CFP The Connected Past @ Imperial College London

imperialTime to announce the next in our series of The Connected Past conferences. This time we will go to Imperial College London where Tim Evans and Ray Rivers will host us at the physics department. This edition of The Connected Past will focus in particular on how the challenges archaeologists are faced with when trying to understand human behaviour using fragmentary material data might be of interest to physicists. We hope this event will be another great opportunity for scholars from different disciplines to meet, share their ideas and problems, and hopefully collaborate to try to solve these issues. We will also organise a half-day hands-on workshop on network science for archaeologists. Keep an eye out for the announcement next month.

CONFERENCE INFO

The Connected Past: archaeological challenges and complexity – a one and a half day multi-disciplinary meeting to explore how concepts and techniques from network- and complexity science can be used to study archaeological data. These challenges include the use of material data as proxy evidence for past human behaviour, questions about long-term processes of social change, and the fragmentary nature of archaeological data. We aim to bring together physical scientists and archaeologists in order to highlight the challenges posed by archaeological data and research questions, and explore collaborative ways of tackling them using perspectives drawn from network and complexity science.

The meeting will take place on the afternoon of Monday 8th September and all day Tuesday 9th September at Imperial College London. A hands-on introductory workshop is planned for the morning of Monday 8th September – details to be announced.

Call for Papers. We are looking for 20 to 30 minute contributions and are inviting researchers from any relevant field to submit a one page abstract in pdf format. This should be sent to: connectedpast2014@imperial.ac.uk

The abstract should contain the title, name of proposed speaker and names of any additional authors and their associated institutions, along with a brief abstract (200-500 words). Any additional information (figure, links, bibliography, etc.) may be included within the one page limit.

Submission deadline: 20th June 2014
Decisions announced: 4th July 2014


Keynote talks. The meeting will feature keynote talks by Alan Wilson, University College London, and Ulrik Brandes, University Konstanz (a further additional keynote will be announced soon). Shorter talks will be given by other invited speakers and from researchers submitting abstracts. Finally, at a later date we will issue a call for some quick fire (five minute) talks to allow researchers at all stages of their career to participate.

Registration Fee. The registration fee is £45 (£22.50 for students) as a contribution towards local expenses. This will cover lunch on the Tuesday, coffee/tea breaks plus drinks at the informal social event on the Monday evening. Registration will open in June.

Travel Bursaries. Some support is available to cover travel and other costs of UK-based researchers attending the meeting. If you wish to be considered for such support, please send a request explaining why you should be considered for a bursary to the same address as for papers with the subject “Bursary application [your name]” (connectedpast2014@imperial.ac.uk). Bursaries will be given out from 20th June 2014 onwards while funds remain.

Further Information. The meeting is organised as part of The Connected Past series of events, funded in part by EPSRC. Full details are available on the web site at
http://www.complexity.org.uk/events/conpastlondon2014/

On Twitter follow the hashtag #tcp2014

Organisers. Tim Evans (Chair), Ray Rivers, Tom Brughmans, Anna Collar, Fiona Coward.

SciFi networks and gender

scifiSciFi literature has a connotation of being a male thing, but I had no idea how far this gender stereotype went. As usual, I need to see a network before I learn something new. So I recently bumped into the webpage of “Hidden Worlds: Masking Gender in Science Fiction“. It collected data on authors of SciFi literature and their publishers. However, the author information the project gathered only includes female authors writing under male or gender-neutral pseudonyms. On their homepage you can see a network of these authors connected to their publishing houses, in a nice interactive interface that allows you to explore the network for yourself (using a Gephi plugin). What is more interesting, however, is the network that shows the different network patterns for authors who wrote under gender masking pseudonyms and those who did not. On this page you can see the authors who wrote under gender-masking pseudonyms are published by the same publishing houses, more so than authors who do not mask their gender. The webpage also shows how this network changes over time, from the 1950s to the 2000s. I did not find the time to read the accompanying paper in detail, but it looks like an interesting and thought-provoking use of network visualisations. Cool stuff!

DH Benelux conference

dh beneluxI would not be a particularly good Belgian humanist if I were not to advertise DH events involving Belgians. So here we are: the digital humanities conference Benelux will take place 12-13 June 2014 in The Hague. Let’s all go to the low countries for this great event! More info can be found below or online.

Benelux Conference Digital Humanities 12-13 June 2014
Conference to present state of the art in digital humanities research

The first DHBenelux conference on 12- 13 June 2014 will showcase the state of the art in digital humanities – the most recent development in humanities research. For researchers already involved in digital humanities the conference will be a great opportunity to share knowledge and meet potential project partners. For those new to digital humanities the conference will provide a platform to get acquainted with both experienced and beginning researchers.

Conference programme

The conference organisers have put together an exciting programme. It focuses on all aspects of digital humanities in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxemburg. Exchanging information is a major goal of the conference. Therefore, the conference is packed with parallel sessions and short, 15-minute presentations. The conference dinner on 12th June will be followed by a poster session. In other words: plenty of time for networking and for gaining a quick overview of the field.

Melissa Terras

Keynote speaker Professor Melissa Terras, Director of University College London, will put the conference programme in an international context. She is a leading digital humanities researcher and has been working in the field since the 1990s. She has participated in digital humanities developments from ‘virtual reality’ via ‘digital imaging’ to using computer technology to enable innovative research.

Organisation

The organising committee of DH Benelux comprises Marijn Koolen (University of Amsterdam), Mike Kestemont (University Antwerp), Karina van Dalen-Oskam (Huygens ING) and Steven Claeyssens (Koninklijke Bibliotheek, National Library of the Netherlands).

The conference venue is the KB building, which houses both the Huygens ING and the National Library. It is conveniently located right next to the Central Train Station in The Hague, a thirty-minute train ride from Schiphol airport.

