Phil 5.1.18

7:00 – 4:30 ASRC MKT

  • Applications of big social media data analysis: An overview
    • Over the last few years, online communication has moved toward user-driven technologies, such as online social networks (OSNs), blogs, online virtual communities, and online sharing platforms. These social technologies have ushered in a revolution in user-generated data, online global communities, and rich human behavior-related content. Human-generated data and human mobility patterns have become important steps toward developing smart applications in many areas. Understanding human preferences is important to the development of smart applications and services to enable such applications to understand the thoughts and emotions of humans, and then act smartly based on learning from social media data. This paper discusses the role of social media data in comprehending online human data and in consequently different real applications of SM data for smart services are executed.
  • Explainable, Interactive Deep Learning
    • Recently, deep learning has been advancing the state of the art in artificial intelligence to yet another level, and humans are relying more and more on the outputs generated by artificial intelligence techniques than ever before. However, even with such unprecedented advancements, the lack of interpretability on the decisions made by deep learning models and no control over their internal processes act as a major drawback when utilizing them to critical decision-making processes such as precision medicine and law enforcement. In response, efforts are being made to make deep learning interpretable and controllable by humans. In this paper, we review recent studies relevant to this direction and discuss potential challenges and future research directions.
  • Building successful online communities: Evidence-based social design (book review)
    • In Building Successful Online Communities (2012), Robert Kraut, Paul Resnick, and their collaborators set out to draw links between the design of socio-technical systems with findings from social psychology and economics. Along the way, they set out a vision for the role of social sciences in the design of systems like mailing lists, discussion forums, wikis, and social networks, offering a way that behavior on those platforms might inform our understanding of human behavior.
  • Since I’ve forgotten my Angular stuff, reviewing UltimateAngular, Angular Fundamentals course. Finished the ‘Getting Started’ section
  • Strip out Guttenburg text from corpora – done!

Phil 4.30.18

7:00 – 4:30 ASRC MKT

  • Some new papers from ICLR 2018
  • Need to write up a quick post for communicating between Angular and a (PHP) server, with an optional IntelliJ configuration section
  • JuryRoom this morning and then GANs + Agents this afternoon?
  • Next steps for JuryRoom
    • Start up the AngularPro course
    • Set up PHP access to DB, returning JSON objects
  • Starting Agent/GAN project
    • Need to set up an ACM paper to start dumping things into – done.
    • Looking for a good source for Jack London. Gutenberg looks nice, but there is a no-scraping rule, so I guess, we’ll do this by hand…
    • We will need to check for redundant short stories
    • We will need to strip the front and back matter that pertains to project Gutenburg
  • Fika: Accessibility at the Intersection of Users and Data
    • Nice talk and followup discussion with Dr. Hernisa Kacorri, who’s combining machine learning and HCC
      • My research goal is to build technologies that address real-world problems by integrating data-driven methods and human-computer interaction. I am interested in investigating human needs and challenges that may benefit from advancements in artificial intelligence. My focus is both in building new models to address these challenges and in designing evaluation methodologies that assess their impact. Typically my research involves application of machine learning and analytics research to benefit people with disabilities, especially assistive technologies that model human communication and behavior such as sign language avatars and independent mobility for the blind.

Phil 4.27.18

7:00 – 4:00 ASRC MKT

  • Call Charlestown about getting last two years of payments – done. Left a message
  • Get parking from StubHub
  • I saw James Burnham’s interview on the Daly Show last night. Roughly, I think that his thoughts on how humans haven’t changed, but our norms and practices is true. Based on listening to him talk, I think he’s more focussed on the symptoms than the cause. The question that he doesn’t seem to be asking is “why did civilization emerge when it did?”, and “why does it seem to be breaking now?”
    Personally, I think it’s tied up with communication technology. Slow communication systems like writing, mail, and the printing press lead to civilization. Rapid, frictionless forms of communication from radio to social media disrupt this process by changing how we define, perceive and trust our neighbors. The nice thing is that if technology is the critical element, then technology can be adjusted. Not that it’s easier, but it’s probably easier than changing humans.
  • Continuing From I to We: Group Formation and Linguistic Adaption in an Online Xenophobic Forum. Done and posted in Phlog
  • Tweaking the Angular and PHP code.
  • I got the IntelliJ debugger to connect to the Apache PHP server! Here’s the final steps. Pay particular attention to the highlighted areas:
    • File->Settings->Languages & Frameworks->PHP->Debug Debug1
    • Validate: Debug2
  • Objects are now coming back in the same way, so no parsing on the Angular side
  • Sprint planning

Phil 4.26.18

Too much stuff posted yesterday, so I’m putting Kate Starbird’s new paper here:

