Wai-Tat Fu's research while affiliated with Northern Illinois University and other places

Publications (341)

Article
Live streaming is an emergent social medium that allows remote interaction between the streamer and an audience of any size. Major live-streaming platforms in some Asian countries have a digital gift-giving feature that allows viewers to directly reward streamers during live sessions. Streamers can later exchange the digital gifts they have receive...
Article
Videos are essential for successful crowdfunding campaigns. However, without knowledge of the underlying persuasion factors, novice entrepreneurs may find it difficult to optimize their videos for success. This paper presents VidLyz, a novel assistive tool that allows users to explore the implications of audience-engagement persuasion factors in th...
Conference Paper
Spatial knowledge about the environment often helps people accomplish their navigation and wayfinding tasks more efficiently. Off-the-shelf mobile navigation applications often focus on guiding people to go between two locations, ignoring the importance of learning spatial knowledge. Drawing on theories and findings from the area of learning spatia...
Conference Paper
Digital gifting in live streaming, in which viewers buy digital gifts to reward the streamers, was worth over $200 million in 2018 in China and its growth has been accelerating. This paper explores what motivates people to tip and how it impacts interactions between viewers and streamers. Through a survey, we identified the main categories of viewe...
Article
Interactive visualization tools are being used by an increasing number of members of the general public; however, little is known about how, and how well, people use visualizations to infer causality. Adapted from the mediation causal model, we designed an analytic framework to systematically evaluate human performance, strategies, and pitfalls in...
Conference Paper
Certain video games show promise as tools for training spatial skills, one of the strongest predictors of future success in STEM. However, little is known about the gaming preferences of those who would benefit the most from such interventions: low spatial skill students. To provide guidance on how to design training games for this population, we c...
Conference Paper
Mediation analysis is commonly performed using regressions or Bayesian network analysis in statistics, psychology, and health science; however, it is not effectively supported in existing visualization tools. The lack of assistance poses great risks when people use visualizations to explore causal relationships and make data-driven decisions, as sp...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We are building an intelligent agent to help teaming efforts. In this paper, we investigate the real-world use of such an agent to understand students deeply and help student team formation in a large university class involving about 200 students and 40 teams. Specifically, the agent interacted with each student in a text-based conversation at the...
Conference Paper
In this paper, we explored the potential of using a conversational chatbot interface to guide students to perform peer assessments. Our results show that our chatbot interface is in general successful in guiding graders, as reflected by students' grading consistencies across multiple assessments and correlated with teaching assistants' grading. Our...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Augmented Reality (AR) allows virtual object projection with an unblocked view of the physical world which provides reference and other people. The mixed scene provides an agile platform for communication and collaboration, especially on a product that would be difficult or expensive to present otherwise. In the boating industry, high customization...
Article
Social media sites use different labels to help users find and select news feeds. For example, Blue Feed, Red Feed, a news feed created by the Wall Street Journal, use stance labels to separate news articles with opposing political ideologies to help people explore diverse opinions. To combat the spread of fake news, Facebook has experimented with...
Conference Paper
Spatial user interfaces that help people navigate often focus on turn-by-turn instructions, ignoring how they may help incidental learning of spatial knowledge. Drawing on theories and findings from the area of spatial cognition, the current paper aims to understand how turn-by-turn instructions and relative location updates can help incidental lea...
Conference Paper
Donation-based crowdfunding platforms have an increasing number of campaigns on socially stigmatized topics. These platforms' widespread online reachability and the large flow of monetary donations have the potential to shape individuals' opinions by influencing their perceptions. However, little research has been done to investigate whether these...
Conference Paper
Live streaming is a proliferating social media generating special social interactions on the platforms especially in China. For example, tipping in live streaming, in which viewers buy virtual gifts to reward the streamers. This paper explores people's tipping behaviors and how it impacts interactions between viewers and streamers. We analyzed 12 v...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Current research has demonstrated the crucial role of spatial visualization skills in the Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) related fields. Given the nationwide trend of the increasing population of university engineering students, more and more effort has been invested into how to effectively train students' spatial visualiz...
