Category Archives: proposals

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 11.5.18

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 10.29.18

7:00 – 5:00 ASRC PhD

  • This looks like a Big Deal from Google – Working together to apply AI for social good
    • Google.org is issuing an open call to organizations around the world to submit their ideas for how they could use AI to help address societal challenges. Selected organizations will receive support from Google’s AI experts, Google.org grant funding from a $25M pool, credit and consulting from Google Cloud, and more.
    • We look forward to receiving your application on or before 11:59 p.m. PT on January 22, 2019, and we encourage you to apply early given that we expect high volume within the last few hours of the application window. Thank you!
    • Application Guide
    • Application form (can’t save, compose offline using guide, above)
  • Finished my writeup on Meltdown
  • Waiting for a response from Antonio
  • Meeting with Don at 9:00 to discuss BAA partnership.
    • Don is comfortable with being PI or co-PI, whichever works best. When we call technical POCs, we speak on his behalf
    • We discussed how he could participate with the development of theoretical models based on signed graph Laplacians creating structures that can move in belief space. He thinks the idea has merit, and can put in up to 30% of his time on mathematical models and writing
    • ASRC has already partnered with UMBC. ASRC would sub to UMBC
    • Ordinarily, IP is distributed proportional to the charged hours
    • Don has access to other funding vehicles that can support the Army BAA, but this would make things more complicated. These should be discussed if we can’t make a “clean” agreement that meets our funding needs
  • Pinged Brian about his defense.
  • Some weekend thoughts
    • Opinion dynamics systems describe how communication within a network occurs, but disregards the motion of the network as a whole. In cases when the opinions converge, the network is stiff.
    • Graph laplacians could model “othering” by having negative weights. It looks like these are known as signed laplacians, and useful to denote difference. The trick is to discover the equations of motion. How do you model a “social particle”?
  • Just discovered the journal Swarm Intelligence
    • Swarm Intelligence is the principal peer reviewed publication dedicated to reporting research and new developments in this multidisciplinary field. The journal publishes original research articles and occasional reviews on theoretical, experimental, and practical aspects of swarm intelligence. It offers readers reports on advances in the understanding and utilization of systems that are based on the principles of swarm intelligence. Emphasis is given to such topics as the modeling and analysis of collective biological systems; application of biological swarm intelligence models to real-world problems; and theoretical and empirical research in ant colony optimization, particle swarm optimization, swarm robotics, and other swarm intelligence algorithms. Articles often combine experimental and theoretical work.
  • I think it’s time to start ramping up on the text generation!
      • Updated my home box to tensorflow 1.11.0. Testing to see if it still works using the Deep Learning with Keras simple_nueral_net.py example. Hasn’t broken (yet…), but is taking a long time… Worked! And it’s much faster the second time. Don’t know why that is and can’t find anything online that talks to that.
        Loss: 0.5043802047491074
        Accuracy: 0.8782
        Time =  211.42629722093085
      • Found this keras example for generating Nietsche

     

    • Trying it out. This may be a overnight run… But it is running.
  • Had a good discussion with Aaron about how mapmaking could be framed as an ML problem. More writeup tomorrow.

