Reproducing Scientists’ Mobility: A Data-Driven Model

18 Pages Posted: 28 Nov 2018

See all articles by Giacomo Vaccario

Giacomo Vaccario

ETH Zürich

Luca Verginer

IMT School for Advanced Studies Lucca, AXES Lab

Frank Schweitzer

ETH Zürich

Date Written: November 16, 2018

Abstract

This paper makes two important contributions to understand the mobility patterns of scientists. First, by combining two large-scale data sets covering the publications of 3.5 mio scientists over 60 years, we are able to reveal the geographical "career paths" of scientists. Each path contains, on the individual level, information about the cities (resolved on real geographical space) and the time (in years) spent there. A statistical analysis gives empirical insights into the geographical distance scientists move for a new affiliation and their age when moving. From the individual career paths, we further reconstruct the world network of movements of scientists, where the nodes represent cities and the links in- and outflow of scientists between cities. We analyze the topological properties of this network with respect to degree distribution, local clustering coefficients, path lengths and assortativity. The second important contribution is an agent-based model that allows to reproduce the empirical findings, both on the level of scientists and of the network. The model considers that agents have a fitness and consider potential new locations if they allow to increase this fitness. Locations on the other hand rank agents against their fitness and consider them only if they still have a capacity for them. This leads to a matching problem which is solved algorithmically. Using empirical data to calibrate our model and to determine its initial conditions, we are able to validate the model against the measured distributions. This allows to interpret the model assumptions as microbased decision rules that explain the observed mobility patterns of scientists.

Keywords: mobility, agent-based model, data drien

Suggested Citation

Vaccario, Giacomo and Verginer, Luca and Schweitzer, Frank, Reproducing Scientists’ Mobility: A Data-Driven Model (November 16, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3286397 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3286397

Giacomo Vaccario (Contact Author)

ETH Zürich ( email )

Weinbergstrasse 56/58
WEV G 206
Zürich, CH-8032
Switzerland

HOME PAGE: http://www.sg.ethz.ch/

Luca Verginer

IMT School for Advanced Studies Lucca, AXES Lab ( email )

Piazza S. Francesco 19
Lucca, IT-55100
Italy

Frank Schweitzer

ETH Zürich ( email )

Weinbergstrasse 56/58
WEV Room G 211
Zurich, CH-8032
Switzerland
+41 44 632 83 50 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.sg.ethz.ch

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