We aim at disseminating the idea of actor-based simulation to a wider audience in the social and behavioral sciences, economics and in particular in social theory. In the first part of the workshop a short hands-on introduction into programming of basic examples of agent-based modeling in NetLogo will be given. In the second part, we discuss contributions in the field of "dynamics of action and social structure". Here, we focus on agent-based models of segregation, network formation and dynamics and the integration of immigrants.
Abstract: This workshop will review the history and the main components of diffusion of innovations theory. How social networks influence behavior change will be presented. The R library NetdiffuseR will be demonstrated but is not necessary for the workshop. The workshop will then present the literature and theory on using network data for program implementation including network interventions. Example data and results are derived from studies across many application areas including tobacco and other substance abuse; family planning and reproductive health; physician behavior; coalitions; policy innovation; lifestyle changes; as well as others.
About person: Tom W. Valente received a B.S. in Mathematics from Mary Washington College, an M.S. in Mass Communication from San Diego State University, and a Ph.D. from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California. He spent nine years at the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health from 1991 to 2000 conducting research and teaching health communication, program evaluation, and network analysis before moving to the Department of Preventive Medicine at the University of Southern California. Tom W. Valente uses social networks to conduct research on substance abuse prevention, treatment programs, and on the evaluation of health promotion programs. In addition he uses social networks to understand how policy is developed at the local and global level. He is the author of three books and over one hundred and forty journal articles and book chapters. He is well known for developing the social network threshold diffusion model and for his work on network based interventions to enable behaviour change. His last book was entitled Social Networks and Health, an area he has made his own.
Tom A.B. Snijders is Professor of Statistics and Methodology at the Dept. of Sociology, University of Groningen, Emeritus Fellow, Nuffield College, University of Oxford and an Associate Member at the Dept. of Statistics, University of Oxford.
Abstract: Homophily is a basic feature of social networks. For numerical actor variables, its specification in statistical network models is usually done by means of the absolute difference between ego and alter on the variable under consideration; sometimes, as an alternative, by the ego-alter interaction. It is argued that such specifications are incomplete for continuous actor variables and for ordinal numerical variables with three or more categories. The reason is that ego is not necessarily attracted mostly to others with the same value as ego; often the attraction is to some value between ego's value and the 'social norm'. (Attraction here is to be understood not necessarily as a preference, but rather as an empirical tendency.) Therefore, the usual representation will often amount to a misspecification. This is elaborated in an extension of the usual specification of effects of actor variables in stochastic actor-oriented models for network dynamics. This new specification may have consequences for results of studies of social selection. An example is given.