Us vs. them: understanding social dynamics in Wikipedia with revert graph visualizations

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Us vs. them: understanding social dynamics in Wikipedia with revert graph visualizations
Authors: Bongwon Suh, Ed H. Chi, Bryan A. Pendleton, Aniket Kittur [edit item]
Citation: VAST 2007  : . 2007 October-November 30-1. Sacramento, CA, USA.
Publication type: Conference paper
Peer-reviewed: Yes
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Link(s): Paper link
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Us vs. them: understanding social dynamics in Wikipedia with revert graph visualizations is a publication by Bongwon Suh, Ed H. Chi, Bryan A. Pendleton, Aniket Kittur.


[edit] Abstract

Wikipedia is a wiki-based encyclopedia that has become one of the most popular collaborative on-line knowledge systems. As in any large collaborative system, as Wikipedia has grown, conflicts and coordination costs have increased dramatically. Visual analytic tools provide a mechanism for addressing these issues by enabling users to more quickly and effectively make sense of the status of a collaborative environment. In this paper we describe a model for identifying patterns of conflicts in Wikipedia articles. The model relies on users’ editing history and the relationships between user edits, especially revisions that void previous edits, known as “reverts”. Based on this model, we constructed Revert Graph, a tool that visualizes the overall conflict patterns between groups of users. It enables visual analysis of opinion groups and rapid interactive exploration of those relationships via detail drilldowns. We present user patterns and case studies that show the effectiveness of these techniques, and discuss how they could generalize to other systems.

[edit] Research questions

"The contributions of this paper include: • the development of a user conflict model for wiki-style online knowledge repositories; • the creation of a visualization tool that enable analysts to understand and explore user conflicts and opinion groups; • the presentation of user patterns and case studies that show the effectiveness of these techniques."

Research details

Topics: Vandalism, Participation trends [edit item]
Domains: Communications, Information systems [edit item]
Theory type: Design and action [edit item]
Wikipedia coverage: Main topic [edit item]
Theories: "Undetermined?" [edit item]
Research design: Content analysis, Statistical analysis [edit item]
Data source: Wikipedia pages [edit item]
Collected data time dimension: Longitudinal [edit item]
Unit of analysis: Edit [edit item]
Wikipedia data extraction: Dump [edit item]
Wikipedia page type: History [edit item]
Wikipedia language: English [edit item]

[edit] Conclusion

"The rapid growth of Wikipedia presents a challenge for analysts to understand conflicts and other social dynamics. To address this challenge, we have been building a model of how conflicts occur in Wikipedia and how conflicts are resolved. We used this model to develop a visualization tool called Revert Graph to facilitate analysts to understand user conflicts and explore opinion groups revealed in the visualization. We also demonstrate the effectiveness of the tool by presenting interesting user patterns and case studies that we found in Wikipedia. The tool can answer questions such as the severity and form of the disagreement as well as the shape and size of opinion groups. The case study revealed conflict patterns such as the identification of (a) the formation of opinion groups, (b) patterns of mediation, (c) vandalism, and (d) major controversial users and topics."

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Further notes[edit]