This paper (first reference) is the result of a class project I was part of
almost two years ago for CSCI 5417 Information Retrieval Systems. It builds
on a class project I did in CSCI 5832 Natural Language Processing and which
I presented at Wikimania '07. The project was very late as we didn't send
the final paper in until the day before new years. This technical report was
never really announced that I recall so I thought it would be interesting to
look briefly at the results. The goal of this paper was to break articles
down into surface features and latent features and then use those to study
the rating system being used, predict article quality and rank results in a
search engine. We used the [[random forests]] classifier which allowed us to
analyze the contribution of each feature to performance by looking directly
at the weights that were assigned. While the surface analysis was performed
on the whole english wikipedia, the latent analysis was performed on the
simple english wikipedia (it is more expensive to compute). = Surface
features = * Readability measures are the single best predictor of quality
that I have found, as defined by the Wikipedia Editorial Team (WET). The
[[Automated Readability Index]], [[Gunning Fog Index]] and [[Flesch-Kincaid
Grade Level]] were the strongest predictors, followed by length of article
html, number of paragraphs, [[Flesh Reading Ease]], [[Smog Grading]], number
of internal links, [[Laesbarhedsindex Readability Formula]], number of words
and number of references. Weakly predictive were number of to be's, number
of sentences, [[Coleman-Liau Index]], number of templates, PageRank, number
of external links, number of relative links. Not predictive (overall - see
the end of section 2 for the per-rating score breakdown): Number of h2 or
h3's, number of conjunctions, number of images*, average word length, number
of h4's, number of prepositions, number of pronouns, number of interlanguage
links, average syllables per word, number of nominalizations, article age
(based on page id), proportion of questions, average sentence length. :*
Number of images was actually by far the single strongest predictor of any
class, but only for Featured articles. Because it was so good at picking out
featured articles and somewhat good at picking out A and G articles the
classifier was confused in so many cases that the overall contribution of
this feature to classification performance is zero. :* Number of external
links is strongly predictive of Featured articles. :* The B class is highly
distinctive. It has a strong "signature," with high predictive value
assigned to many features. The Featured class is also very distinctive. F, B
and S (Stop/Stub) contain the most information.
:* A is the least distinct class, not being very different from F or G. =
Latent features = The algorithm used for latent analysis, which is an
analysis of the occurence of words in every document with respect to the
link structure of the encyclopedia ("concepts"), is [[Latent Dirichlet
Allocation]]. This part of the analysis was done by CS PhD student Praful
Mangalath. An example of what can be done with the result of this analysis
is that you provide a word (a search query) such as "hippie". You can then
look at the weight of every article for the word hippie. You can pick the
article with the largest weight, and then look at its link network. You can
pick out the articles that this article links to and/or which link to this
article that are also weighted strongly for the word hippie, while also
contributing maximally to this articles "hippieness". We tried this query in
our system (LDA), Google (site:en.wikipedia.org hippie), and the Simple
English Wikipedia's Lucene search engine. The breakdown of articles occuring
in the top ten search results for this word for those engines is: * LDA
only: [[Acid rock]], [[Aldeburgh Festival]], [[Anne Murray]], [[Carl
Radle]], [[Harry Nilsson]], [[Jack Kerouac]], [[Phil Spector]], [[Plastic
Ono Band]], [[Rock and Roll]], [[Salvador Allende]], [[Smothers brothers]],
[[Stanley Kubrick]]. * Google only: [[Glam Rock]], [[South Park]]. * Simple
only: [[African Americans]], [[Charles Manson]], [[Counterculture]], [[Drug
use]], [[Flower Power]], [[Nuclear weapons]], [[Phish]], [[Sexual
liberation]], [[Summer of Love]] * LDA & Google & Simple: [[Hippie]],
[[Human Be-in]], [[Students for a democratic society]], [[Woodstock
festival]] * LDA & Google: [[Psychedelic Pop]] * Google & Simple: [[Lysergic
acid diethylamide]], [[Summer of Love]] ( See the paper for the articles
produced for the keywords philosophy and economics ) = Discussion /
Conclusion = * The results of the latent analysis are totally up to your
perception. But what is interesting is that the LDA features predict the WET
ratings of quality just as well as the surface level features. Both feature
sets (surface and latent) both pull out all almost of the information that
the rating system bears. * The rating system devised by the WET is not
distinctive. You can best tell the difference between, grouped together,
Featured, A and Good articles vs B articles. Featured, A and Good articles
are also quite distinctive (Figure 1). Note that in this study we didn't
look at Start's and Stubs, but in earlier paper we did. :* This is
interesting when compared to this recent entry on the YouTube blog. "Five
Stars Dominate Ratings"
I think a sane, well researched (with actual subjects) rating system
well within the purview of the Usability Initiative. Helping people find and
create good content is what Wikipedia is all about. Having a solid rating
system allows you to reorganized the user interface, the Wikipedia
namespace, and the main namespace around good content and bad content as
needed. If you don't have a solid, information bearing rating system you
don't know what good content really is (really bad content is easy to spot).
