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My Optimism Wears Heavy Boots: So much research, so few implications, towards ‘patient-proof’ empirical models and more effective interventions in mental health 7

Understanding Information Spreading in Social Networks

Year Group 2013/14

Interdisciplinary research group that models hierarchical social networks such as how information in criminal networks, specifically ‘cannabis networks’, percolates.

About the topic

The Theme Group will study ways to model hierarchical social networks using novel information theoretic principles. We will apply this to the study of – among others – how information in criminal networks, specifically ‘cannabis networks’, percolates through the ‘value chain’ of softdrugs production and the associated subnetworks. For we have access to unique data from the Dutch Intelligence where criminal relations are recorded from interviews (so called ‘soft information’), in addition to criminal conviction records (so called ‘hard information’).

The work will first focus on multi-level analyses of the data sets and annotating it with demographic and crime-related data, and subsequent inferring of an agent-based hierarchy of networks. Then, using the new notion of ‘information dissipation’, we will try to uncover the noise and spatio-temporal information flow between the various (hierarchical) sub-networks. To the best of our knowledge this will be a complete new approach to unravel complex socio-dynamic networks.

Peter Sloot, Theme Group Coordinator