skip to main content

Title: Capturing the Production of Innovative Ideas: An Online Social Network Experiment and “Idea Geography” Visualization
Collective design and innovation are crucial in organizations. To investigate how the collective design and innovation processes would be affected by the diversity of knowledge and background of collective individual members, we conducted three collaborative design task experiments which involved nearly 300 participants who worked together anonymously in a social network structure using a custom-made computer-mediated collaboration platform. We compared the idea generation activity among three different background distribution conditions (clustered, random, and dispersed) with the help of the “doc2vec” text representation machine learning algorithm. We also developed a new method called “Idea Geography” to visualize the idea utility terrain on a 2D problem domain. The results showed that groups with random background allocation tended to produce the best design idea with the highest utility values. It was also suggested that the diversity of participants’ backgrounds distribution on the network might interact with each other to affect the diversity of ideas generated. The proposed idea geography successfully visualized that the collective design processes did find the high utility area through exploration and exploitation in collaborative work.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Yang, Zining; von Briesen, Elizabeth
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Proceedings of the 2019 International Conference of The Computational Social Science Society of the Americas
Page Range / eLocation ID:
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. null (Ed.)
    High globalization in the world today results in the involvement of multi-discipline, multi-cultural teams, as well as the entrance of more economic powers in the market. Effective innovation strategies are critical if emerging markets plan to become economic players in this increasingly connected global market. The current work compares the design processes of designers from emerging and established markets to understand how design methods are applied across culture. Specifically, the design decisions of designers from Morocco, one of the four leading economic power in Africa, and the U.S. are investigated. Concept generation and selection are the focus of the current study as they are critical steps in the design process that can determine project outcomes. Previous studies have identified three factors, ownership bias, gender, and idea goodness as influential during concept selection. The effect of these three factors on designers in the United States is well established. The current study expands upon previous findings to examine the influence of these factors across two cultures — U.S. and Morocco. The results of this study, although preliminary, found that U.S. students had a higher idea fluency than Morocco students. It also found a significant difference in idea fluency between genders in the U.S. but not in Morocco. In addition, it was found that overall, participants exhibited ownership bias toward ideas with high goodness. 
    more » « less
  2. Abstract

    The growing availability of genetic data sets, in combination with machine learning frameworks, offers great potential to answer long‐standing questions in ecology and evolution. One such question has intrigued population geneticists, biogeographers, and conservation biologists: What factors determine intraspecific genetic diversity? This question is challenging to answer because many factors may influence genetic variation, including life history traits, historical influences, and geography, and the relative importance of these factors varies across taxonomic and geographic scales. Furthermore, interpreting the influence of numerous, potentially correlated variables is difficult with traditional statistical approaches. To address these challenges, we analysed repurposed data using machine learning and investigated predictors of genetic diversity, focusing on Nearctic amphibians as a case study. We aggregated species traits, range characteristics, and >42,000 genetic sequences for 299 species using open‐access scripts and various databases. After identifying important predictors of nucleotide diversity with random forest regression, we conducted follow‐up analyses to examine the roles of phylogenetic history, geography, and demographic processes on intraspecific diversity. Although life history traits were not important predictors for this data set, we found significant phylogenetic signal in genetic diversity within amphibians. We also found that salamander species at northern latitudes contained low genetic diversity. Data repurposing and machine learning provide valuable tools for detecting patterns with relevance for conservation, but concerted efforts are needed to compile meaningful data sets with greater utility for understanding global biodiversity.

