I am part of the organising committee of this event -> part of my growing interest in all things related to sociophysics. Call for abstracts follows:
Computational Social Science: Social Contagion, Collective Behaviour, and Networks
to be held in Lucca, Italy, 24-25 September 2014
Abstract submission deadline 22 June 2014
Conference date 24-25 September 2013
Technology-mediated social collectives are taking an important role in the design of social structures. Yet our understanding of the complex mechanisms governing networks and collective behaviour is still deplorably shallow. Fundamental concepts of on- and off-line networks such as power, authority, leader-follower dynamics, consensus emergence, information sharing, conflict, and collaboration are still not well defined and investigated. These are all crucial to illuminate the advantages and pitfalls of collective decision-making, which can cancel out individual mistakes, but also spiral out of control.
In recent endeavours, data from Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Wikipedia, and weblogs have been shown to strongly correlate to, and even predict, elections, opinions, attitudes, movie revenues, and oscillations in the stock market, to cite few examples. Similar data provided insights into the mechanisms driving the formation of groups of interests, topical communities, and the evolution of social networks. They also have been used to study polarization phenomena in politics, diffusion of information, and the dynamics of collective attention. However, a deeper understanding of these phenomena is still very much on demand. In parallel, and even preceding the surge in interest towards social media, the area of agent-based modeling (ABM) has grown in scope, focus and capability to produce testable hypotheses, going beyond the original goal of explaining macroscopic behaviors from simple interaction rules among stylized agents.
The aim of this satellite is to address the question of ICT-mediated social phenomena emerging over multiple scales, ranging from the interactions of individuals to the emergence of self-organized global movements. We would like to gather researchers from different disciplines and methodological backgrounds to form a forum to discuss ideas, research questions, recent results, and future challenges in this emerging area of research and public interest.