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A Tool for Network Research on HIV Among Drug Users

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 2R44DA012306-02A1
Agency Tracking Number: DA012306
Amount: $0.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: N/A
Award Year: 2003
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): N/A
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
TOWSON, MD 21204
United States
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 (410) 828-8948
Business Contact
Phone: (410) 828-8948
Research Institution

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The primary goal of this SBIR project is to create an integrated software system ("SocioMetrica") facilitating the application of social network methods for use in HIV and drug abuse epidemiology, prevention, and control. Because of the importance of social network mechanisms in human behavior, the software is also being designed to have wider commercial use in research, public health, government, and corporate markets. The public health value is substantial, because while it is relatively easy and inexpensive to gather egocentric nomination data (there are many existing data sets of this type), it is slower, more difficult, and costly to obtain sociometric data. Phase 1 focused on the problem of linking members of large or unbounded networks, such as drug abusers in communities. The LinkAlyzer program matches and links egocentric records to construct sociometric data, allowing more complete network models to be applied. The approach was tested with a HIV drug abuse data set with 15,000 records and 100 million potential matches, generating a network model with results that support validity. Phase II will create and test a larger SocioMetrica package of applications (including LinkAlyzer) designed to solve problems of commercial value. Assessment functions will be added to assist in gathering egocentric data. An extended set of social network measures will be implemented, and a platform will be created making it easier for users to implement their own network algorithms. Internet architecture will provide users with optional access to low-cost processing from powerful servers. This architecture will simplify software distribution, maintenance, and user support, and will facilitate multi-site project operations and data management. Iterative testing and validation will be done with consultants and potential customers using new and existing data.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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