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Popularity Doesn’t Always Mean Precision

We have seen in class that Google is able to return search results efficiently through using an algorithm similar to PageRank where a sites reputability is dependent on its hubs. Although this is essentially Google’s game winning formula, it is only a system of looking at connections and returning links that it thinks the searcher […]

How Facebook Suggests Friends

Ever wondered how Facebook’s People You May Know algorithm works? It’s so accurate it’s almost creepy. At its core, the underlying concept is quite simple, and we can model Facebook’s friend suggestion algorithm as a PageRank problem. Let’s say we want to find potential friends for a user. Let each of their friends act as […]

Does “Pay-Per-Click” Advertising Guarantee the Advertisers their expected number of new consumers?

Digital Advertising is a relatively new medium, but it has proved to be one of the most effective forms of advertising. When the target audience is chosen accordingly, digital media are a strong way to reach to a wide demographic of consumers of different ages, and young consumers in particular. Google’s famous “pay-per-click” advertising is […]

To Win An Auction: Psychological Factors Matter Too

In class we have discussed about what to do to maximize payoff in auctions. According to different types of auctions, people should take different dominant strategies to make their profits maximal. However, during real auctions, people do not only analyze everything rationally and calmly; they sometimes get distracted by adrenaline and irrationalness. In Place Your […]

CheiRank versus PageRank

In class we discussed the concept of PageRank, an algorithm used by Google to rank websites: it counts the number and quality of links to determine the importance of the page. Google also uses a different algorithm, CheiRank, which determines the importance of a page based upon its number of outgoing links. The PageRank vector […]

YikYak Voting and Behavior Copying

MIT Media Labs published a paper investigating the use of vulgar language and the rise of unique topics in anonymous social media platforms by comparing Twitter and Yik Yak. https://www.media.mit.edu/publications/tracking-the-yak-an-empirical-study-of-yik-yak/ They concluded that posts on Yik Yak are that posts on Yik Yak are only slightly more likely to contain vulgarities. There was not any […]

How networks hide truth and how big data helps recover it

Link to source: http://www.npr.org/2017/05/01/526399881/what-our-google-searches-reveal-about-who-we-really-are People reveal their truest selves when they are alone, away from the impact of others. Even with just one person around, a person might feel biased towards a certain opinion or decision based on the other person’s ideas, disregarding the information that they know themselves. This “hidden self” is discussed in NPR’s […]

What Happened to Jeff Flake’s Cascade?

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/10/26/charles-sykes-on-jeff-flake-215750 https://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21730678-another-anti-trump-conservative-heads-exit-jeff-flake-breaks-free On Wednesday, Senator Jeff Flake R-AZ announced in a fiery speech that he was fed up with President Trump and that he would no longer be “complicit” in “damage to our democracy and to the institutions of American liberty.” As a result, he would not be running for reelection. Sen. Flake ended his […]

Facebook and PageRank

Sources: Constine, Josh. “How Facebook News Feed Works.” Tech Crunch, Tech Crunch, 6 Sep. 2016, https://techcrunch.com/2016/09/06/ultimate-guide-to-the-news-feed/.   Kincaid, Jason. “EdgeRank: The Secret Sauce That Makes Facebook’s News Feed Tick.” TechCrunch, TechCrunch, 22 Apr. 2010, https://techcrunch.com/2010/04/22/facebook-edgerank/.   McGee, Matt. “EdgeRank Is Dead: Facebook’s News Feed Algorithm Now Has Close To 100K Weight Factors.” Marketing Land, Marketing […]

Sheeple in an Information Cascade

Link: http://dailyoftheday.com/social-experiment-of-the-day-social-conformity/ This video and accompanying article posted in August of last year describes an experiment involving herd behavior and social conformity. In the waiting room of a doctor’s office hidden cameras were set up, and about ten actors were seated when an unknowing person checks in and sits down in the waiting room with […]

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