Web Science

Centre for Doctoral Training

Web Science
Centre for Doctoral Training
The Centre for Doctoral Training in Web Science is
funded by the EPSRC, and underlines Southampton's
pre-eminence in this new research discipline. Web
Science has an ambitious agenda. It is inherently
interdisciplinary – as much about social and
organisational behaviour as about technology. Its
research programme targets the web as a primary focus
of attention, adding to our understanding of its
architectural principles, its development and growth, its
capacity for furthering global knowledge and
communication, and its inherent values of
trustworthiness, privacy and respect for social
boundaries. The first year of the training programme is
a taught MSc and includes short courses and project
work tailored to each students research interests. This
is followed by three years of challenging and original
research at PhD level.
This booklet details the current MSc students' academic
and professional backgrounds along with their research
plans for the future.
It also includes a research poster from each of our
enrolled PhD researchers.  

 
   

 

   

    



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1 MSC STUDENTS 2014/2018
Neil AMOS

Nsa1g14@soton.ac.uk

@AmosNeil

My interest in the web is primarily concerned with its
potential to revolutionise the relationship between citizen
and state. I believe that the lack of progress in the sphere of
e-democracy or the development of the e-citizen is a very
pertinent area of study. Why the web hasn’t assumed a
powerful role within our democratic process may infer a lot
about the reluctance of the political elite to enable change.
This may prove to be a more fertile area of study than
simply how the web has the potential to add value to our
experience as citizens.
My academic experience so far has been grounded in
International Relations at an undergraduate level and
European Politics as an MSc student. My research interests
have become increasingly focused on political identity and
the capacity of individuals to possess multiple or nested
identities and nationalities. I am fascinated by studying new
phenomena within Politics and International Relations. This
is evident in my previous work thinking about how the
European Union should be conceptualised or labelled at the
International level of analysis.

Edmund BAIRD
eb16g11@soton.ac.uk

I did my undergraduate degree in History, here at the
University of Southampton. In my final year, I specialised in
the Holocaust and focused on press reactions to events at
the time.
My interest in Web Science began when I participated in the
Web Science Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) in
February 2014 and went on to undertake a 12-week
internship with the MOOC team in researching the history of
MOOCs and helping to support the current MOOCs to
improve engagement by creating an interactive map, in
which learners could display comments with their name and
location.

MSC STUDENTS 2014/2018

2

Nicholas BENNETT
nb1g11@soton.ac.uk

I graduated from the University of Southampton in 2014
with a 2:1 in BSc Archaeology, during which I was
introduced to the academic study of the Web and Web
technologies. My research interest is in eSports. This is the
term covering online competitive computer gaming. The
Web has been a crucial element in the rise of eSports with
events being streamed live over sites such as Twitch and
YouTube. Among others, my interests cover studying those
who watch the games. One would assume that watching
between two and ten players playing computer games
would not be that interesting, yet the 2014 EU LCS League
of Legends event drew tens of thousands of punters as well
as millions of dollars in prize money. Industrial companies
like Samsung and Nvidia sponsor teams, what's in it for
them? Do they see a justified return on their investment? I
am fascinated by these aspects and look forward to
researching these areas.

Flavia DINCA

fmd2g11@soton.ac.uk

I hold a BSc in Sociology from the University of
Southampton, which has provided the foundations for my
interest in the impact new technologies have on society and
individuals. My bachelor dissertation looked at politically
motivated cybercrime and hacktivism as a means for people
to use the Web as a platform for campaigning and
protesting.
Regarding Web Science, I am interested in researching
privacy and identity online for my Masters dissertation,
looking at how much of a person’s identity and personal
information is, in fact, not as private as the user might
think.

3 MSC STUDENTS 2014/2018
Nicholas Fair

N.Fair@soton.ac.uk

www.linkedin.com
/in/nicfair
www.nicfair.co.uk

Before starting the Web Science iPhD, I have developed a
multi-disciplined background with an MA Applied
Linguistics for Language Teaching, a PGCE Adult Education
(ESOL specialism), a PGDip Advertising, and a BA(Hons)
History. I have also worked as a Client Manager for two
London advertising agencies and have thirteen years of
teaching and education management experience.
My interest is in learning, particularly language learning,
and how it is impacted by the complex, reciprocal nature of
the relationship between learners and the Web.
How is the Web really used for language learning?
How much learning really takes place?
How might new Web developments, such as Augmented
Reality, the Semantic Web or Mobile Learning, be designed
to effectively enable connected, Web-based, in-classroom
learning affordances and how might this impact language
learning?

Paul GILBERT

pig1g14@ecs.soton.ac.uk
After graduating with a First Class degree in Web
Technology four years ago, I moved to central London to
pursue a career in online design and development. Over the
next 4 years I worked for a number of top creative agencies
as a Front End Developer, then finally Lead Developer for
Chelsea Football Club. I have been fortunate to design and
develop online solutions for global brands such as Estee
Lauder, EA, Panasonic, Virgin and Chelsea FC.

MSC STUDENTS 2014/2018

4

Briony GRAY

big1g11@ecs.soton.ac.uk
I graduated with a BA in Geography from the University of
Southampton and I became more interested in virtual
geography throughout my degree. This covered areas such
as disaster management, the emergence of the web
affecting countless aspects of geography, and the
development of new data collection methods and
technology to aid with geographical issues.
My research will explore how and why web accessibility
affects populations in both physical and human ways.
Human geography has become more integrated with Web
Science since the development of technologies such as
satellite imaging and disaster management prediction
systems.
Accessibility to the web is important to global communities:
divisions of economic standing, social demographics and
governmental policies play a large role in the availability of
vital information surrounding natural hazards. Furthermore,
I am interested in the applications of real geographic data
to gaming platforms, and how this can be utilised not only
for games and digital marketing, but also harnessed in new
and experimental pursuits of disaster management and
modelling.

Sarah HEWITT

sh9g14@ecs.soton.ac.uk
Through the Open University, I gained a BA (Hons) in
English Literature with Art History, and then completed a
GTC in Secondary Education (English with Drama) at Exeter
University. Since then, I've worked as an English teacher
and Head of Media.
My interest in Web Science centres around the concepts of
democracy and power. I spend a lot of time on twitter
engaging with conversations about education, ranging from
pedagogical theory to Ofsted. Education has always been
an area of great debate and often contention, but the arrival
of social networking, blogs, and comments following
articles published on-line has, I believe, given the people on
the front line i.e. teachers a voice that can and has been
heard by those involved in deciding government policy.

5 MSC STUDENTS 2014/2018
Taekyun KIM

tk1c09@ecs.soton.ac.uk
I completed my Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science in
Sungkyul University in Korea and Masters degree in
Software Engineering at the University of Southampton. I
have done my undergraduate final project for Shopping mall
with Ajax and JSP in 2003 and Master degree dissertation
was “Case study; compare and contrast proof-based versus
model-based model checking.”
I am interested in people’s different behaviour online and
offline. People sometimes show completely opposite way of
behaviour online which they don’t act in real life. I would
like to research why people act differently online and what
they would get if they are showing different behaviour
between online and offline.

Oluwadolapo MAJEKODUNMI
oam1g14@soton.ac.uk

I have a first degree in Computer Engineering and I have
worked in the banking industry for the last six years. I most
recently worked at the Royal Bank of Scotland where I
worked in the digital customer support team. The banking
industry increasingly uses the Web in the facilitation of daily
transactions – the creation of online bank accounts, social
banking and other forms of online banking. I have
witnessed investigations relating to internet banking fraud
and identity thefts, the majority of which are caused by
negligence or ignorance of customers. Some banks already
monitor their customers networking activities on the Web
and use the results obtained to package products relevant
to the customer.
My research interests include future of social banking use,
of social media by banks, safety and banking using social
media, security issues encountered by users of E-banking,
online banking identity theft, social banking and compliance
with banking regulations.

MSC STUDENTS 2014/2018

6

Rafael MELGAREJO
rm2e14@soton.ac.uk

I am an information systems engineer (Ecuador, EPN, 1992).
I have a Master in Technologies for Education (Spain, U.
Carlos III de Madrid, 2003), and another in Governance &
Political Management (Ecuador, PUCE, 2012).
I have been working as an information systems consultant
(1994-2010), computer forensics expert for the Ecuadorian
government prosecutor (2000-2014) and most recently a
university teacher/researcher at the Faculty of Engineering
at the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador, PUCE
(1996-2014). My research at PUCE has been about Systems
Theory, Interdisciplinary, Education, Governance.

Colin PATTINSON
cogp1g14@soton.ac.uk

I have previously studied History at the University of
Sheffield and have a master’s degree in International
Relations at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. Most
recently I studied the Korean Language at an institute in
Seoul, South Korea.
My thesis for my Masters degree (International Relations)
was on cyber regulation and its increasing importance in the
next few decades. It seems almost certain that nations will
need to hammer out some agreements in the near future or
risk more uncertain cyber policies. For my research I am
interested in the ‘Balkanisation’ of the web, Cyber
crime, Cyber Arms Control, Cyber regulation, web
diplomacy/web global governance, & Cyber Security.
In the future I hope to have a role within government/an
international organisation to assist in the web’s evolution.

7 MSC STUDENTS 2014/2018
Keisha Candice TAYLOR
Keisha.Taylor@soton.ac.uk

@taylorkeisha
www.webnetthings.com

I obtained an MA in International Relations from the
Universiteit van Amsterdam and a BSc in Sociology with a
minor in Human Resource Management from the University
of the West Indies in Trinidad and Tobago. I also studied
Internet Governance and ICT policy for one year with the
DiploFoundation’s African, Caribbean and Pacific Internet
Governance Capacity Building Programme. I was Senior
Manager for Business Planning and Research for Global Data
Services for TechSoup Global in their London office. There I
focused on the development of new data oriented services
and reported on the innovative use of data by and for
citizens. I am also a Director for the Caribbean Diaspora for
Science Technology and Innovation (CADSTI) in the UK.
I am interested in looking at new ways of using technology
and data in business. I plan to assess the unique potential
for the innovative use of technology and data by Micro,
Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in rural areas, small
islands, and cities in developing and emerging markets for
socio-economic development. I have a keen interest in how
mobile and open source technology, open data and big data
in the emerging Internet of Things can be applied.

Gefion THUERMER
gt2g14@ecs.soton.ac.uk

© Tobias M. Eckrich

@GefionT

I completed my Bachelor's degree in cultural sciences,
alongside my professional career, studying part time at
FernUni Hagen - the German equivalent of the Open
University. I had a strong focus on sociology and wrote my
Bachelors thesis about how online media affects program
development in political parties.
Since I moved to the UK in 2011, I started a career in IT
channel marketing, in a company that is specialised in the
design and management of partner programs for global IT
vendors. I first supported partners in Germany, then
managed that project, then went on to manage clients and
global projects.
In Web Science, I am interested in how the web affects
society and governance. I see my focus somewhere inbetween the web, politics, media and participation. I would
like to research how the web influences politics, and how it
can be used to improve citizens interactions in a political
context.

MSC STUDENTS 2014/2018

8

Niko TSAKALAKIS
nt4g14@ecs.soton.ac.uk

I have completed an LL.B. in Law and a Masters in
Alternative Dispute Resolution. After 4 years of legal
experience, I switched to an IT analyst for Higher Education
Institutions. Even though I’m interested in everything
computer-related, my view of the Web is still very much
influenced by my legal background. I am fascinated by the
human factor behind the technology: how do we project
ourselves online and how in line that is with the way we
behave in everyday life.
My main interests in Web Science are socio-legal, stemming
from Information Security and Data Protection, but in a
user-focused context. Do users disclose information on the
Web more freely than in real life and why? What does
freedom on the Web mean for the user? What does
surveillance mean in a Web context? Who has the power to
legislate the Web and to whose benefit?

Jack WEBSTER

jw30g11@ecs.soton.ac.uk
Prior to joining the Web Science CDT, I studied Music at the
University of Southampton where I primarily focused upon
musicology, the academic study of music, as well as
developing as a jazz guitarist and musical performer. My
undergraduate dissertation channelled me towards the
study of the Internet and World Wide Web. I explored the
online production and consumption of British hip-hop and
rap music on YouTube; in particular, I focused on the offline
spatial experience of producing and consuming music
online. I graduated with first-class honours and won the
Edward Wood Memorial Prize for best Music student.
My interest in Web Science grew out of my undergraduate
dissertation. I am interested in challenging notions of
placelessness on, and as a result of, the Web and assert the
importance of offline spatial experience to online activity.

9 PHD RESEARCHERS 2013/2017

An Investigation Into The Similarity of
Privacy Policies Between Social
Networking Sites
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11 PHD RESEARCHERS 2013/2017
Global Ranking of Competitive Alternatives: A
Case Study of Applying HodgeRank to Horse
Racing
Conrad D’Souza 1,2, Ruben Sanchez-Garcia 2, Tiejun Ma 3
1

Web Science Doctoral Training Centre, 2 Mathematical Sciences, 3 Centre for Risk Research,
University of Southampton

Abstract
We aim to develop a ranking algorithm which can be easily adapted
to a wide range of alternatives such as digital products, online consumer choices or user behaviour.
We have used UK horse racing data between 2008 and 2010 as a
basis to explore this problem.
The algorithm used in this project is adapted from HodgeRank,
a topologically driven method for determining a global ranking of
alternatives from scores given by voters. It provides insights into
inconsistencies in the dataset and provides some measure of the
veracity of the ranking.

entries are missing. However, by considering the aggregated pairwise scores, less than 0.3% of entries are missing.

• Global Inconsistencies: If there is a cycle of more than 3 alternatives which implies that i ≥ j ≥ k ≥ ... ≥ i, then the
pairwise scoring function is globally inconsistent.

4. Simplicial Complex Representation
We can represent score functions and pairwise scores by a simplicial complex. The vertices of this complex are the alternatives
to be ranked. Pairs of alternatives are joined by an edge if a voter
has scored both alternatives and the direction of the edge indicates
which alternative is preferred.
Figure 1 shows a score function, f0, and pairwise scoring function,
f1, of 4 alternatives.

1. Ranking Problems
Figure 3: Globally Inconsistent Pairwise Scoring Function

A ranking is an ordering of a collection of n alternatives V =
{1, ..., n} according to some measure of preference. An optimal
ranking is one which is the ‘best’ solution to the ranking problem,
although this is not well defined.

The cyclicity ratio, defined as

Ranking problems are subject to a variety of challenges including
the heterogeneity of ranking problems and the number of alternatives.

C=

measures the level of inconsistency in the underlying dataset.

HodgeRank attempts to reduce the impact of two specific challenges: subjectivity and incompleteness.
• Subjectivity: Information used to solve ranking problems may
be subjective which can produce inconsistencies in the ranking
solution.
• Incompleteness: Large databases are prone to containing a
significant number of missing entries. Solutions based upon
databases containing missing entries may be suboptimal if these
entries were complete
Both of these problems occur in horse racing. Races can be considered as subjective in two regards. Firstly, each race is different.
Some may be considered more difficult than others and some horses
may favour certain types of tracks.
Secondly, the competition in each race varies. Consider horses A
and B competing in two races. Due to the subjectivity of the races,
A finishes in a lower position in the second race. However, it finishes faster than B in both races. Intuitively we want to rank A
higher than B.
A complete dataset would have been formed if every horse raced
in every race. However, the dataset indicated that each race was
competed in by approximately 11 of the 26886 horses which ran
over the 3 years. Thus the dataset contained more than 99.96%
missing entries.

Figure 1: Simplicial Complex Representation

Simplicial complexes can be analysed through simplicial homology.
The set of all score functions is denoted by C0 and the set of all
pairwise scoring functions is denoted by C1.
The 0-th dimensional coboundary operator, δ0, maps a score
function, s, to a pairwise scoring function by
δ0s(i, j) = s(j) − s(i)
HodgeRank attempts to find a scoring function which best matches
the aggregated scoring matrix Y¯ . This is done by solving the optimisation problem
min ||δ0s − Y¯ ||2,w
s∈C0

The minimum solution to this problem is given by

For each voter, α, we form a local pairwise scoring matrix Y α
by setting
α = s(j) − s(i)
Yi,j
If the voter has not scored both alternatives, the corresponding
entry is set to 0.
If two voters rank alternative i as 3rd and 5th respectively and alternative j as 4th and 6th respectively, then their score functions
vary. However, by taking the difference between the scores both
voters assign a pairwise score of 2 to the pair {i, j}.

The error between the optimal ranking solution and the aggregated
pairwise scores is the residual
R = Y¯ − δ0s∗

Score Function
FP
NFP
LP

||R||
C
183.91 0.4461
21.41 0.4574
37.82 0.2866

Table 2: Results over 6 months
Score Function
FP
NFP
LP

||R||
C
1403.7 0.7898
115.59 0.7941
219.86 0.5171

The residuals showed that the betting market was relatively as accurate in predicting the outcome of races as the normalised finishing
positions. However, by examining the cyclicity ratios, we showed
that the market assumes that the outcomes of races are more consistent than previous results indicate.

Applying Hodge Theory, we can decompose the residual into constituent parts which reflect different types of inconsistencies.

