Milieu and function: toward a multilayer framework for understanding social networks

Geard, N.L. and Bullock, Seth (2007) Milieu and function: toward a multilayer framework for understanding social networks. In, 9th European Conference on Artificial Life (ECAL 2007). Workshop: The Emergence of Social Behaviour, Lisbon, PT, 10 - 14 Sep 2007. Springer, 1-11.


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Social interactions between individuals do not occur in a void. Nor do they take place on a pre-existing fixed social network. Real social behaviour can be understood both to take place on, and to bring about, a complex set of overlapping topologies best described by a multilayer network in which different layers indicate different modes of interaction. Here we distinguish between the milieu within which social organisation is embedded and the transactional relationships that constitute this social organisation. While both can be represented by network structures, their topologies will not necessarily be the same. Researchers in various domains have realised the importance of the context in which individuals are embedded in shaping properties of the functional transactions in which they choose to engage. We review several examples of the relationship between milieu and function and propose a conceptual framework that may help advance our understanding of how social organisation can occur as a result of self-organisation and adaptation.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
ISBNs: 3540749128 (paperback)
9783540749127 (paperback)
Keywords: social networks
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Divisions : Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering > Electronics and Computer Science > Agents, Interactions & Complexity
ePrint ID: 264340
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
August 2007Published
Date Deposited: 23 Jul 2007
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 14:09
Amorphous computation, random graphs and complex biological networks
Funded by: EPSRC (EP/D00232X/1)
1 January 2006 to 30 September 2010
Further Information:Google Scholar

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