Project

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Relational event models for bipartite networks with applications to collaborative problem solving in organizations

Applicant Lomi Alessandro
Number 150126
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Istituto Media e Giornalismo Facoltà di Scienze della comunicazione Università della Svizzera italiana
Institution of higher education Università della Svizzera italiana - USI
Main discipline Science of management
Start/End 01.01.2015 - 31.05.2018
Approved amount 187'850.00
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Keywords (5)

organizational problem-solving; bipartite networks; relational event models; Open source software projects; Project management

Lay Summary (Italian)

Lead
L’obiettivo di questo progetto è quello di estendere la classe di modelli statistici per la rappresentazione e l’analisi di eventi relazionali (relational event - o RELEVENT - models) a processi bipartiti - processi che connettono oggetti appartenenti a due classi disgiunte. In un processo bipartito le relazioni tra gli oggetti sono definite solo tra classi ma non all’interno delle classi. Esempi di processi bipartiti includono quelli che connettono le persone a attività come la partecipazione in eventi di produzione e consumo. In questi casi è spesso importante comprendere come gli eventi di affiliazione che connettono unità diverse tendano a dare vita a strutture endogene capaci di auto-organizzarsi in configurazioni stabili che prendono la forma di sequenze di eventi ricorrenti. Tali strutture endogene sono importanti perché dirigono l’attenzione dei decisori verso un sottoinsieme ristretto di eventi definiti all’interno di uno spazio molto grande di eventi possibili.
Lay summary

Il contributo centrale dalla parte analitica del progetto è quello di rendere disponibile nuovi modelli statistici attualmente non disponibili per l’analisi di eventi relazionali. La parte empirica del progetto riguarda aspetti specifici della produzione di software open source. In questo caso, un processo bipartito di risoluzione dei problemi associa i partecipanti a un progetto open source (gli “sviluppatori”) a problemi del software  (software bugs). La parte empirica del progetto mostra come i nuovi modelli statistici proposti siano capaci di rivelare la tendenza di processi decentralizzati di risoluzione dei problemi a indurre sequenze strutturate di eventi che implicano chiare proprietà organizzative. In questo senso, i modelli che il progetto propone sembrano gli unici modelli attualmente disponibili per esaminare la dinamica di fenomeni emergenti. Spiegare l’origine di fenomeni emergenti – fenomeni collettivi che non possono essere ridotti alla decisione individuale -  è da tempo uno dei problemi centrali delle scienze sociali. Il progetto si inquadra in una tradizione teorica ben identificata all’interno degli studi sull’organizzazione economica che vede nell’ordinamento temporale degli eventi e nella loro dipendenza dinamica i principale motori causali dell’azione collettiva.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 02.02.2015

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
The increased availability of information on the exact timing of interaction episodes linking pairs of social and economic agents is sustaining a renewed theoretical interest in the micro-relational dynamics underlying social networks. New statistical models for relational event sequences have been proposed to take advantage of the information contained in large samples of time-stamped observations on a variety of interaction episodes linking social agents. Relational event models promise to provide novel insight on processes of emergence, change and demise of social networks starting from the observation of interaction sequences. The study described in this document contributes to these contemporary modeling efforts by extending available relational event models to sequences of bipartite associations in the context of organizational problem solving processes.
Lay summary

The project pursues two objectives.  The first is involves an extension of the relational event model (REM) to represent the dynamics of bipartite associations – associations that are defined by relations between agents belonging to different (and disjoint) classes. If successful, the project will make available to researchers interested in the evolutionary dynamics of bipartite associations (a.k.a. “two-mode networks”) statistical models that may be used to support inference about very large and complex samples of relational events. The second objective involves a demonstration of the value and general applicability of the bipartite relational event model (B-REM) to problem solving processes within organizations. The benchmark for success in terms of this second objective is the novel insight that the new model affords on the network structure of organizational problem solving in open productions. The opportunity to specify, calibrate and test the new B-REM model is provided by data that we have collected on problem solving actions within an established open source software project observed throughout its history (2002-2013). The data involve the bipartite association between all the software problems (or “bugs”) ever reported during the development of the project (15,556) and all the individual problem-solvers engaged in the development of the software throughout its history (1,188). The sample space includes all the 68,398 problem solving actions that were observed during the sample period. Open source productions like the one selected for analysis are particularly useful for the purpose of this project because information on organizational problem solving may be accessed directly by mining on-line bug repositories, and because each individual action is associated with exact timing information. As a consequence, the complete historical sequence of problem solving actions can be reconstructed in continuous time

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 02.02.2015

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Chan School of Public Health/Harvard United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Exchange of personnel
Social Networks/ETHZ Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel
Drs. Duy Vu Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Melbourne Australia (Oceania)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Profs. Philippa Pattison, Garry Robins e Dr. Peng Wang - School of Psychological Sciences, Universit Australia (Oceania)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
dr. Johan Koskinen, Social Statistics, University of Manchester (UK) Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Dean Lusher, Sociology, Social and Life Sciences, Swinburne University of Technology Melbourne Australia (Oceania)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Exchange of personnel

