Category Archives: TODO

Phil 10.26.19

The dynamics of norm change in the cultural evolution of language

  • What happens when a new social convention replaces an old one? While the possible forces favoring norm change—such as institutions or committed activists—have been identified for a long time, little is known about how a population adopts a new convention, due to the difficulties of finding representative data. Here, we address this issue by looking at changes that occurred to 2,541 orthographic and lexical norms in English and Spanish through the analysis of a large corpora of books published between the years 1800 and 2008. We detect three markedly distinct patterns in the data, depending on whether the behavioral change results from the action of a formal institution, an informal authority, or a spontaneous process of unregulated evolution. We propose a simple evolutionary model able to capture all of the observed behaviors, and we show that it reproduces quantitatively the empirical data. This work identifies general mechanisms of norm change, and we anticipate that it will be of interest to researchers investigating the cultural evolution of language and, more broadly, human collective behavior.

When Hillclimbers Beat Genetic Algorithms in Multimodal Optimization

  • It has been shown in the past that a multistart hillclimbing strategy compares favourably to a standard genetic algorithm with respect to solving instances of the multimodal problem generator. We extend that work and verify if the utilization of diversity preservation techniques in the genetic algorithm changes the outcome of the comparison. We do so under two scenarios: (1) when the goal is to find the global optimum, (2) when the goal is to find all optima.
    A mathematical analysis is performed for the multistart hillclimbing algorithm and a through empirical study is conducted for solving instances of the multimodal problem generator with increasing number of optima, both with the hillclimbing strategy as well as with genetic algorithms with niching. Although niching improves the performance of the genetic algorithm, it is still inferior to the multistart hillclimbing strategy on this class of problems.
    An idealized niching strategy is also presented and it is argued that its performance should be close to a lower bound of what any evolutionary algorithm can do on this class of problems.

Phil 7.9.19

7:00 – 5:30 ASRC GEOS

  • BP&S is “on hold” in ArXiv. Hoping that it’s overlap with DfS. I took the mapping text out of the DfS paper and resubmitted. Once that’s done I can send Antonio a link and get advice.
  • Code review with Chris
  • Contact David and see if he’s ok with July 23 – Nope. Trying Aaron M. as a replacement
  • More dissertation. Folded in most of the BP&S paper
  • Look! More mapping of latent spaces! Unsupervised word embeddings capture latent knowledge from materials science literature41586_2019_1335_fig4_esm
    • Here we show that materials science knowledge present in the published literature can be efficiently encoded as information-dense word embeddings11,12,13 (vector representations of words) without human labelling or supervision. Without any explicit insertion of chemical knowledge, these embeddings capture complex materials science concepts such as the underlying structure of the periodic table and structure–property relationships in materials. Furthermore, we demonstrate that an unsupervised method can recommend materials for functional applications several years before their discovery. This suggests that latent knowledge regarding future discoveries is to a large extent embedded in past publications. Our findings highlight the possibility of extracting knowledge and relationships from the massive body of scientific literature in a collective manner, and point towards a generalized approach to the mining of scientific literature.
  • More Panda3D
    • Intervals and sequences
    • Panda3D forum
    • Programming with Panda3D
      • Well, this is looking a lot like the way I would have written it
      • You can convert a NodePath into a “regular” pointer at any time by calling nodePath.node(). However, there is no unambiguous way to convert back. That’s important: sometimes you need a NodePath, sometimes you need a node pointer. Because of this, it is recommended that you store NodePaths, not node pointers. When you pass parameters, you should probably pass NodePaths, not node pointers. The callee can always convert the NodePath to a node pointer if it needs to.
      • Nodepath
    • Huh. It looks like there is no support for procedurally generated primitives. Well, I know what I’m going to be doing…
      • Origin – done
      • Grid
      • Cube (x, y, z size), color (texture?), Boolean for endcaps
      • Cylinder (radius+steps, length), color
      • Sphere  (radius+steps), color
      • Skybox (texture)
      • Then try making a satellite from parts
    • JuryRoom Meeting
      • A lot of discussion on UI issues – how to vote for/against, the right panel layout, and the questions that should be asked for Chris’ studyCapture

Phil 5.28.19

Phil 7:00 – 5:00 ASRC NASA GEOS

  • Factors Motivating Customization and Echo Chamber Creation Within Digital News Environments
    • With the influx of content being shared through social media, mobile apps, and other digital sources – including fake news and misinformation – most news consumers experience some degree of information overload. To combat these feelings of unease associated with the sheer volume of news content, some consumers tailor their news ecosystems and purposefully include or exclude content from specific sources or individuals. This study explores customization on social media and news platforms through a survey (N = 317) of adults regarding their digital news habits. Findings suggest that consumers who diversify their online news streams report lower levels of anxiety related to current events and highlight differences in reported anxiety levels and customization practices across the political spectrum. This study provides important insights into how perceived information overload, anxiety around current events, political affiliations and partisanship, and demographic characteristics may contribute to tailoring practices related to news consumption in social media environments. We discuss these findings in terms of their implications for industry, policy, and theory
  • More JASSS paper
  • Installing new IntelliJ and re-indexing
  • Discovered a few bugs with the JsonUtils.find. Fixed and submitted a version to StackOverflow. Eeeep!

Phil 11.24.18

Semantics-Space-Time Cube. A Conceptual Framework for Systematic Analysis of Texts in Space and Time

  • We propose an approach to analyzing data in which texts are associated with spatial and temporal references with the aim to understand how the text semantics vary over space and time. To represent the semantics, we apply probabilistic topic modeling. After extracting a set of topics and representing the texts by vectors of topic weights, we aggregate the data into a data cube with the dimensions corresponding to the set of topics, the set of spatial locations (e.g., regions), and the time divided into suitable intervals according to the scale of the planned analysis. Each cube cell corresponds to a combination (topic, location, time interval) and contains aggregate measures characterizing the subset of the texts concerning this topic and having the spatial and temporal references within these location and interval. Based on this structure, we systematically describe the space of analysis tasks on exploring the interrelationships among the three heterogeneous information facets, semantics, space, and time. We introduce the operations of projecting and slicing the cube, which are used to decompose complex tasks into simpler subtasks. We then present a design of a visual analytics system intended to support these subtasks. To reduce the complexity of the user interface, we apply the principles of structural, visual, and operational uniformity while respecting the specific properties of each facet. The aggregated data are represented in three parallel views corresponding to the three facets and providing different complementary perspectives on the data. The views have similar look-and-feel to the extent allowed by the facet specifics. Uniform interactive operations applicable to any view support establishing links between the facets. The uniformity principle is also applied in supporting the projecting and slicing operations on the data cube. We evaluate the feasibility and utility of the approach by applying it in two analysis scenarios using geolocated social media data for studying people’s reactions to social and natural events of different spatial and temporal scales.

