AAAI Publications, Twenty-Sixth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence

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Identifying Bullies with a Computer Game
Juan Fernando Mancilla-Caceres, Wen Pu, Eyal Amir, Dorothy Espelage

Last modified: 2012-07-14


Current computer involvement in adolescent social networks (youth between the ages of 11 and 17) provides new opportunities to study group dynamics, interactions amongst peers, and individual preferences. Nevertheless, most of the research in this area focuses on efficiently retrieving information that is explicit in large social networks (e.g., properties of the graph structure), but not on how to use the dynamics of the virtual social network to discover latent characteristics of the real-world social network. In this paper, we present the analysis of a game designed to take advantage of the familiarity of adolescents with online social networks, and describe how the data generated by the game can be used to identify bullies in 5th grade classrooms. We present a probabilistic model of the game and using the in-game interactions of the players (i.e., content of chat messages) infer their social role within their classroom (either a bully or non-bully). The evaluation of our model is done by using previously collected data from psychological surveys on the same 5th grade population and by comparing the performance of the new model with off-the-shelf classifiers.

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