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Junjie Qian, Hong Jiang, Witawas Srisa-an, Sharad Seth.  2017.  Energy-efficient I/O Thread Schedulers for NVMe SSDs on NUMA. CCGrid '17 Proceedings of the 17th IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Cluster, Cloud and Grid Computing.

Non-volatile memory express (NVMe) based SSDs and the NUMA platform are widely adopted in servers to achieve faster storage speed and more powerful processing capability. As of now, very little research has been conducted to investigate the performance and energy efficiency of the stateof-the-art NUMA architecture integrated with NVMe SSDs, an emerging technology used to host parallel I/O threads. As this technology continues to be widely developed and adopted, we need to understand the runtime behaviors of such systems in order to design software runtime systems that deliver optimal performance while consuming only the necessary amount of energy. This paper characterizes the runtime behaviors of a Linuxbased NUMA system employing multiple NVMe SSDs. Our comprehensive performance and energy-efficiency study using massive numbers of parallel I/O threads shows that the penalty due to CPU contention is much smaller than that due to remote access of NVMe SSDs. Based on this insight, we develop a dynamic “lesser evil” algorithm called ESN, to minimize the impact of these two types of penalties. ESN is an energyefficient profiling-based I/O thread scheduler for managing I/O threads accessing NVMe SSDs on NUMA systems. Our empirical evaluation shows that ESN can achieve optimal I/O throughput and latency while consuming up to 50% less energy and using fewer CPUs.

Junjie Qian, Witawas Srisa-an, Du Li, Hong Jiang, Sharad Seth, Yaodong Yang.  2015.  SmartStealing: Analysis and Optimization of Work Stealing in Parallel Garbage Collection for Java VM.. Principles and Practice of Programming in Java (PPPJ).

Parallel garbage collection has been used to speedup the collection process on multicore architectures. Similar to other parallel techniques, balancing the workload among threads is critical to ensuring good overall collection performance. To this end, work stealing is employed by the current stateof-the-art Java Virtual Machine, OpenJDK, to keep GC threads from idling during a collection process. However, we found that the current algorithm is not efficient. Its usage can often cause GC performance to be worse than when work stealing is not used. In this paper, we identify three factors that affect work stealing efficiency: determining tasks that can benefit from stealing, frequency with which to attempt stealing, and performance impacts of failed stealing attempts. Based on this analysis, we propose SmartStealing, a new algorithm that can automatically decide whether to attempt stealing at a particular point during execution. If stealing is attempted, it can efficiently identify a task to steal from. We then compare the collection performances when (i) the default work stealing algorithm is used, (ii) work stealing is not used at all, and (iii) the SmartStealing approach is used. Without modifying the remaining garbage collection system, the evaluation result shows that SmartStealing can reduce the parallel GC execution time for 19 of the 21 benchmarks. The average reduction is 50.4% and the highest reduction is 78.7%. We also investigate the performances of SmartStealing on NUMA and UMA architectures.

Junjie Qian, Witawas Srisa-an, Hong Jiang, Sharad Seth, Du Li, Pan Yi.  2016.  Exploiting FIFO Scheduler to Improve Parallel Garbage Collection Performance.. VEE '16 12th ACM SIGPLAN/SIGOPS International Conference on Virtual Execution Environments.

Recent studies have found that parallel garbage collection performs worse with more CPUs and more collector threads. As part of this work, we further investigate this enomenon and find that poor scalability is worst in highly scalable Java applications. Our investigation to find the causes clearly reveals that efficient multi-threading in an application can prolong the average object lifespan, which results in less effective garbage collection. We also find that prolonging lifespan is the direct result of Linux's Completely Fair Scheduler due to its round-robin like behavior that can increase the heap contention between the application threads. Instead, if we use pseudo first-in-first-out to schedule application threads in large multicore systems, the garbage collection scalability is significantly improved while the time spent in garbage collection is reduced by as much as 21%. The average execution time of the 24 Java applications used in our study is also reduced by 11%. Based on this observation, we propose two approaches to optimally select scheduling policies based on application scalability profile. Our first approach uses the profile information from one execution to tune the subsequent executions. Our second approach dynamically collects profile information and performs policy selection during execution.

