Tuesday, July 27

KDD 2010 Coverage, Best Paper Awards

KDD 2010 is being held in Washington D.C. this week. I'm not attending, but everyone can participate because the keynotes are being streamed live. The keynote at 9am EST is from David Jensen from UMass Amherst, giving a talk on Computational Social Science.

Yesterday, was the first day of papers. Two that garnered lots of discussion on Twitter are:

Suggesting Friends Using the Implicit Social Graph
In this paper, we describe the implicit social graph which is formed by users' interactions with contacts and groups of contacts, and which is distinct from explicit social graphs in which users explicitly add other individuals as their "friends".
It won honorable mention in the industry paper category. Look for "Got the wrong Bob" and "Don't forget Bob" features in GMail labs.

Overlapping Experiment Infrastructure: More, Better, Faster Experimentation
In this paper, we describe Google’s overlapping experiment infrastructure that is a key component to solving these problems. In addition, because an experiment infrastructure alone is insufficient, we also discuss the associated tools and educational processes required to use it effectively.
The awards were also announced, see the KDD awards for the full list.

Best Research Paper:
Connecting the Dots Between News Articles
In this paper, we investigate methods for automatically connecting the dots - providing a structured, easy way to navigate within a new topic and discover hidden connections. We focus on the news domain: given two news articles, our system automatically finds a coherent chain linking them together. For example, it can recover the chain of events starting with the decline of home prices (January 2007), and ending with the ongoing health-care debate.
Best Industry/Government Paper
Optimizing Debt Collections Using Constrained Reinforcement Learning
In this paper, we propose and develop a novel approach to the problem of optimally managing the tax, and more generally debt, collections processes at financial institutions...We re port on our experience in an actual deployment of a tax collections optimization system based on the proposed approach, at New York State Department of Taxation and Finance.

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