Phil 11.20.18

7:00 – 3:30 ASRC PhD/NASA

  • Disrupting the Coming Robot Stampedes: Designing Resilient Information Ecologies got accepted to the iConference! Time to start thinking about the slide deck…
    • Workshop: Online nonsense: tools and teaching to combat fake news on the Web
      • How can we raise the quality of what we find on the Web? What software might we build, what education might we try to provide, and what procedures (either manual or mechanical) might be introduced? What are the technical and legal issues that limit our responses? The speakers will suggest responses to problems, and we’ll ask the audience what they would do in specific circumstances. Examples might include anti-vaccination pages, nonstandard cancer treatments, or climate change denial. We will compare with past history, such as the way CB radio became useless as a result of too much obscenity and abuse, or the way the Hearst newspapers created the Spanish-American War. We’ll report out the suggestions and evaluations of the audience.
  • SocialOcean: Visual Analysis and Characterization of Social Media Bubbles
    • Social media allows citizens, corporations, and authorities to create, post, and exchange information. The study of its dynamics will enable analysts to understand user activities and social group characteristics such as connectedness, geospatial distribution, and temporal behavior. In this context, social media bubbles can be defined as social groups that exhibit certain biases in social media. These biases strongly depend on the dimensions selected in the analysis, for example, topic affinity, credibility, sentiment, and geographic distribution. In this paper, we present SocialOcean, a visual analytics system that allows for the investigation of social media bubbles. There exists a large body of research in social sciences which identifies important dimensions of social media bubbles (SMBs). While such dimensions have been studied separately, and also some of them in combination, it is still an open question which dimensions play the most important role in defining SMBs. Since the concept of SMBs is fairly recent, there are many unknowns regarding their characterization. We investigate the thematic and spatiotemporal characteristics of SMBs and present a visual analytics system to address questions such as: What are the most important dimensions that characterize SMBs? and How SMBs embody in the presence of specific events that resonate with them? We illustrate our approach using three different real scenarios related to the single event of Boston Marathon Bombing, and political news about Global Warming. We perform an expert evaluation, analyze the experts’ feedback, and present the lessons learned.
  • More Grokking. We’re at backpropagation, and I’m not seeing it yet. The pix are cool though:
  • Continuing Characterizing Online Public Discussions through Patterns of Participant Interactions.
    • This paper introduces a computational framework to characterize public discussions, relying on a representation that captures a broad set of social patterns which emerge from the interactions between interlocutors, comments and audience reactions. (Page 198:1)
    • we use it to predict the eventual trajectory of individual discussions, anticipating future antisocial actions (such as participants blocking each other) and forecasting a discussion’s growth (Page 198:1)
    • platform maintainers may wish to identify salient properties of a discussion that signal particular outcomes such as sustained participation [9] or future antisocial actions [16], or that reflect particular dynamics such as controversy [24] or deliberation [29]. (Page 198:1)
    • Systems supporting online public discussions have affordances that distinguish them from other forms of online communication. Anybody can start a new discussion in response to a piece of content, or join an existing discussion at any time and at any depth. Beyond textual replies, interactions can also occur via reactions such as likes or votes, engaging a much broader audience beyond the interlocutors actively writing comments. (Page 198:2)
      • This is why JuryRoom would be distinctly different. It’s unique affordances should create unique, hopefully clearer results.
    • This multivalent action space gives rise to salient patterns of interactional structure: they reflect important social attributes of a discussion, and define axes along which discussions vary in interpretable and consequential ways. (Page 198:2)
    • Our approach is to construct a representation of discussion structure that explicitly captures the connections fostered among interlocutors, their comments and their reactions in a public discussion setting. We devise a computational method to extract a diverse range of salient interactional patterns from this representation—including but not limited to the ones explored in previous work—without the need to predefine them. We use this general framework to structure the variation of public discussions, and to address two consequential tasks predicting a discussion’s future trajectory: (a) a new task aiming to determine if a discussion will be followed by antisocial events, such as the participants blocking each other, and (b) an existing task aiming to forecast the growth of a discussion [9]. (Page 198:2)
    • We find that the features our framework derives are more informative in forecasting future events in a discussion than those based on the discussion’s volume, on its reply structure and on the text of its comments (Page 198:2)
    • we find that mainstream print media (e.g., The New York Times, The Guardian, Le Monde, La Repubblica) is separable from cable news channels (e.g., CNN, Fox News) and overtly partisan outlets (e.g., Breitbart, Sean Hannity, Robert Reich)on the sole basis of the structure of the discussions they trigger (Figure 4).(Page 198:2)
    • Figure 4
    • These studies collectively suggest that across the broader online landscape, discussions take on multiple types and occupy a space parameterized by a diversity of axes—an intuition reinforced by the wide range of ways in which people engage with social media platforms such as Facebook [25]. With this in mind, our work considers the complementary objective of exploring and understanding the different types of discussions that arise in an online public space, without predefining the axes of variation. (Page 198:3)
    • Many previous studies have sought to predict a discussion’s eventual volume of comments with features derived from their content and structure, as well as exogenous information [893069, inter alia]. (Page 198:3)
    • Many such studies operate on the reply-tree structure induced by how successive comments reply to earlier ones in a discussion rooted in some initial content. Starting from the reply-tree view, these studies seek to identify and analyze salient features that parameterize discussions on platforms like Reddit and Twitter, including comment popularity [72], temporal novelty [39], root-bias [28], reply-depth [41, 50] and reciprocity [6]. Other work has taken a linear view of discussions as chronologically ordered comment sequences, examining properties such as the arrival sequence of successive commenters [9] or the extent to which commenters quote previous contributions [58]. The representation we introduce extends the reply-tree view of comment-to-comment. (Page 198:3)
    • Our present approach focuses on representing a discussion on the basis of its structural rather than linguistic attributes; as such, we offer a coarser view of the actions taken by discussion participants that more broadly captures the nature of their contributions across contexts which potentially exhibit large linguistic variation.(Page 198:4)
    • This representation extends previous computational approaches that model the relationships between individual comments, and more thoroughly accounts for aspects of the interaction that arise from the specific affordances offered in public discussion venues, such as the ability to react to content without commenting. Next, we develop a method to systematically derive features from this representation, hence producing an encoding of the discussion that reflects the interaction patterns encapsulated within the representation, and that can be used in further analyses.(Page 198:4)
    • In this way, discussions are modelled as collections of comments that are connected by the replies occurring amongst them. Interpretable properties of the discussion can then be systematically derived by quantifying structural properties of the underlying graph: for instance, the indegree of a node signifies the propensity of a comment to draw replies. (Page 198:5)
      • Quick responses that reflect a high degree of correlation would be tight. A long-delayed “like” could be slack?
    • For instance, different interlocutors may exhibit varying levels of engagement or reciprocity. Activity could be skewed towards one particularly talkative participant or balanced across several equally-prolific contributors, as can the volume of responses each participant receives across the many comments they may author.(Page 198: 5)
    • We model this actor-focused view of discussions with a graph-based representation that augments the reply-tree model with an additional superstructure. To aid our following explanation, we depict the representation of an example discussion thread in Figure 1 (Page 198: 6)
    • Fig1Table1
    • Relationships between actors are modeled as the collection of individual responses they exchange. Our representation reflects this by organizing edges into hyperedges: a hyperedge between a hypernode C and a node c ‘ contains all responses an actor directed at a specific comment, while a hyperedge between two hypernodes C and C’ contains the responses that actor C directed at any comment made by C’ over the entire discussion. (Page 198: 6)
      • I think that this  can be represented as a tensor (hyperdimensional or flattened) with each node having a value if there is an intersection. There may be an overall scalar that allows each type of interaction to be adjusted as a whole
    • The mixture of roles within one discussion varies across different discussions in intuitively meaningful ways. For instance, some discussions are skewed by one particularly active participant, while others may be balanced between two similarly-active participants who are perhaps equally invested in the discussion. We quantify these dynamics by taking several summary statistics of each in/outdegree distribution in the hypergraph representation, such as their maximum, mean and entropy, producing aggregate characterizations of these properties over an entire discussion. We list all statistics computed in the appendices (Table 4). (Page 198: 6, 7)
