August 23, 2013

Upcoming networks meetings

There are a number of great looking meetings about networks coming up in the next 12 months [1,2]. Here's what I know about so far, listed in their order of occurrence. If you know of more, let me know and I'll add them to the list.

  1. Santa Fe Institute's Short Course on Complexity: Exploring Complex Networks

    Location: Austin TX
    Date: 4-6 September, 2013

    Organized by the Santa Fe Institute.

    Confirmed speakers: Luis Bettencourt (SFI), Aaron Clauset (Colorado, Boulder), Simon DeDeo (SFI), Jennifer Dunne (SFI), Paul Hines (Vermont), Bernardo Huberman (HP Labs), Lauren Ancel Meyers (UT Austin), and Cris Moore (SFI).

    Registration: until full (registration link here)

  2. Workshop on Information in Networks (WIN)

    Location: New York University, Stern Business School
    Date: 4-5 October 2013

    Organized by Sinan Aral (MIT), Foster Provost (NYU), and Arun Sundararajan (NYU).

    Invited speakers: Lada Adamic (Facebook), Christos Faloutsos (CMU), James Fowler (UCSD), David Lazer (Northeastern), Ilan Lobel (NYU), John Padgett (Chicago), Sandy Pentland (MIT), Patrick Perry (NYU), Alessandro Vespignani (Northeastern) and Duncan Watts (MSR).

    Application deadline (for oral presentations): already passed
    Early registration deadline: 13 September 2013

  3. SAMSI Workshop on Social Network Data: Collection and Analysis

    Location: SAMSI, Research Triangle Park, NC
    Date: 21-23 October 2013

    Organized by Tom Carsey (UNC), Stephen Fienberg (CMU), Krista Gile (UMass), and Peter Mucha (UNC)

    Invited speakers: 12-15 invited talks (not clear who!)

    Registration: 13 September 2013

  4. Network Frontier Workshop

    Location: Northwestern University (Evanston, IL)
    Date: 4-6 December 2013

    Organized by Adilson E. Motter (Northwestern), Daniel M. Abrams (Northwestern), and Takashi Nishikawa (Northwestern).

    Invited speakers: lots (14), including many notables in the field.

    Application deadline (for oral presentations): 18 October 2013

  5. Frontiers of Network Analysis: Methods, Models, and Applications

    Location: NIPS 2013 Workshop, Lake Tahoe NV
    Date: December 9 or 10 (TBD), 2013
    Call for papers: here

    Organized by Edo Airoldi (Harvard), David Choi (Carnegie Mellon), Aaron Clauset (Colorado, Boulder), Khalid El-Arini (Facebook) and Jure Leskovec (Stanford).

    Speakers: Lise Getoor (Maryland), Carlos Guestrin (Washington), Jennifer Neville (Purdue) and Mark Newman (Michigan).

    Submission deadline: 23 October 2013 (extended deadline; via EasyChair, see workshop webpage for link)

  6. Mathematics of Social Learning

    Location: Institute for Pure & Applied Mathematics (IPAM) at UCLA
    Date: 6-10 January 2014

    Organized by Santo Fortunao (Aalto), James Fowler (UCSD), Kristina Lerman (USC), Michael Macy (Cornell) and Cosma Shalizi (Carnegie Mellon).

    Confirmed speakers: lots (24), including the organizers and many notables in the field.

    Application deadline (for travel support): 11 November 2013 (application here)

  7. Workshop on Complex Networks (CompleNet)

    Location: University of Bologna (Bologna, Italy)
    Date: 12-14 March 2014

    Organized by Andrea Omicini (Bologna), Julia Poncela-Casasnovas (Northwestern) and Pierluigi Contucci (Bologna)

    Invited speakers: Juyong Park (KAIST), Mirko Degli Esposti, Stephen Uzzo (NY Hall of Science & NYU), Giorgio Fagiolo, Adriano Barra

    Paper submission: 6 October 2013
    Early registration: 10 December 2013

  8. Les Houches Thematic School on Structure and Dynamics of Complex Networks

    Location: Les Houches, France
    Date: 7-18 April 2014

    Organized by Alain Barrat (CNRS & Aix-Marseille University), Ciro Cattuto, (ISI) and Bruno Gonçalves (CNRS & Aix-Marseille University)

    Confirmed speakers: lots (14), including the organizers and many notables in the field.

    Registration deadline: 15 December 2013 (opens in October)

  9. Mathematics Research Communities on Network Science

    Location: Snowbird UT
    Date: 34-30 June 2014

    Organized by Mason Porter (Oxford), Aaron Clauset (Colorado, Boulder), and David Kempe (USC), with help from Dan Larremore (Harvard).

    Format: this is a workshop aimed at graduate students and early postdocs, focused around small group research projects on network science.

    Applications open: 1 November 2013 (see American Mathematical Society page for the link)

Updated 4 September 2013: Added the Les Houches meeting.
Updated 6 September 2013: Added the Northwestern meeting.
Updated 9 September 2013: Added SAMSI, WIN, and CompleNet meetings.
Updated 9 October 2013: Updated the NIPS 2013 workshop deadline.


[1] Other than NetSci, the big annual networks meeting, of course, which will be 2-6 June 2014, in Berkeley CA, organized by Raissa D'Souza and Neo Martinez.

[2] It has not escaped my attention that I am either an organizer or speaker at many of these meetings.

posted August 23, 2013 11:16 AM in Networks | permalink | Comments (2)

January 26, 2011

Conference: International Workshop on Coping with Crises in Complex Socio-Economic Systems 2011

This is the second iteration of a fairly big complex systems conference in Europe, organized and held at ETH Zürich every other summer. The last one was held in 2009, and it was one of the better conferences I attended that year. The theme is not "networks" per se, but rather complex social systems more broadly. This iteration looks to be equally good, again, despite the fact that they invited me to speak. The talk I'll be giving will be a new one, on the global dynamics of civil wars.

International Workshop on Coping with Crises in Complex Socio-Economic Systems 2011

Date & Location: 20 - 25 June 2011 at ETH Zürich, Switzerland

Organizers: Kay Axhausen, Lars-Erik Cederman, Dirk Helbing, Hans Jürgen Herrmann, Frank Schweitzer and Didier Sornette, all at ETH Zürich

Invited speakers:
José Soares Andrade Jr, Universidade Federal do Ceará, Brazil
Theo Arentze, Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands
Albert-Làszlò Barabàsi, Northeastern University
Michael Batty University College of London, United Kingdom
Ravi Bhavnani, Michigan State University, USA
Jean-Philippe Bouchaud, Capital Fund Management, France
Dirk Brockmann, Northwestern University, USA
Aaron Clauset, University of Colorado, USA
Joshua M. Epstein, John Hopkins University, USA
Santo Fortunato, Institute for Scientific Interchange, Italy
Nikolas Geroliminis, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland
Giulia Iori, City University, United Kingdom
Alan Kirman, Université Paul Cezanne, France
José Fernando Mendes, Universidade de Aveiro, Portugal
Dan Miodownik, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
Philippa Pattison, The University of Melbourne, Australia
Brian Uzzi, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, USA
Florian Wagener, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Description: Social systems typically feature crises, i.e. unstable and dangerous situations that are characterized by abrupt and large-scale changes. Such disruptions are very hard to predict with any precision and even harder to control. Indeed, crises often convey an impression that key decision makers have lost control and that events unfold in an unstoppable and even catastrophic way. Examples include environmental crises, the collapse of transportation systems, as well as financial and social crises such as poverty, social conflicts or wars. These and other issues will be addressed during the meeting.

Abstract submission deadline: 20 March 2011
Registration deadline: 1 May 2011

posted January 26, 2011 07:14 AM in Conferences and Workshops | permalink | Comments (1)

January 21, 2011

Conference: Applications of Network Theory

A European conference, held in Sweden in early April, on applications of network theory. The speaker line-up looks pretty good, despite the fact that they invited me. I expect this will be one of the better networks meetings of the year.