Conference Paper
On existing crowdfunding platforms, the allocation of money is often not regulated, which leads to less-than-ideal distribution of resources. For example, recent donations to hurricane victims through their crowdfunding campaigns often lead to overfunding of certain victims while underfunding others. Inspired by algorithms from economic theories, w...
Conference Paper
Social media users are overloaded with diverse opinions by people with opposing stances. Previous research shows that people often look for opinions that reinforce their pre-existing beliefs and stances, which may lead to social polarization. Traditional social media present opinions in a linear list format, which not only lacks structures for peop...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Research has demonstrated that spatial visualization skills are crucial for success in Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. With an increasing number of students entering STEM disciplines, the question of how to effectively train students» spatial visualization skills has become very important. While a scalable exis...
Conference Paper
Prior research has shown that spatial abilities are crucial for STEM achievement and attainment. The connection between the digital and physical worlds provided by embodied interaction has been shown to enhance performance and engagement in educational contexts. Spatial reasoning is a domain that lends itself naturally to embodied, physical interac...
Article
In this study, we evaluated the ability of computational cognitive models of web-navigation like CoLiDeS and CoLiDeS+ to model i) user interactions with search engines and ii) individual differences in search behavior due to variations in cognitive factors such as aging. CoLiDeS and CoLiDeS+ were extended to predict user clicks on search engine res...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
La présente étude s’intéresse aux effets de l’âge et des connaissances antérieures sur le domaine pour lequel les utilisateurs recherchent de l’information. L’étude conduite auprès de 26 jeunes et 22 âgés a évalué le rôle d’un dispositif d’aide à la recherche par pré-activation des connaissances antérieures dans les stratégies élaborées pour résoud...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Crowdfunding platforms are emerging as an important online social platform to raise capital and awareness for innovative projects. When considered as a general online social system, the goal of a crowdfunding platform is to efficiently allocate a large number of small funds to promising new projects. However, the efficiency of donation allocation a...
Conference Paper
Understanding the factors that persuade backers to donate to research projects has become increasingly important with the rising popularity of scientific crowdfunding. Although there are many similarities between enterprise and scientific crowdfunding, some factors differentiate these two forms of crowdfunding. One such factor is the use of endorse...
Conference Paper
Instructors are increasingly using algorithmic tools for team formation, yet little is known about how these tools are applied or how students and instructors perceive their use. We studied a representative team formation tool (CATME) in eight project-based courses. An instructor uses the tool to form teams by surveying students' working styles, sk...
Conference Paper
As demand for design education increases, instructors are struggling to provide timely, personalized feedback for student projects. Gathering feedback from classroom peers and external crowds offer scalable approaches, but there is little evidence of how they compare. We report on a study in which students (n=127) created early- and late-stage prot...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Educational research has demonstrated the importance of embodiment in the design of student learning environments, connecting bodily actions to critical concepts. Gestural recognition algorithms have become important tools in leveraging this connection but are limited in their development, focusing primarily on traditional machine-learning paradigm...
Poster
This study investigated the effects of age, prior domain knowledge and prior knowledge semantic pre-activation task on information searching. Results showed that the age-related differences were observed for the fantastic movies domain (for which older adults had significantly lower prior knowledge), whereas the effects of age were not replicated i...
Conference Paper
An enormous amount of posts and comments are shared in online social forums, which often organize these online social opinions based on semantic contents. However, for controversial topics, people with different attitudes and stances often have very distinct perspectives, reactions, and emotions to the same post. Organization by semantic contents o...
