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Research

My latest research problems are updated here (Chinese)!

Collective Attention Flows in Digital Space

    Nowadays, as information overload, attention becomes a kind of scarce resource. How attention allocate on various digital resources becomes very important. Different with conventional analysis on collective attention attention flows focus on not only the competition of attention on different digital resources but also how the resources connect and interrelate to become an ecosystem.

     The main technique that we incorporate on attention flows is the flow network analysis approach. The sequential actions which include browsing, tagging, answering questions, etc. of users form streams on different resources. By integrate all these streams together, a flow network is constructed in which nodes are digital resources, and weighted directed links are the number of users jumping from one resource to another. Then we can use flow analysis and network approaches to study the overall structure of these networks

    Several large sets of data enable us to analyse the flow structure of online communities, websites, and WWW. Most works on this topic are collabrated with Dr. Lingfei Wu in Arisona State University.

  • Metrics of flow structure
    • Stickness
    •     Stickness is an important metric for digital systems, we propose an innovative measure of stickness borrowed from allometric scaling laws of animals for online forums. It is interesting to treat a website or an online forum as a virtual organism. And in parallel with real organisms, all these virtual living systems consume users' attention to survive.

      • Wu L, Zhang J, Zhao M (2014) The Metabolism and Growth of Web Forums. PLoS ONE 9(8): e102646. In this paper, we analyse ten thousands online forums of Baidu Tieba. We find a generalized Kleiber law, that is the scaling between UV(unique visitors of a forum) and PV(page views). And the exponent can be treated as the quantification of "stickness" of a forum. Furthermore, our study points out the "stickness" of a forum is related with the dissipation mode of the clickstream network.
    • Hiearchicality
    •      Inspired by the studies of food webs, we found that the allometric scaling exponent of a flow network can characterize the hiearchicality of a network. This may give us the insights on how the attention flows among web sites

Urban Systems

    Currently, more than 70% population lives in cities, and this ratio will be increasing continuously in recent years. Thus, the quantitative understandings of cities in distribution and dynamics of various variables are of great important. By integrating big data in different sources like road network, nighttime lights, and human mobility, we attempt to find some basic and simple mechanisms accounting for the growth and the distributions of various variables in a city.

Flows in Complex Systems

    Energy flows in ecosystems, money flows in economic systems, traffic flows in urban systems. There are many kinds of flows in various complex systems. Are there universal patterns or laws governing these flows? In many cases, flows can be regarded as a special kind of complex networks, i.e., weighted directed network. However, flows should contain more information about dynamics, evolution and time than static topological structure.

    Some of my current researches are focusing on flow structures in various systems.

  • General metrics and properties of flow networks
    • Xintong Li,Xinran Wang,Jiang Zhang, Lingfei Wu: Allometric scaling, size distribution and pattern formation of natural cities; Palgrave Communications, 1, 15017 (2015)In this paper, we define a set of new metrics of distances on flow networks. These metrics incorporate network structure and flow dynamics on the network. These measures can be used to cluster nodes, calculate centrality, and so forth.

Allometric Scaling in Various Complex Systems

    Allometric scaling laws, found by biologists, indicate that lots of biological variables (such as metabolism, heart beat rate, life span) have a power law relationship as body size which deviates the isometric scaling predictions for various species. More discussions about allometric scaling laws in biology or ecology can be refered to West and Brown et al's papers. However, I mainly focus on the allometric scaling relationships in social systems both in the empirical facts and the generative mechanisms

    However, all of these current studies only limitted in the empirical facts, I have tried buid a model to understand the origin of the super-linear relationships in social systems.

Artificial Life

    I used to be obsessed on building computer simulation models of artificial life during my Ph.D. study. Although my current studies are not focus on that, I'd like to list some my earlier works.

Copyright by Jake, 2010
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