8. Discussion

• Local Inconsistencies: If the sum of the pairwise scores, in
a clockwise direction, along any triangle in the simplicial complex does not sum to 0, the pairwise scoring function is locally
inconsistent.

HodgeRank forms a global ranking of alternatives from a collection of local rankings and offers insights into inconsistencies in the
dataset.
Applying HodgeRank to horse racing data, we were able to compare
the accuracy of different variables as predictors. We were also able
to compare the level of inconsistencies in the outcomes of races and
the behaviour of the betting market.
Despite these strengths, the implementation of HodgeRank also
highlighted areas for further development.

3. Aggregated Pairwise Scores

The aggregated pairwise scores reduce the effect of the incompleteness problem. An entry is only missing if none of the voters have
scored both alternatives. In the horse racing data, over 99.96% of

Table 1: Results over 1 month

The size of the residual measures how well the optimal score function matches the aggregated pairwise scores formed from all the
voters.

Thus pairwise scores reduce the effect of the subjectivity of the
local rankings.

Having reduced the subjectivity of the voters’ scores, they can be
aggregated into a single ranking by averaging them. The aggregated pairwise scoring matrix is given by 
α
α Yi,j
Y¯i,j =
m
where m is the number of voters who have ranked both the i-th
and j-th alternatives.

7. Results
We applied HodgeRank to horse racing data over one and six
months concerning the outcomes of races and the expectations of
the betting market assigned to horses. Finishing positions (FP) and
normalised finishing positions (NFP) were used as outcome data
and log prices (LP) to quantify the expectations of the market.


s∗ = Δ0δ0∗Y¯

where Δ0 = δ0δ0∗ is the 0-dimensional combinatorial Laplacian, δ0∗
is the adjoint of δ0 and † denotes the Moore-Penrose inverse.
6. Inconsistencies

For each voter, we calculate local pairwise scores by taking the
difference between the scores of each pair of alternatives ranked by
the voter.

If C << 1 then there are relatively few inconsistencies in the data
so we expect that the global ranking formed form the minimum
score function will fit the data well. If C > 1 then there are significant inconsistencies in the data and we do not expect a good
fit.

5. Optimisation Problem

2. Pairwise Scores
HodgeRank relies on pairwise scores formed from the voters’ scores.
A score function s is assigned to each voter where s(i) is the
voter’s score of the i-th alternative.

||R||
||δ0s∗||

It is computationally expensive to decompose the inconsistencies.
We will explore theoretical and computational pathways to reduce
this.

Figure 2: Locally Inconsistent Pairwise Scoring Function
A cycle of 3 alternatives with i ≥ j ≥ k ≥ i is automatically
locally inconsistent.

Several assumptions have been made in the HodgeRank methodology. For instance, every voter is assumed to be equal. We will
examine how these can be adjusted to individual ranking problems
and the effects of doing so.
We aim to build a more sophisticated version of HodgeRank which
will provide a useful tool for examining Web-based ranking problems.

PHD RESEARCHERS 2013/2017

12

Standards
.

Faranak Hardcastle , Supervised by Prof. Luc Moreau and Prof. Susan Halford

1.

Web and Internet standards

4.

In order to enable the Web to grow to its full potential, the underlying technology
needed to be implemented in a similar way around the globe. Standards facilitate
this by providing unified technical specifications.

2.

The significance of Standards

Standards can:

Case study

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is the leading standard setting body
producing guidelines, technical specifications and best practices for the Web. A case
study was conducted in which three W3C Working Groups were empirically analysed.
The Provenance, Tracking Protection Group and HTML Working Groups were chosen
as they can potentially have socio-political implication on the micro, meso and macro
scale.

The evidence suggests that:
• The most frequent causes of
debate were over the scope of the
Working Groups.

Result in
unanticipated
socio-political
implications that
emerge later.

Be more than technical
specifications and embed
unarticulated social
values.

• The second most common
conflicts were about the process
of decision making.

Piracy

• Conflicts are likely to happen
during the Last Call.

Transferring large files

BitTorrent

DeNardis (2013,p.64)

Lawsuits

They are also open to interpretation and different sets of legal, political, social and
economic interests and directions can shape the way they are specified.

• Managing conflicts amongst the
use cases followed a similar
pattern and was within the
framework of the W3C’s
regulations and governance
model.

EME

Free
speech

©
HTML Working Group

Nature of the debates

policy

Conflicts happen when:
• Members perception of scope differs from what is intended to be
communicated in the charter ,

Standards

• Debates of scope are employed to enable certain outcomes.
Standards

zz
Law and policy are sometimes intertwined (e.g. by policy makers) in the design of
standards as an alternative way of enforcement.

Encrypted
Media
Extensions

• The charter fails to provide a clear and detailed outline by employing general
language that results in a wide scope, or vague process, leaving it open for
interpretation.
• The W3C’s own mission is interpreted in various ways. Whilst some actors
within the W3C, strongly believe that W3C should only be concerned with
technology and remain separate from policy, others believe that the work of W3C
should consider the social impact of the Web into the standardization process.

Free
speech
?

Managing Conflicts

Stakeholder
Interest?

Authority is distributed amongst different actors:

Privac
y
?

Wiretapping
?

• Fine details are not set  There is room for interpretation.
Public
Interest?

• Details can vary depending on the Working Group.
• There are solid authority points to prevent work stopping by continuous and
illegitimate dissents, and keep the development process going.
•  “Illegitimate” is negotiable and ambiguous and might be employed to:

Standards

•  Allow each case to be addressed in a unique way that suits it best,
•  Enable backdoors to impose certain decisions.
The study suggests that most of the controversies caused on the way conflicts are
managed are related to such ambiguities.
The design of standards can affect - or in some cases dictate - the balance between
surveillance, security, law enforcement, privacy and digital rights.
In such circumstances the development process of standards becomes relevant to
understand the decision making processes behind their technical design (DeNardis,
2011) as well as the role of organisations in charge of specifying them.

Conclusion

5.

•  Reaching a balanced outcome is very challenging for the standard setters.

3.

Standard bodies and decision making
•  Working Groups are more or less like a terra nullius in which different forces are
exercised to pursue a variety of multistakeholder interests.

•  Various stakeholders 
Diverse interests
•  Getting the right balance is
challenging

Technical
Quality

Security

Customisation
al
Easy to
Digit l
ats implement
DRigigith
ts
h
Privacy
Rig

Ethics

6.
Standards

References

DeNardis, L. (Ed.). (2011) Opening standards: the global politics of interoperability. MIT Press.
DeNardis, L. & Raymond, M. (2013) Thinking Clearly About Multistakeholder Internet Governance. Paper presented at
eighth annual giganet symposium, Bali, Indonesia October 21st 2013. [Online] Available from:
http://www.phibetaiota.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Multistakeholder-Internet-Governance.pdf
Cartoons created by Matt Greoning

13 PHD RESEARCHERS 2013/2017

Novel psychoactive substances can be defined as “narcotic or
psychotropic drugs that are not scheduled under the United Nations
Conventions, but which may pose a threat to public health
comparable to scheduled substances” (King, 2013, p.4), and they
are frequently bought within online marketplaces (Measham et al,
2010). Whilst there is some research on marketplaces within the
open web, there is a lack of research on deep web marketplaces.
This study offers a comparison; analysing a selection of
marketplaces across both web spaces. This study thus offers the
opportunity to learn from the space of the deep web, and to assess
whether it may provide solutions to reduce the harm of novel
psychoactive substances. Further, comparing the spaces offers the
opportunity to asses whether current legislative practices are
working. Finally, due to the study’s focus on the deep web (a space
on the boundary of deviance) it highlights issues specifically relating
to the deviant aspect of use.

The study analysed a selection of legal high marketplaces. Three
websites were analysed from the open web along with thirteen
individual shops from two deep websites. The study used a
qualitative approach, employing thematic analysis under the
framework model (Ritchie and Spencer, 1994). Three main areas
were comparatively analysed across the spaces; the display of
narratives relating to the decision to use novel psychoactive
substances, drug policy and harm reduction strategies, and displays
of expertise. Within these areas, emergent themes were then
explored.

Greater accessibility to everyone
Advertised as safe and quality

Accessibility in the community

The decision to use NPSs

Advertised as safe when used

products

appropriately

Acceptable to everyone

Acceptable within the community

Lack of a community

Strong sense of community

Substances as fun, selling as

Substances as serious, selling as

official

Clear legal concerns

fun

Policy and harm reduction
strategies

Lack of safety information

Business/selling expertise

No legal concerns
Some safety information

The display of expertise

Psychonaut expertise

No navigation expertise

Navigation expertise

Expertise to understand products

Expertise to understand products

The study concluded that just as there are different physical drug-taking spaces with distinct and dissimilar underlying values, so are there different
virtual spaces. It found that factors such as prohibitive regulation may hold influence over these spaces, particularly affecting the type of expertise to be
displayed and what kinds of narratives can be displayed. Several commentators have argued the need for further information surrounding the use of
novel psychoactive substances, warning against the dangers of rash and overly-harsh policy. This result adds evidence to support this, implying that
repressive policy prohibiting novel psychoactive substance use is not stopping the selling and buying of novel psychoactive substances, but
counterproductively increasing the potential for harm for those who buy them; both by limiting the inclusion of safety information and by criminalizing
users who have little desire to break the law. The study therefore identified a clear need for a deeper understanding into both how legal high
marketplaces are used by individuals and more broadly how the deep web is used as a space for deviancy and as a community.
King, L. (2013) ‘Legal Classification of Novel Psychoactive Substances’, in Dargan, P. and Wood, D. (eds.) Novel Psychoactive Substances:
Classification, Pharmacology and Toxicology. London: Elsevier, pp. 3-27
Meashem, F., Moore, K., Newcombe, R. and Welch, Z. (2010) ‘Tweaking, bombing, dabbing and stockpiling: the emergence of
mephedrone and the perversity of prohibition’, Drugs and Alcohol Today, 10 (1), pp. 14-21 Emerald [Online]
Ritchie, J. and Spencer, L. (1994) ‘Qualitative data analysis for applied policy research’, in Bryman, A. and Burgess, A. (eds.) Analysing
Qualitative Data. London: Routledge Press, pp. 173-194

PHD RESEARCHERS 2013/2017

14    

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15 PHD RESEARCHERS 2013/2017

www.reddit.com/r/medicine

Research
Question
How do healthcare professionals
use humour to create and maintain
discourses of the healthcare
profession?

Results
Identification
Metaphor/
Similies

Berger (1995)
Most common literary
devices used in humour:
-  Metaphor and Similes
-  Metonymy and
Synecdoche
-  Parody and Intertextuality
+ Anecdotes (Powell and
Anderson, 2006) 

Clarification

Enforcement

Identification and Clarification closely
related through use of metaphors.
Members of tribes use playful
metaphors to describe other tribes.
Interactions within own tribes. Warm
associations with good perceived traits
of own tribe. Eg, emergency staff as
endearingly hyperactive and
enthusiastic.

Methodology
Meyer (2000)
4 Rhetorical Functions of
Humour:
-  Identification
-  Clarification
-  Enforcement
-  Differentiation 

Differentiation
Offensive metaphors
used to establish
differences with other
tribes, who were
characterised as
unlikeable. Focus on
surgeons and residents.

Metonymy/
Synecdoche

Synecdoche used to
identify features of
another tribe. Eg,
surgeons portrayed as
demanding.

Parody

Light-hearted
parodies of
relationships/
conversations
between patients
and professionals.
Identification
between
professionals who
have to deal with
similar events.

Inter
textuality

Images posted
within conversations
referencing pop
culture.
Identification
between those
understanding the
joke/reference.

Anecdote

Professionals swap
similar anecdotes
referring to
traumatising or
shocking events.
Creates
identification that all
experience similar
events.

Harsher parodies
of patients
‘bitching’, often
involving
swearing or
infantile mimicry.
Enforces
expected roles.

Especially harsh parodies
of relationships/
conversations between
patients and
professionals. Patients
portrayed as ignorant,
annoying and overemotional, compared to
rational, objective
professionals.
Differentiation between
tribes were jokes were
made with specific
specialist or complex
knowledge. Pedantic
jokes differentiate
between professionals
with knowledge and
‘ignorant’ patients.

Humourous
anecdotes clarify
socially
acceptable
norms and
behaviours for all
actors.

Anecdotes also
provide direct
discipline or a
person or whole
tribe, enforcing
expected roles

r/medicine identified as
opportunity for observation of
backstage discourse/activity

Non-participant ethnography of r/
me
edicine to test the rhetorical functions
medicine
of humour proposed by Meyer (2000),
to examine how users identifying as
healthcare professionals, patients and
medical students create and
maintain discourses of the
Humour as a
healthcare profession
Management Tool

Discussion

Primarily, humour was
employed by r/medicine users to
manage the emotions that arose from
the healthcare profession, which was Semiotic and Discourse
Analysis
often characterised by complex
hierarchies, stressful situations and
relationships. Humour used to make
sense of life as a healthcare
Matrix relationships
professional. The marginal
between literary devices
voices of students and patients
and rhetorical functions
were managed with humour
examined to observe
when they challenged
meaning and discourse
existing discourse.

Values of Healthcare Professionals
Patterns in humour revealed some values of the users on r/
medicine. For example; Intellectualism and expert knowledge
highly valued and praised, as well as dedication to the
profession and moderate levels of competition, ignorance
treated with mirth and mocked. However, self-parody was also
highly valued and too much seriousness was mocked.
What’s 12 inches long and
hangs in front of an
arsehole? …. A
stethoscope!

I haven’t used a
stethoscope since
1993….

PHD RESEARCHERS 2013/2017

16

17 PHD RESEARCHERS 2013/2017
Institutional Repositories on the Web:
Intersecting Narratives and Technical Code
Jessica Ogden

jessica.ogden@soton.ac.uk | Supervisors: Susan Halford, Les Carr & Anne Curry

@jessogden

Research Questions

Introduction
Institutional Repositories 
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Intersecting Narratives
1994

The arXiv

1994 - 2001

1991 - Present

Paul Ginsparg

Follett Report

eLibs
Programme

eLib Open
Journals Project

1999
CogPrints

Budapest Open
Access Initiative

Stevan Harnad

1991
WWW

‘Turnkey’
Repository
Software 

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adaptability
usability

E
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configurability
open licence

helpdesk, support
graphical interface

interactivity
curation

E

}

metadata harvesting
download capabilities

metadata creation
embargo features

References 
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PHD RESEARCHERS 2013/2017

18

Can you tell if they’re learning?
Evaluating attention to learning in online comments
Tim O’Riordan, tor1w07@soton.ac.uk
Supervisors: Dr David Millard & Dr John Schulz

Motivation
Identifying and visualising attention to learning supports feedback on learner progress1, the development of collective
intelligence2, automation of metadata annotation3 and facilitates personalised learning4. This research project re-positions
the Digital Artefacts for Learning Engagement (DiAL-e) toolkit5 as a coding schema, and applies language analysis to

identify attention to learning in user comments associated with MOOC learning objects.

Data & Framework
Data:
A selection of 525 comments from 12 learning objects collected from a FutureLearn MOOC
are analysed.
DiAL-e:
Comments are coded by alignment to nine pedagogic categories, as well as offtopic contributions. Average code scores (Pedagogical Ratio – PR) are assigned
to each learning object.
Comment Semantic:
Word length, comment readability and average ‘likes’ are
aggregated with PR scores to produce ‘learning profiles’ for each
learning object. Key Words in Context analysis is undertaken.
DiAL-e Framework

Results

Euclidian distance analysis: Video and article-based learning profiles are
closer than discussion and video and discussion and article profiles.
Discussion-based learning
objects have a distinct, more
engaged, profile.
Logical regression:
Correlation between ‘low
attention’ words (‘like &
‘thank’) and PR scores
(p<0.002, Adj. R2=0.63).

References
1. Najjar, Duval & Wolpers, 2006; 2. Shum, 2003;
3. Downes, 2004; 4. Beck & Woolf, 2000;
5. Burden & Atkinson, 2008
Image credits
University of Southampton ©2014; Noun Project ©2014

19 PHD RESEARCHERS 2013/2017
Profiling Scenarios Using Human Values
Alex Owen alex.owen@soton.ac.uk

Supervised by: Dr Enrico Costanza and Dr Ioannis Krasonikolakis 

Games
Social

Multimedia

Mail

Portal

The scenarios investigated were based on the
main uses of the Web as laid out in Kumar and
Tomkins’ (2010) CCS Taxonomy.

Retail

News

Listings

Search

Retail
Profiling Scenarios
Human value lists can be used to describe emotional responses to stimuli. Kahle and Kennedy’s (1984) List of
Values methodology was used in this study as it is simple to understand and has a strong foundation in previous
research.
Using these values it is possible to build a value profile for different scenarios which allows for comparison
between vastly different situations. These profiles were found to be significantly different between the scenarios of
Web use in the above diagram.
The graphs on the right show mean values of users’ scores for each value when browsing a retail website, such as
Amazon, and a social media website, such as Facebook.
The differences between these example profiles allow for comparing and contrasting different scenarios in terms
of the needs people want fulfilled when using them. There is a clear contrast between these two examples,
showing the users have very different value requirements for each.
This method has obvious business implications in motivating users to try new products and services. It can also be
used as a predictor for the values people will want to be represented by new types of products and services. For
example a social news website will likely elicit a value response which is a combination of the profiles for social
media and news, and therefore an advertiser would want to appeal to a value profile generated from these.
The method also has research implications, as vast differences in the values people assign to different activities are
areas for investigation as to why this occurs, especially when they are unexpected.