The conference is in English. You can register for the conference until 1 June by means of the DHBenelux registration form.

More information
Follow us on Twitter @DHBenelux (use #DHBenelux) or send an e-mail to congres@huygens.knaw.nl

SNA summer school Trier

trierGerman speakers interested in learning more about social network analysis might be interested in the Trier SNA summer school. You can sign up until 31-07-2014. More info on the website and below.

8. Trierer Summer School
on Social Network Analysis

29.09.-4.10.2014

Die „Trierer Summer School on Social Network Analysis“ findet dieses Jahr vom 29. September bis 4. Oktober 2014 (Mo.-Sa.) an der Universität Trier statt. Die Veranstaltung bietet in einem einwöchigen Intensivkurs eine umfassende Einführung in die theoretischen Konzepte, Methoden und praktischen Anwendungen der Sozialen Netzwerkanalyse. Sie besteht aus zwei aufeinander aufbauenden Modulen sowie mehreren zusätzlichen Workshops zur qualitativen und quantitativen Netzwerkanalyse. Zudem bieten die Dozenten individuelle Forschungsberatungen an.

Die 8. Trierer Summer School ist als Einsteigerkurs konzipiert. Sie richtet sich vor allem an Promovierende der geistes-, kultur- und sozialwissenschaftlichen Fächer, die sich mit der Analyse sozialer Strukturen beschäftigen und Einblick in die Methoden der Sozialen Netzwerkanalyse (SNA) nehmen möchten. Auch Studierende, die kurz vor ihrer Diplom-/Master-/Magister­arbeit stehen und methodisch mit der SNA arbeiten wollen, sind willkommen.

Anmeldeverfahren

Die Anmeldephase beginnt am Montag, 28. April und endet am Donnerstag, 31. Juli 2014.

Die Teilnehmerzahl ist auf 40 Teilnehmer begrenzt. Wenn Sie sich anmelden möchten, besuchen Sie bitte die Summer School Homepage (http://www.sna-summerschool.de). Dort finden Sie unter „Anmeldung“ ein Anmeldeformular.

Da die Teilnehmerzahl auf insgesamt 40 Teilnehmer beschränkt ist, melden Sie sich bitte rechtzeitig an.

Die Teilnahmegebühr beträgt 290,00 Euro. Sie ist 21 Tage nach Erhalt der Anmeldebestätigung fällig. Die Anmeldung wird erst wirksam, wenn die Teilnahmegebühr auf dem in der Bestätigungsmail angegebenen Konto eingegangen ist. Zusammen mit der Bestätigung des Zahlungseingangs erhalten Sie weitere Informationen bzgl. Veranstaltungsort, Übernachtungsmöglichkeiten und Busanbindung. Ebenso wird Ihnen vorbereitende Literatur zu den Lehrveranstaltungen zur Verfügung gestellt. Auf der Homepage der Summer School http://www.sna-summerschool.de können Sie sich ebenfalls informieren.

Aufbau der 8. Trierer Summer School

Modul 1: „Grundlagen der Sozialen Netzwerkanalyse“

Vom 29. bis 30. September führt das erste Modul ganztägig in die Geschichte und theoretische Konzepte sowie in Methoden der Datenerhebung, -auswertung und -visualisierung der SNA ein. Die Veranstaltung richtet sich an alle Teilnehmer, insbesondere aber an Anfänger, und bietet einen ersten Einstieg in die Thematik.

Die Lehreinheit ist als Vorlesung mit integrierten Übungen und Gruppenaufgaben strukturiert. Es werden sowohl ego-zentrierte Netzwerke als auch Gesamtnetzwerke behandelt. Unter egozentrierten Netzwerken werden Netzwerke verstanden, die sich um ein Ego (ein bestimmter Akteur/die befragte Person) positionieren. Bei der Gesamtnetzwerkanalyse steht hingegen eine ausgewählte Gruppe von Akteuren (Unternehmen, Schulklassen, Dörfer usw.) und die soziale Struktur innerhalb dieser Gruppe im Fokus.

Dozenten:

Dr. Markus Gamper, Universität zu Köln

Dr. Richard Heidler, Bergische Universität Wuppertal

Dr. Andreas Herz, Universität Hildesheim

Modul 2: „Praxisorientierte Soziale Netzwerkanalyse“

Modul 2 (01.-04. Oktober) umfasst zwei parallel laufende Angebote zur Datenerhebung und -auswertung von Sozialen Netzwerken. Am Mittwoch, 01. Oktober, erfolgt das Modul ganztägig, von Donnerstag bis Samstag jeweils nur vormittags. Je nach Forschungsinteresse können die Teilnehmer zwischen zwei Arbeitsgruppen entscheiden:

Arbeitsgruppe A – Gesamtnetzwerke (20 Plätze):

Welches übergeordnete Strukturmuster hat ein Netzwerk? Wo befinden sich Bereiche verdichteter Kommunikation? Welche Akteure sind zentral, wer sind die Broker in einem Netzwerk? Welche strukturellen und attributionalen Faktoren beeinflussen die Entstehung, Beibehaltung und Beendigung von Relationen? Diese Fragen lassen sich mit Gesamtnetzwerken untersuchen. Im Unterschied zu ego-zentrierten Netzwerken wird hier nicht nur die direkte Umgebung eines Akteurs erfasst, sondern die Gesamtheit der Beziehungen, zwischen einem abgegrenzten Set von Akteuren, wie z. B. einer Schulklasse, einem Politikfeld, einer wissenschaftlichen Disziplin, einem Dorf, usw.

