Spring 2008 Talk Series on

Networks and Complex Systems

Every Monday 6-7p, Wells Library 001 ~ Optional Dinner at at Lennie's Afterwards

This talk series is open to all Indiana University faculty and students interested in network analysis, modeling, visualization, and complex systems research.

A major intent is to cross-fertilize between research done in the social and behavioral sciences, research in natural sciences such as biology or physics, but also research on Internet technologies.

Links to people, projects, groups, students, courses and news related to complex systems and networks research at Indiana University are also available via the CSN web site.

Katy Börner <katy@indiana.edu> Associate Professor of Information Science, SLIS, IUB.

Time & Place
Every Monday 6:00-7:00pm in the Wells Library (formerly Main Library) at Indiana University, Bloomington, Room 001. Right after the Cognitive Science Colloquium Series. There is an optional dinner afterwards 7-9p at Lennie's.

Students interested to attend the talks for credit need to register for L600 (1 credit) with Katy Börner. Proposal form is here. Grading will be based on the attendance of 8 talks (sign-up sheets will be provided) and a 4-5 page write-up that synergizes/aggregates major points made by a subset of the speakers to be submitted at the end of the semester.

Previous Talks
Fall 2004 | Spring 2005 | Fall 2005 | Spring 2006 | Fall 2006 | Spring 2007 | Fall 2007

Evolving list of recommended readings. See also the Wikipedia entries on graph theory, small world networks, power law, and complex networks, and self organizing systems.

Related Courses at IUB

Related Series
Cambridge Colloquium on Complexity and Social Networks organized by Davin Lazer at Harvard.
The Age of Networks speaker series organized by Noshir Contractor, UIUC & NCSA.

01/21 M. L. King, Jr. Day

01/28 Michael Macy, Sociology, Cornell University

The Social Dynamics of Online Networks

Abstract: Social scientists routinely collect stores of individual-level data, using surveys and records kept by governments and employers. These data are then aggregated across groups of varying size, from households to nation states. In comparison, we have very limited data about the interactions between people. Social interactions are fleeting and mostly private, making them hard to capture and arduous to hand-code and record. These problems are compounded by the need for repeated observations and by the exponential increase in the number of relations as group size increases. As a result, social dynamics are not systematically documented at the relational level, except in observational and ethnographic studies of small groups. All this is rapidly changing as human interactions move increasingly online, leaving digital records that allow automatic data collection on an unprecedented scale. However, social scientists have been reluctant to embrace the study of what is often characterized as the “virtual world,” as if human interaction somehow becomes metaphysical the moment it is mediated by information technologies. While great care must be exercised in generalizing to the offline world, the digital traces of computer-mediated interactions open a window on aspects of social life that have been previously hidden from view. The detailed records of interaction in online communities are unique in human history, providing an exceptional opportunity for research on the formation of communities, a broad topic that includes research questions ranging from recruitment of new members to the emergence, spread, and enforcement of norms. Are new members influenced to join primarily through commitment to shared goals or do they tend to be pulled in by friends who have already joined? Are people influenced more by strong ties to close friends who also know one another, as in a tightly clustered network, or are they influenced more by weak ties to acquaintances who do not know one another and thus are more likely to have access to non-redundant information? Are people and organizations attracted to similar others, or does similarity lead to competition and rivalry? Does the dynamic of influence and attraction lead to cultural convergence or differentiation? These are some of the questions for which we are beginning to get answers from data collected from online networks.

02/04 Michael McLennan, Purdue University

materials iconmaterials iconnanoHUB.org : Cyberinfrastructure for Nanotechnology Research and Education