Conference Paper
Hint systems are designed to adjust a video game's difficulty to suit the individual player, but too often they are designed without analyzing player behavior and lack intelligence and adaptability, resulting in hints that are at best ineffective and at worst hurt player experience. We present an alternative approach to hint design focusing on play...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We present a novel gestural interface for an educational 3D construction game that helps children practice and learn spatial reasoning skills. Previous research shows that having well-developed spatial reasoning skills is crucial to the success in the STEM fields. Our game requires the player to create a number of 3D target objects by moving, rotat...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Certain commercial video games, such as Portal 2 and Tetris, have been empirically shown to train spatial reasoning skills, a subset of cognitive skills essential for success in STEM disciplines. However, no research to date has attempted to understand which specific features in these games tap into players' spatial ability or how individual player...
Conference Paper
To successfully raise money using crowdfunding, it is important for a campaign to communicate ideas or products effectively to the potential backers. One of the lesser explored but powerful components of a crowdfunding campaign is the campaign video. To better understand how videos affect campaign outcomes, we analyzed videos from 210 Kickstarter c...
Article
This study focuses on the impact of age, prior domain knowledge and cognitive abilities on performance, query production and navigation strategies during information searching. Twenty older adults and nineteen young adults had to answer 12 information search problems of varying nature within two domain knowledge: health and manga. In each domain,...
Conference Paper
People and patients are increasingly using the internet to search for health information, but finding the right terms to search requires iterative search and query reformulation [1], which may be difficult for lay persons who do not have much medical knowledge. To solve the problem, we propose an interactive searching mechanism where resources are...
Conference Paper
Older adults' medication planning and scheduling can benefit from collaborative support from healthcare providers, and through the use of cognitive support aids. In this paper, we investigate the communication strategies that older adults utilize for collaborative medication scheduling. 32 community-dwelling older adults participated in pairs, and...
Conference Paper
Searching for health-related information online can cause negative emotions such as confusion or frustration. We propose a virtual chat assistant that can answer health-related questions empathically on the basis of a doctor-patient communication model. We plan to show that our proposed assistant is not only informative but also provides the positi...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Donation-based crowdfunding has the potential to democratize capital raising by soliciting donations directly from the public through the Web and social media. These crowdfunding platforms, however, often function as unregulated open markets, in which there is minimal intervention to influence donation distribution across projects. In fact, researc...
Conference Paper
Traditional medical fundraising charities have been relying on third-party watchdogs and carefully crafting their reputation over time to signal their credibility to potential donors. As medical fundraising campaigns migrate to online platforms in the form of crowdfunding, potential donors can no longer rely on the organization's traditional method...
Conference Paper
We present a study of 10-month Twitter discussions on the controversial topic of Edward Snowden. We demonstrate how behavioral differences of opinion groups can distort the presence of opinions on a social media platform. By studying the differences between a numerical minority (anti-Snowden) and a majority (pro-Snowden) group, we found that the mi...
Article
The process of generating schematic maps of salient objects from a set of pictures of an indoor environment is challenging. It has been an active area of research as it is crucial to a wide range of context- And locationaware services, as well as for general scene understanding. Although many automated systems have been developed to solve the probl...
Article
When learning about a single topic in natural reading environments, readers are confronted with multiple sources varying in the type and amount of information. In this situation, readers are free to adaptively respond to the constraints of the environment (e.g., through selection of resources and time allocation for study), but there may be costs o...
Chapter
This chapter focuses on the nature of cognitive computations involved in collaborative tasks and its implication to design of information systems that facilitate massive online collaboration. When a group of people are collaborating either implicitly or explicitly, cognitive processes are distributed among individuals across these task components....
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Past research often found that older adults searched less in terms of browsing and generating keywords; few studies examined the processes and underlying mechanism that caused the age-related reduction on search. In the current study, about 20 younger and 20 older adults performed ill-defined search tasks with a search box we implemented. In additi...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
L’étude présentée s’intéresse à l’effet de l’âge, du domaine de connaissances et de la complexité des questions sur la production de requêtes et la navigation dans des tâches de recherche d’informations. Vingt adultes âgés et dix-neuf jeunes adultes ont eu douze questions de recherche à effectuer dans deux domaines de connaissances différents : la...