Das Modul Gesamtnetzwerke legt einen Schwerpunkt auf das Einlesen und das Auswerten von Daten von Gesamtnetzwerken. Dabei wird eine Bandbreite von Software zum Einsatz kommen, wodurch ihre unterschiedlichen Stärken und Schwächen aufgezeigt werden. Typische Netzwerkformate und Verfahren der Datenmodifikation, sowie die Berechnung von Zentralitätsmaßen werden mit Pajek durchgeführt. Auch die Blockmodellanalyse wird in Pajek zum Einsatz kommen, und dann in GNU-R fortgesetzt. Die Grundlagen von R werden in einer Sitzung die gemeinsam mit dem Egomodul stattfindet gelehrt. Darüber hinaus wird R verwendet, um Syntax-basiert Auswertungen und Transformationen von Netzwerken vorzunehmen. Schließlich wird in R auch die Modellierung von Netzwerken mit ERGM, anhand einer Schulklasse von 1880/81 demonstriert. Final kommt das Programm Gephi zum Einsatz, um sich besonders mit den Fragen und Anforderungen guter visueller Darstellungen von Netzwerken zu beschäftigen. Hierzu wird ein Hochzeitsnetzwerk grafisch repräsentiert. Das Format des Moduls umfasst praktische Übungen, Diskussionen und lässt auch Raum für eigene Vorschläge.

Dozenten: Dr. Richard Heidler / Michael Kronenwett, M. A. (Kronenwett & Adolphs UG)

Arbeitsgruppe B – Ego-Netzwerke (20 Plätze):

Welche Formen sozialer Unterstützung werden von verschiedenen Beziehungen erbracht? Hat die Einbettung eines Akteurs in sein soziales Netzwerk Auswirkung auf die Generierung innovativer Ideen oder führt Mediennutzung zu Desintegration? All diese Fragen lassen sich mit Verfahren der ego-zentrierten Netzwerkanalyse untersuchen, wobei ego-zentrierte Netzwerke formal die Beziehungen eines Akteurs (Ego) zu anderen Akteuren (Alteri) dessen direkter Netzwerkumgebung sowie den Beziehungen zwischen diesen Akteuren (Alter-Alter-Relationen) darstellen.

Das Modul „ego-zentrierte Netzwerke“ führt in offene und standardisierte Erhebungs- und Auswertungsverfahren ego-zentrierter Netzwerke ein. Nach einer exemplarisch durchgeführten Fragebogenerhebung und ausführlicher Diskussion von offenen und standardisierten Erhebungsvarianten, liegt der Fokus auf der quantitativen Auswertung eines bereits vorliegenden Datensatzes mit Hilfe GNU-R. Hierzu werden Daten- und Analyseebenen sowie grundlegende Analysestrategien verdeutlicht. Daneben werden auch qualitative Verfahren vorgestellt, die dann in den Nachmittags-Workshops nochmals vertieft werden können. Für die Teilnahme sind Grundkenntnisse in statistischer Datenanalyse von Vorteil. Je nach Bedarf und TeilnehmerInneninteresse werden Analysemöglichkeiten auch für qualitative Netzwerkkarten diskutiert. Das Format des Moduls umfasst Kurzeinführungen, praktische Übungen und Diskussionen.

Dozenten: Dr. Markus Gamper / Dr. Andreas Herz

An das Modul 1 schließt sich am Dienstagabend eine Fragerunde rund um das Modul 2 „Praxisorientierte Soziale Netzwerkanalyse“an. Die Teilnehmer haben hier die Möglichkeit, den Dozenten konkrete Fragen zu den Lehrinhalten der beiden Arbeitsgruppen A und B sowie den angebotenen zusätzlichen Workshops zu stellen. Auf der Grundlage der Kenntnisse aus Modul 1 kann die Entscheidung für die Teilnahme an einer Arbeitsgruppe noch einmal überdacht und bei Bedarf, soweit organisatorisch möglich, geändert werden.

Am Samstag (4.10.) findet parallel zu den Arbeitsgruppen „Gesamtnetzwerk“ und „Ego-Netzwerke“ die folgende Veranstaltung statt:

„Governance und soziale Netzwerke“

Das interaktive Modul Governance und soziale Netzwerke beschäftigt sich mit der Analyse qualitativer und quantitativer sozialer Netzwerkdaten zur Untersuchung von Governance-Prozessen. Behandelt werden unter anderem politische Entscheidungs- bzw. Implementierungsprozesse im Europäischen Mehrebenensystem, Akteursanalysen einschließlich Macht- und Einflussverteilung in Netzwerken, strategische Netzwerkplanung, soziales Lernen und Wissensintegration.

Dozentin: Dr. Jennifer Hauck (Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung)

Keynote Speech: Network Analysis Literacy

Am Dienstag, den 30. September, hält Prof. Katharina Anna Zweig (University of Science and Technology Kaiserslautern) einen Keynote Speech mit dem Titel „Network Analysis Literacy“: Die Netzwerkanalyse bietet eine Reihe von etablierten Methoden, um beispielsweise die zentralsten Knoten zu finden, ein Netzwerk in dichte Teilbereiche zu partitionieren oder statistisch signifikante Teilgraphen zu identifizieren. Aber für jede dieser Aufgaben gibt es verschiedene Ansätze, sie zu lösen. So gibt es beispielsweise mehrere Dutzend Zentralitätsindizes. In diesem Vortrag geht es um die Frage, warum es so viele verschiedene Ansätze gibt und nach welchen Regeln man entscheiden kann, wann welcher Ansatz verwendet werden sollte. Dazu muss das „Trilemma der Analyse komplexer Netzwerke“ verstanden und gelöst werden. Anhand verschiedener Beispiele wird Prof. Zweig dessen Bedeutung darlegen und generelle Lösungansätze diskutieren.

