The Robotics Institute

RI | Seminar | Dec 14 2007

Robotics Institute Seminar, Dec 14, 2007
Time and Place | Seminar Abstract | Speaker Biography | Speaker Appointments

Formation and Evolution of Groups in Large Social Networks




Daniel P. Huttenlocher

Cornell University


Time and Place


Mauldin Auditorium (NSH 1305 )

Talk 3:30 pm




This talk will consider factors that influence people to join communities, and in turn how communities develop and evolve over time. While there is a long history of research on such questions in the social sciences, recent online records of social interactions offer an unprecedented ability to study these issues at a large scale.  We have been investigating questions such as what properties of social networks influence whether individuals will join communities, how the influence of social ties compares with other factors such as shared interests, and what causes communities to grow more or less rapidly. We are studying these questions using several sources of data including LiveJournal, Wikipedia and DBLP, each of which provides both social ties and explicit user-defined communities.  We find surprising consistency across datasets in terms of how a person's propensity to join a community depends on the number of social ties to that community.  In contrast, the relative importance of social ties versus shared interests seems to depend considerably on the setting.

This is joint work with Lars Backstrom, Dan Cosley, David Crandall, Jon Kleinberg, Xiangyang Lan and Sid Suri.


Speaker Biography


Dan Huttenlocher is the John P. and Rilla Neafsey Professor of Computing, Information Science and Business at Cornell University, where he holds a joint appointment in the Computer Science Department and the Johnson Graduate School of Management.  His research interests are in computer vision, electronic collaboration tools, social and information networks, computational geometry and financial trading systems.  In addition to academic posts he has been chief technical officer of Intelligent Markets, a provider of advanced trading systems on Wall Street, and spent more than ten years at Xerox PARC directing work that led to the ISO JBIG2 image-compression standard.


Speaker Appointments


For appointments, please contact Alexei Efros (

The Robotics Institute is part of the School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University.