- Design a meta-model of multi-level complex networks;
- Conceive a methodology for real-time management of data from large-scale networks;
- Implement the real-time monitoring of multi-level network structures in Internet, aiming to study for instance:
- The hyperconnectivity between the blogosphere and the digital media universe;
- The emergence of new topics of discussion from eCommunication.
Internet has become the main medium for social systems that interactively exchange ideas and opinions, generating and sharing knowledge worldwide. Networks are used to inform and exchange arguments, generating opinions concerning socially relevant domains, such as politics, economics or culture. These knowledge generation systems are sustained by blogs, news web pages, opinion articles proposed by journalists, politicians, and other. Such systems are characterized by its dynamics in the way they appear, evolve, and are replaced by new communication structures.
Knowledge and opinion systems are complex given the intricacy of the different levels of network structures participating in its dynamics, such as communication networks, social networks and knowledge networks composed by topics and linguistic concepts. These networks are all composed of many interconnected and interdependent components, which grow without centralized control concerning the physics of information diffusion.
The Observatorium project focuses on complex network dynamics in the Internet, proposing to monitor its evolution in real-time, with the general objective of better understanding the processes of knowledge generation and opinion dynamics. Specifically, we aim to:
The activity of The Observatorium concerns data collection and analysis, distributed as follows:
The first step towards our objective is to collect data from the Internet. Data collection about hyperlinks can be automated with existing general-purpose research engines, but the study of complex network dynamics requires a new approach for multi-level interconnectivity, including linguistic generating symbolic networks and social networks analysis. For this reason, our team combines computer science, linguistics supported by statistical physics methods, and social sciences to uncover the operating logic of the multi-level structures in the Internet.