Phil 6.21.18

7:00 – 4:00 ASRC MKT

  • Add an attractor scalar for agents that’s normally zero. A vector to each agent within the SIH is calculated and scaled by the attractor scalar. That vector is then added to the direction vector to the agent – done
  • Remove the heading influence based on site – done
  • Add a white circle to the center of the agent that is the size of the attraction scalar. Done
  • Add attraction radius slider that is independent of the SIH. -done
  • Add a ‘site trajectory’ to the spreadsheet that will have the site lists (and their percentage?)
  • There is now an opportunity for a poster and a demo at SASO
  • Add stories, lists and maps to implication slides – done
  • Got all my connections set up
  • Successfully converted and deployed cosmos-2
  • Voted!

Phil 6.13.18

7:00 – 4:00 ASRC MKT

  • International driver’s license – done
  • Add visually-impaired labels to paper – done
  • Start slides
  • Interesting article on dimension reduction: The faces of God in America: Revealing religious diversity across people and politics What strikes me about this study is actually how similar the depictions are. In belief space, this would be a closely woven neighborhood. It would be interesting to see an equivalent study on a less anthropomorphic deity like Vishnu… journal.pone.0198745.g002
    • Literature and art have long depicted God as a stern and elderly white man, but do people actually see Him this way? We use reverse correlation to understand how a representative sample of American Christians visualize the face of God, which we argue is indicative of how believers think about God’s mind. In contrast to historical depictions, Americans generally see God as young, Caucasian, and loving, but perceptions vary by believers’ political ideology and physical appearance. Liberals see God as relatively more feminine, more African American, and more loving than conservatives, who see God as older, more intelligent, and more powerful. All participants see God as similar to themselves on attractiveness, age, and, to a lesser extent, race. These differences are consistent with past research showing that people’s views of God are shaped by their group-based motivations and cognitive biases. Our results also speak to the broad scope of religious differences: even people of the same nationality and the same faith appear to think differently about God’s appearance.
  • Finished paper
  • Working on talk


  • Shopping – done
  • taxes
  • laundry – done
  • generator/un-grounded short extension cord – done. Works!

Phil 6.12.18

7:00 – 4:30 ASRC MKT

  • Listening to Clint Watts on his new book
    • “When you don’t know what to believe, you will fall back on your biases”
    • 3 levels of Russian recruitment
      • Useful Idiot
      • Fellow Traveler
      • Agent
    • “They don’t have to make up fake news, There is plenty of fake news for them to employ”
    • Huh. He’s responsible for Hamilton 68, and is interested to extending to beyond Russian Misinfo.
  • Polarization and Fake News: Early Warning of Potential Misinformation Targets
    • Walter Quattrociocchi (scholar)
    • Users polarization and confirmation bias play a key role in misinformation spreading on online social media. Our aim is to use this information to determine in advance potential targets for hoaxes and fake news. In this paper, we introduce a general framework for promptly identifying polarizing content on social media and, thus, “predicting” future fake news topics. We validate the performances of the proposed methodology on a massive Italian Facebook dataset, showing that we are able to identify topics that are susceptible to misinformation with 77% accuracy. Moreover, such information may be embedded as a new feature in an additional classifier able to recognize fake news with 91% accuracy. The novelty of our approach consists in taking into account a series of characteristics related to users behavior on online social media, making a first, important step towards the smoothing of polarization and the mitigation of misinformation phenomena.
  • Trend of Narratives in the Age of Misinformation
    • Walter Quattrociocchi (scholar)
    • Social media enabled a direct path from producer to consumer of contents changing the way users get informed, debate, and shape their worldviews. Such a {\em disintermediation} weakened consensus on social relevant issues in favor of rumors, mistrust, and fomented conspiracy thinking — e.g., chem-trails inducing global warming, the link between vaccines and autism, or the New World Order conspiracy. 
      In this work, we study through a thorough quantitative analysis how different conspiracy topics are consumed in the Italian Facebook. By means of a semi-automatic topic extraction strategy, we show that the most discussed contents semantically refer to four specific categories: environment, diet, health, and {\em geopolitics}. We find similar patterns by comparing users activity (likes and comments) on posts belonging to different semantic categories. However, if we focus on the lifetime — i.e., the distance in time between the first and the last comment for each user — we notice a remarkable difference within narratives — e.g., users polarized on geopolitics are more persistent in commenting, whereas the less persistent are those focused on diet related topics. Finally, we model users mobility across various topics finding that the more a user is active, the more he is likely to join all topics. Once inside a conspiracy narrative users tend to embrace the overall corpus.
  • More SASO paper
    • Finished explanation of the one simple trick
    • Need to add accessibility descriptions for pix

Phil 6.11.18

7:00 – 6:00 ASRC MKT

  • More Bit by Bit. Reading the section on ethics. It strikes me that simulation could be a way to cut the PII Gordion Knot in some conditions. If a simulation can be developed that generates statistically similar data to the desired population, then the simulated data and the simulation code can be released to the research community. The dataset becomes infinite and adjustable, while the PII data can be held back. Machine learning systems trained on the simulated data can then be evaluated on the confidential data. The differences in the classification by the ML systems between real data and simulated data can also provide insight into the gaps in fidelity of the simulated data, which would provide an ongoing improvement to the simulation, which could in turn be released to the community.
  • Continuing with the cleanup of the SASO paper. Mostly done but some trimming of redundent bits and the “Ose Simple Trick” paragraph.
  • SASO travel link
    • Monday prices: SASO
  • Fika
    • Come up with 3-5 options for a finished state for the dissertation. It probably ranges from “pure theory” through “instance based on theory” to “a map generated by the system that matches the theory”
    • Once the SASO paper is in, set up a “wine and cheese” get together for the committee to go over the current work and discuss changes to the next phase
    • Start on a new IRB. Emphasize how everyone will have the same system to interact with, though their interactions will be different. Emphasize that the system has to allow open interaction to provide the best chance to realize theoretical results.
    • Will and I are on the hook for a Fika about LaTex

