Sailing the Information Ocean With Awareness of Currents: Discovery and Application of Source Dependence
The Web has enabled the availability of a huge amount of useful information, but has also eased the ability to spread false information and rumors across multiple sources, making it hard to distinguish between what is true and what is not. Recent examples include the premature Steve Jobs obituary, the second bankruptcy of United airlines, the creation of Black Holes by the operation of the Large Hadron Collider, etc. Since it is important to permit the expression of dissenting and conflicting opinions, it would be a fallacy to try to ensure that the Web provides only consistent information. However, to help in separating the wheat from the chaff, it is essential to be able to determine dependence between sources.