Tuesday, April 27, 2010

In which Ethon dines at the Wegman buffet

Eli has been sanely jealous of Deep Climate and John Mashey who have been picking over the rotting corpse of the Wegman report and inspiring others. It has emerged, that Wegman and his colleagues plagiarized Ray Bradley's book on dendrology, of course, altering the conclusions to suit Joe Barton's purpose. As pointed out by Dave in the ever so nice Judith Curry throws Susan Solomon under the bus thread at Kloor's bar and grill Wegman and Said appear to suffer from McIntyre dyslexia, (you know, the evil eye syndrome where things get twisted).

Re: Wegman: Regardless of the plagiarism claims, there is some pretty bad stuff in that report.

eg: compare Wegman’s statement:

“Both Esper et al. (2002) and Moberg et al. (2005) indicate that current global temperatures are not warmer that the medieval warm period.”

With Esper (2002):
“annual temperatures up to AD 2000 over extra-tropical NH land areas have probably exceeded by about 0.3 C the warmest previous interval over the past 1162 years. ”

and Moberg (2005):
“We find no evidence for any earlier periods in the last two millennia with warmer conditions than the post-1990 period—in agreement with previous similar studies”

this appears to be a habit with the GMU two, They even snuck one past Wm Connolley, the ever vigilant attack beast of the Wikipedia, copying out paragraphs into their report in areas that Wegman and his student Said were supposed to be expert at.

Thus, Eli was surprised to see Ethon at the window with some delicious bits of Wegman in his beak. What have you brought the bunny asked. A large bit of delicious karmic payback, Deep Climate blew up Wegman and Said with their own mine. Do you realize, Ethon said, that Wegman and Said published a conference paper on how to use computers to detect fraud? And it is available for all to see, you know, "Text Mining with Applications to Fraud Discovery"

Ooo Eli said, that's interesting but we want something more norishing. Well the big bird said, looking into his stash, how about this:







Brokerage – Social relations can be considered to be channels that transport information, services, or goods between people or organizations. From a bird’s eye view, social structure helps to explain how information, goods or even attitudes and behavior diffuses within a social system. Network analysis reveals social structure and helps to trace the routes that goods and information may follow. Some social structures permit rapid diffusion of information, whereas others contain sections that are difficult to reach. We can also focus on the position of specific people or organizations within the network. In general, being well connected is advantageous. Contacts are necessary to have access to information and help. The number and intensity of a person’s ties are called his or her sociability or social capital. Social capital is known to correlate positively to age and education in Western societies. Some people occupy central or strategic positions within the system of channels and are crucial for the transmission process. Some positions may exert pressure on their occupants, but they also yield power and profit. The direction of ties is not very important in social network structures that capture the exchange of information.

Part III – Brokerage

In quite a few theories, social relations are considered as channels which transport information, services or goods between people or organizations. In this perspective, social structure helps to explain how information, goods or even attitudes and behavior diffuses within a social system. Network analysis reveals social structure and helps to trace the routes which goods and information may follow. Some social structures permit rapid diffusion of information whereas others contain sections which are difficult to reach.

This is a bird’s eye view of an entire social network. However, we can also focus on the position of specific people or organizations within the network. In general, being well connected is advantageous. Contacts are necessary to have access to information and help. The number and intensity of a person’s ties are called his or her sociability or social capital. Social capital is known to correlate positively to age and education in Western societies. Some people occupy central or strategic positions within the system of channels and are crucial for the transmission process. Some positions may exert pressure on their occupants, but they also yield power and profit. The direction of ties is not very important in social network structures that capture the exchange of information.


Which talon is holding the Wegman report and which the real thing?

Yes, good bunnies, the left hand side is from page 21 of the Wegman report, the right from Exploratory Social Network Analysis with Pajek, by W. de Nooy, A. Mrvar and V. Batagelj published January 25, 2005, Chapter 6, page 109, which can be found as an Adobe Acrobat file by any plagiarism software available at your local university. For those not in the know, and the Rabett was not, Pajek is software for viewing large networks.

