Gibson and Spiro to Present HEROIC Research at Sunbelt 2013

Team members Ben Gibson and Emma Spiro will head to Hamburg, Germany next week to present preliminary findings from HEROIC projects at Sunbelt XXXIII. The annual conference is sponsored by the International Network for Social Network Analysis.

Gibson will speak on recent work that introduces a method for estimating the size of active user populations in an online environment over short time intervals (e.g., minutes to hours). Using a variant of the capture-recapture method, Gibson et al. can estimate the total population of those who are active in online environments such at Twitter. Preliminary findings suggest that this method is an effective and useful approach for estimating active user population dynamics in a variety of online social network settings.

Spiro will present an exploration of tie dynamics in online social networks.   Many social systems now facilitate rapid re-organization (creation and dissolution) of social ties over short time scales on the order of days. Spiro et al. examine tie decay following instances of mass convergence of attention (i.e. “degree spikes”) on particular users of a popular microblogging service. They do so for randomly sampled users as well as a population of targeted emergency management organizations.

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