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

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0945936
Agency Tracking Number: 0945936
Amount: $150,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2010
Solicitation Year: 2010
Solicitation Topic Code: IC
Solicitation Number: NSF 09-541
Small Business Information
3120 E 25th St, Minneapolis, MN, 55406
DUNS: 830915976
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Franklin Harper
 (612) 387-8003
Business Contact
 Franklin Harper
Title: PhD
Phone: (612) 387-8003
Research Institution
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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