FLOCK: Combating Astroturfing on Livestreaming Platforms
Friday, March 24th, 2017 from 12-1 pm in GHC 6501.
ivestreaming platforms have become increasingly popular in recent years as a means of sharing and advertising creative content. Popular content streamers who attract large viewership to their live broadcasts can earn a living by means of ad revenue, donations and channel subscriptions. Unfortunately, this incentivized popularity has simultaneously resulted in incentive for fraudsters to provide services to astroturf, or artificially inflate viewership metrics by providing fake live views to customers. Our work provides a number of major contributions: (a) formulation: we are the first to introduce and characterize the viewbot fraud problem in livestreaming platforms, (b) methodology: we propose FLOCK, a principled and unsupervised method which efficiently and effectively identifies botted broadcasts and their constituent botted views, and (c) practicality: our approach achieves over 98% precision in identifying botted broadcasts and over 90% precision/recall against sizable synthetically generated viewbot attacks on a real-world livestreaming workload of over 16 million views and 92 thousand broadcasts. FLOCK successfully operates on larger datasets in practice and is regularly used at a large, undisclosed livestreaming corporation.
The Student Seminar Series is an informal research seminar by and for SCS graduate students from noon to 1 pm on Tuesdays and Fridays. Lunch is provided by the Computer Science Department (personal thanks to Sharon Burks and Debbie Cavlovich!). At each meeting, a different student speaker will give an informal, 40-minute talk about his/her research, followed by questions/suggestions/brainstorming. We try to attract people with a diverse set of interests, and encourage speakers to present at a very general, accessible level.
So why are we doing this and why take part? In the best case scenario, this will lead to some interesting cross-disciplinary work among people in different fields and people may get some new ideas about their research. In the worst case scenario, a few people will practice their public speaking and the rest get together for a free lunch.
Note: Step #1 below are applicable to all SSS speakers. You can schedule AT MOST THREE talks per semester.
SSS is an ideal forum for SCS students to give presentations that count toward fulfilling their speaking requirements. The specifics, though, vary with each department. For instance, students in CSD will need to be familiar with the notes in Section 8 of the Ph.D. document and follow the instructions outlined on the Speakers Club homepage. Roughly speaking, these are the steps:
Armaghan Naik, Computational Biology