I am a Reader (roughly equivalent to an Associate Professor in the North-American academic system) in Data Science at the Department of Geography at University College London, where I lead the Intelligent Social Systems Lab. We are part of the Geospatial Analytics and Computing Group.
Postdoctoral Fellow Job Opening
I have a Postdoctoral Fellowship job opening in my lab. Closing date: 9 February 2017. Please do not hesitate to contact me for an informal discussion about the post. The deadline for this post has passed but please contact me to discuss potential alternative funding opportunities for your postdoc if you are interested in joining my lab.
We wrote a short survey on “Sensing and Modeling Human Behavior Using Social Media and Mobile Data”. The article will be part of a book that will be published in the next months. The pre-print of the article is available on ArXiv.
Our paper “Anonymous or not? Understanding the Factors Affecting Personal Mobile Data Disclosure” has been accepted for publication in ACM Transactions on Internet Technology. The article contains an experimental evaluation of the different factors affecting users’ disclosing choices of location and social interaction information. A pre-print version of the paper can be downloaded here.
Our paper on “Probabilistic Matching: Causal Inference under Measurement Errors” has been accepted for publication at the International Joint Conference on Neural Networks (IJCNN’17). In this work, we propose a novel approach for causal inference when one or more key variables are noisy. The proposed method has many practical applications for example for the analysis of streams of sensor data. A pre-print version of the paper can be downloaded here.
I wrote an article on “Tracing Networks of Knowledge in the Digital Age”. The paper will appear in the Proceedings of the British Academy in the coming months. The paper is an output of the “Tracing networks: communicating knowledge in antiquity and the digital age” event organised by the British Academy some years ago. A preliminary version of the paper can be downloaded from this link.
We wrote a (fun) paper with some (serious) health policy implications about the analysis of cuisines around the world based on data from Yummly. The paper “Kissing Cuisines: Exploring Worldwide Culinary Habits on the Web” has been accepted for publication at WWW’17 in the Web Science Track. The project has been covered by MIT Technology Review, The Independent and France 24 among the others.
Our paper “The Effect of Timing and Frequency of Push Notifications on Usage of a Smartphone-Based Stress Management Intervention: An Exploratory Trial” has been published in PLOS ONE. The article discusses the results of a trial on the impact of intelligent context-aware push notifications in smartphone-based stress management behavioural interventions.
I have joined the Editorial Board of the “Proceedings of the ACM on Interactive, Mobile, Wearable and Ubiquitous Technologies (IMWUT)”, the new journal that will publish the papers presented at ACM UbiComp. More information about the new publication model of UbiComp can be found here.
We won the Best Paper Award at ACM UbiComp 2016 for our paper “PrefMiner: Mining User’s Preferences for Intelligent Mobile Notification Management”.
At ACM UbiComp 2016 we will also present the paper “Towards Multi-modal Anticipatory Monitoring of Depressive States through the Analysis of Human-Smartphone Interaction” at the “Mental Health: Sensing and Intervention Workshop” colocated with UbiComp 2016.
Our paper “Spatio-temporal Networks: Reachability, Centrality and Robustness” has been published in Royal Society Open Science. The work was also covered by the Evening Standard.
Our paper “A Multilayer Approach to Multiplexity and Link Prediction in Online Geo-Social Networks” has been published in EPJ Data Science.
We have been awarded a Google Internet of Things (IoT) Technology Research Award.
Our paper “My Phone and Me: Understanding People’s Receptivity to Mobile Notifications” discussing various aspects of the reactions to (and interactions with) mobile notifications has been accepted for publication at ACM CHI’16 in the main research track. This is a data-driven and quantitative study that sheds a light on the actual use and impact of notifications on smartphones.
Two full papers accepted at WWW’16: the paper “Measuring Urban Social Diversity Using Interconnected Geo-Social Networks” proposes a novel approach to the study of urban diversity using interconnected geo-social networks, with an analysis of human mobility and behaviour in London, whereas the paper “Who Benefits from the Sharing Economy of Airbnb?” analyses the penetration of Airbnb again in London also in relation to the geo-demographic characteristics of the various areas of the capital.
