Researchers Study Diggcom to Investigate Collective Attention

first_imgIn a world where millions of people are bombarded with thousands of messages daily, understanding how some messages become popular among large populations is vital for successful advertising, marketing and journalism strategies. The researchers also analyzed the probability distribution of stories based on the total number of diggs received, which is approximately log-normal. Specifically, most popular stories quickly climb to 200 diggs, but the largest section (20%) tops off at between 400 and 600 diggs. After that, the distribution of diggs drops off more gradually, with a handful reaching up past the 3000-digg mark.This study is one of the first to analyze data on collective attention from very large groups of people in a non-laboratory, yet isolated, setting. As such, the researchers hope that the results will help experts in choosing which items to display in different types of news media, advertising, or any other medium that relies on social networking to spread its content.“Our theory points to a methodology for displaying content on a portal,” Huberman said. “If one is interested in maximizing the number of views of the portal, then given our theory and a few measurements, they can decide on posting the newest stories first (like digg does now) or the more favorite ones.”More information:HP’s Information Dynamics Lab: www.hpl.hp.com/research/idl/Wu, Fang, and Huberman, Bernardo A. “Novelty and collective attention.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. November 6, 2007, vol. 104, no. 45, 17599-17601.Copyright 2007 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. Explore further AI creatives play with scary music, zany costume ideas as part of Halloween Researchers Fang Wu and Bernardo Huberman from Hewlett-Packard Laboratories in Palo Alto, California, thought that the popularity of an idea or item in a large population should depend on its novelty, which tends to decrease over time due to a variety of factors. In order to test this idea, the researchers analyzed how a news story propagates on the interactive Web site digg.com. Their results, which are published in PNAS, analyze 29,864 popular digg stories during the year 2006, with more than 1 million users determining the popularity of the submissions.“The greatest significance of our results is that we were able to establish a connection between novelty and collective attention in large groups of people,” Huberman told PhysOrg.com. “Psychologists have studied the interplay between novelty and attention with human subjects for many years, but never at the group level on such a scale.”Among Wu and Huberman’s results is the existence of a natural time scale over which attention grows and fades. Since the researchers only considered popular stories (those which made it to the front page, based on a complex algorithm), the initial growth must be rapid. However, once a story makes it to the front page, the data indicate a straight correlation between the average log of diggs and the time variance. In other words, the more popular a story becomes, the faster it spreads.“Basically, at any given time, a group of n people will read the story, digg it and tell it to others, but only some random fraction of those told will actually read and digg the story,” Huberman explained. “This process, which naively would lead to multiplicative growth in the number of diggs, is counteracted by the fact that the novelty of the story is decaying in time. When put together, this process leads to a log-normal distribution of the number of diggs and also to a fast increase at the beginning that tapers off with a rate predicted by our equations, and verified to high precision with the data.”As for the decline of interest in a story, a story’s digg rate decays, on average, following a stretched exponential law. This is because many factors contribute to the decreasing novelty of a successful story (such as topic category, time of day when it was made popular, etc.). Since individual stories tend to fade exponentially, the combined result looks like a stretched exponential. Interestingly, stretched exponentials have been used to explain other decays, such as the discharge of a capacitor and luminescence decays.center_img One result of the study: The distribution of 29,864 popular stories on digg.com by the number of diggs each story received. The log-normal distribution shows that more than half of the stories received 200-800 diggs, with the number of stories with more than 800 diggs gradually decreasing up to about 4000 diggs. Credit: Fang Wu and Bernardo Huberman. ©2007 PNAS. Citation: Researchers Study Digg.com to Investigate Collective Attention (2007, November 16) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2007-11-diggcom-attention.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Vehicles That Talk to Each Other Know What Lanes Theyre In