:* My Wikimania talk was all about gathering data from people about articles
and using that to train machines to automatically pick out good content. You
ask people questions along dimensions that make sense to people, and give
the machine access to other surface features (such as a statistical measure
of readability, or length) and latent features (such as can be derived from
document word occurence and encyclopedia link structure). I referenced page
262 of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance to give an example of the
kind of qualitative features I would ask people. It really depends on what
features end up bearing information, to be tested in "the lab". Each word is
an example dimension of quality: We have "*unity, vividness, authority,
economy, sensitivity, clarity, emphasis, flow, suspense, brilliance,
precision, proportion, depth and so on.*" You then use surface and latent
features to predict these values for all articles. You can also say, when a
person rates this article as high on the x scale, they also mean that it has
has this much of these surface and these latent features.
= References =
- DeHoust, C., Mangalath, P., Mingus., B. (2008). *Improving search in
Wikipedia through quality and concept discovery*. Technical Report.
- Rassbach, L., Mingus., B, Blackford, T. (2007). *Exploring the
feasibility of automatically rating online article quality*. Technical
I have asked and received permission to forward to you all this most
excellent bit of news.
The linguist list, is a most excellent resource for people interested in the
field of linguistics. As I mentioned some time ago they have had a funding
drive and in that funding drive they asked for a certain amount of money in
a given amount of days and they would then have a project on Wikipedia to
learn what needs doing to get better coverage for the field of linguistics.
What you will read in this mail that the total community of linguists are
asked to cooperate. I am really thrilled as it will also get us more
linguists interested in what we do. My hope is that a fraction will be
interested in the languages that they care for and help it become more
relevant. As a member of the "language prevention committee", I love to get
more knowledgeable people involved in our smaller projects. If it means that
we get more requests for more projects we will really feel embarrassed with
all the new projects we will have to approve because of the quality of the
Incubator content and the quality of the linguistic arguments why we should
approve yet another language :)
NB Is this not a really clever way of raising money; give us this much in
this time frame and we will then do this as a bonus...
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: LINGUIST Network <linguist(a)linguistlist.org>
Date: Jun 18, 2007 6:53 PM
Subject: 18.1831, All: Call for Participation: Wikipedia Volunteers
LINGUIST List: Vol-18-1831. Mon Jun 18 2007. ISSN: 1068 - 4875.
Subject: 18.1831, All: Call for Participation: Wikipedia Volunteers
Moderators: Anthony Aristar, Eastern Michigan U <aristar(a)linguistlist.org>
Helen Aristar-Dry, Eastern Michigan U <hdry(a)linguistlist.org>
Reviews: Laura Welcher, Rosetta Project
The LINGUIST List is funded by Eastern Michigan University,
and donations from subscribers and publishers.