Abstract: The Network for Computational Nanotechnology (NCN) was established in 2002 by the NSF with a mission to create, deploy, and operate a national resource for theory, modeling, and simulation in nanotechnology, to connect users in research, education, design, and manufacturing. Nanotechnology is a broad field, so the NCN has focused its efforts on developing materials for a few focus areas: nanoelectronics, nanoelectromechanical systems, and nanomedicine. Users access these resources from the nanoHUB.org web site. In the 12-month period from October 2006 to September 2007, more than 26,000 users accessed nanoHUB to view a collection of seminars, tutorials, animations, publications, and simulation tools submitted by more than 390 contributors from all over the world. But the nanoHUB is more than just a repository. It is a place where researchers and educators can meet and accomplish real work. The nanoHUB offers integrated, online web meetings via Macromedia Breeze, source code collaboration through its nanoFORGE area, events calendars, and many other services designed to connect researchers and build a community. Most importantly, the nanoHUB connects users to the simulation tools they need for research and education. Users can access more than 50 interactive, graphical tools, and not only launch jobs, but also visualize and analyze the results-all via an ordinary web browser. In the same 12-month period mentioned earlier, more than 5,900 users performed over 226,000 online simulations. The NCN's emphasis on usability has produced a clean interface that makes it easy to use powerful research tools. Although simulation codes can be accessed through a web browser, they are executed on state-of-the-art computational facilities. The nanoHUB has partnered with the TeraGrid and the Open Science Grid to deliver the computational cycles needed by the growing community of nanoHUB users. The nanoHUB middleware hides much of the complexity of Grid computing, handling authentication, authorization, file transfer, and visualization, and letting the researcher focus on research. This approach also helps educators bring these tools to the classroom, letting them avoid the complexities of Grid computing and focus instead on physics. This talk will start with a live demonstration of nanoHUB and show how it can be used to support collaborative research and educational activities for nanotechnology development.

02/11 Yves Gingras, Canada Research Chair in History and Sociology of Science, Université du Québec, Montréal, Canada

materials iconmaterials icon The transformations of the scientific fields from 1900 to 1944: A network appproach

Abstract: This paper contributes to historical bibliometrics in proposing to apply social networks methodology and the concept of centrality to co-citation networks. Using the case of physics for the period 1900-1944 we show that measuring the centrality of authors in co-citation networks provides a useful index of the evolution of a scientific field (in this case physics) and the changing focus of research over time. We divided the 45-year period into seven sub-periods related to major events in physics (1900-1904; 1905-1911; 1912-1918; 1919-1924, 1925-1930; 1931-1936; 1937-1944) and calculated the centrality of actors present in the co-citation network for each of these periods. The results obtained reflect the major changes in the disciplines: we see the evolving rise and decline in centrality of major physicists like H.A. Lorentz, A. Einstein, N. Bohr, E. Ruherford as well as others less known figures as the “hot” topics move from black body and electron theory to relativity and spectroscopy and from quantum mechanics to nuclear physics. Given that the most central actors are often Nobel Prizes we also looked at the correlations between centrality and Nobel Prizes and compared the results with those obtained by using citations as an index of prizeworhtiness.

02/25 Tony Beavers, Philosopher and  Director of the Cognitive Science Program, University of  Evansville

materials iconmaterials icon Domain-Specific Search and the Encyclopedic Internet Vision

Abstract: As a learning tool, the Internet holds the promise of instant access to all knowledge everywhere. In practice, however, this is far from coming about, in many ways for political and economic reasons, as outlined in the debates about open access publication and how money should be circulated in the commerce of ideas. There are, however, technological issues that also must be solved. These include developing tools to organize massive data collections in ways that are meaningful to users and fair to the content of the resources themselves, to determine the quality and reliability of these resources, and to provide a workable interface so that users can quickly find what they need, even in cases where they are unaware that the needed resources exist. To add complication, the fact that Internet resources may change quickly, can be added in parallel without detection or can disappear altogether makes human intervention in this process ineffective. Thus, the need for automated procedures of emergent quality control and organization. In this talk, I will address a two-pronged approach to these problems that involves, on the one hand, the design of an appropriate search space, and, on the other, mechanisms for formulating meaningful search requests across this space. Finally, I will acknowledge the scope and importance of the 'interface problem' indicated above without offering a solution for it. For examples, I will draw on two projects in particular, Noesis: Philosophical Research Online and the Indiana Philosophy Ontology Project.

03/03 Armin Moczek, Biology, IUB

materials iconmaterials iconOn the origin of novelty and diversity in horned beetles

Abstract: Evolutionary biology offers several frameworks for understanding how complex traits such as legs, eyes or wings may be modified over evolutionary time. However, we know remarkably little about how such traits might originate in the first place. What are the  genetic, developmental, and ecological mechanisms, and the interactions between them, that mediate not just the modification of existing traits, but the origin of novel traits and trait diversity? In my talk I explore the genetic, developmental, and ecological underpinnings of a class of traits that is both novel and highly diverse: beetle horns. Several thousand species of beetles express horns, and dramatic variation in size, location, shape, and number of horns exist both within and between species. Most importantly, beetle horns lack obvious homology to other insect traits, instead they can be viewed as a novel feature that horned beetles invented during their evolutionary history, and which has since undergone one of the most dramatic trait radiations in the animal kingdom. Using a combination of morphological, developmental, genetic and genomic studies I explore the evolutionary origins of horns, as well as the mechanisms that mediated the subsequent diversification of horn expression across species.

