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Regular version of the site

Completed projects

Main Projects Implemented under the HSE Basic Research Programme


Improving the Methodology of Automatic Text Analysis (2014)
Project Head: Sergey Koltsov

This project on topic modeling is focused on the analysis of text data retrieved from the blogosphere and/or social networks (posts, comments, and threads).
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Mapping Ethnic Attitudes in the Russian blogosphere (2014)
Project Head: Svetlana Bodrunova

The project ‘Mapping Ethnic Attitudes in the Russian blogosphere’is dedicated to mapping the attitudes of the Russian-language bloggers (Russian-language Livejournal segment taken as the case) to various ethnic communities, both within and outside Russia.
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Recommender systems (2014)
Project Head: Sergey Nikolenko
Recommender systems analyze user interests and try to predict which items will be most interesting for a specific user at a specific moment of time. Modern recommender systems are based on collaborative filterint (Bell, Koren, 2007a; 2007b; Koren, 2008; 2009; 2010; Koren, Bell, 2011; Agarwal, Chen, Elango, 2009); they have experienced a surge of interest over the latest years based on the Netflix Prize contest devoted to developing a new movie recommendation system. 
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AIDS denialists and HIV-relevant communities in VKontakte SNS (2014)
Project Head: Peter Meylakhs
The project was devoted to the representation of HIV/AIDS issue on group pages in the VKontakte SNS, with a focus on AIDS-denialaist movement communities.  This movement  based in the denial of the existence of HIV or of AIDS, or of their connection presents a serious problem for the public health. Influence of AIDS-denialists leads to refusal of a part of population from testing for HIV and / or from HIV treatment.  This contributes to higher mortality from AIDS and HIV-related diseases, and further spread of HIV among the populace. Therefore, an important research goal is to see how AIDS-denialists disseminate their views on the Internet and how they are positioned among other HIV-relevant groups.
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Public Agenta and Public Opinion in the Russian Blogosphere (2012-2013) 
Project Head: Olessia Koltsova
This two-year research was the main component of the Lab’s project supported by the Basic Research Program of NRU HSE in 2012 and 2013. It built upon the previous project aimed at development of methodologies for sociological analysis of the blogosphere. The goal of this research was to describe topical structure of the blogosphere exemplified by the Russian-language LiveJournal and the relationship of this structure to other parameters of blogs. 
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LiveJournal Libra: The Blogosphere and Political Mobilization in Russia during the 2011–2012 Election Cycle (2012-2013)
Project Head: Andrey Shcherbak
The research focuses on studying political activity in the Russian blogosphere during the 2011-2012 election campaign. A special methodology, based on automatic methods of uploading, processing and clustering blog texts, helps to answer important questions about the blogosphere’s role in the political mobilization process during the latest elections in Russia.
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Comment-based communities in the blogosphere (2011-2013)
Project Head: Olessia Koltsova
This project supported by the Basic Research Program of NRU HSE investigated the structure of online discussions in order to uncover latent communities of socially important debate.
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THE DEVELOPMENT OF A METHODOLOGY FOR THE NETWORK AND SEMANTIC ANALYSIS OF BLOGS FOR SOCIOLOGICAL PURPOSES

Project Head: Olessia Koltsova
This project, which researches the discussion of socially important topics in the Russian blogosphere, is being carried out with the support of the HSE Scientific Foundation as part of the contest ‘Teachers and Students 2011–2012’. The researchers collected and analysed an array of Internet data. The long-term goal of this project is focused on developing a new method that would raise the quality of social Internet research to the next level.
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Construction of the Problem of Police Brutality in the Russian Blogosphere

Project Head: Iskander Yasaveyev
This project is a case study that is part of a larger project, ‘ Studying Construction of Social Problems in Blogs with Advanced Methods of Text and Network Analysis’, supported by the HSE Centre for Basic Research in 2012.
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LiveJournal Topical Structure Analysis

Project Head: Olessia Koltsova

This project is a major part of the project ‘A Study of the Construction of Social Problems in BlogswihAdvancedMethods of Text and Network Analysis’, carried out as part of the thematic plan of the Centre for Basic Research in 2012. This methodological project was aimed at social scientist instruments for sociological research of socially important issues discussed in blogs. The research identiiedy discussion themes in blogs during a particular time period.

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Student and Postgraduate Projects


Friendship Networks in Online Communities of the Social Movement "Saint Petersburg Observers" (2012)
Project Head: Yuri Rykov
This individual mini-project is part of Lab'research on online communities that also includes the study of AIDS dissidents by Peter Meylakhs. . : The project represents a study of friendship networks inside communities of the virtual social network "Vkontakte", and their communicative activity.
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Commenting Structure of LiveJournal
Project Head: Victoria Seneva

The research wasfocused on finding relationshipsbetween posts and comments, and determining the basis on which commenting communities are created. The method of network analysis was applied. The following topics were chosen to test the method: the National Parliamentaryelections in November 2011, the presidential elections in March 2012, and subsequent discussions in LiveJournal dedicated to these events. Because this was a pilot project, the researcher decided to analyze a sampling of no more than 1,000 posts, and to manually determine the relationshipbetween bloggers and commentators.
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A Sentiment Analysis of LiveJournal Posts

Project Head: Yulia Pavlova

This project is carried out with the support of the HSE Academic Development Foundation in Saint Petersburg in 2012.
Sentiment analysis or tonal analysis concerns the automatic identification of the tone of a text, in other words, the prevalence in it of an emotion or attitude (negative, positive, neutral, or complex). The researchers focused on approbation of this method to determine attitudes toward the theme of Islam in blog comments made in the Russian language. The researchers adapted the Sentistrength software product to the Russian language, and approbated it on Russian language data. The adaptation process included translating the English software vocabulary into Russian, recording the frequency of vocabulary based on the comments in LiveJournal, inserting frequency words in the vocabulary, and coding it on an emotions scale of -5 to 5.

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