Monday, October 4th, 2010 8:00 -12:30
Dalhousie University Student Union – Bev Myers Room 224
8:00 – 8:30 Coffee
8:30 – 9:00 Research at the Social Media Lab
Session I: Computational Aspects and Modeling
9:00 – 9:20 Finding the latent space embedding of on-line social networks
Abstract: Many on-line social and collaborative networks have a hidden reality that is partially expressed through the link structure of the network. This hidden reality can be modelled as a placement of the nodes in a latent space. Here, distance in the space is a measure of the closeness or similarity of the entities represented by the nodes. For example, in social networks, users with similar interests would be placed close together in the social space. We will give an overview of models that use the concept of an underlying metric space which influences the generation of links, and show how such models can be used for the reverse process of estimating the location of nodes in the metric space through observing the link structure.
9:20 – 9:40 Social Bookmarking and Tagging Networks
Abstract: Social bookmarking and tagging networks have evolved from services allowing web users to keep their bookmarks online to full-fledged social networks for tagging and sharing web resources. The tags assigned to web resources by users are believed to hold the promise of serving as a source of human knowledge representation (folksonomies). In this talk we will report on our findings from analyzing networks such as Delicious and Bibsonomy, and we will present an award-winning tag recommendation system with learning capabilities that assists users in tagging web resources.
Faculty of Computer Science, Dalhousie University
9:40 – 10:00 Uncovering the Social Networks of Sperm Whales
Abstract: Sperm whales are extreme in many ways. They live in the deep ocean and have a complex and unusual social system. We identify individuals photographically, and then use network analyses and other methods to describe their social systems and to build models of social structure.
Short bio: Hal Whitehead is a University Research Professor in the Department of Biology at Dalhousie University. He was educated at Cambridge University (BA Mathematics; Diploma in Mathematical Statistics; PhD Zoology). His research focuses on social organization and cultural transmission in the deep-water whales, but he also works on their their ecology, population biology and conservation. Field work is mainly carried out in the North Atlantic and South Pacific Oceans from a 12-m sailing boat. He has developed statistical tools and software for analyzing vertebrate social systems. He uses individual-based stochastic computer models to study cultural evolution, gene-culture coevolution and mating strategies. Hal coedited “Cetacean Societies: Field Studies of Whales and Dolphins” (University of Chicago Press; 2000) and has written “Sperm Whales; Social Evolution in the Ocean” (University of Chicago Press, 2003) and “Analyzing Animal Societies: Quantitative Methods for Vertebrate Social Analysis” (University of Chicago Press, 2008).
10:00 – 10:15 Break
Session II: Organizational Studies
Abstract: Working in collaborative teams requires a blurring of professional boundaries, new role definitions, and sharing of professional knowledge, skills and power. One instance of interprofessional collaboration that is currently receiving attention is integrative health care (IHC), a combination of biomedical care and complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). This study builds on studies of teamwork to examine the perspectives and experiences of health care practitioners working at two different integrative health care centres as they strive to adapt their professional identities and practices to working in collaborative interprofessional teams. We analyze how professionals adapt to an environment that is counter to the unique ways they have been socialized, and to observe how they relate to each other and share patient information as team members under one physical and organizational roof. We are currently interviewing the practitioners at each of the two centres as well as attending staff meetings and sitting in the waiting rooms observing. Initial findings and reviews of the literature suggest that collaboration is more than co-location. Without formal structures and strong leadership guiding the team towards collaboration and communication, achieving it is unrealistic.
† Independent Scholar (formerly a Research Fellow at the Centre for Race & Ethnicity at Stanford University);
‡ Scholars-in-Residence at Russell Sage College, Troy, NY and also Co-Founders of the Underground Railroad History Project of the New York State Capital Region
We analyze historical data to conduct an exploratory structural investigation into the process that Harriet Tubman used to free her family and friends from slavery.We suggest that she accomplished this feat because of her ability to rely on embedded (Granovetter 1985; Uzzi 1996) network contacts that allowed her to bridge structural holes (Burt 1992) and link with people with whom she was not previously linked (Lin et al., 2001). We also discover evidence of social contagion based not only on structural equivalence (Burt, 1992), but also based on cohesion due to the presence of cliques and cocliques (i.e. the presence of Simmelian Ties). “Two people are Simmelian tied to one another if they are reciprocally and strongly tied to each other and if they are each reciprocally and strongly tied to at least one third party in common” (Krackhardt, 1998). We conclude that Harriet Tubman was able to achieve these successes by a process we call Network Transferability and propose a mathematical representation for the concept. We also highlight the importance of using network analysis for providing empirical meaning to historical events and episodes.
Abstract: Organizations, faced with the increasing demands of the global economy, are experiencing shifts in a perspective based on notions of ‘consumers’ and ‘suppliers’ to that of ‘partners’ and ‘relationships’. Within the non-profit sector, where the mission of an organization is based on altruistic goals such as feeding the hungry or educating the poor, one might assume that this shift is less pronounced. Not so. This presentation will demonstrate how one organization is revitalizing its mission, renegotiating its partnerrelationships, and using social network tools to facilitate that shift.
11:15 – 11:30 Break
11:30 – 12:30 Behind The Paradigm Shift Towards a Networked Society
Abstract: A major paradigm shift has happened in North American society these days: people think and act in networks rather than in groups. This social network revolution synergestically interpenetrates with two more visible revolutions: the proliferation of the Personal Computer and the accessibility of mobile connectivity. While taken for granted, this triple revolution is linked to major societal shifts in how people connect with each other. I’ll trace some of these shifts and specify key aspects of the socially networked society.