Sarthika Dhawan

I got the opportunity to attend The 28th International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence(IJCAI) in Macao, China and present my work ‘Spotting Collective Behaviour of Online Frauds in Customer Reviews’. I worked on the problem of detecting fraud reviewer groups in customer reviews during my undergraduate thesis and it got accepted at IJCAI. Being the first author, I got an opportunity to present the same (oral and poster presentation) at the conference.

The conference began with a Welcome Reception at the University of Macau followed by different sessions over the week. Oral and poster presentations, talks, demos and workshops provided a great platform to universities, research organisations and companies for showcasing their research at global level and get useful critical feedback on their work. It provided insights into different areas of research within Artificial Intelligence including machine learning, search, natural language processing, robotics, health care, transportation, etc. Invited talks included topics like AI and Biology, formal methods for design and analysis of robot behaviour, discovering deep learning with different models apart from differentiable ones etc. Networking sessions helped us to connect with an international community of domain experts and glean valuable information from them. Hiring and showcase booths established by several research companies and universities gave an overview about recent developments in various domains and provided several internship opportunities.

Explaining the approach and methodology, along with the motivation for the research problem during the poster presentation allowed in-depth discussions that boosted my confidence during the presentation. It is always productive to have someone critically share their thoughts on our work and suggest their perspective. One-on-one conversations about the poster enabled me to talk about very specific aspects of the research and receive valuable suggestions and improvements to my work. During the oral presentation the audience responded positively and all the queries were answered. Some domain experts were interested in the project and its applications. Universities working in that domain provided me options to apply for higher studies in areas related to my topic. Also as e-commerce websites can incorporate the tool to detect fraud groups, I tried to get in touch with the industrial research professionals and receive inputs on how they incorporate academic research into their products and make it scalable to a larger audience. The conference was very well organized. I fully enjoyed the one-week event with so many interesting seminars and discussions covering various areas. I got to explore the Chinese culture and lifestyle as well. IJCAI 2019 proved to be an experience of a lifetime. I am grateful to the ACM-W Committee for providing support to attend the same!