03/07 Johan Bollen, Los Alamos National Laboratory materials icon

03/17 Peter Todd & Thomas T. Hills, Cognitive Science/Informatics/Psychology and Brain Sciences, IUB

Soul Mate or Chance Fate: Success Rates of Speed Dates

Abstract: Theories of mate choice have suggested that human mate selection may be driven by a variety of factors, ranging from finding similar quality partners to finding partners who share similar preferences.  Within a more restricted mate search context, such as speed-dating, it may be that these factors do not come into play.  In fact, it may be that speedy human mate choice is a largely random process, governed by the simple laws of probability.  To find out, we analyzed over 100 speed-dating sessions to see whether the matches that are produced, when both a man and a woman indicate interest in each other, occur any more often than we would expect if choices were made at random.  We also looked at whether the set of people that any given individual was interested in had anything in common with the interest-sets of other individuals, or whether the range of choices also appeared random at an individual level.  We will discuss the outcome of these analyses and what they imply for human behavior in this domain.

03/24 Lokman I. Meho, School of Library and Information Science, IUB

materials iconmaterials icon Citation Counting, Citation Ranking, and h-Index of Human-Computer Interaction
Researchers: A Comparison between Scopus and Web of Science

Abstract: This study examines the differences between Scopus and Web  of Science in the citation counting, citation ranking, and h-index of  22 top human-computer interaction (HCI) researchers from EQUATOR—a  large British Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration project.  Results indicate that Scopus provides significantly more coverage of  HCI literature than Web of Science, primarily due to coverage of  relevant ACM and IEEE peer-reviewed conference proceedings. No  significant differences exist between the two databases if citations  in journals only are compared. Although broader coverage of the  literature does not significantly alter the relative citation ranking  of individual researchers, Scopus helps distinguish between the  researchers in a more nuanced fashion than Web of Science in both  citation counting and h-index. Scopus also generates significantly  different maps of citation networks of individual scholars than those  generated by Web of Science. The study also presents a comparison of h- index scores based on Google Scholar with those based on the union of  Scopus and Web of Science. The study concludes that Scopus can be used  as a sole data source for citation-based research and evaluation in  HCI, especially when citations in conference proceedings are sought,  and that h scores should be manually calculated instead of relying on  system calculations. The full version of the papers is available at: http://www.slis.indiana.edu/faculty/meho/meho-rogers.pdf.

03/31 Hamid Ekbia, SLIS, IUB

materials iconmaterials icon The Integration of GIS and Agent-Based Modeling

Abstract: The parallel growing interest in Agent-Based Modeling (ABM), on one hand, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS), on the other, calls for platforms that would integrate them both. Current GIS and ABMS software do not support each other in a seamless manner, and an integrated platform that would support both is needed. In this talk, I introduce Agent Analyst, an extension of ArcGIS, the popular GIS software, which supports ABM. Agent Analyst fully integrates ABM with GIS, and extends the functionalities of the open-source Repast modeling and simulation environment with the spatial capabilities of ArcGIS. Through this integration, GIS experts gain the ability to model behaviors and processes as change and movement over time (e.g., simulate land use and land cover changes, predator-prey interactions, or network flows and congestion) while ABM modelers are able to incorporate detailed real-world environmental data, perform complex spatial analyses, and study how behavior is constrained by space and geography. Furthermore, ABM models can include real-time GIS data feeds for situations such as disaster management, firefighting, or resource management . To illustrate these ideas, I present a few models developed in Agent Analyst.

