Obrigado Rio @ WWW 2013

At IGI Airport, in a flight at 4:15pm, talked to all my family, friends, colleagues, and told them that `THE TRIP’ was finally taking place. Scared, excited, ready to learn and explore, I knew the trip bagged many things for me. I was flying to RIO DE JANERIO, BRAZIL (The Trip), to attend WWW conference to present joint our work with Prof. Joshi on “Identity Resolution” at WoLE. This was my second WWW, after 2011.  Thrilled, I kept on polishing and practicing my presentation in the flight, people thought I was weird because I was talking too much IDENTITY (u see).

Reached Rio, settled down, roamed around a bit and then started the academic excitement. First day, first workshop, first presentation (May 13th, WoLE, 2pm), sitting with PK in the same room, my first International presentation made me all shiver on the stage. Though conference people had very nice infrastructure that presenter could see slides on a screen placed at the right eye angle and that comforted me. On the successful completion of the presentation, multiple researchers approached to discuss ideas and to know more about the work.  To my surprise, the paper bagged “Honorable mention for the best paper award” [1].

Rest of the WWW days kept us (PK and me) on toes, with paper presentations in 24 rooms, spreaded out across 5 floors, 125 research papers + workshop + demos + posters. WWW had 22 social network papers, out of 148 papers submitted, 15 security papers out of 82 submitted and 11 user interface papers, out of 55 submitted.

After attending an amazing keynote by Luis Von Ahn on Captcha and Duolingo, we rushed to attend our marked sessions in the conference booklet. Some very interesting sessions on how to smartly pick mechanical turk users, to give them something they like to annotate [2], how to remove near-duplicate tweets from Twitter and why do it? [3], how timestamps and content created by users can be used to correlate their accounts on multiple social networks [4], how shortened URLs clickthrough behavior can help building the user profile and disclose her identity [5], characteristics of Q-A forums as Quora [6], prediction of evolution of user activity graphs for an social media app [7], why and how criminals hold on valid domains for profit (cybersquatting and typo squatting) [8], etc. One interesting paper on predicting a group stability on an online social networks, said that radioactive decay was observed while detecting user engagement in game / site / application, however they claimed different observations for DBLP network [9].

Apart from technical learning and experience, we got to meet smart people around during poster sessions, research tracks and coffee breaks. Few kind professors and senior PhD students also responded with meeting slots when I requested them. And few good professors invited to roam around the city and experience Rio specialties.

We returned with one best paper award (Aditi’s work on credibility [10]), one honorable mention award, a problem for next WWW, loads of memories and sad faces.

Brazil was an amazing fun loving relaxing city. I got to see beaches, which I had been thinking of, since my first year in PhD. I got to meet my old friends in Rio, and made new friends as well, tried new cuisines, food, places, art, history, and above all, the Christ. Ahh, the feeling of ticking off another wonder from your list, was just amazing.

Thanks to all Precog members, and special thanks to PK for supporting me in all ways (kind to give away his travel grant to add to my travel grant to cover the trip expenses).

Attached is the moment, to say it all in one go:

[1]: Paridhi Jain, Ponnurangam Kumaraguru, and Anupam Joshi. 2013. @i seek ‘fb.me’: identifying users across multiple online social networks. WWW ’13 Companion.

[2]: Djellel Eddine Difallah, Gianluca Demartini, and Philippe Cudré-Mauroux. Pick-a-crowd: tell me what you like, and i’ll tell you what to do. WWW ’13

[3]: Ke TaoFabian AbelClaudia Hauff, Geert-Jan Houben, Ujwal GadirajuGroundhog day: near-duplicate detection on Twitter. WWW ‘13

[4]: Oana Goga, Howard Lei, Sree Hari Krishnan Parthasarathi, Gerald Friedland, Robin Sommer, and Renata Teixeira. Exploiting innocuous activity for correlating users across sites. WWW ’13

[5]: Jonghyuk Song, Sangho Lee, and Jong Kim. I know the shortened URLs you clicked on Twitter: Inference attack using public click analytics and Twitter metadata. WWW ’13

[6]: Gang Wang, Konark Gill, Manish Mohanlal, Haitao Zheng, and Ben Y. Zhao. Wisdom in the social crowd: an analysis of quora. WWW ’13

[7]: Han Liu, Atif Nazir, Jinoo Joung, and Chen-Nee Chuah. Modeling/predicting the evolution trend of osn-based applications. WWW ’13

[8]:  Nick Nikiforakis, Steven Van Acker, Wannes Meert, Lieven Desmet, Frank Piessens, and Wouter Joose. Bitsquatting: exploiting bit-flips for fun, or profit? WWW ’13

[9]: Akshay Patil, Juan Liu, and Jie Gao. Predicting group stability in online social networks. WWW ’13

[10]: Aditi Gupta, Hemank Lamba, Ponnurangam Kumaraguru, and Anupam Joshi. Faking Sandy: characterizing and identifying fake images on Twitter during Hurricane Sandy. WWW ’13 Companion.