Dozentin: Prof. Katharina Anna Zweig (University of Science and Technology Kaiserslautern)

Workshops

Workshop „Prozessgenerierte Daten und historische Netzwerkanalyse“

Die Untersuchung von Netzwerkdynamiken, d. h. der Veränderung von Netzwerkstrukturen in der Zeit, gewinnt unter Historikern und Sozialwissenschaftlern eine immer größere Bedeutung. Hierbei ist es aber oftmals nicht möglich oder praktikabel, “klassische“ Formen der sozialwissenschaftlichen Datenerhebung wie Befragungen und Beobachtungen anzuwenden. Prozessgenerierte Quellen oder Daten liegen hingegen oftmals bereits für längere Zeiträume vor und ermöglichen vielfältige dynamische Analysen. Prozessgenerierte Quellen entstehen beispielsweise während Verwaltungsvorgängen aber auch während „Oral History Interviews“. Sie sind nicht direkt durch die Forschenden für individuelle Fragestellungen erhoben worden und müssen deshalb kundig und kritisch interpretiert werden um für aussagekräftige Datenerhebungen nutzbar zu werden. Ziel des Workshops ist es, eine Einführung und praktische Handreichung in die Besonderheiten der Erhebung von dynamischen Netzwerkdaten aus prozessgenerierten Quellen zu geben.

Der Workshop gliedert sich wie folgt: Grundlagen, Quellenübung, Dateneingabe/Codierung, Datenausgabe(Einstieg in die Auswertung)/Fragen und Diskussion.

Dozenten: Dr. Martin Stark (Universität Hamburg), Dr. Marten Düring (CVCE Luxemburg)

Workshop „Mixed Methods“/“Visual Network Research“

Der Workshop ist als eine Erweiterung des im Modul 1 angeschnittenen Zweigs der „qualitativen Netzwerkanalyse“ zu sehen. Im Nachmittagsprogramm werden am 2. und 3. Oktober in zunächst zwei parallel stattfindenden Übungen die beiden Tools VennMaker und NetMap, einschließlich der kombinierten Erhebung qualitativer und quantitativer Netzwerkdaten vorgestellt. Am zweiten Nachmittag werden gemeinsam mit allen Workshop-Teilnehmern die Grundlagen und Methoden der partizipativen und qualitativen Datenanalyse besprochen und Wege aufgezeigt, wie die unterschiedlichen Formen der Netzwerkanalyse miteinander verbunden werden können.

Die Teilnehmer können zwischen den folgenden zwei Übungen wählen:

A) VennMaker

Die Software „VennMaker“ steht an der Schnittstelle von qualitativer und quantitativer Netzwerkanalyse. Sie erlaubt Netzwerke per digitalem Fragebogen oder mithilfe digitaler Netzwerkkarten zuerheben, und beide Formen lassen sich auch miteinander kombinieren. Aufgrund seines visuellen Erhebungscharakters ist der VennMaker besonders gut für partizipative Netzwerkinterviews, bzw. Formen der kommunikativen Validierung geeignet. Die erhobenen Daten können in „klassischer Weise“ mit Excel, Pajek oder R quantitativ ausgewertet werden. Die zeitgleiche Aufzeichnung der gesprochenen Kommentare während des Interviews sowie die Einbindung von Textkommentaren etc. lassen aber auch eine qualitative Auswertung zu. In Gruppenarbeit wird das Erstellen von Netzwerkkarten mit Hilfe des VennMakers erlernt. Die praktische Übung sieht die Konfiguration, Durchführung sowie Auswertung eines Interviews vor. Des Weiteren wird die Migration der Daten in Officeanwendungen und R erprobt.

Dozent: Michael Kronenwett, M. A. (Kronenwett & Adolphs UG)

B) Net-Map

Das Net-Map-Tool ist eine interview-basierte Methode, die es erlaubt, das Wissen um Netzwerkstrukturen als Netzwerkkarte direkt mit Papier und Stift sichtbar zu machen. Darüber hinaus können, während des Interviewprozesses, vielfältige Daten zu den Akteuren und qualitative Informationen erhoben werden, welche die Rollen der Akteure und Netzwerkstrukturen besser verständlich machen. Während des Workshops erarbeiten die TeilnehmerInnen, nach einer kurzen Vorstellung des Net-Map-Tools, relevante Fragestellungen aus ihrem jeweiligen Forschungsbereich und lernen die Anwendung des NetMap-Tools anhand dieser Fragen. Anschließend werden verschiedene Möglichkeiten der Digitalisierung der Netzwerkkarten aufgezeigt und erste Auswertungsschritte besprochen.

Dozentin: Dr. Jennifer Hauck (Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung)

Forschungsberatung

Am 2. und 3. Oktober stehen die Dozenten den Teilnehmern für eine Forschungsberatung zur Verfügung. In einem persönlichen Gespräch können Lösungen für die eigenen Forschungsaufgaben und -projekte besprochen und gefunden werden. Die Teilnehmer profitieren hierbei von der Expertise und den Erfahrungen der Dozenten.

Das Angebot wurde aufgrund des großen Erfolges und der hohen Nachfrage der letzten Jahre wieder in das Programm aufgenommen. Wenn Sie das Angebot in Anspruch nehmen wollen, reichen Sie bitte bis zum 31. Juli ein Abstract (Details hierzu: siehe oben) ein.

Abschlussvortrag „Ethische Netzwerkforschung? Eine Sensibilisierungsrunde zum Abschluss“

Bei der Netzwerkforschung geht es um das Aufdecken von Beziehungen in Gruppen, die oft in hohem Maße informeller Natur und persönlich sind, wobei auch teils vertrauliche Informationen weitergegeben werden. Mit folgenden Fragen lassen sich ethische Aspekte in der Netzwerkforschung ganz gut überprüfen:

„Wer erhebt mit wessen Wissen und Zustimmung wessen Netzwerke, mit Hilfe welcher Quellen, mit welchem Ziel, zu wessen Nutzen, und mit welchen Folgen?“

Nachdem wir uns eine Woche lang gemeinsam dem `wie` und `was` der NWF nachgegangen sind, wollen wir die letzte gemeinsame Runde dazu nutzen, um Sie für das auf Netzwerktagungen bisher kaum thematisierte `warum` und `für wen` der NWA zu sensibilisieren, und mit Ihnen zu diskutieren.