    • Table4
    • To interpret the structure our model offers and address potentially correlated or spurious features, we can perform dimensionality reduction on the feature set our framework yields. In particular, let X be a N×k matrix whose N rows each correspond to a thread represented by k features.We perform a singular value decomposition on X to obtain a d-dimensional representation X ˜ Xˆ = USVT where rows of U are embeddings of threads in the induced latent space and rows of V represent the hypergraph-derived features. (Page 198: 9)
      • This lets us find the hyperplane of the map we want to build
    • Community-level embeddings. We can naturally extend our method to characterize online discussion communities—interchangeably, discussion venues—such as Facebook Pages. To this end, we aggregate representations of the collection of discussions taking place in a community, hence providing a representation of communities in terms of the discussions they foster. This higher level of aggregation lends further interpretability to the hypergraph features we derive. In particular, we define the embedding U¯C of a community C containing threads {t1, t2, . . . tn } as the average of the corresponding thread embeddings Ut1 ,Ut2 , . . .Utn , scaled to unit l2 norm. Two communities C1 and C2 that foster structurally similar discussions then have embeddings U¯C1 and U¯C2 that are close in the latent space.(Page 198: 9)
      • And this may let us place small maps in a larger map. Not sure if the dimensions will line up though
    • The set of threads to a post may be algorithmically re-ordered based on factors like quality [13]. However, subsequent replies within a thread are always listed chronologically.We address elements of such algorithmic ranking effects in our prediction tasks (§5). (Page 198: 10)
    • Taken together, these filtering criteria yield a dataset of 929,041 discussion threads.(Page 198: 10)
    • We now apply our framework to forecast a discussion’s trajectory—can interactional patterns signal future thread growth or predict future antisocial actions? We address this question by using the features our method extracts from the 10-comment prefix to predict two sets of outcomes that occur temporally after this prefix. (Pg 198:10)
      • These are behavioral trajectories, though not belief trajectories. Maps of these behaviors could probably be built, too.
    • For instance, news articles on controversial issues may be especially susceptible to contentious discussions, but this should not translate to barring discussions about controversial topics outright. Additionally, in large-scale social media settings such as Facebook, the content spurring discussions can vary substantially across different sub-communities, motivating the need to seek adaptable indicators that do not hinge on content specific to a particular context. (Page 198: 11)
    • Classification protocol. For each task, we train logistic regression classifiers that use our full set of hypergraph-derived features, grid-searching over hyperparameters with 5-fold cross-validation and enforcing that no Page spans multiple folds.13 We evaluate our models on a (completely fresh) heldout set of thread pairs drawn from the subsequent week of data (Nov. 8-14, 2017), addressing a model’s potential dependence on various evolving interface features that may have been deployed by Facebook during the time spanned by the training data. (Page 198: 11)
      • We use logistic regression classifiers from scikit-learn with l2 loss, standardizing features and grid-searching over C = {0.001, 0.01, 1}. In the bag-of-words models, we tf-idf transform features, set a vocabulary size of 5,000 words and additionally grid-search over the maximum document frequency in {0.25, 0.5, 1}. (Page 198: 11, footnote 13)
    • We test a model using the temporal rate of commenting, which was shown to be a much stronger signal of thread growth than the structural properties considered in prior work [9] (Page 198: 12)
    • Table 3 shows Page-macroaveraged heldout accuracies for our prediction tasks. The feature set we extract from our hypergraph significantly outperforms all of the baselines in each task. This shows that interactional patterns occurring within a thread’s early activity can signal later events, and that our framework can extract socially and structurally-meaningful patterns that are informative beyond coarse counts of activity volume, the reply-tree alone and the order in which commenters contribute, along with a shallow representation of the linguistic content discussed. (Page 198: 12)
      • So triangulation from a variety of data sources produces more accurate results in this context, and probably others. Not a surprising finding, but important to show
    • Table3
    • We find that in almost all cases, our full model significantly outperforms each subcomponent considered, suggesting that different parts of the hypergraph framework add complementary information across these tasks. (Page 198: 13)
    • Having shown that our approach can extract interaction patterns of practical importance from individual threads, we now apply our framework to explore the space of public discussions occurring on Facebook. In particular, we identify salient axes along which discussions vary by qualitatively examining the latent space induced from the embedding procedure described in §3, with d = 7 dimensions. Using our methodology, we recover intuitive types of discussions, which additionally reflect our priors about the venues which foster them. This analysis provides one possible view of the rich landscape of public discussions and shows that our thread representation can structure this diverse space of discussions in meaningful ways. This procedure could serve as a starting point for developing taxonomies of discussions that address the wealth of structural interaction patterns they contain, and could enrich characterizations of communities to systematically account for the types of discussions they foster. (Page 198: 14) 
      • ^^^Show this to Wayne!^^^
    • The emergence of these groupings is especially striking since our framework considers just discussion structure without explicitly encoding for linguistic, topical or demographic data. In fact, the groupings produced often span multiple languages—the cluster of mainstream news sites at the top includes French (Le Monde), Italian (La Repubblica) and German (SPIEGEL ONLINE) outlets; the “sports” region includes French (L’EQUIPE) as well as English outlets. This suggests that different types of content and different discussion venues exhibit distinctive interactional signatures, beyond lexical traits. Indeed, an interesting avenue of future work could further study the relation between these factors and the structural patterns addressed in our approach, or augment our thread representation with additional contextual information. (Page 198: 15)
    • Taken together, we can use the features, threads and Pages which are relatively salient in a dimension to characterize a type of discussion. (Page 198: 15)
    • To underline this finer granularity, for each examined dimension we refer to example discussion threads drawn from a single Page, The New York Times (https://www.facebook.com/nytimes), which are listed in the footnotes. (Page 198: 15)
      • Common starting point. Do they find consensus, or how the dimensions reduce?
    • Focused threads tend to contain a small number of active participants replying to a large proportion of preceding comments; expansionary threads are characterized by many less-active participants concentrating their responses on a single comment, likely the initial one. We see that (somewhat counterintuitively) meme-sharing discussion venues tend to have relatively focused discussions. (Page 198: 15)
      • These are two sides of the same dimension-reduction coin. A focused thread should be using the dimension-reduction tool of open discussion that requires the participants to agree on what they are discussing. As such it refines ideas and would produce more meme-compatible content. Expansive threads are dimension reducing to the initial post. The subsequent responses go in too many directions to become a discussion.
    • Threads at one end (blue) have highly reciprocal dyadic relationships in which both reactions and replies are exchanged. Since reactions on Facebook are largely positive, this suggests an actively supportive dynamic between actors sharing a viewpoint, and tend to occur in lifestyle-themed content aggregation sub-communities as well as in highly partisan sites which may embody a cohesive ideology. In threads at the other end (red), later commenters tend to receive more reactions than the initiator and also contribute more responses. Inspecting representative threads suggests this bottom-heavy structure may signal a correctional dynamic where late arrivals who refute an unpopular initiator are comparatively well-received. (Page 198: 17)
    • This contrast reflects an intuitive dichotomy of one- versus multi-sided discussions; interestingly, the imbalanced one-sided discussions tend to occur in relatively partisan venues, while multi-sided discussions often occur in sports sites (perhaps reflecting the diversity of teams endorsed in these sub-communities). (Page 198: 17)
      • This means that we can identify one-sided behavior and use that then to look at they underlying information. No need to look in diverse areas, they are taking care of themselves. This is ecosystem management 101, where things like algae blooms and invasive species need to be recognized and then managed
    • We now seek to contrast the relative salience of these factors after controlling for community: given a particular discussion venue, is the content or the commenter more responsible for the nature of the ensuing discussions? (Page 198: 17)
    • This suggests that, perhaps somewhat surprisingly, the commenter is a stronger driver of discussion type. (Page 198: 18)
      • I can see that. The initial commenter is kind of a gate-keeper to the discussion. A low-dimension, incendiary comment that is already aligned with one group (“lock her up”), will create one kind of discussion, while a high-dimensional, nuanced post will create another.
    • We provide a preliminary example of how signals derived from discussion structure could be applied to forecast blocking actions, which are potential symptoms of low-quality interactions (Page 198: 18)
    • Important references

