ASONAM 2011 - Summary

Saturday, July 30, 2011

This year the 3rd conference on Advances in Social Network Analysis and Mining was held in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Kaohsiung is the 2nd largest city in Taiwan with around 2.9 million inhabitants. During my short stay there I couldn't help but notice that Taiwan (or at least Kaohsiung) is a blend of Japanese efficiency and cleanliness, with Chinese culture and influences.

The organisation of the conference was impeccable. Everything functioned perfectly, the internet always worked, the guests were well looked after and the presentations all went smoothly. Lunch boxes were provided everyday and the two dinners provided, particularly the banquet served on the 41 floor of Kaohsiung's highest building, the Tuntex Sky Tower (an 85 story skyscraper), was exquisite. The real motor behind the organisation were the student helpers directed by I-Hsien Ting. The students were omnipresent, ever smiling and always ready to help. A truly good job.

These are some noteworthy papers that I came across during the conference (mainly through the sessions I sat through). This is not an exhaustive list by any means. For more information and a summary of each paper consult the conference program on the ASONAM 2011 website.

Matteo Magnani and Luca Rossi. The ML-model for multi-layer social networks. - In one of the best papers in the conference, the authors propose a model to combine the various heterogeneous online personas in a unified network perspective. I believe that the topic of multi layer networks will receive a lot of attention in the near future, making this paper particularly relevant at this point in time.

Chien-Tung Ho, et al. Modeling and Visualizing Information Propagation in a Micro-blogging Platform. - This is another best paper award winner exploring information propagation in micro-blogging systems (using Plurk). The three research questions explored are:- (1) How to quantify a person’s capability to disseminate ideas via a micro-blog. (2) How to measure the extent of propagation of a concept in a micro-blog. (3) How to demonstrate and visualize information propagation in a microblog.

Iraklis Varlamis and George Tsatsaronis. Visualizing Bibliographic Databases as Graphs and Mining Potential Research Synergies - In this paper the authors use power graphs, a graph lossless compression technique developed for biological networks, to visualise bibliographic networks. I see a lot of potential for power graph visualisation in social networks. This paper is a good idea generator in the visualisation field.

Tomoyuki Yuasa and Susumu Shirayama. - A New Analysis Method for Simulations Using Node Categorizations - This is another interesting paper using visualisation that explores Self Organising Maps to cluster and then visualise similar actors in a network.

Juan Lang and Felix Wu. Social Network User Lifetime. - The key question explored in this research is 'what keeps users engaged and active in social networking sites'.

Michael Farrugia, Neil Hurley and Aaron Quigley. SNAP: Towards a validation of the Social Network Assembly Pipeline. - Some shameless self-promotion here. The main theme of this work is how can we collect a ground truth dataset to validate our social network inference method from electronic data.

Marina Danilevsky et al. SCENE: Structural Conversation Evolution NEtwork - Can you identify someone based on the change in his communication pattern while chatting to someone else? A very interesting question studied using IM data, with initial promising results.

Fergal Reid, Aaron McDaid, Neil Hurley. Partitioning Breaks Communities. - Is a non-overlapping or an overlapping community detection approach for clustering a graph? In this paper the authors use the measure of 'breaking cliques' to evaluate different community detection algorithms on various datasets.

Charles Perez et al SPOT 1.0: Scoring Suspicious Profiles On Twitter - Beyond the great title this paper analyses tweet content to identify suspicious profiles. Interesting analysis.

The conference had also 6 interesting keynote speakers. Two of the keynotes by Arno Reuser and Johnny Engell-Hansen were related to open source intelligence and how social networks can help intelligence services. Philippa Pattison presented research on statistical models (ERGMs). Yutaka Matsuo discussed web mining to develop personal search engines. The prolific author Jiawei Han gave a summary of work from his research group in Illinois on data mining algorithms. The last keynote was by Ming-Syan Chen on information processing in social networks.

Some pictures of the conference are already uploaded on the conference Facebook page

Next year the conference is in Istanbul, Turkey

Tree ring layout paper gets best paper award at ACHI 2011

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Our temporal tree rings layout paper got awarded a best paper award at ACHI 2011

Many of the current dynamic network visualisations methods or techniques rely on node-link force-based models that were originally developed for visualising static network snapshots. In this study, we diverge from this traditional layout approach and develop a layout for ego networks that places the time dimension in the foreground, by turning time into an element of shape. In addition to this we develop an interactive system that enables the visualisation of multiple networks simultaneously by employing small multiples. Using the proposed layout and analytical system as a grounding visual structure, we visually characterise dynamic network events in 3 different networks; the evolution of the biotechnology field, a phone call data set and a network of passenger connections of an airline. From this analysis we propose a range of ego network visual motifs that can be used as templates to identify and characterise events that are occurring in a dynamic network.


You can download and read the paper here

Visualizing the performance of add / drop decisions in fantasy sports

Thursday, April 28, 2011

How often do you get the feeling that as soon as you drop a player in your fantasy league, his stats sky rocket? All too often I’d say. Well, I set out to do a post mortem analysis on how effective my add / drop decisions were now that the regular NHL season is over.

The aim of the visualization is to plot the performance of each player that ever was part of the fantasy team, highlighting the period when he was part of the team. The visualisation plots the total number of fantasy points of each player per week (using a sliding window weighted average to smoothen the curves). If the player was on the roster during that time period then the line is highlighted in red. If the player was not on the roster then there is only a blue line (and the red line on 0). Injuries are shown with a discontinued line (i.e. the player did not play any game that week).

The visualisation is aimed to help analyze player adds and drops, to see where the player was picked up based on his performance. For instance one can see examples of good decisions - adding Thomas Vanek towards the end of the season and dropping Paul Stastny towards the end of the season. From the charts one can also see the variance of each player with mountains and valleys (Gaborik, Havlat,Sharp) and the respective consistency of other players (Henrik Sedin, Christan Ehrhoff and Niklas Kronwall).

The data extraction, from the yahoo sports website, was automated using Excel’s data capture and a few macros. The visualisations were generated using Google charts.

Twitter is taking over (at least till the end of summer)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

I gave up hope that I'll be updating the blog before the end of summer and/or before I move to Luxembourg. I'm posting interesting links every once in a while on twitter, so if you want you can follow me there.

Top 25 Most Dangerous Programming Errors

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The 2009 CWE/SANS Top 25 Most Dangerous Programming Errors is a list of the most significant programming errors that can lead to serious software vulnerabilities. They occur frequently, are often easy to find, and easy to exploit. They are dangerous because they will frequently allow attackers to completely take over the software, steal data, or prevent the software from working at all.

Good enough reason to get an iPhone?!?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Probably not, but it's cool.

Read TechCrunch Story here

The Guild - Short Geeky Funny Online Sitcom

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Guild is a independent sitcom webisode about a group of online gamers. It is written for gamers, about gamers by a gamer. Episodes vary from 3-6 minutes in length, and follow the Guild members’ lives online and offline.

If a phrase like "when i turned and so zaboo hang himself with an ethernet cord ... " makes you laugh then check it out!


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