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further A group of scientists from the University of Waterloo and California Polytechnic State University are currently working on an Auto21 project called Dynamic Collaborative Driving. Within this project, the scientists have developed an intelligent lane detection system that uses communication among GPS-equipped vehicles to achieve significantly greater accuracy than with a single GPS device. Because the new system uses only low-cost GPS receivers, a filter, and an algorithm, it has the potential to be much less expensive – as well as more robust – compared to other lane detection systems.“The lowest accuracy GPS we used is the LocSense 40-CM, which has an accuracy of 5 meters CEP (Circular Error Portable),” Dao explained to PhysOrg.com. “The 5m CEP accuracy means that half of the data points fall within a circle of a 5-meter radius, half lie outside this circle. This accuracy is equivalent to 13 meters in 2dRMS, where 95% of the data points occur within a 13-meter radius. Therefore, any GPS receivers better or the same as the LocSense 40-CM can be used for lane positioning.”As the researchers explain in their study, GPS errors from multiple sources are common. Errors can occur due to the geometry of visible satellites, atmospheric effects, clock errors, and many other causes. However, the scientists note that GPS receivers that are relatively close to one another experience many of the same errors. This means that, even though absolute vehicle positions may have a large error, the relative position between vehicles has a smaller error, and can provide a more accurate location than a single GPS receiver can. By communicating GPS data among vehicles traveling within about 300 meters of each other, the precise lane of each vehicle can be determined. Emergency vehicles might even be equipped with systems that have a communication range of up to 1 km.In addition to GPS, the other two components of the system are a filter and a Markov localization algorithm. The filter minimizes the measurement noise from different GPS receivers, enhancing the system’s overall quality. “The most challenging part is designing a filter to effectively reject the receiver noise that can influence the prediction phase of the lane positioning system,” Dao explained. “We did this by using a combination of a low-pass Butterworth filter and a particle filter to eliminate this high-pitched noise.” A standard GPS receiver has an average 2D-positioning accuracy of about 13 meters. While this precision is high enough to direct you to your hotel, it’s quite a bit lower than the accuracy required to determine which lane your car is in while driving down the highway. Vehicles with GPS receivers communicating with each other can increase the positioning accuracy to a level that enables them to determine what lane they’re in. Credit: Thanh-Son Dao, et al. ©2007 IEEE.center_img With head injuries mounting, will cities put their feet down over electric scooters? Citation: Vehicles That Talk to Each Other Know What Lanes They’re In (2007, December 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2007-12-vehicles-lanes-theyre.html Then, the Markov algorithm transforms the GPS data into a lane estimate, without the need for prior knowledge. The algorithm is probabilistic: rather than making a single hypothesis for which lane a vehicle is in, the Markov algorithm maintains a probability distribution over all possible lanes for a vehicle. To determine if a vehicle has changed lanes, the system calculates the shortest distance between the vehicle’s current position estimate and the predicted vehicle path calculated using two previous position estimates. If the distance is close to zero, there is a low probability that the vehicle has changed lanes. If the distance is large, then either the vehicle is switching lanes, or there’s a curve in the road. The lane-finding algorithm can distinguish between these two possibilities by estimating the arc of the road, where a lane change would not form a large arc. Further, if a vehicle changes lanes on a curved road, the system can tell because the vehicle’s previous position will not lie on the estimated arc.The researchers tested the device both in simulations and in real road tests, where they demonstrated an accuracy of between 92 and 99%. They also noted that the algorithm could sometimes anticipate when a vehicle would change lanes before the vehicle had completed the change. They even tested the system’s ability at low speeds by calculating the lanes of two individuals walking down the street holding GPS-equipped laptops, and achieving high accuracy.“The limitation of the system lies in the fact that it only uses GPS data to estimate lane positions,” Dao said. “This might be challenging where GPS data are not available or the GPS signal is completely blocked by large obstacles, like in a long tunnel. One possible solution to this problem is to fuse the GPS with another type of sensor, such as an IMU [Intertial Measurement Unit], until the GPS data is again available.”A lane detection system could have many benefits as a component of an intelligent transportation system. For example, a lane-level navigation system could advise drivers which lane to use to reach a destination without having to make a last-minute lane change. The system could also measure lane-specific traffic conditions, and advise drivers to choose a certain lane to reduce traffic congestion. Safety could be another possibility, with the system warning the driver when swerving within a lane, and even autonomously taking control of the vehicle if needed.More information: Dao, Thanh-Son; Leung, Keith Yu Kit; Clark, Christopher Michael; and Huissoon, Jan Paul. “Markov-Based Lane Positioning Using Intervehicle Communication.” IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems, Vol. 8, No. 4, December 2007. Copyright 2007 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com.last_img read more