References
Kumar, R. and Tomkins, A. (2010), ‘A characterization of online browsing behavior’, Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on the World Wide Web
Kahle, L. R. and Kennedy, P. (1984), ‘Using the list of values (LOV) to understand consumers’, The Journal of Consumer Marketing 6(3), 5–12.

Social

PHD RESEARCHERS 2013/2017

20

21 PHD RESEARCHERS 2013/2017
“Is that an animal or a plant?”
Content and Discursive Saturation analysis of Zooniverse Citizen
Science projects
Neal Reeves (NTR1G09@Soton.ac.uk)

Supervisors: Elena Simperl, Jeff Vass

Background

Methodology

Multiple studies have examined user motivations within citizen
science projects. However, few studies have examined the complex
and unpredictable behaviours that may result from the interplay
between these motivations and project design decisions (Ponciano et
al, 2014). This research aims to identify factors such as user motivation
and linguistic priming which may influence the nature and content of
user discussion within discussion forums attached to the crowdsourced citizen science platform Zooniverse.

A sample of 1000 unique threads was generated from each project. A coding
scheme was subsequently created, drawn from relevant literature suggesting
potential methodologies and other sources of influence on discussion content.
Content analysis was carried out by identifying the percentage of posts which
corresponded to each section of the coding scheme. Subsequently, discursive
saturation was carried out on each sample. This is a qualitative coding method,
where discourse is analysed for specialist, context-independent terminology
(Dowling, 1994). The discursive saturation of samples was then compared to
the discursive saturation of tutorials and descriptions surrounding the relevant
projects.

Findings
Snapshot Serengeti

Planet Four

Notes from Nature

An ecological project – Users must answer a
series of questions to describe the content of
Serengeti camera trap images

An astrophysics project – Users must trace dust
deposits present on images taken from the
surface of Mars.

A botanical/entymological project – Users must
transcribe labels from one of four museum
collections

Snapshot Serengeti discussions predominantly
involved the classification action and image
descriptions. Evidence suggests user motivation is
responsible for the popularity of these
discussions subjects. Users focus on classifying
species, rather than other activities. Hashtags
form what appears to be a catalogue of images.
The project made extensive use of images to
motivate and attract new users, such as in the
successful Save the Memes fundraising campaign.

Planet Four discussions predominantly involved
descriptions of the classification images.
Descriptions generally discussed items not
mentioned within materials surrounding the
project. Discussions were linked not only to user
motivation, but also to concepts discussed by
influential users. This influence resulted from a
perceived level of knowledge, independent of
perceptions of the science team responsible for
the project.

Notes from Nature discussions predominantly
involved the classification process and how best
to complete classifications. This appeared to be
driven by users’ confusion, resulting from the
classification interface itself. NfN lacks a tutorial,
while only one of the four available collections
features extensive help text. This is further
compounded by a large amount of bugs and
issues which have affected the project (LuczakRoesch et al, 2014).

Discursive saturation
Discursive saturation varies within projects. Generally, project complexity had some effect on discursive saturation – the more complex Notes from Nature had
higher peak-saturation than less complex projects. However, specific activities were associated with particular levels of discursive saturation. Threads discussing
classifications, plus threads discussing underlying scientific principles, had relatively high levels of discursive saturation. Threads collecting types of image and
engaging in more social activities showed a relatively low level of discursive saturation. This aligns with Bernstein’s (1999) theory on vertical and horizontal
hierarchies of activity. Further analysis has suggested that individual users show a preference for particular types of activity and make use of an associated level
of discursive saturation. This suggests influence resulting from users as individuals, in terms of motivation and individual use of language (Bakhtin, 2010).

All images taken from Zooniverse.com

PHD RESEARCHERS 2013/2017

The perception of anonymity on the Dark Web:
An analysis of the resurrection of online drug marketplace Silk Road
Gert Jan van Hardeveld

gjvh1g13@soton.ac.uk

Web Science CDT

Online anonymity
Individuals who try to escape surveillance seek online
anonymity trough anonymity technologies, such as Tor.
Next to political dissidents and concerned citizens,
individuals with more dubious intentions, such as
terrorists, paedophiles and drug traders, use Tor to escape
prosecution. A prominent site on which individuals use
such anonymity is Silk Road. Group polarisation and
deindividuation are seen as consequences of anonymity.

Silk Road
Online hidden marketplace on which
mainly illegal drugs are sold

Closed by FBI &
alleged creator
arrested
October 2013

Opened
February 2011
Websites on the Dark Web, such as Silk Road, can often only be
accessed with onion routing network Tor, which anonymises traffic.

Remains open
October 2014

Re-opened
November 2013

Research methods and findings
The forum connected to the re-opened Silk Road was used to look
at how users perceived their anonymity since the seizure by the FBI.
A thematic analysis of three weeks of forum posts was applied to
see what the Silk Road community discussed on the forum.
It was concluded that when users’ anonymity is more questionable,
i.e. shortly after the FBI seizure, discussion focuses more on
anonymity-related issues, such as law enforcement and encryption.
When anonymity is less questionable, discussions revolve around
day-to-day business, i.e. topics such as drugs and money issues.

Silk Road’s main page was replaced by this message.

Drugs

Drugs

Drugs

Encryption and other technicalities

Encryption and other technicalities

Encryption and other technicalities

Law enforcement (anti and fear)

Law enforcement (anti and fear)

Marketplace

Marketplace

Money 

Money

Political/Philosphical debate

Political/Philosphical debate

Troll/Joke/Conspiracy

Troll/Joke/Conspiracy

Scam

Other

Other

Other

Law enforcement (anti and fear)
Marketplace
Money

0

20

40

60

80

100

Week 1 of forum data: 8-15 October 2013

Political/Philosphical debate
Troll/Joke/Conspiracy

0

20

40

60

80

100

Week 2 of forum data: 9-15 November 2013

Anonymity on Silk Road
If users perceive to be less anonymous on Silk Road, they act more
cautiously and fearfully. Group polarisation and deindividuation can
be observed on Silk Road. However, users base their behaviour on
group norms, which leads to safer usage of drugs and thus harm
reduction. If group norms are violated, users will be blocked.
Controversially, Silk Road can be seen as a potentially better
alternative for traditional drug markets. Its inherent anonymity and
feedback mechanisms can promote less violent trading
environments and also lead to safer drug usage.

0

20

40

60

80

Week 3 of forum data: 9-15 June 2014

100

22

23 PHD RESEARCHERS 2013/2017

                

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24

PHD RESEARCHERS 2013/2017

Category

Health
Assessment

Question
00:00

1

Answer

How is your
health in general?

Answer

--Please Choose --

Success Rate

Question:
What % of .. ?
Answer:

Questions
Answered
Fastest Correct
Answer

Explanation:

Correct Answer
Streak

10% of active
people eat…

Answer

“HealthQuest”: Can an
Educational Quiz Lead to
Behaviour Change?

By Anna Weston
aw3g10@soton.ac.uk
@anna_west0n

Introduction

Theories

Experiment

1,044,407 emergency
admissions were
potentially avoidable in
2012/13.

Transtheoretical Model

Hypothesis
1: Learning

Hypothesis
2: Behaviour

Hypothesis
3: Nudges

Self-management –
reduces admissions by
increasing the patient’s
understanding and
coping mechanisms

Social Cognitive
Theory (SCT)

Control Group
1.  Health self-assessment
2.  Test: 20 random
questions (no feedback)
3.  2-week break
4.  Test: 20 random
questions (no feedback)
5.  Health self-assessment

Participants using the quiz
app will have higher rates
of success in the final test,
compared to the control
group.

Participants using the quiz
app will not translate this
knowledge into behaviour
change.

Behavioural nudges will
increase participation in
the experiment.

Experimental Group:
1.  Health self-assessment
2.  Test: 20 random
questions (no feedback)
3.  2-weeks playing the
quiz (with feedback)
4.  Test: 20 random
questions (no feedback)
5.  Health self-assessment

There were inconclusive
results between the two
groups tests, before and
after the study. This is
possibly because test
questions were random
rather than focusing on the
experimental groups
preferred/learnt topic. 

Health Action Process
Approach (HAPA)

Integrated Change
(I-Change) Model
Behaviour Economics

Intention-Behaviour Gap
Emotional Arousal
Optimism Bias
Gain/Loss-Framed Messages
Social Nudges

      &)" 
'(  

!  

! 

!   

!   

 

!  

    

! 
!  

!  

!         

     

!

-  

, 

!     

Future Work 

!

Longitudinal Studies
-  More participants for a longer
period of time would provide
further insights into this area
including data for participant
engagement and retention

Emails were sent at
various points during the
experiment to nudge
participants. Nudges
included
goal-setting aims and
social comparisons to
increase the engagement
of the experimental group.

Research suggests that
education can bring about
behaviour change but
further research is
required. Although the
experiment didn’t support
this previous research, it
was a short experiment
and comments from the
users were positive.     

Can an educational
quiz app help increase
self-management and
bring about behaviour
change? 

# 
$

Your stats

10%

Answer

Next

Sorry, that
was
incorrect 

Intervention Email
Sent         

- 

App Development
-  Such as Gamification      

25 PHD RESEARCHERS 2013/2017

PHD RESEARCHERS 2013/2017

26

Why make MOOCs?
Stakeholder perspectives on MOOC development
Steven White, stw1g13@soton.ac.uk

Supervisors: Su White and Julie Watson

In the absence of institutional policy, what is the creator/facilitator perspective on the aims and
consequences of MOOC development at the University of Southampton? The literature indicates
commercial, democratic and research concerns motivate MOOC development in HE.

Internal stakeholders in MOOC development
p
at the university of Southampton

Learning designers

Facilitators/trainers

Management

Content providers

Methods and findings
Grounded theory analysis was conducted on stakeholder interview data, generating explanatory
concepts: top-down leadership, changing the educational culture, and embedding MOOCs in
face-to-face courses. An underlying sense of momentum for change was also identified.

“the motivations are publicity, mission and
democratisation ... in this order, by the way”
“A stepping stone … into a new phase of online learning”
“It has enabled me to make things happen”
Using momentum behind MOOC development to change the educational culture



Reputation
building


Influence educational
culture
Develop e-learning
practice culture
Exploit MOOCs as
research tool
Embed MOOCs in F2F
courses

Conclusion
MOOC development is mainly perceived as a way to advance the interests of the university, rather
than for wider open educational goals in education. However, MOOCs are also seen as a dynamic
for internal educational change and development, and as a way to realign teaching and learning
methods with wider processes and concerns in a Web-connected world.
Image sources:
• knowledgehut.com © 2014
• tap.iop.org/momentum/220/
page_46435.html © 2014

27 PHD RESEARCHERS 2012/2016

PHD RESEARCHERS 2012/2016

28

29 PHD RESEARCHERS 2012/2016

PHD RESEARCHERS 2012/2016  

30 



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31 PHD RESEARCHERS 2012/2016

The investor decision making process – A web science perspective
William Lawrence
wl13g09@soton.ac.uk

Interdisciplinary Approach
This project combines insight from
Psychology, Finance and Computer
Science to help build an
understanding of the role of the web
in the investor decision making
process.
Key Questions
- How do investors interact with
online information?
- Can ‘online footprints’ give
estimates of investor mood?
- How important is the role of
investor mood in the stock
market?

Proposed Methods
- Differentiating public
mood and investor
mood from online
social media
- Applying psychological
models of mood to
social media analysis
- Testing models against
individual stock
prices/market indices

Above findings from Bollen et al.’s (2011) study
of Twitter mood and DIJA index prices

Supervisors
Prof. Johnnie Johnson (Management)
Dr. Tiejun Ma (Management)
Prof. Ming-Chien Sung (Management)
Dr. Thanassis Tiropanis (Electronics and Computer
Science)

PHD RESEARCHERS 2012/2016

32

Web Science Institute

MISSION
tlogging the growth and evolution
of MOOCs;

MOOC Observatory at Southampton:
Ongoing projects

tassembling a definitive historic
archive for current and future researchers;

tdeveloping the tools to automatically and efficiently log and annotate
MOOC related artefacts;

tidentifying and establishing a collaborative network of labs and researchers;

tlogging the ‘What? When? Where?
Why? and How?’ of MOOC activity;

tbuilding expertise in MOOC data
collection and analysis;

ttracking platforms and technologies

rResearch on learner engagement and motivations: 2 surveys conducted, one with potential MOOC learners, the
other with actual MOOC learners.
rResearch on educator attitudes
rResearch on marketing: how MOOCs are impacting recruitment on F2F courses
rLearning analytics/Educational Data Mining: Research on
customised automated recommender systems in MOOCs
rResearch on perspectives from other stakeholders within
HEIs
rResearch on the role of social media in MOOCs
rResearch on MOOCs impact on the openness agenda
rMendeley group (Around 250 tagged academic sources)
r2 Scoopit blogs
rMOOC Observatory Blog
rMOOC history timeline

WHO WE ARE
Education

Web Science CDT

Library

Business and Law

Health Sciences

University of Southampton

33 PHD RESEARCHERS 2012/2016
The Role of Internet Intermediaries in Improving
mproving Network Security

Web Science

Evangelia Papadaki {LLM, MSc}
Network Security
The term ‘Network Security’ commonly refers to the
safeguards and actions that can be used to protect the
cyber domain and preserve the integrity of the
Internet infrastructure and the confidentiality of
information contained therein.

Internet Intermediaries
Internet technology requires the insertion
n of intermediaries,
ce providers, web
such as Internet access and service

hosting providers, search engines, e- commerce
intermediaries, payment systems, and participative
networked platforms - parties which bring together or
facilitate interactions and transactions between third parties
on the Internet, provide access to, host and transmit
content generated by third parties, or provide Internetbased services to third parties.

Technology
Security Techniques might:
- be difficult to implement
- be ineffective (i.e. high-speed Internet backbone
networks)
- violate fundamental principles of Internet
governance (i.e. net neutrality)
- infringe upon users’ rights (i.e. right to be forgotten)
- be subject to misuse (i.e. surveillance by
governments or private entities)

Economics
Lack of economic incentives as a hurdle to the
implementation of effective security measures

Law

Internet
intermediaries best
suited to safeguard
the Internet

But necessary
security measures
not in place

Network insecurity
still an open
problem

- Few security obligations imposed on Internet
intermediaries
- Network security as a legitimising ground for
deploying measures that might be in conflict with
the protection of users’ personal data
- Law always lags behind technology
- Different national laws but cyberspace is
borderless
- Difficult to enforce the law in cyberspace

Politics
Different priorities/perceptions of users’ rights

PHD RESEARCHERS 2012/2016

34

By Elzabi Rimington BA(Hons), MSc
Supervisors: Prof. Pauline Leonard and Dr. Mark Weal

1.

In what ways do MMO players engage with and
relate to their avatars on a personal level?

2.

To what extent can the social structures which
govern the offline world be observed through
the online social behaviours and practices of
online game players?

• Avatars
An avatar is the graphical representation of a player within a virtual
environment. In videogames they are the medium through which a player
interacts with the game, responding to a greater or lesser extent according
to the player’s wishes.

• MMOs, MMORPGs, and MOBAs
The Massively-Multiplayer Online Game has a long genealogy, with a history
in computer sciences and ludology, as well as sources from history,
mythology, and science fiction. MMORPGs are characteristically multi-modal in
that they aim to attract users with a wide range of play styles and
preferences by creating a fully-realised virtual world designed not only for
player-versus-player(PvP) and player-versus-environment (PvE) combat but
also socialising, trading, and exploration. This attempt to appeal to many
different kinds of player means that a large proportion of online game study
has focussed on MMORPGs. Despite the diversity within the genre, MMOs
retain the core characteristics of server hosting on a scale which allows
thousands or millions to access the game simultaneously through an
internet connection, and the ability to engage with other players within the
game environment.

• Virtual Environments
These terminologies refer to large-scale, immersive graphical environments
hosted on servers which allow for large populations of users to be present
and interact through the Internet. MMOs which rely on virtual environments
as part of gameplay will also occasionally be referred to in these terms.

This work is principally sociological in its approach, yet it understands the
necessity of interdisciplinarity in studying both human experiences and
emergent technologies, and is informed when necessary by research in the fields
ofpsychology, ludology, film and media studies, gender studies, and Web science.
This project is occupied with exploring both small-scale human perspectives and
observing broader social super-structures. These are not conflicting aims,
however, as it is through practices and behaviours that social structures are
made and reinforced. As such, it takes an epistemological stance of social
constructionism, in that it seeks to understand how game-players as social,
human actors reconcile and re-create their experience and understanding of
society within the built-in architectures of synthetic worlds, and how they see
themselves and their self-representations within these worlds.

