Mining and Exploring Temporal Networks of Human Contact

When: Tuesday, October 08, 2013 at 3:30 pm
Where: DA 5th fl
Speaker: Alain Barrat
Organization: Centre de Physique Théorique, Marseille, France, Institute for Scientific Interchange, Turin, Italy
Sponsor: Physics Seminar and MoBS Lab

The adoption of mobile technologies and wearable sensors allows to quantify human behaviors at unprecedented levels of scale and detail. Wearable sensors, in particular, are opening up a new window on human mobility at the finest resolution of individual face-to-face interactions, impacting diverse research areas such as social network analysis and epidemiology of infectious diseases. At the same time, the largest scale and the longitudinal dimension of the empirical data bring forth new challenges.

In this talk, I will focus on results obtained within the SocioPatterns collaboration whose aim is to map and analyze human mobility and face-to-face proximity using wearable sensors in a variety of environments that include schools, hospitals, museums and social gatherings, I will first present the measuring infrastructure and illustrate the complexity of the data collected. I will then discuss the issue of data generalization through various data representations and modelling efforts. In particular, in the context of infectious disease spreading, I will introduce a hierarchy of summarized representations for time-varying contact network data and explore the interplay between the richness in detail of the data representation and its ability to accurately model important features of spreading dynamics.

Finally, I will show how such detailed data can help investigate issues of interest in social sciences such as gender homophily  among children at school, giving new insights into a well-known phenomenon.