  • Ecosystem or Echo-System? Exploring Content Sharing across Alternative Media Domains
    • This research examines the competing narratives about the role and function of Syria Civil Defence, a volunteer humanitarian organization popularly known as the White Helmets, working in war-torn Syria. Using a mixed-method approach based on seed data collected from Twitter, and then extending out to the websites cited in that data, we examine content sharing practices across distinct media domains that functioned to construct, shape, and propagate these narratives. We articulate a predominantly alternative media “echo-system” of websites that repeatedly share content about the White Helmets. Among other findings, our work reveals a small set of websites and authors generating content that is spread across diverse sites, drawing audiences from distinct communities into a shared narrative. This analysis also reveals the integration of government funded media and geopolitical think tanks as source content for anti-White Helmets narratives. More broadly, the analysis demonstrates the role of alternative newswire-like services in providing content for alternative media websites. Though additional work is needed to understand these patterns over time and across topics, this paper provides insight into the dynamics of this multi-layered media ecosystem.

7:00 – 5:00 ASRC MKT

  • Referencing for Aanton at 5:00
  • Call Charlestown about getting last two years of payments
  • Benjamin D. Horne, Sara Khedr, and Sibel Adali. “Sampling the News Producers: A Large News and Feature Data Set for the Study of the Complex Media Landscape” ICWSM 2018
  • Continuing From I to We: Group Formation and Linguistic Adaption in an Online Xenophobic Forum
  • Anchor-Free Correlated Topic Modeling
    • In topic modeling, identifiability of the topics is an essential issue. Many topic modeling approaches have been developed under the premise that each topic has an anchor word, which may be fragile in practice, because words and terms have multiple uses; yet it is commonly adopted because it enables identifiability guarantees. Remedies in the literature include using three- or higher-order word co-occurence statistics to come up with tensor factorization models, but identifiability still hinges on additional assumptions. In this work, we propose a new topic identification criterion using second order statistics of the words. The criterion is theoretically guaranteed to identify the underlying topics even when the anchor-word assumption is grossly violated. An algorithm based on alternating optimization, and an efficient primal-dual algorithm are proposed to handle the resulting identification problem. The former exhibits high performance and is completely parameter-free; the latter affords up to 200 times speedup relative to the former, but requires step-size tuning and a slight sacrifice in accuracy. A variety of real text copora are employed to showcase the effectiveness of the approach, where the proposed anchor-free method demonstrates substantial improvements compared to a number of anchor-word based approaches under various evaluation metrics.
  • Cleaning up the Angular/PHP example. Put on GitHub?

