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In Defense of “Market Professionals”

In many discussions of the role of information cascades in markets, traders are often portrayed as “lemmings” who are uninterested in the real economic signals, and instead simply try to ride information cascades either on the way up or on the way down.  Many researchers have pointed out how this “irrational” behavior can be harmful […]

How Social Media Sites and Information Cascades Fuel Revolutions

Information cascades are very prevalent in the human society and play an important role in a wide range of people’s  social, economic, and political behaviors. Even a momentous social phenomenon such as a revolution can be analyzed by determining the presence and effect of an information cascade. Suppose, in a simple hypothetical example, some working […]

Bayes Theorem in “The Signal and the Noise”

In a recent article by Trevor Parsons he references a book he has been reading called “The Signal and the Noise” by Nate Silver. He states that in the Book Silver looks at predictions across a number of areas and then examines how successful those predictions have been. Trevor summarizes Silvers approach as  an attitude […]

A Short History of Iterative Ranking Algorithms

Google’s PageRank, discovered in 1998, has been instrumental in the success of Google’s search engine. It is used to determine the importance of a website through analyzing the hyperlinks that point to it along with their value. An important component of PageRank is that it constantly re-evaluates a website as the importance of other websites […]

An Interesting Search Engine and Wiki Spirit

Though Google is the most popular search engine in the world, there are many other search engines trying to compete with Google. And a lot of ranking algorithm have been raised in addition to ranking based on Click-through rate. It’s unfair to say any of them is better or worse as each has certain advantages […]

Using PageRank to analyze the spread of cancer cells

As we have been discussing in class, Google’s PageRank algorithm is used to rank webpages by Google, but a few researchers from the University of Southern California, Scripps Clinic, the Scripps Research Institute, the University of California, San Diego Moores Cancer Center and Memorial Sloan-Kettering have applied the same algorithm to analyze patterns in the spread […]

Cascades, Networks and Video Game Marketing

Information Cascades and Networks are one of the most influential factors in the selling of video games. According to a study done by Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, “friends are three times as likely to influence a game purchase than traditional advertising” (Kotaku). Through this, a few friends can get crowds of people to buy a game, by […]

Information Cascades in Rational Expectations

The theory of rational expectations is one of the most widely used modeling techniques in the field of economics. Rational expectations states that in an economic situation, the outcome is partly determined by what the people expects to happen. This concept connects to information cascades that we learned in lecture in that people base their […]

Preferential Crawlers

A web crawler is “an internet bot that systematically browses the World Wide Web, typically for the purpose of Web indexing.” A few of its many uses are that it supports universal search engines, vertical search engines, and business intelligence. One type of crawler, the preferential crawler, is selectively biased towards the most relevant pages, […]

Using Bayes’ Theorem to test Emerging Democratic Majority   Using Bayes’ Theorem to test Emerging Democratic Majority   A recent article written by Sean Trende, the Senior Elections Analyst at RealClearPolitics and a political analyst specializing in American elections analysis, dives into putting the ‘Emerging Democratic Majority’ (EDM) Theory to test. The EDM Theory states that  “demographic and sociological changes are driving […]

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