Conference on Applications of Network Theory

Date & Location: 7 - 9 April 2011 at AlbaNova in Stockholm Sweden

Organizers: Peter Minnhagen (Umeå) and Petter Holme (Umeå)

Invited speakers:
Lada Adamic, University of Michigan
Albert-Laszlo Barabási, Northeastern University
Jordi Bascompte, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas
Sebastian Bernhardsson, Niels Bohr Institute
Vincent Blondel, University of Louvain
Aaron Clauset, University of Colorado
Sergey Dorogovtsev, University of Aveiro
Birgitte Freiesleben de Blasio, University of Oslo
Thilo Gross, MPI Dresden
Kimmo Kaski, Aalto University
Beom Jun Kim, Sungkyunkwan University
Renaud Lambiotte, FUNDP
Vito Latora, Catania University
Sune Lehmann, Technical University of Denmark
Fredrik Liljeros, Stockholm University
Jukka-Pekka Onnela, Harvard University
Juyong Park, Kyung-Hee University
Veronica Ramenzoni, MPI Nijmegen
Martin Rosvall, Umeå University
Jari Saramäki, Aalto University
Bo Söderberg, Lund University
Brian Uzzi, Northwestern University
Jevin West, University of Washington

Description: The main idea is to convene key world-class researchers on complex networks and let them interact freely with the Nordic groups interested in the area. The program will be divided into four thematic areas: biological networks, general network theory, technological networks, and social networks. Many of the intended participants are interested in several of these points. Much progress in network theory has been made by analogies from different fields, and complex-network researchers value this, therefore we believe such a schedule will not seem unattractive to participants. In addition to the regular schedule during the Nordita program, of one or two talks per day, we will arrange a more intense, three day workshop April 7-9. One purpose of this workshop, is to attract researchers not able to stay the extended time required by the program.

This workshop is being organized as part of a long-program on networks at NORDITA.

Registration deadline: 15 March 2011 or when 70 participants have registered.

posted January 21, 2011 10:03 AM in Conferences and Workshops | permalink | Comments (2)

November 10, 2010

Workshop: Interdisciplinary Workshop on Information and Decision in Social Networks

And, here's another workshop; this one on information and social networks, held at MIT in late Spring 2011. I won't say anything more except to point out that social influence is complicated.

Interdisciplinary Workshop on Information and Decision in Social Networks

Date & Location: 31 May - 1 June 2010 at MIT

Organizers: Vincent Blondel (UCLouvain and LIDS, MIT), Munther Dahleh (LIDS, MIT), Asu Ozdaglar (LIDS, MIT), John Tsitsiklis (LIDS, MIT)

Description: Recent technological and mathematical developments have opened the possibility to considerably improve our understanding of how information flows and decisions are made in large social networks. In this workshop, we bring together researchers from different communities working on information propagation and decision making in social networks to investigate both rigorous models that highlight capabilities and limitations of such networks as well as empirical and simulations studies of how people exchange information, influence each other, make decisions and develop social interactions.

This workshop is being organized by the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems.

Submission deadline (extended abstracts): 11 March 2011

posted November 10, 2010 08:55 PM in Conferences and Workshops | permalink | Comments (0)

November 02, 2010

Workshop: Networks Across Disciplines in Theory and Applications

While I'm at it, here's another interesting looking workshop. This one is at NIPS 2010 and so will have more of a computer science emphasis. I expect it will be good, despite the fact that I'm speaking.

Networks Across Disciplines in Theory and Applications

Date & Location: December 11, 2010, NIPS, Whistler Canada

Organizers: Anna Goldenberg (Toronto), Edo Airoldi (Harvard) and Jure Leskovec (Stanford)

Description:Networks are used across a wide variety of disciplines to describe interactions between entities -- in sociology these are relations between people, such as friendships (Facebook); in biology, physical interactions between genes; the Internet, sensor networks, transport networks, ecological networks just to name a few. Researchers in machine learning, statistics and physics communities search for ways to explain and model the phenomena observed across the multitude of these disciplines. The theoretical findings stemming from different areas are heterogeneous and often complementary yet there are few means for intellectual exchange and collaboration across disciplinary boundaries.

The goal of our workshop is to actively promote a collaborative effort in addressing statistical and computational issues arising when modeling collections of data represented by networks -- static or dynamic; to "cross-pollinate" fields with ideas from different areas; to introduce new questions to the theoretical modeling audience and to broaden the focus by considering new areas.

Presentations will include novel network models, the application of established models to new domains, theoretical and computational issues, limitations of current methods and directions for future research.

Invited Speakers:
Carter Butts (Sociology, UC Irvine)
Jonathan Chang (Facebook)
Aaron Clauset (Computer Science, University of Colorado Boulder)
Lise Getoor (Computer Science, University of Maryland)
Trey Ideker (Bioengineering, UCSD)
Sayan Mukherjee (Statistics, Duke University)

Submission Deadline: passed, oops

posted November 2, 2010 04:41 PM in Conferences and Workshops | permalink | Comments (0)

Workshop: Complex Networks: Dynamics of Networks

This year is "networks year" in North Carolina, with a number of workshops and events being organized by the Statistics and Applied Mathematics Institute as one of their "long-programs". In January, they're holding an interesting looking workshop on the dynamics of networks.

Complex Networks: Dynamics of Networks

Date & Location: January 10-12, 2011, Research Triangle Park, NC

Organizers: Raissa D'Souza, Stephen Fienberg, Eric Kolaczyk, Jim Moody, Peter Mucha & Mason Porter

Description: The changing structure of networks over time impact and are indeed inherent in the study of a broad array of network phenomena. The network of contacts for the spread of an infectious disease varies in time, with that variation playing a potentially important role in the course of the disease. Ad hoc communications networks between roaming elements must continously readjust and renavigate between nodes according to the changing landscape of connections. Political networks of association connections or voting similarities vary from one legislative session to the next.

The detailed local social and/or technological processes underlying each of these example applications obviously differ, but many of the basic mathematical and statistical questions regarding such networks and the generalized information they carry are similar. Though the importance of dynamics in networks has of course been long recognized, renewed interest has emerged in part due to the increasing accessibility of dynamic network data, ranging from longitudinal data waves to complete time histories of network evolution. Additionally, most of the theoretical modeling work that has been done on the dynamics of networks has been focused on the statistical equilibria of those models (e.g., growing networks by preferential attachment) or on one-time disruption events (e.g., the effect of knocking out hubs). At the same time, statistical and computational tools for analyzing time-varying networks remain relatively few in number, especially as compared to the wealth of advances in methods for modeling and analyzing static networks.

There thus remains an ongoing need and opportunity for more thorough mathematical and statistical analysis and modeling of dynamic networks. This workshop aims to bring together researchers interested in pushing forward this extremely fertile area of research.

Deadline: 23 December 2010

Online Application Process: here

posted November 2, 2010 04:29 PM in Conferences and Workshops | permalink | Comments (5)

August 05, 2010

Workshop: Research and Analysis of Tail Phenomenon Symposium (RATS)

If you're in the Bay area next week and interested in power laws, "long tails" and other kinds of heavy-tailed distributions, this one-day event at Yahoo! Research might be interesting. I'll be giving a presentation about my own work on power-law distributions in empirical data, which looks like it will be the least interesting of the scheduled talks.

Research and Analysis of Tail Phenomenon Symposium

Date & Location: 20th August 2010, Sunnyvale, CA

Organizers: Ravi Kumar, Andrei Broder and Anirban Dasgupta

Description: The last decade has witnessed the emergence of enormous scale artifacts resulting from the independent action of hundreds of millions of people; for example, web repositories, social networks, mobile communication patterns, and consumption in "limitless" stores. The stochastic analyses of these processes often reveals heavy-tailed distributions and their understanding has become a common challenge for a plethora of scientists: statisticians, physicists, sociologists, economists, computer scientists, etc. It is time for all of us to get together! To this end we invite you to participate in the first Research and Analysis of Tail phenomena Symposium (RATS) that will explore the different computational, statistical, and modeling problems related to tail phenomena. The symposium will consist of a series of longer invited talks by experts in the field, and a number of shorter contributed presentations. We are particularly encouraging summer interns in any of the Bay Area research centers to join us in the event.

Invited Speakers: Chris Anderson (Wired), Michael Mitzenmacher (Harvard), Aaron Clauset (Univ. of Colorado), Neel Sundersan (eBay), Sharad Goel (Yahoo! Research, NY) and Michael Schwarz (Yahoo! Research, CA).

Update 21 Aug 2010: Michael has a nice and short summary of the workshop up on his blog.

