Web and Social Networks

Research activities:

Recommender systems (e.g., Amazon, LinkedIn, ...) and reputation systems (e.g., Tripadvisor, Booking.com, ...) have the purpose of providing advices for decision making in e-commerce and online service environments. They are similar in the sense that both collect data of members in a community in order to provide advice to those members. However, there are also fundamental differences. The purpose of recommender systems is mainly to generate suggestions about resources that a user a priori is not aware of but is possibly interest in. The main purpose of reputation systems is to provide advice about the quality of resources that the user is already interested in.

The research in this area focuses on the following lines of research:

  • Study how to combine the results obtained from recommender systems and reputation systems in order to provide a better advice.
  • Design tag-based recommender systems that provide suggestions that are content-agnostic and that can be used to recommend mixed types of contents at the same time (for example, images, posts, and products). In such a way, the power of recommender systems can be exploited in very diverse contexts using a unique model with few adjustments.
  • Design models for group recommender systems by exploiting voting rules. Group recommender systems attempt to suggest a common set of items (e.g., music)  to a group for a social event (e.g., party), with the aim of maximizing the satisfaction of all members in the group on the suggested items.

Homepage: http://www.intelligentadvice.org/

People: Maria Silvia Pini (contact person)

The Internet has brought in the last two decades an explosion of online communities, in some cases spanning over a billion participants - communities that are qualitatively different from traditional ones both because of intrinsic properties and because of their massive scale. Their analysis, and the analysis of the analysis tools themselves, remains a fertile ground for research (and one with a lot of money in it!) at the crossroads of many disciplines.

  • Link analysis algorithms
  • Social dynamics in forums and other online communities
  • Small worlds and social network navigability
  • Reputation and recommendation systems
  • Financial networks

People: Enoch Peserico (contact person)