The Avatar as Sex Object

The Avatar as Self
The relationship between the player and avatar is complex and multi-faceted. Reid (in Filiciak,
2003, p.90) believes that as well as performing and behaving according to the player's wishes, the
attribution of behaviour and body makes avatars a “manifestation of the self beyond the realms of
the physical, existing in a space where identity is self-defined rather than pre-ordained". Nguyen
(2009) describes a visual interface which allows users to “generate new
bodies and design new selves" - superficially, at least. These processes of self-creation may be so
much virtual make-up to be changed at will, or as changeable bodies they may pose “an incipient
and significant challenge" to the nature of identity. In this interpretation the avatar can act as a
reinforcement of the subject, or may be part of the creation or reconstruction of a new subject
through which the player can perform.
How much of the `self' that is represented by an avatar is still contested. Nonetheless as the
“primary identity cue" in online environments, it may be expected that our avatars have a
significant impact on how we behave online" (Fox et al.) and potentially even in the material
world. Due to the effects of mediated embodiment, players who create avatars that look and
behave less like themselves might experience a shift in their own behaviour and how they
perceive themselves, partially adhering to a “new identity that is
inferred from their avatars" (Fox et al.) as part of a phenomenon
known as the Proteus effect.
Goffman maintained the centrality of the physical body in social interactions and development. To
him, the body occupies a mediating stance in negotiating identity between self and selfrepresentation, personal and social, as well as participating in the practice that make up routines
and behaviours. This body is nonetheless encumbered by its physicality, mired in convention and
labouring through “bodily appearance and personal acts: dress, bearing, movement and position.“
To some extent, the avatar body obeys the same conventions as the material, such as
communications both verbal (text or voice chat) and non-verbal (hand gestures) and “visual
depictions of emotions" (McCreery et al.), as well as usually being given a gender, race and sexual
orientation (Consalvo). This indicates that synthetic worlds are not discrete from material ones,
and hints at the potential rearticulation of social frameworks onto these spaces.. Certainly,
evidence suggests that prejudices and stereotyping behaviours have
transgressed bodily boundaries into the online world (Rellstab; Kendall; Christodes et al.). This is
what Nguyen (2009) refers to
this as `incoherence': digital bodies can be made anew according to the whims of their users, and
social identity detached from material flesh, but these indicators of change and fluidity are not
“the apex of freedoms" as they can be reaccommodated into hegemonic realities by “equally fluid
rearticulations of power". This echoes findings by Ducheneaut et al. (2009); that player choices
with regards to their avatars are highly socialised.

This section is concerned with both personal and social avatar interaction and addresses both initial
research aims. As the notion of the avatar as sex object is instigated by a curious but not uncommon
phenomenon in virtual worlds, that of gender-switching, this section also returns to a consideration of
the mediating role played by technology in the relationship between a player and their in-game avatar.
Determining players' reasons for doing so has had varying levels of success, as it would appear that
there is not one overarching motivator. Rather, the reasons can vary widely according to the player and
their gender, and different methodologies have uncovered a wide range. More recent studies by Martey
et al. and Yee claimed that a significant motivator in gender-switching is that of aesthetics - male players
simply preferred to see a female avatar on the screen, rather than a male. While these studies did not
refute previous research which points to embodiment or behavioural changes such as
the Proteus Effect , they highlighted the unconscious nature of these practices. This reinforces the
mediating aspect of virtual worlds and highlights the distance between player and avatar, bridged not
only by technology but also by the look.
In many ways the female avatar body is in fact primed to be seen as a sex object. Female characters in
video games are forced into “a narrow set of highly codified, pre-existing categories to be temporally
inhabited as an easily assumed, ready-to-be-invaded vessel" (Lahti). For the most part they are passive
sexual objects acting as visual adornment for the target audience (which is presumed to be male)
(Ivory). Socially, virtual worlds are often masculine and sometimes misogynistic spaces (Fox and Tang),
creating a gender-imbalanced framework. This is part of a self-perpetuating cycle in which games are
developed by men who have predominantly played games developed for a male audience. The male
point of view is therefore entrenched and largely unquestioned. The fetishistic aspects of these male
fantasies have become largely invisible to male gamers" (Yee), but are noticed and criticized by female
game-players, for whom sexualised female avatars act as a constant reminder of their not-belonging.

The Avatar as Social Agent
The social structures that govern both the real and online worlds have been named and described
in many different ways within the field of sociology, however I want to argue that those
conceptualised and inspired by Bourdieu are of most relevance here. Of particular relevance to
this research are the notions of habitus, field, capital,
and distinction as a practice.
The need for social science study in video games has not gone unnoticed, as the introduction to
the first issue of Games and Culture (2006), which called for an increase in the application of
cultural theory and ethnography in games studies, made clear. While the field had always been
intrinsically interdisciplinary, there remained (and remains) a need to address issues of
inequalities such as access, race, class, and gender “given the importance of profit, consumerism,
and capitalism more generally in gaming" (Boellstorff). The author defined three potential arenas
for the anthropological study of games and culture which both emphasise the discreteness of
game-world and real-world
culture, and highlight their reflexivity: `Game cultures' (game-specific cultural practices),`cultures
of gaming' (gaming as a cultural practice), and `gaming of cultures' (the effect of gaming on
broader non-virtual culture). Of these, it is the potential of both `game cultures' and `gaming of
cultures' which are particularly relevant here, the former describing a player microcosm which
shares a collective cultural unconscious perhaps expressed through environments such as virtual
game-worlds and online blogs and communities, while the latter implies a reflexivity between
game- and material-worlds, with the potential for cultural `gamification'. It is my proposal that
the habits, shared mindset, and subconscious rules practised by the participants of these game
cultures represent an observable habitus, and that this habitus is constituted and practiced within
what Bourdieu would recognise as a field.
I would argue that the collective mindset within this `gamer' subcultural field is one which,
through content and communication, is often expressed as predominantly male-dominated and orientated in both industry and audience, contributing to the marginalisation of female players
and characters (Yee). It has been suggested that inhabitants of this field often distance themselves
from femininity by, for example, creating content which caters to male fantasy and the
fetishisation of the female body, or engaging in harassment and verbal abuse of women in these
spaces (Fox et al; Fox and Tang; Kendall; Martey).

Elzabi Rimington
University of Southampton
58/3129
Salisbury Road
Highfield Campus
Hampshire
SO17 1BJ
07525429416
emr2g08@soton.ac.uk

Screenshot of an avatar from Guild Wars II

I have chosen Massively-Multiplayer Online games (MMOs) as a specific area of
study because a) they require social play and behaviour as part of their
architecture and b) I hypothesize that their users (game players) share a group
identity (habitus) which will be evidenced through their behaviours and which will
recreate the real-world social behaviours from which social structures are built.
I have specifically chosen the game League of Legends for this study as it has a
strong community and fan base which will contribute to the creation and
maintenance of a shared player habitus. It is a game which has a strong teamwork
element and which allows for in-game textual chat. As a site of social interaction
and community I therefore expect to see evidence of concepts such as classing and
distinction as players subjectively express the objective social structures which
govern and are recreated by their behaviours in the offline. This will also include
practices of exclusion which may be based on game-specific aspects such as player
skill but also gender, race, etc. These behaviours should be observable through
analysis of the in-game team conversation logs in which players chat, strategize,
and express their frustrations with the game and their fellow players. In-jokes,
parlance, and specialised language as well as recurrent analytic themes will all
provide evidence.
This study will be a fairly long-term virtual ethnography (6 months to one year) with
participant observation. This follows previous work on virtual ethnographies by
researchers such as Williams (2007), Kendall (2002), Carter (2005) and Yee (2013). I
will spend approximately one hour a day, five days a week and at varying times of
day playing League of Legends. I will record games using the programmes FRAPS
and LOLReplay, from which I will strip textual data and apply relevant commentary.
I will take detailed fieldnotes describing the experience of play. I intend to immerse
myself in the community aspect of the game as much as possible. This will mean
communicating with other players when appropriate, and possibly forming social
ties within the game.
I have chosen Massively-Multiplayer Online games (MMOs) as a specific area of
study because a) they require social play and behaviour as part of their
architecture and b) I hypothesize that their users (game players) share a group
identity (habitus) which will be evidenced through their behaviours and which will
recreate the real-world social behaviours from which social structures are built.
I have specifically chosen the game League of Legends for this study as it has a
strong community and fan base which will contribute to the creation and
maintenance of a shared player habitus. It is a game which has a strong teamwork
element and which allows for in-game textual chat. As a site of social interaction
and community I therefore expect to see evidence of concepts such as classing and
distinction as players subjectively express the objective social structures which
govern and are recreated by their behaviours in the offline. This will also include
practices of exclusion which may be based on game-specific aspects such as player
skill but also gender, race, etc. These behaviours should be observable through
analysis of the in-game team conversation logs in which players chat, strategize,
and express their frustrations with the game and their fellow players. In-jokes,
parlance, and specialised language as well as recurrent analytic themes will all
provide evidence.
This study will be a fairly long-term virtual ethnography (6 months to one year) with
participant observation. This follows previous work on virtual ethnographies by
researchers such as Williams (2007), Kendall (2002), Carter (2005) and Yee (2013). I
will spend approximately one hour a day, five days a week and at varying times of
day playing League of Legends. I will record games using the programmes FRAPS
and LOLReplay, from which I will strip textual data and apply relevant commentary.
I will take detailed fieldnotes describing the experience of play. I intend to immerse
myself in the community aspect of the game as much as possible. This will mean
communicating with other players when appropriate, and possibly forming social
ties within the game.

Image © jon-jonz.deviantart.com and Riot Games

35 PHD RESEARCHERS 2012/2016

The Web & Internet Piracy

Crime ≠ Deviancy

This Research
My research involves a detailed account of
the history of copyright law, psychological
descriptions of pirates and their behaviour,
and sociological investigation of the nature
of piracy, law and deviancy. The current
literature on piracy does not go far in
illuminating these issues. Much of the
current research is incomplete, inaccurate,
and contradictory. Summaries of some of the
issues in this field are presented below along
with a description of the future of this
research.

Who are Pirates?

There is a presumption regarding the legal,
ethical and moral beliefs of pirates in much
of the research literature. Largely the view is
that pirates lack ethical beliefs and have
undeveloped morals. Data supporting this
remains inconsistent. Much of the research
fails to acknowledge the body of evidence
suggesting pirates may view their actions as
moral or even lacking any moral content.
Whether due to lack of knowledge or
principled belief; the impact of such values
has yet to be investigated. The foundation of
this research is based on one of the few
consistent findings in this area: the
deployment of Techniques of Neutralisation
amongst internet pirates.

What is Piracy?
There are legal battles on-going regarding
how copyright is defined in the context of the
Web and digital distribution. Yet research
participants are often presented with
questions like “Do you pirate…?”. It’s often
assumed that participants’ definitions of
piracy are accurate without behavioural
checks. Services like Youtube2MP3, unofficial
uploaders and streaming services, along with
a variety of other phenomena, have
complicated the status of Web user behaviour
often leaving legality unclear. At the very
least, legality is often misunderstood by users
(and legal professionals). Like the question of
“who are pirates?”, the assumptions of legal
understanding in this research area remain
untested.

crime: legally defined
deviancy: outside the societal norm
criminal AND deviant: murder
NOT criminal BUT deviant: adultery
criminal BUT NOT deviant: piracy?

Piracy and Business
Though copyright laws have gotten almost
exclusively more comprehensive in scope
and duration; copyright infringement online
has continued to increase. Differing
approaches have been taken to tackle this,
ranging from broad and severe legal action
to practical indifference or even
encouragement of file sharing. Regardless,
many companies have taken approaches akin
to treating pirates as competitors rather than
criminals. This has often involved trying to
compete with pirates on service and user
experience rather than price and, to some
extent, breadth of content. For example, it
has been suggested that piracy rates tend to
fall in areas where Netflix adoption
increases. However, with platforms like
Popcorn Time (an open-source pirate Netflix
clone) appearing, this approach may prove
less viable in the longer term.

There is plenty of conflicting evidence
about age, gender, occupation etc.
regarding what types of people that pirates
are likely to be. Some consistent traits do
exist (young, computer savvy) but even
these are unreliably predictive under
various circumstances. For almost every
study finding a relationship between one
demographic, from religion to employment
status, there is another claiming the
opposite. Assumptions run deeper still;
“pirates” are referred to uniformly. Pirates
who only download movies are assumed to
be the same as those who only download
books? Are we right to work on the
assumption that all “pirates” are equal?
This is without even beginning to
distinguish uploaders (a minority of pirates)
and downloaders. Currently we simply
don’t know, nor do we know if a difference
would matter in dissuading piracy or
encouraging legal trade.

Conclusions
The idea of intellectual property inspires diverse opinions.
Regardless, I would argue that the current conclusions regarding
copyright infringement, as it is perpetrated on the Web
(internet piracy), are not based on clearly established facts. This
research aims to investigate the interactions between the
moral/ethical beliefs of pirates and their understanding of the
law, to establish clearer accounts of pirate methodologies, and
to examine how businesses have attempted to operate on a
Web with pervasive digital piracy.

Image Credits from left to right
Joriel "Joz" Jimenez - http://flic.kr/p/5VtC1r
omnig - http://redd.it/joxty
Libby Levi - https://flic.kr/p/aZbzdX
Ryan Ritchie - https://flic.kr/p/7k1ubk
World of Oddy - https://flic.kr/p/4PvAU1
Will Lion - http://flic.kr/p/4XmWqu
All used under CC with attribution.
Kieran Rones BSc MSc MSc - Contact: kcr1g08@soton.ac.uk
Supervisors: Dr. Craig Webber & Prof. Nina Reynolds

3. One expert in ICT4D noted that R-Labs has a ‘secret
sauce’ – an almost mystical, value-laden quality that is not
amenable to traditional economic or fiscal analysis. The
secret sauce revolves around R-Labs ‘hope economy’.

2. The qualitative data was unable to provide reliable and
robust conclusions as to the financial past and future of RLabs. This information was later gained in the form of
financial documentation.

1. R-Labs has an extraordinary people-centred culture with
an explicit set of moral values, and yet there is a lack of
any clear business plan or even a consistent
understanding of the products of R-Labs!

I had the opportunity to take a research trip to Cape Town,
South Africa, in September 2014 for the purposes of gathering
data towards my PhD Upgrade. I conducted three formal
interviews, ten informal interview-questionnaires, and
recorded systematic field notes. Prior to formal analysis the
following provisional results have been noted:

Preliminary Qualitative Data

A living lab is a user-centred, open innovation research
concept in economic and social development. It is typically a
community based development organisation, with an emphasis
on digital technologies and ICT4D. The culture, values and
products of a Living Lab are often not amenable to traditional
economic analysis – particularly analysis which is exclusively
quantitative or financial in nature. This project looks at R-Labs,
a community-centred development NGO in Cape Town, South
Africa. The Holistic Model extrapolates from this to suggest a
way that the United Nations might approach a ‘mixed methods’
evaluation of Living Labs more generally.

Background

How can the United Nations evaluate Living Labs which are
not amenable to traditional economic or fiscal analysis?

Research Question

A Holistic Model

Web Science

My very warm thanks to the Web Science DTC and to my
superb team of supervisors: Dr Gary Wills & Dr Jeff Vass 

Acknowledgements

• Bergvall-Kareborn, B., & Stahlbrost, A. (2009). Living Lab:
an open and citizen-centric approach for innovation.
International Journal of Innovation and Regional
Development, 1(4), 356-370.
• Parker, M., Wills, J., & Wills, G. B. (2013). RLabs: A South
African Perspective on a Community-driven Approach to
Community Information. The Journal of Community
Informatics, 9(3).
• UN (2013). The Millennium Development Goals Report
2013. United Nations, New York.

References

Future research aims to inform the Inputs, Deliverables and
Outputs aspects of the Holistic Model by gathering both
quantitative and qualitative data related to R-Labs. Qualitative
data may involve historical policy documentation, field notes,
interviews, and questionnaires. Quantitative data may include
financial history, bank documentation and usage data related
to the ‘zlato’ digital currency. At this stage it is less clear how
to employ Sach’s clinical economics context assessment and
Heeks & Molla’s critical success factors impact assessment.
The data related to the organisation – Inputs, Deliverables
and Outputs - must be known before these ulterior
frameworks can be engaged. The representation of the model
given here lists examples of what might be considered to fit in
each category – whether these are accurate examples is a
question for future research.

