Phil 10.18.17

7:00 – 3:30 ASRC MKT

  • Gotta renew the IRB. For some reason I’m not using my school account for this…
    • Done! Good through 17-Oct-2022
  • Looking for a nice way to have PHP interface with the database using object relational mapping (ORM). Looking at RedBeanPHP and FatFreeFramework. I think I’m going to start with RedBean. It looks like something I might have written.

Phil 10.17.17

6:30 – 11:30 ASRC MKT

  • Google’s AI can create better machine-learning code than the researchers who made it, based on this from Google’s research blogUsing Machine Learning to Explore Neural Network Architecture
  • Working on review – done!
  • What examiners do: what thesis students should
    know The advice for thesis students is: first, treat your examiners as friends who want you to pass, and write calmly without agonizing about getting it perfect. Aim to make your thesis reader-friendly, and do a thorough proofread to remove distracting errors. Identify the field(s) you will contribute to, and make your thesis interesting and convincing for examiners from this field. Write a draft, get feedback and use this to improve your thesis. Help your examiners to follow your train of thought: explain what you are doing and why, especially if your thesis differs from what they would expect. Convince your examiners that you have a sound interpretation of the literature, an important topic and an appropriate method, and that your conclusions make a significant, publishable contribution to your field. When you have submitted, expect lots of examiner comments, most of which can help you improve.

    • Thesis examiners tend to:
      (1) be broadly consistent
      (2) expect a thesis to pass
      (3) judge a thesis by the end of the first or second chapter
      (4) read a thesis as an academic reader and as a normal reader
      (5) be irritated and distracted by presentation errors
      (6) favor a coherent thesis
      (7) favor a thesis that engages with the literature
      (8) favour a thesis with a convincing approach
      (9) favour a thesis that engages with the findings
      (10) require a thesis to be publishable
      (11) give summative and formative feedback

Phil 10.16.17

6:30 – 5:00 ASRC MKT

  • Stochastic Modeling And Analytics In Healthcare Delivery SystemsThis book focuses on the research and best practices in healthcare engineering and technology assessment. With contributions from researchers in the fields of healthcare system stochastic modeling, simulation, optimization and management
  • I just realized that the Research Browser is Augmented Data Discovery, and is about to 2-3 years out from peak hype. Something to think about while writing proposals and pitching to management. 
  • Starting to look through Risk Taking to see if I can find scenarios
    • Add fields for user
      • Age – done
      • Gender – done
      • Game name (change by game so that a small number of players don’t recognize each other easily over repeated games
    • Something to think about is whether one scenario would be to create a scenario which is then used in the game.
    • Found it! Appendix E! Aaaaaaaaaaaand Adobe Acrobat is busted so I can’t scan it. Reinstalling. And it’s better, but still busted. Scanned in Photoshop, which works just fine
  • Tweaking CorpusManger so that the TF-IDF output has counts rather than the floating point value to see if that produces better results in search. This is from the serendipity corpus:
    • TF-IDF raw: information serendipity system encounter discovery serendipitous visualization 
    • TF-IDF normalized: information encounter serendipity system datum discovery serendipitous
    • BOW raw: information serendipity system encounter serendipitous discovery result
    • BOW normalized: visualization computer information search system serendipity encounter
    • That works much better with the wordrank algorithm. Keeping it.
  • Fika, talked a little about CM and LMN. Wajanat and Julie are interested. Maybe as a way of quantitatively ranking the centrality of concepts and people in a qualitative study.

Phil 10.15.17

orco Mutagenesis Causes Loss of Antennal Lobe Glomeruli and Impaired Social Behavior in Ants

  • An example of how group behavior patterns reveal a mediated communication problem – Life inside ant colonies is orchestrated with diverse pheromones, but it is not clear how ants perceive these social signals. It has been proposed that pheromone perception in ants evolved via expansions in the numbers of odorant receptors (ORs) and antennal lobe glomeruli. Here, we generate the first mutant lines in the clonal raider ant, Ooceraea biroi, by disrupting orco, a gene required for the function of all ORs. We find that orco mutants exhibit severe deficiencies in social behavior and fitness, suggesting they are unable to perceive pheromones. Surprisingly, unlike in Drosophila melanogaster, orco mutant ants also lack most of the ∼500 antennal lobe glomeruli found in wild-type ants. These results illustrate that ORs are essential for ant social organization and raise the possibility that, similar to mammals, receptor function is required for the development and/or maintenance of the highly complex olfactory processing areas in the ant brain
  • orco Mutagenesis
  • Some random thoughts while riding.
    • The difference between a ‘large group’ and a ‘small group’ is the threshold at which multiple incremental interactions can happen between all members.
      • A group that has a fully connected trust network is fundamentally different from a group that doesn’t. A ‘large group’ requires transitive trust.
        • From HBR: It’s not just biases inside our heads that skew our judgment. We often rely on trusted third parties to verify the character or reliability of other people. These third parties, in effect, help us “roll over” our positive expectations from one known and trusted party to another who is less known and trusted. In such situations, trust becomes, quite literally, transitive. Unfortunately, as the Bernie Madoff case illustrates, transitive trust can lull people into a false sense of security. The evidence suggests that Madoff was a master at cultivating and exploiting social connections. One of his hunting grounds was the Orthodox Jewish community, a tight-knit social group.
      • This can be affected by communications technology in many ways, which the above study points to.
      • Again, the relationship between awareness and trust becomes an issue.

Phil 10.13.17

7:15 – 8:15, 1:00 – 4:00 ASRC MKT 9:00 – 1:00 IRAD

Phil 10.12.17

ASRC MKT 7:00 – 8:30, 2:30 – 3:00, IRAD 8:30 – 2:30

Phil 10.11.17

7:00 – 3:30 ASRC MKT

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

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

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

Phil 10.10.17

6:30 – 5:30 ASRC MKT

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

Phil 10.9.17

7:00 – 9:30, 5:00 – 7:00 ASRC MKT

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

Phil 10.6.17

ASRC MKT 7:00 – 4:00