We greatfully acknowledge the financial support received by the German Research Foundation (DFG), the Freie Hansestadt Bremen (Senator for Health, Science, and Consumer Protection), the Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences (BIGSSS), and the University of Bremen.

Digital Traces Workshop

Computational Social Science (CSS) is an emergent field of growing scientific importance and public interest. A meanwhile nearly ubiquitous trend towards the digitalisation of society and the public and private life therein forces the social science to keep up with a rapidly changing society. Driving forces are technological advancements including, the progressive development of computer systems, the rise of artificial intelligence, changing habits of communicative behaviour that adopt digital options on a large scale, and the promises and demands of an open science which calls for public instead of commercial inhouse science in this field.

Basic research demand arises from an imbalance of shares in CSS. Today CSS is, despite its designation, less social science than computer science. But the social sciences are particularly strong in: theory and methodology. At the same time data science affords the prospect of solutions to well -known data- analysis problems in social science methodology. The goal for CSS should be to work against the imbalance of shares and to combine the knowledge and skills from the two major research fields social science and computer science to achieve synergy effects.

The Workshop thus projects to counteract the imbalance in a joint effort of experienced social scientists and data scientists. The participants come from computer science, mathematics and statistics, communication science, political science, sociology, psychology, cultural science, and linguistics. The focus of the workshop is behaviour in digital environments. If people surf the Internet, they leave their mark in the shape of tracks, connections and possibly published content (textual and visual material). In addition, people use ‘smart’ technologies such as smartphones, smart watches, fitness tracker, intelligent clothing, and all the emerging smart technologies around one’s home and car. People leave their mark on both computer-mediated social interaction and everyday behaviour outside the Internet and hence exactly the behavioural traces which subsequently are subject to CSS research. The workshop also aims at exploring and initiating arrangements of international research collaboration.


Program for Thursday the 8th of November 2018

11:00 - 12:00 Conversation with the press
13:00 - 13:15 Welcome Uwe Engel (Social Science Methods Centre, University of Bremen)
Computational Social Science (CSS) - Opening session Moderation: Uwe Engel (Social Science Methods Centre, University of Bremen)
13:15 – 13:45|14:00 Theories and Methods in CSS Claudio Cioffi-Revilla (George Mason University, Fairfax, United States)
14:00 – 14:20|14:30 Analytical sociology and computational social science Peter Hedström and Marc Keuschnigg (Linköping University, Sweden)
14:30 - 14:50|15:00 Social Network Science and the Notion of Position Ulrik Brandes (ETH Zurich, Switzerland)
15:00 - 15:30 Break
Networks Moderation: Michael Scharkow (Zeppelin University, Germany)
15:30 - 15:50|16:00 Collapse of an Online Social Network: Burning Social Capital to Create It László Lőrincz, Júlia Koltai, Anna Győr, Károly Takács (Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary)
16:00 - 16:20|16:30 When does Abuse and Harassment Marginalize Female Political Voices on Social Media? Yannis Theocharis (University of Bremen, Germany), Maarja Luhiste (Newcastle University, United Kingdom), Zoltan Fazekas (University of Oslo, Norway), Sebastian Adrian Popa (Newcastle University, United Kingdom) Pablo Barberá (London School of Economics and Political Science, United Kingdom)
16:30 - 16:50|17:00 Analyzing Gender Inequality Through Large-scale Facebook Advertising Data David Garcia (Medical University of Vienna, Austria)
Theory, Modelling, Simulation Moderation: N.N.
17:00 - 17:20|17:30 Data-driven agent-based modeling as an approach in computational social science Jan Lorenz (Jacobs University Bremen, Germany)
17:30 - 17:50|18:00 Gender, Resources, and Status: An Empirically Grounded Model of Status Construction Theory André Grow (KU Leuven, Belgium)

