Phil 11.30.17

7:00 – 4:30 ASRC MKT

  • Need to get this book: Simulating Social Complexity
  • Continuing Alignment in social interactions here. This looks much better. Found this book on game theory for groups. It took me a while to determine if ‘joint action’ is the coordinated ‘joint’ action of two people, or it it was the coordinated action of two people’s joints. It’s neuroscience after all.
  • Continuing on the Research Browser white paper. Based on the HHS requests, I added default performance logging
  • In a lot of meetings as an Aaron Proxey
  • Good progress on the white paper. Just about finished the background section. Need to add pix of the current prototype

Phil 11.29.17

7:00 – 4:30 ASRC MKT

Pattern is a web mining module for the Python programming language.

  • It has tools for data mining (Google, Twitter and Wikipedia API, a web crawler, a HTML DOM parser), natural language processing (part-of-speech taggers, n-gram search, sentiment analysis, WordNet), machine learning (vector space model, clustering, SVM), network analysis and visualization.
  • Promoted Speaker–listener neural coupling underlies successful communication notes to Phlog
  • Added some bits to the JCSCW Flocking and herding article

  • Alignment in social interactions
    • According to the prevailing paradigm in social-cognitive neuroscience, the mental states of individuals become shared when they adapt to each other in the pursuit of a shared goal. We challenge this view by proposing an alternative approach to the cognitive foundations of social interactions. The central claim of this paper is that social cognition concerns the graded and dynamic process of alignment of individual minds, even in the absence of a shared goal. When individuals reciprocally exchange information about each other’s minds processes of alignment unfold over time and across space, creating a social interaction. Not all cases of joint action involve such reciprocal exchange of information. To understand the nature of social interactions, then, we propose that attention should be focused on the manner in which people align words and thoughts, bodily postures and movements, in order to take one another into account and to make full use of socially relevant information.
    • The concept of alignment has since evolved and is used to describe the multi-level, dynamic, and interactive mechanisms that underpin the sharing of people’s mental attitudes and representations in all kinds of social interactions (Dale, Fusaroli, & Duran, 2013). (pp 253)
    • The underlying justification for subsuming all these cases under the same mechanism is that cognition and action cannot be separated. The sharing of minds and bodies can then be conceptualized in terms of an integrated system of alignment, defined as the dynamic coupling of behavioural and/or cognitive states of two people (Dumas, Laroche, & Lehmann, 2014). (pp 253)
    • we are interested in the explanatory significance of alignment for a more general theory of social interaction, not in instrumental behaviour and/or alignment per se. (pp 254)
    • The central claim of this paper is that the alignment of minds, which emerges in social interactions, involves the reciprocal exchange of information whereby individuals adjust minds and bodies in a graded and dynamic manner. As these processes of alignment unfold, interacting partners will exchange information about each other’s minds and therefore act socially, whether or not a shared goal is in place. (pp 254)
    • In particular, in recent theoretical and empirical work on social cognition, reciprocity is increasingly recognized as a useful resource to capture the ‘‘jointness” of a joint action. Interpersonal understanding can be achieved by reading into one another’s mind reciprocally (Butterfill, 2013), and an explanation of the processes whereby the alignment of minds and bodies unfolds in space and time should involve an account of reciprocity (Zahavi & Rochat, 2015). In the process of a reciprocal exchange of information, individuals may adapt to varying degrees to one another. This is certainly the case in instances of temporal synchronisation and coordination in which physical alignment in time and space has been theorized to depend on cognitive models of adaptation (Elliott, Chua, & Wing, 2016; Hayashi & Kondo, 2013; Repp & Su, 2013) and thus on reciprocal interactions (D’Ausilio, Novembre, Fadiga, & Keller, 2015; Keller, Novembre, & Hove, 2014; Tognoli & Kelso, 2015). The behaviour of one player results in a change in behaviour of the other in a reciprocal way so as to achieve temporal synchrony. Interestingly, though not surprisingly, this reciprocal exchange of information results in physical alignment, which in turn has also been shown to result in greater degrees of affiliation and greater mental alignment (Hove & Risen, 2009; Rabinowitch & Knafo-Noam, 2015; Wiltermuth & Heath, 2009). Specifically, we suggest that, rather than a focus on the sharedness of the intended goal, we should attend to the graded exchange of information that creates alignment. The most social of interactions, in our formulation, are those in which ‘‘live” (‘‘online”, see Schilbach, 2014) information is exchanged dynamically (i.e. over time, across multiple points) bidirectionally and used to adapt behaviour and align with another (Jasmin et al., 2016). (pp 255)
    • Indeed, it is possible to have reciprocity and thus social interaction without cooperation. This would be the case, for example, in a competitive scenario in which the minds of the subjects are aligned at the appropriate level of description, and the sharing is essential to solve social dilemmas involving antagonistic behaviour (Bratman, 2014). In these exchanges, what is needed for the minds of the agents to attune to one another is that they adapt thoughts, bodily postures and movements, to take one another into account and reason as a team, even though the team might consist of competitive actors where none is aware that they are acting from the perspective of the same group and in the pursuit of some common goal (Bacharach, 2006). (pp 255)
    • fundamentally social nature has to do with the process whereby systems reciprocate thoughts and experiences, rather than with the endpoint i.e. the goal. It turns out that two features are often taken to be central to the process whereby interacting agents align minds and bodies. First, the interacting agents must be aware that they are doing something together with others. Second, the success of their joint performance is taken as a measure of how shared the participants’ goals are. (pp 255)
    • our suggestion is that what matters for the relevant alignment of minds and bodies to occur is the reciprocal exchange of information, not awareness of the reciprocal exchange of information. (pp 255)
      • This is all that is needed for flocking to happen. It is the range of that exchange that determines the phase change from independent to flock to stampede. Trust is involved in the reciprocity too, I think
    • Becoming mutually aware that we are sharing attitudes, dispositions, bodily postures, perhaps goals, does not mean that the ‘jointness’ of our actions has become available to each of us for conscious report. Reciprocity of awareness is emphatically not the same as awareness of reciprocity. The process of reciprocally exchanging information and mutually adapting to one another need not necessarily result in any degree of shared awareness. (pp 256)
    • In animals, a signal, for example about the source of food, that is too weak for an individual fish to follow can be followed by a group through the simple rules of bodily alignment that create shoaling behaviour (Grunbaum, 1998). Shoaling behaviour can also be observed in humans (Belz, Pyritz, & Boos, 2013), who can achieve group advantage through more complex forms of adjustment than just bodily alignment. Pairs of participants trying to detect a weak visual signal can achieve a greater group advantage when they align the terms they use to report their confidence in what they saw (Fusaroli et al., 2012). Indeed, linguistic alignment at many levels can be observed in dialogue (Pickering & Garrod, 2004) and can improve comprehension (Adank, Hagoort, & Bekkering, 2010; Fusaroli et al., 2012). (pp 256)
    • Much research has been driven, so far, by the implicit goal of identifying optimal group performance as a proxy for mental alignment (Fusaroli et al., 2012), however, there is conceptual room and empirical evidence for arguing that optimal task performance is not a good index of mental alignment or ‘optimal sociality’. In other words, taking achievement of a shared goal as the paradigm of a social interaction leads to the binary conception of sociality according to which an interaction is either (optimally) social, or it is not. (pp 256)
      • This is a problem that I have with opinion dynamics models. Convergence on a particular opinion isn’t the only issue. There is a dynamic process where opinions fall in and out of favor. This is the difference between the contagion model, which is one way (uninfected->infected) and motion through belief space. The goal really doesn’t matter, except in a subset of cases (Though these may be very important)
    • Two systems can interact when they have access to information relating to each other (Bilek et al., 2015). There are different ways of exchanging information between systems and hence different types of interaction (Liu & Pelowski, 2014), but in every case some kind of alignment occurs (Coey, Varlet, & Richardson, 2012; Huygens, 1673). (pp 257)
    • Such offline interaction can be contrasted with the case of online social interactions, where both participants act. The distinction between offline and online social interaction tasks is now acknowledged as crucial for advancing our understanding of the cognition processes underlying social interaction (Schilbach, 2014). (pp 257)
    • In contrast to salsa, consider the case of tango in which movements are improvised and as such require constant, mutual adaptation (Koehne et al., 2015; Tateo, 2014). Tango dancers have access to information relating to each other and, by virtue of the task, they exchange information with one another across time in a reciprocal and bidirectional fashion. The juxtaposition of tango with salsa highlights a spectrum of degrees of mutual reciprocity, with a richer form of interaction and greater need for alignment in tango compared with salsa.
    • we will take reciprocity to be the primary requirement for social interactions. We suggest that reciprocity can be identified with a special kind of alignment, mutual alignment, involving adjustment in both parties to the interaction. However, not all cases of joint action lead to mutual alignment. It is important to distinguish this mutual alignment from other types of alignment, which do not involve a reciprocal exchange of information between the agents. (pp 257)
    • In contrast to salsa, consider the case of tango in which movements are improvised and as such require constant, mutual adaptation (Koehne et al., 2015; Tateo, 2014). Tango dancers have access to information relating to each other and, by virtue of the task, they exchange information with one another across time in a reciprocal and bidirectional fashion. The juxtaposition of tango with salsa highlights a spectrum of degrees of mutual reciprocity, with a richer form of interaction and greater need for alignment in tango compared with salsa. (pp 257)
    • AlignmentInSocialInteractions(pp 258)
    • The biggest challenge currently facing philosophers and scientists of social cognition is to understand social interactions. We suggest that this problem is best approached at the level of processes of mental alignment rather than through joint action tasks based on shared goals, and we propose that the key process is one of reciprocal, dynamic and graded adaptation between the participants in the interaction. Defining social interactions in terms of reciprocal patterns of alignment shows that not all joint actions involve reciprocity and also that social interactions can occur in the absence of shared goals. This approach has two particular advantages. First, it emphasises the key point that interactions can only be fully understood at the level of the group, rather than the individual. The pooling together of individual mental resources generates results that exceed the sum of the individual contributions. But, second, our approach points towards the mechanisms of adaptation that must be occurring within each individual in order to create the interaction (Friston & Frith, 2015). (pp 259)
    • This picture of social interaction in terms of mental alignment suggests two important theoretical developments. One is about a possible way to characterize the idea that types of social interaction lie on a continuum of possible solutions. If we focus on the task or the shared goal being pursued by agents jointly, as the current literature suggests, then only limited subdivisions of types of interaction will emerge. If, however, our focus extends so as to integrate the nature of the interaction, conceived of in terms of information exchange, then we can arrive at a higher degree of resolution of the space in which social interaction lie. This will define a spectrum of types of interaction (not just offline versus online social cognition), suggesting a dimensional rather than a discrete picture. After all, alignment comes in degrees and a spectrum-like definition of sociality implies that there is a variety of forms of alignment and hence of interactions. (pp 269)
      • My work would indicate that meaningful transitions occur for Unaligned (pure explore), Complex (flocking), and Total (stampede).
  • Continuing to work on The Socio-Temporal Brain: Connecting People in Time here
    • Not as good as I thought it would be. Some useful items, but there is no brain analysis of chorusing animals, just the co-mention
  • Continuing Research Browser white paper. Added note to work through linking multiple tags to the same item with visibility controls. Kindle has a feature like this.
  • Reading section 16.7 on personalized web services  (pp 372 – 375) for words and concepts for Augmented Data Discovery. Then Where to Add Actions in Human-in-the-Loop Reinforcement LearningPolicy Shaping: Integrating Human Feedback with Reinforcement Learning, and AXIS: Generating Explanations at Scale with Learner sourcing and Machine Learning


