SBIR Phase I: Blue Shift Communities - Improving Online Technical Support

Award Information
Agency:
National Science Foundation
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$150,000.00
Award Year:
2010
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
0945936
Award Id:
98935
Agency Tracking Number:
0945936
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
IC2
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
3120 E 25th St, Minneapolis, MN, 55406
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
830915976
Principal Investigator:
Franklin Harper
PhD
(612) 387-8003
max@harp3r.com
Business Contact:
Franklin Harper
PhD
(612) 387-8003
max@harp3r.com
Research Institute:
n/a
Abstract
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project identifies a commercial opportunity to improve online technical support software. The company propose two complementary innovations that facilitate scalable, high-quality technical support. First, is a new system for building technical support communities that generate informational artifacts of lasting value by encouraging synthesis and reducing duplication of effort. The system combines the features from question and answer (Q&A) sites with wiki-inspired mechanisms for content synthesis and refinement. Second, is the development of machine learning-based methods for detecting low-quality user contributions, such as flames and angry rants. The company will experiment with both context-free models of text processing and context-rich user models to determine the most robust feature set for algorithmically-predicting the quality of a user contribution. The complementary innovations share one primary goal: to improve the user experience in online technical support communities. By providing tools that are easier to use, the company will make it easier to ask questions and search for answers to technical problems. By making it easier to moderate low quality posts, the company will ease the burden on administrators, and increase the signal-to-noise ratio for regular users. By building tools that encourage synthesis and discourage duplication, the company has the potential to create high quality repositories of information that benefit a wide array of constituents.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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