Temporal Networks, Human Dynamics and Social Physics NetSci'14 Symposium, Berkeley California, June 2-6 2014
A clear understanding of human interactions and more generally social dynamics has a wide range of applications, ranging from social sciences to information technology, and more fundamentally it is crucial for the design and modeling of social organizations, companies, and governments that are more efficient, responsive, and creative. In this context, however, little is known about the temporal properties of social dynamics and their effects on relevant diffusion processes such as epidemics, and ideas spreading. The aim of the symposium is to bring together researchers interested in the use of network science and human behavioral data to improve our understanding of the physics of human social behavior.
The Symposia will be hosted by NetSci'14 and located Clark Kerr Campus of the University of California.
Submission deadline is April 1, 2014. Please visit the Call for Abstracts page for information on how to submit your abstract
The New Science of Cities presents a herculean attempt to bring together widely fragmented approaches to making sense of human social organization with the goal of eventually establishing a consolidated “science of cities” able to answer our questions. Michael Batty bases his argument on the interplay among space, dynamics, and relations. He holds that “to understand place, we must understand flows, and to understand flows we must understand networks.” Batty (a geographer at University College London) also stresses two other principles: an intrinsic order of scale determines a city's form and function, and a science of cities should not merely observe but also predict. The book draws on the work of urbanists, economists, mathematicians, and physicists as well as almost five decades of his own contributions to urban studies.
The éToile Platform is an open, interactive, new way of sharing educational resources for Master and PhD levels in Complexity Sciences domains.
The éToile Platform is available in specific versions for iPad and for Android tablets. These versions are complementary to the website, light, and particularly adapted and well formatted for tablet iOS and Android operating systems.
The éToile community is invited to freely download and use any of the éToile tablet versions.
Researchers, policymakers and law enforcement agencies across the globe struggle to find effective strategies to control criminal networks. The effectiveness of disruption strategies is known to depend on both network topology and network resilience. However, as these criminal networks operate in secrecy, data-driven knowledge concerning the effectiveness of different criminal network disruption strategies is very limited. By combining computational modeling and social network analysis with unique criminal network intelligence data from the Dutch Police, we discovered, in contrast to common belief, that criminal networks might even become ‘stronger’, after targeted attacks. On the other hand increased efficiency within criminal networks decreases its internal security, thus offering opportunities for law enforcement agencies to target these networks more deliberately. Our results emphasize the importance of criminal network interventions at an early stage, before the network gets a chance to (re-)organize to maximum resilience. In the end disruption strategies force criminal networks to become more exposed, which causes successful network disruption to become a long-term effort.
The Relative Ineffectiveness of Criminal Network Disruption Paul A. C. Duijn, Victor Kashirin & Peter M. A. Sloot
Big data. Little data. Deep data. Surface data. Noisy, unstructured data. Big. The world of data has gone from being analogue and digital, qualitative and quantitative, transactional and a by-product, to, simply, BIG. It is as if we couldn’t quite deal with its omnipotence and just ran out of adjectives. BIG. With all the data power it is supposedly meant to entail, one might have thought that a slightly better descriptive term might have been latched onto. But, no. BIG. Just BIG.
For those who may have missed the data obsessed world, ‘big data’ is causing a bit of storm. To be fair, it is more a future storm, with organisations, public and private firms and governments preparing for all that it will bring. Some say big data is already here and always has been, since we have always had more data than we know what to do with. (...)
Celebrated Italian novelist, philosopher, essayist, literary critic, and list-lover Umberto Eco has had a long fascination with the symbolic and the metaphorical, extending all the way back to his vintage semiotic children’s books. Half a century later, he revisits the mesmerism of the metaphorical and the symbolic in The Book of Legendary Lands (public library) — an illustrated voyage into history’s greatest imaginary places, with all their fanciful inhabitants and odd customs, on scales as large as the mythic continent Atlantis and as small as the fictional location of Sherlock Holmes’s apartment. A dynamic tour guide for the human imagination, Eco sets out to illuminate the central mystery of why such utopias and dystopias appeal to us so powerfully and enduringly, what they reveal about our relationship with reality, and how they bespeak the quintessential human yearning to make sense of the world and find our place in it — after all, maps have always been one of our greatest sensemaking mechanisms for life, which we’ve applied to everything from the cosmos to time to emotional memory.
The wide adoption of social media has increased the competition among ideas for our finite attention. We employ a parsimonious agent-based model to study whether such a competition may affect the popularity of different memes, the diversity of information we are exposed to, and the fading of our collective interests for specific topics. Agents share messages on a social network but can only pay attention to a portion of the information they receive. In the emerging dynamics of information diffusion, a few memes go viral while most do not. The predictions of our model are consistent with empirical data from Twitter, a popular microblogging platform. Surprisingly, we can explain the massive heterogeneity in the popularity and persistence of memes as deriving from a combination of the competition for our limited attention and the structure of the social network, without the need to assume different intrinsic values among ideas.
We’re observing the emergence of tech that doesn’t just augment our intellect and lives, but is now beginning to automate and outsource our humanity. I talked to the makers of BroApp, which sends automated daily text messages to your significant other (“seamless relationship outsourcing”). Shared here is their rationale, which I believe goes beyond just this one app -- and captures widely held convictions in the tech community we need to pay attention to.
Urban Emergencies : Emergent Urbanism (UE:EU) is an independent research group exploring international and interdisciplinary perspectives on the implications of emergent risks on the built environment and its inhabitants.