Phil 11.28.17

7:00 – 8:00 Research, 8:30 – 4:30 ASRC MKT

  • Continuing Speaker–listener neural coupling underlies successful communication here. Done! Will promote to Phlog later.
  • Collective cognition in animal groups
    • Iain Couzin
    • The remarkable collective action of organisms such as swarming ants, schooling fish and flocking birds has long captivated the attention of artists, naturalists, philosophers and scientists. Despite a long history of scientific investigation, only now are we beginning to decipher the relationship between individuals and group-level properties. This interdisciplinary effort is beginning to reveal the underlying principles of collective decision-making in animal groups, demonstrating how social interactions, individual state, environmental modification and processes of informational amplification and decay can all play a part in tuning adaptive response. It is proposed that important commonalities exist with the understanding of neuronal processes and that much could be learned by considering collective animal behavior in the framework of cognitive science.
  • The Socio-Temporal Brain: Connecting People in Timethis looks like it might explicitly link human neural coupling and flocking.
    • Temporal and social processing are intricately linked. The temporal extent and organization of interactional behaviors both within and between individuals critically determine interaction success. Conversely, social signals and social context influence time perception by, for example, altering subjective duration and making an event seem ‘out of sync’. An ‘internal clock’ involving subcortically orchestrated cortical oscillations that represent temporal information, such as duration and rhythm, as well as insular projections linking temporal information with internal and external experiences is proposed as the core of these reciprocal interactions. The timing of social relative to non-social stimuli augments right insular activity and recruits right superior temporal cortex. Together, these reciprocal pathways may enable the exchange and respective modulation of temporal and social computations.
    • timing is not encapsulated but interacts closely with the social processes that emerge from interpersonal interactions [1–3]. As interactional behaviors play out in time, their temporal signatures carry important information. They guide attention, convey a message, and mold bonds between individuals. Moreover, interactional behaviors in turn give meaning to time and influence its perception and representation. A range of disorders that jointly compromise temporal and social processes attest to this relation (pp 760)
    • We review here the many ways in which timing intersects with social processing. We explore this intersection for the communicative behavior of an individual as well as for the behavioral coordination between communicating agents. We detail neuroimaging evidence on how temporal and social information are represented in the brain and identify points of structural and functional convergence (pp 760)
    • The temporal coordination of behavior in animals is referred to as chorusing. Chorusing describes sporadic behaviors such those of flying birds (Figure I), which may change direction and speed in a manner resembling a single superorganism [87]. In addition, it describes behaviors that occur repeatedly and with some amount of temporal regularity, as in the mating calls of male frogs. Although less frequent than sporadic chorusing, rhythmic chorusing is displayed by a range of taxa including insects, reptiles, birds, and mammals [88, 89]. (pp 761)
    • Research into the functionality of chorusing suggests species differences. For some, it seems to be a mere byproduct of competitive interactions. For others, it reduces the risk of predation [98]. By analogy with the selfish-herd principle, overlapping with others in time makes it harder for predators to single out individual prey. Last, there are species in which chorusing serves as a fitness display in the context of sexual selection [99] and as a means to foster social bonds [100]. Because of its pervasiveness and social context, some suggest chorusing to be the driving evolutionary force for a species’ timing sense [88]. (pp 761)
    • The degree of temporal coordination between interaction partners relates to interaction success. For example, it produces affective consequences [21]. This was revealed by a study in which pairs of strangers discussed four topics and completed an affective state questionnaire before and after each topic. Results provided evidence for emerging synchrony between discussion partners (Figure 1) and for its causal effect on ensuing positive affect. Related research showed that individuals more readily empathize with a synchronous as compared to a non-synchronous partner [22] and that synchronous dyads are more creative [23] and trusting [24] than nonsynchronous dyads. (pp 762)
  • Word Embeddings Quantify 100 Years of Gender and Ethnic Stereotypes
    • Word embeddings use vectors to represent words such that the geometry between vectors captures semantic relationship between the words. In this paper, we develop a framework to demonstrate how the temporal dynamics of the embedding can be leveraged to quantify changes in stereotypes and attitudes toward women and ethnic minorities in the 20th and 21st centuries in the United States. We integrate word embeddings trained on 100 years of text data with the U.S. Census to show that changes in the embedding track closely with demographic and occupation shifts over time. The embedding captures global social shifts – e.g., the women’s movement in the 1960s and Asian immigration into the U.S – and also illuminates how specific adjectives and occupations became more closely associated with certain populations over time. Our framework for temporal analysis of word embedding opens up a powerful new intersection between machine learning and quantitative social science.
    • bias
    • I think this is really close to the belief trajectories I’m trying to tease out. In the figures above, note that it is possible to extract both trajectories and normative terms. Plus, the paper has a really good writeup of methods in the appendices.
  • Continuing to write up use cases/RB proposal
  • Also still doing stuff for the HHS RFI
  • Relevant to the Research Browser:
    • Extracting Automata from Recurrent Neural Networks Using Queries and Counterexamples <- Agent generation is a thing!
      • We address the problem of extracting an automaton from a trained recurrent neural network (RNN). We present a novel algorithm that uses exact learning and abstract interpretation to perform efficient extraction of a minimal automaton describing the state dynamics of a given RNN. We use Angluin’s L* algorithm as a learner and the given RNN as an oracle, employing abstract interpretation of the RNN for answering equivalence queries. Our technique allows automaton-extraction from the RNN while avoiding state explosion, even when the state vectors are large and fine differentiation is required between RNN states. 
        We experiment with automata extraction from multi-layer GRU and LSTM based RNNs, with state-vector dimensions and underlying automata and alphabet sizes which are significantly larger than in previous automata-extraction work. In some cases, the underlying target language can be described with a succinct automata, yet the extracted automata is large and complex. These are cases in which the RNN failed to learn the intended generalization, and our extraction procedure highlights words which are misclassified by the seemingly “perfect” RNN.
    • Policy Shaping: Integrating Human Feedback with Reinforcement Learning
      • A long term goal of Interactive Reinforcement Learning is to incorporate nonexpert human feedback to solve complex tasks. Some state-of-the-art methods have approached this problem by mapping human information to rewards and values and iterating over them to compute better control policies. In this paper we argue for an alternate, more effective characterization of human feedback: Policy Shaping. We introduce Advise, a Bayesian approach that attempts to maximize the information gained from human feedback by utilizing it as direct policy labels. We compare Advise to state-of-the-art approaches and show that it can outperform them and is robust to infrequent and inconsistent human feedback.
    • AXIS: Generating Explanations at Scale with Learnersourcing and Machine Learning
      • While explanations may help people learn by providing information about why an answer is correct, many problems on online platforms lack high-quality explanations. This paper presents AXIS (Adaptive eXplanation Improvement System), a system for obtaining explanations. AXIS asks learners to generate, revise, and evaluate explanations as they solve a problem, and then uses machine learning to dynamically determine which explanation to present to a future learner, based on previous learners’ collective input. Results from a case study deployment and a randomized experiment demonstrate that AXIS elicits and identifies explanations that learners find helpful. Providing explanations from AXIS also objectively enhanced learning, when compared to the default practice where learners solved problems and received answers without explanations. The rated quality and learning benefit of AXIS explanations did not differ from explanations generated by an experienced instructor.


