Mapping Persian music artists

Persian music comes in various genres, to name a few: traditional, ritual, pop, symphonic, contemporary. Each type of music has its own fans and distinct instruments.

Nowadays, the music platforms such as Spotify or iTunes make it easier for people to listen to their favorite artists or discover new artists.

But, have you ever wondered who are the most connected artists in the ocean of Iranian musicians? Shajarian? Googoosh? Hayedeh?

To answer this question, we looked at the related artist graph that is extracted from Spotify. The related artist graph shows which artists are related based on various factors and it helps the consumers to navigate from one song to another.

Running clustering, different genres emerge with the traditional Persian music in the far right and Persian pop on the left in green.


And surprisingly Shajarian is not taking the first place and not even the top 10. The most connected artist in this graph is Ebi.

The most connected artists in descending order are:

  1. Ebi
  2. siavash
  3. Farzad Farzin
  4. Morteza
  5. Leila Frouhar
  6. Shahram Shabpareh
  7. Hayedeh
  8. Shadmehr Aghili
  9. Alireza Eftekhari
  10. Fereidoon Foroughi
  11. Shakila
  12. Mohammad Reza Shajarian
  13. Googoosh
  14. Sattar
  15. Mahasti
  16. Bijan Mortazavi
  17. Parviz Meshkatian
  18. Farhad
  19. Mehrdad
  20. Reza sadeghi

Artists strive to make themselves more visible to the consumers by connecting to central artists and that is part of a research we are focusing now.

Mapping bilateral information interests using Wikipedia edit activities.

We live in a global village where electronic communication has eliminated the geographical barriers of information exchange. With global information exchange, the road is open to worldwide convergence of opinions and interests. However, it remains unknown to what extent information interests actually have become global.

To address how interests differ between countries, we analyzed the information exchange in Wikipedia, the world’s largest online collaborative encyclopedia. From the editing activity in Wikipedia, we extracted the interest profiles of editors from different countries. Based on a statistical model for interest profiles, we created a network of significant links between countries with similar activity. Using clustering, we find that countries can be divided into 18 clusters with similar interest profiles, which suggests that language, geographical proximity, religion, and historical background diversify the interests.

Each color represents cluster of countries that share similar information interests. 

We quantify the effects of these factors using regression analysis and find that information exchange indeed is constrained by the impact of social and economic factors connected to shared interests.

Link to the paper in Nature Palgrave Communications.

Data for download.

Double boot Ubuntu Windows 7 for Lenovo Thinkpad using USB

After few hours of frustration I could finally double boot my new computer and I thought I should share it so that no more people suffer!

This information is for those who have Windows 7 and wish to have Ubuntu systems as well.


1. Partition your windows system and make space for Ubuntu:

2. Download Ubuntu on your USB following theses steps:

3. Restart the computer and soon you see the logo press F1.

4. When you enter the BIOS system make these settings:

Startup -> UEFI/ Legacy boot (both) -> UEFI/Legacy Boot Priority (Legacy first)

5. Restart the computer while the USB installer is in and press F12. Now you will see the option for installing Ubuntu.


Why some societies are more cooperative than others?

Imagine you are living in a remote village and because of a harsh winter the village is cut off from the main source of electricity. There is no electricity to use for light, heating and television. Luckily, one villager has a generator that can provide sufficient electricity to all other villagers. The only condition is that all villagers should follow rules so that no one overuses the electricity. Will the generator work just enough for everyone or will it collapse?

The true story of a village in the Netherlands in 1978 inspired my psychologist friend Anna Sircova, me and other collaborators to model how people cooperate with respect to their time perspective.

“We live in and with time. Due to various reasons, we can easily become overly oriented on the future, get stuck in the past, or live completely in the present moment. Therefore, how we perceive time, can determine how much we are willing to cooperate. The perspective on time, not only creates personal differences, but it determines our social behavior, something that has been largely neglected in modeling social behaviors. ”, says Anna Sircova.