Phil 10.16.18

7:00 – 4:00 ASRC DARPA

  • Steve had some good questions about quantitative measures:
    • I think there are some good answers that we can provide here on determining the quality of maps. The number of users is an educated guess though. In my simulations, I can generate enough information to create maps using about 100 samples per agent. I’m working on a set of experiments that will produce “nosier” data that will provide a better estimate, but that won’t be ready until December. So we can say that “simulations indicate that approximately 100 users will have to interact through a total of 100 threaded posts to produce meaningful maps”
    • With respect to the maps themselves, we can determine quality in four ways. The mechanism for making this comparison will be bootstrap sampling (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bootstrapping_(statistics)), which is an extremely effective way of comparing two unknown distributions. In our case, the distribution will be the coordinate of each topic in the embedding space.
      1. Repeatability: Can multiple maps generated on the same data set be made to align? Embedding algorithms often start with random values. As such embeddings that are similar may appear different because they have different orientations. To determine similarity we would apply a least-squares transformation of one map with respect to the other. Once complete, we would expect a greater than 90% match between the two maps in success.
      2. Resolution: What is the smallest level of detail that can be rendered accurately? We will be converting words into topics and then placing the topics in an embedding space. As described in the document, we expect to do this with Non-Negative Matrix Factorization (NMF). If we factor the all discussions down to a single topic (i.e. “words”), then we will have a single point map that can always be rendered with 100% repeatability, but it has 0% precision. If, on the other hand, we can place every word in every discussion on the map, but the relationships are different every time, then we can have 100% precision, but 0% repeatability. As we cluster terms together, we need to compare repeated runs to see that we get similar clusters each time. We need to find the level of abstraction that will give us a high level of repeatability. A 90% match is our expectation.
      3. Responsiveness: Maps change over time. A common example is a weather map, though political maps shift borders and physical maps reflect geographic activity like shoreline erosion. This duration may reflect the accuracy of the map, with slow change happening across large scales while rapid changes are visible at higher resolutions. A change at the limit of resolution should ideally be reflected immediately in the map and not adjust the surrounding areas.
  • More frantic flailing to meet the deadline. DONE!!!

4:00 – 5:30 Antonio Workshop

Phil 10.15.18

7:00 – ASRC BD

  • Heard about some interesting things this morning on BBC Business Daily – Is the Internet Fit for Purpose?:
    • Future in Review Conference: The leading global conference on the intersection of technology and the economy. New partnerships, projects, and plans you can’t afford to miss. If your success depends on having an accurate view of the future, or you’d like to meet others who are able and motivated to forge action-based alliances, this is the most important conference you will attend. Be one of the thought leaders in the FiRe conversation, analyzing and creating the future of technology, economics, pure science, the environment, genomics, education, and more.
    • Berit Anderson. Created the science fact/fiction magazine Scout, which, interestingly enough, has a discussion space for JuryRoom-style questions
  • More DARPA proposal

Phil 8.11.18

7:00 – ASRC BD

  • Finishing up notes on the Evolution of Cooperation
  • More proposal writing. Come at it from the creation of belief space maps, the benefits they provide in uncertain information (prediction, known topography, etc), what it takes to create them, and how they integrate with GIS
  • 10:00 – 12:00 Will’s proposal
  • haircut!
  • 4:00 flu shot
  • plot2In this codebook we will investigate the macro-structure of philosophical literature. As a base for our investigation I have collected about fifty-thousand records from the Web of Science collection, spanning from the late forties to this very day.

Phil 10.5.18

7:00 – 5:00 ASRC MKT

  • Seasucker.com for roof racks?
  • Continuing to write up notes from At Home in the Universe.
  • Discussion with Matt about the deliverables for the Serial Interactions in Imperfect Information Games Applied to Complex Military Decision-Making (SI3-CMD) request
  • DARPA proposal template
  • Resized images for Aaron
  • Biodiversity and the Balance of Nature
    • As we destroy biological diversity, what else are we doing to the environment, what is being changed, and how will those changes affect us? One part of the answers to these questions is provided by Lawton and Brown’s consideration of redundancy (Chap. 12). Part of what the environment does for us involves “ecosystem services” — the movement of energy and nutrients through the air, water, and land, and through the food chains (Ehrlich, Foreword). Just how much biological diversity we need to keep the movement at approximately natural levels is a question of critical importance. Nonetheless, it is not a question that is commonly asked. A major synthesis of theories on the dynamics of nutrient cycling (DeAngelis 1991) devotes little space to the consequences of changes in the numbers of species per trophic level: It is the number of trophic levels that receives the attention. One might well conclude that, over broad limits, ecosystem services will continue to be provided, so long as there are some plants, some animals, some decomposers, and so on. Lawton and Brown conclude that numerous species are redundant.

Phil 10.4.18

7:00 – 5:30 ASRC MKT

  • Join PCA! Write classified! Done
  • There are 56 work days until Jan 1. My 400 hours is 50 days. So I go full time on research around the 22nd.
  • Got a note from Wayne saying that there were 25 blue sky papers and 3 slots. THat might me expanded to 6 slots
  • Write up notes on “At Home in the Universe” – started
  • Finish speaking notes for BAA – Done
  • Matt found a couple of things that might be good. One is due on October 16th, which is waaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy too tight.
  • Looked at the Health.mil Connected Health clearinghouse effort and website. It sounds a lot like a military version of PubMed, with the ability to request reports on demand, plus some standardized reports as well. These reports seem to source back to other agencies like the CDC, with external SMEs.

