Social Foraging
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Social Foraging
Dynamics of Social Interaction
Curated by Ashish Umre
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Johan Bollen. Modeling collective mood states from large-scale social media data.

ECCO/GBI seminar winter 2012-2013
Modeling collective mood states from large-scale social media data
December 17, 2012 Brussels, VUB

Johan Bollen
Associate Professor,
School of Informatics and Computing,
Indiana University

Abstract and more info: http://ecco.vub.ac.be/?q=node/199


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Temporal Networks

Temporal Networks | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

The concept of temporal networks is an extension of complex networks as a modeling framework to include information on when interactions between nodes happen.
Many studies of the last decade examine how the static network structure affect dynamic systems on the network. In this traditional approach the temporal aspects are pre-encoded in the dynamic system model.
Temporal-network methods, on the other hand, lift the temporal information from the level of system dynamics to the mathematical representation of the contact network itself.
This framework becomes particularly useful for cases where there is a lot of structure and heterogeneity both in the timings of interaction events and the network topology.

 

Temporal Networks
Holme, Petter; Saramäki, Jari (Eds.)

http://t.co/DWnhXNIiXb

 


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Neuromarketing Meets Conversion Optimization: Free Webinar

Neuromarketing Meets Conversion Optimization: Free Webinar | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

Next week, conversion optimization expert Chris Goward and I will be doing a joint webinar: Neuromarketing Meets Conversion Optimization: Brainy Profit Boosters.

 

I was excited to set this up with Chris, who’s the author of You Should Test That.


Testing is critical. In nearly every speech I give, I include a quote from ad legend David Ogilvy about “Test” being the most important word in advertising. Sadly, most marketers tend to trust their instinct or do things that worked for other people on other sites. Stuff that has been shown to work elsewhere is a great starting point for improving conversion, but there’s no guarantee that it will do the same thing on your site for your product. I’ve seen Chris present, and he always has great examples of test results that are the opposite of what most people expect.

 

Both Chris and I will be discussing research and testing that will surprise you as well as give you actionable strategies to improve your digital marketing.

 

Reserve your spot now (Free for the first 500 attendees)!

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Employment Growth through Labor Flow Networks

Employment Growth through Labor Flow Networks | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

It is conventional in labor economics to treat all workers who are seeking new jobs as belonging to a labor pool, and all firms that have job vacancies as an employer pool, and then match workers to jobs. Here we develop a new approach to study labor and firm dynamics. By combining the emerging science of networks with newly available employment micro-data, comprehensive at the level of whole countries, we are able to broadly characterize the process through which workers move between firms. Specifically, for each firm in an economy as a node in a graph, we draw edges between firms if a worker has migrated between them, possibly with a spell of unemployment in between. An economy's overall graph of firm-worker interactions is an object we call the labor flow network (LFN). This is the first study that characterizes a LFN for an entire economy. We explore the properties of this network, including its topology, its community structure, and its relationship to economic variables. It is shown that LFNs can be useful in identifying firms with high growth potential. We relate LFNs to other notions of high performance firms. Specifically, it is shown that fewer than 10% of firms account for nearly 90% of all employment growth. We conclude with a model in which empirically-salient LFNs emerge from the interaction of heterogeneous adaptive agents in a decentralized labor market.

 

Guerrero OA, Axtell RL (2013) Employment Growth through Labor Flow Networks. PLoS ONE 8(5): e60808. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0060808


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More Doodling Makes For Better Learning

More Doodling Makes For Better Learning | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

Doodling is often seen as a sign of distraction. If you’re doodling, you’re not paying attention. If you’re drawing, you’re not taking notes. You’re not listening. You’re not learning.

 

But research published in the latest edition of the journal Science challenges the anti-doodling stance. It contends that not only can doodling help students learn, but that drawing is an important tool for scientific discovery.

 

The researchers — Shaaron Ainsworth, Vaughan Prain, and Russell Tytler — argue that scientists rely on visualizations in order to make sense of their observations and discoveries. Words alone — as notes or as longer explanation and analysis — aren’t enough. By extension then, creating drawings is important for all those engaged in scientific inquiry, whether they’re scientists or students.