Dozent: Prof. Dr. Michael Schönhuth (Universität Trier)

Rahmenprogramm

Neben dem Gastvortrag bietet das gesellige und kulturelle Rahmenprogramm der Summer School die Möglichkeit, das eigene „social networking“ zu betreiben. Beim geselligen Abend lernen sich die Teilnehmer näher kennen und bereits begonnene Gespräche können bei einem Glas Wein weiter vertieft werden. Ebenso wird die alte Römerstadt Trier mit ihren Sehenswürdigkeiten aus allen Jahrhunderten auf einer Stadtführung erkundet.

CFP CAA Germany-Netherlands-Flanders

caa deGermanic tribes with computational literacy unite! The Computer Applications and quantitative techniques in Archaeology (CAA) conference has a large number of national chapters. Some of these have now teamed up for a Germanic CAA: CAA Germany-Netherlands-Flanders, University of Cologne, October 3rd – 4th, 2014. The call for paper is open until 31 May 2014. Let’s make sure networks are represented! More info on the website and below.

The CAA chapters of Germany and Netherlands/Flanders, in conjunction with the University of Cologne, are happy to announce their upcoming biannual CAA Joint Chapter Meeting, to be held on October 3rd – 4th, 2014 in Cologne, Germany.

This conference will be the third in a row after two successful conferences in Münster (2010) and Groningen (2012). Like in previous years, participation is not limited to members of both CAA chapters but open to all interested colleagues. Students are especially welcome to attend.

(Here you will find a poster to announce the conference in your institute or organisation)

Topics:

This year´s conference will deal with two different topics:

(1) Teaching digital archaeology – digitally teaching archaeology

While digital technologies have profoundly changed the practice of archaeological research in recent years, archaeological teaching targeted at students, professionals, interested laypersons etc. has usually been less affected by these changes than by educational concerns (e.g., Bologna reform, interactive and inclusive teaching, etc.). So the question remains: What are the challenges and requirements of teaching archaeology in the digital age in terms of both content and style? To which degree can, have, or should digital technologies become the subject and/or the means of archaeological teaching to different audiences? This session invites contributions on the current practice of archaeological teaching in the digital age.

(2) Identifying patterns, calculating similarities

Detecting patterns in archaeological data is one of the main aims of computer applications and quantitative methods in archaeology. Many of these methods are based on similarity calculations, either comparing all objects with each other or searching for objects similar to a model pattern. For example, archaeologists apply pattern recognition to detect archaeological features in satellite images, aerial photographs, and LiDAR data. Another example is predictive modelling whose aim it is to identify patterns in the archaeological record, i.e. to delimit areas with high probability of past human activity. Moreover, archaeological typology is often derived from calculating similarities of objects recorded in 2D or 3D scans. Wiggle matching and tree-ring pattern matching are other applications of this set of methods. This session will explore the state of the art of these methods, and showcase new technologies and best practice in applying these approaches to archaeological data.

Call for Papers:

Submissions are welcome on either of the two topics mentioned above.

Please send an abstract (in English, 300 to 500 words, no figures, no references, file format: doc, odf, rtf or txt – no pdf) to workshop@ag-caa.de. In your email, clearly state your name, affiliation and contact details.

All submitted abstracts will be reviewed. The review committee, composed of members of both CAA chapters, will either accept abstracts as submitted, request revision before acceptance, or reject submissions.

The standard format will be oral presentation. In case of a higher than expected number of accepted submissions, the review committee will propose a poster format for selected presentations.

Important Dates:

Submission of abstracts: May 31st, 2014
Notification of authors, programme announced: June 30th, 2014
Early bird registration ends: August 15th, 2014
Conference: October 3rd – 4th, 2014
Preliminary Programme:

Friday, October 3rd, 2014
13:00h Welcome
13:00h – 18:00h Presentations, coffee break
18:00h – 21:00h Reception and snacks at conference venue
Saturday, October 4th, 2014
9:00h – 12:00h Presentations, coffee break
12:00h – 13:00h Lunch break at conference venue
13:00h – 18:30h Presentations, coffee break
Note that October 3rd is a national holiday in Germany, so shops will be closed and public transport will be on a reduced schedule like on Sundays.

Conference Venue:

University of Cologne, main campus, WISO building, Universitätsstr. 24, 50931 Köln. The conference venue is easily accessible by public transport, see Travel Information & Maps.

Conference Fees:

The conference fees include coffee, tea and beverages during breaks, drinks and snacks on Friday evening and a light lunch on Saturday.

Early Bird (up to August 15th, 2014) Regular (from August 16th, 2014)
Student or Unemployed 15 € 25 €
All Others 25 € 35 €
Registration:

To register, please:

Send an email to caacologne@gmail.com in which you clearly state your name, affiliation, contact details and status (student / unemployed or other).
Transfer the conference fees (see above) to the bank account of CAA Germany:
Account holder: Computeranwendungen und Quantitative Methoden in der Archäologie e.V.
Bank: Volksbank Bonn Rhein-Sieg, Bonn, Germany
IBAN: DE53 3806 0186 1001 8780 14
BIC: GENODED1BRS
Reason for transfer: Cologne 2014
You will receive a confirmation of your registration once your conference fees have been received.

All speakers are kindly requested to register this way as well.