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
52nd Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS 2019) Talk given at a conference The Network Structure of Successful Collaboration in Wikipedia 07.01.2019 Hawaii, United States of America Lomi Alessandro;
International Conference on Advances in Social Network Analysis and Mining (ASONAM 2018) Talk given at a conference Diverse Teams Tend to Do Good Work in Wikipedia (but Jacks of All Trades Don't) 28.08.2018 Barcelona, Spain Lomi Alessandro; Lerner Juergen;
4th International Conference on Computational Social Science (IC2S2) Talk given at a conference Balanced opinions: Collaboration, contention and quality in Wikipedia 12.07.2018 Evanston - Illinois, United States of America Lerner Juergen; Lomi Alessandro;
34th EGOS Colloquium, Sub-theme: 04: Multi-level Network Research Talk given at a conference The coevolution of interorganizational networks and organizational structure: The effect of multilevel mixing and closure mechanisms 05.07.2018 Tallinn, Estonia Amati Viviana; Lomi Alessandro;
INSNA Sunbelt Social Networks Conference 2018 Talk given at a conference Micro-dynamics of event networks regulating the social production of Wikipedia articles 26.06.2018 Utrecht, Netherlands Lomi Alessandro; Lerner Juergen;
the Workshop on Network Data Collection, Nuffield College, Talk given at a conference The observation of valued, time-stamped and signed social interaction processes 21.06.2018 Oxford - Nuffield College, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Lomi Alessandro; Lerner Juergen;
3rd European Social Networks Conference Talk given at a conference Some days are better than others: Examining time-specific variations in the evolution of interorganizational networks 26.09.2017 Mainz, Germany Amati Viviana; Lomi Alessandro;
3rd European Social Networks Conference. Talk given at a conference Bi-polar hierarchies: A study on the structure of coordination and control in Wikipedia 26.09.2017 Mainz, Germany Lomi Alessandro; Lerner Juergen;
International Conference on Computational Social Science 2017 (IC2S2) Talk given at a conference Global warming is different from Racism: on the structure of controversy in Wikipedia 17.07.2017 Cologne, Germany Lerner Juergen; Lomi Alessandro;
Sixth International Workshop on Social Network Analysis (ARS'17) Talk given at a conference Modelling temporal relevance of relational events. 16.05.2017 Napels, Italy Amati Viviana;
Sixth International Workshop on Social Network Analysis (ARS'17) Talk given at a conference Global warming is different from Racism: on the price of polarization in Wikipedia 15.05.2017 Naples, Italy Lerner Juergen; Lomi Alessandro;
Complex Networks & Their Applications V Talk given at a conference Dominance, Deference, and Hierarchy Formation in Wikipedia Edit-Networks 30.11.2016 Milan, Italy Lomi Alessandro; Lerner Juergen;
Second European Conference on Social Networks (EUSN) Talk given at a conference Category spanning and social evaluation in Wikipedia. 14.06.2016 Paris, France Lomi Alessandro; Lerner Juergen;
Social Interaction and Society Talk given at a conference om ties to events: Social interaction and the contingent effect of network structure 26.05.2016 ETH Zurich, Switzerland Amati Viviana; Lomi Alessandro;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Talks/events/exhibitions Networks from events (keynot speech) International 2016

Use-inspired outputs

Software

Name Year
eventnet 2019


Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
133273 Network influence and organizational performance: Empirical evidence from a longitudinal study of an Italian community of hospital organizations 01.01.2012 Project funding (special)

Abstract

The increased availability of information on the exact timing of interaction episodes linking pairs of social and economic agents is sustaining a renewed theoretical interest in the micro-relational dynamics underlying social and other kinds of networks. New statistical models for relational event sequences have been proposed to take full advantage of the information contained in large samples of time-stamped observations on a variety of interaction episodes linking social agents. Relational event models promise to provide novel insight on processes of emergence, change and demise of social networks starting from the observation of interaction sequences. The study described in this document contributes to these contemporary modeling efforts by extending available relational event models to sequences of bipartite associations in the context of organizational problem solving processes. The project pursues two related objectives. The first is methodological and involves an extension of the relational event model (REM) to represent the dynamics of bipartite associations - associations that are defined by relations between agents belonging to different (and disjoint) classes. If successful, the project will make available to researchers interested in the evolutionary dynamics of bipartite associations (a.k.a. “two-mode networks”) powerful statistical models that may be used to support inference about very large and complex samples of relational events. The second objective is empirical and involves a demonstration of the value and general applicability of the new bipartite relational event model (B-REM) to problem solving processes within organizations. The benchmark for success in terms of this second objective is the novel insight that the new model affords on the network structure of organizational problem solving in open productions. The model is built interactively with actual empirical data in order to test its ability to support inference. The empirical opportunity to specify, calibrate and test the new B-REM model is provided by data that we have collected on problem solving actions within an established Free/Open Source Software (F/OSS) project observed throughout its complete history (2002-2013). The data involve the bipartite association between all the software problems (or “bugs”) ever reported during the development of the project (15,556) and all the individual problem-solvers ever engaged in the development and maintenance of the software throughout its history (1,188). The sample space includes all the 68,398 problem solving actions that were actually observed during the sample period. F/OSS productions like the one selected for analysis are particularly useful for the purpose of this project because information on organizational problem solving may be accessed directly by mining on-line bug repositories, and because each individual action is associated with timing information that is complete and exact to the second. As a consequence the complete historical sequence of problem solving actions can be reconstructed in continuous time and analyzed via the relational event model for bipartite association that this project wants to establish.
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