Networks Seminar

Please note that the list below only shows forthcoming events, which may not include regular events that have not yet been entered for the forthcoming term. Please see the past events page for a list of all seminar series that the department has on offer.

Past events in this series
30 January 2018
Pablo Aragón

Online discussions are the essence of many social platforms on the Internet. Discussion platforms are receiving increasing interest because of their potential to become deliberative spaces. Although previous studies have proposed approaches to measure online deliberation using the complexity of discussion networks as a proxy, little research has focused on how these networks are affected by changes of platform features.

In this talk, we will focus on how interfaces might influence the network structures of discussions using techniques like interrupted time series analysis and regression discontinuity design. Futhermore, we will review and extend state-of-the-art generative models of discussion threads to explain better the structure and growth of online discussions.

6 February 2018
Renaud Lambiotte

Assortative mixing in networks is the tendency for nodes with the same attributes, or metadata, to link to each other. It is a property often found in social networks manifesting as a higher tendency of links occurring between people with the same age, race, or political belief. Quantifying the level of assortativity or disassortativity (the preference of linking to nodes with different attributes) can shed light on the factors involved in the formation of links and contagion processes in complex networks. It is common practice to measure the level of assortativity according to the assortativity coefficient, or modularity in the case of discrete-valued metadata. This global value is the average level of assortativity across the network and may not be a representative statistic when mixing patterns are heterogeneous. For example, a social network spanning the globe may exhibit local differences in mixing patterns as a consequence of differences in cultural norms. Here, we introduce an approach to localise this global measure so that we can describe the assortativity, across multiple scales, at the node level. Consequently we are able to capture and qualitatively evaluate the distribution of mixing patterns in the network. We find that for many real-world networks the distribution of assortativity is skewed, overdispersed and multimodal. Our method provides a clearer lens through which we can more closely examine mixing patterns in networks.

Link to arxiv paper:

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