Phil 11.27.17

There are new versions of dom4j!!!

I had to do two things this morning that required 2FA. Instead of being another irritating step to do anything, it now feels like a comforting barrier to bad things

Today’s big thought. The Contagion metaphor of information cascade (Bikhchandani) is a bad one (These folks agree). The flocking/stampeding metaphor is more complete. For example, it provides the concept of position, alignment, and velocity in a belief space. Two equally ‘viral’ (belief space position?)  memes may be released into the wild, but the one closest to the current alignment will be the one that will succeed more. Flocking effects result in sub-stampede cascades. The ‘refractory’ period is the time it takes for the population to get into alignment again. There is also something in the notion that a flock or a stampede is a group navigating with incomplete information that is fundamentally different from disease spread, which is more like percolation. It also fits better with what’s being done in reinforcement learning.

A nice description of the contagion model, from Information Epidemics and Synchronized Viral Social Contagion

  • In network science the processes of information contagion can be studied using epidemic models. If we consider information as a disease, three different models can be used to model its proliferation through the network: SIS, SIRS and SIR (Ball 1997; Newman 2002).
In the first model an element of the population (a node in a network) can be either susceptible (S) or infected (I) and goes through these stage one after the other: susceptible – infected – susceptible. 
According to the second model, the node also has a refractory stage (R) before it becomes susceptible again, so the states are: susceptible – infected – refractory – susceptible. 
Finally, in the third model once the node is infected once it cannot be infected again, so for each node the sequence is: susceptible – infected – removed (R). Depending on the nature of information studied, a certain model can be more suitable than another (Fig 2). 

7:00 – 3:00 ASRC MKT

  • Renewed for a year. Will probably switch over to the UMBC server for the next version though
  • Starting Speaker–listener neural coupling underlies successful communication here
  • The next paper will be Mirroring and beyond: coupled dynamics as a generalized framework for modelling social interactions
    • Uri Hasson (HassonLab at Princeton)
    • Chris Frith (Scholar)
    • When people observe one another, behavioural alignment can be detected at many levels, from the physical to the mental. Likewise, when people process the same highly complex stimulus sequences, such as films and stories, alignment is detected in the elicited brain activity. In early sensory areas, shared neural patterns are coupled to the low-level properties of the stimulus (shape, motion, volume, etc.), while in high-order brain areas, shared neural patterns are coupled to high-levels aspects of the stimulus, such as meaning. Successful social interactions require such alignments (both behavioural and neural), as communication cannot occur without shared understanding. However, we need to go beyond simple, symmetric (mirror) alignment once we start interacting. Interactions are dynamic processes, which involve continuous mutual adaptation, development of complementary behaviour and division of labour such as leader– follower roles. Here, we argue that interacting individuals are dynamically coupled rather than simply aligned. This broader framework for understanding interactions can encompass both processes by which behaviour and brain activity mirror each other (neural alignment), and situations in which behaviour and brain activity in one participant are coupled (but not mirrored) to the dynamics in the other participant. To apply these more sophisticated accounts of social interactions to the study of the underlying neural processes we need to develop new experimental paradigms and novel methods of data analysis
  • Started on the use cases
  • Added sections in an HHS RFI that looks a *lot* like the research browser, with some more attention to data provenance. Which is a thing that should be added to the RB anyway.

3:00 – 4:00 Campus

  • Julie wants an ‘append’ option to the ignore.xml. Done!
  • Relaxed Fika. Learned about Stacy’s research, Julie’s CHI DC, and Andrea’s affective computing. Intimate and nice!
  • No Wayne?

Phil 11.26.17

User experience design for APIs

  • Writing code is rarely just a private affair between you and your computer. Code is not just meant for machines; it has human users. It is meant to be read by people, used by other developers, maintained and built upon. Developers who produce better code, in greater quantity, when they are kept happy and productive, working with tools they love. Developers who unfortunately are often being let down by their tools, and left cursing at obscure error messages, wondering why that stupid library doesn’t do what they thought it would. Our tools have great potential to cause us pain, especially in a field as complex as software engineering.

Phil 11.23.17

Nice – I can get my notes of the Kindle by plugging it into my computer. I never found that on the help pages.

More than a Million Pro-Repeal Net Neutrality Comments were Likely Faked

  • I used natural language processing techniques to analyze net neutrality comments submitted to the FCC from April-October 2017, and the results were disturbing.
  • BotPlusOrganicI think that this kind of long-tail distribution is going to be what herding looks like.