Ju-Sung Lee, Jurgen Pfeffer.  2015.  Estimating Centrality Statistics for Large Scale and Sampled Networks: Some Approaches and Complications. 2015 48th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences.

The study of large, “big data” networks is becoming increasingly common and relevant to our understanding of human systems. Many of the studied networks are drawn from social media and other web-based sources. As such, in-depth analysis of these dynamic structures e.g. in the context of cybersecurity, remains especially challenging. Due to the time and resources incurred in computing network measures for large networks, it is practical to approximate these whenever possible. We present some approximation techniques exploiting any tractable relationship between the measures and network characteristics such as size and density. We find there exist distinct functional relationships between network statistics of complex “slow” measures and “fast” measures, such as the linkage between betweenness centrality and network density. We also track how these relationships scale with network size. Specifically, we explore the effi- cacy of both linear modeling (i.e., correlations and least squares regression) and non-linear modeling in estimating the network measures of interest. We find that sparse, but not severely sparse, networks which admit sufficient entropy incur the most variance in the network statistics and, hence, more error in the estimation. We review our approaches with three prominent network topologies: random (aka Erdos-R ˝ enyi), Watts- ´ Strogatz small-world, and scale-free networks. Finally, we assess how well the estimation approaches perform for sub-sampled networks.

Ju-Sung Lee, Jurgen Pfeffer.  2015.  Robustness of Network Metrics in the Context of Digital Communication Data. HICSS '15 Proceedings of the 2015 48th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences.

Social media data and other web-based network data are large and dynamic rendering the identification of structural changes in such systems a hard problem. Typically, online data is constantly streaming and results in data that is incomplete thus necessitating the need to understand the robustness of network metrics on partial or sampled network data. In this paper, we examine the effects of sampling on key network centrality metrics using two empirical communication datasets. Correlations between network metrics of original and sampled nodes offer a measure of sampling accuracy. The relationship between sampling and accuracy is convergent and amenable to nonlinear analysis. Naturally, larger edge samples induce sampled graphs that are more representative of the original graph. However, this effect is attenuated when larger sets of nodes are recovered in the samples. Also, we find that the graph structure plays a prominent role in sampling accuracy. Centralized graphs, in which fewer nodes enjoy higher centrality scores, offer more representative samples.

Joshua Tan, Lujo Bauer, Joseph Bonneau, Lorrie Cranor, Jeremy Thomas, Blase Ur.  2017.  Can Unicorns Help Users Compare Crypto Key Fingerprints? CHI '17 Proceedings of the 2017 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems.

Many authentication schemes ask users to manually compare compact representations of cryptographic keys, known as fingerprints. If the fingerprints do not match, that may signal a man-in-the-middle attack. An adversary performing an attack may use a fingerprint that is similar to the target fingerprint, but not an exact match, to try to fool inattentive users. Fingerprint representations should thus be both usable and secure. We tested the usability and security of eight fingerprint representations under different configurations. In a 661-participant between-subjects experiment, participants compared fingerprints under realistic conditions and were subjected to a simulated attack. The best configuration allowed attacks to succeed 6% of the time; the worst 72%. We find the seemingly effective compare-and-select approach performs poorly for key fingerprints and that graphical fingerprint representations, while intuitive and fast, vary in performance. We identify some fingerprint representations as particularly promising.

Joshua Sunshine, James Herbsleb, Jonathan Aldrich.  2015.  Searching the State Space: A Qualitative Study of API Protocol Usability. International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE).

Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) often define protocols --- restrictions on the order of client calls to API methods. API protocols are common and difficult to use, which has generated tremendous research effort in alternative specification, implementation, and verification techniques. However, little is understood about the barriers programmers face when using these APIs, and therefore the research effort may be misdirected.

To understand these barriers better, we perform a two-part qualitative study. First, we study developer forums to identify problems that developers have with protocols. Second, we perform a think-aloud observational study, in which we systematically observe professional programmers struggle with these same problems to get more detail on the nature of their struggles and how they use available resources. In our observations, programmer time was spent primarily on four types of searches of the protocol state space. These observations suggest protocol-targeted tools, languages, and verification techniques will be most effective if they enable programmers to efficiently perform state search.

