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CNN Seminar - Inferring social network structure in ecological systems from spatio-temporal data streams

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We propose a collection of analytical and computational methods for inferring the underlying social structure of a given animal population, observed only via timestamped occurrences of its members across a range of locations. We show that such data streams have a modular and temporally-focused structure, neither fully ordered nor completely random, with individuals appearing in “gathering events”. By exploiting such structure, we propose an appropriate mapping of those spatio-temporal data streams to a social network, based on the co-occurrences of individuals across gathering events. The methods proposed are applied on a data set of wild-bird visitations in order to explore bird sociality, reveal its internal organisation across a variety of different scales and provide insights into important biological processes relating to mating pair formation.

This talk is part of the Cambridge Networks Network (CNN) series.

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