Program for Friday 9th of November 2018

Theory, Modelling, Simulation (cont.) Moderation: N.N.
8:30 - 8:50|9:00 Advancing social theory with agent-based modeling and simulation: Examples from public sphere research Annie Waldherr (University of Münster, Germany)
9:00 – 9:20|9:30 Large-scale Multi-agent Simulation and Crowd Sensing with Humans in the Loop Stefan Bosse (University of Bremen, Germany)
Linkage Moderation: Lars Lyberg (Stockholm University and Inizio, Sweden)
9:30 - 10:00|10:15 An Overview of population size estimation where linking registers results in incomplete covariates Peter van der Heijden (Utrecht University, Netherlands)
10:15 - 10:45 Break
10:45 - 11:05|11:15 Combining imprecise information for valid statistical inference Thomas Augustin (LMU Munich, Germany) and Martin Spieß (University of Hamburg, Germany)
Survey plus Moderation: Lars Lyberg (Stockholm University and Inizio, Sweden)
11:15 - 11:35|11:45 Nonresponse Error in Passive Mobile Measurement Florian Keusch, Sebastian Bähr, Georg-Christoph Haas, Frauke Kreuter, Mark Trappmann (University of Mannheim, Institute for Employment Research, University of Bamberg (Germany) and University of Maryland, United States)
11:45 - 12:05|12:15 CSS and inequality. Insights from multi-method research on online usage and digital fragmentation Merja Mahrt (Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Germany)
12:15 – 13:15 Lunch break
Big Data: Methodology, Statistics, Analytics Moderation: N.N.
13:15 - 13:45|14:00 Holistic Data Science and the Seven Deadly Sins of Big Data Richard D. De Veaux (Williams College, Williamstown, MA, United States)
14:00 - 14:20|14:30 Normalizing Digital Trace Data Andreas Jungherr (University of Konstanz, Germany)
14:30 - 15:00|15:15 Total Error in a Big Data World: Adapting the TSE Framework to Big Data Ashley Amaya, Paul Biemer, and David Kinyon (RTI International, Research Triangle Park, NC, United States)
15:15 – 15:35|15:45 Subgroup Discovery based on Structural Equation Modeling Axel Mayer and Florian Lemmerich (RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany)
15:45 – 16:15 Break (walk to CARTESIUM rotunda)
Round Table on current, future and possible joint CSS research Moderation: Grant Blank (Oxford Internet Institute, Oxford, United Kingdom) and Uwe Engel (University of Bremen, Germany)
Introductory Notes
16:15 – 16:25 The Fourth Paradigm: Opportunities and challenges in Doing Computational Social Science Craig A. Hill (RTI International, Research Triangle Park, NC, United States)
16:25 – 16:35 Computational Communication Science en route: Desiderates & Challenges Stephanie Geise and Annie Waldherr (University of Münster, Germany)
16:35 - 18:00 Round Table

Program for Saturday the 10th of November 2018

Text Analysis Moderation: Klaus Boehnke (Jacobs University Bremen, Germany)
8:30 – 8:50 |9:00 How useful is topic modeling for social scientists? Tracing changes in the sociological field with tools from NLP Raphael Heiberger (University of Bremen, Germany) and Sebastian Munoz-Najar Galvez (Stanford University, United States)
9:00 – 9:20|9:30 Tracing utterance: Approaching sentence-level semantics in computational content analysis Gregor Wiedemann (University of Hamburg, Germany)
9:30 – 9:50|10:00 Analyzing Discourse Structure on Social Media Tatjana Scheffler (University of Potsdam, Germany)
10:00 - 10:30 Break
10:30 - 10:50|11:00 Potentials of automatizing discourse analysis – lessons learned from studying the phenomenon "Telemedizin" Gertraud Koch and Lina Franken (University of Hamburg, Germany)
Perspectives on Artificial Intelligence and Social Robots Moderation: N.N.
11:00 – 11:30|11:45 AI and Social Robots Sunny Xun Liu (Stanford University, United States)
11:45 - 12:05|12:15 The Benefits of Computer Vision for CSS Suat Can (University of Bremen, Germany)
12:15 – 13:30 Lunch break
13.30 - 13:50|14:00 Service Robots learning from Humans Mona Abdel-Keream (University of Bremen, Germany)
14:00 - 14:20|14:30 The Robotics Innovation Center Bremen Sirko Straube (Robotics Innovation Center Bremen, Germany)
14:30 - 14:45 Farewell
Research group meetings
14:45 - 15:30 Challenges for Europe Moderation: Alexander Gattig (University of Bremen)
14:45 - 15:30 Artificial Intelligence and Social Robots Moderation: Uwe Engel and Suat Can, (University of Bremen)


Mona Abdel-Keream, MSc.

University of Bremen, CRC EASE Everyday Activity Science and Engineering, Bremen, Germany

Dr. Ashley Amaya

RTI International, Research Triangle Park, NC, United States

Prof. Dr. Thomas Augustin

Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Faculty of Mathematics and Statistics, Department of Statistics, Munich, Germany

Dr. Grant Blank

University of Oxford, Harris Manchester College & Oxford Internet Institute, Oxford, United Kingdom

Prof. Dr. Klaus Boehnke

Jacobs University, Psychology & Methods, Bremen, Germany

Prof. Dr. Stefan Bosse

University of Bremen, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Bremen, Germany
University of Koblenz-Landau, Department of Computer Science, Koblenz-Landau, Germany

Prof. Dr. Ulrik Brandes

ETH Zurich, Department of Humanities, Social and Political Sciences, Zurich, Switzerland

Prof. Dr. Andreas Breiter

University of Bremen, Vice President Research, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Head of Institute for Information Management Bremen GmbH, Bremen, Germany

Dr. Suat Can

University of Bremen, Social Science Methods Centre, Bremen, Germany

Prof. Dr. Claudio Cioffi-Revilla

George Mason University, Director of the Mason Center for Social Complexity, Fairfax, United States

Prof. Dr. Richard D. De Veaux

Williams College, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Williamstown, MA, United States

