General Course Information:
COMS E6998.010 Social Networks from a System´s Point of View 
MF      06:10P-08:00P

Office Hours: F 9:30A-10:30A (464 CSB)

Important: We will use the month of February to go over all the material, both lectures and papaer reading. The rest of the semester will be devoted to projects.

Instructor Information
Pablo Rodriguez

TA Information
Abhishek Srivastava (
Office Hours : F 2.00PM - 4.00PM

Instructor Bio:
Pablo Rodriguez is the Scientific Director at Telefonica Research. 
Prior to Telefonica he worked at Microsoft Research, where he developed the Microsoft Avalanche P2P system and helped design and analyze very popular services, such as Windows Updates, FolderShare, or Xbox live. During his early research career Pablo worked as a Member of Technical Staff at Bell-Labs, NJ where he designed wireless data acceleration solutions and new content distribution systems. He also worked as a software architect for various startups including Netli (now part of Akamai), Inktomi (acquired by Yahoo!) and Tahoe Networks (now part of Nokia). 
He received his Ph.D. from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL, Lausanne) and obtained postgraduate studies from King's College, London. During his Ph.D. he also worked at AT&T Labs (Shannon Laboratory, Florham Park, NJ). 
He has been the keynote speaker at WWW'09; the General Chair for ACM/SIGCOMM '09; he is a member of the editorial board for IEEE / ACM Transactions on Networking (ToN), and editor for ACM Computer Communications Review SIGCOMM/CCR, a special editor for IEEE/JSAC, and a steering committee member for IEEE / HotWeb.



Online social networks (OSNs) such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter make up the fastest growing population on the Internet today, totaling near half a billion users worldwide. More than just effective tools to foster communication and collaboration between friends, they provide a ready platform for the a new wave of Internet applications that blend traditional online communities with trusted social links.

Through a mix of lectures on the latest technical advances that are empowering such systems and reading of recent research, this class will closely examine technical issues surrounding online social networks, including but not limited to: measurement studiesdatabases, social networking applicationscloud computingsecurity and privacy in OSNssocial graph anonymization. A critical component of the course will be a research project involving OSN measurements, applications, or infrastructure support.

There will be no homeworks or exams. The class grade will be based on discussion of each paper in an online group, your presentation of a research paper, and a course research project. For the project, the class will form project groups of 3-4 members each. Each group will design and present a project that innovates on the topics discussed in class. You will be required to write a paper describing the contributions of your work, and present your findings in a presentation at the end of the quarter.


Your quarter grade will be derived from paper discussions (30%), a class presentation (30%), and the class project, including paper and final presentation (40%).


1/28 Introduction to the class, goals, and structure

2/4 Lecture: Content Delivery and Social Nets

2/7 Lecture: Scaling Social Nets Data Management Algorithms - Invited Talk (Yahoo Research)

2/18 Lecture: Memcache and Databases for Social Nets

2/25 Paper discussion 

2/28 Paper discussion

3/4 Invited Talk

3/11 Paper discussion


Paper List (The list is growing and changing...)