Speaker–listener neural coupling underlies successful communication

    • Greg J. Stephens
    • Lauren J. Silbert
    • Uri Hasson (HassonLab at Princeton)
    • Verbal communication is a joint activity; however, speech production and comprehension have primarily been analyzed as independent processes within the boundaries of individual brains. Here, we applied fMRI to record brain activity from both speakers and listeners during natural verbal communication. We used the speaker’s spatiotemporal brain activity to model listeners’ brain activity and found that the speaker’s activity is spatially and temporally coupled with the listener’s activity. This coupling vanishes when participants fail to communicate. Moreover, though on average the listener’s brain activity mirrors the speaker’s activity with a delay, we also find areas that exhibit predictive anticipatory responses. We connected the extent of neural coupling to a quantitative measure of story comprehension and find that the greater the anticipatory speaker–listener coupling, the greater the understanding. We argue that the observed alignment of production- and comprehension-based processes serves as a mechanism by which brains convey information.
      • This seems to be the root article for neural coupling. It seems to be an area of vigorous study, with lots of work coming out from the three authors.
      • The study design is also really good.
    • In this study we directly examine the spatial and temporal coupling between production and comprehension across brains during natural verbal communication. (pp 14425)
    • Using fMRI, we recorded the brain activity of a speaker telling an unrehearsed real-life story and the brain activity … (n = 11) of a listener listening to the recorded audio of the spoken story, thereby capturing the time-locked neural dynamics from both sides of the communication. Finally, we used a detailed questionnaire to assess the level of comprehension of each listener. (pp 14425)
    • …because communication unfolds over time, this coupling will exhibit important temporal structure. In particular, because the speaker’s production-based processes mostly precede the listener’s comprehension-based processes, the listener’s neural dynamics will mirror the speaker’s neural dynamics with some delay. Conversely, when listeners use their production system to emulate and predict the speaker’s utterances, we expect the opposite: the listener’s dynamics will precede the speaker’s dynamics. (pp 14425)
    • To analyze the direct interaction of production and comprehension mechanisms, we considered only spatially local models that measure the degree of speaker–listener coupling within the same Talairach location. (pp 14426)
    • we also observed significant speaker–listener coupling in a collection of extralinguistic areas known to be involved in the processing of semantic and social aspects of the story (19), including the precuneus, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, orbitofrontal cortex, striatum, and medial prefrontal cortex. (pp 14426)
    • In agreement with previous work, the story evoked highly reliable activity inmany brain areas across all listeners (8, 11, 12) (Fig. 2B, yellow). We note that the agreement with previous work is far from assured: the story here was both personal and spontaneous, and was recorded in the noisy environment of the scanner. The similarity in the response patterns across all listeners underscores a strong tendency to process incoming verbal information in similar ways. A comparison between the speaker–listener and the listener–listenermaps reveals an extensive overlap (Fig. 2B, orange). These areas include many of the sensory related, classic linguistic-related and extralinguistic-related brain areas, demonstrating that many of the areas involved in speech comprehension (listener–listener coupling) are also aligned during communication (speaker–listener coupling). (pp 14426)
    • To test whether the extensive speaker–listener coupling emerges only when information is transferred across interlocutors, we blocked the communication between speaker and listener. We repeated the experiment while recording a Russian speaker telling a story in the scanner, and then played the story to non–Russian speaking listeners (n = 11). In this experimental setup, although the Russian speaker is trying to communicate information, the listeners are unable to extract the information from the incoming acoustic sounds. Using identical analysis methods and statistical thresholds, we found no significant coupling between the speaker and the listeners or among the listeners. At significantly lower thresholds we found that the non–Russian-speaking listener–listener coupling was confined to early auditory cortices. This indicates that the reliable activity in most areas, besides early auditory cortex, depends on a successful processing of the incoming information, and is not driven by the low-level acoustic aspects of the stimuli. (pp 14426)
    • Neural Coupling
      • In my model, the anticipation is modeled by the alignment and velocity, but others come to similar conclusions. It may be a way of dealing with noisy environments. Which would be another way of saying group dynamics with incomplete information.
    • Our analysis also identifies a subset of brain regions in which the activity in the listener’s brain precedes the activity in the speaker’s brain. The listener’s anticipatory responses were localized to areas known to be involved in predictions and value representation (pp 14428)
    • Such findings are in agreement with the theory of interactive linguistic alignment (1). According to this theory, production and comprehension become tightly aligned on many different levels during verbal communication, including the phonetic, phonological, lexical, syntactic, and semantic representations. Accordingly, we observed neural coupling during communication at many different processing levels, including low-level auditory areas (induced by the shared input), production-based areas (e.g., Broca’s area), comprehension based areas (e.g., Wernicke’s area and TPJ), and high-order extralinguistic areas (e.g., precuneus and mPFC) that can induce shared contextual model of the situation (34). Interestingly, some of these extralinguistic areas are known to be involved in processing social information crucial for successful communication, including, among others, the capacity to discern the beliefs, desires, and goals of others. (pp 14429)


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

Phil 11.22.17

7:00 – ASRC

  • This is a paper along the lines of what Cindy was thinking about. It appears to be about flocking and stampeding in the cryptocurrency markets:  Evolutionary dynamics of the cryptocurrency market
    • The cryptocurrency market surpassed the barrier of $100 billion market capitalization in June 2017, after months of steady growth. Despite its increasing relevance in the financial world, a comprehensive analysis of the whole system is still lacking, as most studies have focused exclusively on the behaviour of one (Bitcoin) or few cryptocurrencies. Here, we consider the history of the entire market and analyse the behaviour of 1469 cryptocurrencies introduced between April 2013 and May 2017. We reveal that, while new cryptocurrencies appear and disappear continuously and their market capitalization is increasing (super-)exponentially, several statistical properties of the market have been stable for years. These include the number of active cryptocurrencies, market share distribution and the turnover of cryptocurrencies. Adopting an ecological perspective, we show that the so-called neutral model of evolution is able to reproduce a number of key empirical observations, despite its simplicity and the assumption of no selective advantage of one cryptocurrency over another. Our results shed light on the properties of the cryptocurrency market and establish a first formal link between ecological modelling and the study of this growing system. We anticipate they will spark further research in this direction.
  • Continuing with The Group Polarization Phenomenon here
  • Back to Angular
    • Yay, there’s inheritance!
      export class MyPaginationComponent extends SimplePaginationComponent {

Phil 11.21.17

7:00 – 6:00 ASRC MKT

  • Miata 1 day racing school
  • Listening to World Affairs this morning. It’s on the Philippines and Duterte. The interviewee,  Richard Heydarian, says that Duterte and Trump are more immune from attack on moral grounds because they did not present as honorable. For me, this means that there is a different relationship between trust and awareness among his followers. The presentation of ‘rough edges’ gives an impression of authenticity, and raises trust, while making awareness more complicated.
  • How did the news go ‘fake’? When the media went social
    • Social media force us to live our lives in public, positioned centre-stage in our very own daily performances. Erving Goffman, the American sociologist, articulated the idea of “life as theatre” in his 1956 book The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, and while the book was published more than half a century ago, the concept is even more relevant today. It is increasingly difficult to live a private life, in terms not just of keeping our personal data away from governments or corporations, but also of keeping our movements, interests and, most worryingly, information consumption habits from the wider world.
  • The Serial-Killer Detector
    • A former journalist, equipped with an algorithm and the largest collection of murder records in the country, finds patterns in crime.
    • By Alec Wilkinson
  • Adding term ignore capability
    • Added creation of an ‘ignore.xml’ file to LMN
    • Adding ignore Set to NLPtoken in JavaUtils
    • Adding xml input to CorpusManager/GorpusGUI
    • Done!
  • Wrote up LMN/CM/RB epic with stories
  • Backlog prioritization

Phil 11.20.17

7:00 – 5:30 ASRC MKT (2 hrs) and IRAD (6 hrs)

  • Interesting chat with Rhena last night which included thoughts on cultural affordances. Western European culture proceeds from possession, which fits well in a list-based search result. So what about other cultures. Native Americans proceed from Great Spirit, and African cultures from connection. The other thing was whether growth and healing are on the same spectrum. No conclusions, just some potential directions.
  • Continuing with The Group Polarization Phenomenon here
  • Started a list of belief/direction terms
  • Angular! Not so much
  • Wrote up ResearchBrowser Epic, then talked to Aaron about it. Need to scale it back to a web-based, productized version of LMN and CorpusManager. Kind of like Overview
  • Chat with Wayne
    • Tool design
      • add ignore list (common, non-critical content words in interviews showing up as central — impact of delete?)
      • put that ignore list into the exported excel spreadsheet as a footnote or other tab.
    • Deliberative systems
      • Information Based IS
      • (Classic systems IBIS and G-IBIS)
      • Revealing network dependencies in issues based voting systems
      • HCC meets urban planing
      • Best source of literature for UI for “reddit with winning conditions”
    • Conference stuff
      • CHIIR+herd -> JCMC if not published?
      • Game -> CSCW (April)
      • Any HT overlap?

