The most recent issue of the Calit2 Interface Magazine features an interview with Lab PI Butts on the societal implications of social media. Recent research by Butts and Cross on the dynamics of blog networks is also highlighted. This and previous copies of Interface Magazine can be found here.
Lab PI Butts will be the featured presenter at this year’s Applied Statistics Workshop of the Southern California chapter of the American Statistical Association. The workshop will be held at RAND’s Santa Monica, CA office on 4/30/2010, and will provide a practical introduction to the statistical analysis of social network data, as well as pointers on the use of the statnet suite of network analysis tools. Registration is required.
Lab member Zack Almquist will be speaking to the UCI Population, Society, and Inequality (PSI) colloquium on April 27 on the use of R to analyze spatial and demographic data from the US Census. This talk will feature an overview of his recently released R packages for Census data management, as well as examples of how these tools can be used for practical data analysis tasks. The talk will be held in SSPB 4206 on the UCI campus, at 12:00PM; all are welcome.
Lab PI Butts will be speaking to the Frontiers of Network Science Lecture Series at Penn State University, 4/2/10, on “Modeling Complex Interactions in a Disrupted Environment: Relational Events in the World Trade Center Response.” This talk will present work from the NCASD Lab on the modeling of dynamic event systems, with particular emphasis on emergency radio communications at the WTC. Also taking place that day at UMass Amherst (Department of Sociology) will be a talk by Lab Member Ryan Acton, titled “Logging On, Going Out: Group Size Dynamics in Online/Offline Spaces.” Acton’s talk is about his current work on the study of online behavior, and the formation of offline groups via online mechanisms. If you are in either venue, drop by to see our members in action!
Two new IMBS technical reports by Lab PI Butts are now available on the IMBS web site. The first, “A Note on Generalized Edges” (MBS 10-03) introduces basic terminology and formalisms for representing complex multi-party relationships, facilitating the treatment of phenomena such as joint task performance, mental models, and actor/bystander interactions that are difficult to model using traditional network analytic approaches. The second paper, “Bayesian Meta-Analysis of Social Network Data via Conditional Uniform Graph Quantiles” (MBS 10-04) provides a family of techniques for leveraging a well-known tool for analyzing individual networks — conditional uniform graph quantiles — to draw inferences regarding populations of networks from sampled data. These methods are especially applicable to meta-analytic applications, in which one seeks to pool information from multiple case studies. Both of these papers showcase our current research on methods for the analysis of network data, with an emphasis on tools and ideas that can be applied in practical settings.
Calit2 article highlights findings from a recent paper by Lab members Butts and Cross. Published in the Journal of Social Structure, this paper shows how blog networks during the 2004 election season evolved in response to both events on the campaign trail and to the cycles of everyday life. To learn more, see the original paper and theCalit2 feature.
Six R packages which contain the 2000 US Census spatial data at four different geographies (Block, Block Group, Tract, and Census Designated Places), includes selected demographics, and a series of functions dedicated to managing and manipulating the data. These data sets and helper functions can be found on this website on CRAN.
We are pleased to announce the release of scrapeR, a new software package for the R computing platform created by NCASD lab member Ryan Acton. The scrapeR package contains tools that assist with the extraction of information embedded in web pages. With this new tool, users can automate the retrieval of information from web-based sources and diagnose potential problems. Researchers familiar with R will likely find this tool helpful, as it allows for the collection of data entirely within the R environment. This, combined with the powerful data analytic capabilities available to R users, makes this an attractive piece of software. The scrapeR package is available for download here.