Future Work

Eamonn Walls ~ ew1g12@soton.ac.uk | PhD Candidate, Web Science Centre for Doctoral Training | School of Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton

TOWARDS A MODEL FOR THE EVALUATION OF LIVING LABS FROM THE
PERSPECTIVE OF THE UNITED NATIONS: THE CASE OF R-LABS

PHD RESEARCHERS 2012/2016

36

37 PHD RESEARCHERS 2012/2016
Web Science

The role of ICTs for
Post-Conflict Peacebuilding

jrw1g08@soton.ac.uk
@jenwelch15
Jen_welch15

Related work

Jennifer Welch
Prof Susan Halford
Dr Mark Weal
Prof Gerry Stoker

The research

“[i]f the Internet can provide a canvas upon which nations can paint their social, linguistic,
cultural, and political beliefs, then perhaps the physical struggle for safe cultural havens and
borders may no longer be as necessary for their preservation or evolution

1. Conceptual framework

McCormick (2002)
The role of the Web and ICTs in peacebuilding is at present widely under-researched, yet
there is a prevalent assumption of the many potentials of their uses to improve the relevance
and impact of post-conflict peacebuilding practice. The literature on the subject is small, but
in 2004 already Sanjana Hattotuwa (2004: 39) highlighted an ‘increasing confluence between
ICT, conflict transformation and peacebuilding’. In 2013, Stability Journal launched a special
collection on ‘New Technologies for Peace and Development’, while earlier academic work on
the uses of the web for peacebuilding or conflict transformation processes focused on the
role of so-called ‘digital diasporas’ (Brinkerhoff, 2011, 2007; Turner, 2008; Kent, 2006). These
academic developments have been paralleled by increased policy and practical attention to
the topic.

Focusing on the concept of affordances and building on
previous work, the thesis takes as its starting point the
co-constitution of technology and society. The
analytical emphasis shifts to the co-evolutive nature of
local and other uses of technology, in situations where
complex power dynamics are at play, and as such
allows us to better understand the technologies’
emergent properties, providing a more comprehensive
account of their wider societal impacts.

2. Practice review

Opening of the first international conference on ICTs for peacebuilding Build Peace
– Peace through Technology, at MIT (Cambridge, MA) in April 2014

How are ICTs being used
in peacebuilding
contexts, for what
purpose and with what
impacts?

Participatory Action Research
howtobuildpeace.org

howtobuildup.org

A key stakeholder committee formed
to review conceptual framework,
analysis from practice review and
advise on case studies.

Putting research into action through
case studies and the implementation
of early results of the thesis into real
life projects, analysis of which forms
the final empirical part of the study.

Interviews conducted by the
researcher with each member of the
key stakeholder committee.
CC BY 3.0 Meeting designed by Dan Hetteix from the Noun Project; Interview designed by Sarah Abraham from the Noun Project

PHD RESEARCHERS 2012/2016

38

Revenge Pornography
Abigail Whitmarsh
Web Science CDT
University of Southampton
Background
Revenge Pornography describes the act of publishing on the Web pornographic images of a person without their consent. It is a phenomenon
that has been enabled through the development of the Web and almost universal public access to digital photography and file sharing
technology. Many sites include “revenge” in their title, including the site I have identified for research which reads “My Ex Get Revenge”.
Anyone can appear on a revenge pornography Website however, most victims are female and more men than women view the sites.

Uploader

Viewer

Commenter

Research

Methods

Research Aim
Why do men engage with revenge pornography
websites?

Using a custom made Web scraper, data will
be collected from the revenge pornography
website My Ex. The scraper will run once an
hour for a month and will collect;
• New posts
• Number of views the post gets hourly
• Comments that are made on the post
• Time of comments
• Commenters chosen pseudonym

Research Questions
• How large is the community who use revenge
pornography sites and how quickly does
pornographic material get consumed?
• Can we identify and differentiate between
users in this context?
• What added value does revenge pornography
websites offer over other forms of online
pornography?

Website

Victim

The data collected regarding the number of
views, comments and posts will identify the
size of the community involved in the
Website and discover how quickly the content
is consumed.
Users of the revenge pornography site will be
identified from their activity on the Website.
Either as an uploader, a viewer or a
commenter.

Literature
Pornography is a controversial topic. Radical feminists viewed pornography as
placing an overwhelming emphasis on male sexual pleasure and female
domination, arguing that pornography was reflective and self-perpetuating in its
ideology; not only reinforcing gender stereotypes but also adding to them. This
view point has been criticised by liberals for being censorious and by other
feminists for being too deterministic. Early studies of pornography focused on the
effect pornography has on women and ignored men. Men are the biggest
consumers of pornography and by disregarding the impact pornography has on
them ignores a significant and important area of research . Technology has
changed the way pornography is produced and consumed. Cheaper and portable
devices allow for easy creation and distribution of pornographic images. Web 2.0
has added an extra dimension of community and social value to pornographic
Websites. Revenge pornography websites utilises the technology and provides a
platform for users of the site to easily post details and images of their ex partner,
simultaneously engaging with a community who enjoying viewing pornography
which has been displayed without the consent of the person in the material.

Web Science

Comments made by users of the site and
collected by the Web scraper will be subject to
discourse analysis in order to discover the
motivations that users have for engaging with
the Website rather than other pornographic
sites.

Acknowledgements
The Digital Economy Programme is a Research
Councils UK cross council initiative led by
EPSRC and contributed to by AHRC, ESRC and
MRC.
My PhD supervisors; Gethin Rees and Elena
Simperl Elena Simperl

39 PHD RESEARCHERS 2011/2015 
  

 
    
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PHD RESEARCHERS 2011/2015

40     

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This research introduces the concept that reasoning and decision-making, when
facilitated by Visual Analytic tools and processes, can be improved through the use
of Web technologies to evaluate user interaction events and the application of
Economic theories. The field of visual analytics is an extension of data visualisation
that provides tools and processes for extracting information from raw data by
enabling user-interaction, highlighting an opportunity to observe and record chains
of user events that are generated. . The work addresses the following research
questions:

1. To what extent does data visualisation affect the choices and behaviour of
analysts using visual analytic tools on the Web?
2. To what extent can interaction data be used to identify the influence of
framing for VA tools on the Web?
3. Can interaction data be used to identify framing effects in visualisations on
the web and to improve measurable analytic performance ?          

!  ! 

    

Strategic Decision Making in the field

Temporal, Value-driven Decisions

Natural Disasters & Anti-Terrorism

Theories are emerging from Visual Analytics and Visualisation literature which
suggest that interaction events can provide insights into the utility of design and can
inform new developments in data visualisation. This research examines visualisations
for the presence of framing effects - a established concept in Economics - by utilising
an existing taxonomy of action types commonly used in visual analytic applications.

1 

In visual analytics we can
interact with directional filters.
Clicking a component on one
chart can filter another, where
we see new relationships in the
data..

is concerned with social
phenomena while Behavioural Economics
offers to increase the explanatory power of
economics by providing it with more
realistic psychological foundations. Beyond
Framing Effects it is possible that Prospect
Theory, Risk & Uncertainty, Bounded
Rationality, Heuristics and Bias could be
applied in the future.

A

2

The use of interaction data in VA tools is an important step towards improving
analysts’ performance and to be used to assist in building more effective analysis
environments The application of framing effects represents a significant
contribution to VA and Web Science by providing a new tool to better inform
design processes and improve the utility of VA on the Web.

Users can visually analyse
data in a Web browser. The
data is visually encoded, but
the scale used on each axis
could affect how the data is
framed...

By capturing chains of user interactions
in log files and observing users the
potential affect of visual framing can be mapped
out. A/B tests and lab experiments are applied to
confirm either: (1) A reduction in errors in data
interpretation. (2) The increasing efficiency /
timeliness of decisions, or (3) impovements in
comprehension in a given doman (military, stock
trading, and crisis response).

3

Filtering multiple charts &
graphs interactively enables
users to quckly get an
overview, filter and retrieve
details on demand which
lead to decision making.

B

Framing a problem in multiple ways can
affect decision-making. Visual framing has
been explored in the context of positive or negative
ratings (see below right). Howver, this approach
has not previously been applied in a commerical
setting or with a VA tools that
enable insights interactively
using Web technologies.

Symbols aquired from thenounproject.com are public license except for those under the CC Attribution license: Bomb by Scott Lewis. Corporation by Stephen Copinger. Dollar (sign) and Twitter by Luboš Volkov. Dollar (bill) by Christopher Beach.
Globe by Nicholas Menghini. Chevron by Christopher T. Howlett. Military Vehicle and Airplane by Luke Anthony Firth. Dangerous Area, UN Office, Police, Water, NGO Office and Storm Surge by OCHA Visual Information Unit.

41 PHD RESEARCHERS 2011/2015
Classifying Policing Social Machines
Maire Byrne-Evans, Thanassis Tiropanis, Craig Webber, Kieron O’Hara
University of Southampton, Web Science DTC

Introduction
Crime preoccupies the media and our TV schedules; it fills our
fiction shelves and is a large part of public spending, whether via
warfare and defence, or policing.
A report suggests that the amount spent on combating just violent crime
^jnZm^lmh0'0h_ma^NDl@=I%hk{-%0))_hk^o^krahnl^ahe]'T.VBl
this effective spending?
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Ahpfn\aZk^ma^]ZmZ(lmZmblmb\llaZi^][rm^\agheh`rhklh\bZe\Znl^l 
iheb\r%\nemnk^%Z]fbgblmkZmbhg%[nk^Zn\kZ\r8<Zgma^mkZgliZk^g\r
Z`^g]Za^eibgng]^klmZg]bg`mabl8T+V
P^[L\b^g\^\Zga^einlmh\eZllb_rma^l^\kbf^ZiilZg]p^[lbm^l%lhf^times referred to as “Crime Social Machines”. Understanding the data and
bg_hkfZmbhg^\hlrlm^fpab\aZeehpllh\b^mrmhZ]]k^ll\kbf^%a^eilnlng]^klmZg]ma^lbm^llbg`neZker'

Three dimensions:

Results

How crime is addressed , mediating processes and
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Bfieb\Zmbhgl3Ahf^H__b\^\kbf^]ZmZ!Zg]ma^h__b\bZe\kbf^
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dghpe^]`^&[Zl^]Zg]lbmlpbmabgma^\hgm^qmh_ZllnkZg\^Zg]
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_khfkbldZgZerl^lmhl^eel^kob\^lbg\en]bg`]ZmZbml^e_'
Hi^g\kbf^]ZmZblZ[hnmiheb\bg`%kZma^kmaZg\kbf^'Bmbl
laZi^][rma^lh\bZelrlm^flbmfho^lmakhn`aZg]ma^
ikh\^ll^lbmng]^k`h^l%Zg]ma^pZrbgpab\abmblfZg]Zm^]'
Mhng]^klmZg]parZ\kbf^blk^ihkm^]Zg]parbmZii^Zklhg
a map, we have to examine these confluences.
Bmblihllb[e^mh]b__^k^gmbZm^lbfbeZk&ehhdbg`lbm^l[r
bgo^lmb`Zmbg`pab\albm^lma^rebgdmhZg]pab\albm^lZk^ebgdbg`
mhma^fZg]ma^^\hghfb\lh_kbldZg]_^Zk'
P^\Zgl^^3
!Z"Ahp\kbf^]ZmZblnl^]4ZiiZk^gmphkkrZ[hnm
_Zd^]
data” dissolves into a more sensible discussion of the social
origins of policing data; if the target culture were removed this
might then remove perverse incentives to “shape” data
according to often irrational targets.
!["P^aZo^l^^gahp]ZmZ\Zg[^\khp]lhnk\^]%Zg]lmZkm^]
mh^qZfbg^lhf^h_ma^Zmm^g]Zgmikh[e^flh_Zghgrfbmr%
^oZenZmbhgZg]bg\^gmbo^l'Ma^l^_bklmmphihbgmlik^lnfZ[er
a^eighmhgerma^in[eb\%[nmma^iheb\^ma^fl^eo^l'
!###BOT_TEXT###quot;P^aZo^Zld^]pa^ma^k]ZmZZg]Ziilln\aZlma^l^\Zg
help us to address crime, without increasing fear of crime, and
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]kbo^lhf^]^lb`g^klmhl^ee\kbf^]ZmZhkZl^gl^h_lZ_^mr
through leveraging fear of crime. Next steps…to produce
Iheb\bg`Lh\bZeFZ\abg^
lb`gZmnk^l '

Acknowledgments
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=b`bmZe>\hghfrIkh`kZff^%P^[L\b^g\^=h\mhkZeMkZbgbg`<^gmk^%
Ngbo^klbmrh_LhnmaZfimhg%>I(@),/2+/(*Zg][rLH<B:F3Ma^
Ma^hkrZg]IkZ\mb\^h_Lh\bZeFZ\abg^l%_ng]^][rma^ND>g`bg^^kbg`
Zg]Iarlb\ZeL\b^g\^lK^l^Zk\a<hng\be!>ILK<"ng]^k`kZgmgnf[^k
>I(C)*00+1(*\hfikblbg`ma^Ngbo^klbmb^lh_LhnmaZfimhg%Hq_hk]Zg]
>]bg[nk`a'

Method

Grounded Theory and the Web

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lrf[heb\bgm^kZ\mbhgblf%DZgmbZgblf%Fbeel
lrlm^fh_
]b__^k^g\^l% ;Z\hgbZgbg]n\mboblfZg]:kblmhm^ebZgZqbheh`r'
Grounded Theory appropriate for Web research:
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ma^]bl\ho^krikh\^ll'
Ma^ikh\^llh_ng]^kmZdbg`k^l^Zk\ahgma^k^lihglbo^p^[
can affect the thing being researched, for example in
^qZfbgbg`p^[lbm^l%mZedlmhlbm^]^lb`g^klZ__^\mma^lbm^lZl
]^lb`g^klZk^bg_en^g\^][rjn^lmbhglZ[hnm]^lb`g%bgm^gm%
\hfi^mbmbhg%]ZmZikho^gZg\^Zg]iheb\r'
A methodological approach is required which accepts some
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pbmahnmmablfZdbg`ma^k^lnemlh_h[l^koZmbhgbgoZeb]'
“Hence the reactive impact that investigators have upon their
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^f^k`bg`ma^hkr'Ma^m^\agbjn^maZm_hk\^lbgo^lmb`ZmhklmhlmZr
\ehl^mhma^bk]ZmZ%Zg]pab\a\hglmbmnm^lma^lrlm^fblZmbhgh_
ma^ZiikhZ\a%blma^\hglmZgm\hfiZkZmbo^f^mah]' T-V
FZbglmk^Zfl\b^g\^ehhdl_hkk^ikh]n\b[bebmrbgk^lnemlZl[^bg`
_ng]Zf^gmZemhma^l\b^gmb_b\f^mah]4pa^k^p^\Zkkrhnmp^[
l^Zk\a^lpbmak^lnemlk^mnkg^]obZ@hh`e^%]ZmZk^mnkg^]fZr
not be the same from moment to moment, depending on data
centre locations, indexing, and the constant addition of new
ebgdlmhma^p^[maZmma^gfZrZem^kl^Zk\ak^lneml'T*V
@khng]^]ma^hkrZeehplmabl4ma^_h\nlblhg\k^Zmbg`Z
f^mah]heh`rmaZme^mlk^l^Zk\a^klZiierbmhkZem^kbm
themselves, as it fits their needs. “The aim of this research
f^mah]bl[nbe]bg`ma^hkr%ghmm^lmbg`ma^hkr 'T,VLn\aZg
approach is pragmatic and suits fluid data results coming from
the web.

PHD RESEARCHERS 2011/2015

42

Skim Reading: An Adaptive Strategy for Reading on the Web
Gemma Fitzsimmons, Mark J Weal, & Denis Drieghe
University of Southampton
Contact email: G.Fitzsimmons@soton.ac.uk

Introduction
• We spend a vast amount of time on the Web and much of that time is spent
reading
• However, with the large amount of information available we cannot read it
all in great detail, therefore we engage in skim reading (Lui , 2005; Morkes &
Nielsen, 1997)
• Skim reading has been shown to negatively affect comprehension (Carver,
1984; Just & Carpenter, 1987 ; Dyson & Haselgrove, 2000)
• Others have shown that there is a different between important and
unimportant information. The important information does not receive the
same loss of comprehension that the unimportant information does
(Masson, 1982; Reader & Payne, 2007; Duggan & Payne, 2009)

• To explain these findings, it was suggested that an adaptive satisficing
strategy was being used to gain as much information from the text in
reduced time
• A satisficing strategy is where an individual searches through alternatives
until an acceptable threshold is met. In this case the individuals search for
where information gain is high and when it drops below a certain threshold,
they move on to a new piece of text
• In this experiment we explore whether a satisficing skim reading strategy is
used when reading on the Web and whether hyperlinks have an impact on
the strategy

Experiment
Experimental Conditions
2 x 2 x 2 within-participant
design
Task Type: Normal/Skimming
Word Type: Linked/Unlinked
Word Frequency: High/Low

Figure 1. SR-Research EyeLink 1000 eye tracker
set-up

Sentence Rating - Each sentence
of the stimuli was also rated by
20 independent participants on
its general importance

Question 1:
Does skim reading affect
the way we read
hypertext?
32 participants
160 experimental sentences
inserted into 40 edited Wikipedia
pages (4 in each)
20 pages read were normally, 20
pages were skim read

Question 2:
Does skim reading
affect comprehension?
160 comprehension questions
(4 after each stimulus)
50% asked about important
sentences
50% asked about unimportant
sentences
Figure 2. Example stimulus with fixations of
normal reading

Results

Figure 4. Average accuracy for comprehension questions

Figure 3. Task Type x Word Type interaction in skipping probability and Task Type x Word Type x Word
Frequency interaction in single fixation durations

Eye Movement Results
• The linked words were less likely to be skipped when skimming
• Faster reading speed in skimming condition
• No frequency effect observed for the unlinked words while
skimming

Comprehension results
• Comprehension was reduced when skim reading
• Comprehension was marginally better for the questions related to
the important sentences compared to the unimportant sentences
when skim reading

Conclusion
Does skim reading affect the way we read hypertext?
• Yes, the linked words were skipped less when skim reading
compared to the unlinked words
• When the linked words were fixated they were processed fully,
unlike the unlinked words that showed no frequency effect in the
skim readingg condition
What does this mean for reading on the Web?
• If participants are using linked words to suggest important
information and using them as anchor points to guide their
movement through the text, then the choice of which words to add
links to needs to be considered very carefully
• This is because skim readers focus primarily on linked words and use
them as a marker for the most important information

Does skim reading affect comprehension?
• Yes, comprehension accuracy does decline when skim reading, but
participants did perform better when the comprehension questions
was related to the important sentences
• Taken together with the eye movement results we can suggest that
skim readers could be engaging in a satisficing strategy
• By focusing on important sentences and using hyperlinks as a guide
to where the important information may be, the participants could
reduce the speed-comprehension trade-off that comes with skim
reading
Web
Science

43 PHD RESEARCHERS 2011/2015
Open Data and Democratic Participation in
UK Local
Government
Mark Frank - University of Southampton
The Research Question
How should the UK government’s open data policy evolve for
effective democratic engagement?

