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Behavioral Inference across Cultures: Using Telephones as a Cultural Lens
July/August 2008 (vol. 23 no. 4)
pp. 62-64
Nathan Eagle, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Most people carry mobile telephones, which automatically capture behavioral data and store it in service provider databases around the world. The different types of captured data can provide insight into human cultures. Examples from various cultures and hundreds of millions of individuals illustrate how phones can serve as a cultural lens, improving our understanding of social networks, outlier events, and a culture's pace of life.

1. G. Kossinets and D.J. Watts, "Empirical Analysis of an Evolving Social Network," Science, vol. 311, no. 5757, 2006, pp. 88–90.
2. N. Eagle, A. Pentland, and D. Lazer, "Mobile Phone Data for Inferring Social Network Structure," Social Computing, Behavioral Modeling, and Prediction, Springer, 2008, pp. 79–88.
3. N. Eagle and A. Pentland, "Eigenbehaviors: Identifying Structure in Routine," to be published in Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 2008.
4. L.M.A. Bettencourt et al., "Growth, Innovation, Scaling, and the Pace of Life in Cities," Proc. Nat'l Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 104, no. 17, 2007, pp. 7301–7306.
5. N. Eagle and A. Pentland, "Reality Mining: Sensing Complex Social Systems," Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, vol. 10, no. 4, 2006, pp. 255–268.
6. W.-X. Zhou et al., "Discrete Hierarchical Organization of Social Group Sizes," Proc. Royal Soc., vol. 272, no. 1561, 2005, pp. 439–444.

Index Terms:
data mining, telecommunications, social networks, call graphs, privacy
Citation:
Nathan Eagle, "Behavioral Inference across Cultures: Using Telephones as a Cultural Lens," IEEE Intelligent Systems, vol. 23, no. 4, pp. 62-64, July-Aug. 2008, doi:10.1109/MIS.2008.58
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