Month: October 2017

Human Mobility: Models and Applications

Recent years have witnessed an explosion of extensive geolocated datasets related to human movement, enabling scientists to quantitatively study individual and collective mobility patterns, and to generate models that can capture and reproduce the spatiotemporal structures and regularities in human trajectories. The study of human mobility is especially important for applications such as estimating migratory flows, traffic forecasting, urban planning, and epidemic modeling. In this survey, we review the approaches developed to reproduce various mobility patterns, with the main focus on recent developments. This review can be used both as an introduction to the fundamental modeling principles of human mobility, and as a collection of technical methods applicable to specific mobility-related problems. The review organizes the subject by differentiating between individual and population mobility and also between short-range and long-range mobility. Throughout the text the description of the theory is intertwined with real-world applications.


Human Mobility: Models and Applications
Hugo Barbosa-Filho, Marc Barthelemy, Gourab Ghoshal, Charlotte R. James, Maxime Lenormand, Thomas Louail, Ronaldo Menezes, José J. Ramasco, Filippo Simini, Marcello Tomasini


Predicting stock market movements using network science: an information theoretic approach

A stock market is considered as one of the highly complex systems, which consists of many components whose prices move up and down without having a clear pattern. The complex nature of a stock market challenges us on making a reliable prediction of its future movements. In this paper, we aim at building a new method to forecast the future movements of Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (S&P 500) by constructing time-series complex networks of S&P 500 underlying companies by connecting them with links whose weights are given by the mutual information of 60-min price movements of the pairs of the companies with the consecutive 5340 min price records. We showed that the changes in the strength distributions of the networks provide an important information on the network’s future movements. We built several metrics using the strength distributions and network measurements such as centrality, and we combined the best two predictors by performing a linear combination. We found that the combined predictor and the changes in S&P 500 show a quadratic relationship, and it allows us to predict the amplitude of the one step future change in S&P 500. The result showed significant fluctuations in S&P 500 Index when the combined predictor was high. In terms of making the actual index predictions, we built ARIMA models with and without inclusion of network measurements, and compared the predictive power of them. We found that adding the network measurements into the ARIMA models improves the model accuracy. These findings are useful for financial market policy makers as an indicator based on which they can interfere with the markets before the markets make a drastic change, and for quantitative investors to improve their forecasting models.


Predicting stock market movements using network science: an information theoretic approach
Minjun Kim and Hiroki Sayama
Applied Network Science 2017 2:35


Universal Scaling in Complex Substitutive Systems

Diffusion processes are central to human interactions. Despite extensive studies that span multiple disciplines, our knowledge is limited to spreading processes in non-substitutive systems. Yet, a considerable number of ideas, products and behaviors spread by substitution-to adopt a new one, agents must give up an existing one. Here, we find that, ranging from mobile handsets to automobiles to smart phone apps, early growth patterns in substitutive systems follow a power law with non-integer exponents, in sharp contrast to the exponential growth customary in spreading phenomena. Tracing 3.6 million individuals substituting for mobile handsets for over a decade, we uncover three generic ingredients governing substitutive processes, allowing us to develop a minimal substitution model, which not only predict analytically the observed growth patterns, but also collapse growth trajectories of constituents from rather diverse systems into a single universal curve. These results demonstrate that the dynamics of complex substitutive systems are governed by robust self-organizing principles that go beyond the particulars of individual systems, which implies that these results could guide the understanding and prediction of all spreading phenomena driven by substitutions, from electric cars to scientific paradigms, from renewable energy to new healthy habits.


Universal Scaling in Complex Substitutive Systems
Ching Jin, Chaoming Song, Johannes Bjelland, Geoffrey Canright, Dashun Wang


Computational Social Scientist Beware: Simpson’s Paradox in Behavioral Data

Observational data about human behavior is often heterogeneous, i.e., generated by subgroups within the population under study that vary in size and behavior. Heterogeneity predisposes analysis to Simpson’s paradox, whereby the trends observed in data that has been aggregated over the entire population may be substantially different from those of the underlying subgroups. I illustrate Simpson’s paradox with several examples coming from studies of online behavior and show that aggregate response leads to wrong conclusions about the underlying individual behavior. I then present a simple method to test whether Simpson’s paradox is affecting results of analysis. The presence of Simpson’s paradox in social data suggests that important behavioral differences exist within the population, and failure to take these differences into account can distort the studies’ findings.


Computational Social Scientist Beware: Simpson’s Paradox in Behavioral Data
Kristina Lerman


Generating realistic scaled complex networks

Research on generative models plays a central role in the emerging field of network science, studying how statistical patterns found in real networks could be generated by formal rules. Output from these generative models is then the basis for designing and evaluating computational methods on networks including verification and simulation studies. During the last two decades, a variety of models has been proposed with an ultimate goal of achieving comprehensive realism for the generated networks. In this study, we (a) introduce a new generator, termed ReCoN; (b) explore how ReCoN and some existing models can be fitted to an original network to produce a structurally similar replica, (c) use ReCoN to produce networks much larger than the original exemplar, and finally (d) discuss open problems and promising research directions. In a comparative experimental study, we find that ReCoN is often superior to many other state-of-the-art network generation methods. We argue that ReCoN is a scalable and effective tool for modeling a given network while preserving important properties at both micro- and macroscopic scales, and for scaling the exemplar data by orders of magnitude in size.


Generating realistic scaled complex networks
Christian L. Staudt, Michael Hamann, Alexander Gutfraind, Ilya Safroand Henning Meyerhenke
Applied Network Science 2017 2:36