Social Contagion Modeled on Random Networks


Check out the video of Daniel Cicala’s talk, the fourth in the Applied Category Theory Seminar here at U. C. Riverside. It was nicely edited by Paola Fernandez and uploaded by Joe Moeller.

Abstract. A social contagion may manifest as a cultural trend, a spreading opinion or idea or belief. In this talk, we explore a simple model of social contagion on a random network. We also look at the effect that network connectivity, edge distribution, and heterogeneity has on the diffusion of a contagion.

The talk slides are here.

Reading material:

• Mason A. Porter and James P. Gleeson, Dynamical systems on networks: a tutorial.

• Duncan J. Watts, A simple model of global cascades on random networks.

7 Responses to Social Contagion Modeled on Random Networks

  1. Toby Bartels says:

    I also got a notification for a post about Jonathan Lorand's talk, but that post isn't here now.

  2. I recently listened to an IEEE lecture by a US neuroscientist who has had a long term role with the US DoD looking at how neuroscience and psychology can be used to disrupt society. One thing that has been modelled (presumably using some of this or similar theory) relates to how confidence in the US medical system could be undermined in about 3 months, In essence 47 influential social media sources seeded the network with some doubt about the efficacy of some medical issue and over 3 months this manifested itself in wholesale degradation of the system eg people going to different doctors to get multiple options, representing to ER in different locations etc etc
    So this stuff is important on so many levels.

  3. Daniel

    The talk was by Dr James Giordano of Georgetown University:

    Here’s the blurb for the web lecture that got my attention.

    The growth of neuroscience and technology (i.e. – neuroS/T) has prompted growing interest in, development of, and concerns about the use of such techniques and tools in warfare, intelligence and national security (WINS) contexts. Many neuroS/T developments are poised for current or near-future translation to investigational to operational levels, thereby moving from “the research bench to the battlefield”.  
    Such neuroS/T includes various drugs, and neurotechnologies for training and performance optimization of intelligence and combat personnel; and using types of transcranial electrical signal detection in brain-computer interfaces to control aircraft or vessel systems or unmanned vehicles. As well, WINS initiatives also entail the development and engagement of agents (e.g.- drugs, microbes, toxins) and devices as weapons (“neuroweapons”) to affect and modify opponents’ thoughts, feelings, senses, actions, health, or in some cases, to incur lethal consequences.  As the recent events involving novochuk, VX, sarin, and the possible use of a neuroweapon to affect US Embassy personnel illustrate, these developments pose real and present threat. 
    In this lecture, neuroscientist and neuroethicist Dr. James Giordano of Georgetown University Medical Center, provides description and realistic appraisal of the capabilities and limits of neuroS/T in WINS, methods and scenarios for their use, and technical and ethical issues and steps of their oversight, guidance and governance.

    It was in this lecture that he referred to the networking issue. No slides unfortunately and I was the only non-US person online!



    • Daniel Michael Cicala says:

      Thanks! This is a great example to consider. I haven’t even thought of the health care space as somewhere this would be relevant.

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