Phil 11.17.17

7:00 – ASRC MKT

  • Reuters Tracer: Toward Automated News Production Using Large Scale Social Media Data
    • To deal with the sheer volume of information and gain competitive advantage, the news industry has started to explore and invest in news automation. In this paper, we present Reuters Tracer, a system that automates end-to-end news production using Twitter data. It is capable of detecting, classifying, annotating, and disseminating news in real time for Reuters journalists without manual intervention. In contrast to other similar systems, Tracer is topic and domain agnostic. It has a bottom-up approach to news detection, and does not rely on a predefined set of sources or subjects. Instead, it identifies emerging conversations from 12+ million tweets per day and selects those that are news-like. Then, it contextualizes each story by adding a summary and a topic to it, estimating its newsworthiness, veracity, novelty, and scope, and geotags it. Designing algorithms to generate news that meets the standards of Reuters journalists in accuracy and timeliness is quite challenging. But Tracer is able to achieve competitive precision, recall, timeliness, and veracity on news detection and delivery. In this paper, we reveal our key algorithm designs and evaluations that helped us achieve this goal, and lessons learned along the way.
  • Maybe the adjacency matrix that we think we can produce from the trajectories can be used as the basis for a self-organizing map?
  • Gobo: TL;DR: This is a MIT research project to study how people filter their social media feeds. We are tracking your use of the site, but will only publish it anonymously and in aggregate. We might follow up with you to hear more about what you think about Gobo. The MIT Institutional Review Board has approved of this study. Gobo
  • This, plus , makes me think that MIT may be starting to focus on these issues.
  • Back to The Group Polarization Phenomenon
    •  David G. Myers
    • Pictures may be important as part of an argument. Need to be able to support that.
    • This polarization concept should also be distinguished from a related concept, extremization. Whereas polarization refers to shifts toward the already preferred pole, extremization has been used to refer to movement away from neutrality, regardless of direction. Since all instances of group polarization are instances of extremization, but not vice versa, extremization may be easier to demonstrate than polarization. (pp 603)
    • For convenience we have organized these studies into seven categories: attitudes, jury decisions, ethical decisions, judgments, person perceptions, negotiation behavior, and risk measures other than the choice dilemmas. This categorization is admittedly somewhat arbitrary. (pp 604)
    • In other studies, however, it is possible to infer the direction of initial preferences. Robinson (1941) conducted lengthy discussions of two attitudes. On attitude toward war, where students were initially quite pacifistic, there was a nonsignificant shift to even more pacifism following discussion. On attitude toward capital punishment, to which students were initially opposed, there was a significant shift to even stronger opposition. (pp 604)
    • Varying the stimulus materials. Myers and Kaplan (1976) engaged their subjects in discussion of stimulus materials which elicited a dominant predisposition of guilty or not guilty. After discussing traffic cases in which the defendants were made to appear as low in guilt, the Subjects Were even more definite in their judgments of innocence and more lenient in recommended punishment. After discussing “high-guilt” cases, the subjects polarized toward harsher judgments of guilt and punishment. (pp 605)
    • Group composition studies. Vidmar composed groups of jurors high or low in dogmatism. The high-dogmatism juries shifted toward harsher sentences following discussion, and the low-dogmatism groups shifted toward more lenient sentences, despite the fact that the high- and low-dogmatism juries did not differ in their predeliberation judgments. (pp 606)
    • Main and Walker (1973) observed that these constitutionality decisions were also more libertarian in the group condition (65% versus 45%). Although a minority of the single-judge decisions were prolibertarian, Walker and Main surmised that the preexisting private values of the judges were actually prolibertarian and that their decisions made alone were compromised in the face of antilibertarian public pressure. Their private values were then supposedly released and reinforced in the professional group context (pp 606)
    • From what we have been able to perceive thus far, the process is an interesting combination of rational persuasion, sheer social pressure, and the psychological mechanism by which individual perceptions undergo change when exposed to group discussion (pp 606)
    • Myers (1975) also used a faculty evaluation task. The subjects responded to 200 word descriptions of “good” or “bad” faculty with a scale judgment and by distributing a pay increase budget among the hypothetical faculty. As predicted by the group polarization hypothesis, good faculty were rated and paid even more favorably after the group interaction, and contrariwise for the bad faculty. (pp 608)
    • in general, the work on person perception supports the group polarization hypothesis, especially when the stimulus materials are more complex than just a single adjective. (pp 608)
    • Myers and Bach (1976) compared the conflict behavior of individuals and groups, using an expanded prisoner’s dilemma matrix cast in the language of a gas war. There was no difference in their conflict behavior (both individuals and groups were highly noncooperative). But on postexperimental scales assessing the subjects’ evaluations of themselves and their opponents, individuals tended to justify their own behavior, and groups were even more inclined toward self-justification. This demonstration of group polarization supports Janis’s (1972) contention that in situations of intergroup conflict, group members are likely to develop a strengthened belief in the inherent morality of their actions.  (pp 608)
    • Skewness cannot account for group polarization. This is particularly relevant to the majority rule scheme, which depends on a skewed distribution of initial choices. On choice dilemmas, positively skewed distributions (i.e., with a risky majority) should produce risky shift, and negatively skewed distributions should yield a conservative shift. Several findings refute this prediction. (pp 612)
    • Shifts in the group median, although slightly attenuated, are not significantly smaller than shifts in the group mean (pp 612)
    • Group shift has also been shown to occur in dyads (although somewhat reduced), where obviously there can be no skewness in the initial responses (pp 612)
    • while group decision models may be useful in other situations in which discussion is minimal or absent and the task is to reach agreement (e.g., Lambert, 1969), the models (or at least the majority rule model stressed in this analysis) are not a sufficient explanation of the group polarization findings we are seeking to explain. There are still a variety of other decision schemes that can be explored and with other specific tasks. But clearly, group induced shift on choice dilemmas is something more than a statistical artifact. (pp 612)
    • Interpersonal Comparisons theory suggests that a subject changes when he discovers that others share his inclinations more than he would have supposed, either because the group norm is discovered to be more in the preferred direction than previously imagined or because the subject is released to more strongly act out his preference after observing someone else who models it more extremely than himself. This theory, taken by itself, suggests that relevant new information which emerges during the discussion is of no consequence. Group polarization is a source effect, not a message effect. (pp 614)
      • This is very close to the flocking theory where one agent looks at the alignment and velocity of nearby agents.