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The Neuroscience At The Heart Of Learning And Leading

The Neuroscience At The Heart Of Learning And Leading | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

Joshua Freedman (@eqjosh) shares the science behind what’s going on inside your head. Emotional intelligence, he says, is the difference that makes the difference.

 

Marco Iacoboni is one of the pioneers in a new area of neuroscience. A few years ago in Parma, Italy, scientists were researching how the brain controls our actions. They accidentally discovered a whole new class of brain cells that seem to be the neural basis of empathy. They called them “mirror neurons” because these cells seemed to map one person’s actions into another’s brain—a kind of imprinting that explains why role models and mentors can be such powerful influences. Since then, Iacoboni and others have found these special neurons in other areas of the brain, and their story has become even more fascinating.

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Robot Singularity: Artificial Intelligence Experts Debate Rise Of Smart Machines

Robot Singularity: Artificial Intelligence Experts Debate Rise Of Smart Machines | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

Are you prepared to meet your robot overlords?

 

The idea of superintelligent machines may sound like the plot of "The Terminator" or "The Matrix," but many experts say the idea isn't far-fetched. Some even think the singularity — the point at which artificial intelligence can match, and then overtake, human smarts — might happen in just 16 years.

 

But nearly every computer scientist will have a different prediction for when and how the singularity will happen.

 

Some believe in a utopian future, in which humans can transcend their physical limitations with the aid of machines. But others think humans will eventually relinquish most of their abilities and gradually become absorbed into artificial intelligence (AI)-based organisms, much like the energy making machinery in our own cells. [5 Reasons to Fear Robots]

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School on Nonlinearity and Stochasticity in Emergent Phenomen July 29th - August 2nd, 2013

School on Nonlinearity and Stochasticity in Emergent Phenomena
July 29th - August 2nd, 2013
Centro Internacional de Ciencias A.C. Cuernavaca, Mexico.
http://www.cicc.unam.mx/activities/2013/snlsep/index.html

Lecturers
Rafael Barrio Instituto de Física, UNAM. Mexico
Carlos Gershenson Instituto de Investigación en Matemáticas Aplicadas y Sistemas, UNAM. Mexico
Holger Henning Harvard University. USA
David Hochberg Centro de Astrobiología, CSIC/INTA. Spain
Henrik Jensen Imperial College London. UK
María Elena Lárraga Instituto de Ingeniería, UNAM. Mexico

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The Bitcoin Arms Race Is On: Powerful mining machines are changing the nature of the popular cryptocurrency

The Bitcoin Arms Race Is On: Powerful mining machines are changing the nature of the popular cryptocurrency | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency powered by a decentralized peer-to-peer network of computers, has been hot this season. With the exchange rate bobbling around US $100, those involved in creating new bitcoins—and upholding the network that makes them valuable—have become locked in an arms race of sorts, seeking new, powerful machines that will enrich them but could also destabilize the nascent virtual money.

 

Bitcoins exist only as records on a virtual ledger that’s shared over a global peer-to-peer network, each node of which must agree to changes in the accounting—payments or receipt of payments. Arriving at this consensus takes massive amounts of computing power.

 

You can use your bitcoins even if you’re not plugged into the network that runs the operation, but there is a strong incentive to help out. At an average of once every 10 minutes, the software spits out a handful of newly minted bitcoins to one computer, as a kind of lottery payment to the people (referred to as “miners”) who run it. The way you enter this lottery is by solving “hashes,” trivial functions that reformulate meaningful data sets into unique strings of letters and numbers. Each time a computer completes a hash, it’s as if it has filled out another lottery ticket, choosing the numbers and hoping they match up. Only a specific hash will be accepted, and the first computer to find the right one gets the prize.

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unspy's curator insight, May 14, 2013 5:52 PM

Each time a computer completes a hash, it’s as if it has filled out another lottery ticket, choosing the numbers and hoping they match up. Only a specific hash will be accepted, and the first computer to find the right one gets the prize.

