Carter Tribley Butts

picture of Carter Tribley Butts

Professor, Sociology
School of Social Sciences
Professor, Institute for Mathematical Behavioral Sciences
Professor (Courtesy), Statistics
Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences

Ph.D., Carnegie Mellon University, 2002, Sociology

M.S., Carnegie Mellon University, 1998, Sociology

B.S., Duke University, 1996, Systems Theory

Phone: (949)824-8591
Fax: (949)824-4717

University of California, Irvine
SSPA 2145
University of California, Irvine
Mail Code: 5100
Irvine, CA 92697
Research Interests
Mathematical Sociology, Social Networks, Methodology, Human Judgment and Decision Making, Economic Sociology, Information Technology
Academic Distinctions
Leo A. Goodman Early Career Award, ASA Section on Methodology, 2010

James Coleman Paper Award for ``Rational and Empirical Play in the Simple Hot Potato Game' (with David Rode), ASA Section on Rationality and Society, 2009

Linton C. Freeman Award for Distinguished Scholarship, International Network for Social Network Analysis, 2008

Best Paper Award for ``Emergency Phase Networks During the World Trade Center Disaster' (with Miruna Petrescu-Prahova and Remy Cross), Third Joint US-Japan Conference on Mathematical Sociology, Sapporo, Japan, 2005; published as ``Responder Communication Networks in the World Trade Center Disaster: Implications for Modeling of Communication Within Emergency Settings,' Journal of Mathematical Sociology, 2007

Herbert A. Simon Dissertation Award for ``Spatial Models of Large-Scale Interpersonal Networks,' Carnegie Mellon University, 2002

Outstanding Working Paper Award for ``Analyzing Life Course Patterns with the Interval Graph Approach' (with Joy Pixley), Cornell Careers Institute, 2002

Outstanding Graduate Student Paper Award for ``Analyzing Life Course Patterns with the Interval Graph Approach' (with Joy Pixley), ASA Section on Aging and the Life Course, 2001

Outstanding Graduate Student Paper Award for ``A Bayesian Model of Panic in Belief,' ASA Section on Mathematical Sociology, 1999

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, 1997-2000
Research Abstract
My research involves the application of formal (i.e., mathematical and computational) techniques to theoretical and methodological problems within the areas of social network analysis, mathematical sociology, quantitative methodology, and human judgment and decision making. Currently, my work focuses on: the structure of spatially embedded large-scale interpersonal networks; models for informant accuracy, network inference, and graph comparison; graphical representations of life history data; and models for human behavior in strategic situations. I am also interested in social phenomena related to emergency situations, and am involved in research which seeks to combine social science and information technology to improve group and organizational responses to disasters and other adverse events. My teaching interests include social networks, the sociology of decision making, quantitative methodology, and computational methods.