Editor for this issue: Ann Sawyer <sawyer(a)linguistlist.org>
To post to LINGUIST, use our convenient web form at
From: Hannah Morales < hannah(a)linguistlist.org >
Subject: Wikipedia Volunteers
-------------------------Message 1 ----------------------------------
Date: Mon, 18 Jun 2007 12:49:35
From: Hannah Morales < hannah(a)linguistlist.org >
Subject: Wikipedia Volunteers
As you may recall, one of our Fund Drive 2007 campaigns was called the
"Wikipedia Update Vote." We asked our viewers to consider earmarking their
donations to organize an update project on linguistics entries in the
English-language Wikipedia. You can find more background information on this
The speed with which we met our goal, thanks to the interest and generosity
our readers, was a sure sign that the linguistics community was enthusiastic
about the idea. Now that summer is upon us, and some of you may have a bit
leisure time, we are hoping that you will be able to help us get started on
Wikipedia project. The LINGUIST List's role in this project is a purely
organizational one. We will:
*Help, with your input, to identify major gaps in the Wikipedia materials or
pages that need improvement;
*Compile a list of linguistics pages that Wikipedia editors have identified
"in need of attention from an expert on the subject" or " does not cite any
references or sources," etc;
*Send out periodical calls for volunteer contributors on specific topics or
*Provide simple instructions on how to upload your entries into Wikipedia;
*Keep track of our project Wikipedians;
*Keep track of revisions and new entries;
*Work with Wikimedia Foundation to publicize the linguistics community's
We hope you are as enthusiastic about this effort as we are. Just to help us
get started looking at Wikipedia more critically, and to easily identify an
needing improvement, we suggest that you take a look at the List of
Many people are not listed there; others need to have more facts and
added. If you would like to participate in this exciting update effort,
respond by sending an email to LINGUIST Editor Hannah Morales at
hannah(a)linguistlist.org, suggesting what your role might be or which
entries you feel should be updated or added. Some linguists who saw our
on the Internet have already written us with specific suggestions, which we
share with you soon.
This update project will take major time and effort on all our parts. The
result will be a much richer internet resource of information on the breadth
depth of the field of linguistics. Our efforts should also stimulate
students to consider studying linguistics and to educate a wider public on
we do. Please consider participating.
Editor, Wikipedia Update Project
Linguistic Field(s): Not Applicable
LINGUIST List: Vol-18-1831
When you're running an event, sometimes you want to help lots of people
create accounts on Wikimedia sites. To prevent spamming/vandalism,
ordinarily there's a cap on the number of accounts that can be created
from one IP address in a single day. But there's a way to ask for a
temporary removal of that restriction. The Foundation's Maggie Dennis
has written a quick HOWTO:
and so please feel free to link to it in your outreach HOWTOs, event
planning checklists, and so on. Thanks, Maggie!
Engineering Community Manager
I have launched speedydeletion.wika.com , it is updated every 30 minutes
with the proposed deletions and speedy deletion articles (not notable and
hoaxes, not others).
it is running on the en.wikipedia.org. the sources for the script are all
on git hub and are a merger of pywikipediabot and the wikiteam codebases.
hope you enjoy it,
James Michael DuPont
Member of Free Libre Open Source Software Kosova http://flossk.org
Contributor FOSM, the CC-BY-SA map of the world http://fosm.org
Mozilla Rep https://reps.mozilla.org/u/h4ck3rm1k3
Time: 16.30 UTC
You are invited to a Wikimedia Foundation IRC Offfice Hours in Wednesday
July 18, 2012 at 16:30 UTC (time zone information: http://hexm.de/j6).
The Wikimedia Foundation features, product, design and legal teams want to
discuss with the community how they see they use of e-mail in the future,
as development of new features will increasingly make more use of e-mail as
a way to contact and engage new, current and previously active users.
Please mark this date in your calendar if you wish to participate in the
discussion. We will send a reminder a few days before the meeting.
Product Manager Localisation
M: +31 6 50 69 1239
Support Free Knowledge: http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Donate
Further to Jimbo's championing O'Dwyer, here is the court document from
O'Dwyer's January extradition trial:
O’Dwyer did not charge users of TVShack.net to download or stream content.
Instead he earned money from hosting advertisements on various portions of
the TVShack.net website.