Phil 4.25.18

7:00 – 3:30 ASRC MKT

  • Google’s Workshop on AI/ML Research and Practice in India:
    Ganesh Ramakrishnan (IIT Bombay) presented research on human assisted machine learning.
  • From I to We: Group Formation and Linguistic Adaption in an Online Xenophobic Forum
    • Much of identity formation processes nowadays takes place online, indicating that intergroup differentiation may be found in online communities. This paper focuses on identity formation processes in an open online xenophobic, anti-immigrant, discussion forum. Open discussion forums provide an excellent opportunity to investigate open interactions that may reveal how identity is formed and how individual users are influenced by other users. Using computational text analysis and Linguistic Inquiry Word Count (LIWC), our results show that new users change from an individual identification to a group identification over time as indicated by a decrease in the use of “I” and increase in the use of “we”. The analyses also show increased use of “they” indicating intergroup differentiation. Moreover, the linguistic style of new users became more similar to that of the overall forum over time. Further, the emotional content decreased over time. The results indicate that new users on a forum create a collective identity with the other users and adapt to them linguistically.
    • Social influence is broadly defined as any change – emotional, behavioral, or attitudinal – that has its roots in others’ real or imagined presence (Allport, 1954). (pg 77)
    • Regardless of why an individual displays an observable behavioral change that is in line with group norms, social identification with a group is the basis for the change. (pg 77)
    • In social psychological terms, a group is defined as more than two people that share certain goals (Cartwright & Zander, 1968). (pg 77)
    • Processes of social identification, intergroup differentiation and social influence have to date not been studied in online forums. The aim of the present research is to fill this gap and provide information on how such processes can be studied through language used on the forum. (pg 78)
    • The popularity of social networking sites has increased immensely during the last decade. At the same time, offline socializing has shown a decline (Duggan & Smith, 2013). Now, much of the socializing actually takes place online (Ganda, 2014). In order to be part of an online community, the individual must socialize with other users. Through such socializing, individuals create self-representations (Enli & Thumim, 2012). Hence, the processes of identity formation, may to a large extent take place on the Internet in various online forums. (pg 78)
    • For instance, linguistic analyses of American Nazis have shown that use of third person plural pronouns (they, them, their) is the single best predictor of extreme attitudes (Pennebaker & Chung, 2008). (pg 79)
    • Because language can be seen as behavior (Fiedler, 2008), it may be possible to study processes of social influence through linguistic analysis. Thus, our second hypothesis is that the linguistic style of new users will become increasingly similar to the linguistic style of the overall forum over time (H2). (pg 79)
    • This indicates that the content of the posts in an online forum may also change over time as arguments become more fine-tuned and input from both supporting and contradicting members are integrated into an individual’s own beliefs. This is likely to result (linguistically) in an increase in indicators of cognitive complexity. Hence, we hypothesize that the content of the posts will change over time, such that indicators of complex thinking will increase (H3a). (pg 80)
      • I’m not sure what to think about this. I expect from dimension reduction, that as the group becomes more aligned, the overall complex thinking will reduce, and the outliers will leave, at least in the extreme of a stampede condition.
    • This result indicates that after having expressed negativity in the forum, the need for such expressions should decrease. Hence, we expect that the content of the posts will change such that indicators of negative emotions will decrease, over time (H3b). (pg 80)
    • the forum is presented as a “very liberal forum”, where people are able to express their opinions, whatever they may be. This “extreme liberal” idea implies that there is very little censorship the forum is presented as a “very liberal forum”, where people are able to express their opinions, whatever they may be. This “extreme liberal” idea implies that there is very little censorship, which has resulted in that the forum is highly xenophobic. Nonetheless, due to its liberal self-presentation, the xenophobic discussions are not unchallenged. For example, also anti-racist people join this forum in order to challenge individuals with xenophobic attitudes. This means that the forum is not likely to function as a pure echo chamber, because contradicting arguments must be met with own arguments. Hence, individuals will learn from more experienced users how to counter contradicting arguments in a convincing way. Hence, they are likely to incorporate new knowledge, embrace input and contribute to evolving ideas and arguments. (pg 81)
      • Open debate can lead to the highest level of polarization (M&D)
      • There isn’t diverse opinion. The conversation is polarized, with opponents pushing towards the opposite pole. The question I’d like to see answered is has extremism increased in the forum?
    • Natural language analyses of anonymous social media forums also circumvent social desirability biases that may be present in traditional self-rating research, which is a particular important concern in relation to issues related to outgroups (Maass, Salvi, Arcuri, & Semin, 1989; von Hippel, Sekaquaptewa, & Vargas, 1997, 2008). The to-be analyzed media uses “aliases”, yielding anonymity of the users and at the same time allow us to track individuals over time and analyze changes in communication patterns. (pg 81)
      • After seeing “Ready Player One”, I also wonder if the aliases themselves could be looked at using an embedding space built from the terms used by the users? Then you get distance measurements, t-sne projections, etc.
    • Linguistic Inquiry Word Count (LIWC; Pennebaker et al., 2007; Chung & Pennebaker, 2007; Pennebaker, 2011b; Pennebaker, Francis, & Booth, 2001) is a computerized text analysis program that computes a LIWC score, i.e., the percentage of various language categories relative to the number of total words (see also (pg 81)
      • LIWC2015 ($90) is the gold standard in computerized text analysis. Learn how the words we use in everyday language reveal our thoughts, feelings, personality, and motivations. Based on years of scientific research, LIWC2015 is more accurate, easier to use, and provides a broader range of social and psychological insights compared to earlier LIWC versions
    • Figure 1c shows words overrepresented in later posts, i.e. words where the usage of the words correlates positively with how long the users has been active on the forum. The words here typically lack emotional content and are indicators of higher complexity in language. Again, this analysis provides preliminary support for the idea that time on the forum is related to more complex thinking, and less emotionality.
      • WordCloud
    • The second hypothesis was that the linguistic style of new users would become increasingly similar to other users on the forum over time. This hypothesis is evaluated by first z-transforming each LIWC score, so that each has a mean value of zero and a standard deviation of one. Then we measure how each post differs from the standardized values by summing the absolute z-values over all 62 LIWC categories from 2007. Thus, low values on these deviation scores indicate that posts are more prototypical, or highly similar, to what other users write. These deviation scores are analyzed in the same way as for Hypothesis 1 (i.e., by correlating each user score with the number of days on the forum, and then t-testing whether the correlations are significantly different from zero). In support of the hypothesis, the results show an increase in similarity, as indicated by decreasing deviation scores (Figure 2). The mean correlation coefficient between this measure and time on the forum was -.0086, which is significant, t(11749) = -3.77, p < 0.001. (pg 85)