Inspired by Don’s active involvement as a tutor in the successful Zurich Summer School ‘From Suburb To City’, we – Don Murphy and Zef Hemel – have the ambition to initiate an equally interesting event about city planning and city making, in and about Amsterdam. By organizing an event with an international audience, we wish to promote the Dutch position in the field of architecture, planning and innovative city making in a global scene. The Netherlands has always had a strong tradition in these fields, which is widely acknowledged internationally. Besides, we wish to initiate a dialogue about the current state of planning and future planning tasks in the city of Amsterdam. With an extensive public program that will be organized in relation to the Summer School studios, we wish to not only invite the Summer School participants, but also a wide local audience to engage in the thinking about the future of the city.
This is a collection of pages meant to support a first course in fractal geometry for students without especially strong mathematical preparation, or any particular interest in science. Each of the topics contains examples of fractals in the arts, humanities, or social sciences; these and other examples are collected in the panorama. Fractal geometry is a new way of looking at the world; we have been surrounded by natural patterns, unsuspected but easily recognized after only an hour's training.
Streams of user-generated content in social media exhibit patterns of collective attention across diverse topics, with temporal structures determined both by exogenous factors and endogenous factors. Teasing apart different topics and resolving their individual, concurrent, activity timelines is a key challenge in extracting knowledge from microblog streams. Facing this challenge requires the use of methods that expose latent signals by using term correlations across posts and over time. Here we focus on content posted to Twitter during the London 2012 Olympics, for which a detailed schedule of events is independently available and can be used for reference. We mine the temporal structure of topical activity by using two methods based on non-negative matrix factorization. We show that for events in the Olympics schedule that can be semantically matched to Twitter topics, the extracted Twitter activity timeline closely matches the known timeline from the schedule. Our results show that, given appropriate techniques to detect latent signals, Twitter can be used as a social sensor to extract topical-temporal information on real-world events at high temporal resolution.
by A. Panisson, L. Gauvin, M. Quaggiotto, C. Cattuto
in Proceedings of the 4th workshop on 'Making Sense of Microposts', World Wide Web Conference 2014
In 1996, Yale economist William D. Nordhaus calculated that the average citizen of Babylon would have had to work a total of 41 hours to buy enough lamp oil to equal a 75-watt light bulb burning for one hour. At the time of the American Revolution, a colonial would have been able to purchase the same amount of light, in the form of candles, for about five hour’s worth of work. And by 1992, the average American, using compact fluorescents, could earn the same amount of light in less than one second. That sounds like a great deal.
Except for one thing: We treat light like a drug whose price is spiraling toward zero.
This study collected and benchmarked information from 31 European countries (27 EU Member States, Croatia, Iceland, Norway and Turkey) on the access, use, competence and attitudes of students and teachers regarding ICT in schools.
Today’s budget request to Congress appears to contain some very good news for scientists: A proposed $5 billion in new money for an array of research-related programs, including hundreds of new grants for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a new biosafety research laboratory, and a new high-risk, high-reward funding program for biomedical science modeled on the military’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). But don’t get your hopes up.
In this interview, Valerie Frissen summarizes the future challenges and developments in the role of users in ICT-related innovation. In particular, she highlights the need to keep trust and transparency in the Internet, so as to maintain interactions between society and technology.
The focus of the Urban Observatory is on the people who live in cities, the work they do there, the movement made possible through transportation networks, the public facilities needed to run the city, and the natural systems which are impacted by the city's footprint. If you are a city with mappable data in any of these categories, we urge you to contribute maps to the project.
Predictions about technology's future are almost always doomed. According to 2001: A Space Odyssey, for example, humans should be making flights to the outer reaches of our solar system. Per 1984, by now we should have become a society of brainwashed drones, toiling under constant surveillance for faceless overlords. Clearly, that would never—hey, wait a second!
Nevertheless, Isaac Asimov, the revered science-fiction author, made a stab at describing our lives today—back in 1964. In a New York Times article 50 years ago, Asimov called his vision “Visit to the World's Fair of 2014.” Now it is, in fact, 2014. Shall we dust off his little time capsule and see how well his predictions fared?
A Hungarian team has created the first drones that can fly as a coordinated flock. The researchers watched as the ten autonomous robots took to the air in a field outside Budapest, zipping through the open sky, flying in formation or even following a leader, all without any central control.
The barons of high-tech like to think of themselves as very different creatures from the barons of Wall Street. They create cool devices that let us carry the world in our pockets. They wear hoodies, not suits. And they owe their success to their native genius rather than to social connections—they are “the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in square holes”, in Steve Jobs’s famous formulation.
But for many people in San Francisco this is a distinction without a difference. For months now protesters have been blockading the fleets of private buses that Google and other technology giants use to ferry their employees to and from Silicon Valley 40 miles to the south. They are particularly incensed that the buses pay almost nothing to use public stops, often blocking city buses. Protesters are also angry that an influx of well-paid geeks has pushed up property prices and rents.
Computational Social Science (CSS) is a scientific discipline where computational methods and simulation models are employed to offer new insights into social phenomena beyond what is available with traditional social science methods. The WCSS is sponsored by the three regional scientific associations on social simulations: ESSA (the European Social Simulation Association), PAAA (Pacific Asian Association for Agent-based Approach in Social Systems Sciences) and CSSSA (Computational Social Science Society of the Americas). The goal of WCSS is to bring together researchers and practitioners from the social and computational sciences to share theoretical advances, practical applications, social media analyses, and novel methods in computational social science.