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SOCM 2015 : Third international workshop on the theory and practice of social machines: observing social machines on the Web


When May 18, 2015 - May 18, 2015
Where Florence, Italy
Submission Deadline Feb 1, 2015
Notification Due Feb 22, 2015
Final Version Due Mar 8, 2015
Categories    social machines   web observatories   human computation   social web

Call For Papers

Call for papers

SOCM 2015: Third international workshop on the theory and practice of social machines -
Observing social machines on the Web

@ WWW 2015, Florence, Italy
18 May 2015

Supported by the SOCIAM project

The 2015 edition of the SOCM workshop will look deeply at social machines that have, or may yet soon have, a profound impact on the lives of individuals, businesses, governments, and the society as a whole. Our goal is to discuss issues pertinent to the observation of both extant and yet unrealized social machines building on work of the previous editions of the SOCM workshop (SOCM2013 and SOCM2014) and the Web Observatory workshops of the last two years (WOW2013 and WOW2014). SOCM2015 aims to identify factors that govern the growth or impede these systems to develop, and to identify unmet observation needs or the kinds of loosely-coordinated distributed social systems the Web enables. We also intend to discuss methods to analyse and explore social machines, as essential mechanisms for deriving the guidelines and best practices that will inform the design of social machines and social machine observatories.

=== Objectives ===

The workshop will discuss the latest theoretical frameworks and empirical insights around the observation of social machines. As introduced in the initial edition of the workshop, we use the term "social machines" to refer to socio-technical systems which leverage the Web as a medium for communication, socialization, decentralized coordination, and peer production. This theme derives from concepts introduced by Tim Berners-Lee in his influential book Weaving the Web, in which he describes the Web as an engine to "create abstract social machines - new forms of social processes that would be given to the world at large".

Unlike conventional Turing machines, their social counterparts are comprised of loose collectives of people connected by computational communication substrates at their core. By being accessible to any individual with access to the Web, such social machines have demonstrated the ability to allow groups of individuals to accomplish major goals using methods of distributed coordination and crowdsourcing at unprecedented scales. However, the study of such systems also requires a new and fundamentally different set of instruments, which, though inspired by the mindset of Computer Science and Engineering, naturally embraces theories, findings, and scientific methodology from a variety of other disciplines in order to understand how human and machine intelligence could be best brought together to help individuals, businesses, governments and the society. This includes languages and models to describe their function and operation; visualisation of social machine operation and evolution, and methods that can be applied to study and predict their behavior.

The objective of the workshop is to bring together experts of various kinds of social machines, including crowd-powered systems, social networks, and online communities, to discuss the challenges of meaningful observation of social machines and to present specific tools that they have designed to visualise social machines and their impact on the various sectors of human activity. These applications are increasingly employing Web observatory infrastructures for sharing of data, results and methods.

=== Topics ===

The workshop proposes a multidisciplinary discussion focused on the following three themes:

1. Analysing social machines: analytics and visualisations that provide insights about social machines and their impact, including:
- Quantitative and qualitative aspects of online peer production and information exchange systems (multimedia sharing sites, auction sites, discussion forums, crowdsourced science, gamified customer relationship management, Wikipedia etc).
- Visualisation of social machine ecosystems and of social machine operation and evolution.
- Studies on the effect of social machines in business, government and society and of mechanisms that they employ to engage the people (incentivisation, motivation).

2. Designing social machine observatories: analyses of the design of effective (extant and future) social machines, including:
- Deployment of Web Observatories to study social machines and their ecosystem.
- Infrastructural challenges to the observation of complex ecosystems of systems and platforms bringing together social and algorithmic components.
- Evaluation and quality assessment techniques of social machine observatories.

3. Methodology and methods: approaches and methods for observing social machines, including:
- Languages and models capturing the above.
- Taxonomies that define the constructs (dimensions/characteristics) that describe and differentiate current social machines when viewed as a collective.
- Techniques for instrumentation of social machines to facilitate observation and study.

=== Submissions ===

We welcome paper submissions (regular research papers or position papers) pertaining to the three themes listed above. To encourage papers to be kept short, the page limit is 6 pages in ACM SIG template (as per the WWW2015 research track). At least one author of each paper is expected to register for the workshop and attend to present the paper.

Papers will be evaluated for original ideas and thoughts and techniques for characterizing or examining social machines, including methods and processes for interrogating and modeling online social systems. For study papers, we will welcome any original studies on online communities or summaries of previously conducted studies by participants if contextualized in the framework of social machines. We explicitly welcome papers with a less Computer Science-oriented focus, both in terms of topic and methods applied, reflecting the true interdisciplinary nature of the social machine research field.

Please submit your paper to SOCM2015 on EasyChair.

All submitted papers must:
- be written in English;
- contain author names, affiliations, and email addresses;
- be formatted according to the ACM SIG Proceedings template;
- be in PDF, and formatted for US Letter size;
- occupy no more than 6 pages, including the abstract, references, and appendices.

It is the authors' responsibility to ensure that their submissions adhere strictly to the required format. Submissions that do not comply with the above guidelines may be rejected without review.

=== Proceedings ===

The accepted submissions will be published as a companion volume for the WWW conference proceedings. We also support the publication of the papers in an open access, web-friendly format on the workshop page (as RDFa annotated HTML), if the authors wish to opt out of the ACM proceedings.

=== Important dates ===

24 January 2015 - Paper submission deadline
22 February 2015 - Acceptance notifications
8 March 2015 - Camera ready version deadline
18 or 19 May 2015 - Workshop day

=== Chairs ===

Wendy Hall (University of Southampton, UK)
Dave De Roure (University of Oxford, UK)
Nigel Shadbolt (University of Southampton, UK)

=== Organisers ===

Elena Simperl (University of Southampton, UK)
Thanassis Tiropanis (University of Southampton, UK)
Matthew Weber (Rutgers University, USA)

=== Publicity ===

Laura Dragan (University of Southampton, UK)

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