***** To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org ***** Sounds like an optimistic grant proposal, but with clearly SNA implications Barry Wellman _______________________________________________________________________ S.D. Clark Professor of Sociology, FRSC NetLab Director Centre for Urban & Community Studies University of Toronto 455 Spadina Avenue Room 418 Toronto Canada M5S 2G8 http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~wellman fax:+1-416-978-7162 Updating history: http://chass.utoronto.ca/oldnew/cybertimes.php Elvis wouldn't be singing "Return to Sender" these days _______________________________________________________________________ "From Ranking Blogs to Predicting Posture" MSNBC (01/28/08); Nelson, Bryn Carnegie Mellon University researchers led by professor Carlos Guestrin are working to improve how scientists monitor everything, from algal blooms in lakes, to subtle differences in how someone sits, to detecting contamination in a city water system, to which blogs provide the most useful information. The researchers have created Cascades, an algorithm that could lead to dramatically improved sensor networks by combining the scientific study of how information, influence, or physical items move through networks with how to optimally detect the flow in a cost-effective way. Guestrin was initially inspired by a collaborative project with civil engineers trying to determine where to place a limited number of sensors in water pipes to detect contamination as quickly as possible. The success of the project led Guestrin to think about how the central idea could be adapted to other applications, such as how information spreads across the Internet. "Somebody places a story and s ome people link to the story, and some people link to the links, and so on," he says. "You can think of it as a cascade of information." To find the big story as quickly as possible, the researchers created Cascades. Part of Cascades seeks to maximize reward, or detecting the most news in the least amount of time, while a second part seeks to minimize cost, such as the time spent reading blogs. The algorithm also factors in the law of diminishing returns. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22670298/ _____________________________________________________________________ SOCNET is a service of INSNA, the professional association for social network researchers (http://www.insna.org). To unsubscribe, send an email message to [log in to unmask] containing the line UNSUBSCRIBE SOCNET in the body of the message.