Update 25 Aug 2010: Ravi tells me that they've posted the slides for all the talks on the RATS website.

posted August 5, 2010 08:58 AM in Conferences and Workshops | permalink | Comments (1)

July 16, 2010

Workshop: WIN 2010

I've heard good things about this workshop / mini-conference, which is run out of the business school at NYU. Unlike some other networks-themed meetings, it's a relatively small venue (much smaller than NetSci) and is focused on social networks and "information" defined broadly. This year is the second instance, and I expect that it will continue to be a good workshop to attend.

Workshop on Information on Networks (WIN) 2010

Date & Location: September 24-25, 2010, in New York City, USA

Organizers: Sinan Aral (NYU), Foster Provost (NYU), Arun Sundararajan (NYU)

Submission Deadline: August 5, 2010 (3 page extended abstracts)

Description: WIN is a Social Networks Summit intended to foster collaboration and to build community. The increasing availability of massive networked data is revolutionizing the scientific study of a variety of phenomena in fields as diverse as Computer Science, Economics, Physics and Sociology. Yet, while many important advances have taken place in these different communities, the dialog between researchers across disciplines is only beginning. The purpose of WIN is to bring together leading researchers studying ‘information in networks’ – its distribution, its diffusion, its value, and its influence on social and economic outcomes – in order to lay the foundation for ongoing relationships and to build a lasting multidisciplinary research community.

posted July 16, 2010 09:52 AM in Conferences and Workshops | permalink | Comments (0)

February 09, 2010

Workshop: Statistical modelling and inference for networks

Here's yet another workshop on networks later this year. This one looks quite interesting, given the emphasis on inference and statistics.

Statistical modelling and inference for networks (Statworks)

Date & Location: 28 June-1 July 2010, Bristol, UK

Organizers: Richard Everitt, Vanessa Didelez, Ayalvadi Ganesh, Dan Lawson, Jack O'Brien and Nick Whiteley

Description: Networks play an increasingly important role in a wide variety of applications, e.g., cellular networks, social dynamics and epidemiology. Whilst the concept of a network is central to all of these topics, there are also a great number of discrepancies amongst fundamental concepts: the meaning of a network; the targets of inference; and the appropriate statistical methodology. The relations and connections amongst inference methodologies - such as relational models, Bayesian networks, random graphs, and dynamic networks - can be confusing, as they have often have indistinct boundaries and unexplored statistical properties. The aim of this workshop is to bring together researchers with different backgrounds and approaches in order to explore these commonalities and differences.

Statworks is a four day workshop organised by members of the statistics group in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Bristol. The workshop is part of SuSTaIn: a programme funded by the EPSRC and the University of Bristol with the ambitious goal of strengthening the discipline of Statistics in the UK, by equipping it to face the challenges of future applications.

posted February 9, 2010 08:10 AM in Conferences and Workshops | permalink | Comments (1)

January 12, 2010

Workshop: Nonlinear Dynamics of Networks

And finally, here's one more upcoming networks workshop. This one, I expect will be really good, in spite of the fact that I'll be presenting.

Nonlinear Dynamics of Networks

Date & Location: 5-9 April, 2010, in College Park, MD

Organizers: Michelle Girvan (UMD), Ed Ott (UMD), Raj Roy (UMD) and Eitan Tadmor (UMD)

Description: The interconnection of many dynamical units to form a complex system can lead to unexpected collective behavior. This dynamics depends upon both the individual characteristics of the participating units, as well as the topological character and properties of the network of their connections. This workshop will focus on gaining understanding of general principles and techniques of analysis that will be of broad use in the many applications where networked system dynamics is a significant issue. Another aim of the workshop will be to highlight particularly important examples of applications where the issue of network dynamics arises.

Understanding the dynamics of networked systems is becoming an increasingly important and essential component in many areas of science and technology. Examples include social networks, communication and computer networks, gene networks, networks of neurons, etc. Dynamics on such networks include such problems as synchronization of temporal behavior of units composing a network, robustness of function to network damage (either intended or unintended), etc. The dynamics of networks themselves (i.e., change of network topological structure with time) is also an essential issue in many cases. Examples of issues in this area include adaptive evolution of network topology, formation and growth of networks, etc.

It is intended that all of the above, as well as related issues, will be open for discussion at this workshop. The two overarching goals of the workshop will be

• To contribute to the understanding of common, basic principles of network dynamics, and
• To uncover useful general analysis techniques for the study of these systems

posted January 12, 2010 10:37 AM in Conferences and Workshops | permalink | Comments (1)

Conference: NetSci 2010

While I'm at it, it looks like NetSci will happen again this year, and this year it returns to the US.

NetSci 2010

Date & Location: May 12-14, 2010, in Boston, USA

Organizers: Marta C. González (MIT), César A. Hidalgo (Harvard), Ginestra Bianconi (Northeastern) and Albert-László Barabási (Northeastern)

Submission Deadline: Feb 26, 2010

Description: Bringing together leading researchers, practitioners, and teachers in network science (including analysts, modelling experts, visualisation specialists, and others), NetSci fosters interdisciplinary communication and collaboration. The conference focuses on novel directions in networks research within the biological and environmental sciences, computer and information sciences, social sciences, finance and business.

The School part of the event (10-11 May) offers a series of tutorials and lectures, introducing tools and basic results from a variety of research areas of major interest for the study of complex networks. The School presents basic experimental and theoretical developments, as well as educate the research community on standard network databases, tools, and computational resources.

The Conference part of the event (12-14 May) is dedicated to talks presenting the latest results in the field and their applications in various disciplines.

posted January 12, 2010 10:31 AM in Conferences and Workshops | permalink | Comments (1)

Workshop: CompleNet 2010

I'm also on the Program Committee for CompleNet 2010, a workshop / conference on complex networks. It was in Europe last year, although I didn't actually attend. If the composition of the PC is any basis for judging, it's a very internationally-oriented workshop.

CompleNET 2010 Workshop

Date & Location: October 13-15, 2010, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Organizers: Giuseppe Mangioni (University of Catania), Ronaldo Menezes (Florida Tech.), Vincenzo Nicosia (University of Catania)

Submission Deadline: May 31, 2010

Description: This international workshop on complex networks (CompleNET 2010) aims at bringing together researchers and practitioners working on areas related to complex networks. In the past two decades we have been witnessing an exponential increase on the number of publications in this field. From biological systems to computer science, from economic to social systems, complex networks are becoming pervasive in many fields of science. It is this interdisciplinary nature of complex networks that this workshop aims at addressing.

Authors are encouraged to submit previously unpublished papers on their research in complex networks. Both theoretical and applied papers are of interest. Specific topics of interest are (but not limited to):

* Models of Complex Networks
* Structural Network Properties and Analysis
* Complex Network in Technology
* Complex Networks in Biological Systems
* Social Networks
* Search in Complex Networks
* Emergence in Complex Networks
* Complex Networks and Computer Epidemics
* Rumor Spreading
* Community Structure in Networks
* Link Analysis and Ranking
* Geometry in Complex Networks

posted January 12, 2010 10:18 AM in Conferences and Workshops | permalink | Comments (0)

December 13, 2009

Workshop: Simplex 2010

I'm on the Program Committee for Simplex 2010, a workshop for the interface between complex networks and computer science. Below is the CFP. Submission deadline is January 22, 2010. The workshop itself is June 21, 2010 in Genoa Italy.

Simplex aims at triggering different computer science communities (e.g. communication networks, distributed systems) to propose research areas and topics that should be tackled from the network science perspective. We also seek contributions from network science that are relevant to solve practical computer science problems. Two types of contributions are foreseen from prospective authors. The first type would consist of use-cases of theoretical tools and methods to solve practical problems. Such contributions should be as usable as possible by practitioners in the related field. The second type of contributions would come from practitioners that have identified a problem that may be solved by tools from network sciences. The point of such contributions is to make the network sciences community aware of the importance of a high-impact problem, and to suggest means by which the problem may be solved by the network sciences community. Both contributions should stimulate interaction between theoreticians and practitioners, and also have high potential impact in either field.

Topics for the workshop include, but are not limited to:

• Design of wired/wireless networks
• Representing and analyzing dynamic networks
• Network robustness to failures and attacks
• Mining of large scale networks
• Forwarding/routing for opportunistic network
• Mobility/connectivity modelling
• Anti-spam and Sybil attacks

posted December 13, 2009 09:57 AM in Conferences and Workshops | permalink | Comments (0)

April 24, 2009

Conference: Harvard Political Networks

This is the (I believe) the second annual Harvard conference on networks and political science. It's not an area I know much about, but the conference looks pretty good.