      • ForumAlignmentI think it is reasonable to consider this a measure of alignment
    • Because individuals form identities online and because we see this in the use of pronouns, we also expected to see tendencies of social influence and adaption. This effect was also found, such that individuals’ linguistic style became increasingly similar to other users’ linguistic style over time. Past research has shown that accommodation of communication style occurs automatically when people connect to people or groups they like (Giles & Ogay 2007; Ireland et al., 2011), but also that similarity in communicative style functions as cohesive glue within a group (Reid, Giles, & Harwood, 2005). (pg 86)
    • Still, the results could not confirm an increase in cognitive complexity. It is difficult to determine why this was not observed even though a general trend to conform to the linguistic style on the forum was observed. (pg 87)
      • This is what I would expect. As alignment increases, complexity, as expressed by higher dimensional thinking should decrease.
    • This idea would also be in line with previous research that has shown that expressing oneself decreases arousal (Garcia et al., 2016). Moreover, because the forum is not explicitly racist, individuals may have simply adapted to the social norms on the forum prescribing less negative emotional displays. Finally, a possible explanation for the decrease in negative emotional words might be that users who are very angry leave the forum, because of its non-racist focus, and end up in more hostile forums. An interesting finding that was not part of the hypotheses in the present research is that the third person plural category correlated positively with all four negative emotions categories, suggesting that people using for example ‘they’ express more negative emotions (pg 87)
    • In line with social identity theory (Tajfel & Turner, 1986), we also observe linguistic adaption to the group. Hence, our results indicate that processes of identity formation may take place online. (pg 87)
  • Me, My Echo Chamber, and I: Introspection on Social Media Polarization
    • Homophily — our tendency to surround ourselves with others who share our perspectives and opinions about the world — is both a part of human nature and an organizing principle underpinning many of our digital social networks. However, when it comes to politics or culture, homophily can amplify tribal mindsets and produce “echo chambers” that degrade the quality, safety, and diversity of discourse online. While several studies have empirically proven this point, few have explored how making users aware of the extent and nature of their political echo chambers influences their subsequent beliefs and actions. In this paper, we introduce Social Mirror, a social network visualization tool that enables a sample of Twitter users to explore the politically-active parts of their social network. We use Social Mirror to recruit Twitter users with a prior history of political discourse to a randomized experiment where we evaluate the effects of different treatments on participants’ i) beliefs about their network connections, ii) the political diversity of who they choose to follow, and iii) the political alignment of the URLs they choose to share. While we see no effects on average political alignment of shared URLs, we find that recommending accounts of the opposite political ideology to follow reduces participants’ beliefs in the political homogeneity of their network connections but still enhances their connection diversity one week after treatment. Conversely, participants who enhance their belief in the political homogeneity of their Twitter connections have less diverse network connections 2-3 weeks after treatment. We explore the implications of these disconnects between beliefs and actions on future efforts to promote healthier exchanges in our digital public spheres.
  • What We Read, What We Search: Media Attention and Public Attention Among 193 Countries
    • We investigate the alignment of international attention of news media organizations within 193 countries with the expressed international interests of the public within those same countries from March 7, 2016 to April 14, 2017. We collect fourteen months of longitudinal data of online news from Unfiltered News and web search volume data from Google Trends and build a multiplex network of media attention and public attention in order to study its structural and dynamic properties. Structurally, the media attention and the public attention are both similar and different depending on the resolution of the analysis. For example, we find that 63.2% of the country-specific media and the public pay attention to different countries, but local attention flow patterns, which are measured by network motifs, are very similar. We also show that there are strong regional similarities with both media and public attention that is only disrupted by significantly major worldwide incidents (e.g., Brexit). Using Granger causality, we show that there are a substantial number of countries where media attention and public attention are dissimilar by topical interest. Our findings show that the media and public attention toward specific countries are often at odds, indicating that the public within these countries may be ignoring their country-specific news outlets and seeking other online sources to address their media needs and desires.
  • “You are no Jack Kennedy”: On Media Selection of Highlights from Presidential Debates
    • Our findings indicate that there exist signals in the textual information that untrained humans do not find salient. In particular, highlights are locally distinct from the speaker’s previous turn, but are later echoed more by both the speaker and other participants (Conclusions)
      • This sounds like dimension reduction and alignment
  • Algorithms, bots, and political communication in the US 2016 election – The challenge of automated political communication for election law and administration
    • Philip N. Howard (Scholar)
    • Samuel C. Woolley (Scholar)
    • Ryan Calo (Scholar)
    • Political communication is the process of putting information, technology, and media in the service of power. Increasingly, political actors are automating such processes, through algorithms that obscure motives and authors yet reach immense networks of people through personal ties among friends and family. Not all political algorithms are used for manipulation and social control however. So what are the primary ways in which algorithmic political communication—organized by automated scripts on social media—may undermine elections in democracies? In the US context, what specific elements of communication policy or election law might regulate the behavior of such “bots,” or the political actors who employ them? First, we describe computational propaganda and define political bots as automated scripts designed to manipulate public opinion. Second, we illustrate how political bots have been used to manipulate public opinion and explain how algorithms are an important new domain of analysis for scholars of political communication. Finally, we demonstrate how political bots are likely to interfere with political communication in the United States by allowing surreptitious campaign coordination, illegally soliciting either contributions or votes, or violating rules on disclosure.
  • Ok, back to getting HTTPClient posts to play with PHP cross domain
  • Maybe I have to make a proxy?
    • Using the proxying support in webpack’s dev server we can highjack certain URLs and send them to a backend server. We do this by passing a file to --proxy-config
    • Well, that fixes the need to have all the server options set, but the post still doesn’t send data. But since this is the Right way to do things, here’s the steps:
    • To proxy localhost:4200/uli -> localhost:80/uli
      • Create a proxy.conf.json file in the same directory as package.json
          "/uli": {
            "target": "http://localhost:80",
            "secure": false

