Nynke Niezink, University of Groningen
Social networks and the characteristics of the actors who constitute these networks are not static; they evolve interdependently over time. People may befriend others with similar political opinions or change their own opinion based on that of their friends. The stochastic actor-oriented model is used to statistically model such dynamics. In this talk, I will present an extension of this model for continuous dynamic actor attributes. I model the interdependent dynamics by a stochastic differential equation for the attribute evolution and a Markov chain model for the network evolution. I will illustrate the proposed method by a study of the relation between friendship and obesity, analyzing body mass index as continuous dynamic actor attribute.