Phil 11.12.18

7:00 – 7:00 ASRC PhD

  • Call Tim Ellis – done
  • Tags – done
  • Bills – nope, including MD EV paperwork -done
  • Get oil change kit from Bob’s – closed
  • Fika – done
  • Finish Similar neural responses predict friendship – Done!
  • Discrete hierarchical organization of social group sizes
    • The ‘social brain hypothesis’ for the evolution of large brains in primates has led to evidence for the coevolution of neocortical size and social group sizes, suggesting that there is a cognitive constraint on group size that depends, in some way, on the volume of neural material available for processing and synthesizing information on social relationships. More recently, work on both human and non-human primates has suggested that social groups are often hierarchically structured. We combine data on human grouping patterns in a comprehensive and systematic study. Using fractal analysis, we identify, with high statistical confidence, a discrete hierarchy of group sizes with a preferred scaling ratio close to three: rather than a single or a continuous spectrum of group sizes, humans spontaneously form groups of preferred sizes organized in a geometrical series approximating 3–5, 9–15, 30–45, etc. Such discrete scale invariance could be related to that identified in signatures of herding behaviour in financial markets and might reflect a hierarchical processing of social nearness by human brains.
  • Work on Antonio’s paper – good progress
  • Aaron added a lot of content to Belief Spaces, and we got together to discuss. Probably the best thing to come out of the discussion was an approach to the dungeons that at one end is an acyclic, directed, linear graph of connected nodes. The map will be a line, with any dilemma discussions connected with the particular nodes. At the other end is an open environment. In between are various open and closed graphs that we can classify with some level of complexity.
  • One of the things that might be interesting to examine is the distance between nodes, and how that affects behavior
  • Need to mention that D&D are among the oldest “digital residents” of the internet, with decades-old artifacts.

Phil 11.7.18

Let the House Subcommittee investigations begin! Also, better redistricting?

7:00 – 5:00 ASRC PhD/BD

  • Rather than Deep Learning with Keras, I’m starting on Grokking Deep Learning. I need better grounding
    • Installed Jupyter
  • After lunch, send follow-up emails to the technical POCs. This will be the basis for the white paper: Tentative findings/implications for design. Modify it on the blog page first and then use to create the LaTex doc. Make that one project, with different mains that share overlapping content.
  • Characterizing Online Public Discussions through Patterns of Participant Interactions
    • Public discussions on social media platforms are an intrinsic part of online information consumption. Characterizing the diverse range of discussions that can arise is crucial for these platforms, as they may seek to organize and curate them. This paper introduces a computational framework to characterize public discussions, relying on a representation that captures a broad set of social patterns which emerge from the interactions between interlocutors, comments and audience reactions. We apply our framework to study public discussions on Facebook at two complementary scales. First, we use it to predict the eventual trajectory of individual discussions, anticipating future antisocial actions (such as participants blocking each other) and forecasting a discussion’s growth. Second, we systematically analyze the variation of discussions across thousands of Facebook sub-communities, revealing subtle differences (and unexpected similarities) in how people interact when discussing online content. We further show that this variation is driven more by participant tendencies than by the content triggering these discussions.
  • More latent space flocking from Innovation Hub
    • You Share Everything With Your Bestie. Even Brain Waves.
      •  Scientists have found that the brains of close friends respond in remarkably similar ways as they view a series of short videos: the same ebbs and swells of attention and distraction, the same peaking of reward processing here, boredom alerts there. The neural response patterns evoked by the videos — on subjects as diverse as the dangers of college football, the behavior of water in outer space, and Liam Neeson trying his hand at improv comedy — proved so congruent among friends, compared to patterns seen among people who were not friends, that the researchers could predict the strength of two people’s social bond based on their brain scans alone.