The Invisible Children With Cancer

first_imgThe Invisible Children With Cancer Kateryna Kon by NPR News Marc Silver 8.23.19 9:36am When childhood cancer is diagnosed early and treated effectively, the survival rate is impressive. In the United States, for example, the five-year survival rate for children with cancer is 80 percent.”The survival rate is much lower in many areas of the world,” says Lisa Force, a pediatric oncologist at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and an author of a new report in The Lancet Oncology that calculates the number of years of healthy life lost due to childhood cancer in 2017.The number is astounding: 11 million years lost, due to both mortality from cancer and to complications that children experience even if they survive cancer – when you’re done with treatment you’re at high risk of nerve damage and of chronic diseases that like congestive heart failure. And of the 400,000 cases of childhood cancer diagnosed each year, 140,000 of the children die. Yet in many poor and middle-income countries, there is not even a national policy stating how childhood cancer should be addressed, says Force. Creating that kind of policy is a goal of the World Health Organization and St. Jude Children’s Hospital, who have partnered to achieve the U.N.-mandated goal to improve childhood cancer survival rates to 60 percent globally for the six key childhood cancers by the year 2030. Currently, the death rate in low- and middle-income countries is reportedly only 37 percent on average and possibly as low as 20 percent, says a spokesman for St. Jude. We spoke to Force about the report. This conversation has been edited for length and clarity.How can you come up with data on childhood cancer when some countries don’t keep registries of cases and deaths?We start with the number of deaths from cancer captured in systems around the world, from verbal autopsies and from cancer registration systems which often capture cases or diagnoses. To estimate in areas where we don’t have data, we essentially will borrow information from either surrounding areas or regions.To reduce the years lost to death and other disease, you stress that speedy diagnosis is necessary. Why is that?Childhood cancers generally progress quite rapidly. In the vast majority of cases we know they’ll be fatal without quick diagnosis and treatment. Improving childhood cancer survival will require well-functioning health systems.Are early diagnoses possible in low- or middle-income countries?It’s a challenge. You might not have a health clinic nearby. Or even if you do have a clinic and a parent brings in a child, the symptoms might present similarly to other diseases – lymph node swelling may be mistaken for something like TB; or leukemia presents with several blood cell lines being down, which may be mistaken for malaria, which may also do that.Diseases like TB and malaria and HIV claim many lives among children and adults in the developing world. Is it more important to devote funds to those diseases than to childhood cancer?We’re certainly not saying that childhood cancers are more important than any other diseases. It’s more to say that cancer has not been discussed when policymakers create frameworks that address diseases in children. Cancer is often not even brought to the table as something to consider. Or when developing a national cancer control program many governments don’t include children at all in these plans. We also know that in many of these settings, the burden of infectious diseases is declining over time as countries get better at treating them, and the burden for non-communicable diseases like cancer rises correspondingly.What’s a first step a country can take to address childhood cancers?The first step is to find out what your country is currently doing about childhood cancer and what the needs are. And what kind of programs would be helpful?An appropriate referral pathway, education of front-line providers to know what symptoms to look for, labs that will help you diagnose cancers early, and effective treatment – chemotherapy and radiation and surgery.What role can parents play?I don’t want to make everyone scared and think that everyone has cancer. But I would just generally say that there are signs to watch out for – continued fever, weight loss, night sweats, fatigue, extra bleeding, a mass that presents somewhere, external or internal. And if something doesn’t feel right with your children, if you seek medical care and you don’t feel someone is listening to you appropriately, I recommend being the best advocate for your child you can be, seeking different opinions, going back to a provider.One of the messages I get from your report and your comments is that children with cancer are invisible, in a way, in many countries.Right, exactly. I hope this report emphasizes that children get cancer around the world, regardless of whether there is a cancer registry [keeping track of cases in a country] or not. These children are vulnerable and neglected in policies that address cancers. As a global community, we need to do a better job of including them in our framework for improving our health systems. The tragic thing is for cancers that are very curable in high-income countries, the survival number is much lower in many areas of the world. It’s an unfortunate reality right now that an important prognostic indicator for survival is where that child is living.Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.last_img read more

