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SNG@WrUT

Visualisation of an exemplary social network We are a research group created at Wroclaw University of Technology. The Social Network Group is a research and development centre promoted by the Wroclaw University for the advancement of multidisciplinary studies located in Wroclaw, Poland. The main objectives of the group are to carry out basic and applied research in the field of Network Intelligence and Smart Decision Making achieved by means of intelligent processing and analysis and of associations and connections within networked, complex, distributed and dynamic data sets and streams. The aim of the Group is to transfer technology to industrial applications of intelligent systems to solve real-world problems. Besides, the Group is aiming at becoming a meeting point for worldwide experts and young researchers where they can develop advanced research and training activities.

Research areas

  • Social networks
  • Social network analysis (SNA)
  • Dynamic of social networks
  • Motif analysis in social networks
  • Access to latent knowledge through social networks
  • Routing in knowledge-based social networks
  • Analysis of social neighbourhood for suspected persons
  • Dynamics of social groups
  • Role discovery in social networks
  • Classification based on social networks
  • Verification of organizational structure based on social network
Description of the key reaserch areas
  • Analysis of large social networks - the networks that are in the area of our interest are extracted from large datasets obtained from telecommunication companies (British Telecom plc - BT), e-mail servers (WrUT, Enron), multimedia sharing systems (Flickr), etc. The first research on investigating and analysing social networks was conducted as part of the EU FP6 Coordination Action project on Nature-inspired Smart Information Systems (11/2005 - 01/2008) where members of our group acted as a member of the Nature-inspired Data Technology focus group. We presented the research results at the NiSIS symposia at Majorca (06/2006), Tenerife (11/2006), and Malta (11/2007). Currently, we lead the project GRASP# - Groups, Relationships and Activities of Suspected Persons, which is funded by the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education. The aim of this project is to investigate and analyze the social connections and characteristics of people accused and suspected of committing a crime. The industry partners - Research and Engineering Center (REC) and Telnet - are also involved in the project.
  • Evaluation of a user position in a social network - the members of our group conduct research on assessing a position of individuals in networked systems. The position is calculated based on the users activities and their interactions. The method and appropriate algorithms were developed and a large number of experiments on real-world networks were carried out. The research on evaluating user position is supported by the individual grant that Katarzyna Musial obtained from the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education (06/2008 - 12/2009). It is titled "A method for analysis of node position in the network of internet users" (number N516 264935) and this is also the title of her Ph.D. thesis. The novel results of this work were published at international conferences and in peer reviewed journals as well as resulted in a recently granted patent application.
  • Network motifs method in social networks - Network motifs are small subgraphs that reflect local network topology and were shown to be useful for creating profiles that reveal several properties of the network. The outcomes of our research have revealed that motif analysis enables the effective investigation of both network structure and patterns of interactions between nodes within this network. In addition, the analysis of network motifs dynamics can be utilized in detecting and exploration of changes in complex network structures.
  • Multirelational social networks - these are the networks in which more than one type of relationship exist. Different types of relations can emerge from various communication channels, i.e. based on each communication channel separate relation that can be also called a layer of a network is created. The relationships are extracted from the users activities and if in the system the knowledge about more than one kind of activity is gathered then more than one type of relation can be defined. Different layers can be also built upon various nature of the connections between users, e.g. co-workers, family members, friends. The systems that can be used in such analysis are the multimedia sharing systems such as Flickr or YouTube, which are typical examples of Web 2.0 systems. In the research we have investigated the photo sharing system - Flickr. The users of this system can maintain their profiles, subscribe to interest groups, upload photos, comment and add to favourites the photos owned by others. Based on each of these activities one type of relationship was created and static analyses were performed.
  • Dynamics of social networks - this is the research area that currently becomes one of the main field of our research efforts. The conducted research is concerned with discovering patterns in users behaviours and the interactions between them. The analysis of these patterns and their changes in time allow to predict the future behaviour of users and their relations. One of the ways to model the network dynamics is the application of methods based on the molecular modelling concept and other physically-inspired methods.
  • Analysis of networks of users in systems based on Service-Oriented Architectures and Service-Oriented Knowledge Utilities paradigms - the analysis of behaviour and interactions of users in the service-based systems is an interesting aspect in the decision making process where one needs to decide whether a given service should be introduced, removed or changed. Our members participate in the project SOA - Service-Oriented Architectures (01/2009-12/2012). This large, multi-partner project is funded within the Regional Operational Programme for Innovative Economy 2008-2013. The project is realised in the cooperation with Sygnity company from Poland that develops systems based on the SOA paradigm. We are responsible for development of the model and methods for decision support system in the service oriented knowledge utility systems.