She received the degree based on her work on quantifying the credibility of reviews (and hence the reviewers who wrote the reviews) on tourism attractions. For some time, the state of the art was to measure the credibility of a reviewer by the average number of “helpful” votes (similar to “like”s) that a reviewer receives per review. However, there are some situations where the average number of votes may not be most appropriate. For example, is a reviewer A who wrote one single review which received 10 “helpful” votes (average=10) more credible than a reviewer B who wrote 5 reviews each getting 9 votes (average=9)?
After much brainstorming and experimenting, we hit on the idea of adapting the idea of the h-index, used to measure the quality of the academic papers written by researchers. The result is the Impact Index, which quantifies the number of reviews written by a reviewer which received at least a certain number of votes.
She then collected a large amount of data from several tourism recommendation web sites based in the USA and China and carried out many experiments to verify that the Impact Index (and its variations) does perform better than the state of the art in general. In the process, she also discovered some of the tricks that certain web sites used to manipulate the data.
My friends, please say hello to Dr. WANG.