Spatio-Temporal Constraints on Social Networks

    A two-day workshop for the presentation, discussion, and summarization of current issues and opportunities
    Convened by spatial@ucsb University of California, Santa Barbara, Center for Spatial Studies


    Upham Hotel, 1404 De La Vina St., Santa Barbara, California, USA


    Meeting: Monday, December 13, and Tuesday, December 14
    Travel days: Sunday, December 12, and Wednesday, December 15

Meeting Details


Accommodations & Travel

Participant List, Bios, and Position Papers

Reimbursement Packet

Workshop Final Report



Project Personnel

Michael F. Goodchild, (University of California, Santa Barbara)

Kathleen M. Carley, (Carnegie Mellon University)

Project Partners

National Science Foundation

Army Research Office

Meeting structure and objectives

The impact of the Internet on human communication and the organization of social networks has been profound, greatly reducing the effects of distance and time differences. Strong spatial and temporal constraints persist, however, because of the importance of human contact and the spatial and temporal context of human actions. Recent research in social networks that places them in a meta-network context (multi-node, multi-link, multi-level) paves the way for exploring spatial and temporal effects. Yet to date only very preliminary efforts have been made to develop appropriate theory and models, or to calibrate them with the abundant data sources that are now available. This two-day workshop organized by the Center for Spatial Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, will bring together specialists drawn from the many disciplines with interest in these issues, including computer and information science, geography, mathematics, spatial statistics, and social network analysis. The workshop will assess the current state of the art, identify and prioritize a research agenda, and begin the development of an international community of collaborating scholars working on these issues.

The specialist meeting of approximately 30 participants will be held at the Upham Hotel in downtown Santa Barbara, and is being convened by an organizing committee chaired by Michael F. Goodchild (UCSB) and Kathleen M. Carley (Carnegie Mellon University). The meeting will include plenary presentations by invited experts, and ample time for small-group discussion of the issues, following a model developed more than 20 years ago by the National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis and refined in more than 40 such meetings.

The meeting will assess the current state of the art, flesh out a research agenda, and foster an international network of collaborating scholars. Specific questions to be addressed include:

  • What is the current state of knowledge with respect to spatiotemporal constraints on social networks and information flows, particularly from a meta-network perspective?
  • How can theories of social network interaction be extended to incorporate the constraining effects of space, time, the Internet, and mass media?
  • Can probability distributions be developed for networks or network metrics that are parameterized by spatial and temporal separation?
  • What rich sources of data can be found to calibrate and parameterize these new models?
  • What new metrics and models can be developed for assessing critical nodes, groups, and trails in and through networks that take spatio-temporal constraints, the Internet, and mass-media effects into account?
  • Can we develop novel methods for visualizing the operation of spatio-temporal constraints and their effects on the flow of ideas and information through meta-networks?
  • What methods of inference are appropriate for detection of spatio-temporal and network constraints in crowd-sourced data, and what are appropriate metrics of uncertainty?