Building Online Social Capital for Disaster Response and Recovery Tasks

Wildfire SNA


Welcome to our new website for the NSF-IBSS project: Spatiotemporal Modeling of Human Dynamics Across Social Media and Social Networks.  Specifically, the goals of this project are to:

  1. Build an interdisciplinary research framework for studying human dynamics and information diffusion from a spatiotemporal modeling perspective,
  2. Validate and improve the Multilevel Model of Meme Diffusion (M3D) communication theory for online human communications across social media and social networks,
  3. Analyze the dynamic changes of spatiotemporal patterns with two scenarios of human dynamics (disaster warnings/alerts and referendum/propositions of controversial social topics) using computational predictive methods and agent-based modeling (ABM) approaches, and
  4. Develop effective and accessible data processing, visualization, and analytical tools for social scientists to study human dynamics and information diffusion by combining high performance computing, Web geographic information system tools, agent-based modeling, and open source software.


One key contribution of this project is to build a prototype for the San Diego Office of Emergency Services (OES) social media outreach platform, which may be applicable for other U.S. cities in the future. The design of the prototype is to facilitate rapid dissemination of official alerts and warnings notifications from OES during disaster events via multiple social media channels to targeted population (typically in certain area). The platform can identify and recruit top 1,000 social media volunteers based on their social network influence factors and help government agencies communicate more effectively to the public and be better prepared for both natural disasters and human-made crises. This project will foster the integration of research and education in multiple disciplines, including geography, linguistics, computer science, social science, and communication. The project website will be used to publicize our research findings to the general public and create a discussion forum to involve multidisciplinary researchers. Three summer specialist meetings will be organized to facilitate future multidisciplinary collaborations among researchers in the new research field of human dynamics.


(Principal Investigator)