        This will cause any explicit request to localhost:4200/uli to be mapped to localhost:80/uli and appear that they are coming from localhost:80/uli

      • Set the npm start command in the package.json file to read as
        "scripts": {
          "start": "ng serve --proxy-config proxy.conf.json",

        Start with “npm start”, rather than “ng serve”

      • Call from Angular like this:'http://localhost:4200/uli/script.php', payload, httpOptions)
      • Here’s the PHP code (script.php): it takes POST and GET input and feeds it back with some information about the source :
        function getBrowserInfo(){
             $browserData = array();
             $ip = htmlentities($_SERVER['REMOTE_ADDR']);
             $browser = htmlentities($_SERVER['HTTP_USER_AGENT']);
             $referrer = "No Referrer";
             if(isset($_SERVER['HTTP_REFERER'])) {
                 //do what you need to do here if it's set
                 $referrer = htmlentities($_SERVER['HTTP_REFERER']);         if($referrer == ""){
                     $referrer = "No Referrer";
             $browserData["ipAddress"] = $ip;
             $browserData["browser"] = $browser;
             $browserData["referrer"] = $referrer;
             return $browserData;
         function getPostInfo(){
             $postInfo = array();
             foreach($_POST as $key => $value) {
                if(strlen($value) < 10000) {               $postInfo[$key] = $value;           }else{               $postInfo[$key] = "string too long";           }       }       return $postInfo;   }   function getGetInfo(){       $getInfo = array();       foreach($_GET as $key => $value) {
                if(strlen($value) < 10000) {
                    $getInfo[$key] = $value;
                    $getInfo[$key] = "string too long";
            return $getInfo;
        /**************************** MAIN ********************/
        $toReturn = array();
        $toReturn['getPostInfo'] = getPostInfo();
        $toReturn['getGetInfo'] = getGetInfo();
        $toReturn['browserInfo'] = getBrowserInfo();
        $toReturn['time'] = date("h:i:sa");
        $jstr =  json_encode($toReturn);
      • And it arrives at localhost:80/uli/script.php. The following is the javascript console of the Angular CLI code running on localhost:4200
        {getPostInfo: Array(0), getGetInfo: {…}, browserInfo: {…}, time: "05:17:16pm"}
        	browser:"Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/65.0.3325.181 Safari/537.36"
      • Got the pieces parsing in @Component and displaying, so the round trip is done. Wan’t expecting to wind up using GET, but until I can figure out what the deal is with POST, that’s what it’s going to be. Here are the two methods that send and then parse the message:
        doGet(event) {
          let payload = {
            title: 'foo',
            body: 'bar',
            userId: 1
          let message = 'message='+encodeURIComponent(JSON.stringify(payload));
          let target = 'http://localhost:4200/uli/script.php?';
          //this.http.get(target+'title=\'my title\'&body=\'the body\'&userId=1')
            .subscribe((data) => {
              console.log('Got some data from backend ', data);
              this.extractMessage(data, "getGetInfo");
            }, (error) => {
              console.log('Error! ', error);
        extractMessage(obj, name: string){
          let item = obj[name];
          try {
            if (item) {
              let mstr = item.message;
              this.mobj = JSON.parse(mstr);
            this.mobj = {};
            this.mobj["message"] = "Error extracting 'message' from ["+name+"]";
          this.mkeys = Object.keys(this.mobj);
      • And here’s the html code: html
      • Here’s a screenshot of everything working: PostGetTest

