A HEROIC-funded paper entitled “A cross-hazard analysis of terse message retransmission on Twitter” was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) last week. This research provides the first systematic study of the factors predicting the social amplification of risk communication in OSNs by examining the retransmission of official messages across five hazards. Our findings demonstrate the respective impacts of sender characteristics, message content, and message style in determining whether an official message will be passed on during an emergency, as well whether these vary across hazards. These results contribute to the evidence base for policies guiding the delivery by emergency management organizations of lifesaving information to the public.
We are excited to announce the kick-off of a new NSF funded effort by researchers at the University of Kentucky and the University of California-Irvine to better understand the dynamics of informal online communication in response to extreme events. Through a combination of data collection and modeling of conversation dynamics, the project team aims to understand the relationship between hazard events, informal communication and emergency response. The Project HEROIC Data Consortium is to be created to further the goals of this project and provide infrastructure for future data collection and analysis related to informal online communication and emergency response.
Lab member Sean Fitzhugh and PI Carter Butts published an article “A Life History Graph Approach to the Analysis and Comparison of Life Histories,” in an upcoming issue of Advances in Life Course Research. In this paper they develop a network representation of life histories, where each spell is a node and edges represent temporal overlap among spells. This enables systematic representation and comparison of life histories within and across populations, as well as insight into individual life histories through social network analysis. They identify the primary sources of differentiation across life histories using data from the United States, Vietnam, England, and China.
The article can be found online here.
Sean Fitzhugh has accepted a position as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the US Army Research Laboratory, where he will use network analysis to study the performance of task-oriented groups. Congratulations, Sean!
As part of their annual conference, on March 10 the Corporation for Network Initiatives in California (CENIC) visited the various labs housed in Calit2. The NCASD lab created posters for the event, highlighting many of our projects, including work involving Twitter, sexual contact networks, chemical shift prediction, and the American Social Fabric Project. The visitors from CENIC were very enthusiastic about our work!
NCASD lab alum Lorien Jasny has accepted a position as Lecturer (an Assistant Professor in the UK system) in the Department of Politics at the University of Exeter. Congratulations, Lorien!
Lab member Emma Smith, along with alumni Chris Marcum, Adam Boessen, and Zack Almquist, collaborators John Hipp and Nicholas Nagle, and lab PI Carter Butts have had their article, “The Relationship of Age to Personal Network Size, Relational Multiplexity, and Proximity to Alters in the Western United States” accepted for publication in a forthcoming special issue of the Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences on social networks.
The paper examines the association of age and other socio-demographic variables with properties of personal networks; using samples of individuals residing in the rural western United States and the City of Los Angeles, we evaluate the degree to which these associations vary with geographical context. For both rural and urban populations we find a non-monotone association between age and numbers of core discussants and emergency contacts, with rural populations also showing non-monotone associations for social activity partners. These non-monotone relationships show a peak in expected degree at midlife, followed by an eventual decline. We find a decline in degree among the elderly for all relations in both populations. Age is positively associated with distance to non-household alters for the rural population, although residential tenure is associated with shorter ego-alter distances in both rural and urban settings. Additionally, age is negatively associated with network multiplexity for both populations.
Lab alum Emma Spiro was named by Pacific Standard as one of the Top 30 Thinkers Under 30 for her work using Twitter to study disaster response. For additional information, see the post here. Congratulations, Emma!
NCASD lab members will be presenting at the 2014 Sunbelt Conference in St. Pete Beach Florida from February 18-23.
Sean Fitzhugh is presenting his joint work with Carter Butts on linking shared social contexts to shared structural contexts. They introduce a family of techniques that relate subgroup co-membership to shared individual features in order to determine how shared attributes may drive group formation.
Ben Gibson is presenting his work with Yue Yu, Zack Almquist, and Carter Butts on a scalable approach to approximate TERGM inference for certain dynamic network regression families, that can scale to arbitrarily large populations.
Emma Smith is presenting joint work with Chris Marcum, Adam Boessen, Zack Almquist, John Hipp, Nicholas Nagle, and Carter Butts on the relationship of age to personal network size, relational multiplexity, and proximity to alters among rural and urban populations in the western United States.
Xuhong Zhang is presenting her work with Carter Butts on a new method for inferring relationships by exploiting the distributional and spectral structure of activity correlation within dyads. They demonstrate methodology via an application to detection of friendship and group co-membership using data from mobile devices.
Yue Yu is presenting her joint work with Emma Smith and Carter Butts on the evaluation of different retrospective life history designs through an examination of the accumulation of missingness as a function of time prior to interview, and the investigation of the impact of this missing data on model-based imputation of the state of the network at prior time points via conditional ERGM prediction.
Lab PI Butts will be presenting work on novel methods for fitting ERGMs to multiple networks – e.g., sets of networks arising from population or experimental studies, or network time series. These new methods are scalable to collections of hundreds or even thousands of networks, with minimal increase in computational cost.
Good luck to all!
For more information, see here.
NCASD lab member Emma Smith was highlighted as a graduate student in mathematical sociology in the 2013-2014 Fall/Winter issue of the Mathematical Sociologist, the newsletter for the ASA section for Mathematical Sociology.
The newsletter can be found here.