The past decade has witnessed a momentous transformation in the way people interact
and exchange information. Content is now coactively produced, shared, classified,
and rated on the Web by millions of people, while attention has become an ephemeral
and valuable resource that everyone seeks to acquire. This talk will describe
our research on the interplay between popularity, novelty and collective attention
in the Web, as well as a study of the dynamics of online opinion formation.
The speaker is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Social Computing
Laboratory at HP labs, which focuses on methods for harvesting
the collective intelligence of groups of people in order to realize
greater value from the interaction between users and information.
He is also a Consulting Professor of Physics in the Applied Physics
Department at Stanford University.
Huberman's research focuses on distributed knowledge, social organizations
and the economics of attention. One of the originators of the field
of ecology of computation, Huberman is the author of the book, "The
Laws of the Web: Patterns in the Ecology of Information," published
by MIT Press.
Huberman is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, a Fellow
of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS),
a former trustee of the Aspen Center for Physics and Fellow of
the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. He has been a visiting
Professor at the Niels Bohr Institute in Denmark, the University
of Paris, and Insead, the European School of Business in Fontainebleau,
In the ongoing movement toward socially-produced information resources, we are
increasingly able to look through the content being created and see the individuals,
incentives, and larger social processes at work. Designing and working with
large-scale participatory social computing applications requires that we
think not just about technological issues, but also about fundamental principles
of human social interaction. Through the digital traces that these applications
generate, we can begin to quantify and reason about such principles at unprecedented
levels of scale and resolution.
In this talk, we consider a crucial type of social process in
this setting -- the mechanisms by which information flows through
groups of people engaged in sharing and synthesizing knowledge.
As information, ideas, opinions, and beliefs spread through an
underlying social network, their dynamics resemble that of an epidemic,
moving "contagiously" from person to person. But social
contagion is different from biological contagion in many respects;
understanding the analogies and contrasts between these two kinds
of processes leads us to consider the rich temporal characteristics
of information flow within a network and the complex decision rules
by which people choose to act on new information. The result is
a richer picture of the communities that create knowledge and its
interlinkages, and of the resources that ultimately arise from
Jon Kleinberg is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science
at Cornell University. His research is concerned with issues at
the interface of networks and information; in his recent work,
he has focused on the social processes that underpin large, decentralized
Kleinberg is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and
the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the recipient of
MacArthur, Packard, and Sloan Foundation Fellowships, the Nevanlinna
Prize from the International Mathematical Union, and the National
Academy of Sciences Award for Initiatives in Research.