Professor in Political Science and Computer and Information Science

David Lazer

Tracing Coordination and Cooperation Structures via Semantic Burst Detection

Publication date: 
03/2017
Authors: 
Yu-Ru Lin
Drew B. Margolin
David Lazer
Tracing Coordination and Cooperation Structures via Semantic Burst Detection

Developing technologies that support collaboration requires understanding how knowledge and expertise are shared and distributed among communuity members. We explore two forms of knowledge distribution structures, coordination and cooperation, that are central to successful collaboration. We propose a novel method for  detecting the coordination of strategic communication among members of political communities. Our method identifies a "rapid semantic convergence," a sudden burst in the use of linguistic constructions by multiple individuals within a short time, as a signature of coordination. We apply our method to the public statements of U.S. Senators in the 112th U.S. Congress and construct coordination and coopetation networks among these individuals. We then compare aspects of these networks to other known properties of the Senators. Results indicate that the detected networks reflect underlying tendencies in the social relationships among Senators and reveal interesting differences in how the different parties coordinate communications.

Research Areas TOC

Computational Social Science, Collective Cognition

Computational Social Science, 21st Century Democracy, Political Networks

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21st Century Democracy, Political Networks