Phil 8.12.18

7:00 – 4:00 ASRC MKT

  • Having an interesting chat on recommenders with Robin Berjon on Twitter
  • Long, but looks really good Neural Processes as distributions over functions
    • Neural Processes (NPs) caught my attention as they essentially are a neural network (NN) based probabilistic model which can represent a distribution over stochastic processes. So NPs combine elements from two worlds:
      • Deep Learning – neural networks are flexible non-linear functions which are straightforward to train
      • Gaussian Processes – GPs offer a probabilistic framework for learning a distribution over a wide class of non-linear functions

      Both have their advantages and drawbacks. In the limited data regime, GPs are preferable due to their probabilistic nature and ability to capture uncertainty. This differs from (non-Bayesian) neural networks which represent a single function rather than a distribution over functions. However the latter might be preferable in the presence of large amounts of data as training NNs is computationally much more scalable than inference for GPs. Neural Processes aim to combine the best of these two worlds.

  • How The Internet Talks (Well, the mostly young and mostly male users of Reddit, anyway)
    • To get a sense of the language used on Reddit, we parsed every comment since late 2007 and built the tool above, which enables you to search for a word or phrase to see how its popularity has changed over time. We’ve updated the tool to include all comments through the end of July 2017.
  • Add breadcrumbs to slides
  • Download videos – done! Put these in the ppt backup
  • Fix the DTW emergent population chart on the poster and in the slides. Print!
  • Set up the LaTex Army BAA framework
  • Olsson
  • Slide walkthough. Good timing. Working on the poster some more AdversarialHerding2

Phil 6.6.18

7:00 – 4:30 ASRC MKT

  • Finished the white paper
  • Peer review of Dr. Li’s AIMS work
  • Computational Propaganda in the United States of America: Manufacturing Consensus Online
    • Do bots have the capacity to influence the flow of political information over social media? This working paper answers this question through two methodological avenues: A) a qualitative analysis of how political bots were used to support United States presidential candidates and campaigns during the 2016 election, and B) a network analysis of bot influence on Twitter during the same event. Political bots are automated software programs that operate on social media, written to mimic real people in order to manipulate public opinion. The qualitative findings are based upon nine months of fieldwork on the campaign trail, including interviews with bot makers, digital campaign strategists, security consultants, campaign staff, and party officials. During the 2016 campaign, a bipartisan range of domestic and international political actors made use of political bots. The Republican Party, including both self-proclaimed members of the “alt-right” and mainstream members, made particular use of these digital political tools throughout the election. Meanwhile, public conversation from campaigners and government representatives is inconsistent about the political influence of bots. This working paper provides ethnographic evidence that bots affect information flows in two key ways: 1) by “manufacturing consensus,” or giving the illusion of significant online popularity in order to build real political support, and 2) by democratizing propaganda through enabling nearly anyone to amplify online interactions for partisan ends. We supplement these findings with a quantitative network analysis of the influence bots achieved within retweet networks of over 17 million tweets, collected during the 2016 US election. The results of this analysis confirm that bots reached positions of measurable influence during the 2016 US election. Ultimately, therefore, we find that bots did affect the flow of information during this particular event. This mixed methods approach shows that bots are not only emerging as a widely-accepted tool of computational propaganda used by campaigners and citizens, but also that bots can influence political processes of global significance.

Phil 6.5.18

7:00 – 6:00 ASRC

  • Read the SASO comments. Most are pretty good. My reviewer #2 was #3 this time. There is some rework that’s needed. Most of the comments are good, even the angry ones from #3, which are mostly “where is particle swarm optimization???”
  • Got an example quad chart from Helena that I’m going to base mine on
  • Neat thing from Brian F: grayson-map-2
  • Lots. Of. White. Paper.