Somniloquy: Augmenting Network Interfaces to Reduce PC Energy Usage, Yuvraj Agarwal, Steve Hodges, Ranveer Chandra, James Scott, and Paramvir Bahl, Rajesh Gupta, NSDI'09,PDF
Analysis of Topological Characteristics of Huge Online Social Networking Services, Y-Y Ahn, S. Han, H. Kwak, S. Moon, and H. Jeong, WWW'07, PDF
A Scalable, Commodity Data Center Network Architecture, Mohammad Al-Fares, Alexander Loukissa, Amin Vahdat, SIGCOMM'08, PDF
Wherefore Art Thou R3579X? Anonymized Social Networks, Hidden Patterns, and Structural Steganography, Lars Backstrom, Cynthia Dwork, Jon Kleinberg, WWW'07, PDF
Group Formation in Large Social Networks: Membership, Growth, and Evolution, L. Backstrom, D. Huttenlocher, J. Kleinberg, X. Lan, KDD'06, PDF
I Tube, You Tube, Everybody Tubes: Analyzing the World's Largest User Generated Content Video System, Meeyoung Cha, Haewoon Kwak, Pablo Rodriguez, Yong-Yeol Ahn, Sue Moon, IMC'07, PDF
Characterizing Social Cascades in Flickr, Meeyoung Cha, Alan Mislove, Ben Adams, Krishna Gummadi, WOSN'08, PDF
MapReduce: Simplified Data Processing on Large Clusters, Jeffrey Dean and Sanjay Ghemawat, OSDI'08, PDF
Dynamo: Amazon's Highly Available Key-value Store, Giuseppe DeCandia, Deniz Hastorun, Madan Jampani, Gunavardhan Kakulapati, Avinash Lakshman, Alex Pilchin, Swaminathan Sivasubramanian, Peter Vosshall and Werner Vogels, SOSP'07, PDF
Handling Flash Crowds from Your Garage, Jeremy Elson and Jon Howell, Usenix'08, PDF
RE: Reliable Email, Scott Garriss, Michael Kaminsky, Michael J. Freedman, Brad Karp,David Mazières, Haifeng Yu, NSDI'06, PDF
DCell: A Scalable and Fault-Tolerant Network Structure for Data Centers, Chuanxiong Guo, Haitao Wu, Kun Tan, Lei Shi, Yongguang Zhang, Songwu Lu, SIGCOMM'08, PDF
Dryad: Distributed Data-Parallel Programs from Sequential Building Blocks, Michael Isard, Mihai Budiu, Yuan Yu, Andrew Birrell, and Dennis Fetterly, EuroSys'07, PDF
The Structure of Information Pathways in a Social Communication Network, Gueorgi Kossinets, Jon Kleinberg, Duncan Watts, KDD'08, PDF
Structure and evolution of online social networks, Ravi Kumar, Jasmine Novak, and Andrew Tomkins, KDD'06, PDF
Planetary-Scale Views on a Large Instant-Messaging Network, Jure Leskovec and Eric Horvitz, WWW'08, PDF
Characterizing User Mobility in Second Life, Chi-Anh La, Pietro Michiardi, WOSN'08, PDF
Growth of the Flickr social network, Alan Mislove, Meeyoung Cha, Hema Swetha Koppula, Krishna P. Gummadi, Peter Druschel, Bobby Bhattacharjee, WOSN'08, PDF
Measurement and Analysis of Online Social Networks, Alan Mislove, Massimiliano Marcon, Krishna P. Gummadi, Peter Druschel, Bobby Bhattacharjee, IMC'07, PDF
Skilled in the Art of Being Idle: Reducing Energy Waste in Networked Systems, Sergiu Nedevschi, Sylvia Ratnasamy, Jaideep Chandrashekar, Bruce Nordman, Nina Taft, NSDI'09,PDF
Reducing Network Energy Consumption via Sleeping and Rate-Adaptation, Sergiu Nedevschi, Lucian Popa, Gianluca Iannaccone and Sylvia Ratnasamy, David Wetherall, NSDI'08, PDF
Improving Anonymity using Social Links, Krishna P. N. Puttaswamy, Alessandra Sala and Ben Y. Zhao, NPSec'08, PDF
Authenticated Out-of-Band Communication Over Social Links, Anirudh Ramachandran, Nick Feamster, WOSN'08, PDF
Can Social Networks Improve e-Commerce: a Study on Social Marketplaces, Gayatri Swamynathan, Christo Wilson, Bryce Boe, Kevin C. Almeroth and Ben Y. Zhao, WOSN'08,PDF
User Interactions in Social Networks and their Implications, Christo Wilson, Bryce Boe, Alessandra Sala, Krishna P. N. Puttaswamy and Ben Y. Zhao, EuroSys'09, PDF
DryadLINQ: A System for General-Purpose Distributed Data-Parallel Computing Using a High-Level Language, Yuan Yu, Michael Isard, Dennis Fetterly, Mihai Budiu, Ulfar Erlingsson, Pradeep Kumar Gunda, and Jon Currey, OSDI'08, PDF
SybilGuard: Defending Against Sybil Attacks via Social Networks, Haifeng Yu, Michael Kaminsky, Phillip B. Gibbons, Abraham Flaxman, SIGCOMM'06, PDF
Free Factories: Unified Infrastructure for Data Intensive Web Services, Alexander Wait Zaranek, Tom Clegg, Ward Vandewege, and George M. Church, Usenix'08, PDF


Measuring User Influence in Twitter: The Million Follower Fallacy 
Meeyoung Cha, Hamed Haddadi, Fabricio Benevenuto, and Krishna Gummadi
In Proc. of International AAAI Conference on Weblogs and Social Media (ICWSM), May 2010

You are who you know: Inferring user profiles in Online Social Networks
Alan Mislove, Bimal Viswanath, Krishna P. Gummadi, and Peter Druschel
In Proceedings of the 3rd ACM International Conference of Web Search and Data Mining (WSDM'10), New York, NY, February 2010.

An Analysis of Social Network-based Sybil Defenses
Bimal Viswanath, Ansley Post, Krishna P. Gummadi, and Alan Mislove
In Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the ACM Special Interest Group on Data Communication (SIGCOMM'10), New Delhi, India, August 2010. 

I know what you will do next summer 
Balachander Krishnamurthy 
ACM SIGCOMM Computer Communication Review, Volume 40, Number 5, October 2010

On the Leakage of Personally Identifiable Information Via Online Social Networks 
Balachander Krishnamurthy and Craig Wills 
Proceedings of ACM SIGCOMM Workshop on Online Social Networks, August 2009