According to Alexa.com, an organisation that ranks website popularity based
on frequency of visits, as of on or about June 28, 2010, TVShack.net was
the 1779th most popular website in the world and the 1419th in the United
States”. Following seizure of the original domain name on 29th June 2010
“within one day O’Dwyer and one of his co conspirators… registered a new
domain name, TVShack.net to TVShack.cc which was hosted on a server located
at an ISP either in Germany or the Netherlands.
TVShack.cc continued to offer copyrighted movies and television programs
under the new domain name without authorisation from the copyright
holders… Also posted on the homepage of this new website was the photograph
of a rap music group and the title of one of their songs “F*ck the Police”.
In interview, relied on in the U.S. Request, he is said to have accepted
owning TVShack.net and TVShack.cc “earning approximately £15,000 per month”
from online advertisements hosted on those sites.
[The US prosecutor argued] there was no attempt to protect copyright, he,
Richard O’Dwyer, knew materials were subject to copyright and actively
taunted already cited efforts in June 2010 to seize TVShack.net.
So Jimbo is saying that a chap who, according to statements in this court
document, made well over 20,000 advertising dollars a month from copyright
infringement (under the motto "fuck the police") reminds him "of many great
It looks like these – rather than NPOV – are the values that Wikipedia has
been co-opted to support.
Wow, thank goodness we never had advertising. The TV-Tropes wiki has been forced to censor a
number of pages due to advertiser pressure.
In the mean time, the discussed tropes *do* exist in our culture and in our movies. It
somehow feels soviet. :-/
Begin forwarded message:
> From: Gregory Varnum <gregory.varnum(a)gmail.com>
> Subject: New, lower traffic, announcements only email list for Wikimedia developers
> Date: 30 June, 2012 1:23:11 AM EDT
> To: wikitech-l(a)lists.wikimedia.org
> Following discussions with Wikimedia developers more on the "fringe" and not as engaged in frequent IRC or mailing list conversations, the request for an announcements only mailing list came up. I wanted to let folks know that this list has been created and is ready for membership: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikitech-announce - wikitech-announce(a)lists.wikimedia.org There will also be a signup list for this and other lists at Wikimania Hackathon.
> Unlike this list, which allows for discussion, or the MediaWiki-announce list, which focuses exclusively on MediaWiki release announcements, wikitech-announce will be used for occasional announcements on both MediaWiki and broader Wikimedia developer related news items. This includes an announcement when monthly tech or engineering reports are posted, important news updates on git or developer related tools, and information on upcoming sprints, events or other major developer collaborations.
> Having presented this idea a few times, there are some common questions I will get out of the way now.
> Why not just send these out on MediaWiki-announce? There was quick reaction from several of these less-engaged developers that some really did want JUST MediaWiki release info sent out on that list. In other words, the audience of that list did not like the idea.
> Will this duplicate emails sent to wikitech-l? Probably, but it is not designed for folks already utilizing wikitech-l - it is designed for folks who would like less email traffic and want announcements - not conversations.
> Is this really going to save folks that many emails? In June, the wikitech-l list had 639 individual messages (so far). It is unlikely that this list would exceed 12 a month. For reference, MediaWiki-announce has sent out 3 messages this month and mediawiki-l had 121 messages. This list presents a middle ground between the two extremes.
> Do we not already have enough lists? Yes, but as our developer community grows, so too must our means of communicating. Many individuals, myself included, have been intentionally trying to engage developers generally less present, but just as important to our community. Such as corporate developers with an interest in sharing extensions who can benefit from announcements about git. Similarly, some students would prefer to get basic info that helps them stay on top of the latest developments.
> Generally, if you find yourself having a concern about this list, it is probably not the list for you to join. However, if you find yourself excited at the idea of less development chatter while remaining informed, this might just be the list for you.
> Thank you to Sumana and TheHelpfulOne for supporting this effort and to Daniel Renfro for proposing this idea and getting the discussion started.
> I have volunteered to moderate the list at its start, but will be interested in recruiting others that are willing to help. Anyone with an announcement can submit one, and a moderator will approve messages which fit within the list's scope.