Phil 6.4.18

7:00 – 4:00 ASRC MKT

  • Got accepted to SASO!
  • Listening to a show about energy in bitcoin mining. There are ramifications to AI, since that’s also expensive processing.
  • Thinking about the ramifications of ‘defect always’ emerging in a society.
  • More Bit by Bit
  • Quad chart
  • Fika

Phil 6.1.18

7:00 – 6:00 ASRC MKT

  • Bot stampede reaction to “evolution” in a thread about UNIX. This is in this case posting scentiment against the wrong thing. There are layers here though. It can also be advertising. Sort of the dark side of diversity injection.
  • Seems like an explore/exploit morning
  • Autism on “The Leap”: Neurotypical and Neurodivergent (Neurodiversity)
  • From a BBC Business Daily show on Elon Musk
    • Thomas Astebro (Decision Science): The return to independent invention: evidence of unrealistic optimism, risk seeking or skewness loving? 
      • Examining a sample of 1,091 inventions I investigate the magnitude and distribution of the pre‐tax internal rate of return (IRR) to inventive activity. The average IRR on a portfolio investment in these inventions is 11.4%. This is higher than the risk‐free rate but lower than the long‐run return on high‐risk securities and the long‐run return on early‐stage venture capital funds. The portfolio IRR is significantly higher, for some ex anteidentifiable classes of inventions. The distribution of return is skew: only between 7‐9% reach the market. Of the 75 inventions that did, six realised returns above 1400%, 60% obtained negative returns and the median was negative.
  • Myth of first mover advantage
    • Conventional wisdom would have us believe that it is always beneficial to be first – first in, first to market, first in class. The popular business literature is full of support for being first and legions of would-be business leaders, steeped in the Jack Welch school of business strategy, will argue this to be the case. The advantages accorded to those who are first to market defines the concept of First Mover Advantage (FMA). We outline why this is not the case, and in fact, that there are conditions of applicability in order for FMA to hold (and these conditions often do not hold). We also show that while there can be advantages to being first, from an economic perspective, the costs generally exceed the benefits, and the full economics of FMA are usually a losing proposition. Finally, we show that increasingly, we live in a world where FMA is eclipsed by innovation and format change, rendering the FMA concept obsolete (i.e. strategic obsolescence).
  • More Bit by Bit
  • Investigating the Effects of Google’s Search Engine Result Page in Evaluating the Credibility of Online News Sources
    • Recent research has suggested that young users are not particularly skilled in assessing the credibility of online content. A follow up study comparing students to fact checkers noticed that students spend too much time on the page itself, while fact checkers performed “lateral reading”, searching other sources. We have taken this line of research one step further and designed a study in which participants were instructed to do lateral reading for credibility assessment by inspecting Google’s search engine result page (SERP) of unfamiliar news sources. In this paper, we summarize findings from interviews with 30 participants. A component of the SERP noticed regularly by the participants is the so-called Knowledge Panel, which provides contextual information about the news source being searched. While this is expected, there are other parts of the SERP that participants use to assess the credibility of the source, for example, the freshness of top stories, the panel of recent tweets, or a verified Twitter account. Given the importance attached to the presence of the Knowledge Panel, we discuss how variability in its content affected participants’ opinions. Additionally, we perform data collection of the SERP page for a large number of online news sources and compare them. Our results indicate that there are widespread inconsistencies in the coverage and quality of information included in Knowledge Panels.
  • White paper
    • Add something about geospatial mapping of belief.
    • Note that belief maps are cultural artifacts, so comparing someone from one belief space to others in a shared physical belief environment can be roughly equivalent to taking the dot product of the belief space vectors that you need to compare. This could produce a global “alignment map” that can suggest how aligned, opposed, or indifferent a population might be with respect to an intervention, ranging from medical (Ebola teams) to military (special forces operations).
      • Similar maps related to wealth in Rwanda based on phone metadata: Blumenstock, Joshua E., Gabriel Cadamuro, and Robert On. 2015. “Predicting Poverty and Wealth from Mobile Phone Metadata.” Science350 (6264):1073–6. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aac4420F2.large
    • Added a section about how mapping belief maps would afford prediction about local belief, since overall state, orientation and velocity could be found for some individuals who are geolocated to that area and then extrapolated over the region.

