Call For Papers: Social Computing Behavioral-Cultural Modeling and Prediction Challenge (SBP 2012)

SBP 2012 Modeling Challenge
International Conference on Social Computing, Behavioral-Cultural Modeling, and Prediction (SBP 2012)
University of Maryland, CollegePark, MD.
April 3-5, 2012

About SBP
The SBP conference is the result of merging two successful international conferences on closely related subjects: the International Conference on Social Computing, Behavioral Modeling, and Prediction (SBP) and the International Conference on Computational Cultural Dynamics (ICCCD.) The combined conference retains the acronym SBP, with “Behavioral” replaced by “Behavioral-Cultural”. Social computing harnesses the power of computational methods to study social behavior within a social context. Behavioral-Cultural modeling refers to representing behavior and culture in the abstract, and is a convenient and powerful way to conduct virtual experiments and scenario planning. Both social computing and behavioral-cultural modeling are techniques designed to achieve a better understanding of complex behaviors, patterns, and associated outcomes of interest. Moreover, these approaches are inherently interdisciplinary; subsystems and system components exist at multiple levels of analysis and cross disparate disciplines. Sponsors for SBP include:
– Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR),
– Army Research Organization (ARO),
– National Institutes of Health (NIH),
– National Science Foundation (NSF), and
– Office of Naval Research (ONR).
More details on the SBP conferences can be found at:

Modeling Challenge
SBP will host a modeling challenge, SBP 2012 Challenge, this year along with the regular conference. The SBP 2012 Challenge aims to add a new dimension to the conference to demonstrate the real-world and interdisciplinary impact of social computing. The challenge is geared to engage the social computing research community in solving relevant, interesting, and challenging research problem contributing towards theoretical, methodological, and applicational advancement of the area. The challenge problem will highlight the multidisciplinary aspect of the social computing area. The challenge problem is designed to be ‘broad’ so that it can be appreciated equally by researchers from different backgrounds.

Challenge Problem
Social media has inarguably played a critical role in facilitating information dissemination in numerous real-world events including citizen protests driven by economic (e.g., the Occupy Wall Street, Greek’s the Indignant Citizens Movement) or socio-political crisis (e.g., Egyptian revolution, the Arab Spring), disaster recovery and response (Haiti earthquake), political campaigns, and many others. Prior to such events, the social network is virtually non-existent and emerges dynamically at an overwhelming pace afterwards. A similar phenomenon could be observed during the outbreak of an epidemic, especially in highly mobilized environments. Identifying the nodes that spread the information (epidemic) fastest, early on before the network stabilizes, could have a significant impact in decision making. Companies could also find this problem significant during early product promotions.

Considering the significance of the above-mentioned problem, the theme of the SBP 2012 challenge is to model diffusion in rapidly evolving networks. There is no specific dataset meaning the challenge problem is open for different interpretations. One could propose simulation models or mine real-world social media data in the context of ‘diffusion in rapidly evolving networks’ and share their analyses and findings.

Submissions will be evaluated based on theoretical grounding as well as experimental evidence. ‘Closeness’ to real-world scenarios would certainly be preferred during evaluations. Winners will be selected by an interdisciplinary committee of researchers and will be recognized at the conference with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prizes. The winners will introduce the idea briefly at the conference to the audience and/or give a quick demo. The winners will be given one entire tutorial session (3 hours) to present their work (possibly demo) followed by a panel discussion to answer audience queries. Winners will be recognized with awards during the conference reception.

Submission Details
The submissions (6 pages) should be formatted according to the Springer-Verlag LNCS/LNAI guidelines. Sample LaTeX2e and Word files are available from Submissions should be made at:

Important Dates
Submission Deadline: January 16, 2012 (23:59 PST)
Notification of Winners: March 2, 2012

Interested participants are requested to join the mailing list to follow the related discussion. Details and updates regarding the challenge will be posted on the group.

Please contact Nitin Agarwal at for more details.

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