Prof. Dr. Uwe Engel

University of Bremen, Head of Social Science Methods Centre, Bremen, Germany

Dr. Lina Franken

UHH University of Hamburg, Cultural Anthropology, Hamburg, Germany

Sebastian Munoz-Najar Galvez

Stanford University, Graduate School of Education, Stanford, United States

Dr. habil. David Garcia

Complexity Science Hub Vienna and Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria

Dr. Alexander Gattig

University of Bremen, Social Science Methods Centre, Bremen, Germany

PD Dr. habil. Stephanie Geise

University of Münster, Department of Communication, Münster, Germany

Dr. André Grow

University of Leuven, Centre for Sociological Research, Leuven, Belgium

Prof. Dr. Peter Hedström

Linköping University, Director of the Institute for Analytical Sociology, Linköping, Sweden

Dr. Raphael Heiberger

University of Bremen, SOCIUM Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy, Bremen, Germany

Prof. Dr. Peter van der Heijden

Utrecht University, Head of the Department of Social Sciences, Methodology and Statistics, Utrecht, The Netherlands

Dr. Craig A. Hill

RTI International, Senior Vice President, Survey, Computing, and Statistical Sciences, Research Triangle Park, NC, USA

Dr. Jakob Jünger

University of Greifswald, Institute of Political Science and Communication Studies, Greifswald, Germany

Jun.-Prof. Dr. Andreas Jungherr

University of Konstanz, Social Science Data Collection and Analysis, Konstanz, Germany

Prof. Dr. Florian Keusch

University of Mannheim, Statistics and Methodology, Mannheim, Germany

Prof. Dr. Gertraud Koch

UHH University of Hamburg, Cultural Anthropology, Hamburg, Germany

Dr. Marc Keuschnigg

Linköping University, Deputy Director, Institute for Analytical Sociology, Linköping, Sweden

Dr. habil. Hagen Langer

University of Bremen, Managing Director of the Collaborative Research Center EASE - Everyday Activity Science and Engineering, Bremen, Germany

Dr. Jan Lorenz

Jacobs University, Psychology & Methods, Bremen, Germany

Dr. Sunny Xun Liu

Stanford University, Associate Director Social Media Lab, Department of Communication, Stanford, United States

Prof. Dr. Lars Lyberg

Senior Adviser at Inizio and Prof. emeritus at Stockholm University, Department of Statistics, Tyresö, Stockholm County, Sweden

PD Dr. Merja Mahrt

Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf, Kommunikations- und Medienwissenschaft, Düsseldorf, Germany

Prof. Dr. Axel Mayer

RWTH Aachen University, Institute of Psychology, Aachen, Germany

Prof. Dr. Anabel Quan-Haase

University of Western Ontario, Director of SocioDigital Media Lab, Faculty of Information and Media Studies and Department of Sociology, London, Ontario, Canada

Dr. Miriam Reußner

University of Bremen, Social Science Methods Centre, Bremen, Germany

Prof. Dr. Michael Scharkow

Zeppelin University, Department of Culture and Communication, Friedrichshafen, Germany

Prof. Dr. Tatjana Scheffler

University of Potsdam, Computational Linguistics, Potsdam, Germany

Prof. Dr. Martin Spieß

UHH University of Hamburg, Institute of Psychology, Hamburg, Germany

Dr. Sirko Straube

Robotics Innovation Center DFKI GmbH, Research and Administrative Manager, Bremen, Germany

Professor Dr. Károly Takács

Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Centre for Social Sciences, "Lendület" Research Center for Educational and Network Studies (RECENS), Budapest, Hungary

Prof. Dr. Yannis Theocharis

University of Bremen, ZeMKI, Centre for Media, Communication & Information Research, Bremen, Germany

Jun.-Prof. Dr. Claudia Wagner

GESIS - Leibniz-Institute for the Social Sciences, Computational Social Science Department, Cologne, and University Koblenz Landau, Germany

Jun.-Prof. Dr. Annie Waldherr

University of Münster, Department of Communication, Münster, Germany

Dr. Gregor Wiedemann

UHH University of Hamburg, Language Technology Group, Department of Computer Science, Hamburg, Germany


The workshop program and list of participants can be downloaded below as PDF-Files



The workshop will take place in the premises of the Bremer Innovations- und Technologiezentrum (BITZ). The BITZ is located adjacent to the University of Bremen. The journey there can be made by taking tram No. 6 (stop Universität-Süd/Universum Science Center) and a walk of 5 minutes or by car via the A27 highway (exit Universität Bremen).

BITZ - Bremer Innovations- und Technologiezentrum

Fahrenheitstraße 1

28359 Bremen


If you arrive at Bremen Main Station, you can continue your trip with tram No. 6 until you arrive at tram stop "Universität NW 1". The tram will need about 15 minutes from Main Station to University.

If you arrive by plane, you can also take tram No. 6 to get to the University of Bremen.

Hotel, accommodation and reimbursement

Hotel 7 Things – my basic hotel

Universitätsallee 4

28359 Bremen

Tel. +49 (0) 421 69677377

Fax + 49 (0) 421 69655166