Visualizing Social Networks to Discover Trends and Trendsetters

Photo of Peter A. Gloor

The Spring 2009 Networks and Complex Systems Talk Series opened on Monday, January 26, 2009 with a presentation by Peter Gloor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (details below). The series organizer is SLIS faculty member Katy Börner. The next talk will be on February 2nd.

This talk introduces Condor, a tool for dynamic semantic social network analysis, which has been developed for the last six years at the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence in collaboration with University of Cologne, Helsinki University of Technology and others. Condor includes a novel set of social network analysis based algorithms for mining the Web, blogs, and online forums to identify trends and find the people launching these new trends. Algorithms include the temporal computation of network centrality measures, the visualization of social networks as Cybermaps, a semantic process of mining and analyzing large amounts of text based on social network analysis, and sentiment analysis and information filtering methods. The temporal calculation of betweenness of concepts permits to extract and predict long-term trends on the popularity of relevant concepts such as brands, movies, and politicians. Among other examples, our approach will be illustrated by qualitatively comparing Web buzz and Web betweenness for the 2008 US presidential elections, as well as correlating the Web buzz index with share prices. See also:

Biographical Notes:
Peter A. Gloor is a Research Scientist at the Center for Collective Intelligence at MIT's Sloan School of Management where he leads a project exploring Collaborative Innovation Networks ( He also teaches at the University of Cologne and Helsinki University of Technology and is Chief Creative Officer of startup galaxyadvisors. Until the end of 2002, Peter was a Partner and European e-Business Practice leader with Deloitte Consulting, a Partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers and Section Leader for Software Engineering at UBS. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Zurich in 1989. His two most recent books are "Coolhunting - Chasing Down The Next Big Thing", Amacom 2007 (with Scott Cooper) and "Swarm Creativity - Competitive Advantage through Collaborative Innovation Networks", Oxford University Press, 2006. Peter blogs at

Posted January 29, 2009

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