Joshua Sunshine, James Herbsleb, Jonathan Aldrich.  2014.   Structuring Documentation to Support State Search: A Laboratory Experiment about Protocol Programming. Proceedings of the 28th European Conference on ECOOP 2014 --- Object-Oriented Programming. 8586

Application Programming Interfaces APIs often define object protocols. Objects with protocols have a finite number of states and in each state a different set of method calls is valid. Many researchers have developed protocol verification tools because protocols are notoriously difficult to follow correctly. However, recent research suggests that a major challenge for API protocol programmers is effectively searching the state space. Verification is an ineffective guide for this kind of search. In this paper we instead propose Plaiddoc, which is like Javadoc except it organizes methods by state instead of by class and it includes explicit state transitions, state-based type specifications, and rich state relationships. We compare Plaiddoc to a Javadoc control in a between-subjects laboratory experiment. We find that Plaiddoc participants complete state search tasks in significantly less time and with significantly fewer errors than Javadoc participants.

Joseph Lee, Jonathan Aldrich, Troy Shaw, Alex Potanin.  2015.  A Theory of Tagged Objects.. European Conference on Object-Oriented Programming (ECOOP), Research Track.

Foundational models of object-oriented constructs typically model objects as records with a structural type. However, many object-oriented languages are class-based; statically-typed formal models of these languages tend to sacrifice the foundational nature of the record-based models, and in addition cannot express dynamic class loading or creation. In this paper, we explore how to model statically-typed object-oriented languages that support dynamic class creation using foundational constructs of type theory. We start with an extensible tag construct motivated by type theory, and adapt it to support static reasoning about class hierarchy and the tags supported by each object. The result is a model that better explains the relationship between object-oriented and functional programming paradigms, suggests a useful enhancement to functional programming languages, and paves the way for more expressive statically typed object-oriented languages. In that vein, we describe the design and implementation of the Wyvern language, which leverages our theory.

Jorge Perez, Luis Caires, Frank Pfenning, Bernardo Toninho.  2014.  Linear Logical Relations and Observational Equivalences for Session-Based Concurrency. Elsevier. 239

We investigate strong normalization, confluence, and behavioral equality in the realm of session-based concurrency. These interrelated issues underpin advanced correctness analysis in models of structured communications. The starting point for our study is an interpretation of linear logic propositions as session types for communicating processes, proposed in prior work. Strong normalization and confluence are established by developing a theory of logical relations. Defined upon a linear type structure, our logical relations remain remarkably similar to those for functional languages. We also introduce a natural notion of observational equivalence for session-typed processes. Strong normalization and confluence come in handy in the associated coinductive reasoning: as applications, we prove that all proof conversions induced by the logic interpretation actually express observational equivalences, and explain how type isomorphismsresulting from linear logic equivalences are realized by coercions between interface types of session-based concurrent systems.

Jonathan Shahen, Jianwei Niu, Mahesh Tripunitara.  2015.  Mohawk+T: Efficient Analysis of Administrative Temporal Role-Based Access Control (ATRBAC) Policies. SACMAT '15 Proceedings of the 20th ACM Symposium on Access Control Models and Technologies.

Safety analysis is recognized as a fundamental problem in access control. It has been studied for various access control schemes in the literature. Recent work has proposed an administrative model for Temporal Role-Based Access Control (TRBAC) policies called Administrative TRBAC (ATRBAC). We address ATRBAC-safety. We first identify that the problem is PSPACE-Complete. This is a much tighter identification of the computational complexity of the problem than prior work, which shows only that the problem is decidable. With this result as the basis, we propose an approach that leverages an existing open-source software tool called Mohawk to address ATRBAC-safety. Our approach is to efficiently reduce ATRBAC-safety to ARBAC-safety, and then use Mohawk. We have conducted a thorough empirical assessment. In the course of our assessment, we came up with a "reduction toolkit," which allows us to reduce Mohawk+T input instances to instances that existing tools support. Our results suggest that there are some input classes for which Mohawk+T outperforms existing tools, and others for which existing tools outperform Mohawk+T. The source code for Mohawk+T is available for public download.

Jonathan Aldrich, Cyrus Omar, Alex Potanin, Du Li.  2014.  Language-Based Architectural Control. Proceedings of the International Workshop on Aliasing, Capabilities and Ownership (IWACO), 2014.