But said Ethon, there is more, these social network specialists, Wegman and Said, went on





Centrality – This is one of the oldest concepts in network analysis. Most social networks contain people or organizations that are central. Because of their position, they have better access to information, and better opportunity to spread information. This is known as the ego-centered-approach to centrality. The network is centralized from socio-centered perspective. The notion of centrality refers to the positions of individual vertices within the network, while centralization is used to characterize an entire network. A network is highly centralized if there is a clear boundary between the center and the periphery. In a highly centralized network, information spreads easily, but the center is indispensable for the transmission of information.
In this chapter we present the concepts of centrality and centralization which are two of the oldest concepts in network analysis. Most social networks contain people or organizations that are central. Because of their position, they have better access to information, and better opportunity to spread information. This is known as the ego-centered-approach to centrality. Viewed from a socio-centered perspective the network as a whole is more or less centralized. Note that we use. centrality to refer to the positions of individual vertices within the network, whereas we use centralization to characterize an entire network. A network is highly centralized if there is a clear boundary between the center and the periphery. In a highly centralized network, information spreads easily, but the center is indispensable for the transmission of information.

For those interested in time lines, the Wegman report was published in July 2006, the Pajek book in January 2005.

There is more from de Nooy, Mrvar and
Batagelj, but why should Eli have all the fun? and Barry Brickmore has the last word on whether Christopher Monckton is a member of the British House of Lords

22 comments:

carrot eater said...

DC's an industrious one.

I'm just happy that clicking on 'Read More!' brought me to more content for once.

JohnMashey said...

DC has brokerage @ page 121, and that's where it is in my physical copy of the book. It is labeled 109 in the PDF.

Can you do an update to point out the difference, to avoid confusion. At first, I thought this was a new "striking similarity", which would have been stunningly delicious if found in that article.

I do note that the of the 7 refrences:
2 are independent (Kruskal, Porter)

5 were Wegman PhD students at some point.

Amusingly, one of Joe Kruskal's other papers (on minimal cost spanning tree) got me interested in graph theory as a high school junior. I was attending a "National Youth Conference on the Atom" ~1967 as a prize, and the most terrific speaker was Henry Pollak of Bell Labs. He described that nice theoretical problem ... and then showed that the solution saved the Bell System tons of money.

When I arrived at BTL in 1973, Henry was running the Mathematics and Statistics Research Center, in the division in which John Tukey was Asst. Executive Director ... Awesome group.

Horatio Algeranon said...

Ethon must be a German Eagle, given his eagle eye and the particular passage he latched onto.

"Social relations can be considered to be channels that transport information, services, or goods between people or organizations."

Eli might have let his readers in on the joke:
In German, "Wegman" literally means "way man", where "weg" translates as either "an open way (generally public) for travel or transportation" or, alternatively "a way or means to achieve something".

And by the way, would this constitute "honest brokerage"?

deepclimate.org said...

Those passages are noted in the side-by-side comparison I compiled here:

http://deepclimate.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/wegman-social-networks1.pdf

The passages on the concepts brokerage and centrality are at p. 8-9 of that comparison.

But enterprising bunnies may want to look at section 2.2 of the Wegman report, although the pickings there do seem to be less extensive there.

An idea: perhaps you can update the post with a pointer to that side-by-side comparison.

There are also the two side-by-side comparisons showing Wegman vs. Bradley. I'll dig out pointers those too.

willard said...

When I hear about social network analysis of the Team, that conclusion always springs to mind:

> There are several leading research groups in this field. Some of them are fairly closely linked to Mann and his group and others are not.

http://crookedtimber.org/2006/07/15/adventures-in-social-network-analysis/

deepclimate.org said...

As promised, a little diversion from Wegman section 2.2:

http://deepclimate.org/2010/04/22/wegman-and-saids-social-network-sources-more-dubious-scholarship/#comment-3442

JohnMashey said...

And actually, it is worth examining the two Wunsch papers, labeled as key papers, and using 2.5 pages of text to review.

This is slightly different, as the comments are reviews of identified sources. It might have been nice to identify quoted pieces.

But more seriously:

1) Wegman always said they'd been asked to look into M&M's cliasm about MBH, so they didn't look at the science.

2) Of course, they DID:
a) DO the social-networking thing.
b) Inlcude a bunch of grey-literature references, soem with no connection.

3) Inquiring bunnies want to know: why are these Wunsch papers here? it is especially odd to see the (2006) paper on D-O events, which as far as I know have not impinged on 1000AD-2000AD. :-)

David B. Benson said...

Little bunny Foo-foo at work.

Blip them on the head good and hard!

RichieRich said...

Eli quotes as follows

QUOTE

eg: compare Wegman’s statement:

“Both Esper et al. (2002) and Moberg et al. (2005) indicate that current global temperatures are not warmer that the medieval warm period.”

With Esper (2002):
“annual temperatures up to AD 2000 over extra-tropical NH land areas have probably exceeded by about 0.3 C the warmest previous interval over the past 1162 years. ”

and Moberg (2005):
“We find no evidence for any earlier periods in the last two millennia with warmer conditions than the post-1990 period—in agreement with previous similar studies”

END QUOTE

Espers is not talking about global temperature so does he technically contradict Wegman?