Our paper “Investigating Causality in Human Behavior from Smartphone Sensor Data: A Quasi Experimental Approach” introducing a novel quasi-experimental approach for analysing causality (vs correlation) in human behaviour using sensor data collected by means of ubiquitous devices has been published in EPJ Data Science. In this paper we try to answer the following question: can we detect causality in a dataset even if we did not design the experiments and control groups?
I am Program Committee Co-Chair of the PervasiveHealth 2017 conference.
I am currently involved in the following upcoming scientific events. Please consider submitting your work to and attending these conferences and workshops:
- 37th IEEE International Conference on Computer Communications (IEEE INFOCOM 2018) [PC Member]
- 2017 ACM International Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing [Member of the Editorial Board of the Associated ACM IMWUT Journal]
- 19th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services (ACM MobileHCI 2017) [PC Member]
- 1st ACM Workshop on Digital Biomarkers at ACM MobiSys 2017 [PC Member]
- 3rd Workshop on Micro Aerial Vehicle Networks, Systems, and Applications (ACM DroNet 2017 at ACM MobiSys 2017 [PC Member]
- 11th AAAI International Conference on Web and Social Media (AAAI ICWSM 2017) [Senior PC Member]
- 26th International World Wide Web Conference (WWW 2017) - Ubiquitous and Mobile Computing Track [PC Member]
- 5th International Conference on the Scientific Analysis of Mobile Phone Datasets (NetMob 2017) [PC Member]
- 10th ACM International Conference on Web Search and Data Mining (ACM WSDM 2017) [PC Member]
- 36th IEEE International Conference on Computer Communications (IEEE INFOCOM 2017) [PC Member]
- 37th IEEE International Conference on Distributed Computing (IEEE ICDCS’17) - Social Networks and Crowdsourcing Track [PC Member]
- 4th IEEE/ACM International Conference on Mobile Software Engineering and Systems (IEEE/ACM MobileSoft 2017) colocated with ACM/IEEE ICSE 2017 [PC Member]
- 15th IEEE International Conference on Pervasive Computing and Communications (IEEE PerCom 2017) [PC Member]
The research focus of my lab is on sensing, modelling, understanding and predicting human behaviour in space and time, at different scales, using the “digital traces” we generate daily in our online and offline lives. More specifically, I am interested in developing mathematical and computational models as well as implementing real-world systems based on them. This work has applications in a variety of domains, such as 1) the design of intelligent systems, in particular ubiquitous computing systems and networked systems; 2) healthcare (with a current focus on mental health); 3) security&privacy; and 4) data science for “social good”.
Undergraduate and Master Students at UCL. Undergraduate and Master projects under my supervision are usually “research-oriented”, i.e., they are related to research topics we are currently investigating in my group. More in general, please do not hesitate to contact me if you are interested in a project or in being involved in the activities of my lab. Also, if you are a first or second year Undergraduate student at UCL and you are interested in doing a (paid) research internship in my group during the summer just come to my office or drop me an email (also in order to explore the possibility of doing a PhD after your degree).
Ph.D. Students. I am looking for students interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in Data Science, Ubiquitous Computing, and Networked Systems in my lab. If you are interested please contact me by email in order to discuss the funding of your studies (such as available postgraduate studentships and other potential sources of Ph.D. funding).
Postdoctoral Research Associates. I am happy to discuss postdoc opportunities in my group, also potentially through fellowships such as those offered through the Newton Fund, EU Skłodowska-Curie Actions or the Fulbright Scholar Program.
Researchers and Industrial Collaborations. I am happy to discuss possible visits of UG/Master/Ph.D. students and researchers in my group. I am also happy to discuss potential collaborations with companies and other organisations interested in the research activities of our lab.
Office Hours (Second Term)
My office hours for the Second Term are as follows:
Friday 24 March: the office hours will be 1-3pm.