You see, Valdis looks at network topology and sees all kinds of innovative possibilities for analysis and extrapolation, not unlike Asimov's Hari Seldon, who famously developed psychohistory, the science of predicting the future in probabilistic terms.
During his BIF-7 talk, Valdis explained the guiding principles involved with social and organizational network analysis:
- Birds of a feather flock together
- What you know depends on who you know (and vice versa)
Valdis demonstrated the depth and utility of this analysis by showing a network genome of BIF-7 attendees who had completed a pre-conference survey. The algorithm depicted a connected system and suggested recommended connections based on interest. Valdis was kind enough to send me the visual, and I've reproduced it below:
"His name was Gaal Dornick, and he was just a country boy who had never seen Trantor before."
-- Isaac Asimov, Foundation
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This is part of my 31 (More) Days of #BIF7 blog series.