MIDAS Consultation on Social Networks Meeting Report

Brookings Institution
January 5-6, 2005
Betz Halloran, chair
Stephen Eubank, co-chair

Attendees

EXPERT ADVISORS

Albert-Laszlo Barabasi
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN
Tel: 574-631-5767
Email: alb@nd.edu

Peter Dodds
Columbia University
New York, NY
Tel: 212-854-9647
Email: peter.dodds@columbia.edu

Mark Handcock
University of Washington
Seattle, WA
Tel: 206-221-6930
Email: handcock@stat.washington.edu

James Koopman
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI
Tel: 734-763-5629
Email: jkoopman@sph.umich.edu

Edward Laumann
University of Chicago
Chicago, IL
Tel: 773-702-8691
Email: e-laumann@uchicago.edu

Martina Morris
University of Washington
Seattle, WA
Tel: 206-685-3402
Email: morrism@u.washington.edu

Alan Penn
University College London
London WC1E 6BT, UK
Tel: +44 (0-20 7679 5919
Email: a.penn@ucl.ac.uk

Babak Pourbohloul
British Columbia Centre for Disease Control
Vancouver, British Columbia
Tel: 604-660-2000
Email: babak.pourbohloul@bccdc.ca

Alessandro Vespignani
Indiana University
Bloomington, IN
Tel: 812-856-1829
Email: alexv@indiana.edu

Jacco Wallinga
National Institute of Public Health and the Environment
Bilthoven
The Netherlands
Tel: +31-30-2742553
Email: jacco.wallinga@rivm.nl

MIDAS PARTICIPANTS

Jim Anderson
MIDAS Program Director
National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, MD
Tel: 301-594-0943
Email: andersoj@mail.nih.gov

Chris Barrett
Virginia Bioinformatics Institute
Blacksburg, VA
Tel: 540-231-1475
Email: cbarrett@vbi.vt.edu

Georgiy Bobashev
Research Triangle Institute (RTI)
Research Triangle Park, NC
Tel: 919-541-6167
Email: bobashev@rti.org

Donald Burke
MIDAS Research Director
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Baltimore, MD
Tel: 410-614-5960
Email: dburke@jhsph.edu

Ken Cline
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Baltimore, MD
Tel: 443-287-2636
Email: kcline@jhsph.edu

Phil Cooley
Research Triangle Institute (RTI)
Research Triangle Park, NC
Tel: 301-230-4657
Email: pcc@rti.org

Derek Cummings
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Baltimore, MD
Tel: 443-287-3589
Email: Derek.cummings@jhu.edu

Jamie Cuticchia
Research Triangle Institute
Research Triangle Park, NC
Tel: 301-230-4657
Email: ajc@rti.org

Catherine Dibble
University of Maryland
College Park, MD
Tel: 301)-405-0637
geographs@earthlink.net

Irene Anne Eckstrand
MIDAS Scientific Director
National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, MD
Tel: 301-594-0943
Email: eckstrai@mail.nih.gov

Josh Epstein, Ph.D.
Brookings Institution
Washington, D.C.
Tel: 202-797-6040
Email: jepstein@brookings.edu

Stephen Eubank
MIDAS Research Director
Los Alamos National Laboratory
Los Alamos, NM
Tel: 505-665-3720
Email: eubank@lanl.gov

Elizabeth Halloran
Emory University
Atlanta, GA
Tel: 404-727-7647
Email: mehallo@sph.emory.edu

Peter Highnam
National Center for Research Resources, NIH
Bethesda, MD
301-451-1467
Email: highnam@nih.gov

Ira Longini, Ph.D.
MIDAS Research Director
Emory University
Atlanta, GA
Tel: 404-727-7876
Email: ilongin@sph.emory.edu

Thomas Louis
The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Baltimore, MD
Tel: 410-614-7838
Email: tlouis@jhsph.edu

Steve Naron
IBM
9909 Sorrel Avenue
Potomac, MD 208054
301-346-1505
Email: narons@us.ibm.com

Azhar Nizam
Emory University
1518 Clifton Road, Room 002-1AA
Atlanta, GA 30329
404-727-0634
anizam@sph.emory.edu

Jon Parker
The Brookings Institution
Washington, DC
Tel: 202-797-6136
Email: jparker@brookings.edu

Robin Robinson, Ph.D.
Department of Health and Human Services
Washington, D.C.
Tel: 202-401-5833
Email: Robin.robinson@hhs.gov

Shufu Xu
Emory University
1518 Clifton Road, Room 002-1AA
Atlanta, GA 30329
404-727-9169
Email: shufu.xu@emory.edu

MIDAS investigators met with experts (see above roster) on social networks on January 5-6. This consultation was intended to increase MIDAS participants knowledge of the structure of social networks and to establish working relationships with scientists who can provide guidance to the MIDAS modeling efforts.

MIDAS investigators invited experts to help the modeling effort by

  • Identifying available data on social contact patterns;
  • Describing a variety of ways of estimating social networks from data;
  • Identifying structural aspects of networks that are important for disease transmission

The experts gave a series of presentations and participated in lively and productive discussions on all of these issues. Presentation topics included

  • MIDAS needs: how the modelers use social networks
  • Graph theory: how to describe networks structural properties
  • Results: relations between network structure and epidemiology
  • Reviews: estimating networks in statistics, sociology, physics, and epidemiology
  • Techniques: Markov Chain Monte Carlo estimation; inferring contacts from case onset data; survey-based methods; heuristic methods

The discussions emphasized the long history and wide variety of approaches to the problem, and indicated that the MIDAS models are reasonable given the state of the art. Recurring discussion topics included the possibility of generating macroscopic (global, sociocentric) structure correctly from microscopic (local, egocentric) rules; the importance of specific structures such as degree, clustering, assortativity, and core groups; the distinction between networks based on different definitions of contact; and the relative merits of heuristic and statistical approaches to generating networks. The presentations are available on the MIDAS Portal at www.epimodels.org Link to external web site.