Tag Archives: Trust and Reputation

Read the books people you dislike dislike

I know the title is hard to parse. Let use some parenthesis: Read [the books [people [you dislike] dislike]].
That is, there are people you dislike, they dislike some books, you possibly will like these books.
Pietro Speroni reports that A right winged newspaper: Human Events online, asked a panel of 15 conservative scholars and public policy leaders to help us compile a list of the Ten Most Harmful Books of the 19th and 20th centuries. (here the list) and how “The list have it all, it�s the most complete list of texts I found that were really important to understand the world we are living in”. The rationale behind is: if neocons believe these books are harmful and since I think neocons are harmful, I should read these books. While this is ok on real world, this reasoning does not work in Trust-aware Recommender Systems, topic in which I’m phding. In online communities (in which it is easy to create fake identities) this is subject to a simple attack and anyone could easily game the system. The idea: since I get recommended the items disliked by people I dislike, the user I dislike could pretend to “dislike” the item she wants I get recommended. Ex: a neocon identity could pretend to dislike the book “why bush is right” (hopefully this does not exist and it is just an example) and I get recommended it. For this reason, in algorithms I designed, I decided that the opinions of people you dislike should not influence your recommendations at all, they are simply discarded because otherwise they are able to influence your recommendations and hence game the system. Well, not sure, I’m good in explaining it (English is hard…). Maybe you want to check some papers of mine in which hopefully I was helped in writing in a clearer way. Since we are speaking of books, maybe you want to check the list of books I’ve read (actually it is not at all complete or updated, I was trying to keep it with allconsuming.net and to decentralized publish it also in semantic web formats (RSS | XML) but in fact I created it once and never updated … maybe in a short future there will be a tool that will allow me to keep a list of read books, with comments and to automatically publish it on my blog, in that case I’ll probably try again to keep it updated. Or such a tool is already there? If so, please let me know).
The list of books that neocons think are harmful is
Continue reading

School and Workshop on Structure and Function of Complex Networks: first day

I’ll try to blog the entire School and Workshop on Structure and Function of Complex Networks. 12 days of great speakers. The school in ICTP, an UNESCO research center in Trieste. Since its mission is to foster advanced studies and research, especially in developing countries, there are many researchers from developing countries, as the list of participants shows. And tomorrow there will also be a special talk by UNESCO Director-General.
Following a short summary of the first day:
Continue reading

Social Capital and Social Networks – Bridging Boundaries

Social Capital and Social Networks – Bridging Boundaries conference seems interesting. Moreover there is no registration fee and Junior scholars, graduate students and assistant professors, are invited to apply to attend the conference and receive lodging, meals, and up to $400 in travel expenses. The application deadline was May 5, 2005 (oops). I cannot make it but if you are in US, it is worth checking it.

Propagating Trust until I found gold: Ultra Gleeper

An email from Zbigniew pointed me to a Tribe.net discussion which pointed me to Personal Web Neighborhood: The Small Web project (very interesting read indeed) which pointed me to The Ultra Gleeper: A Recommendation Engine for Web Pages (pure gold!)
The UltraGleeper paper is the paper I could dream of writing but I will never be able to. Since the paper is released under a creative commons licence attribution/share-alike (and my blog too) I’m going to copy portions of it but of course giving credit to Leonard Richardson . Ooops, i was almost forgetting: Ultra Gleeper is Free software, so you have freedom of study and improving it. I will try to play with it really soon!
Continue reading

Trust Metrics Book

I’m thinking about writing a book on Trust Metrics, or maybe about Trust Metrics and Recommender Systems. (I need to write my PhD thesis anyway so if I can get it published, this is a plus). Well, a search inside-books on Amazon for “trust metric” reveals this is not a too covered topic. Good. Do you have any suggestion? Publisher, topics, whatever. Anyway being able to search inside (almost) every book in one second is astonishing, sometimes I forget about how astonishing the Web is…

Patenting the obvious: Google and how much a news source is trusted

Google had filed a patent for “ranking news according to quality (or at least NewScientist says so, I didn’t check).
The database will be built by continually monitoring the number of stories from all news sources, along with average story length, number with bylines, and number of the bureaux cited, along with how long they have been in business. Google’s database will also keep track of the number of staff a news source employs, the volume of internet traffic to its website and the number of countries accessing the site. Google will take all these parameters, weight them according to formulae it is constructing, and distil them down to create a single value. This number will then be used to rank the results of any news search.
So can you patent something so obvious? It is as trivial as “I take 2 parameters (how many words you say per minute and your height) and I do a weighted sum on them”. Can it be reasonable that you patent weighted sums of A and B?
This is why we should say nosoftwarepatents.com.
Moreover the idea that FoxNews is a “trusted” source because many people visit its site is really bad for me. This is what I call a global trust metric. If I tell Google that I trust Indymedia, then I should receive personalized results (personalized in the sense that the weight given to FoxNews is 0!).

Contact me if you’ll be in Trieste next week for the School on Structure and Function of Complex Networks.

I’ll be in Trieste at the Abdus Salam ICTP (Unesco funded school) during next 2 weeks (16 – 28 May 2005) for the School and Workshop on Structure and Function of Complex Networks (i was advertising about it time ago and I got accepted). I’m so excited. The list of speakers is simply great (see below) and there are participants from all over the world, in fact “Although the main purpose of the Centre is to help research workers from developing countries, a limited number of students and post-doctoral scientists from developed countries are also welcome to attend.“.
If you happen to be there and want to discuss a bit about blogosphere, trust, reputation, social software, social networks, languages, globalization, … just whatever, please contact me!
Continue reading

My first Firefox extension: SemanticLinks

For the previously mentioned paper, I created a small Firefox extension called SemanticLinks. The purpose? Showing VoteLinks, rel=”nofollow” and information about the linked resource by appending a small icon near the link text (anchor text). SemanticLinks is a simple change of TargetAlert to which I just added a 1%. You can find more information about SemanticLinks and how to install it on the SemanticLinks page. You might also want to see some screenshots.