Mauro Cherubini SONIC Speaker Series

MauMauro Cherubiniro Cherubini, Telefonica Research, Barcelona, “Exploring Social Networks as an Infrastructure for Transportation Networks” Monday, May 10, 2010.

We propose an exchange platform where people lend each other objects of small value, such as star-shaped screwdrivers, which are transported by the owners or by carriers (friends or acquaintances of the owner in the social network). By running simulations on mobile call detail records, which include location information, from a large metropolitan area, we evaluate the performance of several transportation strategies. Results show that completely unoptimized routing heuristics could deliver an average of 3908 objects, over 10000 injected objects, with an average delivery time of 0.59 days. These preliminary results suggest that, under considerably general assumptions, social networks may indeed be an effective and inexpensive infrastructure for transportation networks. These initial results have important implications for sustainability.

Mauro Cherubini obtained a degree in Psychology and Education in 2001. He then worked at Media Lab Europe, in Ireland, with several study visits at MIT in Boston. In 2004, Mauro earned a Master of Arts by Research at Dublin City University. In 2008, he was conferred a PhD in Computer Science by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, where he conducted research on Human-Computer Interaction. In 2008, Mauro joined Telefonica Research, in Barcelona.

Continue Reading

New Global Network of Web Science Laboratories announced at WebSci10

New Global Network of Web Science Laboratories announced at WebSci10

EMBARGO 00.01 Tuesday 27 April 2010

A new international network announced yesterday (Monday 26 April 2010) creates an alliance of world-class research laboratories to support the Web Science research and education program.

The Web Science Trust Network of Laboratories (WSTNet) combines some of the world’s leading academic researchers in Web Science, with new academic programs that will enhance the already growing influence of Web Science.

WSTNet will be managed by the Web Science Trust, which brings together academics, business leaders, entrepreneurs and policy-makers from around the world with the goal of fostering multidisciplinary research to study the World Wide Web and describe the issues and challenges that will shape its future use and design.

Through a number of specific agreements and commitments with the Web Science Trust, the member Labs will provide valuable support for the ongoing development of Web Science.

‘This is yet another important milestone in the progress of Web Science,’ said Sir John Taylor, Chair of the WST Trustee Board. ‘We are linking together a group of highly respected research laboratories which are all already making internationally-leading contributions through their research. We look forward to what we can achieve together in the future, through a series of joint research programs, events, and collaborations.’

Contributions from the Labs will include the organization and hosting of summer schools, workshops and meetings, including the WebSci conference series. The WSTNet Labs will also identify opportunities for new events and fundraising, all as part of the ongoing development of Web Science.

The announcement of WSTNet was made at the WebSci10 conference taking place in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA, from 26 to 27 April, and co-located with the World Wide Web conference. Representatives of all the Labs are attending the conference along with researchers from the many different disciplines which are involved in Web Science.

‘WSTNet will extend our global research capabilities in Web Science as well as ensuring that the subject is built into university syllabuses,’ said Professor Dame Wendy Hall, Managing Director of WST and one of the founders of the discipline of Web Science. We will continue to extend the network to other research institutes which are already committed to Web Science.

‘We are delighted to welcome on board all the Labs and look forward to further exciting developments in the future.’

The full list of Founding WSTNet Labs is:

Annenberg Network of Networks, University of Southern California

Decentralized Information Group (DIG), Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Department of Computer Science, VU Amsterdam

Digital Enterprise Research Institute, NUI Galway

Institute for Web Science and Technologies (WeST), Universitat Koblenz-Landau

Oxford Internet Institute

Science of Networks in Communities (SONIC) Lab, Northwestern University

Tsinghua-Southampton Web Science Laboratory at Shenzhen

Web Science Research Centre, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Web Science Research Group, University of Southampton

Notes for Editors

For further information about Web Science and the Web Science Trust see

For further information about WebSci10 see

The Web Science Trust (WST) is a charitable body with the aim of supporting the global development of Web Science.

For further information contact:

Professor Dame Wendy Hall, School of Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton (; tel.+44(0)23 8059 3255)

Joyce Lewis, Communications Manager, School of Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton (

Continue Reading

Filip Agneessens SONIC Speaker Series

Filip AgneessFilip Agneessensens, VU University, Amsterdam “The importance of advice and trust on individual performance in teams: the effect of individual position in a network or group structure?” Friday, April 16th, 2010.

Both the way in which trust and advice relations influence the performance of employees in organizations, and the level at which these networks might have an impact on individual performance have been a major topic of discussion. This paper simultaneously investigates the impact of (1) trust as an independent effect next to advice, (2) trust as an underlying source for the emergence of advice, as well as (3) the importance of multiplex advice-trust ties for performance.  Moreover a multilevel analysis is used to simultaneously study the position of members in a team, and the impact of the structural characteristics of the team as a whole for individual performance. The results at the individual level show that the impact of frequent advice giving on performance is only partially mediated by the level to which the person is considered more trustworthy, while the effect of advice relations embedded in a trust-relation (i.e. advice-trust multiplexity) is not important. However, at the team level results show not only that a centralized advice structure (one, or a few persons being asked a lot for advice) and a decentralized trust network (members being more similar in the level they trust others) both have a positive effect on performance, but also that having more advice relations which are combined with trust in the team as a whole, have an impact on the performance of all its members.

Filip Agneessens’ research centers on network formation within organizations and their impact on attitudes and behavior of individual employees, with a particular focus on how networks might impact job satisfaction and performance. He has also been working on the development of random and biased networks, the building of social support typologies and how they might impact an individual’s wellbeing. In recent work he has also adapted exponential random graph models (p*models) to study cultural participation and (co) sponsorship among senators as two-mode networks. He teaches courses on network theory, social network methods and social network analysis applied to organizations.

Continue Reading