In our recent paper published in PlOS ONE, we combined aspects of personal time perspective with social interactions to investigate to what extent people cooperate. We used time perspective profiles from 25 countries to compare which ‘villages’ could survive the winter longer. Based on this results we found that UK, New Zealand and Germany are among those countries with high cooperation index. In the lower ends there are Lithuania, Mexico and China.


These results are correlated with other socio-economic indices such as Human Development Index (HDI). There is a link between how our perception of time creates cooperation in the society and how society encourages us to perceive the time.

The generator in the small village in the Netherlands collapsed twice and situation could only be resolved by appointing patrols to monitor other’s misuses, but we hope that theses results can be used to improve psychological aspects of cooperation to prevent social tragedies.

Structural differences between public and personal online interactions.

In the online space, even though our social encounters are not tightly bounded to “offline” social norms, still we try to build a good image of ourselves to be able to maintain our online relationships. Therefore, it is crucial to understand how people create “online” social norms and to what extend such norms resemble our ancient social norms.

In our recent paper, Link, we analyzed 6 years of online communication in a movie based website. We analyzed individuals in the social network when they discuss movies in forums or send personal message to one another.

Such data enable us to study the formation of “online” social norms and it’s evolution.

In this post, which is a short summary of our paper, I am addressing these questions:

  1. To what extend do we create social ties based on the means of the communication in the online space.
  2. How much do we exchange communication with someone based on the public or personal interactions?
  3. Is there any limit on how many unique people one can interact with per day in online space?
  4. Does creating a new social tie demand social investment in online space?

Now let’s turn to some of our analysis and results:

  1. In our daily life we encounter many people in public places. However, people we choose to interact with in our personal space are selective and limited. Similarly, in online space we observe that people create more ties in public forums than in personal messaging space.
  2. 1In our daily life, we socialize with more people in public places; we say hello to our clients and have coffee with our colleagues. In our private life, we interact with fewer people, our family and beloved ones, but we exchange more intimacy and communication with them. We observe similar behavior in online space; the distribution of communicational exchange (number of communications going back and forth between two people) is larger in personal messages.4
  3. If you wonder if there is a limit to how many new people one can socialize with per day in the “online” space, the answer is yes! While majority of the community members socialize with one or two new people per week, the upper limit is about 20 new people per day. In other words, we don’t observe anyone in this community who socializes with more than 20 other members per day. That brings us to the idea of Dunbar’s number [Ref.] that suggests human brain has a certain capacity of creating and maintaining social ties. We dig deeper into the idea of maintaining social ties in the next section.6
  4. One can assume that in the online space, there is no limit on creating and maintaining social ties. We can create and maintain as much ties as we desire (time is the only limit!). But this is not true! Looking at the pattern of creating a new tie, we see that it takes longer to create the next tie in personal space than in public space. And the more ties one has, the longer it takes to create the next tie in personal space. We need to put energy and time to keep our friends, even in online space!


Our study attempts to shed lights in understanding how the means of communication, alter the structure of social networks, how do social norms emerge in online communities and how we communicate and organize our online life.

Technology appropriation

We are all consumers of technology. We adopt technology out of our curiosity or peer pressure and we consume as we wish.

However, the story doesn’t end here. We also assign our own subjective meaning to technology that we consume. Designers, design technology in a certain way and we consume it in a way to be more comfortable for us. This is what is called as technology appropriation. 

“Goods are neutral, their uses are social, they can be used as fences or bridges.” Douglas and Baron(1996)

In our recent paper, we briefly touch upon this concept. [Read Here]

Recently something funny happened to me. My mom got a smart phone but she is not very good at using touch screen. In general her approach to the technology is rather unusual. For example when she writes a message to me in Skype, she doesn’t know that there is a BIG button called “space”. So she always puts “.” between every word! Something like this:

Going back to the story. We made a Viber group with my sisters and mom to make our communication easier. Since my mom doesn’t know how to use the touch screen, she came up with her own solution to communicate with us. Guess what!



She wrote: Dear S. I love you

She draws by her finger and post the image! I am not sure how easy it is to find the drawing app but apparently for her it is easier. I think this is a good example of the technology appropriation!

Do you have any of these examples?

P.S. Special thanks to Ann Samoilenko for introducing me the concept.