Article
This paper focuses on the relation of heuristic search and level of intelligence in cognitive computation systems. The paper begins with a review of the fundamental properties of a cognitive computation system, which is defined generally as a control system that generates goal-directed actions in response to environmental inputs and constraints. An...
Article
Full-text available
Search can be found in almost every cognitive activity, ranging across vision, memory retrieval, problem solving, decision making, foraging, and social interaction. Because of its ubiquity, research on search has a tendency to fragment into multiple areas of cognitive science. The proposed topic aims at providing integrative discussion of the centr...
Article
In this study, we used a word search puzzle paradigm to investigate age differences in the rate of information gain (RG; i.e., word gain as a function of time) and the cues used to make patch-departure decisions in information foraging. The likelihood of patch departure increased as the profitability of the patch decreased generally. Both younger a...
Conference Paper
Selective exposure, the preferential seeking of confirmatory information, can potentially exacerbate fragmentation of online opinions and lead to biased decisions. We tested whether features that allowed users to better distinguish information about different issue aspects would encourage them to take different perspectives, thereby moderating the...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Currently, first-year chemistry students learn about three-dimensional molecular structures using a combination of lectures, tutorials, and practical hands-on experience with molecular chemistry kits. We have developed a basic 3D molecule construction simulation, called MolyPoly. The system was designed to augment the teaching of organic chemistry...
Conference Paper
Increasing number of older adults manage their retirement savings online. A crucial element of better management is to take rational financial risk -- to strike a reasonable balance between expected gain and loss under uncertainty. With the emergence of Web 2.0 technologies, social trading networks can help individuals make better financial decisio...
Conference Paper
As newer technology allows easier collection and display of increasingly complex 3D data, the need for more user-friendly interfaces to navigate and interact with such data grows. At the same time, there has been a jump in the capabilities and availability of natural interaction hardware. Anticipating the convergence of these two trends, this paper...
Conference Paper
Geospatial data is becoming increasingly important for many uses, from expert scientific domains to social media interaction. A lot of this data is three-dimensional in nature and in recent years virtual globe software like Google Earth has made visualising such data much easier. However there has not been an equivalent improvement in the way in wh...
Article
We studied how a source expertise indicator impacted users' information seeking behavior when using a system aggregating diverse opinions, and how it interacted with a source position indicator to shape users' selectivity of information. We found that, for both attitude consistent and inconsistent information, the expertise indicator increased the...
Article
Full-text available
Hundreds of thousands of crowdfunding campaigns have been launched, but more than half of them have failed. To better understand the factors affecting campaign outcomes, this paper targets the content and usage patterns of project updates -- communications intended to keep potential funders aware of a campaign's progress. We analyzed the content an...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Crowdfunding platforms are becoming more and more popular for fund-raising of entrepreneurial ventures, but the success rate of crowdfunding campaigns is found to be less than 50%. Recent research has shown that, in addition to the quality and representations of project ideas, dynamics of investment during a crowdfunding campaign also play an impor...
Conference Paper
We examined how a source position indicator showing both valences (pro/con) and magnitudes (moderate/extreme) of positions on controversial topics influenced users' selection and reception of diverse opinions in online discussions. Results showed that the indicator had differential impact on participants who had varied levels of accuracy motives --...
Book
Full-text available
Cognitive engineering is an interdisciplinary approach to the analysis, modeling, and design of engineered systems or workplaces in which humans and technologies jointly operate to achieve system goals. As individuals, teams, and organizations become increasingly reliant on information technology and automation, it is more important than ever for s...
Conference Paper
We designed and tested the effects of an in-car augmented reality system (ARS) on younger and older drivers, with and without a secondary distraction task. When potential danger is detected, the ARS alerts the driver by progressively indicating the time to collision to the lead vehicle as well as merging vehicles from side lanes by an AR display th...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We investigated participants' preferential selection of information and their attitude moderation in an online environment. Results showed that even when opposing views were presented side-to-side, people would still preferentially select information that reinforced their existing attitudes. Preferential selection of information was, however, influ...
