Research

Interested in working with me? I’m currently looking for PhD students. Drop me a line.

About Me

Headshot3

I am an assistant professor of Information Systems at Boston University School of Management and a junior fellow of the Rafik B. Hariri Institute for Computing and Computational Science & Engineering.  While I am a theoretical physicist by training, I apply mathematical and computation tools from statistical physics to large-scale empirical and data-oriented research in computational social science, business and economics.  After my Ph.D. and prior to joining the faculty at BU, I worked as a post-doctoral research associate at NYU Stern with some wonderful people, including Sinan Aral, Lev Muchnik, and Sean Taylor.  If you’d like to know more, download a current version of my CV.  My published papers are available below, but you can also check my google scholar page.  You can also find me on twitter @dylanwalker.

 

Research

My research broadly seeks to understand the role of networks and networked systems, enabled by information technology, in the diffusion of information, behaviors and dynamic processes. As the penetration of online and mobile technologies continues to advance, instant messaging, Science_mgmt_sci_tagcloudmobile phone communications, micro-blogs and online social networks are shaping how we interact with the world and each other and creating new interaction dynamics. At the same time, our day-to-day activities are becoming increasingly embedded in new socio-technical infrastructures that permit research into behaviors and their social and economic outcomes at an unprecedented scale and level of detail orders of magnitude greater than what was previously possible. My research aims to develop an empirical understanding of these dynamics and how such an understanding can shape the formation of new policies and incentive structures that seek to promote or discourage behavioral and economic outcomes at the individual, community and population level. The explosion of data provided by new socio-technical systems requires the development of new analysis techniques to deal with relational covariates that are heavily connected, long-tailed and sparsely distributed.

Publications

pdf-iconAral, S. & Walker, D. 2012. “Tie Strength, Embeddedness and Social Influence: Evidence from a large scale networked experiment.”  Working Paper

pdf-icon

Aral, S. & Walker, D. 2012. “An Experimental Method for Identifying Influential and Susceptible Members of Online Social Networks.” Science, 20 July 2012: Vol. 337 no. 6092 pp. 337-341

pdf-iconAral, S. & Walker, D. 2011. “Forget Viral Marketing: Make the Product Itself Viral.” Harvard Business Review, 89 (6); June 34-35.

pdf-iconAral, S. & Walker, D. 2011. “Identifying Social Influence in Networks Using Randomized Experiments.” IEEE Intelligent Systems 26 (5), Sep.-Oct. 2011.

pdf-iconAral, S. & Walker, D. 2011. “Creating Social Contagion through Viral Product Design: A Randomized Trial of Peer Influence in Networks.” Management Science August, 2011. §  Selected as an Editor’s Choice article by the editors of Science

pdf-iconK.K. Yan, D. Walker, S. Maslov 2008. “Fluctuations in Mass-Action Equilibrium of Protein Binding Networks”, Physical Review Letters, 101 (268102) 2008.

pdf-iconD. Walker, H. Xie, K.K. Yan, S. Maslov 2007. “Ranking Scientific Publication Using a Model of Network Traffic”, Journal of Statistical Mechanics, 6 (10) 2007.

Talks

Walker, D. & Aral, S. 2013. “Tie Strength, Embeddedness and Social Influence: Evidence from a large scale networked experiment.”American Economic Association Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA.

Walker, D. & Aral, S. 2011. “Identifying Influential and Susceptible Individuals in Social Networks: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment.” Winter Conference on Business Intelligence 2011, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT.

Aral, S., & Walker, D. 2010. “Creating Social Contagion through Viral Product Design: A Randomized Trial of Peer Influence in Networks” Proceedings of the 31th Annual International Conference on Information Systems, St. Louis, MO.

Aral, S. & Walker, D. 2010. “Creating Social Contagion Through Viral Product Design: A Randomized Trial of Peer Influence in Networks”. Workshop on Information in Networks, New York, NY.

Aral, S., Walker, D. 2010. “Creating Social Contagion through Viral Product Design: A Randomized Trial of Peer Influence in Networks.” National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) Summer Institute, Cambridge, MA.

Aral, S., Walker, D. 2010. “Creating Social Contagion through Viral Product Design: A Randomized Trial of Peer Influence in Networks.” Sunbelt XXVIII Social Networks Conference, June 29 – July 4, Garda Lake, Italy.

Aral, S., Walker, D. 2010. “Creating Social Contagion through Viral Product Design: A Randomized Trial of Peer Influence in Networks.” International Conference on Network Science, Cambridge, MA.

Aral, S., Walker, D. 2009. “Identifying Peer Influence in Massive Online Social Networks: A Platform for Randomized Experimentation on Facebook.” Workshop on Information Systems Economics, Phoenix, AZ.

Walker, D. 2007. “Perturbation in Protein Interaction Networks.”  Boulder School for Condensed Matter and Material Physics, Boulder, CO.

Walker, D. 2006. “Aging in Citation Networks.”  International Conference on Network Science, Bloomington, IN.