cc 14(2): e7

Research Article

Tracing Coordination and Cooperation Structures via Semantic Burst Detection

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  • @ARTICLE{10.4108/cc.1.2.e7,
        author={Yu-Ru Lin and Drew  Margolin and David Lazer},
        title={Tracing Coordination and Cooperation Structures via Semantic Burst Detection},
        journal={EAI Endorsed Transactions on Collaborative Computing},
        keywords={semantic burst, semantic convergence, burst detection, coordination, cooperation, social networks, public statement, political network, strategic communications},
  • Yu-Ru Lin
    Drew Margolin
    David Lazer
    Year: 2014
    Tracing Coordination and Cooperation Structures via Semantic Burst Detection
    DOI: 10.4108/cc.1.2.e7
Yu-Ru Lin1,*, Drew Margolin2, David Lazer3
  • 1: School of Information Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, USA
  • 2: Department of Communication, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14850, USA
  • 3: Political Science Department, Northeastern University, Boston, MA 02115, USA
*Contact email:


Developing technologies that support collaboration requires understanding how knowledge and expertise are shared and distributed among community members. We explore two forms of knowledge distribution structures, coordination and cooperation, that are central to successful collaboration. We propose a novel method for detecting the coordination of strategic communication among members of political communities. Our method identifies a “rapid semantic convergence,” a sudden burst in the use linguistic constructions by multiple individuals within a short time, as a signature of coordination. We apply our method to the public statements of U.S. Senators in the 112th U.S. Congress and construct coordination and cooperation networks among these individuals. We then compare aspects of these networks to other known properties of the Senators. Results indicate that the detected networks reflect underlying tendencies in the social relationships among Senators and reveal interesting differences in how the different parties coordinate communication.