Software architects design systems to achieve quality attributes like security, reliability, and performance. Key to achieving these quality attributes are design constraints governing how components of the system are configured, communicate and access resources. Unfortunately, identifying, specifying, communicating and enforcing important design constraints – achieving architectural control – can be difficult, particularly in large software systems. We argue for the development of architectural frameworks, built to leverage language mechanisms that provide for domain-specific syntax, editor services and explicit control over capabilities, that help increase architectural control. In particular, we argue for concise, centralized architectural descriptions which are responsible for specifying constraints and passing a minimal set of capabilities to downstream system components, or explicitly entrusting them to individuals playing defined roles within a team. By integrating these architectural descriptions directly into the language, the type system can help enforce technical constraints and editor services can help enforce social constraints. We sketch our approach in the context of distributed systems. 

Jonathan Aldrich, Alex Potanin.  2016.  Naturally Embedded DSLs. Systems, Programming, Languages and Applications: Software for Humanity (SPLASH) .

Domain-specific languages can be embedded in a variety of ways within a host language. The choice of embedding approach entails significant tradeoffs in the usability of the embedded DSL. We argue embedding DSLs \textit{naturally} within the host language results in the best experience for end users of the DSL. A \textit{naturally embedded DSL} is one that uses natural syntax, static semantics, and dynamic semantics for the DSL, all of which may differ from the host language. Furthermore, it must be possible to use DSLs together naturally - meaning that different DSLs cannot conflict, and the programmer can easily tell which code is written in which language.

Jonathan Aldrich.  2013.  The power of interoperability: why objects are inevitable. Onward! 2013 Proceedings of the 2013 ACM international symposium on New ideas, new paradigms, and reflections on programming & software.

Three years ago in this venue, Cook argued that in their essence, objects are what Reynolds called procedural data structures. His observation raises a natural question: if procedural data structures are the essence of objects, has this contributed to the empirical success of objects, and if so, how?

This essay attempts to answer that question. After reviewing Cook's definition, I propose the term service abstractions to capture the essential nature of objects. This terminology emphasizes, following Kay, that objects are not primarily about representing and manipulating data, but are more about providing services in support of higher-level goals. Using examples taken from object-oriented frameworks, I illustrate the unique design leverage that service abstractions provide: the ability to define abstractions that can be extended, and whose extensions are interoperable in a first-class way. The essay argues that the form of interoperable extension supported by service abstractions is essential to modern software: many modern frameworks and ecosystems could not have been built without service abstractions. In this sense, the success of objects was not a coincidence: it was an inevitable consequence of their service abstraction nature.

John Slankas, Maria Riaz, Jason King, Laurie Williams.  2014.  Discovering Security Requirements from Natural Language. 36th International Conference on Software Engineering.

Project documentation often contains security-relevant statements that are indicative of the security requirements of a system. However these statements may not be explicitly specified or straightforward to locate. At best, requirements analysts manually extract applicable security requirements from project documents. However, security requirements that are not explicitly stated may not be considered during implementation. The goal of this research is to aid requirements analysts in generating security requirements through identifying securityrelevant statements in project documentation and providing context-specific templates to generate security requirements. First, we identify the most prevalent security objectives from software security literature. To identify security-relevant statements in project documentation, we propose a tool-based process to classify statements as related to zero or more security objectives. We then develop a set of context-specific templates to help translate the security objectives of each statement into explicit sets of security functional requirements. We evaluate our process on six documents from the electronic healthcare software industry, identifying 46% of statements as implicitly or explicitly related to security. Our classification approach identified security objectives with a precision of .82 and recall of .79. From our total set of classified statements, we extracted 16 context-specific templates that identify 41 reusable security requirements.

Jiri Simsa, Randy Bryant, Garth Gibson, Jason Hickey.  2012.  Scalable Dynamic Partial Order Reduction. International Conference on Runtime Verification - RV12.

The use of shared mutable state, commonly seen in object-oriented systems, is often problematic due to the potential conflicting interactions between aliases to the same state. We present a substructural type system outfitted with a novel lightweight interference control mechanism, rely-guarantee protocols, that enables controlled aliasing of shared resources. By assigning each alias separate roles, encoded in a novel protocol abstraction in the spirit of rely-guarantee reasoning, our type system ensures that challenging uses of shared state will never interfere in an unsafe fashion. In particular, rely-guarantee protocols ensure that each alias will never observe an unexpected value, or type, when inspecting shared memory regardless of how the changes to that shared state (originating from potentially unknown program contexts) are interleaved at run-time.