The Harvard Political Networks Conference

11 June -- 13 June 2009 at Harvard in Cambridge, MA

Organizers: James H. Fowler and David Lazer

posted April 24, 2009 08:25 AM in Conferences and Workshops | permalink | Comments (1)

February 25, 2009

Conference: NetSCI 2009

NetSCI continues its European location this year, moving now to Venice Italy. Unfortunately, once again I'll have to miss the events, as I'm scheduled to be in Las Vegas that week.

NetSCI 2009

29 June -- 3 July 2009 at Palazzo Franchetti, Istituto Veneto di Scienze Lettere ed Arti., Venezia Italy

Organizers: Guido Caldarelli, Vittoria Colizza, Andrea Rinaldo, Marco Santarelli, József Baranyi, Zoltán Toroczkai, and A-László Barabási

Abstract submission Deadline: 31 March 2009

Description: The aim of NetSCI is to bring together leading researchers, practitioners, and teachers in network science to foster interdisciplinary communication and collaboration. The conferences focus on novel directions in networks research with the biological and environmental sciences, computer and information sciences, social sciences, finance and business as well as philosophy and humanities.

Themes include:
- Networks in Biology
- Networks in Health & Society
- Information Networks and Infrastructures
- Networks in Organization & Communication
- Networks in Economy, Finance & Business
- Network theory: methods, models, visualizations

posted February 25, 2009 01:32 PM in Conferences and Workshops | permalink | Comments (0)

February 13, 2009

Global Sustainability

For those of you interested, this sounds like a great opportunity. The deadline is, unfortunately, very soon (February 20th, next Friday).

SFI's Global Sustainability Summer School, July 12 to July 25, 2009

The Santa Fe Institute and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory are pleased to announce a new program on Global Sustainability, to be held in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA. Co-directors are Doug Arent, Director, Strategic Energy Analysis, National Renewable Energy Laboratory; J. Doyne Farmer, Professor, Santa Fe Institute; John Schellnhuber, Professor and Director, Potsdam Institute; and Jessika Trancik, Postdoctoral Fellow, Santa Fe Institute.

This intensive two-week program explores global sustainability from many perspectives, with particular focus on problems posed by climate change. With enrollment limited to 30 participants, the school will include graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, junior and senior faculty, and individuals from the private sector.

The program consists of lectures and discussion sessions. These will be supplemented by a one-day mini-conference on July 18 featuring additional presentations. Topics include population and social development and its effects on energy resource consumption; climate and energy economics; energy technologies and associated paths to transition to low-carbon energy infrastructure; land use; and innovation and technology.

Lecturers include Partha Dasgupta, University of Cambridge; Ottmar Edenhofer, PIK; Matthew England, University of New South Wales; Arnulf Grubler, IIASA; Andrew Hargadon, University of California; Chuck Kutscher, NREL; Dennis Meadows, University of New Hampshire; Nebojsa Nakicenovic, IIASA; Carlo Rubbia, CIEMAT.

Electronic applications are due February 20, 2009. Letters of recommendation are due March 6, 2009.

For complete program information and online application, please visit our website at

posted February 13, 2009 02:36 PM in Conferences and Workshops | permalink | Comments (3)

November 11, 2008

Workshop: CompleNet 2009

Another workshop on networks, this one in Europe. I'll be serving on the Program Committee, and there's to be some kind of special volume for the accepted papers. The list of networks-related topics is pretty broad, so I hope it gets a nice cross-section of the current work on networks. Also, pleasantly enough, the list of folks involved in it is very large, which makes me think it'll be a good place to interact with networks folks from all over.

CompleNET 2009 Workshop

May 26-28, 2009, in Catania, Italy

Organizers: Giuseppe Mangioni (University of Catania), Ronaldo Menezes (Florida Institute of Technology), Vincenzo Nicosia (University of Catania)

Submission Deadline: January 11, 2009

Description: This international workshop on complex networks (CompleNET 2009) aims at bringing together researchers and practitioners working on areas related to complex networks. In the past two decades we have been witnessing an exponential increase on the number of publications in this field. From biological systems to computer science, from economic to social systems, complex networks are becoming pervasive in many fields of science. It is this interdisciplinary nature of complex networks that this workshop aims at addressing. Authors are encouraged to submit previously unpublished papers on their research in complex networks. Both theoretical and applied papers are of interest. Specific topics of interest are (but not limited to):

. Models of Complex Networks
. Structural Network Properties and Analysis
. Complex Network in Technology
. Complex Networks in Biological Systems
. Social Networks
. Search in Complex Networks
. Emergence in Complex Networks
. Complex Networks and Computer Epidemics
. Rumor Spreading
. Community Structure in Networks
. Link Analysis and Ranking

Original papers in the above-mentioned and other related areas will be considered. Each submitted paper will be fully refereed and undergo a double-blind review process by at least two referees. The accepted papers will be published in the conference proceedings to be published by Springer-Verlag as volume of the series of Studies in Computational Intelligence.

posted November 11, 2008 03:09 PM in Conferences and Workshops | permalink | Comments (2)

November 08, 2008

Conference: Sunbelt 29

I've never myself been to Sunbelt, the main conference in sociology on social networks, but I hear it's a good event to attend if you're interested in social networks, and how they're being used to answer questions about social organization and social behavior.

The International Network for Social Network Analysis's (INSNA) Sunbelt XXIX

March 10-15, 2009 at Bahia Hotel at Mission Beach San Diego

Organizers: Rebecca L. Davis, Laura Koehly and Thomas W. Valente

Submission Deadline: December 15, 2008

Description: The annual meeting of the International Network for Social Network Analysis provides a forum for researchers, academicians, and practitioners to present research results and project updates. Abstracts, not completed papers, should be submitted on the INSNA website which will also ask for descriptive keywords. Keywords will be used to group presentations into sessions. The conference is preceded by workshops on many aspects of social network analysis including introductory courses and trainings on software platforms. We look forward to an exciting and vibrant conference this year. FAQ and contact information can be found at

posted November 8, 2008 08:08 AM in Conferences and Workshops | permalink | Comments (2)

September 25, 2008

Workshop: Analyzing Graphs, Theory and Applications

The only time I've ever been to NIPS [1] was to present the results of my first research project in grad school [2]. It was a fun trip, especially because the NIPS workshops are held at the Whistler ski resort [3]. The NIPS conference is now home to a lot of machine learning research, and this year I'm helping out with a workshop on the methodological side of network analysis. Although I won't be able to actually attend the workshop, I have high hopes for it [4], as methodological questions are pretty fundamental to our ability to say both interesting and useful things about networks, and their relevance to the many branches of science that now use them. So, get those TeX compilers humming!

NIPS 2008 Workshop on Analyzing Graphs: Theory and Applications

December 12, 2008 at NIPS at Whistler Canada

Organizers: Edo Airoldi (Princeton), David Blei (Princeton), Jake Hofman (Yahoo! Research), Tony Jebara (Columbia U.), and Eric Xing (CMU).

Submission Deadline: Friday, October 31, 2008

Description: Recent research in machine learning and statistics has seen the proliferation of computational methods for analyzing graphs and networks. These methods support progress in many application areas, including the social sciences, biology, medicine, neuroscience, physics, finance, and economics.

This workshop will address statistical, methodological and computational issues that arise when modeling and analyzing graphs. The workshop aims to bring together researchers from applied disciplines such as sociology, economics, medicine and biology with researchers from mathematics, physics, statistics and computer science. Different communities use diverse ideas and mathematical tools; our goal is to foster cross-disciplinary collaborations and intellectual exchange.

We welcome the following types of papers:
- Research papers that introduce new models or apply established models to novel domains,
- Research papers that explore theoretical and computational issues, or
- Position papers that discuss shortcomings and desiderata of current approaches, or propose new directions for future research.

All submissions will be peer-reviewed; exceptional work will be considered for oral presentation. We encourage authors to emphasize the role of learning and its relevance to the application domains at hand. In addition, we hope to identify current successes in the area, and will therefore consider papers that apply previously proposed models to novel domains and data sets.


[1] NIPS stands for Neural Information Processing Systems, but has become one of the main machine learning conferences.

[2] Which is still unpublished, not because it's wrong or bad, but because I'm lazy. I like to think that I'm saving it for a "rainy day", but who am I really kidding?

