Over the last decades, there has been a growing interest in network research across the social sciences. From the experience of Stanley Milgram in the early 50s which led to the famous « six degrees of separation » theory to nowadays research, « network thinking » (to borrow the word of Albert-László Barabási) has spread throughout the academic world with increasing success. At CORE in particular, with several disciplines (from applied mathematics to geography, economics and econometrics), research teams and projects involved, it has appeared natural to propose a session devoted to this buoyant field of research.
« Network thinking » implies to focus on the interactions at play between entities composing a (social) system rather than the individual properties of those entities. Combining methods from graph theory, computer sciences and multi-dimensional statistics, network sciences has helped to « illuminate seemingly unrelated, scientific and technological mysteries [such as]: Why is the typical life span of organisms a simple function of their size? Why do rumors, jokes, and “urban myths” spread so quickly? Why are large, complex networks such as electrical power grids and the Internet so robust in some circumstances, and so susceptible to large-scale failures in others? What types of events can cause a once-stable ecological community to fall apart? » (Mitchell, 2009).
Focusing on social, geographic or economic data, network thinking involves a multi-disciplinary dialogue between computer science, mathematics and humanities. Keeping this dialogue alive is crucial to avoid re-discoveries or fragmented, uninformed analyses. In this session we aim to mix specialists from different fields, sharing a common interest for network methods.
Chairs: Isabelle Thomas (CORE, Université catholique de Louvain) and Jean-Charles Delvenne (Université catholiques de Louvain)
- 09:00-09:40 Rein Ahas (University of Tartu)
Challenges of Using Mobile Positioning Data in Geographical Studies
- 09:40-10:20 Céline Rozenblat (University of Lausanne)
Addressing Urban Challenges in a Complex World with Network Approaches
- 10:20-10:40 Coffee Break
- 10:40-11:20 Michele Coscia (Harvard University)
The Wiring of a Country and its Economic Consequences
- 11:20-12:00 Mariano Beguerisse Díaz (University of Oxford)
Using Structure and Content to Reveal the Evolution of Narratives in Social Media