What we write about when we write about causality: Features of causal statements across large-scale social discourse.
Advances in Social Networks Analysis and Mining (ASONAM), 2016 IEEE/ACM International Conference on, , 519-524, 2016
Abstract: Identifying and communicating relationships between causes and effects is important for understanding our world, but is affected by language structure, cognitive and emotional biases, and the properties of the communication medium. Despite the increasing importance of social media, much remains unknown about causal statements made online. To study real-world causal attribution, we extract a large-scale corpus of causal statements made on the Twitter social network platform as well as a comparable random control corpus. We compare causal and control statements using statistical language and sentiment analysis tools. We find that causal statements have a number of significant lexical and grammatical differences compared with controls and tend to be more negative in sentiment than controls. Causal statements made online tend to focus on news and current events, medicine and health, or interpersonal relationships, as shown by topic models. By quantifying the features and potential biases of causality communication, this study improves our understanding of the accuracy of information and opinions found online.
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Bongard's work focuses on understanding the general nature of cognition, regardless of whether it is found in humans, animals or robots. This unique approach focuses on the role that morphology and evolution plays in cognition. Addressing these questions has taken him into the fields of biology, psychology, engineering and computer science.
Danforth is an applied mathematician interested in modeling a variety of physical, biological, and social phenomenon. He has applied principles of chaos theory to improve weather forecasts as a member of the Mathematics and Climate Research Network, and developed a real-time remote sensor of global happiness using messages from Twitter: the Hedonometer. Danforth co-runs the Computational Story Lab with Peter Dodds, and helps run UVM's reading group on complexity.
Laurent studies the interaction of structure and dynamics. His research involves network theory, statistical physics and nonlinear dynamics along with their applications in epidemiology, ecology, biology, and sociology. Recent projects include comparing complex networks of different nature, the coevolution of human behavior and infectious diseases, understanding the role of forest shape in determining stability of tropical forests, as well as the impact of echo chambers in political discussions.
Hines' work broadly focuses on finding ways to make electric energy more reliable, more affordable, with less environmental impact. Particular topics of interest include understanding the mechanisms by which small problems in the power grid become large blackouts, identifying and mitigating the stresses caused by large amounts of electric vehicle charging, and quantifying the impact of high penetrations of wind/solar on electricity systems.
Bagrow's interests include: Complex Networks (community detection, social modeling and human dynamics, statistical phenomena, graph similarity and isomorphism), Statistical Physics (non-equilibrium methods, phase transitions, percolation, interacting particle systems, spin glasses), and Optimization(glassy techniques such as simulated/quantum annealing, (non-gradient) minimization of noisy objective functions).