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e-Social Science: Sensor Grids for the Social Sciences?

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Title: School of Informatics Author: Paul Anderson Last modified by: Rob Procter Created Date: 9/1/2003 11:07:48 AM Document presentation format: On-screen Show – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: e-Social Science: Sensor Grids for the Social Sciences?


1
e-Social ScienceSensor Grids for the Social
Sciences?
  • Rob Procter
  • National Centre for e-Social Science
    rob.procter_at_ncess.ac.uk
  • www.ncess.ac.uk

2
Overview
  • The e-Research vision and the Grid
  • e-Social Science explained
  • National Centre for e-Social Science
  • Sensor grids for the physical sciences
  • Sensor grids for the social sciences?

3
The e-Research Vision
  • A globally connected, scholarly community
    promoting the highest quality scientific research

e-Research is about global collaboration in
key areas of science and the next generation of
infrastructure that will enable it. John Taylor,
Director General of Research Councils, UK Office
of Science and Technology
The goal of e-Research is to provide an
integrated, high-end system of computing, data
facilities, connectivity, software, services, and
instruments that enables all scientists,
engineers and educators to work in new ways on
advanced research problems that would not
otherwise be solvable. Peter Freeman, Director ,
Computer Information Science Engineering,
National Science Foundation
4
This infrastructure is commonly known as the Grid
G R I D M I D D L E W A R E
Mobile Access
Supercomputer, PC-Cluster
Desktop
Data Storage, Sensors, Experiments
Visualizing
H.F. Hoffmann, CERN
Internet
Supporting resource use across administrative
domains
5
Typical Views of Access Grid
ETF Management Meeting
Seminar
Seminar
SC Global Workshop
Performance Art
e-Social Science
6
e-Social Science
  • As social scientists become increasingly
    concerned with addressing complex research
    problems, they require (re)use of increasingly
    multi-level, multi-textured data resources
  • e-Research offers the potential to study complex
    social processes in new ways through improved
    methods and tools for data description, discovery
    and analysis

7
Example ConvertGrid
  • Spatial correlation of recorded burglaries with
    house prices and indicators of social
    wellbeing/deprivation
  • Study target geography 1998 LAD
  • Datasets required
  • 1991 Census
  • Total pop (1991 ward)
  • Unemployment (1991 ward)
  • Overcrowding (1991 ward)
  • Neighbourhood Statistics 1998 data
  • Population estimates (1998 ward)
  • Recorded household burglaries (1998 Ward)
  • Experian 1999 supply
  • Total population (1999 PCS)
  • Annual average house sale value (1999 PCS)
  • Population in MOSAIC Group A (1999 PCS)

Keith Cole, University of Manchester
8
National Centre for e-Social Science
  • Funded by ESRC for 3 years initially
  • Aim is to develop and promote e-Social Science
  • Co-ordinating hub at Manchester
  • Four research nodes commissioned, up to four more
    to follow
  • Seven smaller projects commissioned, more to
    follow

9
NCeSS activities
  • Applications of e-Research
  • Substantive social science research problems
  • Enhancing existing areas of research and methods
  • Encouraging innovation
  • Social shaping of e-Research
  • Socio-technical factors in the design, uptake and
    use of e-Research
  • Implications for research practice and the
    character of knowledge production
  • Policy and socio-economic impacts

10
Nodes
  • Modelling and Simulation for e-social Science
    (MoSeS)
  • Generic frameworks through which grid-enabled
    modeling and simulation might be exploited within
    a wide range of social science problem domains
  • Mixed Media Grid
  • Tools and techniques for social scientists to
    analyse audio-visual qualitative data and related
    materials collaboratively over the Grid

11
Nodes
  • Collaboration for Quantitative e-Social Science
    Statistics (CQeSS)
  • Developing e-science tools appropriate to
    quantitative e-social science
  • Understanding New Forms of Digital Record for
    e-Social Science
  • Extending Grid based technologies to provide new
    processes and services through which social
    science data may be collected, collated, and
    distributed

12
Sensor Grids for the Physical Sciences
Project Neptune
  • Joint US-Canadian project to build large undersea
    fiber network off west coast of US and Canada
  • Undersea network will connect instrumentation
    devices, robotic submarines, sensors, under sea
    cameras, etc
  • Distributed computing and data storage devices
    will be used to analyze and store data