Conference Paper
This paper studied how social transparency and different peer-dependent reward schemes (i.e., individual, teamwork, and competition) affect the outcomes of crowdsourcing. The results showed that when social transparency was increased by asking otherwise anonymous workers to share their demographic information (e.g., name, nationality) to the paired...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Crowdsourcing and machine learning are both useful techniques for solving difficult problems (e.g., computer vision and natural language processing). In this paper, we propose a novel method that harnesses and combines the strength of these two techniques to better analyze the features and the sentiments toward them in user reviews. To strike a goo...
Article
This article reviews recent empirical and brain imaging data on effects of cognitive training methods on complex interactive skill learning, and presents a neurally inspired computational model that characterizes the effects of these training methods. In particular, the article focuses on research that shows that variable priority training (VPT), w...
Article
Peer consistency evaluation is often used in games with a purpose (GWAP) to evaluate workers using outputs of other workers without using gold standard answers. Despite its popularity, the reliability of peer consistency evaluation has never been systematically tested to show how it can be used as a general evaluation method in human computation sy...
Conference Paper
We reported results from an experiment using an image labeling task, when workers were able to compare their own labels with the labels generated by another worker, they were motivated to generate more labels. In addition, when the workers shared their demographic information with their colleagues, the number of labels generated by them became even...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Review Explorer is an interface that utilizes categorized information to help users to explore a huge amount of online reviews more easily. It allows users to sort entities (e.g. restaurants, products) based on their ratings of different aspects (e.g. food for restaurants) and highlight sentences that are related to the selected aspect. Existing in...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This study used a word search puzzle paradigm to examine the effects of task environment and individual differences in ability on information foraging. Younger and older adults attempted to maximize the number of items found in a set of 4 puzzles in which they were at liberty to search within a puzzle or switch between them. Younger adults demonstr...
Article
Full-text available
An empirical study was conducted to investigate how older and younger users learned by performing exploratory search of health information using an interface that recommended relevant links based on browsing histories. While older and younger users gained both factual and structural knowledge about the health topics, significant age differences wer...
Article
We report results of a study which examines consensus building in user interface design discussions in open source software communities. Our methodology consisted of conducting interviews with designers and developers from the Drupal and Ubuntu communities (N=17) and analyzing a large corpus of interaction data collected from Drupal. The interviews...
Chapter
Full-text available
Judging topical expertise of micro-blogger is one of the key challenges for information seekers when deciding which information sources to follow. However, it is unclear how useful different types of information are for people to make expertise judgments and to what extent their background knowledge influences their judgments. This study explored d...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The availability of diverse information does not guarantee that a person's views will be equally diverse. Research has consistently shown that attitudinal positions on an issue will lead to selective reception and dissemination of information, which in turn have reciprocal effects on those attitudes. The current paper aims at understanding how the...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
An empirical study was conducted to investigate how older and younger users learned by performing exploratory search of health information using an interface that recommended relevant links based on browsing histories. While older and younger users gained both factual and structural knowledge about the health topics, significant age differences wer...
Article
Text mining based on semantic annotations is increasingly used to support semantic search and knowledge discovery in a number of biomedical applications. Recently, the extraction of complex events based on rich semantic metadata has been used for customized ...
Article
To better support older adults' consumption of high quality health information on the Internet, it is important to understand how older adults make credibility judgments with online health information. For this purpose, we conducted two laboratory studies to explore how the credibility cues in message contents, website features, and user reviews co...
Conference Paper
We compared the effects of three computer mediated communication (CMC) channels (text, audio, and video) on how people performed an appointment-scheduling task. The task involved a grounding and a conflict resolution component. The results showed that video conferencing supported participant dyads in reaching a consensus that had better balanced pe...