The adrenaline rush

first_imgSo you thought climbing Mt Everest was the ultimate adventure sport? Think again because running a marathon in New York or swimming with the sharks in Tahiti or even snowboarding in the French Alps are some of the other activities that might give you an adrenaline rush.As most adventure sports enthusiasts will know, India has quite a variety of adventure sports on offer and one need not necessarily get their passports stamped to ride the adrenaline wave. From Rishikesh to Goa – it is not about water scooters and mountain climbing only. From bungee jumping to paragliding, deep sea diving to siking – everything is on offer. And the best thing is – not too far away from the national Capital.   Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’For Soin, who has explored six continents including the Arctic and believes in risk-taking, adventure travel and sports is ‘all about coming out of the comfort zone to experience moments of bliss’.‘I have gone for numerous desert safaris and forest expeditions,but my personal preference is the mountains.’ says the mountaineer who participated in the first speaker series hosted by the journal here recently.Similarly, for 55 year old Susan Hunt who fulfilled her ‘dream for ever’ to summit Mt Everest, the adventure never stops. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix‘Yes I was scared. Normally I am not the kind to get scared…but at that moment, I was thinking that I could die any moment. But it was my determination that helped me to reach my goal,’ she says.Adventurer Apoorva Prasad who rock-climbed the world’s best destinations from America to Armenia says he is passionate about exploring the world and expressing what he saw and observed.The 32-year-old Prasad, who has climbed on technical rock, ice and snow from the Rockies to the Alps cautions that adventure sports comes with its share of responsibitlity. So, be prepared.last_img read more

National Museum gallery of dececorative arts gets a revamp

first_imgDecked up with some prized specimens and decorative objects of utility from 18th and 19th century, the National Museum’s gallery of decorative arts in Delhi got a makeover recently. Union Minister of Culture, Chandresh Kumari Katoch, will formally inaugurate the renovated art gallery on 5 July. The gallery would now display a fascinating set of historical objects crafted for daily, ceremonial and religious uses from a variety of materials like ivory, jade and ceramic.  Enriched with a grand set of colourful and ornate artefacts, the gallery will be opened to the art connoisseurs in the capital.last_img

Counting children as bonus audience for Mr X Emraan Hashmi

first_imgActor Emraan Hashmi says he cannot ‘risk’ making a film catering only to children. However, he hopes that his forthcoming film Mr. X on an invisible man, draws children to theatres.” I am counting kids as a bonus audience for Mr. X. I cannot take a risk of making a film only for children… it will be risky for me to do so,” Emraan said here. Directed by Vikram Bhatt, Mr. X, which releases on Friday, features Amyra Dastur with Emraan.While the actor hopes the movie is received well, he says he is neither attached to success nor to failure.“I have learnt from my mistakes. As an actor, I am neither attached to the success nor to failure. I feel success is more dangerous,” he said.Emraan will be seen as an invisible ATS officer in Mr. X.last_img

