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infotokens-1.0.7z 2012-11-21 2.7 MB 11 weekly downloads
======================================================================== InfoTokens ======================================================================== Simulates an open-content discourse community (e.g. a wiki). ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Author: William Breathitt Gray Date: November 20, 2012 Version: 1.0 Copyright: Simplified BSD License Language: C Standard: C99 ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Copyright (c) 2012, William Breathitt Gray All rights reserved. Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions are met: 1. Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer. 2. Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution. THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED BY THE COPYRIGHT HOLDERS AND CONTRIBUTORS "AS IS" AND ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE DISCLAIMED. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE COPYRIGHT HOLDER OR CONTRIBUTORS BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR SERVICES; LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION) HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY, OR TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE OF THIS SOFTWARE, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE. ======================================================================== ======================================================================== ------------------- Table of Contents ------------------- I. About II. Usage III. Output IV. Contact ---------- I. About ---------- InfoTokens simulates the accumulation of information by a virtual discourse community. Information is represented as tokens whose states can be either true or false. Individuals in the virtual community can add, delete, and change tokens. The accumulation of true and false information -- due to the population's accuracy, rate of vandalism, correction of vandalism, and population growth -- can then be studied for trends. I created InfoTokens to study how open-content communities such as Wikipedia are able to produce reliable documents, despite having little intervention in the selection of community members and external auditing of the accuracy of the information accumulated; how could order come out of such anarchy? My hypothesis is that the amount of true information accrues at a faster rate than the amount of false information; in general, I suspect that as the population size increases, the percentage of false information approaches zero as time passes. The only requirements I would add are that the accuracy of population is more than 50%, and over half of the population is sincerely attempting to maintain an accurate document. Furthermore, I expect this trend to occur in both open-content and closed-content communities. The reasoning is rather simple: there is a buildup of true information because the sincere individuals aim for such; similarly, false information is actively removed by the sincere individuals, thus creating a natural resistence to the accumulation of false information. Following from this logic, an open-content community may produce more reliable documents than a closed-content community because the open-content community consists of more individuals (even if those individuals are less accurate). During my first year as a student at the University of Central Florida, I had the opportunity in my English Composition class to write a research paper on open-content discourse communities; I naturally used this as an excuse to program InfoTokens. However, my initial attempt at programming InfoTokens (infotokens-0.1) failed due to an overly complex design and a deadline for my research paper. As such, I made up the results attributed to InfoTokens in the conclusion of my research paper and put the development of the program on hold until I would have enough free time to finish it. The research I did for school is provided under the "research" directory for the sake of completion, in the hopes that it proves useful to someone. Three years after my first attempt, I completed InfoTokens (infotokens-1.0) with a more frugal design based on average effect rather than random selections. After running the simulation several times with different configurations, I discover that the accuracy of the information produced by the population trends toward a limit. This does not match with my hypothesis of an ever increasing accuracy, nor with the real life examples of wikis. I suspect this limit is arising due to the nature of the simulation: tokens accrue in set intervals (by generation) rather than the decentralized nature of true discourse. For now however, I leave the task of properly dissecting the behavior of InfoTokens, and open-content communities in general, to whomever decides to undertake it. ----------- II. Usage ----------- To build from source, use the Makefile in the source root directory: # make For more specific build instructions, refer to the INSTALL file in the source root directory. Execute the infotokens file to run the main program: # ./infotokens InfoTokens will present several prompts for input to configure the simulation. ------------- III. Output ------------- If the simulation was configured for file output, InfoTokens will output the simulation data for each generation in the following format: Generation_Number True_Tokens False_Tokens Accuracy Population_Size After the simulation ends, InfoTokens will output a summary line to the the standard input in the following format: True_Tokens False_Tokens Accuracy Population_Size ------------- IV. Contact ------------- Please visit the InfoTokens project page: https://sourceforge.net/projects/infotokens/ Send bug reports, feature requests, and salutations to: vilhelm.gray@gmail.com Feel free to send a message about anything you find interesting or if you just want to talk. The life of a FOSS developer can get rather lonely at times. :)
Source: README, updated 2012-11-21