WiseTales Vis

We have designed a social visualization of the interpersonal relationships (Raghavun & Vassileva,2009) among the users of a discussion forum or blog, which emphasizes the balance (giving / taking) that happens along these relationships. The purpose of the visualization is to stimulate users to respond to posts of other users, thus balancing out their relationships and developing more relationships. The visualization has been applied in an online community for Women in Science and Engineering, called WISETales (

Raghavun, K., Vassileva J. (2009) Visualizing Reciprocal and non-Reciprocal Relationships in an Online Community. Proc. Workshop on Adaptation and Personalization for Web 2.0, in conjunction with UMAP 2009, June 22-26, 2009, Trento, Italy. (also available at CEUR Workshop Proceedings)

KeepUp (Webster & Vassileva, 2007a, b) is a recommender system for RSS feeds based on a new hybrid mechanism suitable for recommending new items where few ratings are available. The recommender mechanism includes an interactive visualization of how the choices the user makes influence the others and reversely, how their choices influence the recommendations received by the user. The user can manipulate graphically the level of influence the others have on his or her recommendations.

Webster A.S., Vassileva J (2007a) The KeepUp Recommender System. in ACM RecSys 2007, 173-177.(submitted and accepted as short paper, short papers acceptance rate 60%).

Webster A.S., Vassileva J. (2007b) Push-Poll Recommender System: Supporting Word of Mouth, (to appear) in Proceedings User Modelling, UM2007, Corfu, Greece, June 25-29, 2007.



Comtella-D screen

In Comtella-D (Webster & Vassileva, 2006) we proposed a new mechanism for motivating participation in interest-based online communities, which engages non-contributing members (lurkers) by modeling and visualizing the asymmetrical relations formed when reading, evaluating, or commenting other community member's contributions. The mechanism is based on ideas from open user modeling, a new concept of "community energy," with a mechanism of rating contributions and visualizing the rank of contributions in the community interface with different colour (heat/energy).In this way highly rated contributions appear "hotter", are better visible, and the interface encourages subtle social comparison among the users (contributors).

Webster A.S., Vassileva J. (2006) Visualizing Personal Relations in Online Communities, in Adaptive Hypermedia and Adaptive Web-Based Systems, Dublin, Ireland, Springer LNCS 4018, 223-233.

Other Publications:

(related to Comtella-D and using the data collected to identify sub-groups and to recommend posts)