Mobergs says no evidence that earlier periods were warmer. Wegman says no evidence current temperatures are warmer. Not necessarily a contradiction here (if max earlier temp was same as it is today).

This isn't an attempted defence of the entire Wegman report as the plagarism stuff ain't good...to say the least. Clearly, this doesn't influence the validity or otherwise of his criticism of MBH's stats...though Eli raises the Ritson objection.

Anonymous said...

"Mobergs says no evidence that earlier periods were warmer. Wegman says no evidence current temperatures are warmer. Not necessarily a contradiction here..."

Wegman says:

"Both Esper et al. (2002) and Moberg et al. (2005) indicate that current global temperatures are not warmer than the medieval warm period.”

He's not saying "there's no evidence current temps are warmer" than the MWP; he's stating as fact they are not, and he's using as sources for this two papers that say the opposite. That's the kind of dishonesty that gets you a big F (or worse) if you tried it as a student.

Robert Murphy

RichieRich said...

Robert, I was simply making the (admittedly pedantic) point that both the Wegman and Moberg quotes allow that the MWP was exactly as warm as the current temp. Thus, from the quotes offered, there is not necessarily a contradiction!

Robert Murphy said...

"Thus, from the quotes offered, there is not necessarily a contradiction!"

Sure it is; Wegman says the opposite of what the two papers said. There really isn't any room for ambiguity. Esper said that it's about .3 degrees C warmer than the MWP; Moberg says that all the evidence says that the MWP was not warmer than now. Wegman says both say the MWP was warmer. Wegman and company blatantly lied.

Marion Delgado said...

I don't believe Kloor's place has a lot of grilling going on.

Robert Murphy said...

I just checked the quote that was supposed to be from the Esper 2002 paper, and it comes up in the abstract for a 2004 revisiting of the 2002 paper.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6VBC-4DCWF1D-3&_user=10&_coverDate=11%2F01%2F2004&_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_orig=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_searchStrId=1317956896&_rerunOrigin=google&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=afbaf585a6389fe1f8e6a27a3fb81fb2



"The Northern Hemisphere (NH) temperature reconstruction published by Esper, Cook, and Schweingruber (ECS) in 2002 is revisited in order to strengthen and clarify its interpretation. This reconstruction, based on tree-ring data from 14 temperature-sensitive sites, is best interpreted as a land-only, extra-tropical expression of NH temperature variability. Its strongly expressed multi-centennial variability is highly robust over the AD 1200–1950 interval, with strongly expressed periods of “Little Ice Age” cooling indicated prior to AD 1900. Persistently above-average temperatures in the AD 960–1050 interval also suggest the large-scale occurrence of a “Medieval Warm Period” in the NH extra-tropics. However, declining site availability and low within-chronology tree-ring replication prior to AD 1200 weakens this interpretation considerably.
The temperature signal in the ECS reconstruction is shown to be restricted to periods longer than 20 years in duration. After re-calibration to take this property into account, annual temperatures up to AD 2000 over extra-tropical NH land areas have probably exceeded by about 0.3 °C the warmest previous interval over the past 1162 years. This estimate is based on comparing instrumental temperature data available up to AD 2000 with the reconstruction that ends in AD 1992 and does not take into account the mutual uncertainties in those data sets."

I don't know what Esper 2002 said about how MWP temps compared to the last few decades. Anybody have access to the original? Of course, Wegman is still full of it since even if Esper 2002 said that temps were the same or warmer than present temps, Esper's followup made it clear that MWP temps were a little cooler than present temps. And the 2004 correction came in time for Wegman to know better.

Anonymous said...

OT

I am sure all here in Rabett land will applaud the guilty verdict on two counts that a computer hacker received today for stealing emails.

Anyone?

Celery Eater

Sir Mull said...

You are setting yourselves up for Troll paranoia i.e collectively off your trolleys. Better just to debate the issue , no matter how hard that is.

Anonymous said...

RichieRich:

As the person who dug into these two papers, I agree that you have half a point on Moberg et al. (2005) - technically, it and Wegman might agree. I would argue that the rephrasing is still somewhat deceitful, because one says "the MWP was either cooler than the present or exactly as warm as the present" and the other says "the MWP was either warmer than the present or exactly as warm as the present". If Moberg (2005) had been in a 5 paper list and the other 4 had all been phrased as the latter statement, then I wouldn't have objected.