Phil 4.24.18

7:00 – 5:00 ASRC MKT

  • Aaron’s ot BoP today
  • Working on JuryRoom, particularly hooking up PHP to Angular
  • Here’s the hello world php app that’s working:
    header('Access-Control-Allow-Origin: *');
    echo '{"message": "hello"}';
  • And here’s the Angular side:
    uploadFile(event) {
      const elem =;
      if (elem.files.length > 0) {
        const f0 = elem.files[0];
        const formData = new FormData();
        formData.append('file', f0);
   'http://localhost/uploadImages/script.php', formData)
          .subscribe((data) => {
            const jsonResponse = data.json();
            console.log('Got some data from backend ', data);
          }, (error) => {
            console.log('Error! ', error);
  • Here’s how to connect to the deployment server for debugging (I hope!). From Importing settings from a server access (deployment) configurationDebugPhpServer
  • Can’t see the post info coming back, so I really need to get the debugger set up to talk to the server. Following these directions: Web Server Debug Validation Dialog. Here’s the dialog with some warnings to be corrected: EnablePhpDebug
  • Note that you HAVE TO RESTART APACHE for any php.ini changes to take
  • Had to Add XDebug Helper Chrome Extension. That helped with the php running in the browser, but not in the call to PHP from angular XDebugHelper
  • Works in Postman, but it doesn’t fire the debugger. Still, at least I know that the data can get to the php. Not sure if angular is sending it. Here’s the postman results: Postman
  • Here’s the debugger view. The data appears to be going up (formData), but it’s not coming back in the echo like it does in postman. I’ve played around with Content-type, and that doesn’t seem to help: Debugger
  • In the network view, we can see that the payload is there: Payload
  • So it must not be getting accepted in the PHP….

Phil 4.20.18

7:00 – ASRC MKT

  • Executing gradient descent on the earth
    • But the important question is: how well does gradient descent perform on the actual earth?
    • This is nice, because it suggests that we can compare GD algorithms on recognizable and visualizable terrains. Terrain locations can have multiple visualizable factors, height and luminance could be additional dimensions
  • Minds is the anti-facebook that pays you for your time
    • In a refreshing change from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the rest of the major platforms, Minds has also retained a strictly reverse-chronological timeline. The core of the Minds experience, though, is that users receive “tokens” when others interact with their posts, or simply by spending time on the platform.
  • Continuing along with the Angular/PHP tutorial here. Nicely, there is also a Git repo
    • Had to add some styling to get the upload button to show
    • The HttpModule is deprecated, but sticking with it for now
    • Will need to connect/verify PHP server within IntelliJ, described here.
    • How to connect Apache, to IntelliJ
  • Installing and Configuring XAMPP with PhpStorm IDE. Don’t forget about deployment path: deploy

Phil 4.12.18

7:00 – 5:00 ASRC MKT/BD

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

Phil 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 11.8.17

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.

Phil 11.3.17

7:00 – ASRC MKT

  • Good comments from Cindy on yesterday’s work
  • Facebook’s 2016 Election Team Gave Advertisers A Blueprint To A Divided US
  • Some flocking activity? AntifaNov4
  • I realized that I had not added the herding variables to the Excel output. Fixed.
  • DINH Q. LÊ: South China Sea Pishkun
    • In his new work, South China Sea Pishkun, Dinh Q. Lê references the horrifying events that occurred on April 30th 1975 (the day Saigon fell) as hundreds of thousands of people tried to flee Saigon from the encroaching North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong. The mass exodus was a “Pishkun” a term used to describe the way in which the Blackfoot American Indians would drive roaming buffalo off cliffs in what is known as a buffalo jump.
  • Back to writing – got some done, mostly editing.
  • Stochastic gradient descent with momentum
  • Referred to in this: There’s No Fire Alarm for Artificial General Intelligence
    •  AlphaGo did look like a product of relatively general insights and techniques being turned on the special case of Go, in a way that Deep Blue wasn’t. I also updated significantly on “The general learning capabilities of the human cortical algorithm are less impressive, less difficult to capture with a ton of gradient descent and a zillion GPUs, than I thought,” because if there were anywhere we expected an impressive hard-to-match highly-natural-selected but-still-general cortical algorithm to come into play, it would be in humans playing Go.
  • In another article: The AI Alignment Problem: Why It’s Hard, and Where to Start
    • This is where we are on most of the AI alignment problems, like if I ask you, “How do you build a friendly AI?” What stops you is not that you don’t have enough computing power. What stops you is that even if I handed you a hypercomputer, you still couldn’t write the Python program that if we just gave it enough memory would be a nice AI.
    • I think this is where models of flocking and “healthy group behaviors” matters. Explore in small numbers is healthy – it defines the bounds of the problem space. Flocking is a good way to balance bounded trust and balanced awareness. Runaway echo chambers are very bad. These patterns are recognizable, regardless of whether they come from human, machine, or bison.
  • Added contacts and invites. I think the DB is ready: polarizationgameone
  • While out riding, I realized what I can do to show results in the herding paper. There are at least three ways to herd:
    1. No herding
    2. Take the average of the herd
    3. Weight a random agent
    4. Weight random agents (randomly select an agent and leave it that way for a few cycles, then switch
  • Look at the times it takes for these to converge and see which one is best. Also look at the DTW to see if they would be different populations.
  • Then re-do the above for the two populations inverted case (max polarization)
  • Started to put in the code changes for the above. There is now a combobox for herding with the above options.

