large-scale data exploration, MIC-style

UPDATE 2/8/2012: Simon & Tibshirani posted a critical commentary on this paper here. See additional thoughts here. Real-world data are messy. Relationships between two variables can take on an infinite number of forms, and while one doesn’t see, say, umbrella-shaped data very often, strange things can happen. When scientists talk about correlations or associations between … Continue reading large-scale data exploration, MIC-style

Shalizi on the confounding of contagion and homophily in social network studies

Cosma Shalizi has a post up today discussing a new paper he wrote with Andrew C. Thomas arguing that it’s pretty much impossible to distinguish the effects of social contagion from homophily in observational studies. That’s probably pretty cryptic without context, so here’s the background. A number of high-profile studies have been published in the … Continue reading Shalizi on the confounding of contagion and homophily in social network studies