> Finally, like any new tool, I anticipate its usage will evolve over time - so please do engage in discussion on any ideas you may have for its future.
> Thank you!
> -greg aka varnent
I want to introduce Anasuya Sengupta as the new Director, Global Learning
and Grantmaking at the Wikimedia Foundation. She will be starting on
Monday, July 2. In this role, Anasuya will lead our work in support of the
Funds Dissemination Committee, work with Asaf Bartov on grant-making and
with Jessie Wild in helping us to plan, monitor, evaluate and learn from
our programmatic work in a new team area, Global Learning and Evaluation
that Jessie will be leading (more soon on this). She will also serve as a
close thought-partner for me and the rest of the GD team in the leadership
of our work.
I am thrilled that Anasuya is joining us. She brings a deep passion for
social justice and an understanding of the power of free knowledge as an
enabler of opportunity for everyone. She will help us hold to our
commitments to increase the diversity of our community and has great
experience working collaboratively to change communities for the better.
She is also a really interesting person who I think we will all enjoy being
around and learning from.
Below is an introduction that Anasuya prepared.
For those of you who will be at Wikimania, I know Anasuya is excited to
meet with all of you there.
Please join me in welcoming Anasuya to our team.
*Life will be measured *
*by notability test?*
*My secrets are mine!* ;-)
...but until we meet in person:
I am an activist turned grant-maker, who has worked nationally, regionally,
and internationally, to build and strengthen multi-generational feminist
leadership and networks, and to amplify voices from the margins – whether
across gender, sexuality, class, caste, race, age, geography or language. I
grew up in north Karnataka (southern India), and returned to work in this
part of the world after my undergraduate degree in Economics, as a
Programme Officer at Samuha, a rural development organisation. I took its
lessons with me into an M.Phil. in Development Studies at Oxford, where I
studied as a Rhodes Scholar. I led a UNICEF initiative with the Karnataka
police from 2001-2007, designing and implementing a state wide system of
response to issues of violence against women and children. Over the same
period, I served as Associate and researcher with Gender at Work, an
international knowledge network for gender equality. I co-edited and wrote
for the Association of Women's Rights in Development (AWID)
Our Dreams: global feminist voices for a new generation* (AWID and Zed
Books, 2006), arguably the first international anthology of young feminist
analyses and experience. I have founded campaigns, and been involved with
national and international networks against religious and cultural
fundamentalisms, and for sexual and reproductive rights and women's health.
In 2007, I moved from Bangalore to Berkeley, as a Visiting Scholar at UC
Berkeley and the Managing Trustee of a small Stanford-based family
foundation funding in South India. Over the past three years, I have been
Regional Program Director for Asia and Oceania at the Global Fund for
Women, one of the world's largest grant-making organisations exclusively
for women's human rights. In this capacity, I have overseen over 300 grants
to women-led organisations in the region – from Afghanistan to Kiribati -
and helped develop a framework for evaluating and learning our impact on
organisational growth and movement sustainability. My interest in the
politics of technology has been from the point of view of a women’s rights
activist, academic, and grant-maker. With Bangalore as home, surrounded by
friends and family who are progressive technologists, I started questioning
the politics of the software and hardware that is ubiquitous in our lives –
and ended up using Ubuntu Linux on my laptop. However, the Free/Libre and
Open Source Movement is not simply about technologies; at its heart is the
feminist principle that governs my politics: if knowledge is power, then
the empowerment of the marginalised is through a democratisation of
knowledge, and the equality of the future is through a deconstruction of
the privileging powers of access, voice, representation and participation.
I am passionate about poetry (a haiku a day keeps my blues away), theatre,
and music, and challenge myself with yoga. I tend to stick with my
post-colonial British form of spelling and punctuation ('s' over 'z' and a
nuanced use of the Oxford comma) unless explicitly asked not to do so.
Chief Global Development Officer
Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in
the sum of all knowledge. Help us make it a reality!
Donate to Wikimedia <https://donate.wikimedia.org/>
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