Phil 11.2.17

ASRC MKT 7:00 – 4:30

  • Add a switch to the GPM that makes the adversarial herders point in opposite directions, based on this: Russia organized 2 sides of a Texas protest and encouraged ‘both sides to battle in the streets’
  • It’s in and running. Here’s a screenshot: 2017-11-02 There are some interesting things to note. First, the vector is derived from the average heading of the largest group (green in this case). This explains why the green agents are more tightly clustered than the red ones. In the green case, the alignment is intrinsic. In the red case, it’s extrinsic. What this says to me is that although adversarial herding works well when amplifying the heading already present, it is not as effective when enforcing a heading that does not already predominant. That being said, when we have groups existing in opposition to each other, that is a tragically easy thing to enhance.
  • Hierarchical Representations for Efficient Architecture Search
    • We explore efficient neural architecture search methods and present a simple yet powerful evolutionary algorithm that can discover new architectures achieving state of the art results. Our approach combines a novel hierarchical genetic representation scheme that imitates the modularized design pattern commonly adopted by human experts, and an expressive search space that supports complex topologies. Our algorithm efficiently discovers architectures that outperform a large number of manually designed models for image classification, obtaining top-1 error of 3.6% on CIFAR-10 and 20.3% when transferred to ImageNet, which is competitive with the best existing neural architecture search approaches and represents the new state of the art for evolutionary strategies on this task. We also present results using random search, achieving 0.3% less top-1 accuracy on CIFAR-10 and 0.1% less on ImageNet whilst reducing the architecture search time from 36 hours down to 1 hour.
  • Continuing with the schema. Here’s where we are today: polarizationgameone

Phil 11.1.17

Phil 7:00 – ASRC MKT

    • The identity of the machine is just as important as the identity of the human, argues Jeff Hudson.
    • Agent-based simulation for economics: The Tool Central Bankers Need Most Now
    • Introducing Vega-Lite 2.0 (from MIT Interactive Data Lab)
      • Vega-Lite enables concise descriptions of visualizations as a set of encodings that map data fields to the properties of graphical marks. Vega-Lite uses a portable JSON format that compiles to full specifications in the larger Vega language. Vega-Lite includes support for data transformations such as aggregation, binning, filtering, and sorting, as well as visual transformations such as stacking and faceting into small multiples.
    • Wayne says ‘awareness’ is too overloaded, at least in CSCW where it means ‘a shared awareness’. What about alertness, cognition, or perception?
    • Started Simulating Flocking and Herding in Belief Space. Shared with Wayne, Aaron and Cindy
    • Yay, finally got the array problems solved. The problem is that a PHP array is actually a set. But you can convert any set into a zero-indexed array using array_values(). So now all my arrays begin at zero, as God intended.
    • Meeting with the lads. Some really good stuff.
      • Add tmanage
        • dungeon_master
        • game
        • scenario
        • min_players
        • max_players
        • time_to_live
        • state (waiting, running, timeout, terminated, success)
        • open (true/false)
        • visible
      • Add trating
        • target_message
        • relevance
        • quality
        • vote
        • rating_player
      • Add ttopics
        • title
        • description
        • parent
      • Add tplayerstate
        • player
        • game
        • state (waiting, playing, finished, terminated)
      • Add tcontact
        • player
        • name
        • email
        • facebook (oAuth)
        • google (oAuth)
      • Add tinvite
        • contact
        • game
        • player


  • Humans + Machines (CNAS livestream)
    12:30 – 1:35 PM
    Dr. Jeff Clune, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, University of Wyoming
    Kimberly Jackson Ryan, Senior Human Systems Engineer, Draper Laboratory
    Dr. John Hawley, Engineering Psychologist, Army Research Laboratory
    Dr. Caitlin Surakitbanharn, Research Scientist, Purdue University
    Dan Lamothe, National Security Writer, The Washington Post (moderator)