[3] Of course, on that trip, like a fool, I didn't ski at all. Just presented my results, tromped around in the snow, ate some good food, and did almost all the work for a new paper on the bus and plane back to New Mexico.

[4] This is partly because I'm friends with many of the organizers, who care about many of the same things I do in terms of methodological accuracy.

posted September 25, 2008 04:41 PM in Conferences and Workshops | permalink | Comments (0)

September 09, 2008

Workshop: Flows and Networks in Complex Media

For folks interested in flows of stuff on networks (e.g., traffic flows like cars or internet packets), this sounds like a great workshop. I don't recognize many names on the list, but the two I do (Dirk Helbing and Sid Redner) are excellent.

Institute for Pure & Applied Math (IPAM) Workshop on Flows and Networks in Complex Media (ADN)

April 27 - May 1, 2009 at IPAM on UCLA's campus (Los Angeles, USA)

Organizers: M. C. Carvalho (GA Tech), Karl Kempf (Intel), Stephan Mischler (U, Paris IX), Benedetto Piccoli (Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche) and Christian Ringhofer (AZ State).

Description: This workshop will be directed towards particle flows in complex topologies, either given in the form of networks and graphs, or in the form of random or quasi - periodic media. The aim of the workshop will be to bring together an interdisciplinary group of researchers in different areas such as traffic flow simulation, supply chain management and physical flows in random media. These areas share a number of common challenges and require therefore the usage of similar mathematical toolboxes. These challenges include the incorporation of the stochasticity of the flow and the topology into averaged macroscopic models via appropriate homogenization methods, the existence of intermediate regimes, consisting only of a limited number of cars, clients or particles, and the resulting need to develop hybrid modeling tools linking particle and discrete event simulation models to macroscopic fluid equations.

posted September 9, 2008 09:34 AM in Conferences and Workshops | permalink | Comments (2)

July 27, 2008

Announcement: BC Net Workshop

Tis the season for networks workshops, it seems. Here's another announcement I recently received, this time for a workshop in Barcelona. Although the keynote-speaker lineup looks pretty good, and the organizers have done a lot of interesting work over the years, I will probably have to skip this event as I'm running a workshop on Networks and Inference at SFI only a few days before. If any of my dear readers go, I'd love to get a summary afterward.

BC Net Workshop: Trends and perspectives in complex networks

December 10-12, 2008 at the Physics Department, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.

Organizers: Marian Boguñà (U. Barcelona), Albert Díaz-Guilera (U. Barcelona) Romualdo Pastor-Satorras (U. Politècnica de Catalunya), and M. Àngels Serrano (IFISC).

Description: Ten years have elapsed since the publication of the celebrated paper by Watts and Strogatz on small-world networks. During this decade, the development of foundational aspects and methodologies set the grounds of complex network science, an interdisciplinary research area connecting Statistical Physics, Biology, Information Technology, Sociology, Economy, and others. Time has come to ask what have been the major contributions of this emerging field to prospect its future in perspective. We believe network science is now mature enough to start developing problem-solving ability and engineering and predictive power.

The spirit of this workshop is to stimulate researchers in complex networks and related areas to find new perspectives, trends, and applications that guarantee this headway. To this end, internationally recognized specialists will be invited to explain their current investigations and to discuss the expected progress of their research within the context of the field. The workshop will present as well selected contributions compliant with its purpose. An open colloquium session will also be organized where keynote speakers, participants, and committee members will have the opportunity to debate all together on the present situation of complex networks science and its outlook.

posted July 27, 2008 03:55 PM in Conferences and Workshops | permalink | Comments (5)

July 15, 2008

Announcement: ICDM Workshop on Analysis of Dynamic Networks

Since I'm pretty sure that part of the future of research on complex networks lays in understanding how networks evolve over time, this workshop seems quite relevant. Judging by the associated conference and the organizers, this workshop will probably focus on algorithmic techniques for analyzing large amounts of network data.

IEEE Conference on Data Mining (ICDM) Workshop on Analysis of Dynamic Networks (ADN)

December 19, 2008 at the IEEE Conference on Data Mining (ICDM) in Pisa, Italy

Organizers: Tanya Berger-Wolf (UIC), Malik Magdon-Ismail (RPI) and Jared Saia (UNM).

Description: The goal of the Analysis of Dynamic Networks (ADN) workshop is to bring together research that addresses explicitly the dynamic nature of networks in the context of analysis of social, electronic, biological and other networks. We aim to further the development of a computational framework in which one can model, discover and analyze complex interaction systems as they form and evolve.

We invite contributions presenting new computational methods for analysis of dynamic interaction networks, new models of dynamic behavior of networks, or applications of dynamic network analysis in various contexts. Papers presenting new methods should provide experimental or empirical evidence of the performance of the new methods.

In this context, submission topics can include, but are not limited to:
- Modeling dynamic behavior of networks

- Network structure prediction

- Analysis of spreading processes in networks

- Community structure inference

- Search and routing in dynamic networks

- Identification of critical nodes

- Comparison of dynamic networks

- Visualization of dynamic networks

Other topics within the subject area are welcome. Note, that all submitted papers should demonstrate the relevance to the topic of dynamic networks. If unsure whether your paper fits the session theme, please contact one of the co-chairs.

posted July 15, 2008 04:55 PM in Conferences and Workshops | permalink | Comments (0)

July 09, 2008

Announcement: DIMACS Workshop on Network Models of Biological and Social Contagion

This workshop looks pretty interesting, and that's not because it's being organized by my friends. Comfortably, the topics align with several of what I think are the "future" of network science (tip to Jake).

Update 18 July 2008: Having just received an invitation to speak from the organizers, I think it's likely that I'll be attending. In addition to learning about new science at DIMACS, it'll be a great opportunity to also visit some friends and colleagues in New York City.

DIMACS / DyDAn Workshop on Network Models of Biological and Social Contagion

November 3 - 4, 2008 at DIMACS, Rutgers

Organizers: Lauren Ancel Meyers (UT Austin) and Michelle Girvan (UMD).

Description: The spread of infectious diseases and the flow of ideas and information through populations fundamentally depend on the complex structure of the underlying network of interactions between individuals. Disease ecologists and sociologists have historically studied the dynamics of contagion using models that assume very simple population structures. Recently, however, network modeling has revolutionized both fields by enabling the rigorous exploration of the relationship between complex individual-level behavior and the higher-level emergence of outbreaks. The field draws on advanced statistical tools for inferring network structure from often limited data, data-driven algorithms for generating realistic network structures, and mathematical approximations for predicting transmission dynamics that draw from the methods of percolation theory and other fields within statistical physics.

While network models are more complex than their mass-action predecessors, they are remarkably tractable, often reducing to low-dimensional descriptions and allowing straightforward calculations of the dynamics of contagion. The fields of infectious disease epidemiology and sociology are simultaneously experiencing an explosion of computationally-intensive agent-based simulation models, that allow much higher-resolution representations of populations but often preclude comprehensive analysis. Selecting among the diversity of modeling approaches is non-trivial, and may be highly dependent on the system and the questions.

This workshop will focus on network models for biological and social contagion, and how they compare to alternative approaches. It will address the challenges of inferring network structure from sociological and/or epidemiological data, understanding the emergence of such network structure from simple individual-level behavior, and predicting the dynamics of contagion from simple characterizations of the underlying network.


- Inferring network structure from data

- Generative models of social and epidemiological networks

- Modeling the dynamics of biological and social contagion on networks

- Modeling feedback from contagion dynamics to network structure

- Model selection -- choosing the right level of complexity

posted July 9, 2008 12:47 AM in Conferences and Workshops | permalink | Comments (0)

May 08, 2008

GATech Conference: Frontiers in Multi-Scale Systems Biology

Georgia Tech is getting into interdisciplinary science, at least when it comes to biology. Apparently, they're launching a new "institute" called the Integrative BioSystems Institute which is supposed to bring folks together from different biological disciplines to approach the big problems in biology (and by "biology", it seems that they mainly mean molecular and cellular biology, i.e., genes, proteins, metabolites, neurons, etc.). Anyway, to kick off their new center, they're throwing a big party, I mean, a big conference. The upside, of course, is that it should be chock full of speakers on a wide range of biological topics, and potentially a good place to learn about interesting questions.

