Intelligent Assistant for Social Dialogue and Collaboration

November 28, 2012, 2012 2:00 PM

302- 309



Social software such as online forums, Wikis, and social networking sites, plays an important role in various fields, including science, politics, and education. Our goal is to analyze social activities within online communication and collaboration environments, and develop computational tools that support and promote effective interactions and participation. In this presentation, we focus on online discussion modeling and intelligent tools for assisting discussion participants. We first analyze how messages and individual discussants contribute to Q&A discussions. We present a network model for capturing information roles of messages and discussants, and show how we identify useful answers to the initial question. We first classify information seeking or information providing roles of messages, such as question, answer or acknowledgement. We also identify user intent in the discussion as an information seeker or a provider. We capture such role information within a reply-to discussion network, and identify messages that answer seeker questions and how answers are acknowledged. Message influences are analyzed using centrality measures. User influences across different threads are combined with message influences. We use the combined score in identifying the most useful answer in the thread.In the latter part of the presentation, we show how such analyses can be a powerful tool for social dialogue mediators and participants. In particular, we present a computational workflow framework that enables the efficient and robust integration of diverse datasets for the purposes of assisting discussion mediators, such as instructors who keep track of student online interactions. Workflow results including unresolved issues or help seekers who need more assistance, are used to provide formative feedback to instructors to facilitate just in time mediator adaptation to discussants needs.This page is maintained by Yumi Yi (
Last update: November 8, 2012