Social Computing and Communication (SocialCom)

The research vision of the social area lies at the intersection of social behaviour with computational and communications systems. The activities of SocialComp range from the study of user behaviour in crowd systems (such as crowd-funding, or crowd-sensing), to the study of human mobility for localization, activity classification, and user profiling. These studies are used both for the analysis of individual or social behaviour, and for behavioural modeling and prediciton.

Meso-scale and large-scale behavioural data, sensor networks, and crowdsourcing systems form the heart of this area, which also leverages methods based on machine learning and natural language processing.

The key goal is to support industry, policy makers, government and other decision-making partners by informing and advising how to design and manage the system to reach its desired social outcome. The main research topics are:

  • user profiling
  • user personalization
  • localization  and user location analysis (with social, economic and geographical purpose)
  • social analysis
  • recommendation systems
  • privacy awareness
  • transportation and urban planning 

Modern projects are highly interdisciplinary, and for this reason the social component is complementary and essential to the technical expertise of the ISIN ICT research areas, as well as of many other institutes at DTI and other departments. In particular, along the years we developed specific knowledge to extract social information and to tackle the aspect from the social standpoint. The key points include:

  • social mechanisms and interactions in real and virtual systems and networks;
  • human behaviour, with a specific focus on human mobility and activity recognition;
  • privacy concerns in the cyber world and privacy risks for users;
  • modeling of the behavioural patterns;
  • system-level social dynamics.

Silvia GiordanoSalvatore Vanini
Head of Social Area

Phone: +41 (0)58 666 65 16
Phone: +41 (0)58 666 65 86