We are looking forward to seeing you in Cologne!

Conference Organizers

Karsten Lambers, Matthias Lang, Irmela Herzog (CAA Germany)

Philip Verhagen, Jitte Waagen, Erwin Meylemans (CAA Netherlands/Flanders)

Thomas Frank, Nadia Balkowski (University of Cologne)

Problems with archaeological networks part 4

FSM_on_WallThis fourth blog post in the series discusses process-related issues in archaeological network studies. As I mentioned before, I recently published a review of formal network methods in archaeology in Archaeological Review from Cambridge. I want to share the key problems I raise in this review here on my blog, because in many ways they are the outcomes of working with networks as an archaeologist the last six years. And yes, I encountered more problems than I was able to solve, which is a good thing because I do not want to be bored the next few years 🙂 In a series of four blog posts I draw on this review to introduce four groups of problems that archaeologists are faced with when using networks: method, data, space, and process. The full paper can be found on Academia.

Many archaeological network studies treat networks as static snapshots. This is at least in part a result of the nature of archaeological data and our inability to observe past processes directly. Graph visualisations and many network analysis techniques further enforce this idea of a static network by exploring structural features of particular networks in isolation. However, the past systems we study were dynamic phenomena and the network approach used to understand these phenomena should reflect their changeable nature. In fact, one could argue that no network is truly static since our assumptions underlying the creation of ties imply flows of resources, which are dynamic processes taking place in a changing network.

Archaeological data often does not have the chronological accuracy to reconstruct an exact sequence of events: which ties and nodes appeared and disappeared in what order? A number of network modelling approaches exist that can help one deal with this issue, including agent based modelling (e.g. Graham 2006), algebraic modelling (e.g. Menze and Ur 2012), and statistical modelling (e.g. Lusher et al. 2013). Underlying all of these modelling approaches are clearly formulated assumptions of what a relationship means and what types of flows it allows for. They therefore require one to explicitly acknowledge the dynamic nature of past processes and the dynamic assumptions underlying the definition of ties.

But which model is best? Many models, representing different hypothetical processes, can be created that could all give rise to the same observed network. Since archaeologists cannot directly observe past processes, and given that our data are incomplete and are merely indirect proxies, how then can we ever claim that one model is more probable than any other? The problem of equifinality (the idea that multiple processes can have the same end result) is equally critical for network analysis as for any other technique in the archaeologist’s toolbox. There are a few ways in which formal network methods can help us address this issue. Firstly, archaeological data (however flawed) used in statistical models can help us to identify very general processes that are more probable than others. Secondly, these models can help us to formally express otherwise ill-defined hypotheses and evaluate their likeliness given certain archaeological assumptions. Thirdly, they might not be able to prove certain processes, but models can definitely be used to negatively test or falsify certain hypotheses, or at least identify which processes are less likely than others (given our current knowledge). In this way, such models serve as experimental laboratories (Premo 2006). One has to acknowledge, however, that some past processes are unknowable given our current techniques and datasets. All archaeological approaches suffer from this disadvantage and network analysis is no exception.

References
Graham, S. (2006). Networks, agent-based models and the Antonine Itineraries: implications for Roman archaeology. Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology, 19(1), 45–64.
Lusher, D., Koskinen, J., & Robins, G. (2013). Exponential Random Graph Models for Social Networks. Cambridge: Cambridge university press.
Menze, B. H., & Ur, J. a. (2012). Mapping patterns of long-term settlement in Northern Mesopotamia at a large scale. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 109(14), E778–87. doi:10.1073/pnas.1115472109
Premo, L. S. (2006). Agent-based models as behavioral laboratories for evolutionary anthropological research. Arizona Anthropologist, 91–113.

Problems with archaeological networks part 3

spagThis third blog post in the series discusses space-related issues in archaeological network studies. As I mentioned before, I recently published a review of formal network methods in archaeology in Archaeological Review from Cambridge. I want to share the key problems I raise in this review here on my blog, because in many ways they are the outcomes of working with networks as an archaeologist the last six years. And yes, I encountered more problems than I was able to solve, which is a good thing because I do not want to be bored the next few years 🙂 In a series of four blog posts I draw on this review to introduce four groups of problems that archaeologists are faced with when using networks: method, data, space, and process. The full paper can be found on Academia.

The definition of nodes is not only dependent on data type categorisation but also necessarily reflects the research questions being asked, revealing an issue of spatial scales. Do the past processes we are interested in concern interactions between regions, sites or individuals? How will this be represented in node, tie and network definitions? The ability of network approaches to work on multiple scales is often mentioned as one of the advantages of using formal network methods (Knappett 2011). In practice, however, archaeological network analysts have traditionally focused on inter-regional or macro-scales of analysis. Knappett (2011) argues that it is on the macro-scale that network analysis comes into its own and a recently published edited volume reveals this regional emphasis (Knappett 2013). This insistence to work on large scales becomes quite unique in light of social network analysts’ traditional focus on individual social entities in interaction. SNA provides a multitude of good examples of how network methods could be usefully applied on a micro- or local scale of analysis (e.g. ego-networks). However, the nature of archaeological data, which rarely allows for individuals and their interactions to be identified with any certainty, should not be considered the only reason for this focus on the macro-scale. Arguably, networks lend themselves very well to exploring inter-regional interaction, and archaeologists have always had a particular interest in the movements and flows of people, resources and information across large areas. Moreover, many of the early applications of network methods in archaeology, which in some cases might have served as an example to more recent applications, concerned inter-regional interaction (e.g. Terrell 1976). One should acknowledge the importance of exploring how local actions give rise to larger-scale patterns if we are to benefit from the multi-scalar advantage of formal network methods (Knappett 2011).