Birth order has little impact on personality

first_imgWhether you become a perfectionist or rebellious has very little to do with your birth position in the family, says a new study.“We found no substantial effects of birth order on any of the personality dimensions we examined,” said one of the researchers Stefan Schmukle from Leipzig University in Germany.This does not only contradict prominent psychological theories, but also goes against the intuition of many people,” Schmukle pointed out. The question of whether a person’s position among siblings has a lasting impact on personality has occupied scientists for more than 100 years, the study said.Lay people as well as a scientist share a number of beliefs: First borns are supposedly perfectionists, for example, while middle children develop a talent for diplomacy and last borns are expected to be rebellious.To find out whether these differences actually exist, the researchers analysed the data of more than 20,000 grown-ups from Germany, Britain and the US. They found that central personality traits such as extraversion, emotional stability, agreeableness and conscientiousness are not affected by birth-order position. First borns were more likely to report a rich vocabulary and less difficulty understanding abstract ideas. “This effect on intelligence replicates very well in large samples, but it is barely meaningful on the individual level, because it is extremely small,” Schnukle explained. The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS).last_img read more

Recovering from loss the priority for Power department

first_imgKolkata: State Power minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay, during his recent meeting, instructed the senior administrative officials of East and West Midnapore to take necessary steps to overcome a huge amount of loss of the department.The minister had held a high level meeting at Debra in West Midnapore recently, to take stock of the overall situation and the distribution of electricity in both the districts. Top officials of the Power department were also present in the meeting.One of the focus areas during the meeting was increasing the income of the department. During the meeting, the minister also wanted to know from the officials the names of the pockets where loadshedding was taking place.The minister also sought block-wise reports from the district officials. He also inquired if there was any village where electrification works have not been done so far.The minister picked up the issues related to various blocks during the meeting. He stressed on the importance of increasing the income of the department.He also instructed to conduct proper surveillance to check if the incidents of power theft have been taking place in the districts.It may be mentioned here that power theft has been a serious problem in some areas, incurring huge loss for the department. The department has already taken up some measures to check such incidents.It may be mentioned that the high level meeting occurred three days after some parts of Debra plunged into darkness due to the damage in the local transformer.It has been learnt that the transformer had caught fire, resulting in power cut for three consecutive days.Hundreds of villagers were seriously inconvenienced due to the incident. Chattopadhyay has instructed the officials of his department to take immediate steps to set up a new transformer in the area.last_img read more

Spreading christmas cheer

first_imgJingle Bells, Jingle Bells, jingle all the way…” The very sound of this carol is enough to assume what is around. Christmas is finally here and with that comes the time to celebrate and to bid a hearty goodbye to the bygone year, leaving us just a week to dwell on the happenings of the past year and look forward to New Year.The atmosphere, which is dipped in the festive spirit with the sound of carols, smell of freshly-baked cakes, the brightness of the lights and greenery of the Christmas (fir) tree decorated, is very enchanting for those who visit the Bethlehem, created here. It won’t be wrong to say that Delhiites definitely know how to celebrate, not only Indian festivals but international festivals as well in the “desi” style, with much ardour by adding an extra oomph to them. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’In order to do something special during Christmas and New Year, various restaurants, hotels and food joints have devised strategies to rope in customers, who are looking forward to celebrate their Christmas and New Year in style and grandeur.MAFIA, Lounge & Bar, Punjabi Bagh, has organised a musical night to celebrate Christmas with DJ Nakul Shourie on Thursday. It is also offering a variety of delicacies to pamper your taste buds. The place boasts of taking one to the world of romance with its ambiance and with the tunes of soulful music. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixUmang Garg, owner, Mafia, lounge & bar said: “Christmas is the festival of love, peace and harmony celebrated with great merriment. Mafia follows the same motto but with a different style. We have special arrangements for the festive jubilation wherein we have Christmas special musical night and a variety of food delicacies. Come at Mafia and enjoy the Christmas spirit with us.” With online shopping portals offering discounts on an array of Christmas and New Year items to their customers, wholesale and retail markets around Delhi aren’t left behind either. LED-lit Christmas trees to decorative items for homes, exquisite gift hampers, cakes and bakery products as well as other party items are at the disposal of the shoppers. “Christmas here is celebrated just like Holi or Diwali. The demand, for cakes and other bakery products for Christmas and New Year parties, rises as people start booking their orders for cakes, pastries etc beforehand for their homes as well as office parties,” said a salesman of a bakery in Hauz Khas Village.Christmas ‘bazaars’ and Christmas ‘melas’ are also popular in Delhi where one gets all the necessary items for celebrating Christmas and organising New Year bashes at home. This year, Delhi Tourism has organised ‘X-Mas Carnival’ at Dilli Haat, Janakpuri and ‘Winter Carnival’ at Dilli Haat, INA.Sudhir Sobti, Chief Manager (PR and Pub.) said: “This year we have organised two carnivals at both the Dilli Haats. At Janakpuri Dilli Haat, the ‘X-Mas Carnival’ has been organised, where for kids we have got special arrangements done such as a Santa Claus, Christmas tree and rides for the kids, carol singing, camel rides as well as various cultural programmes, so that the general populace at large can also have the feel of Christmas celebrations. Also, Christmas “bazaars” have been set up which would sell all decorative items to cater to the needs of the kids as well as adults.”last_img read more