Additional information regarding my research activities can be found at my research page, and at my lab web site (
Butts, Carter T. and Acton, Ryan M. (2010). "Spatial Modeling of Social Networks." In Timothy Nyerges, Helen Couclelis, and Robert McMaster (Eds.), The Sage Handbook of GIS and Society Research, forthcoming. SAGE Publications. [Link]
Gjoka, Minas; Kurant, Maciej; Butts, Carter T.; and Markopoulou, Athina. (2010). "Walking in Facebook: A Case Study of Unbiased Sampling of OSNs." Proceedings of the 29th IEEE Conference on Computer Communications (IEEE INFOCOM). [Link]
Butts, Carter T. and Cross, B. Remy. (2009). "Change and External Events in Computer-Mediated Citation Networks: English Language Weblogs and the 2004 U.S. Electoral Cycle." Journal of Social Structure, 10. [Link]
Butts, Carter T. (2009). ``Revisiting the Foundations of Network Analysis.'' Science, 325, 414-416. [Link]
Hilgeman, Christin and Butts, Carter T. (2009). ``Women's Employment and Fertility: a Welfare Regime Paradox.'' Social Science Research, 38, 103-117. [Link]
Butts, Carter T. (2008). ``A Relational Event Framework for Social Action.'' Sociological Methodology, 38(1):155-200. [Link]
Butts, Carter T. (2008). ``network: a Package for Managing Relational Data in R.'' Journal of Statistical Software, 24(2). [Link]
Butts, Carter T. (2008). ``Social Network Analysis with sna.'' Journal of Statistical Software, 24(6). [Link]
Butts, Carter T. (2008). ``Social Networks: A Methodological Introduction.'' Asian Journal of Social Psychology, 11(1), 13-41. [Link]
Goodreau, Steven M.; Handcock, Mark S.; Hunter, David R.; Butts, Carter T.; and Morris, Martina. (2008). ``A statnet Tutorial.'' Journal of Statistical Software, 24(9). [Link]
Handcock, Mark S.; Hunter, David R.; Butts, Carter T.; Goodreau, Steven M.; and Morris, Martina. (2008). ``statnet: Software Tools for the Representation, Visualization, Analysis and Simulation of Network Data.'' Journal of Statistical Software, 24(1). [Link]
Hunter, David R.; Handcock, Mark S.;, Butts, Carter T.; Goodreau, Steven M.; and Morris, Martina. (2008). ``ergm: A Package to Fit, Simulate and Diagnose Exponential-Family Models for Networks.'' Journal of Statistical Software, 24(3). [Link]
Lind, Benjamin E.; Tirado, Miguel; Butts, Carter T.; and Petrescu-Prahova, Miruna. (2008). ``Brokerage Roles in Disaster Response: Organizational Mediation in the Wake of Hurricane Katrina.'' International Journal of Emergency Management, 5:75-99. [Link]
Petrescu-Prahova, Miruna and Butts, Carter T. (2008). ``Emergent Coordinators in the World Trade Center Disaster.'' International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters, forthcoming. [Link]
Butts, Carter T. (2007). Comment on Mark S. Handcock, Adrian E. Raftery, and Jeremy M. Tantrum, ``Model-based Clustering for Social Networks.'' Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Series A, 170(2), 333. [Link]
Butts, Carter T. (2007). "Models for Generalized Location Systems." Sociological Methodology, 37(1), 283-348. [Link]
Butts, Carter T. (2007). "Permutation Models for Relational Data." Sociological Methodology, 37(1), 257-281. [Link]
Butts, Carter T. (2007). Review of Carrington, Peter J.; Scott, John; and Wasserman, Stanley (eds.), Models and Methods in Social Network Analysis, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. Social Networks, 29(4), 603-608. [Link]
Butts, Carter T. (2007). ``Statistical Mechanical Models for Social Systems.'' In Adrian Bejan and Gilbert W. Merkx (eds.), Constructal Theory of Social Dynamics, 197-224. New York: Springer. [Link]
Butts, Carter T. and Carley, Kathleen M. (2007). "Structural Change and Homeostasis in Organizations: A Decision-Theoretic Approach." Journal of Mathematical Sociology, 31(4), 295-321. [Link]
Butts, Carter T.; Petrescu-Prahova, Miruna; and Cross, B. Remy. (2007). "Responder Communication Networks in the World Trade Center Disaster: Implications for Modeling of Communication Within Emergency Settings." Journal of Mathematical Sociology, 31(2), 121-147. [Link]
Butts, Carter T. and Rode, David C. (2007). ``Rational and Empirical Play in the Simple Hot Potato Game.'' Social Forces, 85(4): 1787-1806. [Link]
Mendonça, David; Butts, Carter T.; and Webb, Gary. (2007). ``Learning from the Response to Two Extreme Events.'' Contingency Today, June 4, 2007. [Link]
Butts, Carter T. (2006). "Exact Bounds for Degree Centralization." Social Networks, 28(4), 283-296. [Link]
Kalashnikov, Dmitri V.; Ma, Yiming; Mehrotra, Sharad; Hariharan, Ramaswamy; and Butts, Carter T. (2006). ``Modeling and Querying Uncertain Spatial Information for Situational Awareness Applications.'' Pages 131-138 in Proceedings of the 14th Annual ACM International Symposium on Advances in Geographic Information Systems (ACM SIGIR). New York: ACM Press. [Link]
Butts, Carter T. and Carley, Kathleen M. (2005). "Some Simple Algorithms for Structural Comparison." Computational and Mathematical Organization Theory, 11(4), 291-305. [Link]
Butts, Carter T. and Pixley, Joy E. (2004). "A Structural Approach to the Representation of Life History Data." Journal of Mathematical Sociology, 28(2), 81-124. [Link]
Mehrotra, Sharad; Butts, Carter T.; Kalashnikov, Dmitri V.; Venkatasubramanian, Nalini; Altintas, Kemal; Hariharan, Ramaswamy; Lee, Haimin; Ma, Yiming; Myers, Amnon; Wickramasuriya, Jehan; Eguchi, Ron; Huyck, Charles. (2004). "CAMAS: A Citizen Awareness System for Crisis Mitigation." In Proceedings of ACM SIGMOD International Conference on Management of Data (SIGMOD'04), publication and software demonstration, June 13-18, 2004. [Link]
