Social computing: exploiting the human factor in social media data management.

Day - Time: 12 October 2012, h.11:00
Place: Area della Ricerca CNR di Pisa - Room: C-29
  • Matteo Magnani (Data Intensive Systems group, Dept. of Computer Science, Aarhus University, Denmark)

Fosca Giannotti


One of the reasons behind the tremendous success of Social Network Analysis (SNA) methods in various research disciplines is a very general and simple graph model that enables the representation and study of extremely heterogeneous scenarios, ranging from workplace dynamics to the spreading of diseases or hyper-text documents in the World Wide Web. While this generality still constitutes a great value, it has recently become apparent that to model specific contexts and to enable accurate analyses it may be important to enrich simple network models with additional modeling constructs representing the complex nature of human relationships. The talk will be organized in three parts. First, I will briefly illustrate some case studies showing how cultural parameters may influence social media data with respect to, e.g., information propagation. Then, I will show how these aspects may influence information retrieval activities, leading to the definition of "conversation retrieval" queries. Finally, I will conclude this presentation of human-influenced data modeling and querying discussing the hypothesis that a single concept of social connection or social network is not sufficient to satisfy the sociability requirements of human beings. Decades before the advent of Social Network Sites this had already been theorized by Goffman and other researchers in social sciences, for which individuals (or actors) perform on multiple stages, creating a sort of sociologically fragmented personality whose different components relate to different audiences (and thus networks). This has recently led to the definition of multi-layer (or multi-modal) network models for the analysis of social media data.

Biography of the speaker: Matteo Magnani graduated in Computer Science at the University of Bologna in 2002 (110/110 with mention). He studied at the University of Marne la Vallée (undergraduate level) and the Imperial College London (postgraduate research level). In 2006 he obtained a PhD in Computer Science (Bologna) where in 2011 he also graduated in Violin (110/110 with mention). He has received a Rotary Prize for the best student of the Science Faculty (UniBO), a Best Paper Award at ASONAM 2011, a Funniest Presentation award at SBP 2010, the French qualification for Maître de Conférence positions, the Italian "idoneità " for CNR researcher positions and his mother is very proud of him (or at least this is what she officially says). Until May 2012 he was a researcher (RTD) at the Dept. of Computer Science, University of Bologna and he currently holds a position at research assistant professor level at the Data Intensive Systems group, Dept. of Computer Science, Aarhus University, Denmark.

His main research interests span Database and Information Management systems, specifically uncertain information management and multidimensional database queries, and Social Computing. He has written around 1.5 Kg of papers on these topics (when printed on heavy A4 size sheets). He is currently the joint coordinator of the #sigsna research group on social network analysis, and has successfully attracted funding from Working Capital (Telecom Italia), PRIN and FIRB (MIUR - Italian Ministry for education, University and Research) schemes.