Art science come together for Undivided Mind exhibition

first_imgA giant tub where you can float and feel like you are in space, an urban laboratory for birds to rest, a wearable sculpture that protects you from pollution, a four-armed extra-terrestrial character walking the streets of Khirkee – all this and much more will be a part of the art and science exhibition ‘The Undivided Mind’ at Khoj Studios in the national Capital.“The theme of the 2016 edition of ‘The Undivided Mind’ is health, with three sub-themes — terrestrial health, mental health and extraterrestrial health,” said  Sitara Chowfla, curator about the April 15-16 show. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’“Terrestrial health refers to that which is on, or related to the earth,” she said. “This suggests an investigation into the physical health and structure of the body, the environment, the community and the interrelations between these spheres,” she added. “Mental health focuses on a psychological investigation of what constitutes health of the mind and raises questions about the socially defined state of well-being,” said Chowfla.“Finally, extraterrestrial health may refer to any object, being or idea beyond the planet Earth. This sub-theme opens up a space where the relationship between earth and other planetary bodies can be studied,” she said. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixExploring the crossover between art and science, the exhibition includes works by Alexey Buldakov (Russia), Gagan Singh (India), Johanna Schmeer (Germany), Mohan Polamar and Vivek Muthuramalingam (India), Sonia Khurana (India) and Tyska Samborska (Poland). Mohan Polamar and Vivek Muthuramalingam’s project focuses on extra-terrestrial health by using references to yoga, climate change and human evolution. Titled ‘Tub of Loss’, a giant tub filled with a solution of magnesium sulphate allows a person to float almost as easily as in space. “We wanted to create a sensory experience of separating mind from body, like we do in yoga, we also want to study how yoga can benefit astronauts and the kind of exercise they need to do,” said Vivek Muthuramalingam.  An installation at the exhibition titled- ‘Womb Narratives’ by Sonia Khurana expresses the profound encounter between science and the representation of female reproductive processes.  ‘Urban Fauna Laboratory’ by Russian artist Alexey Buldakov is an interdisciplinary project focusing on physical health and dedicated to observation of inter-species interactions in the city. “While in Delhi, I loved to observe animals and birds and found it interesting that despite the fact that species like pigeons and cats are not economically useful, people still have an altruistic relationship with them and feed them, shelter them,” Buldakov said. German artist Johanna Schmeer’s ‘Entangled Bodies’ studies the impact of pollution on the human body. “The sculpture is coated with a special paint that cleans the air. During my research, I discovered that Delhi is the most polluted,” said Schmeer.last_img read more