Jiri Simsa, Randy Bryant, Garth Gibson, Jason Hickey.  2011.  Efficient Exploratory Testing of Concurrent Systems.

In our experience, exploratory testing has reached a level of maturity that makes it a practical and often the most cost-effective approach to testing. Notably, previous work has demonstrated that exploratory testing is capable of finding bugs even in well-tested systems [4, 17, 24, 23]. However, the number of bugs found gives little indication of the efficiency of a testing approach. To drive testing efficiency, this paper focuses on techniques for measuring and maximizing the coverage achieved by exploratory testing. In particular, this paper describes the design, implementation, and evaluation of Eta, a framework for exploratory testing of multithreaded components of a large-scale cluster management system at Google. For simple tests (with millions to billions of possible executions), Eta achieves complete coverage one to two orders of magnitude faster than random testing. For complex tests, Eta adopts a state space reduction technique to avoid the need to explore over 85% of executions and harnesses parallel processing to explore multiple test executions concurrently, achieving a throughput increase of up to 17.5×. 

Jing Chen, Robert W. Proctor, Ninghui Li.  2016.  Human Trust in Automation in a Phishing Context. 46th Annual Meeting of the Society for Computers in Psychology.

Many previous studies have shown that trust in automation mediates the effectiveness of automation in maintaining performance, and one critical factor that affects trust is the reliability of the automated system. In the cyber domain, automated systems are pervasive, yet the involvement of human trust has not been studied extensively as in other domains such as transportation.

In the current study, we used a phishing email identification task (with a phishing detection automated assistant system) as a testbed to study human trust in automation in the cyber domain. More specifically, we systematically investigated the influence of “description” (i.e., whether the user was informed about the actual reliability of the automated system) and “experience” (i.e., whether the user was provided feedback on their choices), in addition to the reliability level of the automated phishing detection system. These factors were varied in different conditions of response bias (false alarm vs. misses) and task difficulty (easy vs. difficult), which were found may be critical in a pilot study. Measures of user performance and trust were compared across different conditions. The measures of interest were human trust in the warning (a subjective rating of how trustable the warning system is), human reliance on the automated system (an objective measure of whether the participants comply with the system’s warnings), and performance (the overall quality of the decisions made).

Jin, Richeng, He, Xiaofan, Dai, Huaiyu.  2017.  On the Tradeoff Between Privacy and Utility in Collaborative Intrusion Detection Systems-A Game Theoretical Approach. Proceedings of the Hot Topics in Science of Security: Symposium and Bootcamp. :45–51.

Intrusion Detection Systems (IDSs) are crucial security mechanisms widely deployed for critical network protection. However, conventional IDSs become incompetent due to the rapid growth in network size and the sophistication of large scale attacks. To mitigate this problem, Collaborative IDSs (CIDSs) have been proposed in literature. In CIDSs, a number of IDSs exchange their intrusion alerts and other relevant data so as to achieve better intrusion detection performance. Nevertheless, the required information exchange may result in privacy leakage, especially when these IDSs belong to different self-interested organizations. In order to obtain a quantitative understanding of the fundamental tradeoff between the intrusion detection accuracy and the organizations' privacy, a repeated two-layer single-leader multi-follower game is proposed in this work. Based on our game-theoretic analysis, we are able to derive the expected behaviors of both the attacker and the IDSs and obtain the utility-privacy tradeoff curve. In addition, the existence of Nash equilibrium (NE) is proved and an asynchronous dynamic update algorithm is proposed to compute the optimal collaboration strategies of IDSs. Finally, simulation results are shown to validate the analysis.

Jiaming Jiang, Nirav Ajmeri, Rada Y. Chirkova, Jon Doyle, Munindar P. Singh.  2016.  Expressing and Reasoning about Conflicting Norms in Cybersecurity: Poster. Proceedings of the International Symposium and Bootcamp on the Science of Security (HotSoS). :1–2.

