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  1. 1. ty A Tool for Collaborative Research James Miller UC Berkeley School of Information May 2009
  2. 2. What is Slants? <ul><li>“ Standardsland Tagging Service” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A research tool </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focused on a specific domain: Public policy and ICT standards </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>But any domain is possible </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Requests Delicious RSS feeds from many users </li></ul><ul><li>Harvests bookmarks and tags </li></ul><ul><li>Organizes them for retrieval </li></ul>
  3. 3. About Delicious <ul><li>A social bookmarking website </li></ul><ul><li>Easy tagging as you browse </li></ul><ul><li>Share bookmarks with others </li></ul>
  4. 4. About Delicious
  5. 5. About Delicious
  6. 6. How Slants Uses Delicious
  7. 7. How Slants Uses Delicious
  8. 8. The Problem That Slants Addresses <ul><li>Technical standards have public policy consequences 1 : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Identity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>User/content discrimination </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Content censorship and control </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>User consent, etc </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Often unaddressed in standards </li></ul><ul><li>Best to find out early in the standards process </li></ul>1 Morris,J, A. Davidson.&quot;Public Policy Considerations for Internet Design Decisions,&quot; Center for Democracy and Technology, 2003.
  9. 9. More Easily Said Than Done <ul><li>There are now more than 400 ICT standards consortia active globally </li></ul><ul><li>Thousands of standards </li></ul><ul><li>Consumer and watchdog groups are unlikely to be represented </li></ul><ul><li>Therefore, specifications may not take due account of their needs </li></ul>
  10. 10. Semantic Gap
  11. 11. Semantic Gap: IPv6 (RFC-2464) “ Under IPv4, the predecessor to IPv6, Internet addressing allowed a reasonable amount of privacy and anonymity, because a numeric address was typically not tied to any particular machine or user.  With IPv6, however, the standard provided that in many cases a user’s address would be derived from the unique MAC (Medium Access Control) address embedded in the user’s Ethernet network card.” 2 2 Davidson, Alan, John Morris, Rob Courtney. “Strangers in a Strange Land: Public Interest Advocacy and Internet Standards.: Washington, D.C.: Center for Democracy and Technology, 2002. <>
  12. 12. Focus on Identity <ul><li>Information privacy </li></ul><ul><li>Information security </li></ul><ul><li>Authentication </li></ul><ul><li>Access </li></ul><ul><li>Online tracking </li></ul><ul><li>Datamining </li></ul><ul><li>Profiling </li></ul><ul><li>Third-party use </li></ul><ul><li>Anonymous speech </li></ul><ul><li>Etc. </li></ul>
  13. 13. The Slants Approach <ul><li>Recruit or select Delicious users interested in ICT/public policy issues </li></ul><ul><li>Harvest their Delicious bookmarks, based on their tagging </li></ul><ul><li>Harvest other bookmarks from the wider Delicious network </li></ul><ul><li>Aggregate and organize the bookmarks on the Slants website </li></ul>
  14. 14. Tag Harvesting <ul><li>Slants requests bookmarks from Delicious </li></ul><ul><ul><li>For specific users </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>For specific resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>With specific sets of tags </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Delicious returns an RSS feed of bookmarks </li></ul>
  15. 15. Tag Harvesting <ul><li>An automated process </li></ul><ul><li>Search terms are based on thesaurus relationships: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>BT/NT : identity + authentication + OpenID </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SA: RFID_tags + vicinity_cards </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>UF: surveillance + eavesdropping </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>RT: key_generation + key_distribution </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Expansive: smart card OR chip card </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Expansive Searches Find bookmarks tagged: mobile smart cell_phone smartphone phone cellphone CDMA GSM iPhone android eavesdropping covert track eavesdrop location_tracking monitor tracking intercept monitoring + surveillance Interception … or… … or…
  17. 17. Normalized Results Organize tags under: mobile smart cell_phone smartphone phone cellphone CDMA GSM iPhone android eavesdropping covert track eavesdrop location_tracking monitor tracking intercept monitoring + surveillance Interception
  18. 18. Processing Bookmarks <ul><li>Database stores individual bookmarks </li></ul><ul><li>Bookmark tags are checked against the thesaurus </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Matching tags are normalized against the controlled vocabulary; e.g., eavesdropping becomes surveillance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nonmatching tags are discarded: </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Accessing Bookmarks <ul><li>Tags are organized to create an index according to rules in the thesaurus </li></ul><ul><li>Index is refreshed whenever new bookmarks are harvested </li></ul><ul><li>The index allows users to sort bookmarks by topic </li></ul>
  20. 20. Why Use Slants? <ul><li>Leverages the researching skills of many users in a single area of interest </li></ul><ul><li>Automatically searches the entire Delicious network (over 5 million users) </li></ul><ul><li>Normalizes disparate tagging into a consistent system </li></ul><ul><li>Organizes bookmarks by topic </li></ul>
  21. 21. Low Cognitive Cost <ul><li>No extra work involved, just tagging as usual </li></ul><ul><li>Gathers domain-relevant resources in one place </li></ul><ul><li>Provides easy browsing and finding </li></ul>
  22. 22. Additional Features <ul><li>Identifies Delicious users that have the same interest </li></ul><ul><li>Scores resources by times bookmarked </li></ul><ul><li>Enables users to create custom searches </li></ul>
  23. 23. Future Work <ul><li>Term recommender system </li></ul><ul><li>Thesaurus building tool </li></ul>
  24. 24. Summary <ul><li>A collaborative research tool </li></ul><ul><li>Leverages social bookmarking that users would do anyway </li></ul><ul><li>Performs expansive searches </li></ul><ul><li>Normalizes search results for easy retrieval </li></ul><ul><li>Built for the public policy domain but can be applied to any domain </li></ul>
  25. 25. <ul><li>? </li></ul>