Networks in the News

How network theory predicts the value of Bitcoin

A recent research by Spencer Wheatley at ETH Zurich in Switzerland and a few colleagues shows that the key measure of value for cryptocurrencies is the network of people who use them. What’s more, they say, once Bitcoin is valued in this way it becomes possible to see when it is overvalued and perhaps even to spot the... read more »

 

Educational Game Website for Network Concepts

“It’s Nicky Case!” is a cool website where you can play different kinds of games related to network concepts such as complex contagion and small-world networks. Moreover, there are other games for game theory and theory of voting. Check out the website (http://ncase.me/)!  read more »

 

Computational Social Science ≠ Computer Science + Social Data

Hanna Wallach published a thought piece of what computational social science is, especially from her computer science point of view. Given computational social science in mind, She made points of differences between computer science and social science in terms of goals, models, data, and challenges:  Goals: Prediction... read more »

 

Cooperation, clustering, and assortative mixing in dynamic networks

A recent study by David Melamed and his colleagues examined whether the emergent structures that promote cooperation are driven by reputation or can emerge purely via dynamics. To answer the research question, they recruited 1,979 Amazon Mechanical Turkers and asked them to play an iterated prisoner’s dilemma game.... read more »

 

Students’ social interactions and daily routines to make predictions about freshman retention

Sudha Ram’s Smart Campus research tracks students’ social interactions and daily routines via their CatCard usage — and leverages that information to make predictions about freshman retention. The goal of Ram’s Smart Campus research is to help educational institutions repurpose the data already being... read more »

 

Similar neural responses predict friendship

By Carolyn Parkinson, Adam M. Kleinbaum, & Thalia Wheatley Human social networks are overwhelmingly homophilous: individuals tend to befriend others who are similar to them in terms of a range of physical attributes (e.g., age, gender). Do similarities among friends reflect deeper similarities in how we perceive, interpret,... read more »

 

Social influence and discourse similarity networks in workgroups

by Johanne Saint-Charles and Pierre Mongeau Adopting a socio-semantic perspective, this study aims to verify the relation between social influence and discourse similarity networks in workgroups and explore its modification over time. Data consist of video transcripts of 45, 3-h group meetings and weekly sociometric questionnaires.... read more »

 

Population structured by witchcraft beliefs

Anthropologists have long argued that fear of victimization through witchcraft accusations promotes cooperation in small-scale societies. Others have argued that witchcraft beliefs undermine trust and therefore reduce social cohesion. However, there are very few, if any, quantified empirical examples demonstrating how... read more »

 

Scale-free Networks Are Rare

Recently Aaron Clauset and his colleague share their new study: “Scale-free networks are rare”. In this study, they found scale-free network structure is not so prevalent based on their statistical analyses of almost 1000 network datasets across different domains. In particular, their results indicate only... read more »

 

A Mechanistic Model of Human Network Recall

Recently, Omodei, Brashears, and Arenas published a paper about describing a mechanistic model of human network recall and demonstrate its sufficiency for capturing human recall behavior based on experimental data. They found that human recall is based on accurate recall of a hub of high degree actors and also uses compression... read more »