Research talk:HHVM newcomer engagement experiment/Work log/2014-11-13

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Thursday, November 13, 2014[edit]

It's been a week of time to observe behavior. Time to look at time spent editing. I'm regenerating stats. --Halfak (WMF) (talk) 16:37, 13 November 2014 (UTC)


Here's the stats table.

bucket ui_type n editing.k second_session.k active.k week_revisions.geo.mean week_main_revisions.geo.mean week_session_seconds.geo.mean
hhvm desktop 24732 8488 2452 1679 0.5302562 0.3674562 7.605588
php5 desktop 25052 8612 2563 1821 0.5459564 0.3731869 7.747655
hhvm mobile 8973 3026 612 397 0.4477305 0.4118277 6.223511
php5 mobile 8941 2944 637 376 0.4383071 0.4026511 5.995704

Now to get the graphs uploaded. --Halfak (WMF) (talk) 20:29, 13 November 2014 (UTC)

Proportion measures[edit]

The proportion of newly registered users who make at least one editing in their first week is plotted by experimental condition and registration type.
Editing proportion. The proportion of newly registered users who make at least one editing in their first week is plotted by experimental condition and registration type.
The proportion of newly registered users who make at least 5 edits in their first week is plotted by experimental condition and registration type.
Activated proportion. The proportion of newly registered users who make at least 5 edits in their first week is plotted by experimental condition and registration type.
The proportion of newly registered users who engage in at least two sessions in their first week is plotted by experimental condition and registration type.
Returning proportion. The proportion of newly registered users who engage in at least two sessions in their first week is plotted by experimental condition and registration type.

Here, like last time, we see no strong effects. The only difference that might be significant is the rate of editor activation in the case of Desktop, but again, it's in the opposite order we'd expect.

Scalar measures[edit]

The geometric mean revisions saved per newly registered user (within their first week) is plotted by experimental condition and registration type.
Edit rate. The geometric mean revisions saved per newly registered user (within their first week) is plotted by experimental condition and registration type.
The geometric mean number of article edits saved per newly registered user (within their first week) is plotted by experimental condition and registration type.
Article edit rate. The geometric mean number of article edits saved per newly registered user (within their first week) is plotted by experimental condition and registration type.
The geometric mean number of productive edits saved per newly registered user (within their first week) is plotted by experimental condition and registration type.
Productive edit rate. The geometric mean number of productive edits saved per newly registered user (within their first week) is plotted by experimental condition and registration type.
The geometric mean seconds spent editing per newly registered user (within their first week) is plotted by experimental condition and registration type.
Time spent editing. The geometric mean seconds spent editing per newly registered user (within their first week) is plotted by experimental condition and registration type.

Again we don't see any clear differences except for maybe a small, counter-intuitive one for the raw number of revisions saved that gets washed out when we filter for article edits and productive edits. --Halfak (WMF) (talk) 20:54, 13 November 2014 (UTC)

How could this be?[edit]

How is it that a dramatic improvement to performance that substantially affects the editing workflow did not either increase the number of edits saved or reduce the time spent completing the same number of edits?

Bug
This hypothesis must always be entertained. It could be a code bug in the treatment code or a bug in the analysis code. Given the review of treatment code and the multiple strategies used to measure effects (some parametric, other nonparametric) this seems unlikely.
Small effect
The effect exists and is positive, but it is so small that it is difficult to detect beyond the noise. If the effect is this small, it's probably negligible. That's a bummer.
Lower bound on faster == better
It could be that faster is better, but that the effect is only up to a certain point. Edits take 1-7 minutes on average. Improving save time by a few seconds may not affect the pattern that much. However, I suspect that if saving was 5-10 seconds slower, we'd see a loss. There also might be steps worth considering. Recent work in the rhythms of human behavior in online systems suggest that activities tend to clusters at certain time intervals[1]. Operations exist at 3-15 seconds. Actions exist at 1-7 minutes. Activity sessions occur between 1 day and 1 week apart.
Applying this to Wikipedia, it is common to set aside time on a regular basis to spend doing “wiki-work”. Activity Theory would conceptualize this wiki-work overall as an activity and each unit of time spent engaging in the wiki-work as an “activity session”. The actions within an activity session would manifest as individual edits to wiki pages representing contributions to encyclopedia articles, posts in discussions and messages sent to other Wikipedia editors. These edits involve a varied set of operations: typing of characters, copy-pasting the details of reference materials, scrolling through a document, reading an argument and eventually, clicking the “Save” button.
This could imply that speeding up "operations" may have more of a substantial affect than speeding up the last step in an "action". So we might expect to see more dramatic improvements by making it faster to perform sub-edit actions like looking up references & formatting or previewing the current edit. --Halfak (WMF) (talk) 21:21, 13 November 2014 (UTC)