Over the past decade, we have made tremendous progress in understanding the complex networks in the world around us. In terms of social systems, we have recently developed the technological ability to measure the dynamics such networks with unprecedented accuracy, using smartphones as sensors. For the past two years, my group has worked towards creating a dataset of unparalleled quality and size, working to develop a starting point that will allow us to make a true leap in the quantitative understanding of social systems.
We use top-of-the-line smartphones as measurement devices to capture the complete network (face-to-face, telecommunication, online social networks, geolocation, etc). We just competed rolling out the study to a group of approximately 1000 individuals. In terms of size, this increases the number of study participants by a full order of magnitude compared to similar studies in the field. The talk focuses on the reasoning behind- and challenges related to establishing an experiment on this scale, but I also share some of our results so far.