Overview

The Living AnalyticS ExpeRimentation (LASER) system is a unified experimentation platform that enables randomized online controlled experiments to be easily conducted with minimal human effort and modifications to the experimented websites. LASER manages the main steps of online controlled experiments, namely the assignment of user grouping, administration of treatment, tracking of user interaction, and visualization of results.

Members

Ee-Peng Lim

Professor / Director
Living Analytics Research Centre
Singapore Management University

Feida Zhu

Assistant Professor
School of Information Systems
Singapore Management University

Palakorn Achananuparp

Research Scientist
Living Analytics Research Centre
Singapore Management University

Binyan Jiang

Research Scientist
Heinz College
Carnegie Mellon University

Kwan Hui Lim

Research Engineer
Living Analytics Research Centre
Singapore Management University

Agus Trisnajaya Kwee

Research Engineer
Living Analytics Research Centre
Singapore Management University

Adrian Vu

Research Engineer
Living Analytics Research Centre
Singapore Management University

Recent Publications

LASER: A Living AnalyticS ExpeRimentation System for Large-scale Online Controlled Experiments

by Kwan Hui Lim, Ee-Peng Lim, Palakorn Achananuparp, Adrian Vu, Agus Trisnajaya Kwee and Feida Zhu
in The 23rd International World Wide Web Conference (WWW’14), Seoul, Korea, April 2014.

Tracking user browsing data and measuring the effectiveness of website design and web services are important to businesses that want to attract the consumers today who spend much more time online than before. Instead of using randomized controlled experiments, the existing approach simply tracks user browsing behaviors before and after a change is made to website design or web services, and evaluate the differences. To address the effects caused by hidden factors (e.g. promotion activities on the website) and to give fair comparison of different website designs, we propose the LASER system, a unified experimentation platform that enables randomized online controlled experiments to be easily conducted with minimal human effort and modifications to the experimented websites. More importantly, the LASER system manages the various aspects of online controlled experiments, namely the selection of participants into groups, exposure of different user interface features or recommendation algorithms to these groups, measuring their responses, and summarizing the results in the visual manner.

Do You Know the Speaker? An Online Experiment with Authority Messages on Event Websites

by Kwan Hui Lim, Binyan Jiang, Ee-Peng Lim and Palakorn Achananuparp
in Connecting Online & Offline Life Workshop (COOL’14), Seoul, Korea, April 2014

With the widespread adoption of the Web, many companies and organizations have established websites that provide information and support online transactions (e.g., buying products or viewing content). Unfortunately, users have limited attention to spare for interacting with online sites. Hence, it is of utmost importance to design sites that attract user attention and effectively guide users to the product or content items they like. Thus, we propose a novel and scalable experimentation approach to evaluate the effectiveness of online site designs. Our case study focuses on the effects of an authority message on visitors' browsing behavior on workshop and seminar online announcement sites. An authority message emphasizes a particular prominent speaker and his/her achievements. Through dividing users into control and treatment groups and carefully tracking their online activities, we observe that the authority message influences the way users interact with page elements on the website and increases their interests in the authority speakers.

Reviving Dormant Ties in an Online Social Network Experiment

by Ee-Peng LIM, Denzil CORREA, David LO, Michael FINEGOLD and Feida ZHU
in The 7th International AAAI Conference on Weblogs and Social Media (ICWSM’13), Boston, USA, July 2013

Social network users connect and interact with one another to fulfil different kinds of social and information needs. When interaction ceases between two users, we say that their tie becomes dormant. While there are different underlying reasons of dormant ties, it is important to find means to revive such ties so as to maintain vibrancy in the relationships. In this work, we thus focus on designing an online experiment to evaluate the effectiveness of personalized social messages to revive dormant ties. The experiment carefully selects users with dormant ties so that no user gets mixed treatments and be affected by the responses of other users undergoing treatment. Our results show that personalized message content plays an important part in reviving dormant ties. Specifically, we find the message containing friend’s recent activity information is more effective than that containing inter-friend activity information. We observe that the quality of engagement of at least 50% of the revived ties can effectively be restored to the level before the ties become dormant. We also observe that it is easier to revive dormant ties that involve users from the same country than those involving users from different countries.