Latest Projects

Understanding Information Systems Research through Structural Topic Modeling

Authors: Hailiang Chen and Leon J. Zhao

Abstract: What are the fundamental research questions in Information Systems? How do various research topics relate with one another to form the IS research landscape and how do they evolve over time? This study is an initial attempt to answer these questions by developing a technique we refer to as Structural Topic Modeling (STM) to investigate the research topics examined by the three top IS journals (ISR, JMIS and MISQ) in the period of 1977-2014. We present an IS Topic Graph that contains 33 research areas, 31 of which are closely connected with one another. Further analyses of this graph through Topic Structuration reveal how different IS research areas (behavioral science, design science, economics, and organizational science) are intertwined to the extent that they are almost inseparable. Looking into IS research at a finer level, we identify 300 research topics, and a chronological analysis of these topics reveals a trend of topic diversification and externalization. To guide future research, an intelligent literature search tool called ISTopic is built that supports visualization of the “fashion waves” in IS research and is available at for public access.

Download this working paper at SSRN

Does bigger screen lead to more cellular data usage?

Authors: Baojun Ma and Hailiang Chen

Abstract: This study utilizes a terabyte dataset from a telecommunications company to examine the relationship between screen size and cellular data consumption for over 1 million tablet and phone users. We observe an overall positive and significant relationship over the entire range of screen size from 1 inch to 12 inches, which is, however, mainly driven by the dramatic decrease in usage on phones with screens less than 3 inches. Particularly for smartphones with screens 3.5 inches or higher, we do not find a significant relationship between screen size and cellular data consumption measured by either the time spent on the mobile network or the amount of data transmitted. In addition, we find evidence that suggests that people spend less time on tablets with bigger screens, which could potentially be due to the stronger substitution effect between laptops and large tablets. Our findings can provide important implications for mobile network operators in promoting data plans to users with different devices.

Download this working paper at SSRN