    • Similar neural responses predict friendship
      • Human social networks are overwhelmingly homophilous: individuals tend to befriend others who are similar to them in terms of a range of physical attributes (e.g., age, gender). Do similarities among friends reflect deeper similarities in how we perceive, interpret, and respond to the world? To test whether friendship, and more generally, social network proximity, is associated with increased similarity of real-time mental responding, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to scan subjects’ brains during free viewing of naturalistic movies. Here we show evidence for neural homophily: neural responses when viewing audiovisual movies are exceptionally similar among friends, and that similarity decreases with increasing distance in a real-world social network. These results suggest that we are exceptionally similar to our friends in how we perceive and respond to the world around us, which has implications for interpersonal influence and attraction.
    • Brain-to-Brain coupling: A mechanism for creating and sharing a social world
      • Cognition materializes in an interpersonal space. The emergence of complex behaviors requires the coordination of actions among individuals according to a shared set of rules. Despite the central role of other individuals in shaping our minds, most cognitive studies focus on processes that occur within a single individual. We call for a shift from a single-brain to a multi-brain frame of reference. We argue that in many cases the neural processes in one brain are coupled to the neural processes in another brain via the transmission of a signal through the environment. Brain-to-brain coupling constrains and simplifies the actions of each individual in a social network, leading to complex joint behaviors that could not have emerged in isolation.
  • Started reading Similar neural responses predict friendship

Phil 11.6.18

7:00 – 2:00 ASRC PhD/BD

  • Today’s big though: Maps are going top be easier than I thought. We’ve been doing  them for thousands of years with board games.
  • Worked with Aaron on slides, including finding fault detection using our technologies. There is quite a bit, with pioneering work from NASA
  • Uploaded documents – done
  • Called and left messages for Dr. Wilkins and Dr. Palazzolo. Need to send a follow-up email to Dr. Palazzolo and start on the short white papers
  • Leaving early to vote
  • The following two papers seem to be addressing edge stiffness
  • Model of the Information Shock Waves in Social Network Based on the Special Continuum Neural Network
    • The article proposes a special class of continuum neural network with varying activation thresholds and a specific neuronal interaction mechanism as a model of message distribution in social networks. Activation function for every neuron is fired as a decision of the specific systems of differential equations which describe the information distribution in the chain of the network graph. This class of models allows to take into account the specific mechanisms for transmitting messages, where individuals who, receiving a message, initially form their attitude towards it, and then decide on the further transmission of this message, provided that the corresponding potential of the interaction of two individuals exceeds a certain threshold level. The authors developed the original algorithm for calculating the time moments of message distribution in the corresponding chain, which comes to the solution of a series of Cauchy problems for systems of ordinary nonlinear differential equations.
  • A cost-effective algorithm for inferring the trust between two individuals in social networks
    • The popularity of social networks has significantly promoted online individual interaction in the society. In online individual interaction, trust plays a critical role. It is very important to infer the trust among individuals, especially for those who have not had direct contact previously in social networks. In this paper, a restricted traversal method is defined to identify the strong trust paths from the truster and the trustee. Then, these paths are aggregated to predict the trust rate between them. During the traversal on a social network, interest topics and topology features are comprehensively considered, where weighted interest topics are used to measure the semantic similarity between users. In addition, trust propagation ability of users is calculated to indicate micro topology information of the social network. In order to find the topk most trusted neighbors, two combination strategies for the above two factors are proposed in this paper. During trust inference, the traversal depth is constrained according to the heuristic rule based on the “small world” theory. Three versions of the trust rate inference algorithm are presented. The first algorithm merges interest topics and topology features into a hybrid measure for trusted neighbor selection. The other two algorithms consider these two factors in two different orders. For the purpose of performance analysis, experiments are conducted on a public and widely-used data set. The results show that our algorithms outperform the state-of-the-art algorithms in effectiveness. In the meantime, the efficiency of our algorithms is better than or comparable to those algorithms.
  • Back to LSTMs. Made a numeric version of “all work and no play in the jack_torrance generatorAWANPMJADB
  • Reading in and writing out weight files. The predictions seems to be working well, but I have no insight into the arguments that go into the LSTM model. Going to revisit the Deep Learning with Keras book

Phil 11.5.18

7:00- 4:30 ASRC PhD

  • Make integer generator by scaling and shifting the floating point generator to the desired values and then truncating. It would be fun to read in a token list and have the waveform be words
    • Done with the int waveform. This is an integer waveform of the function
      math.sin(xx)*math.sin(xx/2.0)*math.cos(xx/4.0)

      set on a range from 0 – 100:

    •  IntWaves
    • And here’s the unmodified floating-point version of the same function:
    • FloatWaves
    • Here’s the same function as words:
      #confg: {"function":math.sin(xx)*math.sin(xx/2.0)*math.cos(xx/4.0), "rows":100, "sequence_length":20, "step":1, "delta":0.4, "type":"floating_point"}
      routed, traps, thrashing, fifteen, ultimately, dealt, anyway, apprehensions, boats, job, descended, tongue, dripping, adoration, boats, routed, routed, strokes, cheerful, charleses, 
      traps, thrashing, fifteen, ultimately, dealt, anyway, apprehensions, boats, job, descended, tongue, dripping, adoration, boats, routed, routed, strokes, cheerful, charleses, travellers, 
      thrashing, fifteen, ultimately, dealt, anyway, apprehensions, boats, job, descended, tongue, dripping, adoration, boats, routed, routed, strokes, cheerful, charleses, travellers, unsuspected, 
      fifteen, ultimately, dealt, anyway, apprehensions, boats, job, descended, tongue, dripping, adoration, boats, routed, routed, strokes, cheerful, charleses, travellers, unsuspected, malingerer, 
      ultimately, dealt, anyway, apprehensions, boats, job, descended, tongue, dripping, adoration, boats, routed, routed, strokes, cheerful, charleses, travellers, unsuspected, malingerer, respect, 
      dealt, anyway, apprehensions, boats, job, descended, tongue, dripping, adoration, boats, routed, routed, strokes, cheerful, charleses, travellers, unsuspected, malingerer, respect, aback, 
      anyway, apprehensions, boats, job, descended, tongue, dripping, adoration, boats, routed, routed, strokes, cheerful, charleses, travellers, unsuspected, malingerer, respect, aback, vair', 
      apprehensions, boats, job, descended, tongue, dripping, adoration, boats, routed, routed, strokes, cheerful, charleses, travellers, unsuspected, malingerer, respect, aback, vair', wraith, 
      boats, job, descended, tongue, dripping, adoration, boats, routed, routed, strokes, cheerful, charleses, travellers, unsuspected, malingerer, respect, aback, vair', wraith, bare, 
      job, descended, tongue, dripping, adoration, boats, routed, routed, strokes, cheerful, charleses, travellers, unsuspected, malingerer, respect, aback, vair', wraith, bare, creek, 
      descended, tongue, dripping, adoration, boats, routed, routed, strokes, cheerful, charleses, travellers, unsuspected, malingerer, respect, aback, vair', wraith, bare, creek, descended, 
      tongue, dripping, adoration, boats, routed, routed, strokes, cheerful, charleses, travellers, unsuspected, malingerer, respect, aback, vair', wraith, bare, creek, descended, assortment, 
      dripping, adoration, boats, routed, routed, strokes, cheerful, charleses, travellers, unsuspected, malingerer, respect, aback, vair', wraith, bare, creek, descended, assortment, flashed, 
      adoration, boats, routed, routed, strokes, cheerful, charleses, travellers, unsuspected, malingerer, respect, aback, vair', wraith, bare, creek, descended, assortment, flashed, reputation, 
      boats, routed, routed, strokes, cheerful, charleses, travellers, unsuspected, malingerer, respect, aback, vair', wraith, bare, creek, descended, assortment, flashed, reputation, guarded, 
      routed, routed, strokes, cheerful, charleses, travellers, unsuspected, malingerer, respect, aback, vair', wraith, bare, creek, descended, assortment, flashed, reputation, guarded, tempers, 
      routed, strokes, cheerful, charleses, travellers, unsuspected, malingerer, respect, aback, vair', wraith, bare, creek, descended, assortment, flashed, reputation, guarded, tempers, partnership, 
      strokes, cheerful, charleses, travellers, unsuspected, malingerer, respect, aback, vair', wraith, bare, creek, descended, assortment, flashed, reputation, guarded, tempers, partnership, bare, 
      cheerful, charleses, travellers, unsuspected, malingerer, respect, aback, vair', wraith, bare, creek, descended, assortment, flashed, reputation, guarded, tempers, partnership, bare, count, 
      charleses, travellers, unsuspected, malingerer, respect, aback, vair', wraith, bare, creek, descended, assortment, flashed, reputation, guarded, tempers, partnership, bare, count, descended, 
      travellers, unsuspected, malingerer, respect, aback, vair', wraith, bare, creek, descended, assortment, flashed, reputation, guarded, tempers, partnership, bare, count, descended, dashed, 
      unsuspected, malingerer, respect, aback, vair', wraith, bare, creek, descended, assortment, flashed, reputation, guarded, tempers, partnership, bare, count, descended, dashed, ears, 
      malingerer, respect, aback, vair', wraith, bare, creek, descended, assortment, flashed, reputation, guarded, tempers, partnership, bare, count, descended, dashed, ears, q, 
      

       