GA Tech's Frontiers in Multi-Scale Systems Biology

October 18-21, 2008 at Georgian Terrace Hotel, Atlanta, GA

Organizers: Jeffrey Skolnick (Co-Chair), Eberhard Voit (Co-Chair), David Bader, Lynn Durham, Richard Fujimoto, Jessica Gilmore, Melissa Kemp, Patricia Sobecky, LaDawn Terry, Eric Vigoda.

Description: Frontiers in Multi-Scale Systems Biology will highlight representative topics of multi-scale systems biology including: genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, molecular inventories and databases, modeling and simulation, high-performance computing, enabling experimental and computational technologies, and applications in cancer, neuroscience and the environment.

Conference themes are
1. The creation of key molecular inventories that drive integrative biological systems analyses at all significant levels of biological organization.
2. Enabling experimental technologies for the investigation of multi-level, multi-scale integrative biological systems.
3. Innovation in high-performance computing, modeling and simulation, with applications in multi-scale integrative biology.
4. Applications of enabling experimental and computational technologies and molecular inventories.

posted May 8, 2008 06:18 PM in Conferences and Workshops | permalink | Comments (0)

February 24, 2008

IPAM Workshops: (1) River Networks and (2) the Internet

IPAM has two workshops coming up that look interesting.

The first is part of the Optimal Transport long program, and focuses on, among other things, resource transportation via network structures. Some of the impetus for this workshop stems from recent theoretical work on river networks (summarized well by Dan Rothman and Peter Dodds in a series of three review articles from 2000: 1, 2, and 3), which suggests that many of their complicated-looking structures are driven directly by properties of turbulent flows. My admittedly shallow dive through this literature a few years ago gives me the impression that the mathematical models being used are pretty cute, and may even by right. On the other hand, I'm not sure how good the empirical data and the statistical analyses are. Anyway... River networks, of course, are only distantly related to the kind of networks that I typically study, since they're basically shaped like trees rather than the complex hair balls I usually contemplate. But, they do make very beautiful, space-filling trees. While I was flying into PHL this afternoon, I couldn't help but notice the beautiful fractal-like structures carved into the wet lands by waterways of all sizes.

The second event at IPAM is a long program on the Internet and so-called "multi-resolution analysis" (MRA). I'm not sure the term MRA is a particularly helpful one, but generally the program seems to be focused on measurement and modeling of Internet structure and traffic, at and across different layers of the internet protocol stack. There are a lot of interesting questions involved here (e.g., check out Allen Downey's research), and in general, the idea behind a lot of this research is to help build a better Internet (i.e., it's ostensibly related to the enormously unfocused GENI project).

Workshop on Transport Systems in Geography, Geosciences, and Networks

May 5-9, 2008 at IPAM (UCLA)

Organizers: Andrea Bertozzi (UCLA), Bjorn Birnir (UC Santa Barbara), Dan Rothman (MIT), and William Zame (UCLA).

Description: In recent years a large number of scaling laws in geomorphology have been found to be equivalent to only two scaling laws. Recent results on river meanders indicate that there may be only one universal scaling law, implying all the others. Moreover, recent theoretical results on turbulent flow in rivers indicate that turbulent flow is the source of the universal scaling of river basins and river networks.

These results provide a key to the understanding of the fundamental structure of the surface of the earth, that layers of complexity such as tectonic uplift, earthquake rifts and the action of glaciers can then be added to. It provides a way of quantifying transport of water, sediments and chemicals over the surface and exchanges of dissolved chemicals between the water and the atmosphere. In particular this seems to provide a method to quantify the transfer of carbon dioxide from rivers to the atmosphere. This workshop will explore why and how this transport due to turbulent flow takes place and is optimal.

Other transport such as transport of magma in volcanoes will also be covered and how similar ideas can be used to identify and quantify transport in social networks and economics.

Internet Multi-Resolution Analysis: Foundations, Applications and Practice

September 8 - December 12, 2008 at IPAM (UCLA)

Organizers: Paul Barford (UW Madison), John Doyle (CalTech), Anna Gilbert (UMich), Mauro Maggioni (Duke), Craig Patridge (Bolt Beranek and Newman), Matthew Roughan (U. Adelaide), and Walter Willinger (AT&T).

Description: The main focus of this IPAM program will be on innovations and breakthroughs in the theoretical foundations and practical implementations of a network-centric multi-resolution analysis (MRA); that is, a structured approach to representing, analyzing, and visualizing complex measurements from Internet-like systems that is (i) specifically designed to accommodate the vertical (e.g., layers) and horizontal (e.g., domains) decompositions of Internet-like architectural designs, (ii) flexible enough to account for the highly heterogeneous (i.e., ``scale-rich'') nature of these designs and the high semantic content of the available measurements, and (iii) capable of retaining some of the mathematical elegance of more traditional MRA schemes. Critical capabilities of the envisioned Internet MRA, in particular, and network MRA, in general, include support for the exploration of multi-scale representations of very large and diverse network-specific annotated graph structures, novel techniques for the study of the dynamics of as well as the dynamic processes over these structures, and new methodologies and tools for dealing with aggregated spatio-temporal-functional network data representations and their associated analysis and visualization.

By leading the way towards the development of a mathematical foundation for network-centric MRA techniques, this IPAM program will be firmly grounded in a number of key Internet MRA target problems (e.g., cyber-security, traffic/network engineering, network control), with close ties to activities that can be expected to arise in the context of a major NSF-led initiative called Global Environment for Networking Innovations or GENI ( or At the same time, this IPAM program will also be strongly influenced by developments in other scientific disciplines where informed multiscale approaches to the study of highly engineered or evolved networked systems have proved to be essential for advancing our understanding of their properties, behaviors, and evolution.

  • Workshop I: Multiscale Representation, Analysis and Modeling of Internet Data and Measurements. September 22 - 26, 2008.
  • Workshop II: Applications of Internet MRA to Cyber-Security . October 13 - 17, 2008.
  • Workshop III: Beyond Internet MRA: Networks of Networks. November 3 - 7, 2008.
  • Workshop IV: New Mathematical Frontiers in Network Multi-Resolution Analysis. November 17 - 21, 2008.

posted February 24, 2008 03:26 PM in Conferences and Workshops | permalink | Comments (0)

January 07, 2008

Workshop: Is there a Physics of Society?

Usually, I blog about upcoming workshops and conferences that seem interesting (many of which I ultimately attend). This time, I'm blogging about a workshop that I'm organizing... whether that makes it interesting, I'll let you decide. The workshop is organized around the idea that social science and physics have a lot to offer each other, and many people over the ages have wondered whether society's machinations might follow "laws" that are vaguely similar to the sort that we see matter follow.

If there is a "physics of society" it will surely be rather different from the strongly deterministic laws that often characterize physics (in the classical limit), but rather more like the statistical laws that pervade condensed matter or statistical physics. Even then, if such "laws" do exist, they are necessarily the product of the collective action of many individuals, and thus don't say a whole lot about individual or idiosyncratic behavior. That is, "laws of society" in the sense that we mean them are different from traditional sociology, where most questions relate to how societal "norms" influence individual behavior (and also, perhaps, the construction of those norms), and more like "crowd" behavior when many people constrain each others' range of choices through social interactions. Examples of these kinds of patterns are plentiful nowadays, but some of my favorites include the physics of traffic jams (for example), the price of individuality (for example), and the irrationality of popularity (for example). Our hope for the workshop, which is bringing together about 10 social scientists and 10 physicists, is to think seriously about the prospects for a "physics of society", ask what other behaviors can be explained in this way, and shed light on the conditions that cause social interactions produce law-like behavior.

SFI Workshop: Is there a Physics of Society?

January 10-12, 2008 at Santa Fe Institute, New Mexico

Organizers: Aaron Clauset (SFI) and Michelle Girvan (U. Maryland)

Description: Based on the fact that a number of physicists are now actively studying models of social systems (e.g., the tremendous amount of recent work on networks, models of collective behavior, etc.), we believe that now is a critical time to bring together social scientists and physicists to discuss the idea of whether there might be a "physics of society," and, if so, what are the most promising areas for collaboration and future work. Obviously, we are optimistic about the likelihood that there are such areas, and hope that this workshop benefits both groups of scientists.

The format of the workshop will involve both technical presentations and discussion about the broader issues with the idea that we begin to sort through the outstanding questions about the 'physics of society'. The group we are inviting is relatively small of about twenty social scientists (including sociologists, economists and political scientists) and physicists.