Secure collaboration requires the collaborating parties to apply the
right policies for their interaction.  We adopt a notion of
conditional, directed norms as a way to capture the standards of
correctness for a collaboration.  How can we handle conflicting norms?
We describe an approach based on knowledge of what norm dominates what
norm in what situation.  Our approach adapts answer-set programming to
compute stable sets of norms with respect to their computed conflicts
and dominance.  It assesses agent compliance with respect to those
stable sets.  We demonstrate our approach on a healthcare scenario.

Jialiu Lin, Shahriyar Amini, Jason Hong, Norman Sadeh, Janne Lindqvist, Joy Zhang.  2012.  Expectation and Purpose: Understanding Users’ Mental Models of Mobile App Privacy through Crowdsourcing. UbiComp '12 - Proceedings of the 2012 ACM Conference on Ubiquitous Computing. :501-510.

Smartphone security research has produced many useful tools to analyze the privacy-related behaviors of mobile apps. However, these automated tools cannot assess people's perceptions of whether a given action is legitimate, or how that action makes them feel with respect to privacy. For example, automated tools might detect that a blackjack game and a map app both use one's location information, but people would likely view the map's use of that data as more legitimate than the game. Our work introduces a new model for privacy, namely privacy as expectations. We report on the results of using crowdsourcing to capture users' expectations of what sensitive resources mobile apps use. We also report on a new privacy summary interface that prioritizes and highlights places where mobile apps break people's expectations. We conclude with a discussion of implications for employing crowdsourcing as a privacy evaluation technique.

Jens Meinicke, Chu-Pan Wong, Christian Kästner, Thomas Thum, Gunter Saake.  2016.  On essential configuration complexity: measuring interactions in highly-configurable systems. ASE 2016 Proceedings of the 31st IEEE/ACM International Conference on Automated Software Engineering. :483-494.

Quality assurance for highly-configurable systems is challenging due to the exponentially growing configuration space. Interactions among multiple options can lead to surprising behaviors, bugs, and security vulnerabilities. Analyzing all configurations systematically might be possible though if most options do not interact or interactions follow specific patterns that can be exploited by analysis tools. To better understand interactions in practice, we analyze program traces to characterize and identify where interactions occur on control flow and data. To this end, we developed a dynamic analysis for Java based on variability-aware execution and monitor executions of multiple small to medium-sized programs. We find that the essential configuration complexity of these programs is indeed much lower than the combinatorial explosion of the configuration space indicates. However, we also discover that the interaction characteristics that allow scalable and complete analyses are more nuanced than what is exploited by existing state-of-the-art quality assurance strategies.

Jeffrey Gennari, David Garlan.  2012.  Measuring Attack Surface in Software Architecture.

In this report we show how to adapt the notion of “attack surface” to formally evaluate security properties at the architectural level of design and to identify vulnerabilities in architectural designs. Further we explore the application of this metric in the context of architecture-based transformations to improve security by reducing the attack surface. These transformations are described in detail and validated with a simple experiment.

Javier Camara, David Garlan, Gabriel Moreno, Bradley Schmerl.  2016.  Evaluating Trade-offs of Human Involvement in Self-adaptive Systems. Managing Trade-offs in Adaptable Software Architectures.

Software systems are increasingly called upon to autonomously manage their goals in changing contexts and environments, and under evolving requirements. In some circumstances, autonomous systems cannot be fully-automated but instead cooperate with human operators to maintain and adapt themselves. Furthermore, there are times when a choice should be made between doing a manual or automated repair. Involving operators in self-adaptation should itself be adaptive, and consider aspects such as the training, attention, and ability of operators. Not only do these aspects change from person to person, but they may change with the same person. These aspects make the choice of whether to involve humans non-obvious. Self-adaptive systems should trade-off whether to involve operators, taking these aspects into consideration along with other business qualities it is attempting to achieve. In this chapter, we identify the various roles that operators can perform in cooperating with self-adapting systems. We focus on humans as effectors-doing tasks which are difficult or infeasible to automate. We describe how we modified our self-adaptive framework, Rainbow, to involve operators in this way, which involved choosing suitable human models and integrating them into the existing utility trade-off decision models of Rainbow. We use probabilistic modeling and quantitative verification to analyze the trade-offs of involving humans in adaptation, and complement our study with experiments to show how different business preferences and modalities of human involvement may result in different outcomes.