Responsive Social Networks

Spatio-Temporal Constraints on Social Networks Workshop, University of California, Santa Barbara, Center for Spatial Studies, 13-14 December 2010

Mike Worboys

“The research idea presented here contributes to the effort to make social and other kinds of networks more responsive to events happening in geographic space. Consider the scenario of a wild-fire developing in a populated region, where neighbors begin to communicate with each other using cell phones and social networking software such as Facebook. As the fire develops and moves, traditional central and hierarchical means of communication and control break down, but others need to be alerted. The network of communications between neighbors needs to develop in parallel with the development of the fire, so that information is shared and appropriate actions are taken. There may also be the need for some time-critical, collaborative activities, such as the creation of a dynamic map, so that the entire group can see the boundaries and properties of the fire as it develops. All these activities will be facilitated by the development of a network of communications that is responsive to changing needs. The development of such a model is the focus of this research.”