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Dynamical Models Explaining Social Balance and Evolution of Cooperation

Dynamical Models Explaining Social Balance and Evolution of Cooperation | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

Social networks with positive and negative links often split into two antagonistic factions. Examples of such a split abound: revolutionaries versus an old regime, Republicans versus Democrats, Axis versus Allies during the second world war, or the Western versus the Eastern bloc during the Cold War. Although this structure, known as social balance, is well understood, it is not clear how such factions emerge. An earlier model could explain the formation of such factions if reputations were assumed to be symmetric. We show this is not the case for non-symmetric reputations, and propose an alternative model which (almost) always leads to social balance, thereby explaining the tendency of social networks to split into two factions. In addition, the alternative model may lead to cooperation when faced with defectors, contrary to the earlier model. The difference between the two models may be understood in terms of the underlying gossiping mechanism: whereas the earlier model assumed that an individual adjusts his opinion about somebody by gossiping about that person with everybody in the network, we assume instead that the individual gossips with that person about everybody. It turns out that the alternative model is able to lead to cooperative behaviour, unlike the previous model.

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Evolution of the Ainu Language in Space and Time

Evolution of the Ainu Language in Space and Time | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

Languages evolve over space and time. Illuminating the evolutionary history of language is important because it provides a unique opportunity to shed light on the population history of the speakers. Spatial and temporal aspects of language evolution are particularly crucial for understanding demographic history, as they allow us to identify when and where the languages originated, as well as how they spread across the globe. Here we apply Bayesian phylogeographic methods to reconstruct spatiotemporal evolution of the Ainu language: an endangered language spoken by an indigenous group that once thrived in northern Japan. The conventional dual-structure model has long argued that modern Ainu are direct descendants of a single, Pleistocene human lineage from Southeast Asia, namely the Jomon people. In contrast, recent evidence from archaeological, anthropological and genetic evidence suggest that the Ainu are an outcome of significant genetic and cultural contributions from Siberian hunter-gatherers, the Okhotsk, who migrated into northern Hokkaido around 900–1600 years ago. Estimating from 19 Ainu language varieties preserved five decades ago, our analysis shows that they are descendants of a common ancestor who spread from northern Hokkaido around 1300 years ago. In addition to several lines of emerging evidence, our phylogeographic analysis strongly supports the hypothesis that recent expansion of the Okhotsk to northern Hokkaido had a profound impact on the origins of the Ainu people and their culture, and hence calls for a refinement to the dual-structure model.

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A Simple Technique Based on a Single Optical Trap for the Determination of Bacterial Swimming Pattern

A Simple Technique Based on a Single Optical Trap for the Determination of Bacterial Swimming Pattern | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

Bacterial motility is associated to a wide range of biological processes and it plays a key role in the virulence of many pathogens. Here we describe a method to distinguish the dynamic properties of bacteria by analyzing the statistical functions derived from the trajectories of a bacterium trapped by a single optical beam. The approach is based on the model of the rotation of a solid optically trapped sphere. The technique is easily implemented in a biological laboratory, since with only a small number of optical and electronic components a simple biological microscope can be converted into the required analyzer.

 

To illustrate the functionality of this method, we probed several serovar Typhimurium mutants that differed from the wild-type with respect to their swimming patterns. In a further application, the motility dynamics of the Typhimurium mutant were characterized.

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“Self” versus “Non-Self” Connectivity Dictates Properties of Synaptic Transmission and Plasticity

“Self” versus “Non-Self” Connectivity Dictates Properties of Synaptic Transmission and Plasticity | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

Autapses are connections between a neuron and itself. These connections are morphologically similar to “normal” synapses between two different neurons, and thus were long thought to have similar properties of synaptic transmission. However, this has not been directly tested. Here, using a micro-island culture assay in which we can define the number of interconnected cells, we directly compared synaptic transmission in excitatory autapses and in two-neuron micronetworks consisting of two excitatory neurons, in which a neuron is connected to one other neuron and to itself. We discovered that autaptic synapses are optimized for maximal transmission, and exhibited enhanced EPSC amplitude, charge, and RRP size compared to interneuronal synapses. However, autapses are deficient in several aspects of synaptic plasticity. Short-term potentiation only became apparent when a neuron was connected to another neuron. This acquisition of plasticity only required reciprocal innervation with one other neuron; micronetworks consisting of just two interconnected neurons exhibited enhanced short-term plasticity in terms of paired pulse ratio (PPR) and release probability (Pr), compared to autapses. Interestingly, when a neuron was connected to another neuron, not only interneuronal synapses, but also the autaptic synapses on itself exhibited a trend toward enhanced short-term plasticity in terms of PPR and Pr. Thus neurons can distinguish whether they are connected via “self” or “non-self” synapses and have the ability to adjust their plasticity parameters when connected to other neurons.

