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Forum Numerica - Assessing Candidate Preference through Web Browsing History

by Mark Crovella (Boston University)

21/03/2019   :   14h00
Amphitheater Kahn, Inria Sophia-Antipolis-Méditerranée Research Centre
Publication : 21/03/2019
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Predicting election outcomes is of considerable interest to candidates, political scientists, and the public at large. We propose the use of Web browsing history as a new indicator of candidate preference among the electorate, one that has potential to overcome a number of the drawbacks of election polls. However, there are a number of challenges that must be overcome to effectively use Web browsing for assessing candidate preference---including the lack of suitable ground truth data and the heterogeneity of user populations in time and space. We address these challenges, and show that the resulting methods can shed considerable light on the dynamics of voters' candidate preferences in ways that are difficult to achieve using polls.

Speaker's bio:

Mark Crovella is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Boston University, where he has been since 1994. From 2013 to 2018 he served as Department Chair.   His research interests span both computer networking and network science. Much of his work has been on improving the understanding, design, and performance of parallel and networked computer systems, mainly through the application of data mining, statistics, and performance evaluation. In the networking arena, he has worked on characterizing the Internet and the World Wide Web. He has explored the presence and implications of self-similarity and heavy-tailed distributions in network traffic and Web workloads. He has also investigated the implications of Web workloads for the design of scalable and cost-effective Web servers. In addition he has made numerous contributions to Internet measurement and modeling; and he has examined the impact of network properties on the design of protocols and the construction of statistical models. In the network science arena, he has focused on the analysis of social, biological, and data networks. As of 2017, Google Scholar reports over 25,000 citations to his work. Professor Crovella is a Fellow of the ACM and the IEEE.


The FORUM NUMERICA seminar series is sponsored by the Academy of Excellence “Networks, Information and Digital Society” of UCAJEDI. Read more...