How do social relationships evolve?
Social networks are dynamically evolving systems, which both influence and are influenced by individual behaviour. On the one hand, people may become friends because they share certain characteristics or behaviour. On the other hand, people may copy behavior from the people that they are friends with.
The stochastic actor-oriented model (SOAM) is a mathematical model to disentangle these factors and to describe the complexity of a dynamic social network. It has been developed by members of the COST Action COSTNET and has been used in many sociological studies to provide insight in the complex drivers of social behaviour.
COSTNET is a European COST collaboration of more than 500 statisticians and other quantitative scientists from 34 countries on the development of novel inference methods for network data science. It is lead by Prof. Ernst Wit (USI/RuG) and the core management team involving Gesine Reinert (Oxford), Goeran Kauermann (LMU, Munich), Veronica Vinciotti (Trento), Claire Gormley (UCD, Dublin), Clelia di Serio (UniSR, Milano), Steffen Lauritzen (Copenhagen), Anuska Ferligoj and Vladimir Batagelj (Ljubljana), Arnoldo Frigessi (Oslo).