Blog Archives

In Search of Power-laws: WikiLeaks Edition

August 26, 2010
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In Search of Power-laws: WikiLeaks Edition

Yesterday, a commenter reminded me of the very popular hobby among scientists of searching for power-law distributions in large event data. While the commonality of scale invariance in event data is quite well known—particularly with respect to conflict data—this has not prevented many researchers from seeking and finding these patterns in data. As the commenter notes,

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Leveraging the Wisdom of Crowds for Fantasy Football

August 23, 2010
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Leveraging the Wisdom of Crowds for Fantasy Football

WARNING: This has nothing to do with national security, but is nonetheless awesome. This evening I will be participating in that great annual tradition which marks the transition from Summer to Fall: the fantasy football draft. A large part of having a successful fantasy football draft is being able to adjudicate the value of a player more accurately

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Animated Heatmap of WikiLeaks Report Intensity in Afghanistan

August 17, 2010
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Visualisation of Activity in Afghanistan using the Wikileaks data from Mike Dewar on Vimeo.The latest visualization of the WikiLeaks data compiled by our group is an animation of the intensity of report observations in Afghanistan over the six year period in the WikiLeaks data. Team member Mike Dewar did the vast majority of work for

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Wikileaks Attack Data by Year and Type Projected on Afghanistan Regional Map

August 7, 2010
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Wikileaks Attack Data by Year and Type Projected on Afghanistan Regional Map

Below is a visualization of the Wikileaks data produced in collaboration with Michael Dewar. This plot shows attacks in the data set by year and type, projected onto a map of Afghanistan with district boundaries.This visualization is certainly not perfect, i.e., some colors are difficult to discern, but it does provide added insight to the

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Benford’s Law Tests for Wikileaks Data

August 1, 2010
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Benford’s Law Tests for Wikileaks Data

In my first post on the WL Afghanistan data I provided a very high-level view of the data, and found that it generally met expectations for frequency given its context and presumed data generating process. Next, I will look a bit deeper at this process and test if the observed frequencies of reports have properties

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Local R User Group Panel from useR! 2010 (Video)

July 24, 2010
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As I mentioned last week, I will be hosting videos of several of the keynote speakers from this year’s useR! 2010 conference at the video Rchive. As it happens, the first video I was able to upload was the panel discussion we held on starting local R user groups. I have uploaded the video,

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userR! 2010 Videos to be Hosted at Rchive

July 20, 2010
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Today, I am packing up the car and heading south to my old home, Washington, DC, for the useR! 2010 conference, which is being held at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Incidentally, where I was an intern in the Information Technology Lab during college. If you are not able to make the trip to

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Anatomy of a Life-Milestone Announcement on Facebook

July 15, 2010
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Anatomy of a Life-Milestone Announcement on Facebook

As I have mentioned, I recently returned for a lovely trip to Europe. While on vacation my brilliant, beautiful, funny, and all around perfect girlfriend accepted my invitation to be my wife. Pause for shared overwhelming feeling of joy… While I am still basking in the glow of being the luckiest man on Earth, as

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The Next Big Thing: SAS and SPSS!…wait, what?

April 15, 2010
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The Next Big Thing: SAS and SPSS!…wait, what?

Thanks to the R Bloggers aggregator I came across Yihui Xie’s post on a piece currently making the rounds about statistical analysis platforms. In The Next Big Thing, AnnMaria De Mars makes the argument that R—as a statistical computing platform—is not well suited for what she views as the next big things in data

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Lots of new Videos in Rchive

April 14, 2010
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I have just uploaded a bunch of new videos the Rchive (yea, that’s what I am calling it now). Most of the videos are from the April NYC meetup, which include the following talks:Pankaj Chopra—using R and Bioconductor (http://www.bioconductor.org/) for biomarker detection in cancer Andrew Ilardi—an R project that analyzes a list of stocks while reaching out

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