The Accountability Story

The Participation Story

“unleash an army of armchair auditors and quite
rightly make those charged with doling out the
pennies stop and think twice about whether they
are getting value for money”

“the future of public institutions demands that
we create a collaborative ecosystem with
numerous opportunities for experts to engage”

Trust

Collaboration

Accountability

Deliberation

Transparency

Consultation/Protest

Open Data
Data published by default

The users’ view

Support

Reusable Data

The politician’s view

“They ask us for lot’s of data but give us very little”

“We are a reference library”

“We haven’t got the skills or the time”

“It doesn’t give a fair picture”

“I never knew the data was there”

“It is the taxpayer’s data”

Exchange hacks
Web wallet hacks
Pool aacks
Market manipulaon

Double spends
Buer overow
Mining aacks (selsh mining)

Deviancy

Who are the relevant authories for handling cryptocurrency related crime?
e??

At what p
point will naonal companies
p
and authories begin
g to implement cryptocurrency specic policies?
s??

p
p
p
What p
policies are in place
to handle praccal
policing dierences of decentralised currencies?
s??

We would like to see how this language
g g is
used in the wild, byy q
quantavelyy analysing
all transacons in the blockchain.
n.

However, this language
g g is poorly
p
y documented and incomplete
p
in it’s implementaon,
p
includingg reserved commands byy Satoshi, and
other commands disabled due to security
concerns.
s.

The scripng
p g language
g g is a forth like non
onTuringg complete
p
stack based language
g g with
approximately 190 dierent commands.
s.

We would like to nd out what new criminal opportunies
pp
are beingg exploited
p
with
cryptocurrencies
yp
with a qualitave analysis
of public forum data.
a.

Services have sprung
p g up,
p known as web wallets, who hold private
p
keys
y for individuals.
But these services have become targets
g
due
to the amount of money they hold.
d
d.

This leads to new opportunies
pp
for crime, as
this is the rst me it has been p
possible for
people
p
p other than bankingg instuons to be
responsible for their own electronic money.
y.

Cryptocurrencies
yp
requires
q
users to hold the
private keys to spend their currency.
y.

A Bitcoin transacon is a set of commands.
Transacons are veried byy everyone
y
byy running the commands in the transacon.
n.

What new criminal opportunies
pp
have been created by cryptocurrency technology?
y??

How is the Bitcoin transacon scripng language
being used in the wild?
d?

Criminal Opportunies
es

Laundering
Malware (mining malware, wallet stealing malware, clipboard malware)
Privacy/deanonymisaon aacks

Educaon?

Cryptocurrency specic security pracces
and standards?

Source code review?

Defence

Scripng Language
ge

Other aacks

Aacks against the individual
Chargeback scams
Targeted aacks that exploit the Ponzi schemes
“consumer”
Social engineering aacks

Aacks against infrastructure
Exploit weaknesses in the infrastructure (e.g. o protocol)

Aack against currency
Exploits vulnerabilies in the
protocol or reference client

Aack Category

Research Quesons
ns

Despite
p there beingg ~$5billion worth of cryptocurrencies
yp
in circulaon and lots of media coverage
g (parcularly
(p
y relangg to
crime),
) veryy lile research, p
parcularly social or criminological
research, has been conducted.
d
d.

Cryptocurrencies,
yp
such as Bitcoin, are decentralised online currencies. Unlike at currencies, their creaon, distribuon and
value are not governed
g
byy law and theyy are typically
yp
y not associated with anyy single
g oine jurisdicon.
j
The technology
gy behind
these currencies provides
p
users with a high
g degree
g
of privacy,
p
y
and their implementaon
p
means that theyy have no central
point of operaon,
p
p
failure or control. These currencies allow the
direct transfer of value between individuals online, without the
inconvenience, cost or trust required
q
with a third party such as
a bank or payment processor (e.g. PayPal).
l)
l).

Originally
g
y invented and released under the pseudonym
p
y Satoshi
Nakamoto, Bitcoin is seen as the rst cryptocurrency.
yp
y The reference client was released as open
p source soware and has now
spawned over 500 dierent cryptocurrencies.
s.

Background
nd

Professor Vladimiro Sassone
ne—
—Computer Science
ce

Dr C
D
Craig
i Webbe
W
Webber—Criminology
bber—
b
—Cr
Criminolog
i i l gy

Dominicc Hobson—dom.hobson@soton.ac.uk
Hobso
on—do
on—
om hobson@
om.hobson@soton.ac.u
@soton a uk
@soto

We would like to nd out who are the relevant authories,
what p
policies theyy have in place,
p
and if there are none, at what
point would theyy consider bringing
p
g
policies into place by interviewing key authority gures
es

Cryptocurrencies
yp
do not fall within exisngg legal
g denions of
electronic cash due to the lack of central issuer or authority.
y
Aempts
p to regulate,
g
such as New York BitLicences, include ngerprinng users for 10 years and have been met with resistance.
e.

Unlike tradional payment
p y
services, there is no central p
point of
contact for cryptocurrencies.
yp
As a large
g p
poron of cybercrime
y
is
movated byy money,
y authories can typically
yp
y approach
pp
moneyy
service p
providers such as banks or PayPal
y
and request
q
informaon on individuals, freeze nances, or block users from such
services altogether. This is not possible with cryptocurrencies.
s.

Cryptocurrency Policy & Policing
ng

Monegraph
o eg ap
ph
p
h uses the Namecoin blockchain to show authencity
of digital artwork.
k
k.

se
er serves as a P2P microblogging
ggg plaorm, using the torrent
Twister
protocol, DHTs, and a blockchain.
n.

Maidsafe
a dsafe
e uses Safecoins to automacallyy reward developers and
contributors to it’s decentralised storage network.
k
k.

Ethereum
e eum oers “smart contracts”, extendingg the idea of a transacon scripng language with a Turing complete language.
e.

Namecoin
a ecoin
n p
presents a censorship
p resistant DNS system,
y
where
transacon instead represent registraons of a .bit domain.
n.

This consensus method has been altered and applied
pp
to network
to solve problems other than just transacons.
s.

Bitcoin was the rst to use a “blockchain”” - a public
p
ledger
g which
allows a distributed network to come to a consensus via “proof
p off of-work”
of
((PoW).
) Parcipants
p
agree
g
to accept
p the historyy which
has had the most “work” done to create it. “Work” for Bitcoin involved hashingg the last block of transacon in hope that the random result starts with a pre
ree-set amount of 0’s.
s.

Applicaons of blockchain tech
ch

What impact has the technology behind cryptocurrencies
yp
had on cybercrime, security
d policing?
policing
li i g??
and

PHD RESEARCHERS 2011/2015

44

45 PHD RESEARCHERS 2011/2015
IDENTITY LINKABILITY AND ATTRIBUTION:
DIGITAL CHALLENGES FOR
LAW AND POLICY 

Giant strides have been taken recently in developing theories and techniques of identity attribution

from data indirectly linked to individuals either alone, or in combination with other data.
These challenge traditional distinctions found in data protection and privacy laws between two
categories of information: PERSONAL DATA and NON-PERSONAL DATA.
Consider the inferences that might be made from communications ‘metadata’ alone: 

• You spoke with an HIV testing service, then your doctor, then your health insurance company in the same hour.

• You called the suicide prevention hotline while standing on a bridge.
• You rang a phone sex service at 2:24 am and spoke for 18 minutes.
• You called a gynecologist, spoke for a half hour, and then called the local Family Planning Clinic’s number later that day.
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/06/why-metadata-matters 

Research Questions:
• To what extent are we anonymous online? What exactly do we mean by ‘anonymous’?
• Can we rely on ‘anonymisation’ techniques to hide our identities?

• What weight should be placed on indirect digital identifiers and their links to a person? (e.g. Should I bear any liability for
what happens via an IP address linked to my home? Should the same IP address be deemed my ‘personal data’ worthy of
legal data protection against those who might use it to try to identify my offline identity?)
• What is the harm from digital identity attribution? Does it extend beyond a privacy harm? What is its value? 

http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/billofhealth/files/2013/05/Screen-shot-2013-05-13-at-3.02.09-PM.png

HOW SHOULD LAW AND POLICY EVOLVE IN LIGHT OF THESE CHALLENGES? 

Alison Knight
University of Southampton
A.M.Knight@soton.ac.uk  

Web Science

PHD RESEARCHERS 2011/2015

46

Web Science: Pioneering naturalness in
online communications of mathematics
PhD Student: Mandy Lo (cmml100@soton.ac.uk)
Supervisors: Dr. Edwards, Dr. Bokhove, Prof. Davis

The Problem
‫ݔ‬ൌ

Handwriting

Recognition

Fig.2: Writing mathematics
is natural and allows the
person to focus on the
mathematics free of
technological concerns

Fig.3: Good handwriting
recognition can provide
the codes needed, making
online communication of
mathematics accessible

െܾ േ ܾ ଶ െ Ͷܽܿ
ʹܽ

[TEX]
x=\frac{-b\pm\sqrt
{b^2-4ac}}{2a}
[/TEX]

Fig.1: Non-intuitive codes
are required to express
mathematics online, which
interrupts the natural flow
of mathematical thinking

Background

Rationale

Milestones

• “the development of eLearning in the sciences in
general, and mathematics
in particular, has not met
the general expectation”[1]
• This may be, in part,
because “practical and
intuitive mathematics input
for users is still under
investigation”[2]
• “Current input methods for
online mathematics
communication are
cumbersome”[3]

• Simplify digitisation of
mathematics expressions
• Use current handwriting
recognition techniques to
translate handwritten work
into computer codes
• Develop socially-informed
interface to reduce
technology-induced
cognitive overload while
working electronically
• Could also be used to
interface with any online
communication tool.

• Completed 1st stage ‘proof
of concept’ programming
• Conducted a small scale
pilot at a recent conference
• Currently in contact with
local schools in preparation
for the main study with
current students
• In Sep 14 – Jan 15, I will be
working with children to
evaluate tool effectiveness
for my main PhD study
• Develop product for
general public (PostDoc)

References: [1] Ahmed (2008). Support Mathematical Instruction in Web-Based Learning System Using Object-Oriented Approach. ICACTE'08. IEEE.
[2] Mikusa et al. (2005). Features and advantages of WME: a Web-based mathematics education system. SoutheastCon’05. IEEE.
[3] Lo et al. (2013). MathPen: identifying and solving the problems of online collaborative learning for mathematics. ICTMT’11.
Funded by Research Councils UK Digital Economy,
Web Science Doctoral Training Centre, EP/G036926/1.

47 PHD RESEARCHERS 2011/2015

Expanding Graphs

Symmetry in Complex Networks
David Matthews
Supervisors: Dr J.W. Anderson, Dr. R. Carare and
Dr B. MacArthur

University of Southampton
dm1x07@soton.ac.uk

History
The theory of random graphs began with Erd¨os in the 1940s
and 1950s. Erd¨os used probabilistic methods to demonstrate
the existence of graphs with particular properties without
needing to explicitly construct these graphs

Real World Networks
Given a collection of random graphs, a graph invariant is a
random variable that depends on that collection. For example
degree distribution, average path length (the average distance
between a pair of distinct vertices) and the clustering coefficient are all such invariants. Real world networks from a variety of sources have been shown to have a power law degree
distribution, low average path length (6 degrees of separation)
and a high clustering coefficient. These are not properties of
Erd¨os random graphs and around the beginning of this century
two new network models were developed:

Symmetry
One less studied property of real world networks is the degree
to which these networks are symmetric. Symmetry in a network effectively means that certain vertices play precisely the
same role in the graph. This redundancy naturally reinforces
the graph against an attack by providing structural backups
[2].

Trees
It has been suggested that real-world networks that grow by
the addition of vertices and edges often under preferential attachment are naturally tree-like [2]. This begs the question:
How tree-like are the Watts and Strogatz and the Barab´asiAlbert Models? What is the expected girth of the Watts and
Strogatz and the Barab´asi-Albert Models? Note that if one
sets m0 = 1 and m = 1 at each step in the Barab´asi-Albert
Model then the resulting graph is necessarily a tree. If realworld networks are indeed tree-like then one could understand
properties of real-world networks by understanding properties
of random trees.

Results
Thus far we have used a formalised notion of symmetry called
the automorphism group of a graph in order to investigate the
typical degree of symmetry to be found in a variety of models
of growing random trees. We have utilised such models of
growing graphs to, for example, model phenomena as diverse
as Alzheimer’s disease and the World Wide Web.

New Network Models
(i) Watts and Strogatz model [3]. Similar to the Erd¨os-Renyi
models this probability space consists of graphs on n labelled vertices. Let K be the mean degree and 0 ≤ β ≤ 1
be a constant satisfying
n >> K >> ln(N ) >> 1
We construct a graph in which each vertex is attached via an
edge to K neighbours. For each node ni and edge (ni, nj )
with i < j with probability β we remove that edge with
and replace it with a new edge (ni, nk ) where k is chosen
uniformly at random from all possibilities that avoid loops
and multiedges.
(ii) Barab´asi-Albert Model [1] We begin with m0 labelled vertices and nodes are added one at a time. Each time a vertex is added it is attached via an edge to m ≤ m0 existing
nodes. A new vertex attaches to an existing vertex i with
probability
deg(i)
pi = 
j∈V deg(j)
The Watts and Strogatz model has the property that if β = 0
we simply get a K-regular lattice and if β = 1 we get a classical Erd¨os-Renyi random graph. Surprisingly, for most values
of 0 < β < 1 the Watts and Strogatz model has low average path length and high clustering coefficient but it does not
exhibit a power law for degree distribution [3]. On the other
hand the Barab´asi-Albert Model has a degree distribution that
follows a power law and low average path length, however it
exhibits a low clustering coefficient [1].

Figure 1: A fractal tree.

References
[1] R´eka Albert and Albert-L´aszl´o Barab´asi. Statistical mechanics of complex networks. Reviews of modern physics,
74(1):47, 2002.
[2] Ben D. Macarthur, Rub´en J. S´anchez-garc´ıa, and James W.
Anderson. Symmetry in complex networks. Discrete Applied Mathematics, pages 3525–3531, 2008.
[3] Duncan J Watts and Steven H Strogatz. Collective dynamics of small-worldnetworks. nature, 393(6684):440–442,
1998.

PHD RESEARCHERS 2011/2015

48 

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their cultural development (ICOM, 2013, Trevelyan, 2008).
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Informatum
Due to the interdisciplinary
nature of this research, data
and information will be
addressed as a single entity
called informatum.

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Javier Pereda

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50

Orienting within Complex Digital Environments
Bridging the Gap Between the Inside and Out to Reduce Disorientation
Web Science Doctoral Training Centre, 2Psychology, 3Geography, University of Southampton
Introduction
When we move, we can effectively keep track of where we are with limited effort
(Riecke, Cunningham & Bulthoff, 2007). To do this we must effectively track our
position in terms of stationary objects, via a process of Spatial Updating. As we move
within complex internal spaces, our relationship with the larger, unseen world also
constantly changes.
But have you ever lost track of where you are in relation
to the exit in a shopping centre?
Wang and Brockmole, (2003) suggest that within nested
environments, such as rooms within a building, people
can automatically update cues within their local
environment (the room), but struggle to update their
position relative to the larger outside world.
Klatzky et al. (1998) suggests that without physical
m
movement,
for example when moving within a virtual
e
environment,
automatic spatial updating can be impeded.
Gender differences within spatial activities is the most
)..
pronounced of all cognitive tasks (Lawton & Morrin,1999).
Gender differences in Spatial Updating have produced
mixed findings, though many report greater performance
by males (Tlauka et al., 2005)
Because of these factors, keeping track of our position in
digital environments is a great challenge. This research
aims to investigate whether the addition of simple visual
cues within a virtual nested environment could help individuals
their overall
duals track
t
location.