Butts, Carter T. (2003). "Network Inference, Error, and Informant (In)Accuracy: A Bayesian Approach." Social Networks, 25(2), 103-140. [Link]
Butts, Carter T. (2003). "Predictability of Large-scale Spatially Embedded Networks." In Ronald Breiger, Kathleen Carley, and Philippa Pattison (eds.), Dynamic Social Network Modeling and Analysis: Workshop Summary and Papers, 313-323. Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press. [Link]
Butts, Carter T. and Hilgeman, Christin. (2003). "Inferring Potential Memetic Structure from Cross-Sectional Data: An Application to American Religious Beliefs." Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission, 7(2). [Link]
Mehrotra, Sharad; Butts, Carter T.; Kalashnikov, Dmitri V.; Venkatasubramanian, Nalini; Rao, Ramesh; Chockalingam, Ganz; Eguchi, Ron; Adams, Beverly; and Huyck, Charles. (2003). "Project RESCUE: Challenges in Responding to the Unexpected." SPIE Journal of Electronic Imaging, Displays, and Medical Imaging, 5304, 179-192. [Link]
Miller, John H.; Butts, Carter T.; and Rode, David C. (2002). "Communication and Cooperation." Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 47, 179-195. [Link]
Butts, Carter T. (2001). "The Complexity of Social Networks: Theoretical and Empirical Findings." Social Networks, 23(1), 31-71. [Link]
Butts, Carter T. (2001). Review of Gerald Jay Sussman and Jack Wisdom, Structure and Interpretation of Classical Mechanics, Cambridge, MA, MIT Press. Computational and Mathematical Organization Theory, 7(4), 319-342. [Link]
Butts, Carter T. (2000). "An Axiomatic Approach to Network Complexity." Journal of Mathematical Sociology, 24(4), 273-301. [Link]
Anderson, Brigham S.; Butts, Carter T.; and Carley, Kathleen M. (1999). "The Interaction of Size and Density with Graph Level Indices." Social Networks, 21(3), 239-267. [Link]
Fararo, Thomas J. and Butts, Carter T. (1999). "Advances in Generative Structuralism: Structured Agency and Multilevel Dynamics." Journal of Mathematical Sociology, 24(1), 1-65. [Link]
Butts, Carter T. (1998). "A Bayesian Model of Panic in Belief." Computational and Mathematical Organization Theory, 4(4), 373-404. [Link]
Carley, Kathleen M. and Butts, Carter T. (1997). "An Algorithmic Approach to the Comparison of Partially Labeled Graphs." In Proceedings of the 1997 International Symposium on Command and Control Research and Technology. June. Washington, D.C. [Link]
Butts, Carter T.; Reilly, Colman; Speh, Marcus; and Wang, Joseph. (1994). "WWW and the Globewide Network Academy." In Proceedings of the First International WWW Conference, 1994. CERN, Switzerland. [Link]
Butts, Carter T. (PI); Hipp, John (Co-PI); Nagle, Nicholas N. (Co-PI). (10/2008-9/2011). ``DHB: Large-scale Spatially Embedded Interpersonal Networks: Measurement, Modeling, and Dynamics.'' Grant #BCS-0827027, NSF BCS, Human Social Dynamics. $749,245.00.
Smyth, Padhraic (PI); Butts, Carter T. (Co-PI); Eppstein, David (Co-PI); Goodrich, Michael T. (Co-PI); Handcock, Mark S. (Co-PI); Hunter, David R. (Co-PI); Mount, David (Co-PI). (5/2008-5/2013). ``Scalable Methods for the Analysis of Network-based Data.'' Award #N00014-08-1-1015, ONR. $5,381,300.00.
Mendonca, David (PI); Butts, Carter T. (Co-PI); Webb, Gary (Co-PI). (10/2006-9/2009). ``Agents Of Change: Improvisation in Emergency Response: Linking Cognition, Behavior and Social Interaction.'' Grant #CMS-0624257, NSF CMS, Human Social Dynamics. $710,000.00.
Butts, Carter T. (PI). (2/2006-7/2007). "SGER: Collaborative Research: Mapping and Analyzing Emergent Multiorganizational Networks in the Hurricane Katrina Response. Grant #CHE-0555125, NSF. $69,372.00.
Butts, Carter T. (PI). (1/2005-3/2005). "Modeling HIV and STD in Drug User and Social Networks." Subaward 918197 of award 5 R01 DA012831-05, NIH. $13,294.00. (Extension to 1/2006-5/2007, $26,764.00)
Mehrotra, Sharad (PI); Butts, Carter T. (Co-PI); Eguchi, Ronald (Co-PI); Venkatasubramanian, Nalini (Co-PI); and Winslett, Marianne (Co-PI). (10/2003-9/2009). "Collaborative Research: Responding to the Unexpected." Grant #IIS-0331707, NSF ITR. $8,957,651.00.
Carley, Kathleen M. (PI), and Butts, Carter T. (Co-PI). (4/2001). "Dissertation Improvement: Spatial Models of Large-Scale Interpersonal Networks." Grant #SES-0100999, NSF SBE, Sociology. $6,512.00.
Butts, Carter T. (PI). (6/2000). "Monte Carlo Methods for Simulating Large-Scale Interpersonal Networks." Research Proposal Award from the Center for Computational Analysis of Social and Organizational Systems, NSF IGERT "Integrated Graduate Education and Research Training in Computational Analysis of Social and Organizational Systems." $965.75.
Professional Societies
American Sociological Association
Sigma Xi
International Network for Social Network Analysis (INSNA)
Society for Mathematical Psychology
Research Centers
Institute for Mathematical Behavioral Sciences
California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2)
UCI Center for Organizational Research
UCI Center for Machine Learning and Intelligent Systems
Networks, Computation, and Social Dynamics Laboratory
UCI Center for Networks and Relational Analysis
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