It is not surprising that many archaeological network analysts are interested in exploring the dynamics between relational and geographical space (e.g. Bevan and Wilson 2013; Knappett et al. 2008; Menze and Ur 2012; Wernke 2012), given the importance of spatial factors in understanding archaeological data and archaeologists’ traditional interest in geographical methods (e.g. Hodder and Orton 1976). Despite early work by archaeologists on geographical networks (for an overview see chapter 2 in Knappett 2011), geographical space has been almost completely ignored by sociologists and physicists, resulting in a very limited geographical network analysis toolset for archaeologists to draw on (although see a recent special issue of the journal Social Networks [issue 34(1), 2012] and the review work by Barthélemy [2011], as well as techniques used in Space Syntax [Hillier and Hanson, 1984]).

References
Barthélemy, M. (2011). Spatial networks. Physics Reports, 499(1-3), 1–101. doi:10.1016/j.physrep.2010.11.002
Bevan, A., & Wilson, A. (2013). Models of settlement hierarchy based on partial evidence. Journal of Archaeological Science, 40(5), 2415–2427.
Hillier, B., & Hanson, J. (1984). The social logic of space. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Hodder, I., & Orton, C. (1976). Spatial analysis in archaeology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Knappett, C. (2011). An archaeology of interaction: network perspectives on material culture and society. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Knappett, C. (2013). Introduction: why networks? In C. Knappett (Ed.), Network analysis in archaeology. New approaches to regional interaction (pp. 3–16). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Knappett, C., Evans, T., & Rivers, R. (2008). Modelling maritime interaction in the Aegean Bronze Age. Antiquity, 82(318), 1009–1024.
Menze, B. H., & Ur, J. a. (2012). Mapping patterns of long-term settlement in Northern Mesopotamia at a large scale. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 109(14), E778–87. doi:10.1073/pnas.1115472109
Terrell, J. E. (1976). Island biogeography and man in Melanesia. Archaeology and physical anthropology in Oceania, 11(1), 1–17.
Wernke, S. a. (2012). Spatial network analysis of a terminal prehispanic and early colonial settlement in highland Peru. Journal of Archaeological Science, 39(4), 1111–1122. doi:10.1016/j.jas.2011.12.014

Problems with archaeological networks part 2

Cuddly_Flying_Spaghetti_MonsterThis second blog post in the series discusses data-related issues in archaeological network studies. As I mentioned before, I recently published a review of formal network methods in archaeology in Archaeological Review from Cambridge. I want to share the key problems I raise in this review here on my blog, because in many ways they are the outcomes of working with networks as an archaeologist the last six years. And yes, I encountered more problems than I was able to solve, which is a good thing because I do not want to be bored the next few years 🙂 In a series of four blog posts I draw on this review to introduce four groups of problems that archaeologists are faced with when using networks: method, data, space, and process. The full paper can be found on Academia.

Network analysis is by no means a method devoid of any theoretical considerations. Most interestingly, theoretical critiques are often triggered by issues concerning the role of archaeological data. This is usually a result of the material nature of archaeological data serving as proxy evidence for past human behaviour, which poses a number of challenges.

Firstly, imposing categories and sometimes hierarchical relationships on data is a prerequisite for any network analysis. This results in the assumption that categories can actually be defined with any certainty (Butts 2009), and from the need to establish data categories ahead of the analysis, rather than letting them emerge from the analysis (Isaksen 2013). Indeed, the definition of nodes, ties and the network as a whole can be considered the most crucial phase of any archaeological network analysis. However straightforward such definitions seem, doing so in a critical manner is not as easy as it sounds. For example, we could choose to follow a formal ceramic typology, where each node represents a distinct type. When doing so we have to acknowledge that such typologies are modern constructs and that alternative categorisations can easily be developed. This in turn raises the issue that the network we analyse is not necessarily identical to the past networks we are trying to understand. For example, although in some cases it can be proven that particular ceramic types were used for particular purposes and in certain contexts, their meaning can nevertheless change through time, requiring a modification of our categorisation (van Oyen in press).

Secondly, unlike network analysts in many other disciplines, archaeologists work with primary data sources of a material nature. Social network analysts often only consider inter-personal interactions, whilst archaeological network analysts are forced to consider object-person and object-object interactions. A range of interactionist theoretical perspectives exist to confront materiality, and archaeological network analysts are faced with finding a workable framework that combines both network theories and methods (Knappett 2011).

In summary, the decisions archaeological network analysts make when defining nodes and edges, when selecting or modifying analytical techniques and when interpreting the outcomes, are fundamentally influenced by their theoretical preconceptions. There is not a single right way to incorporate and interpret archaeological data in network approaches.

References:
Butts, C. T. (2009). Revisiting the foundations of network analysis. Science, 325(5939), 414–6. doi:10.1126/science.1171022
Isaksen, L. (2013). “O What A Tangled Web We Weave” – Towards a Practice That Does Not Deceive. In C. Knappett (Ed.), Network analysis in archaeology. New approaches to regional interaction (pp. 43–70). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Knappett, C. (2011). An archaeology of interaction. Network perspectives on material culture and society. Oxford – New York: Oxford University Press.
Oyen, A. Van. (n.d.). Networks or work-nets? Actor-Network Theory and multiple social topologies in the production of Roman terra sigillata. In T. Brughmans, A. Collar, & F. Coward (Eds.), The Connected Past: challenging networks in archaeology and history. Oxford: Oxford Univeristy Press.

