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Dispatch: Dublin Network Conference

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By Mark Lubell - Posted on 27 August 2010

I'm sitting on the Dublin Aircoach on my way back from the Dublin Network Conference. This was a small conference hosted at the University College of Dublin. There were a variety of interesting papers presented, ranging from purely descriptive network analysis to full-blown game theory general political equilibrium models with network effects. I was one of the keynote speakers and presented the current ecology of games paper that I'm writing with Garry Robins and Peng Wang. To be honest the paper received mixed reviews; some people definitely didn't buy it. One Dutch professor in particular, in a very unprofessional manner, actually called it rubbish. Of course he didn't really understand the model or research design very well and generally liked to hear himself talk. He was nice enough to apologize for his less than constructive comments, but I told him not to worry about it, and stated to him "I'm right no matter what you say." Despite this little outburst, there were some interesting comments for example the potential for constraining the number of possible network edges in the statistical model to account for the limited mentions allowed in the name generator questoin on the survey. Also the correct comment that the power of different actors probably varies across policy games, which is something the current data and statistical model cannot handle. The next iteration of the ecology of games study will have a better ability to make these finer distinctions. So now I'm headed to Cahir for 4 days before going to Luneberg, Germany to try and convince a big group of water policy scholars to adopt the ecology of games framework for an EU-wide study of the European Water Framework Directive. If I succeed in persuading them, we will have a groundbreaking comparative study on our hands.