    • Differences between self, presumed other, and ideal scores. One well-known and widely substantiated assumption of the interpersonal comparisons approach is the observation from choice-dilemmas research that if, after responding, the subjects go back over the items and guess how their average peer would respond and then go back over the items a third time and indicate what response they would actually admire most, they tend to estimate the group norm as more neutral than their own initial response and their ideal as more extreme (pp 613)
    • Lamm et al. (1972) have also shown that not only do subjects indicate their ideal as more extreme than their actual response, but they also suspect that the same is true of their peers. The tendency of people to perceive themselves as more in what they consider to be the socially desirable direction than their average peer extends beyond the choice dilemmas (see Codol, Note 13). For example, most businessmen believe themselves to be more ethical than the average businessman (Baumhart, 1968), and there is evidence that people perceive their own views as less prejudiced than the norm of their community (Lenihan, Note 14). (pp 613)
    • The tendency to perceive others as “behind” oneself exists only when the self response is made prior to estimating the group norm (McCauley, Kogan, & Teger, 1971; Myers, 1974). Evidently it is after one has decided for himself that there is then a tendency to consider one’s action as relatively admirable (by perceiving the average person as less admirable than oneself). (pp 613)
    • it has been reliably demonstrated that subjects perceive other persons who have responded more extremely than themselves (in the direction of their ideal) as more socially desirable than persons who have not (Baron, Monson, & Baron, 1973; Jellison & Davis, 1973; Jellison & Riskind, 1970, 1971; Madaras & Bern, 1968). A parallel finding exists in the attitude literature (Eisinger & Mills, 1968): An extreme communicator on one’s side of an issue tends to be perceived as more sincere and competent than a moderate. (pp 614)
    • Burnstein, Vinokur, and Pichevin (1974) took an informational influence viewpoint and showed that people who adopt extreme choices are presumed to possess cogent arguments and are then presumably admired for their ability. They also demonstrated that subjects have much less confidence in others’ choices than in their own, suggesting that the tendency to perceive others as more neutral than oneself simply reflects ignorance about others’ choices (pp 614)
    • self-ideal difference scores are less affected by order of measurement than self versus perceived other differences (Myers, 1974)—suggest that the self-ideal discrepancy may be the more crucial element of a viable interpersonal comparisons approach. (pp 614)
    • One set of studies has manipulated the information about others’ responses by providing fake norms. More than a dozen separate studies all show that subjects will move toward the manipulated norm (see Myers, 1973) (pp 615)
      • Can’t find this paper, but herding!
    • Consistent with this idea, they observed that exposure to others’ choices produced shift only when subjects then wrote arguments on the item. If knowledge of others’ choices was denied or if an opportunity to rethink the item was denied, no shift occurred. (pp 615)
    • On the other hand, it may be reasoned that in each of the studies producing minimal or nonexistent shift after exposure to others’ attitudes, the subjects were first induced to bind themselves publicly to a pretest choice and then simply exposed to others’ choices. It takes only a quick recall of some classic conformity studies (e.g., Asch, 1956) to realize that this was an excellent procedure for inhibiting response change. (pp 615)
    • Bishop and Myers (1974) have formulated mathematical models of the presumed informational influence mechanisms. These models assume that the amount of group shift will be determined by three factors: the direction of each argument (which alternative it favors), the persuasiveness of each argument, and the originality of each argument (the extent to which it is not already known by the group members before discussion). In discussion, the potency of an argument will be zero if either the rated persuasiveness is zero (it is trivial or irrelevant) or if all group members considered the argument before discussion (pp 616)
    • the simple direction of arguments is such an excellent predictor of shift (without considering persuasiveness and originality), it is not easy to demonstrate the superiority of the models over a simple analysis of argument direction as undertaken by Ebbesen and Bowers (1974). (pp 617)
      • This supports the notion that alignment and heading, as used in the model may really be sufficient to model polarizing behavior
    • A group that is fairly polarized on a particular item before discussion is presumably already in general possession of those arguments which polarize a group. A less extreme group has more to gain from the expression of partially shared persuasive arguments. (pp 617)
    • Passive receipt of arguments outside an interactive discussion context generally produces reduced shift (e.g., Bishop & Myers, 1974; Burnstein & Vinokur, 1973; St. Jean, 1970; St. Jean & Percival, 1974). Likewise, listening to a group discussion generally elicits less shift than actual participation (pp 617)
      • There may be implications here with respect to what’s being seen and read on the news having a lower influence than items that are being discussed on social media. A good questions is at what point does the reception of information feel ‘interactive’? Is clicking ‘like enough? My guess is that it is.
    • Verbal commitment could produce the increased sense of involvement and certainty that Moscovici and Zavolloni (1969) believe to be inherent in group polarization. (pp 618)
      • This reinforces the point above, but we need to know what the minimum threshold of what can be considered ‘verbal commitment’.
    • By offering arguments that tend toward the outer limits of his range of acceptability, the individual tests his ideals and also presents himself favorably to the group since, as we noted earlier, extremity in the direction of the ideal connotes knowledgeability and competence. (pp 618)
    • Diagram (pp 619) PolarazationDiagram
    • Arguments spoken in discussion more decisively favor the dominant alternative than do written arguments. The tendency for discussion arguments to be one-sided is probably not equal for all phases of a given discussion. Studies in speech-communications (see Fisher, 1974) suggest that one-sided discussion is especially likely after a choice direction has implicitly emerged and group members mutually reinforce their shared inclination. (pp 619)
      • This review is pre IRC, and views writing as non-interactive. THis may not be true any more.
    • The strength of the various vectors is expected to vary across situations. In more fact-oriented judgment tasks (group problem solving tasks being the extreme case), the cognitive determinants will likely be paramount, although people will still be motivated to demonstrate their abilities. On matters of social preference, in which the social desirability of actions is more evident, the direct and indirect attitudinal effects of social motivation are likely to appear. The direct impact will occur in situations in which the individual has ideals that may be compromised by presumed norms but in which exposure to others’ positions informs him that his ideals are shared more strongly or widely than he would have supposed. These situations—in which expressed ideals are a step ahead of prior responses—will also tend to elicit discussion content that is biased toward the ideals. (pp 620)
    • What is the extent of small group influence on attitudes? McGuire (1969) noted, “It is clear that any impact that the mass media have on opinion is less than that produced by informal face-to-face communication of the person with his primary groups, his family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors (p. 231,).” (pp 220)
  • Back to Angular
    • Got all of the CRUD functions working and updates the subversion repo
    • Got search running. Finished tutorial!