Method
Participants
40 undergraduate students (Female = 27, Male = 13) completed this study in
exchange for course credit. Participants were randomly allocated to either a Control
or Experimental condition.
Design
Study used a 2(Condition) x2(Gender) x2(Room Type) x2 (Movement) mixed design.
Apparatus
This study used a virtual environment which participants were required to navigate
and explore. This was modelled on the University of Southampton Shackleton
Building (44), using 3DSMax 2012. Participants controlled their movement using the
arrow keys, but could not interact with items within the environment.
Group Control explored a replica of the building with no additional navigation aids. In
contrast Group Experimental also saw large coloured bands on the top of each of the
walls, based on their compass facing (North Blue, East Yellow, South Green and West
Red)

Procedure
Participants explored the outside and inside of the virtual building before completing
four orientation trials. At the start of each orientation trial Participants found
themselves within rooms in the virtual building and were asked to turn to face a nonvisible external landmark. Once participants were happy with their position they
proceeded to the next trial.
Two rooms in the orientation trials were external, allowing the use of external visual
cues to orientate. The other two rooms were internal, over looking the inner
courtyard, and required an understanding of the spatial relationship between the
internal and external cues to complete the task. One of the external rooms and one
of the internal rooms had been visited previously in the acquisition trials.

Results
Orientatation Error (in degrees)

22cm

PHD RESEARCHERS 2010/2014

140

Group Control Mean Orientation Error, in Degrees,
for each trial.

140

Group Experimental Mean Orientation Error in Degrees,
for each trial.

120

120
100

Female
Male

80

100

Female
Male

80

60

60

40

40

20

20
0

0

External
Unvisited

Internal
Unvisited

External
Visited

Internal
Visited

External Internal
Unvisited Unvisited

External
Visited

Internal
Visited

Results suggest that without the coloured cues Females in Group Control found it
difficult to orient within the inner rooms, especially if they had not previously
visited.
A 4-way mixed design ANOVA revealed a main effect of room type, F(1,36)= 4.45,
P<0.05 suggesting it was more difficult to perform the task from an internal room. A
main effect of movement, F(1, 36) = 9.96, p<0.01 suggests that the orientation task
was more difficult from within a room which participants had not previously visited.
No other main effects were significant. There was a significant 4-way interaction,
F(1, 36) = 6.91, p<0.05. Further analysis via simple main effects revealed that there
was only an effect of gender in Group Control in the Internal room to which the
participants had not previously moved, F(1, 144) = 8.96, p<0.01. This suggests that
females found it harder than males to orientate in this room, but this impairment in
spatial updating was removed by the addition of the coloured cues.

Conclusion
Participants within the control condition struggled to automatically update their
position within internal rooms, suggesting they were unable to update multiple
environments simultaneously. This is consistent with previous findings, using real
world tasks (Wang & Brockmole, 2003)
The effect of movement offers partial support for Klatzky et al. (1998). Participants
made greater orientation errors within rooms which they had not previously visited.
However many were able to remain oriented within the virtual environment without
the need for physical movement.
There was no overall effect of gender, but a gender difference was apparent when
participants were required to use internal cues. Females within Group Control were
unable to effectively update their orientation automatically within the internal
room. The addition of colour cues however allowed females in Group Experimental to
orient as well as the males. This is consistent with females greater reliance on direct
landmark cues (Lawton, 1994).
Results suggest that losing track of where you are within a virtual environment can
be reduced by the addition of salient visual cues which are associated with external
orienting features.

References
•Klatsky, R.L., Loomis, J.M., Beall, A.C., Chance, S.S., & Golledge, R.G. (1998). Spatial updating of self-position and orientation during real,
imagined, and virtual locomotion. Psychological Science, 9, 293–298
•Lawton, C. A. (1994). Gender differences in way-finding strategies: Relationship to spatial ability and spatial anxiety. Sex Roles, 30, 765-779.
•Lawton, C. A., & Morrin, K. A. (1999). Gender differences in pointing accuracy in computer-simulated 3D mazes. Sex Roles, 40, 73-92.
•Riecke, B.E., Cunningham, D.W., & Buelthoff, H.H. (2007) Spatial updating in virtual reality: the sufficiency of visual information.
Psychological Research, 71, 298–313.
•Rieser, J. J. (1989). Access to knowledge of spatial structure at novel points of observation. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning,
Memory, and Cognition, 15, 1157-1165.
•Tlauka, M., Brolese, A., Pomeroy, D.E., & Hobbs, W. (2005), Gender differences in spatial knowledge acquired through simulated exploration
of a virtual shopping centre, Journal of Environmental Psychology, 25, 111-118.
•Wang, R.F. & Brockmole, J.R. (2003) Simultaneous spatial updating in nested environments. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review. 10, 981–986

Acknowledgments
This research was funded by the Research Councils UK Digital Economy Program, Web Science Doctoral Training Centre,
University of Southampton. EP/G036926/1
RESEARCH POSTER PRESENTATION DESIGN © 2012

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51 PHD RESEARCHERS 2010/2014
Nicole Beale nicole.beale@soton.ac.uk

My PhD looks at the potential of
web-based phenomena for local
authority museums in the UK.
This poster presents a case study
which forms a part of a chapter of
my PhD thesis.

Memory Institutions
and the Web
Museums, libraries and archives are conventionally recognised
memory institutions. The web is changing this. For museums,
traditionally understood mechanisms for collecting, preserving
and interpreting the heritage of humanity and our
environments are no longer enough.
The photographs in this poster form part of the Europeana collection ‘Vintage Animals’ and are curated by Retronaut.
They are multi-institutionally sourced, and owe their presence here to good metadata (which made them findable) and
comedic subject matter (which made them adorable).

Online metadata indexes as
an opportunity
The creation of online content should be a major consideration for
local authority museums. The web offers a new way for museums to
present social history data held in their collections.
h
Social networking platforms are tools for the collating and sharing off such
content, but they are resource-heavy. Large centralised metadata indexes
present the best option for smaller museums today. Europeana is an example of
such an index.
Museums have much to offer the web, in particular to the development and
continued uptake of social networking systems. Recent research into the web
as a repository for the memory of the world is evidence of the recognition of
the importance of the web for the future of the archive (Robinson, 2012;
Andermann & Arnold-de Simine, 2012).
Blogging and micro-blogging platforms provide ways to self-memorialise both
publically as commemoration and privately as remembrance without the
need of museums, libraries and archives. In the 1990s, predictions of the
democratisation of the past and the way that technologies threaten the timeboundedness of memory were thought to lead to the extinction of the archive,
as the past and the present became blurred and the world archived and
collected everything. Today these concerns manifest themselves in a similar
way, with academics and archival professionals alike expressing concerns about
the increasing propensity of people to share everything online.
But the web today is messy. Information is lost almost as soon as it is shared.
Twitter is an example of this, within days a tweet can be lost. The sharing of
information is not necessarily going to result in the creation of an archive.

The example of Retronaut
Chris Wild is the Curator of the website Retronaut. Wild curates
historical photographs via Retronaut which (as of 19th February
2014) has more than 200,000 views per day, just over 63,000
followers to its Twitter account and over 209,000 likes to its
Facebook page. The majority of the content for the website are
photographs with unusal subject matter. Most photographs come from
large online collections, such as Europeana.eu, a European Commission
funded cultural heritage metadata search portal. Retronaut makes use of the
metadata within Europeana in a way that people find engaging and
entertaining.
Wild has created an institution using only the information that is freely
available online via Europeana. Retronaut was established in 2009 and is
curated by a team of less than ten people. The site has had a Facebook page
since 2010. The British Museum, arguably one of the most well known
museums in the world only boasts just over 500,000 likes to its Facebook
page, and just under 269,000 Twitter followers (as of 19th February 2014). The
British Museum has used Facebook since April 2010 (Pett, 2012). The number
of likes for Retronaut when compared with the British Museum on Facebook is
staggering. Retronaut only has 41.8% of the British Museum’s likes, which is a
significant percentage when considering the size of the organisations
managing the social media and the resources available to each organisation in
the real world.
Retronaut makes use of the benefit of the web to bring disparate data
sources together, to highlight the multi-faceted nature of humanity and to
use historical collections to engage people in conversations about the
simultaneous distance and closeness of the past to the world today. The
Retronaut approach has been so successful that Wild is now installed at the
Museums and Archives Northumberland as a time-traveller to engage new
audiences (Woodhorn, 2013).

On the web, the audience of heritage is very different. Young people and
people of different socio-economic backgrounds engage with content with a
history or archaeology focus much more readily online than they do offline. In
addition to this, the audiences of this kind of content are finding information
and knowledge about these topics away from the large authoritative
organisations. An online user will come across the information in a different
way, and this is key to the success of sharing heritage knowledge online.
Content online still needs to be collected and categorised, to be interpreted
and then presented: to be ‘curated’. Open data is an essential component to
this re-discovery of information. Social networking systems, the tools and
platforms where people are creating and sharing content are essential to the
future of museums. Museums are the appropriate institution to exhibit data
from the web that relates to cultural memory, and that the adoption of open
data and real engagement with the social aspects of the web will be integral to
this occurring.
Online metadata indexes make collections and objects within collections
findable. The serendipity of the case study, Retronaut, and the fun and relaxed
way that the site and its associated social networking platforms engage with
audiences is illustrative of this potential.

Notes: http://theculturalheritageweb.wordpress.com
Thoughts: @nicoleebeale

References:
Andermann, J., and S. Arnold-de Simine, 2012. Introduction: Memory,
Community and the New Museum, Theory Culture Society, 29(3); 3-13
Pett, D., 2012. Use of Social Media within the British Museum and the Museum
Sector. In: Bonacchi, C, (ed.) Archaeology and Digital Communication: Towards
Strategies of Public Engagement. Archetype Publications: London, UK: 83-102
Robinson, H., 2012. Remembering things differently: museums, libraries and
archives as memory institutions and the implications for convergence,
Museums Management and Curatorship, 27(4): 413-429
Woodhorn, 2013. Time traveller to open up archives, Woodhorn: Museums
and Archives Northumberland, 5th December 2013. Available at:
http://www.experiencewoodhorn.com/time-traveller-to-open-up-archives/
Accessed 16th February 2014

Supervisors: Dr. Yvonne Marshall and Dr. Graeme Earl

PHD RESEARCHERS 2010/2014

52

Huw Davies hcd1g10@soton.ac.uk @huwcdavies
Susan Halford Nick Gibbins

Challenging Orthodoxies in Digital Literacy:
young people’s practices online.

Since its inception 25 years ago the World Wide Web has facilitated an explosion of
information unprecedented in its scale. Many websites are said to embody the Web’s
censor-free, information anarchy. This has led to widespread anxiety about the fidelity
of some of this information and its potential to do harm. As the myth of the Digital
Native is debunked, young people, it is now claimed, are exceptionally vulnerable to this
new danger; they are declared naïve and lacking in the crucial new ‘literacies’ needed to
discern fact from fiction.
This work investigates the reality of these fears and claims. Drawing on case studies
from two very different institutions – a state sector FE college with a largely white
working class intake and a prestigious independent fee paying school with an ethnically
diverse intake – the research explores how groups of 16-18 year olds access, interpret
and use information. It focusses on controversial information involving issues such as
immigration, climate-change, and government ‘cover-ups’ and makes use of multiple
methods including interviews and workshops as well as proxy servers to digitally record
everything young people do on the Web. The data suggests highly differentiated, classbased practices grounded in the social, material and cultural contexts of everyday life
that can be better understood by combining Bourdieusian and Foucauldian theoretical
frameworks.
Acknowledgement: The Digital Economy Programme is a Research Councils UK cross council initiative led by EPSRC and
contributed to by AHRC, ESRC and MRC

53 PHD RESEARCHERS 2010/2014
Reimagining the Public Health Analogy
for Web Security
Huw Fryer (ECS) Supervisors: Tim Chown (ECS), Sophie Stalla-Bourdillon (ILAWS)
Web Science DTC
University of Southampton

A compromised Web server is like a contaminated water pump

Infected machines generate revenue for the criminal
This environment enables them to survive

People drinking the water provides an
environment for Cholera to survive

$
• Malware doesn’t propagate like viruses any more, so
epidemic models need to be changed
• Imagining the criminal as the pathogen changes the
focus to the environment in general
• A more hostile environment makes cybercrime less
worthwhile to participate in
• Bad security practices are a problem for the whole
Web, not just an individual network

Web
Science

PHD RESEARCHERS 2010/2014 

   



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55 PHD RESEARCHERS 2010/2014
Web Science

Predicting Stock Prices with Online Information
Paul Gaskell
Professor Frank McGroarty
Dr. Thanassis Tiropanis

Introduction
On the 23 of April 2013, a fake tweet was sent from the White House's twitter
account. A few minutes later the price of the Standard and Poor's 500 index,
representing 500 of the highest valued companies in the US dived by nearly 1%.
1 tweet accounted for the loss of nearly 1% of the value of the US Economy.
In a sense this is not surprising, financial news services like Bloomberg and
Reuters regularly update and publish indices of media sentiment towards
stocks. Over the last 4-5 years researchers have begun to look for models of
media sentiment which can be used to predict prices. The results of this
research are, however, generally quite disappointing.
The reason for this is that the way language relates to offline events is a
difficult thing to model. Language is temporally uncertain, in that a
statement can be about an event in the future, past or present. Also as yet
there is no literature which describes how to model word frequency
movements over time.
The aim of this PhD is to define a methodology that tackles these issues.

Signal Diffusion Mapping
A New Time-Series Analysis Methodology for
Modelling and Forecasting Based on Complex LeadLag Relationships
Currently, almost all time series
analysis research uses some form of
linear regression. The trouble with this
is that the temporal relationship
between variables is fixed – if there is
uncertainty as to when a variable
influences another this cannot be
picked up in the analysis.
In order to be able to model series where the temporal
relationship between the variables is uncertain, we invented a
new time-series analysis methodology (paper currently under
review). This combines concepts from speech processing and
polymer physics to model the relationship as a bumpy surface,
over which information attempts to diffuse from one series into
the other.
We go on to show how mapping the diffusion rate properly
allows us to predict the daily return of the major US and UK
stock indices. We show a trading model that could return around
908% over a 14 year period, just using two indices to predict
each other.

Spurious Regressions with Online Text Data
A large number of studies now exist which report correlations
between some text based metric and an offline variable. These
studies always use metrics built under the assumption that the
probability of a word occurring in a set of messages is either not
a function, or at most a linear function of the number of
messages.
But a wide range of studies exist showing that word frequencies
are approximately power law distributed in text. We show that
firstly, this property has significant implications for modelling
text based time-series metrics and secondly, this property
means that current regression results in this literature are
largely invalid.
We go on to present a model of word frequency movements
that better fits that data.

PHD RESEARCHERS 2010/2014

56

57 PHD RESEARCHERS 2010/2014
A multi-dimensional framework of the ICT Innovation system:
An agent based approach for policy making

Project Aim
The purpose of this thesis is to identify research gaps within the Systems of
Innovation literature over the past 33 years. This was to identify gaps and
formulate research questions. It was then synthesised into a
comprehensible framework of the ICT Innovation System. Agent-based
modelling was chosen as it is an underutilised methodological approach.
Three case studies were subsequently mooted from the relationships of the
framework in order to help policy makers make decisions using this systemic
perspective.

Benefits of a Systemic Approach:
• The ICT industry is a complex phenomenon with multiple variables
and relationships between them, and numerous feedbacks within it.
• Problems must be analysed as a whole rather than individual parts.
• Systems thinking allows policy makers to make better informed
decisions when integrating new policies into the environment.

Relationships between different Innovation Systems:

Historical context of Innovation Systems

ICT Innovation System
Relationship 1: Networked element providers and network operators
i.e. Suppliers doing R&D and operators provide investment and user feedback
Relationship 2: Network operators and content and application providers
i.e. Net neutrality debate
Relationship 3: Content application providers and consumers and creators
i.e. Provides services for consumers and consumers can engage in content creation
Relationship 4: Network element providers and consumer and creators
i.e. New designs and feedback regarding it
Relationship 5: Network element providers and content and applications providers
i.e. Provides an innovation platform.

Relationship 6: Network operators and consumers and creators
i.e. Provide things such as wireless LAN and digital broadcast and get feedback on
services

Media Publishing: Case study 2

Abstract Model: Case study 1
• An abstract model between Regulators,
Consumers, Creators and firms.
• This model can be specifically adapted to
different relationships within the ICT
Innovation System

Christopher Hughes

Dr Lorraine Warren

Dr Jason Noble

Net Neutrality: Case study 3

PHD RESEARCHERS 2010/2014

T ERHII N URMIKKO

D R J ACOBB D AHL

D R K IRKK M ARTINEZ

58

D R G RAEMEE E ARL

University of Southampton University of Oxford University of Southampton University of Southampton

Our project combines Reflectance
Transformation Imaging (RTI) and citizen
science to create a new tool for the
decipherment of this ancient script.
Proto
too-Elamite is one of the
last
st off the myriad of
languages from the ancient
ncient
Near East to remain
main
undeciphered.
hered.