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Networks in 2020: More traffic, less energy

The GreenTouch industry consortium says new technologies could cut power consumption by 90 percent

 

Networks could use far less energy by 2020 even though they'll be carrying much more traffic, an industry group says.

 

The GreenTouch consortium, formed in 2010 to speed up progress on more efficient networks, says it has identified technologies that together could cut network power needs by 90 percent even in the face of rapidly growing data demand. The group of equipment vendors, component makers and service providers will present that conclusion in a report due in mid-June.

 

"There is potential with these new technologies to support the traffic growth and still make the energy consumption go down," said Thierry Klein, chairman of GreenTouch's technical committee. Klein also leads green research at Alcatel-Lucent's Bell Labs division.

 

The tools that make this possible include new devices, components, algorithms, architectures and protocols, Klein said. All have been proved in labs, he said. The potential energy savings represents a comparison between a 2010 network with that year's traffic levels and a theoretical 2020 network with projections of traffic amounts for that year.

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What to do with 'big data' when we don't yet have a theory of complex systems

What to do with 'big data' when we don't yet have a theory of complex systems | Social Foraging | Scoop.it
As the world becomes increasingly complex and interconnected, some of our biggest challenges have begun to seem intractable. What should we do about uncertainty in the financial markets? How can we predict energy supply and demand? How will climate change play out? How do we cope with rapid urbanization? Our traditional approaches to these problems are often qualitative and disjointed and lead to unintended consequences. To bring scientific rigor to the challenges of our time, we need to develop a deeper understanding of complexity itself.
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Persuade with Visual Metaphors: Neuromarketing

Persuade with Visual Metaphors: Neuromarketing | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

While we think of metaphors as mainly word-based, visual metaphors can be a potent selling tool. They can both engage the brain like text metaphors and stimulate the viewer’s senses in a way that words alone may not.

 

I ran across an ad for Austin-based Elements Laser Spa that includes both a visual metaphor and a play on words. The ad shows a rose with its thorns removed, while its headline text reads, “Nice Stems.” (For international Neuromarketing readers, “stems” is slang for “legs.”)

 

This ad is brilliant in several ways. First, it produces an “aha!” reward to the viewer’s brain since most readers will understand the cryptic ad only when they look at the small print below. (The print version of this ad has a small box below the illustration that offers a discount on laser hair removal. The long-stemmed rose with the little pile of thorns won’t make sense at first, but upon seeing the text in the discount offer just about every viewer will immediately grasp what’s going on.

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Tyler Evans's curator insight, July 18, 2013 7:25 PM

Take a look at this advertisement (and accompanying article).  For Orwell, good writers can create fresh, enduring metaphors.  They don't rely on "stale metaphors."  Considering this idea, be sure to focus on the three qualities of metaphors, as presented in this article.  How does this literary concept translate in the world of visual art?

Laurene Franzon's curator insight, October 13, 2013 12:51 PM

Neuromarketing par l'image

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On Brewing Fresh Espresso: LinkedIn's Distributed Data Serving Platform

This paper written by the LinkedIn Espresso Team, and the talk to be given by Lin Qiao, will appear at the ACM SIGMOD/PODS Conference (June 2013).