  • Started LSTMs again, using this example using Alice in Wonderland
  • Aaron and T in all day discussions with Kevin about NASA/NOAA. Dropped in a few times. NASA is airgapped, but you can bring code in and out. Bringing code in requires a review.
  • Call the Army BAA people. We need white paper templates and a response for Dr. Palazzolo.
  • Finish and submit 810 reviews tonight. Done.
  • This is important for the DARPA and Army BAAs: The geographic embedding of online echo chambers: Evidence from the Brexit campaign
    • This study explores the geographic dependencies of echo-chamber communication on Twitter during the Brexit campaign. We review the evidence positing that online interactions lead to filter bubbles to test whether echo chambers are restricted to online patterns of interaction or are associated with physical, in-person interaction. We identify the location of users, estimate their partisan affiliation, and finally calculate the distance between sender and receiver of @-mentions and retweets. We show that polarized online echo-chambers map onto geographically situated social networks. More specifically, our results reveal that echo chambers in the Leave campaign are associated with geographic proximity and that the reverse relationship holds true for the Remain campaign. The study concludes with a discussion of primary and secondary effects arising from the interaction between existing physical ties and online interactions and argues that the collapsing of distances brought by internet technologies may foreground the role of geography within one’s social network.
  • Also important:
    • How to Write a Successful Level I DHAG Proposal
      • The idea behind a Level I project is that it can be “high risk/high reward.” Put another way, we are looking for interesting, innovative, experimental, new ideas, even if they have a high potential to fail. It’s an opportunity to figure things out so you are better prepared to tackle a big project. Because of the relatively low dollar amount (no more than $50K), we are willing to take on more risk for an idea with lots of potential. By contrast, at the Level II and especially at the Level III, there is a much lower risk tolerance; the peer reviewers expect that you’ve already completed an earlier start-up or prototyping phase and will want you to convince them your project is ready to succeed.
  • Tracing a Meme From the Internet’s Fringe to a Republican Slogan
    • This feedback loop is how #JobsNotMobs came to be. In less than two weeks, the three-word phrase expanded from corners of the right-wing internet onto some of the most prominent political stages in the country, days before the midterm elections.
  • Effectiveness of gaming for communicating and teaching climate change
    • Games are increasingly proposed as an innovative way to convey scientific insights on the climate-economic system to students, non-experts, and the wider public. Yet, it is not clear if games can meet such expectations. We present quantitative evidence on the effectiveness of a simulation game for communicating and teaching international climate politics. We use a sample of over 200 students from Germany playing the simulation game KEEP COOL. We combine pre- and postgame surveys on climate politics with data on individual in-game decisions. Our key findings are that gaming increases the sense of personal responsibility, the confidence in politics for climate change mitigation, and makes more optimistic about international cooperation in climate politics. Furthermore, players that do cooperate less in the game become more optimistic about international cooperation but less confident about politics. These results are relevant for the design of future games, showing that effective climate games do not require climate-friendly in-game behavior as a winning condition. We conclude that simulation games can facilitate experiential learning about the difficulties of international climate politics and thereby complement both conventional communication and teaching methods.
    • This reinforces the my recent thinking that games may be a fourth, distinct form of human sociocultural communication

Phil 10.31.18

7:00 – ASRC PhD

  • Read this carefully today: Introducing AdaNet: Fast and Flexible AutoML with Learning Guarantees
    • Today, we’re excited to share AdaNet, a lightweight TensorFlow-based framework for automatically learning high-quality models with minimal expert intervention. AdaNet builds on our recent reinforcement learning and evolutionary-based AutoML efforts to be fast and flexible while providing learning guarantees. Importantly, AdaNet provides a general framework for not only learning a neural network architecture, but also for learning to ensemble to obtain even better models.
    • What about data from simulation?
    • Github repo
    • This looks like it’s based deeply the cloud AI and Machine Learning products, including cloud-based hyperparameter tuning.
    • Time series prediction is here as well, though treated in a more BigQuery manner
      • In this blog post we show how to build a forecast-generating model using TensorFlow’s DNNRegressor class. The objective of the model is the following: Given FX rates in the last 10 minutes, predict FX rate one minute later.
    • Text generation:
      • Cloud poetry: training and hyperparameter tuning custom text models on Cloud ML Engine
        • Let’s say we want to train a machine learning model to complete poems. Given one line of verse, the model should generate the next line. This is a hard problem—poetry is a sophisticated form of composition and wordplay. It seems harder than translation because there is no one-to-one relationship between the input (first line of a poem) and the output (the second line of the poem). It is somewhat similar to a model that provides answers to questions, except that we’re asking the model to be a lot more creative.
      • Codelab: Google Developers Codelabs provide a guided, tutorial, hands-on coding experience. Most codelabs will step you through the process of building a small application, or adding a new feature to an existing application. They cover a wide range of topics such as Android Wear, Google Compute Engine, Project Tango, and Google APIs on iOS.
        Codelab tools on GitHub

  • Add the Range and Length section in my notes to the DARPA measurement section. Done. I need to start putting together the dissertation using these parts
  • Read Open Source, Open Science, and the Replication Crisis in HCI. Broadly, it seems true, but trying to piggyback on GitHub seems like a shallow solution that repurposes something for coding – an ephemeral activity, to science, which is archival for a reason. Thought needs to be given to an integrated (collection, raw data, cleaned data, analysis, raw results, paper (with reviews?), slides, and possibly a recording of the talk with questions. What would it take to make this work across all science, from critical ethnographies to particle physics? How will it be accessible in 100 years? 500? 1,000? This is very much an HCI problem. It is about designing a useful socio-cultural interface. Some really good questions would be “how do we use our HCI tools to solve this problem?”, and, “does this point out the need for new/different tools?”.
  • NASA AIMS meeting. Demo in 2 weeks. AIMS is “time series prediction”, A2P is “unstructured data”. Proove that we can actually do ML, as opposed to saying things.
    • How about cross-point correlation? Could show in a sim?
    • Meeting on Friday with a package
    • We’ve solved A, here’s the vision for B – Z and a roadmap. JPSS is a near-term customer (JPSS Data)
    • Getting actionable intelligence from the system logs
    • Application portfolios for machine learning
    • Umbrella of capabilities for Rich Burns
    • New architectural framework for TTNC
    • Complete situational awareness. Access to commands and sensor streams
    • Software Engineering Division/Code 580
    • A2P as a toolbox, but needs to have NASA-relevant analytic capabilities
    • GMSEC overview

Phil 9.19.18

7:00 – 5:30 ASRC MKT

  • More iConf paper
  • GSS Meeting?
  • Meeting with Wayne? No, he’s out till Thursday
  • Pinged Don about Aaron Mannes. He’s OOO as well
  • Understanding the interplay between social and spatial behaviour
    • Laura Alessandretti
    • Sune Lehmann
    • Andrea Baronchelli
    • According to personality psychology, personality traits determine many aspects of human behaviour. However, validating this insight in large groups has been challenging so far, due to the scarcity of multi-channel data. Here, we focus on the relationship between mobility and social behaviour by analysing trajectories and mobile phone interactions of 1000 individuals from two high-resolution longitudinal datasets. We identify a connection between the way in which individuals explore new resources and exploit known assets in the social and spatial spheres. We show that different individuals balance the exploration-exploitation trade-off in different ways and we explain part of the variability in the data by the big five personality traits. We point out that, in both realms, extraversion correlates with the attitude towards exploration and routine diversity, while neuroticism and openness account for the tendency to evolve routine over long time-scales. We find no evidence for the existence of classes of individuals across the spatio-social domains. Our results bridge the fields of human geography, sociology and personality psychology and can help improve current models of mobility and tie formation.
    • This looks to be a missing link paper that I can use to connect animal behavior in physical space and human behavior in belief space
  • A Sociology of Algorithms: High-Frequency Trading and the Shaping of Markets
    • Donald MacKenzie
      • My current research is on the sociology of markets, focusing on automated trading. I’ve worked in the past on topics ranging from the sociology of nuclear weapons to the meaning of proof in the context of computer systems critical to safety or security.
    • Computer algorithms are playing an ever more important role in financial markets. This paper proposes and exemplifies a sociology of algorithms that is (i) historical, in that it demonstrates path-dependence in the development of automated markets; (ii) ecological (in Abbott’s sense), in that it shows how automated high-frequency trading (HFT) is both itself an ecology and also is shaped by other linked ecologies (especially those of trading venues and of regulation); and (iii) “Zelizerian,” in that it highlights the importance of boundary work, especially of efforts to distinguish between (in effect) “good” and “bad” actors and algorithms. Empirically, the paper draws on interviews with 43 practitioners of HFT, and on a wider historical-sociology study (including interviews with a further 44 people) of the development of trading venues. The paper investigates the practices of HFT and analyses (in historical, ecological, and “Zelizerian” terms) how these differ in three different contexts (two types of share trading and foreign exchange).
  • A2P marketing meeting in Greenbelt
  • Long discussion on networks and the stiffness of links

