Tomek Strzalkowski, Prof of Computer Science, Director, ILS Institute, SUNY Albany

Tomek Strzalkowski, Prof of Computer Science, Director, ILS Institute, SUNY Albany


 In this talk we discuss an ongoing research on computational modeling and understanding of social, behavioral, and cultural phenomena in multi-party interactions. We first describe the background work in the project that pioneered a novel approach to social computing, as part of the IARPA SCIL program. We demonstrate how various linguistic cues reveal the social dynamics in group interactions, based on a series of experiments conducted in virtual on-line chat rooms, and then show that these dynamics generalize to other forms of communication including traditional face-to-face discourse as well as the large scale online interaction via social media. We report the results of an initial phase of our work during which we constructed and evaluated a system of sociolinguistic tools called DSARMD (Detecting Social Actions and Roles in Multiparty Dialogue).

We then outline several extensions of the basic DSARMD model that move beyond recognition and understanding of social dynamics and attempt to quantify and measure the effects that sociolinguistic behaviors by individuals and groups have on other discourse participants, including increased accuracy of predicting online information cascades, persuasion campaigns, and defense against social engineering attacks. We discuss a possibility of constructing autonomous artificial agents capable of exerting influence and manipulating human behavior in certain situations.

This research has been supported in part by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA), the Army Research Laboratory (ARL), and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). Additional funding was provided by the Lockheed Martin Corporation, and the Research Foundation of the State University of New York.


Download paper 1 here.

Download paper 2 here.