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Colloquium - Mislove

Leveraging Social Networks in Information Systems
Rice University
4/7/2009
3:30pm-4:30pm

Recently, online social networking sites have exploded in popularity; numerous sites are dedicated to exchanging end-user generated content, such as photos on Flickr, videos on YouTube, and status updates on Twitter. These sites represent a new type of information system, where links between users (as opposed to links between content items) are the primary manner in which information is structured. But, the enabling of all users to become publishers is resulting in a deluge of data that only makes the fundamental problems of finding relevant and trustworthy content even harder. The social networks that these sites are based on, however, offer a potential solution, because the relationships among users in the social network may indicate the relevance and trustworthiness of content that is contributed or endorsed by users.

In this talk, I demonstrate three systems that leverage social networks to solve some of the challenges facing information systems. First, I present Ostra, a novel system that prevents unwanted communication by leveraging the relationships among users in a social network. Second, I present CommunityInfer, a system that can automatically infer communities that exist in a social network, providing a natural basis for guiding information dissemination and acquisition. Third, I briefly describe PeerSpective, a system that helps users find relevant search results by exploiting the shared interest in social network communities. Each of these systems has been evaluated on data from real online social networks or in a deployment with real users.

Alan Mislove is a PhD Candidate in the Computer Science Department at Rice University, currently visiting the Max Planck Institute for Software Systems (MPI-SWS) in Saarbrücken, Germany. He received Masters and Bachelors degrees from Rice University, in 2005 and 2002, respectively. His research interests are in the areas of distributed systems and applications (especially social network-based systems), decentralized systems, and Internet measurement.

Hosted by Douglas Sicker.
Co-sponsored by the Interdisciplinary Telecommunications Program.

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