Phil 9.17.18

7:00 – ASRC MKT

  • Dan Ariely Professor of psychology and behavioral economics, Duke University (Scholar)
    • Controlling the Information Flow: Effects on Consumers’ Decision Making and Preferences
      • One of the main objectives facing marketers is to present consumers with information on which to base their decisions. In doing so, marketers have to select the type of information system they want to utilize in order to deliver the most appropriate information to their consumers. One of the most interesting and distinguishing dimensions of such information systems is the level of control the consumer has over the information system. The current work presents and tests a general model for understanding the advantages and disadvantages of information control on consumers’ decision quality, memory, knowledge, and confidence. The results show that controlling the information flow can help consumers better match their preferences, have better memory and knowledge about the domain they are examining, and be more confident in their judgments. However, it is also shown that controlling the information flow creates demands on processing resources and therefore under some circumstances can have detrimental effects on consumers’ ability to utilize information. The article concludes with a summary of the findings, discussion of their application for electronic commerce, and suggestions for future research avenues.
      • This may be a good example of work that relates to socio-cultural interfaces.
  • Democracy’s Wisdom: An Aristotelian Middle Way for Collective Judgment
    • Josiah Ober (Scholar)
    •  The Greeks had experts determine choices, and the public vote between the expert choices
    • A satisfactory model of decision-making in an epistemic democracy must respect democratic values, while advancing citizens’ interests, by taking account of relevant knowledge about the world. Analysis of passages in Aristotle and legislative process in classical Athens points to a “middle way” between independent-guess aggregation and deliberation: an epistemic approach to decision-making that offers a satisfactory model of collective judgment that is both time-sensitive and capable of setting agendas endogenously. By aggregating expertise across multiple domains, Relevant Expertise Aggregation (REA) enables a body of minimally competent voters to make superior choices among multiple options, on matters of common interest. REA differs from a standard Condorcet jury in combining deliberation with voting based on judgments about the reputations and arguments of domain-experts.
  • NESTA Center for Collective Intelligence Design
    • The Centre for Collective Intelligence Design will explore how human and machine intelligence can be combined to make the most of our collective knowledge and develop innovative and effective solutions to social challenges.
    • Call for ideas (JuryRoom!)
      • Nesta is offering grants of up to £20,000 for projects that generate new knowledge on how to advance collective intelligence (combining human and machine intelligence) to solve social problems.
  • Synchronize gdrive, subversion
  • Finish abstract review
  • Organize iConf paper into something more coherent
    • Created folder for lit review
  • Start putting together notes on At Home in the Universe?
  • Ping folks from SASO
    • Graph Laplacian paper
    • Cycling stuff
  • Fika?
  • Meeting with Wayne?

Phil 4.12.18

7:00 – 5:00 ASRC MKT/BD

  • Downloaded my FB DB today. Honestly, the only thing that seems excessive is the contact information
  • Interactive Semantic Alignment Model: Social Influence and Local Transmission Bottleneck
    • Dariusz Kalociński
    • Marcin Mostowski
    • Nina Gierasimczuk
    • We provide a computational model of semantic alignment among communicating agents constrained by social and cognitive pressures. We use our model to analyze the effects of social stratification and a local transmission bottleneck on the coordination of meaning in isolated dyads. The analysis suggests that the traditional approach to learning—understood as inferring prescribed meaning from observations—can be viewed as a special case of semantic alignment, manifesting itself in the behaviour of socially imbalanced dyads put under mild pressure of a local transmission bottleneck. Other parametrizations of the model yield different long-term effects, including lack of convergence or convergence on simple meanings only.
  • Starting to get back to the JuryRoom app. I need a better way to get the data parts up and running. This tutorial seems to have a minimal piece that works with PHP. That may be for the best since this looks like a solo effort for the foreseeable future
  • Proposal
    • Cut implementation down to proof-of-concept?
    • We are keeping the ASRC format
    • Got Dr. Lee’s contribution
    • And a lot of writing and figuring out of things

Phil 12.12.17

7:00 – 3:30 ASRC MKT

  • Need to make sure that an amplified agent also has amplified influence in calculating velocity – Fixed
  • Towards the end of this video is an interview with Ian Couzin talking about how mass communication is disrupting our ability to flock ‘correctly’ due to the decoupling of distance and information
  • Write up fire stampede. Backups everywhere, one hole, antennas burn so the AI keeps trust in A* but loses awareness as the antennas burn: “The Los Angeles Police Department asked drivers to avoid navigation apps, which are steering users onto more open routes — in this case, streets in the neighborhoods that are on fire.” [LA Times] Also this slow motion version of the same thing: For the Good of Society — and Traffic! — Delete Your Map App
  • First self-driving car ‘race’ ends in a crash at the Buenos Aires Formula E ePrix; two cars enter, one car survives
  • Taking a closer look at Oscillator Models and Collective Motion (178 Citations) and Consensus and Cooperation in Networked Multi-Agent Systems (6,291 Citations)
  • Consensus and Cooperation in Networked Multi-Agent Systems
    • Reza Olfati-SaberAlex Fax, and Richard M. Murray
    • We discuss the connections between consensus problems in networked dynamic systems and diverse applications including synchronization of coupled oscillators, flocking, formation control, fast consensus in small world networks, Markov processes and gossip-based algorithms, load balancing in networks, rendezvous in space, distributed sensor fusion in sensor networks, and belief propagation. We establish direct connections between spectral and structural properties of complex networks and the speed of information diffusion of consensus algorithms (Abstract)
    • In networks of agents (or dynamic systems), “consensus” means to reach an agreement regarding a certain quantity of interest that depends on the state of all agents. A “consensus algorithm” (or protocol) is an interaction rule that specifies the information exchange between an agent and all of its (nearest) neighbors on the network (pp 215)
      • In my work, this is agreement on heading and velocity
    • Graph Laplacians are an important point of focus of this paper. It is worth mentioning that the second smallest eigenvalue of graph Laplacians called algebraic connectivity quantifies the speed of convergence of consensus algorithms. (pp 216)
    • More recently, there has been a tremendous surge of interest among researchers from various disciplines of engineering and science in problems related to multi-agent networked systems with close ties to consensus problems. This includes subjects such as consensus [26]–[32], collective behavior of flocks and swarms [19], [33]–[37], sensor fusion [38]–[40], random networks [41], [42], synchronization of coupled oscillators [42]–[46], algebraic connectivity of complex networks [47]–[49], asynchronous distributed algorithms [30], [50], formation control for multi-robot systems [51]–[59], optimization-based cooperative control [60]–[63], dynamic graphs [64]–[67], complexity of coordinated tasks [68]–[71], and consensus-based belief propagation in Bayesian networks [72], [73]. (pp 216)
      • That is a dense lit review. How did they order it thematically?
    • A byproduct of this framework is to demonstrate that seemingly different consensus algorithms in the literature [10], [12]–[15] are closely related. (pp 216)
    • To understand the role of cooperation in performing coordinated tasks, we need to distinguish between unconstrained and constrained consensus problems. An unconstrained consensus problem is simply the alignment problem in which it suffices that the state of all agents asymptotically be the same. In contrast, in distributed computation of a function f(z), the state of all agents has to asymptotically become equal to f(z), meaning that the consensus problem is constrained. We refer to this constrained consensus problem as the f-consensus problem. (pp 217)
      • Normal exploring/flocking/stampeding is unconstrained. Herding adds constraint, though it’s dynamic. The variables that have to be manipulated in the case of constraint to result in the same amount of consensus are probably what’s interesting here. Examples could be how ‘loud’ does the herder have to be? Also, how ‘primed’ does the population have to be to accept herding?
    • …cooperation can be informally interpreted as “giving consent to providing one’s state and following a common protocol that serves the group objective.” (pp 217)
    • Formal analysis of the behavior of systems that involve more than one type of agent is more complicated, particularly, in presence of adversarial agents in noncooperative games [79], [80]. (pp 217)
    • The reason matrix theory [81] is so widely used in analysis of consensus algorithms [10], [12], [13], [14], [15], [64] is primarily due to the structure of P in (4) and its connection to graphs. (pp 218)
    • The role of consensus algorithms in particle based flocking is for an agent to achieve velocity matching with respect to its neighbors. In [19], it is demonstrated that flocks are networks of dynamic systems with a dynamic topology. This topology is a proximity graph that depends on the state of all agents and is determined locally for each agent, i.e., the topology of flocks is a state dependent graph. The notion of state-dependent graphs was introduced by Mesbahi [64] in a context that is independent of flocking. (pp 218)
      • They leave out heading alignment here. Deliberate? Or is heading alignment just another variant on velocity
    • Consider a network of decision-making agents with dynamics ẋi = ui interested in reaching a consensus via local communication with their neighbors on a graph G = (V, E). By reaching a consensus, we mean asymptotically converging to a one-dimensional agreement space characterized by the following equation: x1 = x2 = … = x (pp 219)
    • A dynamic graph G(t) = (V, E(t)) is a graph in which the set of edges E(t) and the adjacency matrix A(t) are time-varying. Clearly, the set of neighbors Ni(t) of every agent in a dynamic graph is a time-varying set as well. Dynamic graphs are useful for describing the network topology of mobile sensor networks and flocks [19]. (pp 219)
    • GraphLaplacianGradientDescent(pp 220)
  • algebraic connectivity of a graph: The algebraic connectivity (also known as Fiedler value or Fiedler eigenvalue) of a graph G is the second-smallest eigenvalue of the Laplacian matrix of G.[1] This eigenvalue is greater than 0 if and only if G is a connected graph. This is a corollary to the fact that the number of times 0 appears as an eigenvalue in the Laplacian is the number of connected components in the graph. The magnitude of this value reflects how well connected the overall graph is. It has been used in analysing the robustness and synchronizability of networks. (wikipedia) (pp 220)
  • According to Gershgorin theorem [81], all eigenvalues of L in the complex plane are located in a closed disk centered at delta + 0j with a radius of delta, the maximum degree of a graph (pp 220)
    • This is another measure that I can do of the nomad/flock/stampede structures combined with DBSCAN. Each agent knows what agents it is connected with, and we know how many agents there are. Each agent row should just have the number of agents it is connected to.
  • In many scenarios, networked systems can possess a dynamic topology that is time-varying due to node and link failures/creations, packet-loss [40], [98], asynchronous consensus [41], state-dependence [64], formation reconfiguration [53], evolution [96], and flocking [19], [99]. Networked systems with a dynamic topology are commonly known as switching networks. (pp 226)
  • Conclusion: A theoretical framework was provided for analysis of consensus algorithms for networked multi-agent systems with fixed or dynamic topology and directed information flow. The connections between consensus problems and several applications were discussed that include synchronization of coupled oscillators, flocking, formation control, fast consensus in small-world networks, Markov processes and gossip-based algorithms, load balancing in networks, rendezvous in space, distributed sensor fusion in sensor networks, and belief propagation. The role of “cooperation” in distributed coordination of networked autonomous systems was clarified and the effects of lack of cooperation was demonstrated by an example. It was demonstrated that notions such as graph Laplacians, nonnegative stochasticmatrices, and algebraic connectivity of graphs and digraphs play an instrumental role in analysis of consensus algorithms. We proved that algorithms introduced by Jadbabaie et al. and Fax and Murray are identical for graphs with n self-loops and are both special cases of the consensus algorithm of Olfati-Saber and Murray. The notion of Perron matrices was introduced as the discrete-time counterpart of graph Laplacians in consensus protocols. A number of fundamental spectral properties of Perron matrices were proved. This led to a unified framework for expression and analysis of consensus algorithms in both continuous-time and discrete-time. Simulation results for reaching a consensus in small-worlds versus lattice-type nearest-neighbor graphs and cooperative control of multivehicle formations were presented. (pp 231)
  • Not sure about this one. It just may be another set of algorithms to do flocking. Maybe some network implications? Flocking for Multi-Agent Dynamic Systems: Algorithms and Theory. It is one of the papers that the Consensus and Cooperation paper above leans on heavily though…
  • The Emergence of Consensus: A Primer
    • The origin of population-scale coordination has puzzled philosophers and scientists for centuries. Recently, game theory, evolutionary approaches and complex systems science have provided quantitative insights on the mechanisms of social consensus. However, the literature is vast and scattered widely across fields, making it hard for the single researcher to navigate it. This short review aims to provide a compact overview of the main dimensions over which the debate has unfolded and to discuss some representative examples. It focuses on those situations in which consensus emerges ‘spontaneously’ in absence of centralised institutions and covers topic that include the macroscopic consequences of the different microscopic rules of behavioural contagion, the role of social networks, and the mechanisms that prevent the formation of a consensus or alter it after it has emerged. Special attention is devoted to the recent wave of experiments on the emergence of consensus in social systems.
  • Critical dynamics in population vaccinating behavior
    • Complex adaptive systems exhibit characteristic dynamics near tipping points such as critical slowing down (declining resilience to perturbations). We studied Twitter and Google search data about measles from California and the United States before and after the 2014–2015 Disneyland, California measles outbreak. We find critical slowing down starting a few years before the outbreak. However, population response to the outbreak causes resilience to increase afterward. A mathematical model of measles transmission and population vaccine sentiment predicts the same patterns. Crucially, critical slowing down begins long before a system actually reaches a tipping point. Thus, it may be possible to develop analytical tools to detect populations at heightened risk of a future episode of widespread vaccine refusal.
  • For Aaron’s Social Gradient Descent Agent research (lit review)
    • On distributed search in an uncertain environment (Something like Social Gradient Descent Agents)
      • The paper investigates the case where N agents solve a complex search problem by communicating to each other their relative successes in solving the task. The problem consists in identifying a set of unknown points distributed in an n–dimensional space. The interaction rule causes the agents to organize themselves so that, asymptotically, each agent converges to a different point. The emphasis of this paper is on analyzing the collective dynamics resulting from nonlinear interactions and, in particular, to prove convergence of the search process.
    • A New Clustering Algorithm Based Upon Flocking On Complex Network (Sizing and timing for flocking systems seems to be ok?)
      • We have proposed a model based upon flocking on a complex network, and then developed two clustering algorithms on the basis of it. In the algorithms, firstly a k-nearest neighbor (knn) graph as a weighted and directed graph is produced among all data points in a dataset each of which is regarded as an agent who can move in space, and then a time-varying complex network is created by adding long-range links for each data point. Furthermore, each data point is not only acted by its k nearest neighbors but also r long-range neighbors through fields established in space by them together, so it will take a step along the direction of the vector sum of all fields. It is more important that these long-range links provides some hidden information for each data point when it moves and at the same time accelerate its speed converging to a center. As they move in space according to the proposed model, data points that belong to the same class are located at a same position gradually, whereas those that belong to different classes are away from one another. Consequently, the experimental results have demonstrated that data points in datasets are clustered reasonably and efficiently, and the rates of convergence of clustering algorithms are fast enough. Moreover, the comparison with other algorithms also provides an indication of the effectiveness of the proposed approach.
  • Done with the first draft of the white paper! And added the RFP section to the LMN productization version
  • Amazon Sage​Maker: Amazon SageMaker is a fully managed machine learning service. With Amazon SageMaker, data scientists and developers can quickly and easily build and train machine learning models, and then directly deploy them into a production-ready hosted environment. It provides an integrated Jupyter authoring notebook instance for easy access to your data sources for exploration and analysis, so you don’t have to manage servers. It also provides common machine learning algorithms that are optimized to run efficiently against extremely large data in a distributed environment. With native support for bring-your-own-algorithms and frameworks, Amazon SageMaker offers flexible distributed training options that adjust to your specific workflows. Deploy a model into a secure and scalable environment by launching it with a single click from the Amazon SageMaker console. Training and hosting are billed by minutes of usage, with no minimum fees and no upfront commitments. (from the documentation)