Phil 6.8.18

7:00 – 3:30 ASRC MKT

  • We should attend this:  IEEE International Symposium on Technology and Society
    • Nov. 13 & 14th, Washington DC
    • ISTAS is a multi-disciplinary and interdisciplinary forum for engineers, policy makers, entrepreneurs, philosophers, researchers, social scientists, technologists, and polymaths to collaborate, exchange experiences, and discuss the social implications of technology.
  • More Bit by Bit
    • This looks really good. It’s on how social networks and behavior co-evolve: Social selection and peer influence in an online social network
      • Disentangling the effects of selection and influence is one of social science’s greatest unsolved puzzles: Do people befriend others who are similar to them, or do they become more similar to their friends over time? Recent advances in stochastic actor-based modeling, combined with self-reported data on a popular online social network site, allow us to address this question with a greater degree of precision than has heretofore been possible. Using data on the Facebook activity of a cohort of college students over 4 years, we find that students who share certain tastes in music and in movies, but not in books, are significantly likely to befriend one another. Meanwhile, we find little evidence for the diffusion of tastes among Facebook friends—except for tastes in classical/jazz music. These findings shed light on the mechanisms responsible for observed network homogeneity; provide a statistically rigorous assessment of the coevolution of cultural tastes and social relationships; and suggest important qualifications to our understanding of both homophily and contagion as generic social processes.
  • Cleaning up the SASO paper. Lots of good suggestions.
  • Got Aaron up to 16.5 on the 16 mile loop today!

Phil 6.5.18

7:00 – 6:00 ASRC

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

Phil 5.14.18

7:00 – 3:00 ASRC MKT

    • Working on Zurich Travel. Ricardo is getting tix, and I got a response back from the conference on an extended stay
    • Continue with slides
    • See if there is a binary embedding reader in Java? Nope. Maybe in ml4j, but it’s easier to just write out the file in the format that I want
    • Done with the writer: Vim
  • Fika
  • Finished Simulacra and Simulation. So very, very French. From my perspective, there are so many different lines of thought coming out of the work that I can’t nail down anything definitive.
  • Started The Evolution of Cooperation

Phil 4.10.18

7:00 – 5:00 ASRC MKT

  • Incorporating Wajanat’s changes
  • Discovered the csquotes package!
  • Meeting with Drew
    • Nice chat. Basically, “use the databases!”
    • Also found this:
      • A Mechanism for Reasoning about Time and Belief
        • Hideki Isozaki
        • Yoav Shoham (Twitter)
        • Several computational frameworks have been proposed to maintain information about the evolving world, which embody a default persistence mechanism; examples include time maps and the event calculus. In multi-agent environments, time and belief both play essential roles. Belief interacts with time in two ways: there is the time at which something is believed, and the time about which it is believed. We augment the default mechanisms proposed for the purely temporal case so as to maintain information not only about the objective world but also about the evolution of beliefs. In the simplest case, this yields a two dimensional map of time, with persistence along each dimension. Since beliefs themselves may refer to other beliefs, we have to think of a statement referring to an agent’s temporal belief about another agent’s temporal belief ( a nested temporal belief statement). It poses both semantical and algorithmic problems. In this paper, we concentrate on the algorithmic aspect of the problems. The general case involves multi-dimensional maps of time called Temporal Belief Maps.
  • Register for CI 2018 – done
  • Finalize and submit paper by April 27, 2018
  • Did not get a go ahead for ONR
  • More work on the DHS proposal. Thinking about having a discussion about using latent values and clustering as the initial detection approach, and using ML as the initial simulation approach.
  • Then much banging away at keyboards. Good progress, I think
  • Neural Artistic Style Transfer: A Comprehensive Look

Phil 3.17.18

This came to me as a herding paper title for SASO 2018: This one simple trick can disrupt digital societies. Too much?

First International workshop on Socio-Cognitive Systems

  •  In this workshop we want to explore the interactions between cognitive and social aspects of “socio-cognitive systems” – that is where the social and cognitive aspects are studied together. The workshop connects elements of IJCAI/ECAI, AAMAS and ICML. Of course, modelling these systems in terms of Multi-Agent Systems seems intuitive, but also would require special attention to the social concepts in these MAS. The cognitive abilities of the agents should adapt themselves to the social context and development, which connects this area to machine learning in a social context. 
  • Deadline for submissions: 1st May 2018
  • Notification of acceptance: May/June 2018
  • Camera-ready copy of papers: June 2018
  • Workshop: 14 or 15 July 2018
  • Stockholm, co-located with IJCAI

Symmetric generative methods and t-SNE: a short survey

  • In data visualization, a family of methods is dedicated to the symmetric numerical matrices which contain the distances or similarities between high-dimensional data vectors. The method t-Distributed Stochastic Neighbor Embedding has been recently introduced for data visualization. Leading to competitive nonlinear embeddings which are able to reveal the natural classes, several variants have been developed. For comparison purposes, it is presented the recent generative alternative methods (Glove, probabilistic CA, LSPM, LargeVis, SBM) in the literature for nonlinear embedding via low dimensional positions.


  • étudier is a small Python program that uses Selenium and requests-html to drive a non-headless browser to collect a citation graph around a particular Google Scholar citation. The resulting network is written out as a Gephi file and a D3 visualization using networkx.