Socio-cultural Cognitive Maps

Dynamical Statistical Network Informatics

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This project is to design, test and evaluate new methodology for assessing "the lay of the land." Three questions are addressed:

  1. Who are the critical decision makers?
  2. What are the relations, e.g., similarities, potential alliances and conflicts among these decision makers?
  3. What is the basis for those relations, alliances or conflicts; e.g., are they based in economic, status, education, religion, location.

To address these questions we use Socio-Cognitive Cultural Maps (SCM). These are the best-fit model of the underlying relations among actors in the region of interest. SCM's are based on a socio-cognitive understanding of the social & cultural similarities and differences among actors expressed through their activities and attention to issues.

When a change in the set of actors or relations occurs an SCM can be used to assess changes in community resilience, the underlying power structure, and the general stance of decision makers on an issue. SCMs can be used for wargaming, planning, and course of action analysis.

In this project we develop a technology to estimate, assess and visualize SCMs. Six data sets varying in complexity and data collection method are used.