Phil 10.31.17

7:00 – 4:30 ASRC MKT

    • Wrote up notes from yesterday’s meeting
    • Look for JCMC requirements
    • Change the rest of the “we” to “I” in the DC, then submit. Done, did a spell check because I had forgotten to integrate a spell checker!
    • Saw this today on the Google Research Blog: Closing the Simulation-to-Reality Gap for Deep Robotic Learning. In it they show how simulation can be used to improve deep learning because of the vast increase in conditions that can be simulated rather than found or built in the real world. The reason that it’s important in my work is that the simulation can feed and support the training of the classifiers once the simulation becomes sufficiently realistic.
    • Because I can’t stop reading horrible things, ordered Totalitarianism, Terrorism and Supreme Values: History and Theory, by  Peter Bernholz
    • Not the most exciting thing, but yay!
      ID	posted		message					playerID	parentID
      1	1509458541	message 0 of 20 by Abbe, Karleen	5	6	
      2	1509458541	message 1 of 20 by Abbey, Abbi	7	6	
      3	1509458541	message 2 of 20 by Abbey, Abbi, responding to message 1	7	6	2
      4	1509458542	message 3 of 20 by Abbe, Karleen, responding to message 2	5	6	3
      5	1509458542	message 4 of 20 by Abbe, Karleen, responding to message 1	5	6	2
      6	1509458542	message 5 of 20 by Abbe, Karleen, responding to message 4	5	6	5
      7	1509458542	message 6 of 20 by Abbe, Karleen, responding to message 3	5	6	4
      8	1509458542	message 7 of 20 by Abbe, Karleen, responding to message 1	5	6	2
      9	1509458542	message 8 of 20 by Abbe, Karleen, responding to message 1	5	6	2
      10	1509458542	message 9 of 20 by Aaren, Abbie, responding to message 2	3	6	3
      11	1509458542	message 10 of 20 by Abbey, Abbi, responding to message 5	7	6	6
      12	1509458542	message 11 of 20 by Abbe, Karleen, responding to message 10	5	6	11
      13	1509458542	message 12 of 20 by Abbey, Abbi, responding to message 7	7	6	8
      14	1509458542	message 13 of 20 by Aaren, Abbie	3	6	
      15	1509458542	message 14 of 20 by Abbe, Karleen, responding to message 8	5	6	9
      16	1509458542	message 15 of 20 by Abbe, Karleen, responding to message 11	5	6	12
      17	1509458542	message 16 of 20 by Abbe, Karleen	5	6	
      18	1509458542	message 17 of 20 by Abbe, Karleen, responding to message 4	5	6	5
      19	1509458542	message 18 of 20 by Aaren, Abbie, responding to message 14	3	6	15
      20	1509458542	message 19 of 20 by Aaren, Abbie, responding to message 2	3	6	3
    • cleaning up some cases where scenario is set to null. Fixed. It’s the first array index problem. Grrrrr. Ok, broke some things trying to make things better….
    • Then it’s time to make some REST interfaces
    • Meeting with Cindy. Much progress!
      • User-specified scenarios, seeded with some fun topics like conspiracy theories
      • Private deliberations.
      • Esperanto for verdict: verdikto
      • Lobbies for collecting users
      • Game starts when an DM-specified minimum is met, though there may be time to accumulate into a max as well
      • Game ‘dies’ if no contribution (by all players?) in a certain window
      • One user can kill a game by withdrawing. This can be attached to a user (troll), so the player can anonymously block in the future
      • Games can be respawned, optionally without a triggering troll from the last time
      • Games/Scenarios can be cloned
      • Highest-quality games that reach a verdict are featured on the site. Quality could be determined by tagging or NLP+heuristics.


Phil 10.30.17

7:00 – 4:30 ASRC MKT

  • The discussion and conclusion
  • Tweaked the “Future Work” section of the CHIIR DC proposal to reflect the herding work. More words means less bullet points!
  • Updated Java and XAMMP on my home machine
  • Pointed the IDE at the correct places
  • I don’t think I have PhpInspections (EA Extended) installed at work? It does nice things – Have it now
  • Working through creating a strawman game. Having some issues with a one-to-many relationship with RedBeanPHP. Ah – it’s because you have to sync the beans. I think rather than have a game point at all the players, I’ll have the players point at the scenario, and the chat messages point at the game and players.
  • Got that mostly working, but having a null player issues
  • Important PHP issue – arrays don’t need to start at zero! The bean arrays are indexed with respect to their db id!
  • Meeting with Wayne
  • The DC is good to submit
  • Start working on a JCMC article that connects the flocking model to qualitative theory.
  • Keep on working on the game. Possible project for a class/group in either 729 – design and evaluate class (Komlodi) or 728 – Online Communities & Social Media (Branham)