13
Powering the Virtual Universehttp//www.astrog
rid.org(Edinburgh, Belfast, Cambridge,
Leicester, London, Manchester, RAL)
Multi-wavelength showing the jet in M87 from top
to bottom Chandra X-ray, HST optical, Gemini
mid-IR, VLA radio. AstroGrid will provide
advanced, Grid based, federation and data mining
tools to facilitate better and faster scientific
output.
Picture credits NASA / Chandra X-ray
Observatory / Herman Marshall (MIT),
NASA/HST/Eric Perlman (UMBC), Gemini
Observatory/OSCIR, VLA/NSF/Eric Perlman
(UMBC)/Fang Zhou, Biretta (STScI)/F Owen (NRA)
14
Sensor Grids for the Social Sciences?
  • To date, the idea of instrumenting the social
    world to collect data about human activity has
    been largely limited to laboratory settings
  • HCI
  • Practice-based teaching
  • Collaboration
  • Future homes
  • This has its limitations

15
Sensor Grids for the Social Sciences?
  • Commercial use of data about peoples activities
    in the real world is well established
  • Purchases, financial transactions, telecoms
  • Healthcare beginning to exploit home-based and
    mobile devices for remote monitoring
  • Social sciences have a long tradition of
    recording data about peoples activities in the
    real world but methods have been limited in scope
    and power
  • Surveys and questionnaires
  • Census, BHPS, etc.
  • Observational studies in the field
  • Written notes
  • Audio
  • Video

16
Bringing the Environment Online
17
Sensor Grids for the Social Sciences?
  • The social world is increasingly digital
  • Growing shift towards an e-Society (e-Business
    e-Medicine and e-Learning)
  • Rapid increase in online information and
    increasingly richer representations of human
    activities
  • This shift provides a fascinating opportunity for
    social sciences to obtain a richer picture of
    peoples activities and some major challenges
  • What can be captured and how
  • How might this data be analysed and understood
  • How might security, privacy, confidentiality and
    ethical issues be addressed

18
Sensor Grids for the Social Sciences?
  • Digital data is generated on increasing scale as
    by product of everyday activities of social
    actors, exposing the dynamics of a wide variety
    of social processes
  • Patterns of consumption
  • Public and private goods and services
  • Patterns of communication
  • Email, bulletin boards, weblogs, chat rooms, news
    feeds, mobile phones, SMS
  • Patterns of movement of people and goods
  • CCTV, speed cameras, traffic monitoring, GPRS,
    embedded devices
  • ESRC plans to move from traditional survey-based
    methods to using administrative data

19
A Social Sciences Virtual Observatory
  • These new sources of data about the social world
    are different in character from conventional
    social science datasets
  • Vast, dynamic, proliferating, with content and
    relevance changing continuously and unpredictably
  • Making such data sources useful for research
    needs tools for
  • Resource description and discovery
  • Anonymising
  • Filtering
  • Integrating, structuring and cross linking
    multiple data streams
  • Annotating
  • Summarising
  • Sentiment detection
  • Visualisation
  • Distributed analysis
  • Text mining tools are beginning to meet some of
    these needs

20
G R I D M I D D L E W A R E
21
FINGRID Financial INformation Grid
  • FINGrid is a demonstrator for analysing financial
    information in form of quantitative data (time
    series) and qualitative data (financial/political
    news)
  • FINGrid works by text mining financial news
    (Reuters news feed) for market sentiment and
    then attempts to correlate this data with time
    series data of market price movements
  • The ultimate aim is to understand better the
    relationship between price movements and market
    sentiment
  • Prof K Ahmad, University of Surrey

22
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23
Summary
  • Sensor grids for social science research envisage
    harnessing the progressive instrumentation of
    the social world
  • Could provide a much richer picture of social
    phenomena than is available through more
    conventional techniques
  • Need powerful new tools to make find, organise
    and make sense of this data
  • Need solutions to meet the security privacy,
    confidentiality and ethical challenges

24
Getting Involved in NCeSS
  • Small grant programme is open until July 31st
  • Agenda Setting Workshop on Collaboration,
    Co-Laboratories and e-Research Understanding and
    Supporting New Forms of Science and Social
    Science 21st June
  • First International Conference on e-Social
    Science 22nd-24th June
  • www.ncess.ac.uk
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