Incorporating social theories in computational behavioral models

Eunice E. Santos, Eugene Santos, John Korah, Riya George, Qi Gu, Jacob Jurmain, Keumjoo Kim, Deqing Li, Jacob Russell, Suresh Subramanian, Jeremy E. Thompson, Fei Yu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Computational social science methodologies are increasingly being viewed as critical for modeling complex individual and organizational behaviors in dynamic, real world scenarios. However, many challenges for identifying, representing and incorporating appropriate socio-cultural behaviors remain. Social theories provide rules, which have strong theoretic underpinnings and have been empirically validated, for representing and analyzing individual and group interactions. The key insight in this paper is that social theories can be embedded into computational models as functional mappings based on underlying factors, structures and interactions in social systems. We describe a generic framework, called a Culturally Infused Social Network (CISN), which makes such mappings realizable with its abilities to incorporate multi-domain socio-cultural factors, model at multiple scales, and represent dynamic information. We explore the incorporation of different social theories for added rigor to modeling and analysis by analyzing the fall of the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) regime in Somalia during the latter half of 2006. Specifically, we incorporate the concepts of homophily and frustration to examine the strength of the ICU's alliances during its rise and fall. Additionally, we employ Affect Control Theory (ACT) to improve the resolution and detail of the model, and thus enhance the explanatory power of the CISN framework.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSocial Computing, Behavioral-Cultural Modeling, and Prediction - 7th International Conference, SBP 2014, Proceedings
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9783319055787
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes
Event7th International Conference on Social Computing, Behavioral-Cultural Modeling, and Prediction, SBP 2014 - Washington, DC, United States
Duration: Apr 1 2014Apr 4 2014

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume8393 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Other7th International Conference on Social Computing, Behavioral-Cultural Modeling, and Prediction, SBP 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityWashington, DC


  • Computational social science
  • Group stability
  • Social networks
  • Socio-cultural behavioral models
  • Somalia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science


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