Phil 11.16.2017

7:00 – ASRC MKT

  • Data & Society to Launch Disinformation Action Lab Supported by Knight Foundation
    • The lab will use research to explore issues such as: how fake news narratives propagate; how to detect coordinated social media campaigns; and how to limit adversaries who are deliberately spreading misinformation. To understand where online manipulation is headed, it will analyze the technology and tactics being used by players at the international and domestic level.This project builds off the ongoing work of the Media Manipulation initiative at Data & Society, which examines how groups use social media and the participatory culture of the internet to spread and amplify misinformation and disinformation. Recent releases from this initiative include Lexicon of Lies and Media Manipulation and Disinformation Online.The funding is part of today’s announcement that the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is giving $4.5 million in new funding to eight leading organizations working to create more informed and engaged communities through innovative use of technology. The other organizations receiving support include: Code2040, Code for Science & Society, Columbia Journalism School, DocumentCloud, Emblematic Group, HistoryPin and mRelief.
  • Before I restart on The Group Polarization Phenomenon, I’m going to take a look at how much work it would be to add the recording of trajectories through cells by agent.
  • And updates
  • Done! The name incorporates the n-dimensional cell position. In this case it’s 2D
    GreenFlockSh_10: GreenFlock[6, 3], RedFlock[6, 4], GreenFlock[7, 4], GreenFlock[7, 4], GreenFlock[7, 4], RedFlock[8, 4], GreenFlock[8, 5], GreenFlock[8, 5], GreenFlock[8, 5], RedFlock[8, 6], RedFlock[8, 6], RedFlock[8, 6], RedFlock[8, 6], GreenFlock[8, 7], GreenFlock[8, 7], RedFlock[7, 7], RedFlock[7, 7], GreenFlock[7, 8], GreenFlock[7, 8], RedFlock[6, 8], RedFlock[6, 8], RedFlock[6, 8], GreenFlock[5, 8], GreenFlock[5, 8], GreenFlock[5, 8], RedFlock[4, 8], RedFlock[4, 8], RedFlock[4, 8], RedFlock[4, 8], RedFlock[3, 7], RedFlock[3, 7], RedFlock[3, 7], RedFlock[3, 7], GreenFlock[3, 6], GreenFlock[3, 6], GreenFlock[3, 6], RedFlock[3, 5], RedFlock[3, 5], GreenFlock[2, 5], GreenFlock[2, 5], RedFlock[2, 4], RedFlock[2, 4], RedFlock[2, 4], GreenFlock[2, 3], GreenFlock[2, 3], GreenFlock[2, 3], GreenFlock[3, 2], GreenFlock[3, 2], GreenFlock[3, 2], GreenFlock[3, 2], GreenFlock[3, 2], RedFlock[4, 2], GreenFlock[4, 1], GreenFlock[4, 1], RedFlock[5, 1], GreenFlock[5, 2], GreenFlock[5, 2], RedFlock[6, 2], RedFlock[6, 2], RedFlock[6, 2], GreenFlock[6, 3], GreenFlock[6, 3], GreenFlock[6, 3], RedFlock[7, 3], GreenFlock[7, 4], GreenFlock[7, 4], GreenFlock[7, 4], RedFlock[7, 5], RedFlock[7, 5], RedFlock[7, 5], GreenFlock[8, 5], RedFlock[8, 6], RedFlock[8, 6], RedFlock[8, 6], GreenFlock[8, 7], GreenFlock[8, 7], GreenFlock[8, 7], GreenFlock[8, 7], GreenFlock[9, 8], GreenFlock[9, 8], GreenFlock[9, 8], RedFlock[9, 9], RedFlock[9, 9], RedFlock[9, 9], RedFlock[9, 9], RedFlock[9, 9], RedFlock[9, 9], RedFlock[9, 9], GreenFlock[9, 8], GreenFlock[9, 8], GreenFlock[9, 8], GreenFlock[9, 8], GreenFlock[8, 7], GreenFlock[8, 7], GreenFlock[8, 7], GreenFlock[8, 7], RedFlock[7, 7], RedFlock[7, 7], RedFlock[7, 7]
  • Some additional thoughts about building maps from trajectories
    • Incorporating trajectories allows determination of otherwise difficult problems. An example of this is pictures of war crimes. If the trajectory originates in a legal belief space, then it’s evidence to be saved. If it comes from an extremist belief space, it’s propaganda to be deleted.
    • The simplest way to do this is to look at all the trajectories where a landmark is shared. Every item that is adjacent to that landmark on a trajectory must be adjacent in the environment. If we build a graph with the lowest crossing number, we should have our best reconstruction.
    • Time can be an important dimension, and may provide useful information where just sequence may not
    • It is possible, even likely, that the map is not fixed, so the environment should also be allowed to morph over time to support optimal relations. Think of it as agents surfing on a wave. There is an outer frame (the shore) that waves and surfers can’t exist. Within that frame, waves move and follow different rules from surfers. Surfers in turn are influenced by the waves, and in our case, waves may be influenced by the surfers as well as the external environment.
    • Trajectories point both ways. In addition to being able to infer a destination for an agent, it may be possible to infer an origin.
    • Discussing this with Aaron, we realized that it might be possible to build a map by constructing a network from the adjacency of paths. In other words, if one path goes from C1->C2->C3 and another goes from B2->C2->D2, then we know that C2 is adjacent to all those points. That information can be used to build a graph. If the graph can be arranged so that it has a low crossing number, then it should approximate the original map. The (relative) size of the areas could be related to the crossing times averaged out for all agents.
  • And I just found this in Reinforcement Learning : An Introduction (1st edition linked here): ReinforcementLearningPP2
  • Back to Angular
    • Found where the typescript files live on the browser/webpack: FoundTheFiles
    • Got routes working, with minimal confusion. The framework generates a lot of code though…
    • To get npm install angularinmemorywebapi save to install something visible for the IDE, I had to add the -g option. Still got weird errors though: 
      D:\Development\Sandboxes\TourOfHeroes>npm install angular-in-memory-web-api --save -g
      npm WARN angular-in-memory-web-api@0.5.1 requires a peer of @angular/common@>=2.0.0 <6.0.0 but none is installed. You must install peer dependencies yourself. npm WARN angular-in-memory-web-api@0.5.1 requires a peer of @angular/core@>=2.0.0 <6.0.0 but none is installed. You must install peer dependencies yourself. npm WARN angular-in-memory-web-api@0.5.1 requires a peer of @angular/http@>=2.0.0 <6.0.0 but none is installed. You must install peer dependencies yourself.
      npm WARN angular-in-memory-web-api@0.5.1 requires a peer of rxjs@^5.1.0 but none is installed. You must install peer dependencies yourself.
    • Here’s how you generate a service
      ng generate service in-memory-data --flat --module=app


Phil 11.15.17

7:00 – 4:30 ASRC MKT

  • How A Russian Troll Fooled America Reconstructing the life of a covert Kremlin influence account (Herding behavior???)
  • Psychological targeting as an effective approach to digital mass persuasion
    • People are exposed to persuasive communication across many different contexts: Governments, companies, and political parties use persuasive appeals to encourage people to eat healthier, purchase a particular product, or vote for a specific candidate. Laboratory studies show that such persuasive appeals are more effective in influencing behavior when they are tailored to individuals’ unique psychological characteristics. However, the investigation of large-scale psychological persuasion in the real world has been hindered by the questionnaire-based nature of psychological assessment. Recent research, however, shows that people’s psychological characteristics can be accurately predicted from their digital footprints, such as their Facebook Likes or Tweets. Capitalizing on this form of psychological assessment from digital footprints, we test the effects of psychological persuasion on people’s actual behavior in an ecologically valid setting. In three field experiments that reached over 3.5 million individuals with psychologically tailored advertising, we find that matching the content of persuasive appeals to individuals’ psychological characteristics significantly altered their behavior as measured by clicks and purchases. Persuasive appeals that were matched to people’s extraversion or openness-to experience level resulted in up to 40% more clicks and up to 50% more purchases than their mismatching or unpersonalized counterparts. Our findings suggest that the application of psychological targeting makes it possible to influence the behavior of large groups of people by tailoring persuasive appeals to the psychological needs of the target audiences. We discuss both the potential benefits of this method for helping individuals make better decisions and the potential pitfalls related to manipulation and privacy
  • Wrote up notes from yesterday
  •  (MIT) is a tool that tries to engage users in constructive debate. The questions were devised by Jonathan Haidt and his team for – a site that collects data on moral sense.
    • CollectiveDebate
    • CollectiveDebate2
    • After using it some, it seems awkward, and requires a good deal of busywork. Much delayed gratification, and you seem to only select the arguments that work best for you. The visualizations, based on the 5 axis are pretty cool, could be some default axis to play with.
  • Continuing with From Keyword Search to Exploration – finished. Need to get my notes over from the Kindle, which is not posting them….
  • Banging away at Angular. Basically figuring out what I did yesterday. Ok, done. I think it makes more sense now.