04/07 Manuel Marques Pita, Indiana University, Portland State University, and Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia (Hosted by Luis Rocha)

materials iconmaterials icon Representational Redescription: From collective computation in cellular automata, to understanding the conceptual properties of gene regulatory networks

Abstract: In this seminar, I will introduce Aitana, a cognitively-inspired system that "redescribes" models of complex systems (represented in their implicit form, as state-transition tables). The main use of such redescriptions is to "uncover" the conceptual properties of these models, which reveal knowledge about them that is not accessible on the implicit representational level. The aim of this exploration is to support new ways of conceptualising the phenomenon of emergence, the main characterising feature of complex systems in general. Here, I will focus on exemplar cellular automata (CA) that perform the density classification task (as defined by Mitchell et al., 1994). Conceptual representations of the best known rules for this task will be presented, and I will show how the resulting abstractions can be considered suitable for the formation of "conceptual spaces", wherein rules that perform similar computations are positioned in close proximity. I will end this seminar discussing, and demonstrating, how Aitana could be used to analyse random Boolean networks, a common architecture used to model gene regulatory networks (GRNs).

04/14 Mike Smoot, Ideker Lab, Department of Bioengineering, UCSD

materials iconmaterials iconVisualization and Analysis of Biological Interaction Networks

Abstract: Cytoscape is an open-source, cross-platform network visualization and analysis application. Cytoscape has it's roots in Systems Biology and is therefore well suited for analyzing data from high-throughput experimentation as well as other molecular state information. The central organizing metaphor of Cytoscape is a network (graph), with genes, proteins, and molecules represented as nodes and interactions represented as edges between nodes. The Cytoscape application acts as an extensible framework by providing core functionality to handle common tasks and software interfaces that allow easy extension to support unique needs. The core functionality includes the visualization, layout, and manipulation of networks in addition to data handling services needed for importing, exporting, and managing network data. Cytoscape's raison d'etre is its ability to integrate data and map it onto visual attributes of the networks. This functionality allows for rich visualizations that can provide insight into otherwise complicated data. In addition to the core functionality we have an ever growing library of plugins that extend and enhance Cytoscape's abilities. Cytoscape is open source (free) and is a collaborative effort of the University of California San Diego, the Institute for Systems Biology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Agilent Technologies, Unilever, the Institut Pasteur, University of California San Francisco, and the University of Toronto. See http://cytoscape.org for downloads and more detail.

04/17 Pat Hanrahan, Computer Science and Electrical Engineering Departments, Stanford University

*** THURSDAY*** 4:00-5:30pm, LI001

materials iconmaterials icon The Semiology of Graphics - Take 2

Abstract: The famous cartographer Jacques Bertin wrote a classic book titled  the "Semiology of Graphics" in 1967. In this book, he analyzed many  different types of charts, network diagrams, and maps, and then  developed a systematic description of how information is coded in  these visual representations. His goal was to describe pictures in  terms of the conventions used to depict the information, not in terms  of low-level graphics primitives. In this talk I will review Bertin's  ideas, and then describe several recent attempts to formally specify  information graphics using computers.  The formal approach leads to a  language of pictures. We have used visual languages to build two  major visualization systems, Polaris and Tableau. Formally describing  pictures leads to new capabilities including easy integration with  database query languages such as SQL, the ability to describe  statistical linear models, and new methods for automatically creating  graphical presentations best suited to the data.

04/18 3:00-4:00pm, LH102, Pat Hanrahan, Stanford University: "Why is Graphics Hardware so Fast"

04/21 Laurel Haak, DiscoveryLogic

materials iconmaterials iconIntegrating Scientific Knowledge Databases to Inform Policy Decision Making

Abstract: To fulfill its public health mission, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) need to develop a process to correlate the research it funds with public health outcomes.  However, NIH staff have few tools for evaluation of research project outcomes that can be applied across a portfolio of awarded grants.  Various individual outcome measures are available through private and public databases, but calculating a broad set of indicators for a portfolio of projects requires a tedious and time-consuming manual effort that is rarely applied.  We set out with the goal to develop an electronic scientific portfolio assistant to provide quantitative information for program officers managing research portfolios.  We found that it was possible to meet this goal by assembling diverse data sources into a single infrastructure and applying modern business intelligence reporting tools to visualize outcome indicators.

04/28 Howard White, College of Information Science and Technology, Drexel University

materials iconmaterials icon Bibliometric Visualizations and Relevance Theory

Abstract: This session will introduce my recent work with bibliometric data and a version of the tf*idf formula from information retrieval to produce pennant diagrams. These diagrams can be interpreted as confirmations of Dan Sperber & Deirdre Wilson's relevance theory from linguistic pragmatics, which Stephen Harter of Indiana University advocated for information science in 1992. The diagrams can also be interpreted as a complex cognitive model of users of document retrieval systems. My examples will include several pennants chosen to be of interest to members of IU's School of Library and Information Science.