Participants identify signs
based on visual
characteristics and assign
labels to these images.
Tasks are assigned depending
Exempla are all dated to a relatively short period

on areas of interest and level

of time during the Bronze Age (c. 3000 BC), and

of competence.

all are
e provenanced
d to archaeological sites
within modern day Iran.
Earlier attempts to decipher the proto
too-Elamite
script have taught us many things about the
nature of use and layout of documents, but the
language
e eludes us.

We will gain a better
understanding of
online community
dynamics and patterns
of behaviour.

59 PHD RESEARCHERS 2010/2014
Revealing the Value of Social Media for
Charitable Organisations
Chris Phethean

C.J.Phethean@soton.ac.uk

Supervisors: Dr Thanassis Tiropanis and Dr Lisa Harris
Social media provide a unique opportunity for charities to reach a large audience with whom they can
engage in productive two-way conversations, for little cost. While it is often assumed that using social media
will be productive, and that charities should use these services, there is a lack of understanding regarding
what value is actually produced – and where – by using them. This poster presents a framework for
understanding the value that could potentially be created by a charity depending on their intentions and
motivations, communication style, audience intentions and audience engagement.

VALUE
This framework has been produced as a result of a mixed methods investigation into what influences the creation of value on social media for
charities. It goes beyond existing free analytic services that rarely take into account the context of the organisation in question, and instead focuses
on what their aims are, how they relate to their supporters' reasons for using social media to connect with a charity, and how these aspects are
reflected in actual behaviour on the sites.

PHD RESEARCHERS 2010/2014
How can we develop sociological approaches design a
new model for understanding relationships on the Web

1 SOC
1.
SOCIAL THEO
THEORI
HEORIES
ORIES
ES
On the web, behaviour are a crystallisation of existing behaviour studied in social science.

A practical application on Twitter

- Important phenomenon on the web and in the society in general is the tendency of
change instead of static state [13] [5]. This particularity is exacerbated on
Information Stream where life of an URL cited on Twitter is around 2.3 hours [2].

Aim:
Linking theoretical reections about social behaviour to their methodological implications with
the new form of data available. Theses links are created in order to develop practical solution
to understand group formation on Social Network Sites, specically on Twitter.

Social
Processes

60

- The emphasis on dynamic change instead of static perspective is studied in others
area such mobility [Urry].
- Social Network Sites shift the importance from a web of link toward a network of
people.

Dynamic

- Conception of network is fundamental in actor-network theory, oering a way to
study the implication of this notion based on human perspective [6].

Network

- Real time behaviour and methodological implication of time perspective as a positivism
conception versus a subjective perspective.

Micro-Blogging
Behaviour

- Comprehension of time as needed to establish causality but also importance of
relative perception and meaning [1].

Time

Quantitative
Production
Data

Qualitative
Access

Databases
s

2. TYPE OF DATA

Two
T
o main
i typ
t pe off dat
type
data
d ta to
t stu
study
tud
dy iinteractions
nter
t acti
actions
tions on tth
the
he web
he
w
web:
eb:
b

Challenges on big data for the comprehension of social interaction

- Production of data :Created by researcher in order to answer specic questions.
- Inferred data
- Dierent methodologies producing dierent source or information

- The combined impact of scale, breadth and complexity increase the diculty to 
nd useful information.

- Quantitative: survey, census
- Surface Data: small amount of information but about a large amount of people
- Control of measurement and causality
- Sampling method and generalisation

- Diculty to verify the coherence of dataset and be sure the information measured
are eectively the one supposed [10].

- Qualitative: interview, observation
- Deep data: large amount of information about a small number of people
- Diculty to generalize

- Lack of control upon the data production and access.
- Ethical issues about the anonymity of the population being in the dataset.

- Accessed data : information produced by users and by companies on a routine [12]
- Deep data & surface data
- Direct behaviour, not inferred information
- Post-demographic information : Information about taste, aliations, preferences,... [7]

4 FRA
4.
FRAGME
ENTATION
EN
NTA
TA
ATION
N

3. BIG DATA

- Lack of unication of data and they are not focused on individuals making
the comparison overtime dicult.

Computer Analysis
C

- Useful techniques to analyse huge
u
quantity of data
- Clustering
- Principal Components analysis
y
- Page-rank like algorithms

Network analysis
Algorithm Analysis

- But the technique is not everything
- Lack of theoretical framework
t
leading to a misuse of concepts
meaning
s and a fragmentation of the mea
ning of
the analysis.
- Comprehension of RT and followers as :
- Inuence [4]
- Reputation [3]
- Information cascade [11]
- Impossibility to compare results between them as they are not
measuring the same concept but lead their analyses on data available
and/or on data easier to proceed.

REFERENCES

me and
d social
social
ocial
ial theory
theory ”
theory.

[2] Bitly blog - you just shared a link. how long will people pay attention?
http://blog.bitly.com/post/9887686919/you-just-shared-a-linkhow-long-will-people-pay, September 2011.
[3] E. Bakshy, J. M Hofman, W. A Mason, and D. J Watts. Everyone’s an inuencer: Quantifying inuence on twitter.
In Proceedings of the fourth ACM international conference on Web search and data mining,pages 65–74. ACM, 2011.
[4] M. Cha, H. Haddadi, F. Benevenuto, and K. P. Gummadi. Measuring user inuence in twitter:
The million follower fallacy. In 4th International AAAI Conference on Weblogs and Social Media (ICWSM), 2010.
[5] J. Cho and H. Garcia-Molina. Estimating frequency of change. ACM Transactions
on Internet Technology (TOIT), 3(3):256–290, 2003.

5 DISCO
5.
DISCONNECTION
CONNE
CONN
NECTION
- Computer science has useful tools to analyse dataset and developing a epistemological approach
of the 4th paradigm
- "New scientic methodology based on the power of data-intensive science, understood as the
capturing, curation, and analyse of large data" [12]
- But, there is a risk of understanding the human behaviour as the best algorithm results,
developing a human-engineering without understanding the meaning of the interaction
- The solution is inter-disciplinary : connecting the social science theories to the computer science.
- Theoretically: Social sciences bringing already conceived concepts and reections about
notion of network and time within human, giving integrate understanding of interaction and
- Methodologically: Finding solution about the implications of big data with computer side
conception (scalabilty) but also by having a comprehension of the meaning of data.
- Both disciplines will benet of the interaction

[6] B. Latour. Reassembling the social. Oxford University Press Oxford, 2005.
[7] R., Rogers. The end of the virtual: Digital methods. Amsterdam University Press, 2009.
[8] M. Savage, and R. Burrows. “The coming crisis of empirical sociology.” Sociology 41(5):885-903, 2007.
[9] M. Savage, and R. Burrows. “Some further reections on the coming crisis of empirical sociology.”
Sociology 43(4):762, 2009.
[10] M. Thel
Thelwall
wall. Interp
Interpreting
reting socia
sociall scie
science
nce li
link
nk ana
analysis
lysis resear
research:
ch: A theore
theoretical
tical framew
framework
ork.
Journal
Jour
nal of the A
America
merican
n Society
Society fo
forr Info
Informatio
rmation
n Scie
Science
nce and
and Tech
Technology
nology 57(1)
57(1):60-68
:60-68, 2006.
2006
[11] J. Urry. Mobile sociology. The British journal of sociology, 51(1): 185-203, 2000.
[12] J. Weng, E. P Lim, J. Jiang, and Q. He. “Twitterrank: nding topic-sensitive inuential twitterers.” pages 261-270
in Proceedings of the third ACM international conference on Web search and data mining. ACM, 2010.
[13] J. Wilbanks. I have seen the paradigm shift, and it is us. In T. Hey et al. (Eds.), The fourth paradigm (pp. 209-214).
Redmond,
Redm
ond, W
WA:
A: Mic
Microsoft
rosoft Resea
Research,
rch, 2
2009.
009.
[[14]] JJ.,, Yang, and JJ. Leskovec. . “Patterns of tempora
p
l variation in online media.” Pp.
p 177-186 in Proceedings
g of the fourth ACM
M
i t rnatio
inte
ti nall conference
f
on Web
W b search
h and
d dat
d ta mini
i ing. AC
ACM
M 201
M,
2011
1.

- Social science :
- Using existing and adequate tools instead of creating new one [8][9]
- Having the opportunity to use dataset with new kind of information to test the existing
theories.
- Computer science:
- Using concepts allowing the understanding of human behaviour upon the algorithm
perspective.
- Knowing which variables is important to store, analyse and understand.

Olivier
er PHILI
PHILIPPE
op1e10@ecs.soton.ac.uk

61 PHD RESEARCHERS 2010/2014
Institute of Criminal
Justice Research

Buying Medicine from the Web
Lisa Sugiura, Catherine Pope, Craig Webber ls3e10@soton.ac.uk
Web Science DTC, Faculty of Health Sciences, Division of Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology
University of Southampton

Methods
The study was comprised of three stages:

Aims of the Research
This research explored the following questions:
•What types of medicines are available online, and what types of
websites sell these medicines?
•What are the different routes for purchasing medicines, especially
prescription medicine, on the Web?
•How and why do people buy medicines from the Web?

Background
Medicines and drugs are subject to national and state/federal
regulation. The misuse, illegal consumption and purchase of
drugs and medicines is not a new phenomenon, but it is one
which the Web may enable or magnify, opening up as it does
access to online information and purchasing.
The provision, purchase and supply of prescription only
medicines are typically regulated by national or state law. This
can vary between countries; each with their own licensing body
(e.g. UK – The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory
Agency (MHRA) and the US – The Food and Drug
Administration (FDA). Current UK medicines legislation is
comprised of the Medicines Act 1968 and approximately 200
statutory instruments. Much of this legislation has not kept up
with developments online and the Web is notoriously difficult to
‘police’

The Role of the Web
The Web can make medicines accessible. People can view
websites outside of the UK and may access to unregulated sites.
The Web enables advertising – including spam emails, and direct
marketing when people are browsing other sites which may
encourage purchasing of medicines online. The nature of online
purchasing is ‘impersonal’ and may be anonymous which can may
encourage disregard for the law/regulation. Those who purchase
medicines online may ignore possible health risks, and may not be
as aware that they are ‘breaking the rules’ as they would be in the
‘real-world’.
This research sets out to explore the online purchase of prescription
only / unlicensed medicines. While such purchases may not be
criminal and are distinct from offline ‘illegal’ drug purchasing and use
they can contravene regulations and social norms. The Web
appears to remove or bypass some of the sanctions and stigma
associated with illegal drug purchasing and appears to offer a ‘safe’
way to engage in deviant behaviour. Online purchasing of
unlicensed medicines may therefore be an example of ‘respectable’
deviancy.

1. Virtual Ethnography: observation of web forums
assis
i tance
e of
of
2. Online Survey – designed and implemented with the assistance
the MHRA
3. Semi-Structured Interviews
Since so little is known about the issue of purchasing prescription
only/ unlicensed medicines online, and even less about the reasons
behind the decision to make that purchase, the research sought to
identify important aspects of these potentially deviant areas of the
Web, by drawing on theories of deviancy established within
criminology and sociology.

Findings
The forum and survey data show the wide variety of medicines
available to buy online, and that the Web is a source of discussion
and debate about such purchasing. These data also indicate that
there are websites that do not follow regulatory standards in
requiring prescriptions and consultations for prescription only
medicine.

Figure 1. Types of medicine available online

The interviews show that people talk about the purchasing medicine
online in relation to other consumptive behaviour on and offline.
People that have purchased medicine from the Web presented
justifications for their behaviour. Such justifications involved
availability, convenience and need to support the online purchasing.

Impact / deployment
This work has been undertaken in collaboration across different
University Faculties and groups such as Electronics and Computer
Science, Health Sciences, Social Sciences and Social Policy, and
Law. This research will describe and understand the purchase of
prescription only medicine from the Web and help to develop
methods for analysing this phenomena.
This research is pioneering because there is currently no qualitative
understanding of why individuals choose to purchase prescription only
medicine from the Web. This will be the first study to apply
sociological and criminological theories to Web phenomena of this
type. Working closely with the UK regulatory agency, the MHRA, this
project seeks to inform patient safety, policy decisions, regulation,
and in particular to contribute to future public advise and advertising
campaigns from this agency.

to pro
procure
r cure them.
them
h . What
What is legitimately available
avai
is constantly shifting and the Web
allowing
sales toAcknowledgement:
be conducted outside
doe
do
doe
does
oes not
no
ott always
alw
a
al
llw
wa
ays
ay
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ys reflect
rre
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wiing sale
Theauthorised
Digital Economy Programme is a Research Councils UK
forms
supply.
for
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m off supply
l .
cross council initiative led by EPSRC and contributed to by AHRC, ESRC and
MRC

PHD RESEARCHERS 2010/2014

62

WHAT CAN WEB SYSTEMS DO FOR SUSTAINABILITY?

CHANGE OPPORTUNITY MODEL

CLEANWEB UK REPORT
How British Companies are using the Web for Economic Growth & Environmental Impact
SONNY MASERO, JACK TOWNSEND
https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/369513/

WEB FOR SUSTAINABILITY
JACK TOWNSEND

Tackling Environmental Complexity with Scale
JACK TOWNSEND http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/364783/

@JackTownsend_
jack@jacktownsend.net

CLEANWEB UK LONDON MONTHLY MEETUPS
http://www.cleanweb.org.uk/

63 PHD RESEARCHERS 2010/2014
Web Science

Exploring the use of the Web in Global
Justice Networks.

Phil Waddell1,2, Clare Saunders1, Dave Millard2
1Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Southampton,
2Web Science Doctoral Training Centre, University of Southampton

How does the World Wide Web impact the
micro-processes of political activism? A
study of activists associated with Global
Justice Networks.
Since the mid 1990s, political activists have been engaging with
the Internet and World Wide Web in new and innovative ways in
order to challenge the traditional power structures of states.
Traditional research into social movements and activism has often
taken the macro perspective, seeking to explore how large scale
changes in socio-technical constructs affect the creation and
maintenance of social movements. Such enquiries can overlook
the processes of political awakening that occurs in the mind of the
individual, the micro-foundations of political activism which build
social movements from the ground up. The Web has the ability to
maintain a social movement through cultural reinforcement and
storytelling, through individual experience and ideological
development during both periods of visualisation and latency.
Understanding this process and it’s importance to social
movements is fuels our understanding of the effects such a
pervasive technology is bringing to society and the increasingly
globalised world we inhabit.
This research adopts a methodology rooted in ethnography and
complemented with qualitative interview data, with the intention
of discovering particular narratives of Web use by activists and
organisations that exist within Global Justice Activism. Unearthing
the narrative will explain why particular technologies are chosen
for use in such a community and complement large quantitative
data projects exploring similar questions.

From the “Zapatistas” to “Occupy”; Global Justice activism has had a
longstanding relationship with the Web.

Conceptualising Glo
Global
obal Justice Networks (GJNs
(GJNs)
Traditionally known as a social
social movement, it seems that global justice
justi
activism is rather a more complex structure, one made up of networks of
local and transnational actors with a variety of agendas and unique
collective identities. Routledge and Cumbers (2009) describe GJNs to be
“a series of overlapping, interacting, competing, and differently-placed
and resourced networks” made up of a variety of political actors, from
environmental campaign groups to radical anarchists, trade unions to gay
rights proponents who come together periodically as coalitions of
contention against the neoliberal agenda and visualise a connected global
citizenry attempting to influence national policy in both their home
countries and overseas through advocating the causes of others. How
these activists use the Web is of great importance to the creation and
maintenance of such networks.

Participant Observation Fieldwork:
Left: A citizen journalist filming a Disabled Activist street protest:
October 2012. Accompanied with tweet:
#dpac activists block road at #marblearch
http://twitpic.com/XXXXX #livestream at
http://www.bambuser.com/channel/XXXXX
Such experiences glean particular technologies used by activists, the
stories deemed important to the individual concerned, the Web based
narrative of the event that is constructed by the activist and how that
narrative exists within Global Justice Networks. Importantly, certain
technologies are identified as being valuable to activists, allowing for
academic discussion to take place as to their role in developing and
maintaining social movements. Such discussions may lead to further
questions regarding the political ideology of Web technologies and the
potential impacts of certain Web services that are released by developers.

References:
Routledge, P., & Cumbers, A. (2009). Global Justice Networks: Geographies of
Transnational Solidarity. Manchester University Press.

Project Status: Year 2; Data Collection (Observation
(O
and Interviews)

Web Science Centre for Doctoral Training
http://webscience.ecs.soton.ac.uk/dtc
+44 (0) 23 80 59 27 38
@WebSciDTC

Web Science Institute
http://www.southampton.ac.uk/wsi
+44 (0) 23 80 59 35 23
@sotonWSI

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