Network Analysis in the Social Sciences and its Application to the Energy Domain



One of the main ideas in the social sciences is the notion that individuals are embedded in the networks of social relations and interactions. The researchers in various disciplines argue that the structure of these social networks provides explanations for a myriad of social phenomena, from individual creativity to corporate profitability. Especially with the introduction of Social Network Sites (e.g. Facebook) it is possible to analyze the networks of users on an unprecedented scale. In the presentation, I will give an overview of the research that I have conducted with the focus on the impact of network structural properties on the benefits users obtain on Social Network Sites, such as information value and social capital. Then I will show how this research can be applied to the energy sector, for example to analyze the interactions between the various players in the energy market and to predict their behaviors. Additionally, network analysis can be used to predict the diffusion of innovations. A new project will be presented that identifies factors responsible for information diffusion on Social Network Sites. This, in turn, can be applied to the energy research to forecast, for example, the adoption of smart metering technology. 

This seminar is organised by the Erasmus Centre for Future Energy Business.