A fistful of Bitcoins: Characterizing payments among men with no names

A fistful of bitcoins: characterizing payments among men with no names Meiklejohn et al., USENIX ;login: 2013 This week we're going to be looking at the five papers from the ACM Queue Research for Practice selections on 'Cryptocurrencies, Blockchains, and Smart Contracts.' These papers are chosen by Arvind Narayanan and Andrew Miller, co-authors of the … Continue reading A fistful of Bitcoins: Characterizing payments among men with no names

Online actions with offline impact: how online social networks influence online and offline social behavior

Online actions with offline impact: how online social networks influence online and offline user behavior Althoff et al., WSDM 2017 You can go to a lot of effort to build social networking features or support into your app or website. If the goal is engagement directly within the app then at least you have something … Continue reading Online actions with offline impact: how online social networks influence online and offline social behavior

Beyond the words: predicting user personality from heterogeneous information

Beyond the words: predicting user personality from heterogeneous information Wei et al., WSDM 2017 Here's a very topical paper! You may have seen the recent Motherboard piece, "The data that turned the world upside down," describing how personality profiling was used to provide tailored messages to voters in the recent American elections. In the interest … Continue reading Beyond the words: predicting user personality from heterogeneous information

RedQueen: An online algorithm for smart broadcasting in social networks

RedQueen: An online algorithm for smart broadcasting in social networks Zarezade et al., WSDM 2017 Update: see also this very helpful project page by the authors: RedQueen. Ssshh, don't tell the folks in marketing ;). This paper starts out with a simple question "when's the best time to tweet if you want to get noticed?," … Continue reading RedQueen: An online algorithm for smart broadcasting in social networks

Reducing controversy by connecting opposing views

Reducing controversy by connecting opposing views Garimella et al., WSDM 2017 Society is often polarized by controversial issues that split the population into groups with opposing views. When such issues emerge on social media, we often observe the creation of ‘echo chambers’, i.e., situations where like-minded people reinforce each other’s opinion, but do not get … Continue reading Reducing controversy by connecting opposing views

Learning to protect communications with adversarial neural cryptography

Learning to protect communications with adversarial neural cryptography Abadi & Anderson, arXiv 2016 This paper manages to be both tremendous fun and quite thought-provoking at the same time. If I tell you that the central cast contains Alice, Bob, and Eve, you can probably already guess that we're going to be talking about cryptography (that … Continue reading Learning to protect communications with adversarial neural cryptography