 

As LinkedIn has grown, our core data sets and request processing requirements have grown as well. The development of Espresso was motivated by our desire to migrate LinkedIn’s online serving infrastructure from monolithic, commercial, RDBMS systems running on high cost specialized hardware to elastic clusters of commodity servers running free software; and to improve agility by enabling rapid development by simplifying the programming model, separating scalability, routing, caching from business logic. Espresso is a document-oriented distributed data serving platform that has been built to address LinkedIn’s requirements for a scalable, performant, source-of-truth primary store. It provides a hierarchical document model, transactional support for modifications to related documents, real- time secondary indexing, on-the-fly schema evolution and provides a timeline consistent change capture stream. This talk describes the motivation and design principles involved in building Espresso, its architecture and presents a set of experimental results that characterize the performance of the system along various dimensions.

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Morals and Markets

The possibility that market interaction may erode moral values is a long-standing, but controversial, hypothesis in the social sciences, ethics, and philosophy. To date, empirical evidence on decay of moral values through market interaction has been scarce. We present controlled experimental evidence on how market interaction changes how human subjects value harm and damage done to third parties. In the experiment, subjects decide between either saving the life of a mouse or receiving money. We compare individual decisions to those made in a bilateral and a multilateral market. In both markets, the willingness to kill the mouse is substantially higher than in individual decisions. Furthermore, in the multilateral market, prices for life deteriorate tremendously. In contrast, for morally neutral consumption choices, differences between institutions are small.

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Neuroscience’s future: Mice with human brain cells

Neuroscience’s future: Mice with human brain cells | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

Into brains of newborn mice, researchers implanted human “progenitor cells.” These mature into a type of brain cell called astrocytes (see below). They grew into human astrocytes, crowding out mouse astrocytes. The mouse brains became chimeras of human and mouse, with the workhorse mouse brain cells – neurons – nurtured by billions of human astrocytes.

 

Neuroscience is only beginning to discover what astrocytes do in brains. One job that is known is that they help neurons build connections (synapses) with other neurons. (Firing neurotransmitter molecules across synapses is how neurons communicate.) Human astrocytes are larger and more complex than those of other mammals. Humans’ unique brain capabilities may depend on this complexity.

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A Grand Unified Theory of Everything: Entropica (the Artificial Intelligence system)

A Grand Unified Theory of Everything: Entropica (the Artificial Intelligence system) | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

Here’s a way to make a lot of money. Publish a speculative scientific article with equations nobody understands, put out a press release, throw in a few credentials (say, a degree from Harvard or M.I.T.), and get a few bloggers to spread the word. In the meantime, quietly start a company based on the idea—the grander, the better.

 

The latest example of the scientific hype machine is a paper that comes from Alexander Wissner-Gross, a research scientist and entrepreneur affiliated with Harvard and M.I.T. who, according to the bio on his Web site, has “authored 15 publications, been granted 19 issued, pending, and provisional patents, and founded, managed, and advised 5 technology companies, 1 of which has been acquired.” According to one report (by a well-respected science journalist), Wissner-Gross and his co-author, Cameron Freer, “have figured out a ‘law’ that enables inanimate objects to behave [in a way that] in effect allow[s] them to glimpse their own future. If they follow this law, they can show behavior reminiscent of some of the things humans do: for example, cooperating or using ‘tools’ to conduct a task.” A start-up called Entropica aims to capitalize on the discovery; the futurist Web site io9 and the BBC have both gushed about it.

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Consumer Culture, Children & Well-Being: Research, Implications, and Practice - Psychology Research @ Sussex University

On Friday 3rd May, 2013, the University of Sussex hosted a research dissemination event relating to the research of the Leverhulme funded project on ‘Consumer Culture and Children’s Well-being’, led by Dr Helga Dittmar and Professor Robin Banerjee. The event allowed the research team to share their exciting findings with interested professionals, and also identified ways of bridging the gap between academic research and applied areas of practice and policy.

 

The Children’s Consumer Culture Project has been gathering data for the past three years on the links between children’s engagement with and endorsement of consumer culture and their well-being, with measures incorporating physical health, subjective well-being, depression and body esteem. The conference aimed to share the research beyond the traditional academic community, and although we had numerous high profile academics, such as Tim Kasser, Agnes Nairn, and Greg Maio in attendance, we also had representatives from local schools, educational psychology services, clinical psychologists, and other service providers and policymakers .

