KredibleNet project awarded NSF grant, will study reputation in social media using network analysis

Purdue University
Purdue University (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s official: The National Science Foundation hereby awards a grant of $179,594 to Purdue University for support of the project “KredibleNet – Building a research community and proposing a research agenda for the study and modeling of reputation and authority across informal knowledge markets” under the direction of Sorin Adam Matei (Pi), Elisa Bertino (coPI), Michael Zhu (coPI), and Chuanhai Liu (coPI).

Increasingly, online social media are playing a pivotal role in shaping public opinion, but there are few tools available to gauge the reputation of contributors to the informal knowledge marketplace anchored by platforms like Wikipedia, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. This project will develop a broad multi-disciplinary community of experts from the social sciences, computer sciences, and statistics focusing on researching expertise and reputation in social media and develop a data-intensive approach for research in this area (KredibleNet). It will create the community and capacity to design and build large scale data analysis and management infrastructure to engage the challenge of understanding how these new knowledge markets are shaped by social interactions and reputations built around functional roles.Through a series of workshops and use of an online platform, this nascent community will refine the conceptualization, operationalization and measurement of reputation as a component of online knowledge and create a roadmap for future research directions. The team will also develop and disseminate tools for data management, analysis and visualization of online reputation data and collaboratively design a prototype reputation measurement cyberinfrastructure platform that can be used for experimentation. This platform will include new data management and analysis tools to enable access to live social media data from sources such as Wikipedia, Twitter and YouTube.   The resulting tools and dataset will equip the community with the capability to experiment with data-intensive analytic strategies and to better understand the nature of the reputation measurement problem.

The ultimate goal of KredibleNet is to shape the next generation of theoretical and analytic strategies needed for understanding how knowledge markets are influenced by social interactions and reputations. The community discussions will ensure that the infrastructure developed to fill the current conceptualization and measurement gaps, data management capabilities and analytic tools will provide as much benefit as possible to all the related fields in industry and the sciences; they will also likely give rise to new research synergies.  The tools that will be developed will render the existing large databases amenable to analysis allowing scholars and practitioners to address a broad set of questions and gain valuable insights. The potential users of these tools, data, and ideas are quite widespread extending to multiple scholarly domains, policy communities, and industry partners. They will be made available publicly, so others may benefit from the results of this project to develop the next generation of “information gauges” that can help tomorrow’s information consumers make smarter choices.
About the founders: is a project initiated by Sorin Adam Matei (PI), Elisa Bertino, director of the Purdue University Cybercenter, Michael Zhu, and Chunhuai Lu (co PIs) at Purdue University. It’s main collaborators are Marc Smith (Social Media Foundtion) and Luca De Alfaro (WikiTrust). The project is supported by the Social Media Research Foundation and relies on a network of scholars from Stanford University (Jure Leskovec), Oxford Internet Institute (Bernie Hogan), University of Maryland (Ben Shneiderman). Yahoo and IBM are also among the supporting organizations.

Sorin Adam Matei

Sorin Adam Matei - Professor of Communication at Purdue University - studies the relationship between information technology and social groups. He published papers and articles in Journal of Communication, Communication Research, Information Society, and Foreign Policy. He is the author or co-editor of several books. The most recent is Structural differentation in social media. He also co-edited Ethical Reasoning in Big Data,Transparency in social media and Roles, Trust, and Reputation in Social Media Knowledge Markets: Theory and Methods (Computational Social Sciences) , all three the product of the NSF funded KredibleNet project. Dr. Matei's teaching portfolio includes online interaction, and online community analytics and development classes. His teaching makes use of a number of software platforms he has codeveloped, such as Visible Effort . Dr. Matei is also known for his media work. He is a former BBC World Service journalist whose contributions have been published in Esquire and several leading Romanian newspapers. In Romania, he is known for his books Boierii Mintii (The Mind Boyars), Idolii forului (Idols of the forum), and Idei de schimb (Spare ideas).

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