Phil 5.31.18

7:00 – ASRC MKT

  • Via BBC Business Daily, found this interesting post on diversity injection through lunch table size:
  • KQED is playing America Abroad – today on russian disinfo ops:
    • Sowing Chaos: Russia’s Disinformation Wars 
      • Revelations of Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election were a shock to Americans. But it wasn’t quite as surprising to people in former Soviet states and the EU. For years they’ve been exposed to Russian disinformation and slanted state media; before that Soviet propaganda filtered into the mainstream. We don’t know how effective Russian information warfare was in swaying the US election. But we do know these tactics have roots going back decades and will most likely be used for years to come. This hour, we’ll hear stories of Russian disinformation and attempts to sow chaos in Europe and the United States. We’ll learn how Russia uses its state-run media to give a platform to conspiracy theorists and how it invites viewers to doubt the accuracy of other news outlets. And we’ll look at the evolution of internet trolling from individuals to large troll farms. And — finally — what can be done to counter all this?
  • Some interesting papers on the “Naming Game“, a form of coordination where individuals have to agree on a name for something. This means that there is some kind of dimension reduction involved from all the naming possibilities to the agreed-on name.
    • The Grounded Colour Naming Game
      • Colour naming games are idealised communicative interactions within a population of artificial agents in which a speaker uses a single colour term to draw the attention of a hearer to a particular object in a shared context. Through a series of such games, a colour lexicon can be developed that is sufficiently shared to allow for successful communication, even when the agents start out without any predefined categories. In previous models of colour naming games, the shared context was typically artificially generated from a set of colour stimuli and both agents in the interaction perceive this environment in an identical way. In this paper, we investigate the dynamics of the colour naming game in a robotic setup in which humanoid robots perceive a set of colourful objects from their own perspective. We compare the resulting colour ontologies to those found in human languages and show how these ontologies reflect the environment in which they were developed.
    • Group-size Regulation in Self-Organised Aggregation through the Naming Game
      • In this paper, we study the interaction effect between the naming game and one of the simplest, yet most important collective behaviour studied in swarm robotics: self-organised aggregation. This collective behaviour can be seen as the building blocks for many others, as it is required in order to gather robots, unable to sense their global position, at a single location. Achieving this collective behaviour is particularly challenging, especially in environments without landmarks. Here, we augment a classical aggregation algorithm with a naming game model. Experiments reveal that this combination extends the capabilities of the naming game as well as of aggregation: It allows the emergence of more than one word, and allows aggregation to form a controllable number of groups. These results are very promising in the context of collective exploration, as it allows robots to divide the environment in different portions and at the same time give a name to each portion, which can be used for more advanced subsequent collective behaviours.
  • More Bit by Bit. Could use some worked examples. Also a login so I’m not nagged to buy a book I own.
    • Descriptive and injunctive norms – The transsituational influence of social norms.
      • Three studies examined the behavioral implications of a conceptual distinction between 2 types of social norms: descriptive norms, which specify what is typically done in a given setting, and injunctive norms, which specify what is typically approved in society. Using the social norm against littering, injunctive norm salience procedures were more robust in their behavioral impact across situations than were descriptive norm salience procedures. Focusing Ss on the injunctive norm suppressed littering regardless of whether the environment was clean or littered (Study 1) and regardless of whether the environment in which Ss could litter was the same as or different from that in which the norm was evoked (Studies 2 and 3). The impact of focusing Ss on the descriptive norm was much less general. Conceptual implications for a focus theory of normative conduct are discussed along with practical implications for increasing socially desirable behavior. 
    • Construct validity centers around the match between the data and the theoretical constructs. As discussed in chapter 2, constructs are abstract concepts that social scientists reason about. Unfortunately, these abstract concepts don’t always have clear definitions and measurements.
      • Simulation is a way of implementing theoretical constructs that are measurable and testable.
  • Hyperparameter Optimization with Keras
  • Recognizing images from parts Kaggle winner
  • White paper
  • Storyboard meeting
  • The advanced analytics division(?) needs a modeling and simulation department that builds models that feed ML systems.
  • Meeting with Steve Specht – adding geospatial to white paper