Update, January 11, 2008: I'll be blogging about the results of the workshop next week.

Update, February 24, 2008: Obviously, I haven't blogged yet about the workshop the way I'd wanted to... this is partly because of having been overwhelmingly busy since the workshop ended, but also because I'm reluctant to kiss and tell about it here. There were aspects of the workshop that I greatly enjoyed (e.g., meeting several people whom I think are absolutely fascinating work, both on the social science and on the physics side of things), and aspects that greatly irked me (e.g., the thinly veiled and entirely unhelpful chest-thumping about physics is the model of how science should be done). For sure though, I hope and plan to have more interactions around the core ideas of the workshop in the future. With a little luck, some of these may even involve doing detailed experimental work on large-scale social behavior...

posted January 7, 2008 11:36 AM in Conferences and Workshops | permalink | Comments (3)

December 02, 2007

ISI Workshop: the summary

The talks at the Institute for Scientific Interchange's (ISI) workshop spanned quite a few areas of network research. One of the more popular themes (four talks) related to tag-networks, using data from places like Flickr, CiteULike and Bibsonomy, with much of the work presented being funded by an EU project called Tagora. The most interesting talk of this group was by Ciro Cattuto (abstract) on the semantics of tags. The thing I liked about this work was the use of known semantic relationships (constructed laboriously by human linguists) to infer the semantic relationships of the tags. This combination allowed them to constructed a system that seems to be able to identify a reasonable (to a human) set of synonyms to the tags a user gives a resource. Given the difficulty of algorithmically defining such semantic relations, this is a nice result.

Another good talk was by Filippo Menczer (abstract) on the behavior of web surfers as it relates to the simple model of behavior that PageRank (the basic algorithm that most modern search engines use) assumes. This idea is interesting on one level because you might imagine that you want search engine results to be based on an accurate model of user behavior. That is, you might want the search engine to give results equivalent to polling the world for its collective opinion about which page is most relevant to your query. But, as we know (from years of human-computer-interaction research), being realistic may not be the best way to build the most useable tool. In short, it may be the case that the "best" kind of search engine is one based on an inaccurate model of surfer behavior (obviously, the key here is knowing what "good" search results are).

Anyway, with that caveat in mind, Fil showed that several assumptions of the PageRank (or, more correctly, eigenvector centrality) are qualitatively inaccurate models of real user behavior. The first, that all edges have equal weight, is violated as users follow some links much more preferentially than others. Fil showed us the distribution of weights and claimed it was a power-law distribution. The fact that he used a logarithmic binning scheme makes this conclusion less believable, since a judicious choice of bins can make non-power-law distributions look more power-law-like (fortunately, there are better methods available). Similarly, the probability of a surfer "teleporting" to another page is typically assumed to be uniform among pages, but Fil showed us that some pages are much more likely to be "start" pages for a browsing session (the ones you would expect: Google, Yahoo, etc.). In a sense, these facts are unsurprising -- assuming that humans do anything uniformly at random almost always proves to be wrong -- but probably worth pointing out. I wonder if a version of eigenvector centrality, corrected for these differences in real user behavior, would be more useful as a basis for search engine results...

The third talk I really enjoyed was by Luca Dall'Asta (abstract) on his recent work generalizing some of my own work with Cris Moore on the bias of traceroute to multi-source studies. That is, it's now been known for a couple of years that when you sample a network's topology using short-path probes from a single source, you get a very biased view of the topology (so biased that the degree distribution of the real network may be concentrated around a single value, while the distribution of the sampled network has no characteristic value, i.e., looks like a power-law). A couple of years ago, Cris and I showed, using numerical studies, that the marginal utility of additional sources can be very low, and that almost all nodes need to be sources in the study before the observed network accurately represents the real one. Luca generalized our differential equations approach to multiple sources, and showed some very nice results for Erdos-Renyi random graphs (where every edge exists independently, but with the same probability). We talked briefly afterward about his preliminary results for random graphs with power-law degree distributions, and I'm hopeful that his approach can analytically explain the character of our numerical results.

The point of this kind of work is that most empirical data we have on network topology are actually derived from some kind of sampling scheme. That is, only in a few cases do we know the full network explicitly (e.g., the airport network). For the Internet (both the IP and the BGP), samples of the topology are derived from sampling paths through the network, and thus probably exhibit the kind of bias that Luca talked about. The ultimate goal here is to understand the bias well enough that we can invert the problem, converting a biased sample to an unbiased estimate of the underlying topology. This is a hard problem though, made worse by the fact that the sampling bias seems to map different underlying topologies to similar observed topologies. The importance of the Internet's topology may seem a bit esoteric, but similar kinds of biases exist in our samples of biological networks. Given the amount of interest in understanding the "systems-level" structure of things like the protein-interaction network (important if, say, you want to design drugs with few side-effects), you might imagine that there's a lot of work being done to understand (and invert) the sampling biases present there. But, sadly, you'd be wrong. On the other hand, the scale of the problem for the protein-interaction network is enormous: current estimates of our accuracy here suggest we only have 10% of the topology correct.

posted December 2, 2007 12:09 PM in Conferences and Workshops | permalink | Comments (1)

November 21, 2007

ISI Workshop: Theoretical Aspects and Models of Large Complex and Open Information Networks

This week I'm in Turino Italy at the Institute for Scientific Interchange's (ISI) Workshop on Theoretical Aspects and Models of Large Complex and Open Information Networks (TAMLCOIN). ISI occupies part of the Villa Gualino, an old WWII bunker-like complex on the hill that overlooks downtown Turin. Many of the researchers at ISI are involved in some aspect of complex networks research, so such a workshop seems entirely natural, and hopefully won't be the last. The workshop attendees are primarily the European side of the Atlantic (a strong presence from Italy, with some folks from Germany, France, Greece and Spain, among others), so it's a relatively different set of researchers than you see at the American networks meetings.

I'll try to do my usual conference-blogging about the interesting talks when I return to the US next week.

posted November 21, 2007 03:33 AM in Conferences and Workshops | permalink | Comments (0)

October 29, 2007

Conference: SIAM Annual Meeting 2008

The SIAM Annual Meeting for 2008 features networks ("Networks: biological, social and Internet") as one of the main themes. If this meeting is anything like the SIAM Dynamical Systems meeting in 2007, then there will be some interesting minisymposia on networks. The deadline for minisymposia proposals is 14 January, 2008. I'm not sure if you have to be a SIAM member to propose one.

SIAM Annual Meeting 2008

8 June, 2008 at San Diego, CA


  • Computational science & engineering
  • Data mining
  • Dynamical systems
  • Geosciences
  • Imaging science
  • Linear & multilinear algebra
  • Networks: biological, social and Internet
  • Scientific software: enabling complex simulations

posted October 29, 2007 08:38 AM in Conferences and Workshops | permalink | Comments (0)

October 28, 2007

Workshop: NIPS Workshop on Statistical Models of Networks

NIPS (Neural Information Processing Systems, although in terms of topics, the N could probably be dropped without anyone noticing) has an interesting looking workshop coming up. Sadly, I think I will have to miss it, although there should be some interesting talks (Mark Handcock and Stephen Fienberg I know will give good ones), and it's hard to beat Whistler as a conference location.

NIPS Workshop on Statistical Models of Networks

December 8, 2007 at Whistler, Canada

Organizers: Lise Getoor (UMD), Raphael Gottardo (UBC), Kevin Murphy (UBC), and Eric Xing (CMU)

Description: The purpose of the workshop is to bring together people from different disciplines - computer science, statistics, biology, physics, social science, etc - to discuss foundational issues in the modeling of network and relational data. In particular, we hope to discuss various open research issues, such as:

  • How to represent graphs at varying levels of abstraction, whose topology is potentially condition-specific and time-varying
  • How to combine techniques from the graphical model structure learning community with techniques from the statistical network modeling community
  • How to integrate relational data with other kinds of data (e.g., gene expression, sequence or text data).

posted October 28, 2007 08:33 AM in Conferences and Workshops | permalink | Comments (0)

September 26, 2007

Workshop: NSF + IPAM on CDI grant

IPAM is running a short workshop at the end of October to discuss a newly announced NSF program with the unfortunate name of "Cyber-Enabled Discovery and Innovation" (or, CDI). Although its relationship to networks may not be obvious from the title, it seems clear to me (and to IPAM) that networks are going to be a big part of what CDI funds.

