[Apologies for multiple postings]

The Success of Question Answering Communities: How Diversity Influences Ad
Hoc Groups

GRAND Seminar <>

Friday, March 20th, *2 pm*, Room ENGR *4201*


Emanuel Alsina


Carlotta Domeniconi


Question & answer communities have emerged as popular and effective
repository of knowledge. The growing success of this communities depends
principally on the will of the users to answer questions. In this study, we
analyzed the users and the posts of 50 different active communities
belonging to the Stack Exchange network. In particular, we focused on the
correlation between success and diversity within these communities. A
framework to evaluate different aspects of the success and diversity inside
the communities is proposed. The results show how the effect of diversity
on success within Q&A communities depends on the nature of the topic. This
means that in general, non-technical topics, diversity in users' tenure
increases the ability of the community to obtain better answers. On the
other hand, in technical boards, expertise prevails over diversity, so it
is more important to maintain an expert community to ensure success within
these communities.

*Short Bio*

Emanuel Alsina is a PhD student in Computer Science at the International
Doctorate School in Information and Communication Technologies organized by
the Department of Engineering Enzo Ferrari of the University of Modena and
Reggio Emilia in Italy. He received the bachelor and master degrees in
Management Engineering from the University of Bologna respectively in 2008
and 2011. His interests focus on complex systems in industrial
environments, modeling and simulation, decision-making process, and group
dynamics. Currently he is working with the Center for Complexity in
Business at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of
Maryland, studying the diversity and complexity in group dynamics and the
impact that has on group performance. He has studied and worked on
international teams in Italy, Argentina, and USA.


Jyh-Ming Lien

Associate Professor
George Mason University

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