Larissa Spinelli lspinell at bu.edu
Fri Jul 5 14:33:43 EDT 2013


We would like to announce the BU/CS DaMP–Social WORKSHOP

Note: RSVP required to attend.

On July 11 BU/CS will hold a 3/4-day workshop on data mining, privacy, and
social networks at BU (DaMP-Social).

Location: Hariri Institute, 111 Cummington Mall.

The workshop will run from 9am to 2pm.   A light lunch will be served.

Participation will be on a first-come, first-served basis.   To attend,
RSVP to  Larissa Spinelli (lspinell at bu.edu) or Giovanni Comarela (
gcom at bu.edu)

We have the confirmed speakers:

Saikat Guha (MSR India)
Virgilio Almeida (UFMG Brazil)
Wagner Meira (UFMG Brazil)
Raphael Ottoni (UFMG Brazil - MSc student)
João Paulo Pesce (UFMG Brazil -MSc student)
Bruno Ribeiro (UMASS)
Davide Proserpio (BU/CS)

More details:

*Saikat Guha (MSR India)*
*Virgilio Almeida (UFMG Brazil)**:* *"**Exploring Very Large Data Sets
 from Online Social Networks"*
The explosion of the volume of digital data currently available in social
networks has created new opportunities for scientific discoveries in the
realm of social media. In particular, I show our recent progress in
 understanding user preferences, data mining,  and explorative analysis of
very large data sets.  As an example, I present  a detailed analysis of
 Google+ social network, based on large-scale crawls of over 27 million
user profiles that represented nearly 50% of the entire network in 2011.  I
also discuss key differences and similarities with other popular networks
like Facebook and Twitter to understand whether the characteristics of
Google+  make it  a new paradigm or yet another social network.
*Wagner Meira (UFMG Brazil)**:* *"**Characterizing and understanding the
dynamics of online social networks"*
The internet has been evolving from a communication media to an environment
where users talk about the most diverse topics, reflecting the dynamics of
the society at broad. Characterizing and understanding how the internet
data may be used for assessing real events becomes a key component of many
Internet-based applications and demands the development of new data mining
models and techniques. Data mining in such scenarios is challenging because
the data is intrinsically uncertain and multi-scale, the patterns to be
mined are complex and evolve through time, and there is a huge amount of
information that need to be processed in real time. In this talk we present
a framework for the research and development of data mining models,
algorithms and systems that target these challenging scenarios. We also
present the Web Observatory, a platform for collecting, analyzing and
presenting, at real time, information mined from social networks and the
web, as well as some of its instances that focused on sports, politics, and
*Davide Proserpio (BU/CS)*: *"**The Rise of the Sharing Economy: Measuring
the Impact of Airbnb"* Airbnb.com is as an online community marketplace
that facilitates short-term rentals of "unique spaces" around the world.
Since its launch, Airbnb has grown from a few hundred bookings in 2008, to
over ten million nights of cumulative bookings worldwide by the end of
2012, spanning more than 300000 units in over 30000 cities in 192
countries. In this paper we investigate the consequences of the rise of
Airbnb as seen by the local economy. In particular, we are interested in
quantifying the impact of the Airbnb growth on the local hotel industry. To
explore this research question, we leverage a dataset of reviews that we
have collected from Airbnb.com. We found that Airbnb has a negative impact
on hotel's revenue. Speciffically, our model provides evidence that lower
price hotels, i.e., hotel classiffied into budget and economy categories,
have experienced a decrease in Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR), a
common econometric used in the hotel industry. Our results complement
several commissioned studies on positive impact of Airbnb on the local
economy, which we are investigating using other datasets.
*Bruno Ribeiro (UMASS)*: *"Understanding the growth and death of social
networks: evidence and model"*
Online Social Networks (OSNs) are multi-billion dollar enterprises.
Surprisingly, little is known about the mechanisms that drive them to
growth, stability, or death. In this talk I will show data on the
relationship between subscriber activity and network growth of a large OSN
measured over five years. Using this data I formulate three hypotheses that
together describe the observed OSN subscriber behavior. I will describe a
model (and extensions) that simultaneously satisfies all three hypotheses.
The model provides deep insights into the dynamics of subscriber activity,
inactivity, and network growth rates. The model predicts four types of OSNs
with respect to subscriber activity evolution. Finally, I present activity
data of nearly thirty OSN websites, also measured over five years, and show
that the observed activity is well described by one of the four activity
time series predicted by the model.
*Raphael Ottoni (UFMG Brazil - MSc student)*: *"**Ladies First: Analyzing
Gender Roles and Behaviors in Pinterest"*
Online social networks (OSNs) have become popular platforms for people to
connect and interact with each other. Among those networks, Pinterest has
recently become noteworthy for its growth and promotion of visual over
textual content. The purpose of this study is to analyze this image based
network in a gender-sensitive fashion, in order to understand (i) user
motivation and usage pattern in the network, (ii) how communications and
social interactions happen and (iii) how users describe themselves to
others. This work is based on more than 220 million items generated by
683,273 users. We were able to find significant differences w.r.t. all
mentioned aspects. We observed that, although the network does not
encourage direct social communication, females make more use of lightweight
interactions than males. Moreover, females invest more effort in
reciprocating social links, are more active and generalist in content
generation, and describe themselves using words of affection and positive
emotions. Males, on the other hand, are more likely to be specialists and
tend to describe themselves in an assertive way. We also observed that each
gender has different interests in the network, females tend to make more
use of the network’s commercial capabilities, while males are more prone to
the role of curators of items that reflect their personal taste. It is
important to understand gender differences in online social networks, so
one can design services and applications that leverage human social
interactions and provide more targeted and relevant user experiences.
*João Paulo Pesce (UFMG Brazil -MSc student)*: *"**Psychological Maps 2.0:
A Web Engagement Enterprise Starting in London"*
Planners and social psychologists have suggested that the recognizability
of the urban environment is linked to people's socio-economic well-being.
We build a web game that puts the recognizability of London's streets to
the test. It follows as closely as possible one experiment done by Stanley
Milgram in 1972. The game picks up random locations from Google Street View
and tests users to see if they can judge the location in terms of closest
subway station, borough, or region. Each participant dedicates only few
minutes to the task (as opposed to 90 minutes in Milgram's). We collect
data from 2,255 participants (one order of magnitude a larger sample) and
build a recognizability map of London based on their responses. We find
that some boroughs have little cognitive representation; that
recognizability of an area is explained partly by its exposure to Flickr
and Foursquare users and mostly by its exposure to subway passengers; and
that areas with low recognizability do not fare any worse on the economic
indicators of income, education, and employment, but they do significantly
suffer from social problems of housing deprivation, poor living conditions,
and crime. These results could not have been produced without analyzing
life off - and online: that is, without considering the interactions
between urban places in the physical world and their virtual presence on
platforms such as Flickr and Foursquare. This line of work is at the
crossroad of two emerging themes in computing research - a crossroad where
"web science" meets the "smart city" agenda.


Larissa Spinelli / Giovanni Comarela
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