I have drafted one article to outline the emerging framework of computational communication (In Chinese, click here to read). To embrace the trend of “Computational Communication”, we have organized one google group to discuss issues relate with data crawling, analyzing, and visualization using various programming tools (Click here to see the google group).
- How to make communication computational?
Scientists observe the outside world and establish theories to explain the world. One important part is to make it comparable, which is highlighted here as computational.
For scholars, you should have the computational thinking.
Figure 1 Make data computational
- Behavioral Data
- Relational Data
- Longitudinal Data
- Big Data
- Digital Data (Traces)
Based on the behavioral, relational, longitudinal, big, and digital data, the measure could be more solid and convincing. Currently, the most important measure of network behavior is the degree of nodes. The degree distribution of scale free network could be described by the power law.
In one article talking about big data, the author gives one example of Google’s success:
Google’s founding philosophy is that we don’t know why this page is better than that one: If the statistics of incoming links say it is, that’s good enough. No semantic or causal analysis is required. That’s why Google can translate languages without actually “knowing” them (given equal corpus data, Google can translate Klingon into Farsi as easily as it can translate French into German). And why it can match ads to content without any knowledge or assumptions about the ads or the content.
However, I don’t think Google succeeds because of big data, actually, Google succeeds because of the good measure of the rank of webpage! The measure of Pagerank captures the real influence of different webpage based on the relational information among webpage, and similar measure used in the semantic network helps Google to fluently translate different languages.
Figure 2 what’s new in communication research?
- what are the patterns in communication research?
- How could we get beyond of patterns?
- Is the law far away from human communication behaviors?
- How to find the law of human communication?
- Have we touched the real mechanisms？What’s mechanism?
- How to find mechanisms?
- Do we find any principles in human communication behaviors?
- What’s the principle of human communication?
The Way to Computational Communication
- Analytic Model
- Numeric Simulation
- Agent-based Model
- Empirical Data
Applications of CC
Computational communication is part of computational social science (pdf). Further, there are mainly two aspects of computational communication, including both communication network science and data journalism.