Dynamic Network Talks

This Thursday (Nov 21st) from 14-16, we’re delighted to present two exciting talks on dynamic & complex networks. Tanya Berger-Wolf from University of Illinois at Chicago will discuss collective dynamics in the social network of primates, and Joachim Mathiesen from the Niels Bohr Institute will talk about excitable dynamics on Twitter.

Location: DTU, Building 306, Room 97 (First floor).
Time: November 21st, 14:00-16:00

Speaker: Tanya Berger-Wolf (Associate Professor University of Illinois at Chicago)
Title: Animals as Mobile Social Users
Abstract: Recent advances in data collection technology, such as GPS and other mobile sensors, high definition cameras, and UAVs, have given biologists access to high spatial and temporal resolution data about animal populations. Many of the questions biologists are asking while trying to leverage those data are similar to questions being asked about mobile users. Why do animals go here rather than there? How does location influence activity and social interactions? How do social interactions influence activity and movement choices? How are movement decision being made in a group and individually? While some of the methodology for answering those questions has been developed for understanding human behavior, animals offer the advantage of visible and trackable interactions and movements, simpler context and rules of behavior, and no privacy issues. I will present examples of the recent developments from the mobile world of animal populations, show some of the methodology we have developed for understanding their mobile social networks, and discuss the challenges for understanding these kinds of data, common to all animals, including humans.

Bio: Dr. Tanya Berger-Wolf is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she heads the Computational Population Biology Lab. Her research interests are in applications of computational techniques to problems in ecology and population biology of plants, animals, and humans, from genetics to social interactions. As a legitimate part of her research she gets to fly in a super-light airplane over a nature preserve in Kenya, taking a hyper-stereo video of zebra populations. Dr. Berger-Wolf has received her Ph.D. in Computer Science from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2002. After spending some time as a postdoctoral fellow working in computational phylogenetics and doing research in computational epidemiology, she returned to Illinois. She has received numerous awards for her research and mentoring, including the US National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 2008 and the UIC Mentor of the Year (2009) and Graduate Mentor (2012) awards.

Speaker: Joachim Mathiesen (Associate Professor, Niels Bohr Institute)
Title: Excitable human dynamics driven by extrinsic events in massive communities
Abstract: Online social networks are emphatically a global phenomenon which has changed the way people interact. Using data from Twitter and on trading volumes of financial securities, we analyze the correlated human activity in massive social organizations. The activity, typically excited by real-world events and measured by the occurrence rate of international brand names and trading volumes, is characterized by intermittent fluctuations with bursts of high activity separated by quiescent periods. These fluctuations are broadly distributed with an inverse cubic tail and have long-range temporal correlations with a 1/f power spectrum. We describe the activity by a stochastic point process and derive the distribution of activity levels from the corresponding stochastic differential equation. The statistical properties of the systems that we consider have similarities with a wide range of social systems and might therefore provide insight into general human behavior in large social organizations.

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