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Assyrian merchants meet nuclear physicists: history of the early contributions from social sciences to computer science. The case of automatic pattern detection in graphs (1950s-1970s)

Plutniak, Sébastien (2021) Assyrian merchants meet nuclear physicists: history of the early contributions from social sciences to computer science. The case of automatic pattern detection in graphs (1950s-1970s). Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, 46 (4). pp. 547-568. ISSN 0308-0188

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Abstract

Community detection is a major issue in network analysis. This paper combines a socio-historical approach with an experimental reconstruction of programs to investigate the early automation of clique detection algorithms, which remains one of the unsolved NP-complete problems today. The research led by the archaeologist Jean-Claude Gardin from the 1950s on non-numerical information and graph analysis is retraced to demonstrate the early contributions of social sciences and humanities. The limited recognition and reception of Gardin’s innovative computer application to the humanities are addressed through two factors, in addition to the effects of historiography and bibliographies on the recording, discoverability, and reuse of scientific productions: 1) funding policies, evidenced by the transfer of research effort on graph applications from temporary interdisciplinary spaces to disciplinary organizations related to the then-emerging field of computer science; and 2) the erratic careers of algorithms, in which efficiency, flaws, corrections, and authors’ status, were determining factors.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Plutniak, Sébastien0000-0002-6674-3806
Keywords: history of computing, clique detection, community detection, social networks, sociometry, graph analysis, algorithm
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Archaeology
Specific Sciences > Computer Science
General Issues > History of Science Case Studies
Depositing User: Dr Sébastien Plutniak
Date Deposited: 14 Nov 2021 01:49
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2021 01:49
Item ID: 19793
Journal or Publication Title: Interdisciplinary Science Reviews
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/03080188.2021.1877502
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1080/03080188.2021.1877502
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Archaeology
Specific Sciences > Computer Science
General Issues > History of Science Case Studies
Date: October 2021
Page Range: pp. 547-568
Volume: 46
Number: 4
ISSN: 0308-0188
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/19793

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