Computational social science
As humans increase their use of technology for both business and pleasure, so does the size of the digital footprint they leave behind. This data is a rich source for study as it provides a unique perspective on social and human behaviour.
Broadly known as computational social science, it includes aspects of anthropology, ethnography, business, journalism and other humanities.
Arts, humanities and social sciences
It is envisaged that many future discoveries in the arts, humanities and social sciences will have a data-driven component. To exploit opportunities for data-driven innovation in computational social science, we will utilise the facilities and expertise of the Social Science Park (SPARK), interacting with key researchers and research centres. Using SPARK our researchers will work closely and collaboratively with staff from the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences focussing on their unstructured data driven problems.
Big social data
Additional research in computational social science will focus on social media analytics due to the recent availability of "big social data" from platforms including Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare. The aim will be to build on our novel and distinctive research in this field.
Our Research Institute seedcorn funding and Research Software Engineers have contributed to a number of projects over the last three years including:
These projects emphasise the importance of putting social scientists in close collaboration with computer scientists and Research Software Engineers to ensure that the outcomes of the work are relevant to both communities.
Work undertaken in this area also identifies the necessity to bring in empirical studies of offline analysis into online behaviours to undertake comparative analysis. Research here will lead to new algorithm development that can be used for the analysis of emerging online data.