    more » « less
  3. Who and by what means do we ensure that engineering education evolves to meet the ever changing needs of our society? This and other papers presented by our research team at this conference offer our initial set of findings from an NSF sponsored collaborative study on engineering education reform. Organized around the notion of higher education governance and the practice of educational reform, our open-ended study is based on conducting semi-structured interviews at over three dozen universities and engineering professional societies and organizations, along with a handful of scholars engaged in engineering education research. Organized as a multi-site, multi-scale study, our goal is to document differences in perspectives and interest the exist across organizational levels and institutions, and to describe the coordination that occurs (or fails to occur) in engineering education given the distributed structure of the engineering profession. This paper offers for all engineering educators and administrators a qualitative and retrospective analysis of ABET EC 2000 and its implementation. The paper opens with a historical background on the Engineers Council for Professional Development (ECPD) and engineering accreditation; the rise of quantitative standards during the 1950s as a result of the push to implement an engineering science curriculum appropriate to the Cold War era; EC 2000 and its call for greater emphasis on professional skill sets amidst concerns about US manufacturing productivity and national competitiveness; the development of outcomes assessment and its implementation; and the successive negotiations about assessment practice and the training of both of program evaluators and assessment coordinators for the degree programs undergoing evaluation. It was these negotiations and the evolving practice of assessment that resulted in the latest set of changes in ABET engineering accreditation criteria (“1-7” versus “a-k”). To provide an insight into the origins of EC 2000, the “Gang of Six,” consisting of a group of individuals loyal to ABET who used the pressure exerted by external organizations, along with a shared rhetoric of national competitiveness to forge a common vision organized around the expanded emphasis on professional skill sets. It was also significant that the Gang of Six was aware of the fact that the regional accreditation agencies were already contemplating a shift towards outcomes assessment; several also had a background in industrial engineering. However, this resulted in an assessment protocol for EC 2000 that remained ambiguous about whether the stated learning outcomes (Criterion 3) was something faculty had to demonstrate for all of their students, or whether EC 2000’s main emphasis was continuous improvement. When it proved difficult to demonstrate learning outcomes on the part of all students, ABET itself began to place greater emphasis on total quality management and continuous process improvement (TQM/CPI). This gave institutions an opening to begin using increasingly limited and proximate measures for the “a-k” student outcomes as evidence of effort and improvement. In what social scientific terms would be described as “tactical” resistance to perceived oppressive structures, this enabled ABET coordinators and the faculty in charge of degree programs, many of whom had their own internal improvement processes, to begin referring to the a-k criteria as “difficult to achieve” and “ambiguous,” which they sometimes were. Inconsistencies in evaluation outcomes enabled those most discontented with the a-k student outcomes to use ABET’s own organizational processes to drive the latest revisions to EAC accreditation criteria, although the organization’s own process for member and stakeholder input ultimately restored much of the professional skill sets found in the original EC 2000 criteria. Other refinements were also made to the standard, including a new emphasis on diversity. This said, many within our interview population believe that EC 2000 had already achieved much of the changes it set out to achieve, especially with regards to broader professional skills such as communication, teamwork, and design. Regular faculty review of curricula is now also a more routine part of the engineering education landscape. While programs vary in their engagement with ABET, there are many who are skeptical about whether the new criteria will produce further improvements to their programs, with many arguing that their own internal processes are now the primary drivers for change. 
    more » « less
  4. Collective, especially group-based, managerial decision making is crucial in organizations. Using an evolutionary theoretic approach to collective decision making, agent-based simulations were conducted to investigate how human collective decision making would be affected by the agents’ diversity in problem understanding and/or behavior in discussion, as well as by their social network structure. Simulation results indicated that groups with consistent problem understanding tended to produce higher utility values of ideas and displayed better decision convergence, but only if there was no group-level bias in collective problem understanding. Simulation results also indicated the importance of balance between selection-oriented (i.e., exploitative) and variation-oriented (i.e., explorative) behaviors in discussion to achieve quality final decisions. Expanding the group size and introducing nontrivial social network structure generally improved the quality of ideas at the cost of decision convergence. Simulations with different social network topologies revealed collective decision making on small-world networks with high local clustering tended to achieve highest decision quality more often than on random or scale-free networks. Implications of this evolutionary theory and simulation approach for future managerial research on collective, group, and multilevel decision making are discussed. 
    more » « less
  5. null (Ed.)
    Abstract. The early and late Eocene have both been the subject of many modelling studies, but few have focused on the middle Eocene. The latter still holds many challenges for climate modellers but is also key to understanding the events leading towards the conditions needed for Antarctic glaciation at the Eocene–Oligocene transition. Here, we present the results of CMIP5-like coupled climate simulations using the Community Earth System Model (CESM) version 1. Using a new detailed 38 Ma geography reconstruction and higher model resolution compared to most previous modelling studies and sufficiently long equilibration times, these simulations will help to further understand the middle to late Eocene climate. At realistic levels of atmospheric greenhouse gases, the model is able to show overall good agreement with proxy records and capture the important aspects of a warm greenhouse climate during the Eocene. With a quadrupling of pre-industrial concentrations of both CO2 and CH4 (i.e. 1120 ppm and ∼2700 ppb, respectively, or 4 × PIC; pre-industrial carbon), sea surface temperatures correspond well to the available late middle Eocene (42–38 Ma; ∼ Bartonian) proxies. Being generally cooler, the simulated climate under 2 × PIC forcing is a good analogue for that of the late Eocene (38–34 Ma; ∼ Priabonian). Terrestrial temperature proxies, although their geographical coverage is sparse, also indicate that the results presented here are in agreement with the available information. Our simulated middle to late Eocene climate has a reduced Equator-to-pole temperature gradient and a more symmetric meridional heat distribution compared to the pre-industrial reference. The collective effects of geography, vegetation, and ice account for a global average 5–7 ∘C difference between pre-industrial and 38 Ma Eocene boundary conditions, with important contributions from cloud and water vapour feedbacks. This helps to explain Eocene warmth in general, without the need for greenhouse gas levels much higher than indicated by proxy estimates (i.e. ∼500–1200 ppm CO2) or low-latitude regions becoming unreasonably warm. High-latitude warmth supports the idea of mostly ice-free polar regions, even at 2 × PIC, with Antarctica experiencing particularly warm summers. An overall wet climate is seen in the simulated Eocene climate, which has a strongly monsoonal character. Equilibrium climate sensitivity is reduced (0.62 ∘C W−1 m2; 3.21 ∘C warming between 38 Ma 2 × PIC and 4 × PIC) compared to that of the present-day climate (0.80 ∘C W−1 m2; 3.17 ∘C per CO2 doubling). While the actual warming is similar, we see mainly a higher radiative forcing from the second PIC doubling. A more detailed analysis of energy fluxes shows that the regional radiative balance is mainly responsible for sustaining a low meridional temperature gradient in the Eocene climate, as well as the polar amplification seen towards even warmer conditions. These model results may be useful to reconsider the drivers of Eocene warmth and the Eocene–Oligocene transition (EOT) but can also be a base for more detailed comparisons to future proxy estimates. 
    more » « less