The Center for Complex Networks and Systems Research (CNetS) is part of the School of Informatics and Computing and the Pervasive Technology Institute of Indiana University. The center supports and enhances the research efforts of the complex systems group, which has been active within the School since 2004. CNetS is meant to foster interdisciplinary research in all areas related to complex networks and systems. On this website you can find information on CNetS faculty, research groups, and their activities.
The School of Informatics and Computing (SoIC) at Indiana University Bloomington invites applications by Dec 1, 2014 for an asst/assoc/full professor position in complex networks and systems, in the Informatics Division, to begin in August 2015. The position is expected to be filled at the senior level, but outstanding junior candidates will be considered.
Applications are especially encouraged from established leaders, who will have opportunities for leadership roles in the Center for Complex Networks and Systems and in a new and ambitious university-wide network science initiative to be announced.
Applicants should have an established record (senior level) or demonstrable potential for excellence (junior level) in research and teaching, and a Ph.D. in a relevant area, or (junior level) expected by 8/2015.
The SoIC is the first of its kind and among the largest in the country, with unsurpassed breadth. Its mission is to excel and lead in education, research, and outreach spanning and integrating the full breadth of computing and information technology. It includes Computer Science, Informatics, and Library and Information Science, with over 85 tenure-line faculty, 900 graduate students, and 1100 undergraduate majors. It offers Ph.D.s in Computer Science, Informatics, and Information Science.
The SoIC Center for Complex Networks and Systems Research currently has 10 faculty members with strong ties to several other units at Indiana University that pursue research in the field of Complex Systems, including Cognitive Science, Psychology, Physics, Sociology, Political Science, Biocomplexity, and Information Science. Center faculty research areas include complex information and social networks, data science, Web science, social computing, computational biology, robotics, computational intelligence, bio-inspired computing, large scale data modeling and simulation, and science of science & innovation. We are particularly interested in strengthening our emphasis on data-driven exploration and modeling of networks, social systems, and their dynamics.
Bloomington is a culturally thriving college town with a moderate cost of living and the amenities for an active lifestyle. IU is renowned for its top-ranked music school, high-performance computing and networking facilities, and performing and fine arts.
Congratulations to Onur Varol, Emilio Ferrara, Chris Ogan, Fil Menczer, and Sandro Flammini for winning the ACM Web Science 2014 Best Paper Award with their paper Evolution of online user behavior during a social upheaval (preprint). In the paper, the authors study the pivotal role played by Twitter during the political mobilization of the Gezi Park movement in Turkey. By analyzing over 2.3 million tweets produced during 25 days of protest in 2013, the authors show that similarity in trends of discussion mirrors geographic cues. The analysis also reveals that the conversation becomes more democratic as events unfold, with a redistribution of influence over time in the user population. Finally, the study highlights how real-world events, such as political speeches and police actions, affect social media conversations and trigger changes in individual behavior.
Congratulations also go to Luca Aiello and Rossano Schifanella, both former visitors and members of CNetS, who won the Best Presentation Award with their talk on Reading the Source Code of Social Ties (preprint).
Each year since 2005, Microsoft Research has awarded Microsoft Research Faculty Fellowships to promising, early-career academics who are engaged in innovative computing research and have the potential to make significant advances in the state of the art. These fellowships—which include a cash award and access to software, invitations to conferences, and engagements with Microsoft Research—allow bright young academics to devote their time to pushing the boundaries of computer science research, freed from the distraction of grinding out grant proposals. The 2014 Faculty Fellows are seven young professors from around the world who are exploring groundbreaking, high-impact research—the kind of research that has the potential to solve seemingly intractable societal problems.
Among them is our own YY Ahn, who was recognized for his mathematical and computational methods to study complex systems, such as cells, the brain, society, and culture. His recent contribution includes a new framework to identify pervasively overlapping modules in networks, network-based algorithms to predict viral memes, and a new computational approach to study food culture. Congratulations to YY for this highly prestigious award!
We are excited to announce that the ACM Web Science 2014 Conference will be hosted by our center on the beautiful IUB campus June 23–26, 2014. Web Science studies the vast information network of people, communities, organizations, applications, and policies that shape and are shaped by the Web, the largest artifact constructed by humans in history. Computing, physical, and social sciences come together, complementing each other in understanding how the Web affects our interactions and behaviors. Previous editions of the conference were held in Athens, Raleigh, Koblenz, Evanston, and Paris. The conference is organized on behalf of the Web Science Trust by general co-chairs Fil Menczer, Jim Hendler, and Bill Dutton. Follow us on Twitter and see you in Bloomington!
The DESPIC team at the Center for Complex Systems and Networks Research (CNetS) presented a demo of a new tool named BotOrNot at a DoD meeting held in Arlington, Virginia on April 23-25, 2014. BotOrNot (truthy.indiana.edu/botornot) is a tool to automatically detect whether a given Twitter user is a social bot or a human. Trained on Twitter bots collected by our lab and the infolab at Texas A&M University, BotOrNot analyzes over a thousand features from the user’s friendship network, content, and temporal information in real time and estimates the degree to which the account may be a bot. In addition to the demo, the DESPIC team (including colleagues at the University of Michigan) presented several posters on Scalable Architecture for Social Media Observatory, Meme Clustering in Streaming Data, Persuasion Detection in Social Streams, High-Resolution Anomaly Detection in Social Streams, and Early Detection and Analysis of Rumors. See more coverage of BotOrNot on PCWorld, IDS, BBC, Politico, and MIT Technology Review.
On August 11, 2013, the New York Times published an article by Ian Urbina with the headline: I Flirt and Tweet. Follow Me at #Socialbot. The article reports on how socialbots (software simulating people on social media) are being designed to sway elections, to influence the stock market, even to flirt with people and one another. Fil Menczer is quoted: “Bots are getting smarter and easier to create, and people are more susceptible to being fooled by them because we’re more inundated with information.” The article also mentions the Truthy project and some of our 2010 findings on political astroturf.
Inspired by this, the writers of The Good Wife consulted with us on an episode in which the main character finds that a social news site is using a socialbot to bring traffic to the site, defaming her client. The episode aired on November 24, 2013, on CBS (Season 5 Episode 9, “Whack-a-Mole”). Good show!