I think the general idea is to give NSF feedback about what are the interesting questions and topics in this area, and to let the community of interested folks get some feedback about what NSF is looking for. Seems like a reasonable idea to me, and could be a good opportunity to interact with both NSF and other folks interested in the grant.

Cyber-Enabled Discovery and Innovation: Knowledge Extraction; October 29, 2007 at IPAM.

posted September 26, 2007 08:10 AM in Conferences and Workshops | permalink | Comments (0)

September 23, 2007

DIMACS Workshop on Computational Methods for Dynamic Interaction Networks

For the first part of this week I'm at Rutgers University giving a talk on analyzing dynamic social network data (really, dynamic proximity data from which you can infer network data) at a DIMACS workshop run in part by Tanya Berger-Wolf (now at UIC; I first met her when she was a post-doc at UNM). Some of the presentations overlap with those I saw at another DIMACS workshop back in January at GA Tech, but I hope the emphasis in this event will be more on dynamic (i.e., temporally varying) networks, and some of the interesting questions you can answer computationally with that kind of data.

Then, I'll be spending the rest of the week in New York City thinking about science with Chris and Jake at Columbia.

posted September 23, 2007 09:24 PM in Conferences and Workshops | permalink | Comments (0)

September 11, 2007

Announcement: NetSci 2008

It seems like NetSci is gaining some momentum as an annual thing, and this seems like good news to me. I hope this also means that the conference will exhibit greater diversity in the speakers, which in the past has tilted heavily toward the past and present collaborators of the organizers. The bad news for State-siders like me is that NetSci 2008 is going to be in the UK, which makes attending a little more complicated (actually, the last I'd heard, it was going to be in Italy). The website has scant details at the moment, so I will probably post again about this conference closer to the submission deadline.

International Conference on Network Science 2008 (NetSci)

June 25 - 27, 2008 at Norwich BioSciences Conference Centre, Norwich, UK

Organizers: Norwich BioSciences Conference Centre and David White (Institute of Food Research, IFR), József Baranyi (IFR), Guido Caldarelli (University of Rome), Zoltán Toroczkai (Notre Dame), and Albert-László Barabási (Notre Dame).

posted September 11, 2007 10:06 AM in Conferences and Workshops | permalink | Comments (0)

August 16, 2007

Announcement: IPAM Social Data Mining and Knowledge Building Workshop

This sounds interesting. Also, Andrew McCallum is a very smart guy.

Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics (IPAM; UCLA) Social Data Mining and Knowledge Building

November 5 - 9, 2007 at IPAM, UCLA, Los Angeles

Organizers: Peter Jones (Yale), Johan Bollen (LANL), Ronald Coifman (Yale), Andrew McCallum (UMass-Amherst), and Karin Verspoor (LANL).

Description: Social Data Mining is a fast-growing and exciting area of inquiry, in which connections among and interactions between individuals are analyzed to understand innovation, collective decision making, and problem solving, and how the structure of organizations and social networks impacts these processes. Analysis of such inherently relational datasets is currently being applied in e-commerce to drive recommendation systems, in bibliometrics to describe patterns of publication and determine the influence of specific individuals, in security environments to understand the structure of terrorist or gang networks, and numerous other areas. This workshop will bring together researchers in mathematics, computer science, and the social sciences to explore the following topics:

  • collective decision making
  • social network analysis
  • social mapping and bibliometrics
  • the role of information visualization in understanding social networks
  • the application of graph-theoretical analysis to social networks
  • data representation strategies, e.g. the Semantic Web

posted August 16, 2007 12:48 PM in Conferences and Workshops | permalink | Comments (0)

August 03, 2007

Announcement: Workshop on Theoretical Aspects and Models of Large Complex and Open Information Networks

I recently received an invitation to speak at this workshop; my intention is to attend, but this kind of depends on whether the US Government can get me my new passport in time. Regular readers will recall that back in April I suffered the unspeakable tragedy of having my laptop (and bag, with contents) stolen. For a completely stupid reason, my passport was in the bag, and I only just recently got around to sending off the application for a replacement. I must admit, I'm extremely excited about getting a new RFID-enabled passport though. Just think about all the time I could save in customs if officials could scan my passport from a distance!

Anyway, on to the real business of this post...

The Institute for Scientific Interchange (ISI; in Torino, Italy) Workshop on Theoretical Aspects and Models of Large Complex and Open Information Networks

November 19 - 21, 2007 at the ISI Foundation, Villa Gualino, Torino Italy

Organizers: Allain Barrat (Paris-Sud and ISI), Josep Diaz (Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya), Lefteris Kirousis (Computer Technology Institute, Patras, Greece), and Alessandro Vespignani (Indiana U. and ISI).

Description: Large, Complex and Open Information Networks consist of many interacting nodes, and have been shown to possess emerging properties such as the small-world character or the widespread heterogeneity of the connectivity.

Research in network theory includes many different aspects. New tools have been developed for the analysis and description of the topology of networks. New models have aimed at understanding how self-organization is realized and how local decisions concerning connectivity among nodes affect the global emergent properties of such networks, like percolation, clustering, critical exponents etc.
Moreover, complex networks are most often the substrate of many dynamical process that can be of critical importance. For example, biological networks carry out vital functions, the Internet is the support of many different information transfer networks, while social networks are the environment in which epidemics, rumors, fads or opinions propagate. Finally, attention has been recently been devoted to the dynamical nature of networks, whose topology can be influenced by the dynamical process of which it is the support.

The scope of this workshop is to foster interaction among researchers interested in these various aspects of network science, and to encourage interdisciplinary approaches (for example, from the point of view of complex systems, computer science, statistical mechanics, discrete mathematics, biology and others).

posted August 3, 2007 02:36 PM in Conferences and Workshops | permalink | Comments (0)

June 29, 2007

Announcement: DIMACS/DyDAn Workshop on Computational Methods for Dynamic Interaction Networks

While chatting recently with Martin Rosvall, I realized that it might actually be useful (gasp!) if I were to post information about workshops and conferences on complex networks that I hear about. So, in the interest of having this blog serve at least one additional purpose other than being my own personal bully pulpit, I'll try to post announcements as I receive them. Also, to those of you who are plugged into these things, you could help out by sending me your own workshop and conference announcements.

Without further ado, here's the first of the bunch coming up in the Fall. The paper submission deadline is already upon us (Sunday, July 1st) but DIMACS has a good track record of running good workshops, so maybe some folks will find it worthwhile to attend. Update 29 June: Deadline has been extended to July 8th, and I'm told there will be some support available for junior folks to attend.

DIMACS / DyDAn Workshop on Computational Methods for Dynamic Interaction Networks

September 24 - 25, 2007 at the DIMACS Center, CoRE Building, Rutgers University

Organizers: Tanya Berger-Wolf (UIUC), Mark Goldberg (RPI), Malik Magdon-Ismail (RPI), Fred Roberts (DIMACS) and William "Al" Wallace (RPI).

Description: A substantial body of research in various sciences aims at understanding the dynamics and patterns of interactions within populations, in particular how social groups arise and evolve. As a result of the advances in communications and computing technology, extreme amounts of data are being accumulated representing the evolution of large scale communication networks, such as the WWW, chatrooms, Blogs, and networks of bluetooth enabled handheld devices. Moreover, as small sensors become largely available and affordable, new research areas are exploiting the social networks resulting from those sensor networks data. Finding patterns of social interaction within a population has been addressed in a wide range applications including: disease modeling cultural and information transmission, intelligence and surveillance, business management, conservation biology and behavioral ecology.

The workshop will focus on two complementary themes. On one hand it will address the emerging importance of electronic communication networks, their social implications and how those facilitate the organization and coordination of activities of social groups. The second theme of the workshop is adapting and extending the computational methods developed in the context of communication and computer networks to the social interaction networks.


  • Modeling and simulation of dynamic social networks
  • Measurement and comparison of dynamic social networks
  • Community and social structure identification
  • Identification of individual roles and behavioral patterns
  • Visualization of large dynamic networks

Update 13 August: Here is the program. I'll be presenting a paper at this workshop entitled "Persistence and periodicity in a dynamic proximity network", which is joint work with Nathan Eagle (currently of MIT, but soon to be joining SFI), and considers the real-time dynamics of a human proximity network.

posted June 29, 2007 02:08 PM in Conferences and Workshops | permalink | Comments (0)