From Social Data Mining to Forecasting Socio-Economic Crisis


  1. Develop strategies to quickly increase the objective knowledge about social and economic systems
  2. Elaborate ethical standards regarding the storage, processing, evaluation, and publication of social and economic data
  3. Describe requirements for efficient large-scale scientific data mining of anonymized social and economic data
  4. Formulate strategies how to collect stylized facts extracted from large data set
  5. Sketch ways how to successfully build up centers for computational social science
  6. Propose plans how to create centers for risk analysis and crisis forecasting


The task involves the provision of significant new ICT infrastructure (e.g. grid and cloud computing capacities), and the development of powerful ICT algorithms that can do automatic classification and distinguish spurious patterns from statistically significant ones. It will obviously be needed to build up data storage and processing capacities far beyond what has been used in the socio-economic sciences so far, and safety measures to protect sensitive data from unauthorized access. One potential benefit of large-scale data-mining capacities is the identification of warning signs (early indicators) of upcoming critical states in socio-economic and particularly financial systems. That is, it appears promising to have crisis forecasting centers similar to the centers that we have for weather forecasts, earthquakes, or tsunamis today. Additionally, suggestions shall be elaborated regarding how to raise the number of experts capable of massive data mining in the socio-economic sciences and how to attract competence from other fields. To foster theoretical progress, it seems necessary to create an archive/repository of stylized facts similar to the genetic databases available today. Beyond this, it will be necessary that new ways of measuring social activities are found. New ICT, in particular recent sensing technologies, will open up new roads for social research. Rather than being limited by the data that happen to be available for one reason or another (such as internet or phone communication data), by collaboration with ICT engineers, social scientists should be put into the position to get exactly the data they need to advance their theories.


Identification of leading computational social scientists.


WP-1: Recommendations report (white paper) regarding ICT-based strategies to establish socio-economic data-mining and crisis forecasting capacities. Now available for download

Deadline for contributions

Mar 15, 2010.

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