Archive for the ‘informal-networks’ Category

Sociologists and data miners come together to advance social computing

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

(from here) From: Gregory Piatetsky-Shapiro; SBP09 Second Workshop on Social Computing, Behavioral Modeling, and Prediction

  • keynote presentation by Phillip Bonacich (UCLA, Emeritus), about Power and Exploitation in Exchange Networks: A Social-Psychological Model.
  • Mary Lou Maher (NSF) talked about Research Challenges for Computationally Enabled Social and Collective Intelligence.She gave a number of collective intelligence examples, including open source systems, recommender systems, search engines, and Wikipedia.
  • William H. Batchelder, a leading expert on psychology and social sciences, talked about Cultural Consensus Theory, which is an approach to pooling information from different sources.Batchelder showed that a social network model, with a good deal of math, a Bayesian formulation and MCMC methods, can be used to estimate the consensus answers.
  • Shade Shutters (ASU) talked about Punishment, Rational Expectations, and Relative Payoffs.
  • Many posters were presented during a workshop dinner the first night 
  • On the second workshop day, Alex Penland from MIT Media Lab gave a keynote talk on Reality Mining: From Profiles and Demographics to Behavior .Dr. Penland is very sensitive to privacy issues and says these sensors should not be used to spy on employees. He suggests that deployment should be on voluntary data with individuals owning the data and have the opportunity to review their data each day. Learning can be done effectively from anonymized profiles. Dr. Penland company Sense Networks is now commercializing these applications in macrosense™ and Citysense™

Informal Networks and Economics of Social Ties

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

Corporate anthropologist, Karen Stephenson (publications), explains how understanding and supporting informal networks of trust can help organizations to become more innovative.

“Our social networks are growing all the time. Can we assume that there is untapped economic potential that lies within them?” asks Roland Harwood.

Few excerpts:” British anthropologist Robin Dunbar has shown us that people can only maintain up to around 150 strong relationships at any one time however we all have many more weak relationships (which probably also has an upper limit but it’s certainly a lot larger number). I find social networks like facebook and twitter most interesting for the people I don’t yet know that well – for the weak relationships. I get an insight into those people’s lives and how their mind works and get to know them a bit better….. a) you may learn something about them that might be of use at a later date i.e.

scientific thesis

they are an expert in a field you need to know about b) it eases the social lubricant when you next see them as you have more material to draw upon to build the relationship e.g. I saw the photo’s of your recent fishing trip on facebook…Within the next 5 years we tend to create value not on the basis of our knowledge, but on the basis of how we can leverage our relationships or social networks to capitalise on the information that we all have access to….The more connected you are, the more options and opportunities you have, and that has social, cultural and economic value.”

Why I blog this: Informal networks may be part of my future research (see the proposal which has caught a lot of attention). Plus, we extensively research and cover social networks.

Proximity Marketing & Proximity Networks

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

I’ve just finished to put some old material together for a position paper titled “Tapping the Mobile Digital Tapestry: Can mobile 2.0 companies make money without being greedy for personal data? ” Of course, my answer is yes: “if companies were to give up control over user data, how they would make money? One promising way seems to be proximity marketing campaigns: distributing electronic ads among co-located mobile users. Companies like HyperTag and BlueMedia are currently working out how to best do so.”

However, to figure that out, those companies need to be supported by research, which necessarily needs real data. That is why it will be very important to collect data of who is collocated with whom and of what co-located people like. Only in that way will it be possible to preliminarily test the effectiveness of proximity marketing campaigns. Hopefully, that will open up a new research area: proximity & affinity networks!

Sociometric Badge

Friday, May 4th, 2007

From this post. Sociometric Badge, a sensing platform that logs voice features, proximity to other individuals, face-to-face interactions, and movement. Results of an analysis of data obtained in a preliminary study at a German bank’s marketing division:

. Proximity is highly negatively correlated with e-mail use
(-> if you are in close proximity to another individual, it makes more sense to interact with them in the real world rather than send them an e-mail)

. Communication between managers and employees was very highly negatively correlated with perceived interaction quality ( -> having more interactions with either your subordinates or your boss is draining).

. Email and proximity ties were highly correlated when communication was present and both individuals were of the same hierarchical level
(-> e-mail communication between individuals with the same role increases as their proximate time increases)

(paper to appear in NetSci ’07)