Sampling bias in systems with structural heterogeneity and limited internal diffusion

Onnela, Jukka-Pekka, Johnson, Neil F., Gourley, Sean, Reinert, Gesine and Spagat, Michael (2009) Sampling bias in systems with structural heterogeneity and limited internal diffusion. Europhysics Letters, 85 (2). p. 28001.

Abstract

Complex-systems research is becomingly increasingly data-driven, particularly in the social and biological domains. Many of the systems from which sample data are collected feature structural heterogeneity at the mesoscopic scale (i.e. communities) and limited inter-community diffusion. Here we show that the interplay between these two features can yield a significant bias in the global characteristics inferred from the data. We present a general framework to quantify this bias, and derive an explicit corrective factor for a wide class of systems. Applying our analysis to a recent high-profile survey of conflict mortality in Iraq suggests a significant overestimate of deaths.

Item Type: Article
Citations: Web of Science: 0
Keywords: Complex-systems research; bias; structural heterogeneity; limited internal diffusion; conflict mortality
Subject(s): Complexity
Science & technology management
Centre: CABDyN Complexity Centre
Institute for Science, Innovation and Society
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 16 Jun 2010 09:24
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2015 14:05
URI: http://eureka.sbs.ox.ac.uk/id/eprint/243

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