4:00 – 5:00 Meeting with Aaron M. to discuss Academic RB wishlist.

Phil 12.1.17

7:00 – 4:30 ASRC MKT

ZeynepWeb1-3

  • High-Resolution Image Synthesis and Semantic Manipulation with Conditional GANs. This shows NNs filling in slots in semantic maps (which are actually semantic mattes, and not to be confused with earlier self-organizing semantic maps). How is this with other, more linear processes like sound and narrative?
  • Continuing Alignment in social interactions here.
  • People flock in computer mediated environments: Spontaneous flocking in human groups
  • Schooling as a strategy for taxis in a noisy environment
    • Daniel Grunbaum
    • Abstract
      • A common strategy to overcome this problem is taxis, a behaviour in which an animal performs a biased random walk by changing direction more rapidly when local conditions are getting worse.
        • Consider voters switching from Bush->Obama->Trump
      • Such an animal spends more time moving in right directions than wrong ones, and eventually gets to a favourable area. Taxis is ineffcient, however, when environmental gradients are weak or overlain by `noisy’ small-scale fluctuations. In this paper, I show that schooling behaviour can improve the ability of animals performing taxis to climb gradients, even under conditions when asocial taxis would be ineffective. Schooling is a social behaviour incorporating tendencies to remain close to and align with fellow members of a group. It enhances taxis because the alignment tendency produces tight angular distributions within groups, and dampens the stochastic effects of individual sampling errors. As a result, more school members orient up-gradient than in the comparable asocial case. However, overly strong schooling behaviour makes the school slow in responding to changing gradient directions. This trade-off suggests an optimal level of schooling behaviour for given spatio-temporal scales of environmental variations.
        • This has implications for everything from human social interaction to ANN design.
    • Notes
      • Because limiting resources typically have `patchy’ distributions in which concentrations may vary by orders of magnitude, success or failure in finding favourable areas often has an enormous impact on growth rates and reproductive success. To locate resource concentrations, many aquatic organisms display tactic behaviours, in which they orient with respect to local variations in chemical stimuli or other environmental properties. (pp 503)
      • Here, I propose that schooling behaviours improve the tactic capabilities of school members, and enable them to climb faint and noisy gradients which they would otherwise be unable to follow. (pp 504)
      • Schooling is thought to result from two principal behavioural components: (1) tendencies to move towards neighbours when isolated, and away from them when too close, so that the group retains a characteristic level of compactness; and (2) tendencies to align orientation with those of neighbours, so that nearby animals have similar directions of travel and the group as a whole exhibits a directional polarity. (pp 504)
        • My models indicate that attraction isn’t required, as long as there is a distance-graded awareness. In other words, you align most strongly with those agents that are closest.
      • I focus in this paper on schooling in aquatic animals, and particularly on phytoplankton as a distributed resource. However, although I do not examine them specifically, the modelling approaches and the basic results apply more generally to other environmental properties (such as temperature), to other causes of population movement (such as migration) and to other socially aggregating species which form polarized groups (such as flocks, herds and swarms). (pp 504)
      • Under these circumstances, the search of a nektonic filter-feeder for large-scale concentrations of phytoplankton is analogous to the behaviour of a bacterium performing chemotaxis. The essence of the analogy is that, while higher animals have much more sophisticated sensory and cognitive capacities, the scale at which they sample their environment is too small to identify accurately the true gradient. (pp 505)
        • And, I would contend for determining optimal social interactions in large groups.
      • Bacteria using chemotaxis usually do not directly sense the direction of the gradient. Instead, they perform random walks in which they change direction more often or by a greater amount if conditions are deteriorating than if they are improving (Keller and Segel, 1971; Alt, 1980; Tranquillo, 1990). Thus, on average, individuals spend more time moving in favourable directions than in unfavourable ones. (pp 505)
      • A bacterial analogy has been applied to a variety of behaviours in more complex organisms, such as spatially varying di€usion rates due to foraging behaviours or food-handling in copepods and larval ®sh (Davis et al., 1991), migration patterns in tuna (Mullen, 1989) and restricted area searching in ladybugs (Kareiva and Odell, 1987) and seabirds (Veit et al., 1993, 1995). The analogy provides for these higher animals a quantitative prediction of distribution patterns and abilities to locate resources at large space and time scales, based on measurable characteristics of small-scale movements. (pp 505)
      • I do not consider more sophisticated (and possibly more effective) social tactic algorithms, in which explicit information about the environment at remote points is actively or passively transmitted between individuals, or in which individual algorithms (such as slowing down when in relatively high concentrations) cause the group to function as a single sensing unit (Kils, 1986, described in Pitcher and Parrish, 1993). (pp 506)
        • This is something that could be easily added to the model. There could be a multiplier for each data cell that acts as a velocity scalar of the flock. That should have significant effects! This could also be applied to gradient descent. The flock of Gradient Descent Agents (GDAs) could have a higher speed across the fitness landscape, but slow and change direction when a better value is found by one of the GDAs. It occurs to me that this would work with a step function, as long as the baseline of the flock is sufficiently broad.
      • When the noise predominates (d <= 1), the angular distribution of individuals is nearly uniform, and the up-gradient velocity is near zero. In a range of intermediate values of d(0.3 <= d <= 3), there is measurable but slow movement up-gradient. The question I will address in the next two sections is: Can individuals in this intermediate signal-to-noise range with slow gradient-climbing rates improve their tactic ability by adopting a social behaviour (i.e. schooling)? (pp 508)
      • The key attributes of these models are: (1) a decreasing probability of detection or responsiveness to neighbours at large separation distances; (2) a social response that includes some sort of switch from attractive to repulsive interactions with neighbours, mediated by either separation distance or local density of animals*; and (3) a tendency to align with neighbours (Inagaki et al., 1976; Matuda and Sannomiya, 1980, 1985; Aoki, 1982; Huth and Wissel, 1990, 1992; Warburton and Lazarus, 1991; Grunbaum, 1994). (pp 508)
        • Though not true of belief behavior (multiple individuals can share the same belief), for a Gradient Descent Agent (GDA), the idea of attraction/repulsion may be important.
      • If the number of neighbours is within an acceptable range, then the individual does not respond to them. On the other hand, if the number is outside that range, the individual turns by a small amount, Δθ3, to the left or right according to whether it has too many or too few of them and which side has more neighbours. In addition, at each time step, each individual randomly chooses one of its visible neighbours and turns by a small amount, Δθ4, towards that neighbour’s heading. (pp 508)
      • The results of simulations based on these rules show that schooling individuals, on average, move more directly in an up-gradient direction than asocial searchers with the same tactic parameters. Figure 4 shows the distribution of individuals in simulations of asocial and social taxis in a periodic domain (i.e. animals crossing the right boundary re-enter the left boundary, etc.). (pp 509)
      • Gradient Schooling
      • As predicted by Equation (5), asocial taxis results in a broad distribution of orientations, with a peak in the up-gradient (positive x-axis) direction but with a large fraction of individuals moving the wrong way at any given time (Fig. 5a,b). By comparison, schooling individuals tend to align with one another, forming a group with a tightened angular distribution. There is stochasticity in the average velocity of both asocial and social searchers (Fig. 5c). On average, however, schooling individuals move up-gradient faster and more directly than asocial ones. These simulation results demonstrate that it is theoretically possible to devise tactic search strategies utilizing social behaviours that are superior to asocial algorithms. That is, one of the advantages of schooling is that, potentially, it allows more successful search strategies under `noisy’ environmental conditions, where variations on the micro-scales at which animals sense their environment obscure the macro-scale gradients between ecologically favourable and unfavourable regions. (pp 510)
      • School-size effects must depend to some extent on the tactic and schooling algorithms, and the choices of parameters. However, underlying social taxis are the statistics of pooling outcomes of independent decisions, so the numerical dependence on school size may operate in a similar manner for many comparable behavioural schemes. For example, it seems reasonable to expect that, in many alternative schooling and tactic algorithms, decisions made collectively by less than 10 individuals would show some improvement over the asocial case but also retain much of the variability. Similarly, in most scenarios, group statistics probably vary only slowly with group size once it reaches sizes of 50-100. (pp 514)
      • when group size becomes large, the behaviour of model schools changes in character. With numerous individuals, stochasticity in the behaviour of each member has a relatively weaker effect on group motion. The behaviour of the group as a whole becomes more consistent and predictable, for longer time periods. (pp 514)
        • I think that this should be true in belief spaces as well. It may be difficult to track one person’s trajectory, but a group in aggregate, particularly a polarized group may be very detectable.
      • An example of group response to changing gradient direction shows that there can be a cost to strong alignment tendency. In this example, the gradient is initially pointed in the negative y-direction (Fig. 9). After an initial period of 5 time units, during which the gradient orients perpendicularly to the x-axis, the gradient reverts to the usual x-direction orientation. The school must then adjust to its new surroundings by shifting to climb the new gradient. This example shows that alignment works against course adjustment: the stronger the tendency to align, the slower is the group’s reorientation to the new gradient direction. This is apparently due to a non-linear interaction between alignment and taxis: asymmetries in the angular distribution during the transition create a net alignment flux away from the gradient direction. Thus, individuals that pay too much attention to neighbours, and allow alignment to overwhelm their tactic tendencies, may travel rapidly and persistently in the wrong direction. (pp 516)
        • So, if alignment (and velocity matching) are strong enough, the conditions for a stampede (group behavior with negative outcomes – in this case, less food) emerge
      • The models also suggest that there is a trade-off in strengthening tendencies to align with neighbours: strong alignment produces tight angular distributions, but increases the time needed to adjust course when the direction of the gradient changes. A reasonable balance seems to be achieved when individuals take roughly the same time to coalesce into a polarized group as they do to orient to the gradient in asocial taxis. (pp 518)
        • There is something about the relationship between explore and exploit in this statement that I really need to think about.
      • Social taxis is potentially effective in animals whose resources vary substantially over large length scales and for whom movements over these scales are possible. (pp 518)
        • Surviving as a social animal requires staying in the group. Since belief can cover wide ranges (e.g. religion), does there need to be a mechanism where individuals can harmonize their beliefs? From Social Norms and Other Minds The Evolutionary Roots of Higher Cognition :  Field research on primate societies in the wild and in captivity clearly shows that the capacity for (at least) implicit appreciation of permission, prohibition, and obligation social norms is directly related to survival rates and reproductive success. Without at least a rudimentary capacity to recognize and respond appropriately to these structures, remaining within a social group characterized by a dominance hierarchy would be all but impossible.
      • Interestingly, krill have been reported to school until a food patch has been discovered, whereupon they disperse to feed, consistent with a searching function for schooling. The apparent effectiveness of schooling as a strategy for taxis suggests that these schooling animals may be better able to climb obscure large-scale gradients than they would were they asocial. Interactive effects of taxis and sociality may affect the evolutionary value of larger groups both directly, by improving foraging ability with group size, and indirectly, by constraining alignment rates. (pp 518)
      • An example where sociality directly affects foraging strategy is forage area copying, in which unsuccessful fish move to the vicinity of neighbours that are observed to be foraging successfully (Pitcher et al., 1982; Ranta and Kaitala, 1991; Pitcher and Parrish, 1993). Pitcher and House (1987) interpreted area copying in goldfish as the result of a two-stage decision process: (1) a decision to stay put or move depending on whether feeding rate is high or low; and (2) a decision to join neighbours or not based upon whether or not further solitary searching is successful. Similar group dynamics have been observed in foraging seabirds (Porter and Seally, 1982; Haney et al., 1992).
      • Synchrokinesis depends upon the school having a relatively large spatial extent: part of a migrating school encounters an especially favourable or unfavourable area. The response of that section of the school is propagated throughout the school by alignment and grouping behaviours, with the result that the school as a whole is more effective at route-finding than isolated individuals. Forage area copying and synchrokinesis are distinct from social taxis in that an individual discovers and reacts to an environmental feature or resource, and fellow group members exploit that discovery. In social taxis, no individual need ever have greater knowledge about the environment than any other — social taxis is essentially bound up in the statistics of pooling the outcomes of many unreliable decisions. Synchrokinesis and social taxis are complementary mechanisms and may be expected to co-occur in migrating and gradient-climbing schools. (pp 519)
      • For example, in the comparisons of taxis among groups of various sizes, the most successful individuals were in the asocial simulation, even though as a fraction of the entire population they were vanishingly small. (pp 519)
        • Explorers have the highest payoff for the highest risks
  • Continuing white paper. Done with intro, background, and phase 1
  • Intel-powered AI Helps Fight Fraud