Dr. Nitin Agarwal traveled to Greece, where he demonstrated YouTubeTracker, a socio-computational tool developed by COSMOS, at the IEEE/WIC/ACM International Conference on Web Intelligence (WI). The annual international conference focuses on research that deepens the understanding of computational, logical, cognitive, physical as well as business and social foundations of the future Web, and enables the development and application of intelligent technologies. YouTubeTracker’s ability to assist its users in the understanding of information operations was a popular demo at the conference.

The tool aims to provide in-depth qualitative and quantitative insights into user behavior or networks. YouTubeTracker gathers YouTube data and offers insights on content and users. It can help identify leading actors, networks and spheres of influence, emerging popular trends, as well as user opinion. The analysis of user engagement and social networks even reveals suspicious and inorganic behaviors (e.g., trolling, botting) causing algorithmic manipulations.

This research at COSMOS is funded in part by the U.S. National Science Foundation, U.S. Office of Naval Research, U.S. Air Force Research Lab, U.S. Army Research Office, U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Arkansas Research Alliance, and the Jerry L. Maulden/Entergy Endowment at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the funding organizations.