Using data mining to ban trolls on League of Legends

Something I just found for my Big Data class.

Riot rolls out automated, instant bans for League of Legends trolls

Machine learning system aims to remove problem players “within 15 minutes.”

An interesting thread of player comments has a good discussion of potential problems with automated bans. Only time will tell how well the company develops the system to get around these issues.

This company also took an experimental approach to banning players. And hired 3 PhDs in Cognitive Science to develop it. (Just to be clear, their experiments did not appear to be automated A/B style experiments.) After the jump is a screen shot from that system.

League of Legends screen shot

But, I’m not tempted to play League of Legends to study player behavior and experiment with getting banned! (I don’t think I’ve ever tried an MMO beyond some prototypes 15 years ago.)  If any players want to post your observations here, great.

Computers don’t belong in classrooms?!

I recently audited some lectures by friend and China expert Prof. Susan Shirk. She bans computers in her lectures. But one student sitting near me had his machine out and was “busy” with the usual distractions. (Didn’t he know the Associate Dean was a few seats away?) I asked Susan about him after class. “He told me he can’t take notes without a computer.” Obviously  the computer  is not the big issue on his note taking. Actually, it probably IS the issue – but in a negative way.

Not one computer mirrors the overheads.

James Kwak has beaten the distraction of cell phones – by removing most apps, including browsers.

I know that its enormous powers of distraction also make me lose focus on work, tune out in meetings, stay up too late at night, and, worst of all, ignore people in the same room with me. We all know this. We’re addicted to the dopamine hit we get when we look at our email and there’s actually something good in there, so we keep checking our email hoping to feel it again.

via How I Achieved Peace by Crippling My Phone — Bull Market — Medium.

Clay Shirky, an Internet sociologist, has a good discussion of why he recently banned computers  in his classrooms. Excerpt:

I came late and reluctantly to this decision — I have been teaching classes about the internet since 1998, and I’ve generally had a laissez-faire attitude towards technology use in the classroom. This was partly because the subject of my classes made technology use feel organic, …. And finally, there’s not wanting to infantilize my students, who are adults, even if young ones — time management is their job, not mine.

Despite these rationales, the practical effects of my decision to allow technology use in class grew worse over time. The level of distraction in my classes seemed to grow, even though it was the same professor and largely the same set of topics, …

Over the years, I’ve noticed that when I do have a specific reason to ask everyone to set aside their devices (‘Lids down’, in the parlance of my department), it’s as if someone has let fresh air into the room. The conversation brightens, and more recently, there is a sense of relief from many of the students. Multi-tasking is cognitively exhausting — when we do it by choice, being asked to stop can come as a welcome change.

So this year, I moved from recommending setting aside laptops and phones to requiring it, adding this to the class rules: “Stay focused. (No devices in class, unless the assignment requires it.)” …

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HMI Bonus Material: Video Game Screenshots

Hello! Blake Ellison here, and I’m Roger’s newest grad student assistant. I’m interested in video games (both academically and personally), so I’m helping the team try to make sense of our findings that video games make up a huge proportion of our data consumption (when bytes are used as the measure).

A simple reason why video games comprise so much of our information  is the sheer volume of pixels that get transmitted to your eyeballs. A game running at 60 frames per second at 1080i on a current-generation console like the Xbox 360 is pumping out a huge amount of data. That’s to say nothing of hardcore PC gamers, who have what amount to miniature supercomputers sitting on their desktops.

Polyphony Digital's Gran Turismo 5

These ‘supercomputers’ don’t have all that power simply to push out 1920 x 1080 pixels 60 times per second. They have the power to do all that and make it look good. Continue reading

How compressed are computer games?

The Digital Society blog raises the question of bit rates for computer games.

The study assumed that computer games were effectively compressible to 100 Mbps which the researchers say is 8 times higher than HDTV.  But I don’t know how this number came about since computer games (even the most realistic) are not as realistic as live video due to the lack of details.  This is why even Hollywood has a hard time convincing us we’re looking at live shots instead of computer graphics.  Compression is an arbitrary number because we can choose any level of compression level we want depending on how [much] data we are willing to discard.

Actual 1920×1080 resolution gaming requires 3000 Mbps of data going from the video card to the display and at no time is it ever compressed

We spent a lot of time investigating this issue; as the post says, it has a big effect on our total byte estimate. Continue reading