On Esper (2002) I don't think Wegman has a case: yes, Esper (2002) was discussing extra-tropical NH temps, not global - but the temps it _did_ analyze were clearly warmer now than in the past, my recollection is that in general the MWP was supposed to be warmest in the NH (though I guess that's true today, too, so that might cancel out), and Esper (2002) made no statements about global temperatures that I found when reading the paper... so there is no way that Esper (2002) can give support to the Wegman statement.

-Dave

Anonymous said...

Huh. Though now that I dig deeper, I must have quoted the Esper (2004) revisiting and not the original Esper (2002)...

Esper (2002) stated: "We also show that the MWP was likely to have been a large-scale phenomenon in the NH extratropics that appears to have approached, during certain intervals, the magnitude of 20th-century warming, at least up to 1990. "

Which is more like the Moberg (2005) statement, though "approached" is not "the same as" and "up to 1990" means "cooler than the 1990 to 2000 decade", so Wegman is still wrong.

-Dave

John Mashey said...

Yum, yum. The buffet is filled to overflowing. I solicit help from the bunnies. I've been going through the bibliography of the Wegman Report. Oddly, about 50 of the ~80 references don't actually get referenced, which seems a bit high, and some of the references are ...odd. here's one:

Valentine, Tom (1987) “Magnetics may hold key to ozone layer problems,” Magnets,
2(1) 18-26.

That turns out to be hard to find.
Maybe the bunnies can help me.

If they get stuck, Google:
tom valentine national tattler

is ...interesting...

John Mashey said...

Well, I got some help, and it is *so* tasty. Ethon better getting to work before DC and I get the goodies.
===
Many of the Wegman Report references were sourced through Barton staffer Peter Spencer, according to Yasmin Said:
http://www.galaxy.gmu.edu/stats/colloquia/AbstractsFall2007/TalkSept7.pdf p.5.

BAD
Of the ~80 references in the Bibliography, only ~30 are actually referenced in the body. Some are totally irrelevant, a 1.5 page review of Wunsch(2006). That is about Dansgaard-Oscher events, rather irrelevant to Mann's work, since the last occurrence was rather earlier. Some of the "reviews of important articles" have more seeming cut-and-paste.

In normal scholarship, when summarizing an article, one normally paraphrases to show that one understands it, or at least, block-quotes a few key pieces. One doesn't do undergrad-level cut-and-paste. [This isn't publicly written up yet, but will be, and will at least double the number of pages with problems like this.]

But ~50 of the ~80 references aren't even referenced, and some might be OK, but that is a high fraction. There are many more irrelevant or "grey literature" references ...

At best, this is bad scholarship, consistent with someone else selecting many of their sources for people who have little clue about relevance or importance. Some references only seem to appear there so repeat common anti-science memes. This is why seeming plagiarism is just the most obvious hint that something is wrong and makes one dig deeper.

WORSE
But, Wegman, Scott, and Said wrote a report that included the following (unreferenced) reference, on p.57:

Valentine, Tom (1987) “Magnetics may hold key to ozone layer problems,” Magnets, 2(1) 18-26.

Without even seeing the article, it is unclear how a 1987 article about ozone layer in an (offbeat, non-scholarly) technology journal could have *anything* to do with the purported investigation of 1998-1999 papers on temperature reconstructions.

AWFUL
It turns out (H/T Michael Tobis & Anna Haynes) that Tom Valentine has written about psychic surgery, fuel-less magnetic engines, conspiracy theories on suppression of good inventions. He was the editor of "Magnets" 1988-1991, a step up from his earlier writing for the "National Tattler," but not a scholarly journal. He later ran a talk show that among other things helped publicize "black helicopters" to the world.

http://www.rexresearch.com/evgray/1gray.htm#1 fuel-less engines
http://www.rexresearch.com/nemes/1nemes.htm#magnets suppression
http://web.archive.org/web/20050208000510/tomvalentine.com/html/about_tom1.html his bio
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_helicopter his radio show promoted

While Wegman, Scott, and Said did this pro bono, the salaries of everybody else involved in the House were paid for by US taxpayers ... and we got scholarship of this quality, because NAS was "unlikely" to address all of Mr. Barton's concerns."

EliRabett said...

JM, this pretty much shows that the whole thing was copied from somewhere. They cut out the text which refers to the blind references.

John Mashey said...

Yes, I've been trying to find where some of those combinations of references might have come fro, so far unsuccessfully.

Google: tom valentine douglas colligan
yielded Occult paperbooks, so I guessed that wasn't it. :-)

Maybe you can find a good cartoon with the black helicopters...