Phil 11.14.17

7:00 – 4:00 ASRC MKT

  • Reinforcement Learning: An Introduction (2nd Edition)
    • Richard S. Sutton (Scholar): I am seeking to identify general computational principles underlying what we mean by intelligence and goal-directed behavior. I start with the interaction between the intelligent agent and its environment. Goals, choices, and sources of information are all defined in terms of this interaction. In some sense it is the only thing that is real, and from it all our sense of the world is created. How is this done? How can interaction lead to better behavior, better perception, better models of the world? What are the computational issues in doing this efficiently and in realtime? These are the sort of questions that I ask in trying to understand what it means to be intelligent, to predict and influence the world, to learn, perceive, act, and think. In practice, I work primarily in reinforcement learning as an approach to artificial intelligence. I am exploring ways to represent a broad range of human knowledge in an empirical form–that is, in a form directly in terms of experience–and in ways of reducing the dependence on manual encoding of world state and knowledge.
    • Andrew G. Barto : Most of my recent work has been about extending reinforcement learning methods so that they can work in real-time with real experience, rather than solely with simulated experience as in many of the most impressive applications to date. Of particular interest to me at present is what psychologists call intrinsically motivated behavior, meaning behavior that is done for its own sake rather than as a step toward solving a specific problem of clear practical value. What we learn during intrinsically motivated behavior is essential for our development as competent autonomous entities able to efficiently solve a wide range of practical problems as they arise. Recent work by my colleagues and me on what we call intrinsically motivated reinforcement learning is aimed at allowing artificial agents to construct and extend hierarchies of reusable skills that form the building blocks for open-ended learning. Visit the Autonomous Learning Laboratory page for some more details.
  • There was a piece on BBC Business Daily on social network moderators. Aside from it being a horrible job, the show touched on how international criminal cases often rest on video uploaded to services like Twitter and Facebook. This process worked as long as the moderators were human and could tell the difference between criminal activity and the documentation of criminal activity, but now with ML solutions being implemented, these videos are being deleted. First, this shows how ad-hoc the usage of these networks are as a place for legal and journalistic activity. Second, it shows the need for a mechanism that is built to support these activities, where there is a more expansive role of reporter/researcher and editor. This is near the center of gravity for the TACJOUR project.
  • Flying home yesterday, I was thinking about how the maps need to get built. One way of thinking about it is that you are given a set of directions that run through a geographic area and have to build a map from that. We know the adjacencies by the sequence of the directions. It follows that we should be able to build a map by overlaying all the routes in an n-dimensional space. I was then reading Technical Perspective: Exploring a Kingdom by Geodesic Measures, and at least some of the concepts appear related. In the case of the game at least, we have the center ‘post’, which is the discussion starting point. The discussion is (can be) a random walk towards the poles created in that iteration. Multiple walks create multiple paths over this unknown Manifold.  I’m thinking that this should be enough information to build a self organizing map. This might help: Visual analysis of self-organizing maps
    • Had some discussions with Arron about this. It should be pretty straightforward to build a map, grid or hex that trajectories can be recorded from. Then the trajectories can be used to reconstruct the map. Success is evaluated by the similarity between the source map and the reconstructed one.
    • I could also add recorded trajectories to the generated spreadsheet. It could be a list of cells that the agent traverses. Comparing explore, flocking and stampede behaviors in their reconstructed maps?
  • Continuing with From Keyword Search to Exploration
    • The mSpace Browser is a multi faceted column based client for exploring large data sets in the way that makes sense to you. You decide the columns and the order that best suits your browsing needs.
    • Yippy search
    • Exalead search
    • pg 62, animation
  • Continuing along with Angular
  • Multiple discussions with Aaron about next steps, particularly for anomaly detection

Phil 11.9.17

Instagram, Meme Seeding, and the Truth about Facebook Manipulation, Pt. 1

  • Jonathan Albright is the Research Director at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism. Previously an assistant professor of media analytics in the school of communication at Elon University, Dr. Albright’s work focuses on the analysis of socially-mediated news events, misinformation/propaganda, and trending topics, applying a mixed-methods, investigative data-driven storytelling approach.
  • The last couple of weeks have brought us the first new major revelations about the reach and scope of the IRA media influence campaign. Yet the most important development about the ongoing Facebook investigation isn’t the tenfold increase in the company’s updated estimate of the organic reach of “ads” on its platform.

    While the estimate increasing the reach of IRA content from 10 million people to 126 million people is surely a leap, after last week’s testimony, the real question we should be asking is: how did we suddenly arrive at 150 million?

    The answer is Instagram.

Reading The Group Polarization Phenomenon working on the PolarizationGame. Some thoughts:

  • There needs a way for each player to state their support/oppose state on a slider before the debate begins. We could even color code the threads using that information, though maybe only when viewing after the debate is complete.
  • What about teams?

The Emergence of a Fovea while Learning to Attend

  • Everything is about how we deal as individuals and groups with imperfect information. Which is why a attention-based economy is crazy

Identifying Dogmatism in Social Media: Signals and Models

  • We explore linguistic and behavioral features of dogmatism in social media and construct statistical models that can identify dogmatic comments. Our model is based on a corpus of Reddit posts, collected across a diverse set of conversational topics and annotated via paid crowdsourcing. We operationalize key aspects of dogmatism described by existing psychology theories (such as over-confidence), finding they have predictive power. We also find evidence for new signals of dogmatism, such as the tendency of dogmatic posts to refrain from signaling cognitive processes. When we use our predictive model to analyze millions of other Reddit posts, we find evidence that suggests dogmatism is a deeper personality trait, present for dogmatic users across many different domains, and that users who engage on dogmatic comments tend to show increases in dogmatic posts themselves.


Phil 11.8.17

ASRC MKT 7:00 – 5:00, with about two hours for personal time

  • After the fall of DNAinfo, it’s time to stop hoping local news will scale
    • I think people understand that this sensation of unreality has a lot to do with the platforms that deliver our news, because Facebook and Google package journalism and bullshit identically. But I’d argue that it also has a lot to do with the death of local news to a degree few of us recognize.
    • This is not unheard of in digital local news: People pay to drink with the investigative reporters at The Lens in New Orleans and to watch Steelers games with the staff of The Incline in Pittsburgh.
  • And as a counterbalance: Weaken from Within
    • The turtle didn’t know and never will, that information warfare — it is the purposeful training of an enemy on how to remove its own shell.
  • Rescuing Collective Wisdom when the Average Group Opinion Is Wrong
    • Yet the collective knowledge will remain inaccessible to us unless we are able to find efficient knowledge aggregation methods that produce reliable decisions based on the behavior or opinions of the collective’s members.
    • Our analysis indicates that in the ideal case, there should be a matching between the aggregation procedure and the nature of the knowledge distribution, correlations, and associated error costs. This leads us to explore how machine learning techniques can be used to extract near-optimal decision rules in a data-driven manner.
  • Inferring Relations in Knowledge Graphs with Tensor Decompositions
  • From today’s Pulse of the Planet episode:
    • Colin Ellard is a cognitive neuroscientist and the author of Places of the Heart: the Psychogeography of Everyday Life. He says that the choices we make in siting a house or even where we choose to sit in a crowded room give us clues about the way humans have evolved.  The idea of prospect and refuge is an inherently biological idea. It goes back through the history of human beings. In fact for any kind of animal selecting a habitat, kind of the holy grail of good habitat choice can be summed up by the principal of seeing but not being seen.
      Ideally what we want is a set of circumstances where we have some protection, visual protection, in the sense of not being able to be easily located ourselves, and that’s Refuge. But we also want to be able to know what’s going on around us. We need to be able to see out from wherever that refuge is. And that’s Prospect. The operation of our preference for situations that are high in both refuge and prospect is something that cuts across everything we build or everywhere we find ourselves.
  • So, prospect-refuge theory sounds interesting. It seems to come from psychology rather than ecology-related fields. Still, it’s a discussion of affordances. Searching around, I found this: Methodological characteristics of research testing prospect–refuge theory: a comparative analysis. Couldn’t get it directly, so I’m trying ILL.
    • Prospect–refuge theory proposes that environments which offer both outlook and enclosure provoke not only feelings of safety but also of spatially derived pleasure. This theory, which was adopted in environmental psychology, led Hildebrand to argue for its relevance to architecture and interior design. Hildebrand added further spatial qualities to this theory – including complexity and order – as key measures of the environmental aesthetics of space. Since that time, prospect–refuge theory has been associated with a growing number of works by renowned architects, but so far there is only limited empirical evidence to substantiate the theory. This paper analyses and compares the methods used in 30 quantitative attempts to examine the validity of prospect–refuge theory. Its purpose is not to review the findings of these studies, but to examine their methodological bases and biases and comment on their relevance for future research in this field.
    • This is the book by Hildebrand: The Wright Space: Patterns and Meaning in Frank Lloyd Wright’s Houses. Ordered.
  • Ok, back to Angular2
    • Done with chapter 3.