 

The event was opened by an inspiring and vibrant speech from Caroline Lucas MP (Brighton Pavilion), who set the research project in a broader socio-political context.  She focused on three key points of policy, relating to:  a) advertising aimed at primary school-aged children; b) objectification of women in the media and the need for improved whole-school strategies concerning gender and relationships; and c) environmental impacts of consumption. Her thoughtful address provided the perfect introduction to the event, resonating with many of the issues that emerged as key parts of our discussion over the course of the day.

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The Man Behind the Google Brain: Andrew Ng and the Quest for the New AI

The Man Behind the Google Brain: Andrew Ng and the Quest for the New AI | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

There’s a theory that human intelligence stems from a single algorithm.

 

The idea arises from experiments suggesting that the portion of your brain dedicated to processing sound from your ears could also handle sight for your eyes. This is possible only while your brain is in the earliest stages of development, but it implies that the brain is — at its core — a general-purpose machine that can be tuned to specific tasks.

 

About seven years ago, Stanford computer science professor Andrew Ng stumbled across this theory, and it changed the course of his career, reigniting a passion for artificial intelligence, or AI. “For the first time in my life,” Ng says, “it made me feel like it might be possible to make some progress on a small part of the AI dream within our lifetime.”

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Fooling the Eyes: The Influence of a Sound-Induced Visual Motion Illusion on Eye Movements

Fooling the Eyes: The Influence of a Sound-Induced Visual Motion Illusion on Eye Movements | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

The question of whether perceptual illusions influence eye movements is critical for the long-standing debate regarding the separation between action and perception. To test the role of auditory context on a visual illusion and on eye movements, we took advantage of the fact that the presence of an auditory cue can successfully modulate illusory motion perception of an otherwise static flickering object (sound-induced visual motion effect). We found that illusory motion perception modulated by an auditory context consistently affected saccadic eye movements. Specifically, the landing positions of saccades performed towards flickering static bars in the periphery were biased in the direction of illusory motion. Moreover, the magnitude of this bias was strongly correlated with the effect size of the perceptual illusion. These results show that both an audio-visual and a purely visual illusion can significantly affect visuo-motor behavior. Our findings are consistent with arguments for a tight link between perception and action in localization tasks.

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Suicide Ideation of Individuals in Online Social Networks

Suicide Ideation of Individuals in Online Social Networks | Social Foraging | Scoop.it

Suicide explains the largest number of death tolls among Japanese adolescents in their twenties and thirties. Suicide is also a major cause of death for adolescents in many other countries. Although social isolation has been implicated to influence the tendency to suicidal behavior, the impact of social isolation on suicide in the context of explicit social networks of individuals is scarcely explored. To address this question, we examined a large data set obtained from a social networking service dominant in Japan. The social network is composed of a set of friendship ties between pairs of users created by mutual endorsement. We carried out the logistic regression to identify users’ characteristics, both related and unrelated to social networks, which contribute to suicide ideation. We defined suicide ideation of a user as the membership to at least one active user-defined community related to suicide. We found that the number of communities to which a user belongs to, the intransitivity (i.e., paucity of triangles including the user), and the fraction of suicidal neighbors in the social network, contributed the most to suicide ideation in this order. Other characteristics including the age and gender contributed little to suicide ideation. We also found qualitatively the same results for depressive symptoms.

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Noah Schmidt's curator insight, May 28, 2013 3:35 PM

The impact of social networking isolation has also been a great influence of suicide as described here. Which is why we need to reconsider cyberbullying and the impact it can due to depressed individuals and their families.

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Metaphor Identification in Large Texts Corpora

Identifying metaphorical language-use (e.g., sweet child) is one of the challenges facing natural language processing. This paper describes three novel algorithms for automatic metaphor identification. The algorithms are variations of the same core algorithm. We evaluate the algorithms on two corpora of Reuters and the New York Times articles. The paper presents the most comprehensive study of metaphor identification in terms of scope of metaphorical phrases and annotated corpora size. Algorithms’ performance in identifying linguistic phrases as metaphorical or literal has been compared to human judgment. Overall, the algorithms outperform the state-of-the-art algorithm with 71% precision and 27% averaged improvement in prediction over the base-rate of metaphors in the corpus.

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