being released piecemeal may encourage rumours, many of which remain unverified long after their point of release. Little is known, however, about the dynamics of the life cycle of a social media rumour. In this paper we present a methodology that has enabled us to collect, identify and annotate a dataset of 330 rumour threads (4,842 tweets) associated with 9 newsworthy events. We analyse this dataset to understand how users spread, support, or deny rumours that are later proven true or false, by distinguishing two levels of status in a rumour life cycle i.e., before and after its veracity status is resolved. The identification of rumours associated with each event, as well as the tweet that resolved each rumour as true or false, was performed by journalist members of the research team who tracked the events in real time. Our study shows that rumours that are ultimately proven true tend to be resolved faster than those that turn out to be false. Whilst one can readily see users denying rumours once they have been debunked, users appear to be less capable of distinguishing true from false rumours when their veracity remains in question. In fact, we show that the prevalent tendency for users is to support every unverified rumour. We also analyse the role of different types of users, finding that highly reputable users such as news organisations endeavour to post well-grounded statements, which appear to be certain and accompanied by evidence. Nevertheless, these often prove to be unverified pieces of information that give rise to false rumours. Our study reinforces the need for developing robust machine learning techniques that can provide assistance in real time for assessing the veracity of rumours. The findings of our study provide useful insights for achieving this aim.
    • Sarah-Kristin Thiel has a lot of work in this area
    • From game design elements to gamefulness: defining “gamification”
    • Gamification for Behavior Change: Lessons from Developing a Social, Multiuser, Web-Tablet Based Prevention Game for Youths
  • I think this may be a book with scenarios in it: Risk taking: A study in cognition and personality. It comes up in the literature a lot. Ordered.
  • Here’s one of the studies that uses the above: Correlates of Risky Decision-Making. It identifies a risk-taking personality type. Is this an explorer? Can this test be used on individuals and groups?

Phil 10.4.17

7:00 – 3:00 ASRC MKT

Phil 10.3.17

Phil 7:00 – 5:00 ASRC MKT

Phil 10.2.17

8:00 – 5:00 ASRC MKT

  • The CHIIR paper is submitted! Incorporated all of Wayne’s points (that I could decipher)
  • Change the angle recording code so that it is WRT the average heading of the population. Might make a better figure 7. Started.
  • Security training – one hour – done
  • Do Charlestown things – done
  • Fika
    • Anita skimmed the paper and liked what she saw.
    • NVivo webinar
    • $120/year
  • Meeting with Wayne?
    • The CHI deadline is next week:
    • Extended Abstracts from CHI 17 (search for SESSION: Doctoral Consortium)
    • Some extended discussion about GLOBE. Might have the opportunity to look at the code with some guidance. Otherwise, it’s going up on GitHub soon. I’d like to see the code that finds similar remotely observed data on the globe as a way to find similar papers. In this scenario, that could be used to equate new GEOS data (soil, vegetation, lighting, etc) to use places that are burning to places that are at high risk for burning.