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
E-mail: alb@nd.edu

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

MIDAS PARTICIPANTS

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

Chris Barrett
Virginia Bioinformatics Institute
Blacksburg, VA
Tel: 540-231-1475
E-mail: 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
E-mail: dburke@jhsph.edu

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

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

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

Jamie Cuticchia
Research Triangle Institute
Research Triangle Park, NC
Tel: 301-230-4657
E-mail: 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
E-mail: eckstrai@mail.nih.gov

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

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

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

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

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

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

Steve Naron
IBM
9909 Sorrel Avenue
Potomac, MD 208054
301-346-1505
E-mail: 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
E-mail: jparker@brookings.edu

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

Shufu Xu
Emory University
1518 Clifton Road, Room 002-1AA
Atlanta, GA 30329
404-727-9169
E-mail: 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 participantsd 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 networksd 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.