Friday, July 7, 2017

Hypertext2017 Travel Report


I participated the 28th ACM Conference on Hypertext and Social Media (HT), which was located at Prague, Czech Republic from 4-7th, July. HT is a top-tier ACM conference in the areas of Hypertext and Social Media. This is the first time I'm attending HT, and interesting to know that TBL was demonstrated WWW in 1991 Hypertext conference https://home.cern/images/2014/01/tim-berners-lee-demonstrates-world-wide-web. https://www.quora.com/Why-is-Sir-Tim-Berners-Lee-unnoticed-when-his-contribution-is-comparable-to-Jobs-and-Gates. This year, HT has 69 regular paper submissions with a 27% acceptance rate, and 12 short-presentations. As I was at UMAP conference twice before, and HT has been held in close proximity with UMAP with similar program committees, I was wondering what's the difference between the two conferences. After attending the conference, I guess the key difference is while UMAP is more focused on the context of e-learning, such as user modeling, RecSys in educational systems, HT is more focused on linking data & resources and Social Media. Although HT has wide range of acceptance rate, overall, it has good average citation according to ACM DL.




Day-1:

Keynote: Peter Mika SCHIBSTED (Yahoo before)

It is interesting to see the keynote on Semantic Web in HT. In this talk, we look back at the history of the Semantic Web. The speaker discussed what the original aspirations of its creators were, and what has been achieved in practice in these two decades including some achievements especially in terms of search engines. In addition, also some failures which have not been achieved based on original visions.


What happened to the Semantic Web? from Peter Mika

Most of the presentations today related to studying problems on Social Media, such as hate speech:

  • Mainack Mondal, Leandro Augusto de Araújo Silva and Fabrício Benevenuto: A Measurement Study of Hate Speech in Social Media
  • Stringhini and Athena Vakali: Hate is not binary: Studying abusive behavior of #GamerGate on Twitter
These talks were interesting as I was interested in computational social science when I first started my PhD. For example, the first one above discussed about "how to measure hate speech?", "does the anonymity plays a role in it?", and how these phenomena differ across countries. The results, based on Twitter dataset were interesting. The authors found that there are more anonymous account of hate speech compared to baseline (random), i.e, users post more hate speech.

Day-2:

Keynote: "A MEME IS NOT A VIRUS: THE ROLE OF COGNITIVE HEURISTICS IN INFORMATION DIFFUSION" by Kristina Lerman

Kristina Lerman is Research Team Lead at the University of Southern California Information Sciences Institute and holds a joint appointment as a Research Associate Professor in the USC Computer Science Department. She talked about position bias in Social Mdedia, e.g., posts will be less likely to be seen with lower position, with more newer tweets coming, former tweets then become less likely to be seen with their positions moving down… and the phenomenon is more serious for well-connected users. Also, it is interesting that well-connected hubs are less likely to retweet older posts, retweet probability decreases with connectivity - highly connected people are less susceptible to infection, due to their increased cognitive load.

The presentations on day-2 were diverse, consists of linking content, crowd sourcing, story telling... And the following paper which tackles the problem of understanding task clarity in crowdsourcing platforms, especially CrowedFlow…, and how to measure it, won the best paper award in HT2017.

  • Ujwal Gadiraju, Jie Yang and Alessandro Bozzon: Clarity is a Worthwhile Quality - On the Role of Task Clarity in Microtask Crowdsourcing


Day-3:

The presentations on day-3 were about location-based social networks, user modeling, ratings/reviews and visualizations. One of the interesting papers was the following one which I had read about the previous work about happy map done by Daniele QUercia (Bell Labs Cambridge). This paper talked about various elements which might affect perceptions (such as safety etc.) of people about places.

  • David Candeia, Flávio Figueiredo, Nazareno Andrade and Daniele Quercia: Multiple Images of the City: Unveiling Group-Specific Urban Perceptions through a Crowdsourcing Game

My presentation was about "Leveraging Followee List Memberships for Inferring User Interests for Passive Users on Twitter", which is an extended work upon previous work in ECIR2017.



Leveraging Followee List Memberships for Inferring User Interests for Passive Users on Twitter from GUANGYUAN PIAO


Overall, the conference has around 70+ participants. However, what's impressive is the audiences were actively asking questions, and participated in discussions. In addition, the organizers made the proceedings available before the conference along with conference navigator developed by Uni. Pittsburgh: http://halley.exp.sis.pitt.edu/cn3/portalindex.php

Proceedings: http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=3078714&picked=prox&cfid=782021270&cftoken=32813465

Next year, HT2018 will be in Baltimore, USA. It is a good conference and hope I will have chances to attend the conference in the future as well.
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