Problems with archaeological networks part 1

Plate_of_SpaghettiAs I mentioned before, I recently published a review of formal network methods in archaeology in Archaeological Review from Cambridge. I want to share the key problems I raise in this review here on my blog, because in many ways they are the outcomes of working with networks as an archaeologist the last six years. And yes, I encountered more problems than I was able to solve, which is a good thing because I do not want to be bored the next few years 🙂 In a series of four blog posts I draw on this review to introduce four groups of problems that archaeologists are faced with when using networks: method, data, space process. The full paper can be found on Academia. This first blog post in the series discusses methodological issues, enjoy 🙂

Like any other formal techniques in the archaeologist’s toolbox (e.g. GIS, radiocarbon dating, statistics), formal network techniques are methodological tools that work according to a set of known rules (the algorithms underlying them). These allow the analyst to answer certain questions (the network structural results of the algorithms), and have clear limitations (what the algorithms are not designed to answer). This means that their formal use is fundamentally limited by what they are designed to do, and that they can only be critically applied in an archaeological context when serving this particular purpose. In most cases, however, these formal network results are not the aim of one’s research; archaeologists do not use network methods just because they can. Instead one thinks through a networks perspective about the past interactions and systems one is actually interested in. This reveals an epistemological issue that all archaeological tools struggle with: there is a danger that formal networks are equated with the past networks we are trying to understand (Isaksen 2013; Knox et al. 2006; Riles 2001). In other cases, however, formal analysis is avoided altogether and concepts adopted from formal network methods are used to describe hypothetical past structures or processes (e.g. Malkin 2011). Although this sort of network thinking can lead to innovative hypotheses, it is not formal network analysis (see reviews of Malkin (2011) by Ruffini (2012) and Brughmans (2013)). However, such concepts adopted from formal network methods often have a very specific meaning to network analysts and are associated with data requirements in order to express them. Most crucially, when the concepts one uses to explain a hypothesis cannot be demonstrated through data (not even hypothetically through simulation), there is a real danger that these concepts become devalued since they are not more probable than any other hypotheses. Moreover, the interpretation of past social systems runs the risk of becoming mechanised when researchers adopt the typical interpretation of network concepts from the SNA or physics literature without validating their use with archaeological data or without modifying their interpretation to a particular archaeological research context. This criticism is addressed at the adoption of formal network concepts only. It should be clear that other theoretical concepts could well use a similar vocabulary whilst not sharing the same purpose or data requirements, in which case I would argue to refrain from using the same word to refer to different concepts or explicitly address the difference between these concepts in order to avoid confusion.

Although it is easy to claim that the rules underlying formal network techniques are known, it is less straightforward to assume that the traditional education of archaeologists allows them to decipher these algorithms. Archaeologists are not always sufficiently equipped to critique the mathematical underpinnings of network techniques, let alone to develop novel techniques tailor-made to address an archaeological question. For many archaeologists this means a real barrier or at least a very steep learning curve. Sadly, it also does not suffice to focus one’s efforts on the most common techniques or on learning graph theory. Like GIS, network analysis is not a single homogeneous method: it incorporates every formal technique that visualises or analyses the interactions between nodes (either hypothetical or observed), and it is only the particular nature of the network as a data type that holds these techniques together (Brandes et al. 2013). For this purpose it draws on graph theory, statistical and probability theory, algebraic models, but also agent-based modelling and GIS.

A thorough understanding of the technical underpinnings of particular network techniques is not an option; it is a prerequisite for a critical interpretation of the results. A good example of this is network visualisation. Many archaeologists consider the visualisation of networks as graphs a useful exploratory technique to understand the nature of their data, in particular when combined with geographical visualisations (e.g. Golitko et al. 2012). However, there are many different graph layout algorithms, and all of them are designed for a particular purpose: to communicate a certain structural feature most efficiently (Conway 2012; Freeman 2005). These days, user-friendly network analysis software is freely available and most of it includes a limited set of layouts, often not offering the option of modifying the impact of variables in the layout algorithms. Not understanding the underlying ‘graph drawing aesthetics’ or limiting one’s exploration to a single layout will result in routinized interpretations focusing on a limited set of the network’s structural features.

Archaeologists who consider the application of network methods to achieve their research aims must be able to identify and evaluate such issues. Multi-disciplinary engagement or even collaboration significantly aids this evaluation process.

References:
Brandes, U., Robins, G., McCranie, A., & Wasserman, S. (2013). What is network science? Network Science, 1(01), 1–15. doi:10.1017/nws.2013.2
Brughmans, T. (2013). Review of I. Malkin 2011. A Small Greek World. Networks in the Ancient Mediterranean. The Classical Review, 63(01), 146–148. doi:10.1017/S0009840X12002776
Conway, S. (2012). A Cautionary Note on Data Inputs and Visual Outputs in Social Network Analysis. British Journal of Management. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8551.2012.00835.x
Freeman, L. C. (2005). Graphic techniques for exploring social network data. In P. J. Carrington, J. Scott, & S. Wasserman (Eds.), Models and methods in social network analysis (Vol. 5, pp. 248–268). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.3917/enje.005.0059
Golitko, M., Meierhoff, J., Feinman, G. M., & Williams, P. R. (2012). Complexities of collapse : the evidence of Maya obsidian as revealed by social network graphical analysis. Antiquity, 86, 507–523.
Isaksen, L. (2013). “O What A Tangled Web We Weave” – Towards a Practice That Does Not Deceive. In C. Knappett (Ed.), Network analysis in archaeology. New approaches to regional interaction (pp. 43–70). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Knox, H., Savage, M., & Harvey, P. (2006). Social networks and the study of relations: networks as method, metaphor and form. Economy and Society, 35(1), 113–140. doi:10.1080/03085140500465899
Malkin, I. (2011). A small Greek world: networks in the Ancient Mediterranean. Oxford – New York: Oxford University Press.
Riles, A. (2001). The Network inside Out. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.
Ruffini, G. (2012). Review of Malkin, I. 2011 A Small Greek World: Networks in the Ancient Mediterranean. American Historical Review, 1643–1644.

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