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We have also relied on methods like the ones Tom Valente mentioned in
many of our observational studies, and we summarize the pluses and
minuses of this approach in a new paper here:
I also in principle like the actor-oriented model approach of Siena,
but in the past I could never get the model to converge for networks
larger than 1000 nodes (this might be my own failing, though, as there
is always a bit of art to getting models like that to work).
We also have relied on experiments like this one in PNAS:
and I am a big fan of David Nickerson's voter experiment and Sinan's
But I would resist abandoning evidence from observational studies.
The resistance to observational studies reminds me of this Onion story:
Multiple Stab Wounds May Be Harmful To Monkeys
James H. Fowler
Professor of Medical Genetics and Political Science
UC San Diego
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